The Body Recomposition Method – How to Grow Muscle and Cut Fat at The Same Time

Yes, it’s true. You can build muscle while losing fat at the same time. Doing both at the same time is called the body recomposition method (or recomp for short), and it’s for those who want to add-on lean body mass while burning fat at the same time. But the goal is to keep at your current weight the whole time.

This process simultaneously ties together the benefits of bulking and cutting cycles.

But there’s no yo-yo effect here: which is often what fad dieters experience. Since this is a continuous effort, you aren’t likely to slide back to your starting body fat percentage. Hell, after working hard to blast the fat off your body the last thing you’d want is to gain it back. Worst yet, you don’t want to lose muscle mass either.

Body Recomposition

The key to making the workout approach successful is: It’s about balance.

So, what can you expect from a recomp? Don’t expect overnight success. Since you’re trying to cut fat while increasing your lean muscle and strength, it’s a slow process. Really slow, actually.

How to Build Muscle And Cut Fat At The Same Time

Since body recomposition combines the elements of a traditional bulk/cut cycle at the same time, you might expect to be logging your progress for up to a year. This length of time is a significant increase over the typical bulk, where you might plan to be on it for a few months or until you hit a plateau, or hit your goals before you expected. Remember those goals of yours should be realistic.

When cutting, you’ll want to have the same philosophy. So there’s no clear answer because it depends on two things: your genetics and your goals. But taking the time to plan out what your after a head of time is a smart move.

How much weight can you lose in a week? On average you could, with your diet and exercise routine tightly planned out, expect to trim off 1-5 pounds in one week. The first is a conservative estimation, while the latter is an aggressive approximation.

Starting On A Body Recomposition Phase

There’s going to be a yin yang approach to your training. You’re going to want to match the same style of lifts you’d do on a bulk, and but get as much intense cardio as you’d work with on a cut.

How much do you need to eat? Knowing your maintenance calories is highly important because you should eat as much as you normally would on your lifting days, which is around 300-500 calories.

On the flip side of things, you’re going to take in lesser calories on your rest days, which would be around 300-500, respectfully.

The best approach I’ve seen to make sure you’re not gaining unwanted fat is to limit your amount of carbs. While you’re cardiovascular sessions will help take care of the extra calories your putting into your body, to make sure you’re not gaining in the wrong sense, a low carb approach will help you spike your insulin at the right times.

The three main elements of a meal are Protein, Carbs and Fats. These are the macros you’ve probably read about. I’ve seen some bulking cycles recommend the 30/50/20 (Protein/Carbs/Fats) method.

That’s a lot of carbs!

When you’re looking to transform your physique with the body recomposition approach, I suggest getting more protein and fats (healthy fats are a great form of energy) before your workouts and then adding in your carbs right after your workout session. You’re going to need to replenish the glycogen you use up from the lifting.

A post-workout drink should offer you enough protein and carbs to help feed those muscles properly. It’s important to get those carbs into the system right after your workout. The window I aim for is up until an hour after completion.

Of course, sticking to the no carb approach all depends on how well your body tolerates carbohydrates. If you can handle them well, and have a high metabolism, you can opt for the low-carb method. I don’t, so I stick with no carbs.

All of this isn’t too complicated. But the regimen can seem quite intense for most beginners. It takes a lot of planning, and a huge amount of dedication. So, if you have a hard time keeping with you new years resolutions, I suggest other body transformation methods like what I laid out in my notes on how to get cut fast, which offers both muscle building and fat loss tricks that have worked well for me over the years.

Examples of a Typical Routine

Since one of the aims is to create lean muscle, you’re going to want a program that offers the right kind of muscle stimulation. So I’d opt for a 4-day split, with offers the right amount of muscle work as well as rest and recovery.

Here’s a 4-day splits that involves working the upper body on one day, and then hitting the lower body on another:

Monday - Upper Body
Tuesday - Lower Body
Wednesday - Rest Day
Thursday - Upper Body
Friday - Lower Body
Saturday - Rest Day
Sunday - Rest Day

Another way to look at this is to work muscle groups in a non-competing fashion:

Monday - Chest and Biceps
Tuesday - Legs and Abs
Wednesday - Rest Day
Thursday - Back, Shoulders, Traps and Triceps
Friday - Calves and Abs
Saturday - Rest Day
Sunday - Rest Day

To shed some serious fat your need to act like your cutting. This means you’re going to want to get in a cardio session anywhere between 3-6 times a week. I prefer High-Intensity Interval Training when I’m on a cut, but Steady-State sessions like running or jogging work well when paired together when training for body recomposition.

Do You Need to Take Supplements?

Yes. This is one of the major reasons why I’m not a fan of a recomp. Using this technique requires a lot, and I mean a lot, of supplementation. I prefer to eat my way to muscle and eat clean to blast the fat away.

The reason for needing to add in a stack of weight gainers and burners is because the body, for most people anyway, isn’t naturally designed to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but to do it effectively means you need to encourage the process.

So to make a recomp work for you make sure you’re lifting with as much intensity like you’re bulking, and mixing in enough cardio sessions like you are on a cut. Also, your diet has to be in check with all of this: getting the right amount of protein and fats, with low-to-nil amounts of carbs until after a workout.

This sounds like a simplified approach to body recomposition training, but these are the cornerstone elements that you’ll need to focus on if you want to build muscle while simultaneously trimming off the fat.

About the Author

mw 100x100Hey! I'm , and I've setup this blog to prove anyone can get in shape without needing a gym fee. Each article is drawn from my own experiences, expert trainers and bestselling fitness authors. Please feel free to chat me up on FacebookG+ and Twitter. Also, I do reply to every drop me a line down below.

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Workout Challenger
Workout Challenger

Hi I found this post very interesting but as I was reading your first routine examples (upper body and lower body split week) I asked myself this question: Do you only do compound exercises like bench press, pull ups and stuff in this routine or do you do one or two sets for each individual bodypart (chest, back, triceps, shoulders, biceps, forearms,...)? Looking forward to your answer...


I can email you with some specifics if you're interested, but for the most part compound exercises are a great way to begin a routine, since they allow for a greater area of muscle tissue breakdown to elicit growth. Isolated exercises can be used to single out the muscles that need extra encouragement after you've already begun to exhaust the muscle. An example would be the bench press (a compound exercise), which activates the chest, shoulder and tricep muscles. If the triceps needed a bit of work then that's when an exercise like tricep kickbacks would be used, since this is meant to only target that specific muscle. The same can also be done with the chest, as well as the shoulders. But this all depends on the individual's training needs. -Mitchell


Not to be rude, because this is great advice and I take everything written here into consideration from now on. But you're never specific about what exercises to do. Specifically. Please help me out because I've been googling and reading all day and it's got me no where. I just ran but that's only gonna burn fat for so long. What can I do to keep my body burning fat after my running? Specifically please.


Hi Liza, Thank you for dropping me a comment. I seriously appreciate the feedback. It helps to make this site a greater resource for every reader. If you're strictly looking for a workout that's focused on burning fat then I'd have to say each of your routines should be short and intense. For lifting needs, focus on compound exercises because you'll evoke more muscle action than from isolation movements alone. Good examples of multi-muscle exercises are presses and pulling exercises like pull ups and rows. You get more bang for the buck here. But it's ok to add in isolation exercises after hitting the major muscle groups first. This helps to deplete the energy that's still in those individual muscles, which supports growth. Depending on which format you choose, the 3 or 4 day-split, you might be using upwards to 3 or more exercises per muscle group. Here's an example of what a pushing routine would look like: DB Incline Bench Press 4 sets with 5-8 reps DB Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 5-10 reps DB Tricep Extensions: 3 sets of 5-10 reps From a cardio aspect short bursts of high-level running or sprinting will help you burn more calories in a lesser period of time than an hour long running session ever can. This is why I routinely use High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). There are tons of examples out there, but the one I commonly use is 45 seconds of sprinting (or jump roping) of with an equal amount of moderate walking. That's one round. Depending on your conditioning, anywhere from 3-6 rounds should suffice. Note: If you're planning to add cardio to resistance training make sure it comes afterwards, otherwise it can have a negative effect on your goals. I hope that helps some, Liza. And thank you again for the comment. -Mitchell

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sitio web

Useful information, thanks for sharing these in The Body Recomposition Plan for Muscle and Fat Loss.


Nice blog with tons of good information. I'm glad I found it. Also, very interesting photos. I'm guessing you're a photographer too.


Karens28, thanks for the compliment. I'm not a photographer, but I've worked along side a few, and consider it a wonder art form. For each post I do try to find interesting shots that will tie everything together. Since a recomp requires a bit of a balancing act, I thought this image fit well. -Mitchell

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