What Is The Body Recomposition?
We are talking about body recomposition when thanks to a proper nutrition protocol and effective training, in addition to sufficient rest (which everyone forgets about rest), we manage to lose body fat while gaining muscle mass.
The truth is that it is something that everyone dreams of achieving, and although it is something that everyone wants to achieve, few really do it and many are left in a kind of limbo trying to chase this chimera. That is one of the main problems of body recomposition in a “remarkable” way. It is more difficult to achieve and you have to have more things under control.
Can A Recomposition Be Made?
- In the previous article in which I spoke about this topic, I said that to gain muscle mass you had to be in a caloric surplus and that to lose body fat you have to be in a caloric deficit and that both processes required different hormonal environments. And that is technically true.
- When we are in a caloric surplus, the levels of anabolic hormones increase (among others testosterone, IGF-1, insulin) and when we are in a caloric deficit, catabolic hormones are the ones that increase, such as growth hormone, catecholamines, levels of cortisol, etc … Therefore, initially what concluded is that the recomposition was not possible for most people (except for some cases that we will see later).
- But you have to qualify things. What we cannot achieve for the reasons explained above is to maximize body recomposition, which is very different. In other words, what we cannot do at the same time is to maximize muscle mass gain while maximizing body fat loss.
- We can gain modest amounts of muscle mass and lose fat at the same time because to do that we need to consume enough protein, train with adequate volume in a well-programmed routine, and obtain energy. And we get that energy from fat reserves. However, what we cannot achieve is what many people want, and that is to gain a ton of muscle mass while losing industrial amounts of body fat. Come on, lose 20kg of fat and gain 20kg of muscle in the process and stay brutal for the beach.
Who Can Easily Repair?
Before I said that there were some cases in which it could be recomposed more easily or that the time of fat loss and muscle mass gain was superior, so it would be more interesting to focus on that.
1. Overweight Beginners
If you are an overweight or obese person who starts in the gym you are in luck. Achieving more than appreciable amount of muscle mass while losing a lot of body fat is quite simple, and it is mainly due to two factors, which are:
- Adipocytes (cells where body fat is primarily stored) are full, so they have what is called insulin resistance. To understand us, the body when the adipocytes are very full does not want to put more calories there and will empty its content to any opportunity. This is just the opposite of what happens when we are in minimum percentages of fat, that adipocytes dramatically increase their sensitivity to store fat more easily. And there we would have one of the main factors of the rebound effect when we leave a very aggressive definition phase.
- That insulin resistance in adipocytes when we are very overweight largely explains the reason why when these people lose a lot of body fat they can suffer an increase in blood triglycerides, an increase in LDL, an increase in total cholesterol, etc … It is all that was in those adipocytes that stay in the bloodstream.
- Novice people (overweight or not) have underdeveloped muscles and are very susceptible to creating adaptations at a very high rate. What many people know as “Noob gains” or “noob gains.” Part of these gains are due to the fact that physical exercise, especially strength exercise, increases insulin sensitivity in muscle tissue, making it much more receptive to nutrients. We also have that the neuromuscular adaptations are very pronounced in this phase, something that feeds back into what was previously commented.
In other words, in this group, we have one of the ideal situations.
Adipose tissue that wants to get rid of calories as a priority and muscle tissue that wants to grow and get calories drastically. Win-Win.
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2. People With Privileged Genetics
Unfortunately, genetics is a word that is often used as an excuse by a very large part of society and has lost a bit of meaning or importance. The sad reality is that many people who blame genetics for their lack of results have not put in the effort and work necessary to achieve their goals. But it is much easier to complain that we are not a physical wonder without making the egg.
That said, genetics exists. There are people who have been blessed with a very favorable genetics for certain activities and there are certain factors that greatly facilitate having an enviable body, in the same way, that there are genetic factors that predispose you to be a good swimmer, a good powerlifter or a good dancer, both at the level of fiber distribution, body segmentation, neuromuscular capacity or proprioception, among others.
In the case at hand, the genetic factors that greatly facilitate body recomposition are two:
Their myostatin levels are lower than the baseline.
What is myostatin? It is a protein that limits the growth of muscle tissue. In other words, the higher the myostatin levels, the lower the potential for muscle growth and vice versa. Surely you have ever seen in photographs a breed of cattle called Belgian Blue that is extremely muscular. This is due to a mutation in the gene that regulates myostatin production.
From what you can see, myostatin is a very important factor that predisposes you to have a good base of muscle mass or not.
Oh, and before you ask me: No, there are no supplements that lower myostatin levels with enough evidence to ensure they are helpful. So if you come across a supplement that sells you astronomical profits promising to reduce these levels, you’re probably throwing money away. I notice.
Its nutrient partition is optimal.
How about this from the nutrient partition? Simply put, it is where the calories we eat go and where the calories we spend come from. Ideally, all the calories we eat go to the generation of muscle mass while all the calories we spend to come out of our energy reserves.
That does not work that way for most people since when we are in volume we gain muscle mass and body fat and when we are in the definition we take muscle mass ahead. The amount of each one will be determined mainly by the good or bad partition of nutrients that we have. Thus, a person with a good partition will gain more muscle mass and less fat than another with a bad one (given the same surplus) and will retain more muscle mass and You will lose more fat than someone else with a bad partition (given the same deficit).
Also Read: 4 Ways To Burn Calories In A Healthy Way
3. People With Steroids
I will not dwell too long on this point. Just keep in mind that there are many drugs that exponentially maximize nutrient partitioning, recovery, the time protein synthesis is elevated, the amount of muscle mass that can be gained, etc …
Therefore, when steroids make an appearance, the game changes completely.
And what cannot be expected is to have the results of a steroid consumer, which as logical as it may seem, many still value their progress under the standards of these people and feel inadequate or disappointed with their own advances. This, in a phrase, would come to summarize the world of fitness, especially on social networks.
4. Back From A Stop
Many people who had a certain physical point and who have suffered an injury that prevented them from training for a considerable period of time or has had to park the training by X or by Y when they resume it, notice a dramatic recovery of the gains, to the point in which they can recover the state they were in before injury/stoppage in a matter of a few weeks, when before it took them several months or even years to achieve it.
This is due in part to muscle memory and the increase in satellite cells in muscle tissue. To put it in some way, despite the fact that there is atrophy of muscle tissue due to inactivity, the work of strength and hypertrophy increases the number of satellite cells in muscle tissue, and this is maintained over time and Create a higher set point in terms of the amount of muscle mass you can have. Therefore, returning to the previous physical point is not starting from scratch. It is simply reactivating the muscles.
Beyond Those 4 Groups
Now perhaps you are wondering what happens if you are not in one of those groups that I have mentioned.
Is body recomposition not something to consider in your case? I’m not saying that.
It is feasible, however, the proportion of muscle mass that you can gain doing recomposition in your case will probably be less than doing a controlled volume and well done and fat loss will be less than doing a well-defined definition phase.
In addition, I have spoken that these 4 previous groups can do body recomposition in a “simple” way, while other people will have to follow more complex protocols to achieve it, and I repeat, with inferior results. If you are not willing to closely control nutrition (cycling calories, macros, playing with the timing of food, etc …), doing proper training and resting (really, rest is of vital importance) … do not bother to try a body rebuilding phase. It is the best way to warm your head and achieve nothing, something that happens to many people.
For Those Who Can Do Recomposition
The lucky ones who can enjoy gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time in a simple way, here are 5 key tips:
1. Caloric Deficit
Between 8-15% will be recommended. More of that will harm the protein synthesis enough. If you are an obese person, you can make a slightly larger deficit, up to 20%, but be sure to focus on quality food and avoid as much as possible from ultra-processed foods. This will make you less hungry, more satiated and your body composition improves.
2. Intense Training
Basing most of it on multi-joint exercises, on low and medium repetition ranges, and with special attention to the progression of loads. You have a section on my website with many routines that will surely help you in your goals.
Previously I recommended HIIT as the main cardio option, however, the benefits of HIIT have been extended to the most ridiculous point, and doing HIIT correctly on a frequent basis seriously compromises recovery, something we do not want. If we do cardio, some HIIT is okay, but I would focus on very low-intensity cardio prolonged for a long time.
Sufficient sleep prevents cortisol from rising and testosterone from falling. Furthermore, lack of sleep lowers IGF-1 levels and negatively affects fat loss and muscle mass gain. I repeat, in case I have not said it to the end: rest is imperative.
Creatine, Caffeine, and HMB can be of great help. However, I have put this in last place for something. Supplementation is 5% of the results and good luck if you think that supplementing with something will cause your recomposition to skyrocket to the stratosphere if you have not controlled all of the above.