Should You Get Lean First Before Building Muscle?

By | November 1, 2013

Losing Fat To Build Muscle

Skinny people who want to build a lean muscular body know without doubt that they need to focus on gaining muscle from the beginning of their program. But, people with the same goal who happen to possess a great amount of excess fat, may be a bit lost trying to figure out – what is the best way to start the journey of getting lean and muscular?

Should you lose fat first, build muscle first or try to do both at the same time when trying to go from a fat body to a lean muscular body? I’m here to help you get over the confusion and start taking action to get sculpted instead of just confusingly thinking about it.

Yes! Get Lean First

Now the simple answer is: it is best to get lean first when you possess a great amount of excess fat and want to build muscle. But this doesn’t mean that you should put building muscle on hold. You see, if you decide to get lean first you can use an optimized nutrition and training program to maintain and build some muscle while losing fat. Yes, if you are eating enough protein, cycling your calories and lifting weights properly you will maintain and gain some muscle even if your program is primarily focused on fat loss.

If you lose fat while maintaining the muscle you already have on your body it could take you a good way ahead in getting the lean muscle body you want. It’s also possible to gain some muscle while getting lean if the right conditions are present. Which could take you very close to optimal body composition and a nice toned physique that would look impressive at the end of your fat loss program.

The same thing cannot be said about building muscle when you have a load of fat on your body. Although proper program design and good compliance could allow you to minimize further fat gain when your primary goal is building muscle, the fact is you need to get rid of excess fat from your body to look toned and chiseled. Anyone would look much better being lean and moderately muscular, than fat and muscular. Look at Brad Pitt’s body in Fight Club. He does not have a lot of muscle mass, but his very low body fat creates that nice lean and toned physique.

If you are thinking that the ideal process would be to lose fat and build muscle together, then you should know that trying to get leaner and more muscular at the same time is a very complicated and difficult endeavor. The program requirements for losing fat and building muscle is not equally compatible. Although concurrent fat loss and muscle gain could happen, the rate ratio at which it occurs depends on individual conditions and special program design.

It’s commonly recommended that if you possess a lot of excess fat you should focus on fat loss first without losing muscle, then when you get to a lower body fat level, start focusing on muscle gain while staying lean or getting leaner.