Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Ep 166: The Body Recomposition Blueprint (Recomp to Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time)

April 23, 2024 Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer Episode 166
Ep 166: The Body Recomposition Blueprint (Recomp to Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time)
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
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Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Ep 166: The Body Recomposition Blueprint (Recomp to Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time)
Apr 23, 2024 Episode 166
Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer

Are you feeling lost in the calorie counting maze for body recomposition? Struggling to juggle muscle gain and fat loss at the same time? Tired of the yo-yo effect after dieting?

In this episode, Philip (@witsandweights) talks about body recomposition and strategies for muscle gain and fat loss. He emphasizes patience and consistency, starting with maintenance calories for beginners and slower recomp for experienced individuals. Philip also dives into caloric balance, setting and adjusting calorie targets, and optimizing macronutrient ratios for muscle growth and fat loss. He emphasizes the importance of peri-workout nutrition to support muscle growth through strategic protein and carbohydrate consumption.

Philip also stresses that strength training is crucial to body recomposition and long-term fat loss. He shares principles of effective strength training, including progressive overload and proper exercise techniques. He also touches on the hormonal benefits of strength training, like elevated testosterone and growth hormones.

Philip advocates a holistic approach to body recomposition, incorporating nutrition, training, mindset, and lifestyle factors. He encourages celebrating small victories, staying dedicated, and trusting the process towards achieving your desired physique.


Today, you’ll learn all about:

1:59 Wins from the WWPU community
6:48 Common misunderstanding about body recomp
10:57 Underlying body recomp mechanisms
13:47 Three categories of body recomp
19:37 Using nutrition for body recomposition
27:20 Setting your macros
28:47 The significance of effective strength training
31:09 Benefits of proper training and building muscle mass
33:40 Peri-workout nutrition
36:34 Optimizing health and hormone status
39:59 The importance of mindset
44:02 Final thoughts on body recomp
48:27 Outro

Episode resources:

Related episodes:

Send me a question for Q&A!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you feeling lost in the calorie counting maze for body recomposition? Struggling to juggle muscle gain and fat loss at the same time? Tired of the yo-yo effect after dieting?

In this episode, Philip (@witsandweights) talks about body recomposition and strategies for muscle gain and fat loss. He emphasizes patience and consistency, starting with maintenance calories for beginners and slower recomp for experienced individuals. Philip also dives into caloric balance, setting and adjusting calorie targets, and optimizing macronutrient ratios for muscle growth and fat loss. He emphasizes the importance of peri-workout nutrition to support muscle growth through strategic protein and carbohydrate consumption.

Philip also stresses that strength training is crucial to body recomposition and long-term fat loss. He shares principles of effective strength training, including progressive overload and proper exercise techniques. He also touches on the hormonal benefits of strength training, like elevated testosterone and growth hormones.

Philip advocates a holistic approach to body recomposition, incorporating nutrition, training, mindset, and lifestyle factors. He encourages celebrating small victories, staying dedicated, and trusting the process towards achieving your desired physique.


Today, you’ll learn all about:

1:59 Wins from the WWPU community
6:48 Common misunderstanding about body recomp
10:57 Underlying body recomp mechanisms
13:47 Three categories of body recomp
19:37 Using nutrition for body recomposition
27:20 Setting your macros
28:47 The significance of effective strength training
31:09 Benefits of proper training and building muscle mass
33:40 Peri-workout nutrition
36:34 Optimizing health and hormone status
39:59 The importance of mindset
44:02 Final thoughts on body recomp
48:27 Outro

Episode resources:

Related episodes:

Send me a question for Q&A!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Philip Pape:

Do you want to build muscle and lose fat at the same time? It may sound too good to be true. But body composition or recomp is a real phenomenon that can completely transform your physique if done in the right way for you, your body and your phase of nutrition and training, and in this episode, we are providing you with the ultimate evidence based blueprint to optimize your nutrition training and health to achieve simultaneous fat loss and muscle growth like never before. Welcome to the wit's end weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in. Whitson weights community Welcome to another solo episode of the weights and weights podcast. In our last episode 165 The Stealth mind trick to turn excuses into action with Paul Salter, you learn how to turn your excuses your self sabotage your procrastination and your perfectionism into massive action by digging beneath the surface to the subconscious mind. Today for episode 166 The body composition blueprint recomp to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, I'm going to break down the science behind body composition, aka body recomp, which is building muscle and losing fat at the same time. Discuss the different ways it can play out based on your starting point and provide concrete strategies for optimizing everything required to get there your nutrition, your training your health, so that you can maximize your results for body recomp. And by the end of this episode, you'll have a clear blueprint to put body composition into action. Now before we get into it, I did want to share some wins from the first few weeks of Whitson weights physique university that we just launched earlier this month. And I want you to spot the pattern here as I share some of these so here we go, quote, I consistently logged my food everyday. This week, I got all my workouts in. I started journaling again, first thing in the morning, every day. I'm seeing good progress and my fat loss phase. I learned cardio is not a bad thing, and can be integrated into my strength training. As long as it doesn't affect my lifts. I settled in with my mindset to be in sync with my goals. I worked on my sleep. I'm starting to track more consistently, even the small bites. I am most proud of the positive self talk. Knowing this is a lifelong journey, not a race. I am most proud of how I was able to put into practice what I've learned about flexible dieting. While traveling for the past two weekends, I was able to enjoy food without feeling restricted and quote, now that is just a sampling of wins from the Whitson weights physique university community over the first few weeks. And I asked you now to tell me could you spot or can you spot what they all have in common? Now I know you can actually answer me here. But rhetorically, the common theme with all of these comments is, they are all simple practical wins focused on consistency on daily habits, on enjoying the process. And the process ultimately produces the progress, right? They're not about quick fixes. They're not about losing 20 pounds in one week, saying no to particular foods or activities, or punishing yourself to get a result. There simply positive affirmations from people who are expanding their comfort zone. They're doing it in the right way. They are starting to shift both their bodies and their minds their perspectives in the pursuit of better health, which just so happens will also get them a better physique and more confidence along the way. Now, all of these students in WWE pu are then able to ask questions, get support, join live calls, watch courses to level up their knowledge and share their success with other curious like minded and very ambitious individuals who are seeking to become their best selves, even in their 30s their 40s their 50s and beyond. And we're just scratching the surface of what students will be achieving in Whitson weights physique University. So if you're curious what it's all about, just head over to Whitson weights.com/physique or click the link in my show notes. That's winsome weights.com/physique. Alright, one more thing related to today's topic on body recomp. So my friend and fellow podcaster Jeff hain, you may already know him he's the host of the mind muscle connection. Definitely follow his show. If you don't already. It's been in my feed for quite a long time. That's Jeff Hain H O Ehn. And he and I recorded a co hosted q&a coming out on May 3 for episode 169 and Jeff is all about body recomp. He has a free work Shut up, like that's his thing these days. So wanted to give him a shout out. Given that that is the topic of today's episode on Whitson weights, and he was on our show as a guest way back on episode 66. And on that show, we talked about sustaining your fat loss results at maintenance, which is somewhat related, not entirely, right, because that's after going through a fat loss phase. But I wanted to mention that, and I'm going to include a link to that episode in the show notes, as well as some other episodes that I referenced today. But I bring this up, because if you want to be 100% sure that you don't miss our upcoming q&a, where we answer questions on menopause, weight loss resistance, bulking without getting fat, whether you should be dieting during periods of low sleep, and more, there are six questions in total from our two communities together, I want you to pause right now, and click the Follow button in your podcast app. Alright, you're gonna get notified of the episode when it comes out. And as a side benefit, the more people that follow the show, you know, who actually click that button, the more people who can find the show, because Apple and Spotify they tend to prioritize followers, right, it used to be called subscribers and other called followers just make it confusing. And they prioritize those over just individual episode downloads. And also, as much as I love ratings and reviews, and I really would love you to take time to go out and review in Apple right now, feel free to pause and go do that. As much as I love that. And it's great for social proof, the best thing for the algorithm is to follow the show. So again, pause the episode right now, go to the Show page in your app and tap the Follow button to support the show and get notified of future episodes. Alright, so let's get into today's topic, the body composition blueprint recomp to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, body composition, right what the cool kids call body recomp. Now, actually, body recomp is a pretty common casual term for this. And body composition tends to be the slightly more formal term. But it's the same thing. And today, I want to lay out this blueprint for how to do it how to successfully build muscle and lose fat at the same time, which is an approach that really can completely transform your physique. In fact, it is the underpinning of everything we do, even when we talk about cuts in bulks, and I'll explain why when we get there. It's often misunderstood. Because you might have heard, it's impossible to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. Or it's very hard to do it. Or it can only be done by brand new lifters or people who are very obese. Right? I might have mentioned things like that myself, honestly, I might have said things like, and really it's only good for newer lifters. But we have to think about context. And we have to define body recomp. And what we mean and I think there's a broader term, a broader definition I'm going to use in today's episode, that will give you some clarity and some options as well. And some flexibility which we love here. And people will say well don't you have to focus on one goal at a time either bulking up or cutting fat? Well, it turns out that that's not necessarily the case. Or it's not doesn't have to be as extreme as you think in either direction. And that's what we're gonna talk about today. So with the right strategies with the right mindset with the right knowledge and options, you can definitely achieve body recomp and sculpt that leaner more muscular physique, using a slightly different approach than just going all out on cuts and books. So as always, definitions are important. So let's define exactly what we mean by body re composition. Okay, body re composition, I want to be clear. So body composition just refers to the amount of fat and muscle you have. Body recomposition refers to simultaneously decreasing your body fat percentage while increasing your lean muscle mass, thus improving your overall look your overall leanness, and your overall body composition, re composition. So you're not just focusing on one aspect, like scale weight, or just on body fat. It's really the whole thing doing it at the same time. But the same time is kind of a flexible term we're going to get to in a bit. Now there's plenty of evidence that supports the viability of body recomp. Even in trained individuals, not just newbies, so trained individuals, one that I like is a 2020 article by Chris bear caught at all Chris Bearcat. And you probably know Chris, he's been on a ton of podcasts, I really need to reach out and get him on the show. If you're listening man, or if anybody else is listening, who paid my friend Jeff hay and anybody else my podcasters who know Chris and want to hook us up, feel free to give me an introduction, but either way, I'm gonna reach out. He and his colleagues had an article titled, body composition can trained individuals build muscle and lose fat at the same time. And it concluded that quote, despite the common belief that building muscle and losing fat at the same time is only plausible in novice slash obese individuals. The literature provided supports that trained individuals can also experience body composition, individuals training status, the exercise interventions, and their baseline body composition can influence the magnitude of muscle gain and fat loss risk. assistance training coupled with dietary strategies has been shown to augment this phenomenon and quote, alright, we also see this play out anecdotally all the time when I'm working with coaching clients, because I can't tell you how many clients I've worked with who stayed the same weight on the scale. And sometimes they maybe didn't want to stay the same way early on, at least they wanted that quick win of fat loss. But they ended up staying the same way it might have even looked like a little bit of a plateau, or they even gained a tiny bit of weight. But then their physique completely transformed, their waist size went down, their clothes fit better, they look better in the mirror, they felt stronger, and, and they were standing taller, and all of those things, because they gain muscle and drop body fat simultaneously. And so the scale just doesn't tell the full story when it comes to the composition. And it also doesn't have to necessarily stay at maintenance, like stay the exact same for you to achieve body recovered can happen in different phases, which we'll get to. So why is re composition physiologically possible. And I'd like to dig a little bit into the underlying mechanisms underlying processes. And when we do that, it starts to make a little bit of sense. Because to lose stored body fat, you normally need a calorie deficit, right, you normally need to be dieting, eating less than you burn, you expend more energy than you consume, right? But okay, so that's for fat loss, that's to lose store body fat. But to build muscle mass, you don't necessarily need a net calorie surplus, what you need is sufficient protein and a muscle building training stimulus. Now, protein synthesis, muscle protein synthesis and fat lie policies are separate metabolic processes, they involve different tissues. And as long as you achieve a net deficit to tap into fat stores, while providing enough protein and training to build muscle, re composition can occur. And this is why it can be confusing. So the way I like to put it is, imagine you're eating just enough food to maintain your weight. And at the same time, your training is very effective. And you have plenty of protein. And so your body at this state where you're kind of like just maintaining your weight, you're training hard, you're having that protein, your body feels relaxed or safe enough, like it doesn't feel like it's threatened or in a deficit. Right. So it's safe enough to draw from the protein you're consuming, and to build a little extra muscle. But when it does that, when it prioritizes that because you're telling it, it's important with this training stimulus, it all of a sudden doesn't have that much energy left over for everything else, your body needs to stay at homeostasis. So then your body's all says, oh, I need to release a bit of energy from fat cells to make up the difference. And voila, you've added a bit of tissue over here, you've lost a little bit of fat over there, and you've maintained your weight. But it's as if you're in a slight surplus, it's as if you're in a slight surplus from the muscle building side of the process. I mean, it's pretty cool. It's like your body kind of thinks it has enough resources to build muscle and you're telling it, it's important. So it's going to do that. But then it realized that sacrificed some of the energy coming in over here, so it needs to release some fat. Now there's one other phenomenon, I didn't have it in my notes. But it came to mind when somebody has excessive weight to lose, and you go into a fat loss phase, right, you can still build muscle then as well like in a decently aggressive fat loss phase. Because you have so much fat, so much extra fat stored, that the body is able to pull from that without even feeling like you're in a deficit. And thus, also build muscle with that what appears to be a surplus, it's almost like a trick surplus, because you have all that extra stored fat. Anyway, those are some interesting mechanisms going on. That tell us why it is possible to do this. So what I want to do is talk about how recomp can play out for you based on your starting point. And I want to break it into three categories, losing weight, maintenance, and gaining weight because body recomp can occur in all three. It can also occur over the long term, which is not in the scope of today's show, but I am going to mention it when we talk about gaining weight. But losing weight maintenance and gaining weight are three scenarios where body recomp can occur. So right there, hopefully shattering a belief or myth that you might have that recomp is equivalent to maintenance because it's not equivalent, you can definitely recomp at maintenance, and it's the most common way people do it or try to do it. But you could also recomp losing or gaining. So we're just going to start with losing weight. But then we're gonna talk about maintenance and we're going to talk about gaining weight. So the first category is what is what people think of as like the dream scenario of recomp which is you can lose more body fat than you gain muscle but you're still doing both. In other words, your weight is actually going down and your measurements are going down as well. And you look leaner and more muscular rather than skinny fat because you're building muscle so you're losing fat, building muscle the same time you're actually losing more fat in terms of mass, you know, weight Eat, then you are gaining muscle, which means you also lose weight on the scale, a lot of people like really want this scenario because you kind of get wins on all sides, right, you get lighter on the scale, you get leaner looking, you get more muscle, it's all the best of everything. Now, this tends to be common in individuals who are pretty new to proper training and nutrition, because they have a lot of room for quick improvement on both fronts, right, they have a lot of room for the training side, because they've never given their body this amazing signal from their strength training. At the same time, they are properly dieting at the right rate of loss to induce a little bit of fat loss, but not so much that it threatens their body's resources to kind of clamp down and avoid building more muscle, you know, let alone lose muscle, right? That would have to be more aggressive dieting. So we're going to talk about the rates of loss in a later segment today when we get into nutrition. But that is the first scenario is your net loss in weight, while you're building a little muscle and losing fat. The second scenario is maintenance. Okay, this is gaining muscle, losing some body fat, not much change in scale weight. All right. So this would be like, Okay, so this is an interesting one, because you might maintain your weight, or this could also refer to over the long term you've gained and lost weight, and you've come back to the same scale way as you started. But in the process, you've added muscle and loss fat, we're not really talking about that one, because that's kind of cheating when I say body recon, because then everybody is doing body recover over time. If you're doing this the right way, right, if you're at some point building muscle, and at some point losing fat, and then it all kind of nets out. All right, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about just staying at maintenance, more or less maintaining your body weight within, say, plus or minus three pounds, but you're slowly but surely, adding a little muscle losing a little fat, the weight on the scale doesn't change, your waist size continues to go down, you keep getting stronger, and it's all happening without any change on the scale. So again, for brand new lifters, this is totally possible. In fact, it's a very common and recommended approach that I use with clients is just stay at maintenance for a while to beginning. And you can even stay there for longer than a while, if you find it's getting great results. Because now you're not even worried about having to gain or lose weight, which adds an extra stressor and an extra level of planning and tracking. So the only other scenario, where I would say that this happens is once you've gone through some cuts and bulks and you've improved your body comp in the past, and you just want to maintain your physique, you know, staying at maintenance train really hard and not accidentally dieting for the most part, you can still slowly recover over time on top of it. So even advanced or trained individuals might consider this approach to body recomp. The third category is very, very, very slowly gaining weight, so modestly gaining being in a surplus and gaining a little bit more muscle than you would at maintenance, right, because at some point, especially the more advanced you are as a trainee, it's very hard to build extra muscle tissue without getting yourself in a little bit of a surplus. So this is most common and very well trained individuals who want to keep getting leaner, but they don't want to necessarily go through the bulk and cut cycles. And, you know, this is where we might be cocking your eyebrows and thinking, well, that's not really body recomp is it if you're gaining weight, but again, technically, it's not short term body recomp that would happen in maintenance, but it's potentially medium term, or kind of an efficient version of body recomp. Because you're spending some time slowly gaining muscle and then maybe a little bit of time doing a micro cut or a very slow conservative fat loss phase like you can pick one or the other. And it doesn't feel too extreme in either direction. So I would say that this is a bit different from the kind of more optimal or even aggressive muscle building phase. That's then followed by a moderate progressive cut, which I like to live in that state because I feel it's the most time efficient to get from A to B in terms of body fat percentage, and leanness, and muscle and strength and everything is the most efficient, and I enjoy kind of eating a bunch of food for a long time of the year. And then not taking too long to cut that off. Right. But some people might rather enjoy eating a moderate amount of food all throughout the year. And then when you're losing fat, you're still eating a moderate amount of food because it's not much different. So one might appeal to you and there's no wrong answer, there's no right or wrong answer, they're gonna result in slightly different timing, aggressiveness and results. The results gonna be the same at and long term. But you might see different results in the short term. Alright, so if you do things more slowly, but still biased toward one direction, like the gain weight and the lose weight part, this will produce body recomp over time without the larger swings that come from these very focused bulking cut cycles. And that might be an attractive reason to do it for a lot of you. Alright, so first you want to figure out which category you want to go after. Because you might have started listening to this episode thinking okay, he's gonna talk to me about maintenance. How do I do that? Oh, now I realized that there are options I might want to go in one direction or another. If you're a newer trainee, you might want to try a little bit of fat loss while you're recopying. Or if you're more advanced, you might want to try a little bit of the gain side. Then we're going to segue into my favorite topic which is using nutrition to optimize your body composition. In that context, whatever you choose, okay, it's going to depend on the three categories, which category you choose. So first, we need to nail down Calories. Calories are your energy balance that tells you which direction you're gonna go. And they're going to be pegged to your expenditure, your daily expenditure, also called your maintenance calories. And I've talked about this before. But just to reiterate, especially if you're new or not familiar with this topic, the best way to determine your maintenance calories is not an online calculator. And it is not your wearable device, it is tracking your food over about two to three weeks, tracking your weight over two to three weeks and seeing how one affects the other. If you eat 2500 calories every single day and your weight doesn't change one ounce over that two weeks, then you know your expenditure is 2500 calories. Now, the problem with this approach is it requires not only the tracking which tracking is fine, I'm perfectly cool tracking, I think tracking is a wonderful thing. It's the more tedious, laborious calculations based on what you've tracked, that can be tricky for some people, or downright overwhelming, scary or tedious. So this is where a tool or an app that can do this for you is going to be your best friend. From a practical standpoint, the one that I use is called macro factor. My clients use it my students and Whitson weights physique University use it. And it can calculate your expenditure, your true metabolism based on what you're eating and your weight. And then it can make adjustments weekly to your calories into your macros based on your goal. So it does everything for you. And if you want, okay, so here's what I'm gonna throw in as a goodie, for this episode, I made a video in which awaits physique University under a course called macro factor mastery, and it's how to download, do the initial setup and then set up your goal for maintenance and for recomp in macro factor walks you through the whole process with screenshots and everything on how to set up everything. So I actually put that on YouTube, it's unlisted, you can't get to it publicly. But I'm gonna put the link in the show notes for free for you as a podcast listener to go check it out. Okay, totally free, you don't have to opt in, you have to give me an email or anything. It's a YouTube link. It'll just take you right to the video. Check that out in the show notes on our episode resources. And I talked about it. So why am I telling you all this because to figure out what calories you need, you need to know your maintenance calories, the only way to do that is to know your true metabolism that how your body responds to your activities, and your food. And the best way to do that is track your weight and food over time. All right, then you're going to adjust your goal to either gain or lose or maintain. And then if you're gaining or losing, you want to pick a conservative rate, if we're going for body recomp, right, we're not going for cuts and bulks all out we're going for recomp. And then you'll have your surplus or your deficit relative to your maintenance calories. And then you can update that each week as your metabolism adapts. Okay, so now I'm going to give you some actual numbers that makes sense for most people that you can use. So obviously, if you're going to maintain, just eat around your maintenance, and you're good, so if you've burned 2500 calories, eat 2500 calories a day, more or less, and you're good. You know, if the next week your metabolism has gone up a bit, because you've got all these resources, your body feels relaxed, you don't have as much stress, or maybe you've got an extra few 1000 steps a day of walking, whatever causes that increase, you're going to eat 2600 calories, let's say, either way, you're going to eat in a way that maintains your weight. And I would prefer aiming a tiny bit above that, like up to 50 calories over on a daily basis. So you're gonna hit your protein, then you're gonna get in fats, and carbs. And so your calories come up to your maintenance, and you're gonna kind of overshoot that just a tiny bit every day. And I like that approach because it avoids accidentally dieting, and accidentally being under fueled. Because my opinion is if you're going to maintain your weight, you might as well do it in the most fueled, fed, you know, resource, abundant state rather than slightly under fed constantly where you get symptoms of dieting, like hunger. And there's no reason for that. I mean, the only reason you think there's a reason is you're afraid of gaining all this weight. But if you're properly tracking, if you're using an app like macro factor, you're gonna be very precise, you'll know where you need to be. And if your weight does start to drift one way or the other, you can always adjust the other way. And it's a slow process. Right? So yeah, you risk the tiniest, tiniest bit of weight gain doing this, but it's well worth the being in that fed energized state all the time. And that's that maintenance. Okay. Hey, this is Philip and I hope you're enjoying this episode of wits and weights. I started Whitson weights to help people who want to build muscle, lose fat and actually look like they lift. I've noticed that when people improve their strength and physique, they not only look and feel better, they transform other areas of their life, their health, their mental resilience and their confidence in everything they do. And since you're listening to this podcast, I assume you want the same things the same success, whether you recently started lifting, or you've been at this for a while and want to optimize and reach a new level of success. Either way, my one on one coaching focused on engineering your physique and body composition is for you. If you want expert guidance and want to get results faster, easier, and with fewer frustrations along the way to actually look like you lift, go to Whitson weights.com, and click on coaching, or use the link in my show notes to apply today, I'll ask you a few short questions to decide if we're a good fit. If we are, we'll get you started this week. Now, back to the show. Now, if you want to lose weight, I would aim for the low end of the evidence based range to avoid muscle loss, but still make progress. And that is point two 5% of your body weight per week. Alright, so a quarter percent of your body weight per week. So let's say you weigh 200 pounds, that's half a pound a week. And if you do the math, based on 3500 calories per pound, that's a 250 calorie deficit, which is enough to move the needle. But it's not anywhere close to the regime of potentially losing muscle, or getting into those real dieting. Biofeedback, states have lots of hunger and potentially higher stress and lower sleep and so on. Right, it's only 250 calorie deficit, it's really not that much. Alright, and remember, we're trying to possibly add more muscle tissue even while losing weight. So we can't go that aggressive. But we don't want to go so slowly that we're really just at maintenance anyway. Right. So that's where I think the point two 5% body weight a week is reasonable. And then if you want to gain I would also aim for the low end of what we have found is the evidence based range of actually gaining muscle and not just being a maintenance. And that's pretty conservative. It's point 1% of your body weight per week. So let's say you weigh 150 pounds, that's only point one five pounds per week, that's like a 55 calorie surplus. And that's barely above maintenance. As I said earlier, even at maintenance, I aim for up to about 50 calories over. So when you're trying to deliberately build weight over time, you know, 55 calories for 150 pound person, which for a 200 pound person is going to be like, you know, 75 calories is not that big of a difference, it's enough to kind of push the needle and make sure that you're building that muscle, but then it's not so much that you can also potentially lose fat at the same time. Okay. Now, once you've got your calories set, you can then peg your macros accordingly. And you're going to aim for point seven to one gram of protein per pound of your target body weight. Now your target body weight may not be that far from your current body weight. So to simplify, it could just go with the current body weight, and I would be closer to the one gram per pound since we're going for recomp. So to simplify all of what I just said protein, around one gram a pound for what you weigh right now. So if you weigh 180 pounds, aim for 180 grams of protein, right? Because it is body recomp. I want you to bias the protein a little higher than if we were just in one of the more extreme phases for fat, I would get in somewhere around 20 to 30% of your calories for general health for hormone production, all of that. And then the rest goes toward carbs. There's a lot of flexibility of fats and carbs. I've mentioned this in the past on this show. But carbs are really important, especially if you're a main, you know, in either of these phases, because in all three of these potential phases, you're not that far from maintenance, so you should have a reasonable amount of calories to work with. And carbs are always your friend when it comes to training, performance, you know, fueling your workouts, partitioning nutrients toward muscle building instead of fat storage and recovering from your workouts as well. They just helped me feel great, they give you energy. And for many of us practically we love to eat food that contains carbs as well fruit, starches, grains, you know all of that. So there you go. That's the basic nutrition for those three categories of recon. Now, Perry workout nutrition, by Perry, we mean around your workout. So before during after kind of within a couple hour window of that workout. Perry workout nutrition is super important. But before we go there, I want to take a tangent on training on your workouts for a second because this is the only time I'm going to discuss that today. I'm always assuming that if you're listening to this show strength training is important and you understand the value of it. But I do have to reiterate that all of the other stuff we talked about today is kind of irrelevant. If you're not training, right. Most of today's discussion is about nutrition and lifestyle, but it assumes your strength training and doing it effectively to give your body plenty of stimulus for muscle growth that is just default. That's assumed because for body recomp we're trying to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. So the premise is you're doing something to build muscle, right? The doing both at the same time part is what's tricky, and that's why I'm covering most of these other topics today. But good timing on this episode because if you want all the details behind effective training principles, I did recently cover them all in Episode 162, which is titled bodybuilding for everyday lifters who want to build their dream physique. And I'm gonna link that one in the show notes as well. So If you want to get into details on all these principles, check that episode out. It's actually one of my favorites personally that I made for the show. And it's a recent one as well. So I think you'll like that. But in summary, what do we mean by effective training or training hard, I think it means three things. Okay. And I usually state these things in a similar kind of approach. Whenever I talk about this, it's generally the same things. And we're talking principles here not programming. And in all of that, number one, it means training close to failure, most of the time, within one to three reps of failure, depending on the movement. That's the first one. Number two, it means progressing in load reps, set some combination of these things over time, what we call progressive overload. And number three, it's training with sufficient intensity and execution, using movements that build strength and muscle, right. And this is really important the intensity and the execution, because if you're not doing it, right, it's not the other things aren't going to matter. And beyond your initial training phase of like your first few weeks, or maybe even the first few months, if you're on the weaker end, this is going to include free weights, like barbells, like dumbbells, combined with machines and cable machines, things like that as needed, you know, stuff that you would find in a gym. So not only does proper training build muscle mass, of course, which is one very important half of the body recomp equation. It also has three other benefits for body recomp that I want to reiterate today. All right, benefit number one, muscle tissue is metabolically very active, it's way more active than fat tissue, meaning it burns a ton of calories even at rest. And this increased muscle mass thus boosts your basal metabolic rate your metabolism, and so you burn more calories throughout the day. And that can aid in fat loss while you're maintaining or increasing muscle mass. So it's not a huge impact. I've talked about this before, maybe six to nine calories per pound of muscle mass that you add to your body. But even like an extra 50 calories a day, when we're talking recomp can make all the difference. Number two, the second benefit of muscle mass, and building muscle mass, when you're engaging in training, the strength training itself has a massive positive impact on your hormonal response. Because your hormones start to shift to facilitate the muscle growth and the fat metabolism all of it, it increases testosterone, it increases growth hormone. And both of those are vital for muscle synthesis, and for the breakdown of fat cells. So you get this two for one hormonal milieu is the French word they like to use of Perfect Storm toward building muscle and losing fat that gets accelerated just through the act of strength training. And then benefit number three, muscle mass is denser. So you can look lean and toned at a higher body weight, which tends mean even burn more calories and thus fat without needing to lose as much weight. So you can that's like another way to recomp kind of in a backdoor approach. Right? So you could just not have to lose as much weight. And so you can recomp in that way. Now we've established I think, why every single person listening to the show should be resistance training. If your goal is to improve your body composition and get a fantastic physique, period, bar none. If you listen, and you're a runner, and you don't strength train at all. And you reach out to me say I need some help with my nutrition, I'm going to say what's your training look like? And if you tell me, here's when I run, I'm going to say Well, where's the strength training and you say, I don't wanna say alright, come back to me, because you've got to be strength training, if you care about your physique, and your body composition, which all of this contributes as well to your health. This is why I love this so much. And I'm passionate about muscle mass and strength training because it helps everything. It makes everything easier, even yes, you're running. So let's continue and talk briefly about workout nutrition after I went on that long tangent, my recommendation here is that you simply want to book and your training. Alright, a little before a little bit after you've got flexibility in the amount of time you don't have to eat or drink in the middle of your workout unless you're starting it fasted potentially. But for the most part, you want to bookmark it with some easy digesting proteins and carbs. This is going to fuel your workout, it's going to kickstart your recovery after it's gonna help with muscle protein synthesis. So something like you know whey protein, quick carbs, like fruit, I love bananas, you know, rice cakes, I know. I know someone who loves you know, Rice Krispie treats I'm not huge on using ultra processed foods for a lot of this stuff, but hey, it can work and then you know, and that's like your pre workout then your post workout can have a little more variety, maybe even a little bit of fat in there. Only reason we don't want much fat pre workout isn't simply slows your digestion, which means you would just have to eat more protein and carbs or or you have more stomach, you know, digestive issues having more food in your stomach. So yeah, a little bit of fat after in your post workout. Like for me, it's oatmeal peanut butter, love it. And I would aim to split your protein evenly across your meals and get anywhere from like a third to two thirds of your carbs in the peri workout period, depending on how many carbs you're working with. So if you're in fat loss and you have less to work To quit, it may be a smaller percentage because or no, it actually may be a bigger percentage, because you have fewer calories, right, and you're trying to keep the amount of carbs around your workout roughly the same, whether you're in fat loss or not. So when you're in fat loss, you're basically siphoning most of those carbs around your workout, I've seen it to the point where like almost all your carbs around your workout, because the calories are fairly low. But that's also why we don't want the fats to be too high and take away from the carbs, or even the protein to be much higher than it needs to be to give you room for your carbs. So that was just my little thing on Perry workout nutrition, as far as just a general principle, but also in the context of body recomp to make sure everything is fueled properly for maximum results. Now, it's not just about calories and macros, we know there are a lot of other things here, nutritionally and otherwise. On the nutrition side, I think micro nutrition, I think hydration, electrolytes, they all impact our performance and body composition. And here, we're just going to stick to basic principles, focusing on whole nutrient dense foods 80% of the time, you can leave the other 10 to 20% for whatever you want for your indulgences so that you don't over restrict you don't feel deprived, always be drinking plenty of water and liquids, don't fear, you know, sodium, potassium, all of that. This is where I like fruits like bananas for your electrolytes, and especially around your training, because that's when you need it to support the fluid balance. And it helps with muscle contractions and avoiding cramping and things like that as well. So that's all I'm gonna say on micros and hydration, just the basics of mostly Whole Foods, a lot of variety of foods, don't put any foods off limits, and so on. And then beyond nutrition, you know, optimizing your health and hormone status is also important for recomp. Because, you know, recomp is, I don't want to put this like, because we're not going all out on a bulk or a cut. We want to play with some of these variables and make sure they're they're fine tuned a little more because the progress isn't as visible in the short term assay, then with the other approaches where the biofeedback signal tends to be more amplified. So if you know, if your sex hormones are out of whack testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, you're not gonna be able to gain muscle or lose fat effectively. And so biofeedback signals like low libido, for recovery, like stubborn fat retention, which I know that's kind of a subjective one, because we all gain and lose fat in different areas, some of us just happen to, you know, gain it in our stomach where we don't want it or again and I but where we do or don't want it. And I say that do or don't want it because but fat can be helpful to some people, all right, and you can get blood work as well, like a before and after. So here, like your lifestyle practices are all going to be dialed in, if you're going for body recomp. Besides the nutrition and the training, we've got stress management, we've got sufficient sleep, like all of these are going to support your hormones, especially sleep, I mean, I can't overestimate the value of sleep for your hormones. And then one other little one is alcohol. I mean, the less alcohol the better. It's going to be for your hormones as well. Ideally, no alcohol, but again, practicality lifestyle, I get it, you know, do what works for you, and see how you respond. Thyroid, specifically I want to call out the more I learned about the thyroid, the more I think it deserves its own category, because if your thyroid is under functioning, your metabolic rate will be slower. And it's gonna be harder to eat enough food and being where you need to be to change your body composition. And so I still think lifestyle for the most part is going to work for most people and most women, you know, because men are affected by thyroid as well thyroid conditions. But if you want to get your labs done proactively, if you suspect an issue, get your T three and T four checked, you know the ratio, but continue to focus on all these strategies, right calories carbs, not over restricting, getting into your key micros for thyroid health. That would be iodine, selenium, zinc, foods that contain those supplementation as needed, so that your thyroid produces the hormones and keeps your metabolic rate where it needs to be. Alright, so other aspects of biofeedback in general health would be your digestion, your circadian rhythm, right, like having a consistent daily routine and schedule for your sleep, your waking and sleeping cycle, but even your eating cycle, even your walking cycle, believe it or not, like your body starts to get used to these rhythms and tend to go in a more relaxed state when things are consistent, and thus keeping your metabolic rate higher and you can eat more food and recomp more easily. sleep and stress we already mentioned because they can affect your ability to lose fat and gain muscle. So you just got to audit your lifestyle see where you can upgrade your habits outside the gym. Everything works together synergistically. If you are for example, in our program, right, if you're lifting weights, physique university, you have a biofeedback tracker, and we can easily see on a week to week basis, what is going on relative to the other things and if you're struggling or if you hit a plateau or you know something's not going the direction you want. We can take all that data together, we can take your calories and macros your food intake, we can take your scale weight, we take your body measurements, and we can take your biofeedback and see where the patterns are. So and you can do the same thing for yourself. Fine Generally, don't underestimate the importance of mindset. I know, I often put it last on the list. For whatever reason, I think we just do this inherently. And yet mindset could be the first thing on the list for a lot of this. And for a lot of you listening, you know exactly what I mean. Like, you may know all this stuff I'm telling you today, you may know exactly what numbers to use for yourself, you may be doing many of these things. And yet the mindset comes in, in places like getting impatient or not being consistent or not trusting the process. So the antidote to those is be patient consistency, trusting the process, you know, you're training hard, you're eating in a slight deficit, let's say if you're doing the lose weight version of this, and maybe you're not seeing a huge drop in scale weight right away, because you shouldn't, you shouldn't. And yet, in your mind, you might be thinking, Oh, I'm trying to get this body comp, and also the scales not budging as much as I'd like. And it's easy to get discouraged. If you're only focused on the day to day or only on specific metrics, we need to collect all this stuff, but at the same time, not get hung up on any one number. On any short time horizon. Keep your eyes on that bigger picture. But while you're doing that, I do want you to celebrate small victories along the way. We just don't want to overemphasize victories and aren't really victories, like, Oh, my weight dropped a pound yesterday. I don't think that's really a victory. I don't, because I would never want to overreact to weight dropping or gaining in one day ever, I want to look at it over two or three weeks, over, let's say, three weeks, you can say, hey, the combination of things that I'm tracking shows me that I built a little muscle, I lost a little fat, here's why, you know, my waist size went down by half an inch, my biceps went up by half an inch, and my scale weight went down by you know, two pounds over the three week trend. Hey, you know, I'm pretty happy with all of that, that's pretty good. I'm headed in the right direction. That's cool. You know, like, we can definitely celebrate those things. But I would also celebrate the small victories on a daily basis, like the things you are doing, to me, those are the victories worth celebrating, I did this thing that I committed to doing. And because I did that thing, I know it's going to later on produce a result. And I know that it will be worth it. When I unveil that strong, lean, muscular physique that I've built through the process, the process. So go back to the quotes that I said earlier from our community, and their wins. And you saw that all of those wins. Were from this healthy and positive mindset of the process. Like I did this every day, I was consistent. I didn't have to deprive myself, it wasn't I lost X weight on the scale, right? We can still celebrate those results when they come. But if we focus on the day to day in the process, it's you're almost not going to care when the result happens, because it will have been happening the whole time. And you'll have been enjoying the process. So that's kind of the mindset piece of recomp, because it can be harder to see the result happening. Now that's also in some ways you can argue for some people, that's why you like to do more aggressive boxing cuts, because you can see some of the result based numbers changing faster. And for some of us, we want those wins, too. And that's okay, there's no right or wrong, there really isn't it too, because right now I'm rehabbing my shoulder again, occasionally, it gets a little wonky. Since I've had rotator cuff surgery, it happens, I've been assured that this is totally normal. And yet, I'm the type of guy that wants to push I want to grow, I want to keep going I want to improve. And it can be a little bit frustrating when I know I have to come out of my fat loss phase, I have to tone down my intensity tone down my volume workout fewer days a week. But I know that doing all those things will produce a result. So what do I take pleasure, and I take pleasure in the fact that my shoulder has more range of motion each day and is feeling less pain. And I know that that is a result based thing, but it's also process. It's showing me that every day that I put into doing these things, I'm getting what I want out of it. And even though I'm kind of at maintenance, let's call it I am getting a ton of winds every day as a result, that will set me up for going back into a more aggressive phase at some point from a healthier standpoint. So that's my little personal story there. Some final thoughts on body recomp body recomp is absolutely possible. It can be a highly effective approach for a lot of people to completely transform your physique it really can and for and or but for many individuals using more aggressive bulks and cuts will be the most time efficient way to achieve long term body recomp. But many of you might prefer this more casual approach that doesn't get too extreme in either direction. And guess what these choices are part of the flexibility and the sustainability in everything we do and talk about on this show and with our coaching approach and in our community and in which awaits physique University. This is the fun part about it. It's not sexy, it doesn't sell you know, 30 pound fat loss in three weeks, but it sells you a lifetime of joy because you can have such a flexible, individualized for you approach that Just is totally in sync with your life. And I know so many of you want that. And I strive on this show to show you how to do it practically and take actual steps. And it's not just lip service, right? And whichever way you want to go, right losing fat, building muscle, you know, quickly or simultaneously over the long term. Either way, doing all these practices, the right way is how you will achieve that lean, strong, athletic look you want. So the exact way it plays out is going to depend on your starting point. What do you have a lot of fat to lose, you're already lean, you want to focus on muscle gain, you're very well trained or you're, you know, just looking to etch in those final details in your physique and that symmetry, whatever the key principles are still the same train hard with sufficient intensity execution, volume progression, eat enough protein and carbs to support your muscle growth, while still achieving a modest, you know, fat loss either a deficit or in less of a surplus or at maintenance, optimize your Perry workout nutrition, or hydration, focus on nutritious Whole Foods, and pay attention to your health, your hormones, and your biofeedback not just your body composition because it all plays together synergistically. And this is where having an experienced coach or community to guide you through the process can make a huge difference. But regardless, I strive on the show to give you these blueprints to help you get started doing it on your own. You just have to be patient, consistent, keep showing up, keep putting in the work. And then your physique will transform before your eyes when you look back and you'll say Wow, look how far I've come. And that's it. That is what we do for body recomp. I hope this has been not only informative, but maybe a little bit eye opening. Given that there are so many ways there's so much flexibility in achieving recomp besides just maintenance, right and now you're inspired right you've got some ideas, you're ready to put these into action. And as I mentioned before, if you're interested in using macro factor to set up your body recomp phase without worrying about calculating your maintenance calories or your calorie macro targets. I'm giving you all a free video on how to set everything up in the app, screenshots and everything step by step. This video is from the macro factor mastery course in Whitson weights visit university but I'm giving you this video itself not the whole course. I'm giving you this video absolutely free no opt in no email, just click the link in my show notes for the free video on YouTube. It is unlisted, so you're not going to find it on my channel. It's it's exclusive to podcast listeners, you have to use the link in my show notes. You'll find it under episode resources. And go click it to get my free video on setting up macro factor for body recomp. Okay, in our next episode 167 optimizer thyroid. Hey, look at that perfect timing didn't plan it this way. Optimize your thyroid for hormone health metabolism and fat loss with Haley fountain. We're exploring thyroid health, which affects everything from your weight and your metabolism to your sleep and even your mental health. You'll learn how to manage your weight when you have a thyroid condition. The link between minerals and thyroid function and why exercise and nutrition are so important and what you should be doing, as well as how the mind body connection and sleep all play into thyroid health. So make sure to hit follow right now in your podcast app. Just pause before the episode finishes and deletes go hit follow go hit follow, and you'll get notified when that episode comes out. And you'll also be supporting the show. So as always, stay strong. And I'll talk to you next time here on the wits and weights podcast. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of wit's end weights. If you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up their wits or weights. Please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong

Body Recomposition Blueprint
Achieving Body Recomposition Through Training
Caloric Balance and Macro Tracking
Benefits of Muscle Training for Recomp
Mindset and Strategy for Body Recomp

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