Build Muscle and Burn Fat at the Same Time – Is it Possible to Lose Weight and Bulk Up?

Build Muscle and Burn Fat at the Same Time – Is it Possible to Lose Weight and Bulk Up?

Building muscle or losing fat. It’s usually
recommended to do one or the other, especially if you’re not a beginner. But is it possible
to do both at the same time? Two training routines dominate most fitness
and bodybuilding circles. Bulking, where you eat a caloric surplus to gain weight and build
lean mass, and cutting, where you eat a caloric deficit to lose weight and burn fat. Usually
you have to choose between one or the other for months and cycle them back and forth to
reap their benefits. But, there are some experts that have touted and promoted the possibility
of reaping both benefits at the same time. Now, for beginners, it’s very possible to
do both simultaneously because their body is at a state in which there is a lot of room
for improvement on both ends of the spectrum. Especially overweight beginners, even if they
eat a caloric deficit, they are primed for building muscle since they don’t have much
to begin with and burning fat since they have so much stored away.
For non-beginners, however, this is much harder to achieve. You might have to resort to recompositioning,
or as fitness expert Alan Aragon calls it, “culking,” a play-on word of bulking and cutting.
And such a routine comes in all different shapes and forms. Some recomp routines suggest
a small bulking for a few weeks alternating with a moderate cut for one week. Some routines
recommend switching between the two on a daily basis. Some try to influence the effects of
P-ratio, which deals with how your body breaks down or stores fat relative to muscle mass.
Some recommend weekly re-feeding phases, or “cheat” days. Some suggest eating just maintenance
calories while maintaining some form of resistance training. And others suggest eating at a surplus
on your lifting days and a deficit on your cardio or off days. The concept for all are
pretty much the same. No long phases of bulking nor cutting and maintaining a specific desired
weight range year-round while burning fat and building muscle.
And for the most part, the science supports this possibility. In fact, the physiological
changes in a recomp routine is not much different than the changes from bulking and cutting.
During bulking, hormones and body chemicals all start to shift towards anabolism, which
is to say that your body becomes very good at growing. Only problem is that this means
not only growing muscle but also growing in fat. Also muscle building slows down the closer
you are to your genetic myostatin limit, the protein that inhibit muscle growth, which
means you end up storing a lot more fat than building muscle the more fit you are. During
cutting, the opposite is true. The body’s hormones shift to catabolism, which means
breaking down body stores to use as energy, and initially most of it is from fat. But
once you reach a level of leanness, your hormones begin signaling your body to keep as much
fat for survivability’s sake while shifting to protein and lean mass for energy instead,
which means you’ll lose muscle. When doing both at the same time, your body
does indeed shift between anabolism and catabolism. The only problem here is that this repeated
shifting doesn’t allow much time for your body to respond to the hormonal changes. You’ll
end up getting the benefits of anabolism, as well as the bad, and the benefits of catabolism,
as well as the bad, but not at its most significant rate. You can build muscle, but it will take
a longer time to do so compared to someone bulking and you can lose fat, but take a longer
time than someone cutting. And it only gets tougher and tougher the more lean and muscular
you become. So to say that it can’t be done would be a
lie, but doing so, you have to understand that getting it to work takes careful planning
and will be a slower (pause) process. Ask your health and fitness question in the
comments. Please also come check PictureFit on Patreon and support this channel to keep
moving forward and answering all of your great questions. Thanks for watching!



  • The Scapegoat Mechanism

    I just want to look good naked

  • Fluto 50

    I started my workout since last year of May 2017 and I didnt go cutting instead I immediatly build the muscles and I want to make my body V shaped but i could not because I already built my muscles and i dont want to lose my muscles after those hard works I did, any suggestion i can do to make my belly fat burn and have a V shaped body?

  • Gil Epshtain

    You have answer a question I've been asking for a long, long time

  • Cap G

    Thanks homie

  • Bryan Bautista

    Hi! Big fan of your videos I binge watched them when I was introduced to you.

    I need a feedback because I recently started this really low calorie diet which consists of Fruits and nuts for breakfast, normal lunch and leafy veggies for dinner and no more after 6pm. This made me lose 6lbs in a week. The problem is my strength has declined tremendously. I used to bench press 130lbs but after the diet I could barely do 70lbs.. Help please! 🙁

  • Br0ke

    I would cut first cuz muscle is more visible when fat is gone muscle gains quick fat loses slower

  • Spencerham

    Can you make a video that goes into further detail about the genetic myostatin limit? Does this mean there’s a limit to how big I can become? Am I already there? (I’m lean), how long does it take to reach and how can I add more definition after I’ve reached it?

  • mark vargas

    So that means I’ll gain more fat

  • mark vargas

    That’s why when you cut, you intake a lot of protein and your workout has to Be more intense and you gotta lift heavier, in order to keep your muscle or some of it

  • Daniel Onyesoh

    if iam a beginner can i do hiit and strength training and reap the benefits of both and if iam cutting how do i know when to stop because i want to know if i will still get newbie gains if i have a low body fat

  • X Rodriguez

    Great video!

  • Bryan Cervantes

    I am fat (220lbs) and would like to go to muscular. Should i do cardio or lift weights? Both? Should i go high protein low carbs or something balanced.

  • F!ck You agario

    Do u still lose muscle if u cut 500calories and keep training

  • saran kumar

    Can I do cardio and lifting in separate day it will burn my fat and build muscle

  • Abdo Abdo


  • gengar_ate_me

    Fuck that's way to much.. I wana cut my fat and get rid of this extra weight but I feel like when I do I just get skinny and lose more muscle but when I gain more muscle I end up putting on fat to.. Shits to much for me to go back and fourth…

  • Tingi TV

    What about intermittent fasting?

  • Swan Kelly

    I have been losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time for the last 8 months. At a calorie deficit most of that time. I'd probably have more muscle if I was bulking but I'd also have more fat. It's all about balancing your priorities at that given time.

  • JeCa Cava

    Very confusing. What im looking for is a workout rutine not a physiology class man.

  • Jose Mendoza

    Im 14 and a male and I wiegh 193 yes I do weigh I lot but should I build muscle mass or lose weight?

  • Dream Fitness

    Bro can I improve my muscle mass without weight gain?

  • Calligo Blue

    It also depends on your genetics. Some people can easily bulk and have a tough time cutting fat and some people have a difficult time bulking but can easily lose fat. Your nutrition plan will also depend on your body type.

  • Saiyam Sethia

    Need a video about cutting for vegetarian diets

  • Alex w

    Yeah well I’m butting

  • Ethel Suarez

    There are a few components to losing weight quickly. One place I discovered that succeeds in merging these is the slim tactic formula (google it if you're interested) definately the best guide that I've seen. look at all the great info .

  • Bill Davis

    It would be easier to take this seriously if you would pronounce "anabolism" and "catabolism" correctly. :p

  • E.Stunner

    This doesnt really answer the question though?

  • Akash Balyan

    Request, stamina increase by sprinting or run jogging

  • Sir Rexington

    Can someone please break this down for me? I didn't really get what he was trying to say.

  • Pepe Polo

    Everyone says yes and newest research also shows its possible, virtuvianphysique says it's not possible

  • JeffDKilla Gaming

    How do I maintain my bulk when I cut?
    I normally shift between the two.
    After bulking, I'll cut
    But it'll look like I lose my muscle and look thinner

  • Abhi Achu

    Im 16 my weight is 64 kg how much protein should i need in one day?

  • Jesus Gonzalez

    This is the most confusing video ever lmao

  • JZ1 yt

    So how I went from 145 lbs with 11% bodyfat to 165 lbs 8% by following a diet for gain weight?

  • xpert aab


  • Zeko

    Can someone tell me what do to ty

  • Chrono

    Ive been lifting 10+ Years and I still use re-comping and it always works. People forget that they have an abundance of calories already called stored bodyfat. So building muscle while losing fat is possible if you are very careful. Everyone says "Where do you get the extra calories to build muscle?" Answer. Stored bodyfat. its all about nutrient partitioning.

  • Captain Rhodes

    this stuff confuses me. i lost weight. did some excersise. I can lift heavier weights now than before and do more reps. did this happen by pure accident? am I just lucky that I happened to eat the right amounts? what the hell this stuff just makes me paranoid lol

  • Cryo

    Yes simple
    Just have a positive nitrogen balance

  • dav singh

    What if u r 390pound n 3ft

  • Lawrence Chung

    Why cant i just drink a big amount of cooking oil for bulking since it gives high calories?

  • Sun- -Shine

    My personal answer in a quick nutshell. Can you build muscle and burn fat at the same time? Yes. Its call strength training guys. Its super efficient. Well, at least for me.

  • Ethan Mann

    how do you put on weight while staying fit

  • itsTristan

    Im 16 and i am bulking up because im skinny but i want to lose only belly fat,what should i should i do? I only bulk up muscle and if i work out my abs would i lose my gains in the rest of my body or not?Please somebody answer 🙁

  • Chris Hermosura


  • pablo escobar

    i am a begginer and started going to gym , i want a diet to lose fat andgain muscles

  • Nathan Leibel

    Confused. So I should eat more?

  • Yusuf Bahar

    But how? No channels explain this, how can we build muscle while losing fat, so you know any vida to explain that guys?

  • Feliĉa Porko

    But HOW MUCH slower? Slower by 10% or 90%?

    Has there been any research estimating the relative increase in strength gain when comparing a training periods consisting of bulking + cutting and lean throughout? Even though bulking increases muscle gain, how much is its effectiveness reduced when counting in the muscle loss / slower gains during cutting? It's quite useless to know something is better if you don't know how much so.

  • Mario Duenas

    show us the research bro

  • Luisa Tuy

    Wow. You're confusing.

  • mert ozdinc

    FML im probably to fit for this…

  • symbolic red

    I’m pretty skinny but still have Belly fat and also I want to be able to gain muscle any suggestions ?

  • Vincent Prawira

    You can by Intermittent Fasting

  • Abhishek Saharan

    How to gain muscle while not gaining fat ?

  • Stephanie

    For beginners to lose fat and gain muscle at once, do we eat at a deficit?

  • H L

    Ok what? Can you start again please?

  • Ashfaq Zaman

    I am a fat begginer I am building muscle and losing fat at same time

  • Dark Drift0r

    Whats your opinion on athlean-X's idea of both gaining muscles and losing fats?

  • RUS- -SIDI


  • Kevin Lorimer

    You said all the right things but missed one big part…You forgot to give the answer to the question.

  • brayen brian

    I have a question, can someone please answer.
    After a workout in the gym (training the muscles) I come home and eat what I need to eat. The next day I'm hungry and I got muscle soreness (obviously) but I choose not to eat (for just an example) will I then loose muscle? Because I got an empty stomach plus muscle soreness.

  • K B

    Honestly if you're a fat beginner, just cut until 12% body fat or lower, try to eat a gram of protein per pound of your goal body weight. Don't bother recomping, aka occasionally eating at a surplus for short periods of time. Of course cheat meals are inevitable. Try the progressive overload but if you find yourself stalling just deload and keep on going. You're better off trying to gain muscle when you are already at a low body fat, then to try to lower your body fat percentage by increasing muscle mass.

  • brayen brian

    You first said bulking and then culking so if the question is if it either should start with a B or a C well then my answer would be B (lol double bee) (THERE'S A BEE?!?!) and then utting instead of ulking since we secondly said utting instead if ulking….

    Butting yum

  • Luis Alberto


  • David Arenas

    ME: I’ll take option “c” for 1000 points Bob.
    BOB: Is it better to cut or bulk?
    ME: What is steroids?
    BOB: correct! for 1000 points!

  • Bijaya Gurung

    Can Jump rope help? plz answer

  • Freedom 420


  • Santiago Zepeda

    Can you build muscle with high intensity cardio?

  • Joe Dhanota

    I didn't understand a thing he said

  • Orange Monk

    culking sounds like watching your wife get fucked by someone else.

  • Meltoss

    I'd love to know how ripped the creator of this channel is.

  • Nigel Cabrera

    I just did that and I'm a beginner. I do Keto and IF while working out.

  • rez

    Anyone else tried fasting for 24-48 hours at a time once a week (drink water with sea salt and potassium citrate if you have it). Then eat at a caloric surplus the rest of the week? Fasting burns very little muscle and a lot of fat so I thought I'd try it been a couple months. Ive seen major culking success on this routine. Stayed the exact same average weight while gaining muscle and strength.

  • Mustafa Alio

    I am culking and it's doing really well! I do fasted cardio every day. Then I eat lots of protein and some carbs. Have a rest. Finally I do resistance workouts, lifting some weight at home. Yes it is slower, but it's the same if you measure the total time of "cutting to bulking" process.

  • brutalsavage. 1

    Yeah this is not accurate at all

  • nick adz

    I can say I started training first time in my life at 30 .. over weight … And in 5 months I've gained tons of muscle and burn lots of fat .. eating very clean at a low caliore intake tons of protein .. 16 an 8 fasting I know eventually I will level off .. but for now it's helping me get to my long term goal

  • Blake Anonymous

    Wait so can someone explain to me what a overweight beginner should do to lose fat and build muscle? I’m confused lol

  • Alfonso López Martínez

    You didn't even talk about nitrogen…

  • Jorge Araya Navarro

    let's bulk then

  • TitleStar64 Throttle Fire

    I bet this guy isnt even muscular. Prolly just a stick…..stiiiiiiixk

  • stu pid

    If you can do 30 minutes intense cardio in the morning then do heavy weight training in the evening. Go low on carbs, high on green veg and protein and completely cut out sugar. You will look leaner but still keep hard muscle


    i have a question about the caloric surplus (on lift days) and caloric deficit (on offdays) method. let's say i hit my desired lean muscle mass and fat percentage. is it ok to eat at your maintenance level in your off days and eat at a surplus in your lift days (to mantain lean mass) or will that just slowly increase my fat percentage again?

  • Xersus

    It depends

  • Jr Ortiz

    Awsome helps

  • Kalinda Zsiga

    I would love to see more on this subject!

  • Samsung Grand

    Wth are you trying to say?

  • Jessie R.

    I'm trying to body recomp right now, because I lost a nice amount of weight (60lbs, from 180 to 120) in 8 months, but I made the mistake of doing too much cardio/not enough strength training. Oof.

  • Andrey Kashin

    I have been doing this for almost a year. It is very difficult. The results and gains are very slow, while I work my ass off in the gym.

  • Constant Mayhem

    Basically just do weights 3/4 times a week and have a small deficit of like 100 calories

  • Shakie 42

    Currently I’m at 58kg. Aged 17 and have a bit of muscle. I am trying to gain weight up to 62kg yet maintain lean and gain muscle. Pls advise me on what to do??

  • Gabe Al-Akkawi

    Well if muscles rely on protein for survival and you cut on food while maintaining the maximum amount of protein for muscles to grow then yes you can lose fat and build muscle at the same time… debunked

  • William Scott

    Guys if you’re overweight, just lose the weight first, then focus on building muscles. Trying to catch two heirs at once results in you catching neither. It’s the same for this.

  • Darth Skywalker


  • Osmosis Jones

    Culking? Why not cucking?

  • Faisal Ahmed

    Go bulking with intermittenting fasting..with healthy diet food..
    And minimal warming up
    It works…..

  • Janae Chavez

    If you wish to slim down, it is best to search Custokebon Secrets on google. They will help you get the shape you need.


    Just provide yourself with more protein during catabolism

  • Ethan Smith

    Short answer yes it is possible, I’ve lost 4 stone on the scales but I’ve gained a lot of muscle. 30 mins of cardio and 1 hour of weight lifting. 4 days a week. It works.

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