Cut Fat, Build Muscle


To do something right, focus on that one thing!  Drop conflicting activities, or at least limit the conflict.

Cutting edge abs

Now how do you cut fat and build muscle simultaneously?

Cutting your body fat requires you to reduce calories, especially starchy carbs along with fat, below maintenance levels.

Building muscle on the other hand you will need to consume an abundance of protein, complex carbs and body friendly fats above maintenance levels. 

To add to the conflict, fat burning is best done by aerobics while muscle building requires resistance training.

What has worked for me is my 21-day Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde routine.  As the name implies you will be 2 opposite people for 3 weeks.  At the beginning of every week for 3 days you will train and eat for fat burning (lean & mean) Mr. Hyde.  Then for the next 3 days you will train and eat for muscle building (Dr. Jekyl).

The diets:

Lean & Mean – Mr. Hyde --  1st (3 days of week)

- 5 to 6 evenly portioned meals

- Abundance of protein from eggs, skinless chicken & fish

- Abundance of fibrous carbohydrates from raw or steamed vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, spinach, carrots, lettuce

- No starchy carbohydrates - avoid pasta, potatoes, bread, cereal, rice, sweet potatoes, etc.

Cutting edge abs

- No simple carbohydrates - avoid fruit, pop, pastry, candy, etc.

- Drink mainly water/1 gallon per day  

Full & Happy— Dr. Jekyl --  2nd (3 days of week)

- 5 to 6 evenly portioned meals.

- Abundance of protein from eggs, skinless chicken, fish, lean red meat.

- Abundance of complex carbohydrates equally balanced between your fibrous carbohydrates (vegetables) and your starchy carbohydrates (cereal, rice, pasta, etc.)

- You may add simple carbohydrates in the form of fresh fruit if you split your carb intake into 3 equal portions (fruit, vegetables, starches).

- Drink mainly water/1 gallon per day.

What will this diet do?  In very simple terms in the 1st 3 days you will be carbohydrate depleting through diet and aerobics.  This combo kicks your fat burning into high gear!  The 2nd 3 days you will be carb loading your muscles through diet and resistance training.  Your muscles are primed for super compensation of carbohydrates and other nutrients promoting muscle growth.

Day #7 is an off day for rest and a favorite unauthorized food!  Use the full & happy Dr. Jekyl diet and add 1 treat e.g.: pizza, lasagna, etc. but not the whole pan.

Cutting edge abs

The routines:

Lean & Mean – Mr. Hyde -- 1st (3 days of week)

Aerobics as described in my article entitled the Troika.  To summarize, in the morning on an empty stomach perform some high intensity aerobics followed by some low intensity aerobics, e.g. 2 to 3 minutes warm-up-sprints or skipping. 10 to 15 minutes high intensity aerobics, 100 yard dash, walk back to start then repeat—all out effort or 3 timed rounds of skipping, 1 minute rest followed immediately by a 20 to 30 minute jog/walk.  Drink plenty of water.

Eat an hour after the end of aerobic session.

Full Happy – Dr. Jekyl -- 2nd ( 3 days of week)

Resistance training as described in my article entitled Sustainable Growth.  To summarize, divide your workouts into 3 days.  In each day perform 1 heavy basic compound exercise followed immediately by a moderate weight compound exercise followed immediately by a relatively light isolation exercise.  Do not rest between the 3 different exercises.  Only rest at the end of the 3 and that only enough to catch your breath then repeat.  Do this as often as you can in 30 minutes.

Immediately after the workout consume a carb and high protein drink.  Then 20 minutes after that consume your 1st meal.

For decades body builders have divided their efforts into bulking up for muscle and then dieting down to lose excess fat.  This has produced some outstanding bodies but it has done so at the expense of health.  They focused on one element of bodybuilding at a time for months.

At 2.5 skips per second, you can barely see the rope!

At 2.5 skips per second, you can barely see the rope!

A healthier approach is a shorter cycle of 3 weeks.  In each of the 3 weeks you have a micro cycle of fat loss followed by a micro cycle of muscle building.

I have successfully used the above routine before a photo shoot with outstanding results.  Typically look for 5 to 6 lbs. of fat loss and 2 to 3 lbs. of muscle gain.

Look in the mirror to judge your progress and adjust your diet and exercise intensity accordingly.  After 3 weeks on the Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde routine/diet return to your maintenance diet and routine for 60 days.