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Recomposition: Maintaining weight while losing fat

usmcmpusmcmp Posts: 21,337Member, Premium Member Posts: 21,337Member, Premium Member
There's a lot of talk about recomposition through the boards, so I wanted to have a place where we can compile research on it and experiences with it.

When is recomp appropriate? When you are at a decent weight for your height, but your body fat is still at a level that is undesirable to you recomposition is probably a good option. It's a way to maintain your weight, eat well and still lose fat. This is a slow process and can feel like spinning your wheels, but it can be less mentally stressful than bulk and cut cycles.

The keys to recomposition are:

1. At the end of the week you have eaten at about your TDEE. You may choose to cycle calories or eat at a flat rate every day, this should fit your personal preference. If you have a consistent workout schedule using a TDEE calculator should place your goal fairly close to your actual maintenance. The only way to know for sure is to monitor your weight and calories over time while adjusting calories when you have an up or down trend.

2. Getting adequate protein. Protein is a building block of muscle. The goal of recomposition is to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Protein, carbohydrates and fats play different roles in the muscle building process, so make sure that you keep to a macronutrient set up that works for you. This may need to be adjusted over time.

3. Lift! Following a good lifting program is the key to the entire process. It's where the magic happens. Pick a program that you will enjoy and that is going to challenge you. Continue to focus on improving.

4. Take pictures and measure. It's a slow process and you may feel you are making no progress. Your measurements will help you see that you are making progress.

Feel free to share stories of recomposition and any research you have seen on it. Ask questions if you have any.
edited May 2016
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Replies

  • ndj1979ndj1979 Posts: 29,021Member Member Posts: 29,021Member Member
    usmcmp wrote: »
    ndj1979 wrote: »
    tagging to follow.

    out of curiosity, as carbs are more important on a bulk; should your carbs and protein be pretty evenly distributed on a recomp, or would you want more coming from protein, and less from carbs?

    I think that's going to be a personal thing. I have carbs a bit higher than protein on a bulk and while I was in recomp for a few months. I also have lots of calories to play with. I generally set protein first and divide carbs and fat after. I see better results with protein around .8-1g per pound of lean body mass.

    interesting..

    I have never tried recomp...

    I ran the bulk last winter and cut this spring. As of this week, I am on .5 pound per week loss with the plan to transition to maintenance in August, and bulk again in September....
  • ndj1979ndj1979 Posts: 29,021Member Member Posts: 29,021Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    When I went to maintenance a couple of years ago I basically did a re-comp. When I started in maintenance I was about 15-16% BF.

    I wasn't deliberately trying to re-comp...I was just eating to maintenance and eating well and hitting the weight room with some solid programming and riding my bike a lot. Over the course of about 1 year and 4 months I went from 15-16% BF to right around 12% BF while maintaining a weight of 182 Lbs on average.

    For me, it was a great way to go about things as I already had a fair amount of muscle on me and really I just wanted to focus on my overall fitness. Eating maintenance and training brought me some huge fitness gains which is what I was really after...dropping a few % points was gravy.

    Subsequent to that, I did my first bulk last fall and through February. Lifting on a surplus was incredible...PR after PR after PR. It was a nice little experiment, but I likely won't do one again because I really hate cutting...I should be done cutting now, but I keep getting lazy. I'm at about 15% now and I'm considering just maintaining as with my previous experience, I eventually dropped some fat...but I can attest to how slow that process is.

    that is interesting..

    I have always thought about doing a recomp but not sure if I have the patience for it. I like bulking because like you said the lifts feel great and you keep nailing PR's; however, transiting from the bulk to the cut phase does blow, because you are used to eating more, and 2400 calories after eating 3100 + looks and feels like nothing...

  • sunman00sunman00 Posts: 887Member Member Posts: 887Member Member
  • AJOjrAJOjr Posts: 24Member Member Posts: 24Member Member
    Is there a amount of time you need to lift each week? I do 3 days about an hour each day focusing on day 1 arms day 2 chest and shoulders and day 3 legs and back. Each exercised done 2 to 3 times with increasing weight.
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