how to gain muscle and lose fat

Well, yes it IS POSSIBLE to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.  We’ll explore the ways in this article.

In the near past, the technique for getting ripped was to go heavy with the weights at the gym, overeat and then starve yourself to get rid of all the fat you gained when you were overeating.  Not Good!!

This is common practice in the bodybuilding world.  It’s referred to as Bulking and CuttingS.  It’s an extreme way to achieve an end, and probably does work, but it requires a lot of stress on your body.  It can negatively affect your body permanently.

It’s an extreme way to achieve an end, and probably does work, but it requires strict dedication and a lot of gym time.

And it’s short-lived at best.  This method is often done to prepare for a competition.  We’re not doing that here.

Bulking and Shredding are BAD for your body and an old technique that no longer has to be used to get a ripped body. We know more about our body and how it works.

Now, honestly, we don’t want a bodybuilder physique, but the principles to get big and lean still apply. You don’t have to whip-saw your body by overeating and then starving yourself to get a nicely defined, muscled body.

It seems as though gaining muscle and losing fat are contradictory, but they aren’t.

There are many who try to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously and fail.  It is not easy because the body needs calories to build muscle and needs fewer calories to lose fat.  Therein lies the dilemma.

how to gain muscle and lose fat

Because it is not easy, we must look at the science behind the body and see what clues we can get as to how to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

The two are very much related.  You can do both at the same time.

It just takes some education, some willingness to see things differently and to commit to an eating program and workout that will adhere to the principles we outline here.

With science, information, and understanding of how the various systems of the body function, we can better understand and apply the right exercises and nutrition to help us achieve the goal of increasing muscle mass and losing fat simultaneously.

We’ll look at several approaches that will help you attain these goals, but first, let’s look at the science to see how we can get the results we want.



Your body is a machine that science understands.  Now, not all bodies are the same, obviously, but the science is the same, nonetheless.

Below is a discussion of how you gain muscle.


how to gain muscle and lose fat
Hyde Park Gym – Austin

We have been studying the human body for many years, and we know how muscles grow and the 3-4 different mechanisms that are involved.

Because there is more than one way to gain muscle and everyone responds differently, we’re going to propose that you rotate between the different methods to maximize your muscle gains.



1.) THE “PUMP”

You’ve certainly heard bodybuilders say “get a pump” or “get swole.”  This is actually your body responding to stress by increasing the size of the cells in the stress area.  This swelling will ultimately result in bigger muscles or a “pump.”

How To Get A Pump?

The best ways to achieve this “pump” and increase your muscle size is through the use of drop sets, super sets and doing each exercise to failure.

single dumbbell arm curls

A DROP SET is doing an exercise starting with a heavier weight and then removing a small portion of the weight immediately after each rep.

For example, you’d start arm curls with 35 lbs and do as many as you can, immediately pick up the 30 lb dumbbells and do as many reps as you can, then finish by doing as many reps as you can with 25 lb. dumbbells.

These are done with NO rest in between.  NO REST.


tricep push down machine

A SUPER SET is alternately doing two complimentary exercises without any rest in between.

For instance, do bicep arm curls alternately with triceps push-down.

Do a set of arm curls with a 30 lb. weight to almost failure and then immediately get on a triceps pushdown machine and do as many pushdowns as you can – moderate weight.

The key is not to rest in between. NO REST.

So muscle gain can be induced by a “pump” or swelling of the muscles.  Another way is TENSION on the muscle.

 2.) Muscle Tension

chest press with heavy dumbbells

You’ve heard of fast twitch muscles?  These are engaged when your muscles are put under great tension.  They are recruited when you do exercises with heavier weights for fewer reps.

Many programs will suggest 6-8 reps but I think you need to go heavy enough so you can only perform 4-6 reps.

It means that you should only do 3 sets of these heavier weight exercises.  Then move on and do 3 sets of another exercise.

These are actually “fun” because they make you feel like a bodybuilder.



Yes, to gain size and strength you have to “micro-tear” your muscles so they’ll grow.  You’ve heard the phrase “micro-tear” before.  It simply means you have to tear down the structure of the muscle so it responds by becoming bigger and stronger.

The METHODS for tearing down your muscles is negative reps, forced reps, forced negative reps and lifting heavy weights. 

chest press with spotter

A NEGATIVE REP is greatly slowing down the lowering of the weight during an exercise.  Each exercise has a “lift” movement and a “return” or “negative” movement.  By consciously slowing the negative portion of the rep, you will greatly enhance the tearing or damage to the muscle.

A FORCED REP will require that you have a workout partner to assist.  You will perform an exercise as you normally would except when you get to the point where you can no longer lift the weight, your partner will “help” you lift several more times.  He should only give you minimum physical help but also give you motivational verbal help.

This is forcing your muscles to perform past what they are capable of by themselves.  This technique is highly effective for many folks.

A FORCED NEGATIVE REP also requires a workout partner. With this technique, your workout partner will push against the weight as you lower it during the negative part of your lift.

For instance, during a bench press, you, alone, would lift the barbell and as you lower the weight, your partner would push the weight down while you resist this downward force.



guy perfomring squats

If you’ve ever worked out with weights, occasionally you may have experienced a burning sensation in your muscles during an exercise.  This burning sensation is acid building up in your muscles.

This is a good thing, and you want to feel the “burn” often…..but, not all the time.  It means your muscles are responding in a way that they’ll grow, and you’ll look better and be stronger.

The METHOD that works best to achieve a burn is to limit rest between sets.  In other words, don’t chat with your friends for 5 minutes in between each set.  Sixty (60) to seventy-five (75) seconds is the max you should take between sets so that the acid doesn’t dissipate and you lose the burn.

In fact, the shorter the time between sets, the better.  Always.



The secret formula for fat loss, while you’re gaining muscle, is:  FOOD & CARDIO

Those are the two things we’ll talk about now to give you the science behind how to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.


Cardio is the part I like least, unless it’s in a group setting, like at a boot camp.  Otherwise, it’s a challenge to stay motivated to do cardio.

Cardio is essential for weight loss.  If you’re trying to lose weight while you’re gaining muscle, you must do some sort of cardio.  Not just any cardio, but done so that it doesn’t detract from the muscle you’re gaining with your muscle workouts.

The approach to cardio while you’re gaining muscle is not to overdo it. Ideally, you want to use cardio and diet to get the fat loss that you’re aiming for.

There are two (2) types of cardio you should incorporate into your weekly routine:

1.) Steady/Slow – This is typically a 30-minute run, a 20-minute swim or 30 minutes on the treadmill.  I believe that outdoor physical activity is much better for you than an indoor machine. I just think a machine like a treadmill or an elliptical does not give you the same cardio benefits a good run or swim does.

2.) High Intensity – Doing 10 sprints is a high-intensity workout.  These can be incorporated into a long slow jog where you intersperse your jog with 20-second sprints.  This keeps your run more interesting and achieves a great cardio workout.

If you’ll mix these two different styles of cardio during the week, you’ll see much better results than if you do the same cardio exercise every time.

How often should you do cardio to lose weight while you’re gaining muscle mass?

Everyone is different, so if it’s tough for you to lose weight, then you’re gonna have to do more cardio – five (5) times a week.  I’d suggest two (2) long, slow runs/swims/treadmills/ each week of about 30 minutes each and three (3) high intensity workouts – slow jog with spurts of 20-second sprints.

If you find it easier to lose weight, then three (3) times a week will work for you.

The key is not to overdo the cardio because you don’t want to hamper the muscle gains you’re making in the gym. Too much cardio will sabotage your muscle gains.


NOTE:  The body gets bored with anything after a while.This applies to everything we’re talking about here. Weight training, cardio, diet, etc.

You gotta mix things up. You should never stick to the same weight routine or cardio for more than a couple of months.  Your body will adjust so that your efforts will be minimalized.  Change, any change, will result in new levels of achievement.  


Now, we’ve covered muscle gains and cardio.  It’s time to address the last leg of the stool named Gaining Muscle While Losing Fat.  It’s Diet/Nutrition.

Sorry to tell you this.  We all hate to think about our diet – what we eat.  It’s one of the toughest battles we have…..I’m thinking I’m not alone.



This is the most important part of all weight training and fat loss programs, so when you’re doing these two simultaneously, the diet is of utmost importance.

I’m gonna make it simple and not complicate nutrition for this program. It will not be hard to follow and you might actually enjoy this diet. I do like this diet and have no trouble sticking to it.


This IS the most important part of the three elements of the program to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously.

The title says it all.  You will reduce your calorie intake by 300 calories below what your suggested caloric “burn” is for a day.  This will not be hard given that you’ll be eating lots of protein, and you shouldn’t get hungry. 

If you don’t know your daily caloric burn, then look at this chart and see what your suggested daily caloric intake is. This is for men only and is based on your activity level.

For instance, if your caloric intake is 2,600 per day, then on this program, you’ll be consuming 2,300 calories per day.  That’s very easy to do.

You ARE gonna have to count calories, and there are a lot of very easy-to-use apps that will count them for you. I use My Fitness Pal by Under Armour.





The first thing to do is go to your pantry and throw out every food item that does not comply with this food plan.

Then go to the grocery store and stock up on all the foods that you will be eating from here on out.  For me, the only way not to cheat is to eliminate all foods from my house that I shouldn’t eat.  If it’s in my pantry or frig, I’ll eat it.

Your new diet plan will be filled with fresh, clean foods that are as unprocessed as possible.


Here are three simple principles to lose fat fast:

Eat Lots of Protein – This is the fun part. Protein is good for you, especially if you’re gaining muscle.  It’s the essential ingredient of muscles.  You need to make sure your muscles have enough protein to add strength and size as you’re working to gain muscle mass.Choose lean high-quality proteins like eggs, poultry, lean red meat and protein supplements.  If you weigh around 180 – 200 lbs, you’ll need 200-250 grams of protein a day.  If you are hungry, add some more protein.  It will kill your hunger.  Some fat is definitely OK.  In fact, we’re learning that a certain amount of fat is desirable.

Hardly Any Carbohydrates – The fewer, the better,  If you consume 100 grams of carbohydrates a day, you’re OK.   As I’ve said, the fewer, the better.  You’ll want to eat clean, fiber-rich carbs which include oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice and occasionally whole-grain bread.  No pastries or any food that’s white or has sugar.



100 oz. Of Waer A Day – It sounds like a lot, but it is of utmost importance that you drink mostly water during your gain and lose program.  It wouldn’t hurt to make it a life choice.

Water keeps you hydrated and provides the lubrication that your body needs. 100 oz is just three (3) of those 33 oz bottles that water normally comes in.  Have one before every meal and make sure you have one with you all the time.

Water is SO good for you, and you’ll learn where every bathroom in the city is.


gaining muscle after 50

Gaining muscle while losing fat is possible, and something that you can do to start looking spectacular, but it’s also something you can continue to do by incorporating these principles into your life on a long-term basis.

Not only will you look FANTASTIC, but you will feel FANTASTIC!

Gaining muscle while you lose fat takes some effort, discipline and dedication.

Being motivated to look and feel 20 years younger will go a long way to getting you to the state of being a HUNK.

Just imagine how your life might change if you became a HUNK?

  • You’ll be the envy of all your friends
  • You’ll get hit on by both sexes.  You choose which you respond to.  🙂
  • Your sex life will get better than it’s been in 20 years.
  • You’ll have the confidence of a smart, rich 25-year-old
  • You won’t be embarrassed to take a shower at the gym
  • You’ll gain authority at work
  • You’ll have more mental awareness
  • You’ll sleep better at night
  • You’ll get offers you’ve never had before. 🙂


Try this program and once you start to see some success, you’ll be hooked on looking and feeling great for the rest of your life.

See you at the gym





Published by "W" Tucker

I've been a fitness enthusiast for many years and want to encourage guys over 40 to get and stay in shape. It makes life better, and makes you look and feel better.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hey,
    I just came across your post and I have to say that it’s one of the best that I’ve read in a long time. I found your post to be really informative and helpful and I must say that my time spent reading it was worth every second.

    I’ll be sharing it in my circles.

    Thanks a lot for writing about this.

    Cheers Pal!

    1. Thanks for the comments. I appreciate all the feedback i can get. I really am dedicated to giving people the information they need to get in shape and stay in shape.

  2. I have heard a lot of high intervals training exercises which aim at losing weight but at the same time increase your muscle weight making you look better.
    However, these exercises did make me feel pukish once I finished with them. Does it happen to everyone? How to avoid it?

    1. i appreciate the comments. I guess some exercise can upset your stomach if you workout if you’ve eaten something before. I always workout on an empty stomach. Thanks

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