Written By: Christopher Barakat, MS
Building Muscle and Losing Fat …
Everyone’s Dream Right? Well, the results show it’s Elkins’ reality and it can be your reality too.
This past week Elkins flew out to Tampa to kick it with me and we then spent the weekend in Orlando for the Europa Expo. We were both excited for his trip to Tampa because exactly one year ago, he was on a family vacation and I brought him into the Human Performance Lab where I work at the University of Tampa for a DEXA scan and we wanted to see how his body composition has changed over the past year.
Let’s take a look at the results and then explain how he was able to attain these results.
|Scan Date||Age||Lean Body Mass (g)||Change (g)|
Chris’s lean body mass increased by 1.55lbs despite weighing ~3lbs less on this most recent scan and being in a consistent calorie deficit for ~5 weeks.
|Scan Date||Age||Fat Mass (g)||Change (g)|
Chris’s fat mass decreased by 4.78lbs compared to his dexa scan in April of 2017.
*Note: Convert grams to kilograms to pounds to do the math yourself 😉
Some people might look at these results and say “Gaining 1.5lbs of lean body mass in one year is nothing” but that’s because their expectations are skewed. Think about a 16oz steak, that’s a lot of meat – now think of a 24oz steak.
That’s pretty much how much lean body mass Chris was able to accrue over the past year!
The longer and longer you’ve been training, the harder it is to make progress and accrue muscle. You get closer to reaching your genetic potential and your rate of gains slow down.
We’re really happy with these results because Chris has been weight training consistently for 6 years straight now and making progress as a natural bodybuilder is something you need to fight tooth and nail for.
Chris was able to achieve this improved body composition of more muscle and less body fat by approaching his nutrition the same way you should approach your training – in a logical, periodized manner. We had phases where Chris was intentionally in a calorie surplus and was welcoming total weight gain (a combination of muscle and fat).
Chris was able to do this in a very intuitive manner and didn’t have to track his macronutrients very tightly when bulking because of how much experience he has from tracking in the past. He gained ~1lbs per month for 9 months while running MaX-Hype eXtreme and pushing himself hard in the gym. The extra calories are key to support recovery capabilities and fuel growth.
From there, he switched gears into a calorie deficit in order to reduce his body fat levels and expose the extra tissue he was able to gain throughout his improvement season/calorie surplus.
So although beginners CAN build muscle and lose fat at the same time (body recomposition), intermediate and advanced trainees need to optimize their results by periodizing their nutrition based on their goals!
Chris was eating an average of 175g protein per day during his improvement season which enabled his body to recover from the intense training and accrue additional muscle tissue.
As Chris undergoes his 2018 contest prep, we’re both really excited to see how much better his physique will look compared to his 2016 competition shape. Natural bodybuilding is a slow and steady process and Chris has been working hard over the past two years to make improvements to his physique. As he gets leaner and leaner and body fat levels continue to decrease, the improvements made will become more evident.
Find a DEXA Scan location near you: https://dexascan.com/
It’s really easy to find a location and the pricing in no time!