At the beginning of this past weekend I hit my weight loss goal. I started out somewhere between 204 and 209, and I have now hit 170. I am not sure how much muscle mass I lost while dumping the fat. My next planned phase is to rebuild and replace the fat with muscle. To that end, I am looking for information and good advice regarding recompositioning. I understand this is the term for adding muscle while continuing to lower body fat percentage. How does one achieve recompositioning?


  • turtledove773
    turtledove773 Posts: 122 Member
    CONGRATULATIONS! That is some awesome results!

    Do you belong to a gym? If so I would see about getting a personal training session. You can tell them your goals and they will give you some exercises to do..

    Also check out they have some decent plans on there...

    GOOD LUCK! You have done the hard part.. hitting the weights will be easy compared to losing that weight! At least IMO!
  • Cortelli
    Cortelli Posts: 1,369 Member
    Generally speaking, a recomp involves eating right around maintenance level, and continuing with your resistance training. Some add an intermittant fasting regime as well, though not strictly required. The idea is that you will slowly add muscle mass and shed fat.

    Probably one of the more popular resources for recomp discussions is (and a popular article is And Scoby's gets a lot of attention (and a popular article is

    There are mixed opinions about recomping -- assuming this thread gets some attention, you'll likely hear about how *slow* recomping actually is, and be presented with the alternative of staggering a series of "bulks" and "cuts" -- basically adding muscle mass through eating at a surplus and training hard (and unfortunately adding some fat along the way, too), and then eating at a deficit to lose the additional fat you gained during your bulk. Most, I believe will share the view that bulking / cutting, while challenging in many ways, can lead to faster results (in terms of muscle mass added and lower overall bf%).

    I took my time doing as much "web research" as I could, including listening to the successful folks around here, and decided I was going to do a bulk / cut cycle or two or five. But eventually, at some point, I'll want to move to maintenance and will still lift -- whether that's pure maintenance or an exceedingly slow recomp effort - only time will tell!
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,145 Member
    everyone that I know that has tried/done recomping says that it is a painfully slow process talking six months to a year long process..

    Do you know what your current body fat % is? If it is 15% of lower you could do like a three month bulk to add muscle and then do a cut to get rid of any fat that you put on during the bulk; or, you could do like a slow bulk 100 - 150 per day surplus to minimize fat gains.

    Starting Strenght and new rules of lifting are great resources…

    Do you currently lift heavy? What is your training routine like?
  • spirytwynd
    spirytwynd Posts: 141 Member
    Thank you all for taking your time to offer your advice and insights. I am not certain what my BF% is. In December, using an ultrasound, it was estimated at around 19%. That was around ten or fifteen pounds ago. My electronic/bioresistance scale is estimating 15-16% but that may only be my lower half (it measures through the feet).

    I have been transitioning out of the Army and haven't lifted in a while. I have been going for mostly cardio and body weight exercises. I now have my weight bench back and just picked up a French curling bar to add to it. I think I only have around 150 pounds of weights plus a small assortment of dumb bells maxing out at 45 pounds.

    I don't currently belong to a gym. I just retired from the Army, moved across the country to a new city, and am still looking for work. Money is a little tight right now so I will likely have to wait a little bit until I am employed before I can join a gym. Like everyone else, I would love to add 2-4 inches to all my muscles in less than a week, however, since I live in the real world and not fantasy land, I know this is going to take a while. Bulk/cut may be the way to go. Recompositioning could be cool and I am intrigued by it, but the time factor may mean that I try it later. I am still deciding. While my fat was well distributed so that no one thought I was fat, I knew it, especially with my belly. As I have lost weight, there are a few areas which the absent fat is leaving the skin a bit loose. This is particularly evident in the pectoral area. Since I don't want to sag, I need to put muscle back to fill in the space.

    Thank you again for your help. I am looking forward to this exciting adventure! I am feeling better than I have in a long time and want to take advantage of it. I hope you all have a great goal progress week!
  • No_Finish_Line
    No_Finish_Line Posts: 3,662 Member
    i think whats really going on is that your walking the line on defecit and surplus. sometimes your in a defecit and will drop weight, sometimes your in a surplus and will add muscle

    probably not the most effective way to do either one, but if your like me and your prone to over eating/ easily put on fat, it might be the better option.

    Also, if your ok staying where you are and putting on a muscle is a plus but not the 'be all/end all' i think this is a good plan
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    I'm a recomper - the basics are really simple:
    Eat at maintenance calories, get adequate protein, do a good weight lifting routine.
    (Good info above from Cortelli by the way.)

    Mass gains are slow but I've got a solid year of strength gains out of it (which is more important to me) and am getting close to lifetime bests. I prefer it as it fits better around my particular goals and priorities.

    If muscle mass gain is your number one priority then it's probably not the best choice but it's worth thinking about for a short time to actually figure out your maintenance calories. If you are coming back from a training break then initially you might make some quick progress which may stall out after a while.