Body Recomposition: Build Muscle, Lose Fat

What Is Body Recomposition?

One of the most ideal goals of working out is to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. We describe this as body recomposition. However, body recomposition is still very much a topic that needs more understanding. Here’s what we know about it.

Body Recomposition: Not A Short-term Goal?

A complete body recomposition, whereby bodyweight stays the same while fat levels decrease and muscle mass increases, is not an easy process. It takes a relatively long time (i.e., not something achievable in 2 weeks). Oftentimes, one can expect body recomposition to take at least 8 weeks or more of alongside a structured resistance training program and a well designed diet.

Is Recomposition Only Possible For Beginners?

An article by Barakat and colleagues in 2020 underlines the presumption that body recomposition was mainly seen in untrained or overweight populations. However, their review indicates a large number of studies that show that well resistance-trained individuals are capable of inducing body recomposition, showing that recomposition is not only possible in beginners. It may be more efficient to undertake distinct muscle gain and fat loss phases, such as traditional bulking or cutting phases, when training only for body composition changes.

Should You Aim To Pull Off A Body Recomposition?

Body recomposition may be a good strategy for the following categories of people:

1) untrained or novice individuals

2) obese or overweight individuals

3) individuals returning from an injury or layoff 

These groups stand to benefit the most from a program aiming at body recomposition, as they will likely make the most fat loss and muscle gain. However, for recreationally training individuals, a body recomposition program may still be realistic but may take longer to see the results that they want. For individuals looking to participate in a physique sport or have a scheduled photoshoot, a recomposition program may not be too ideal due to the time required.

Resistance Training: Necessary For Recomposition

Ensuring that one’s resistance training program achieves the goal of inducing gains in muscle size and strength is important to a recomposition program. Resistance training is the needed stimulus to keep or grow muscle. If body recomposition is the goal, a progressive resistance training program with at least 3 sessions a week should be implemented. A progressive resistance program such as a push-pull-lower split with progressively increasing loads used from week to week is recommended for this.

Resistance Training for Body Recomposition

Protein: The Key Macronutrient

Recomposition involves both fat loss and muscle growth, making protein the most important macronutrient as it is needed for muscle growth. Keeping a moderate-to-high protein intake while resistance training will ensure better results for the recomposition. Protein recommendations hover at 2.6 – 3.5 g/kg of fat-free mass (FFM); for example, a 90 kg person with 70 kg of fat-free mass (as scanned by a body composition analyzer) would aim for 182-245g of protein daily from their food. Consuming protein supplements if insufficient protein intake from food is a possible strategy.

Other Factors Of A Recomposition Program

Other factors that influence the outcomes of a body recomposition program are your sleep and your initial body composition. One’s sleep quality and quantity may significantly impact the changes in exercise performance, recovery, and thus body composition. Starting off with a higher body fat percentage may help with the quantity of muscle gained as stored fat could provide energy to support the processes leading to muscle gain.

Looking For Your Own Body Recomposition Program?

While body recomposition may not be the most ideal for everyone, that shouldn’t stop you from taking steps to improve your health and fitness! Our personal trainers from The Gym Pod Academy can help set you up with your own body recomposition program, especially if you are a novice looking for a start to their fitness journey! Not only will they provide you with the necessary coaching to improve your fitness, they can coach you in your exercises at the many Gym Pods located across Singapore and worldwide. What are you waiting for, book a consultation now with our personal trainers now!