Is it possible to bulk up and loose absolute fat at the same time

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Hello,
I'm getting married in Mexico in 5 weeks and for the past month and a half I have been doing team beach body's "Body Beast" (resistance training) to get beach ready.

I've noticed my arms and shoulders getting bigger which I absolutely love. However can't slim down my stomach no matter how hard I try.

I'm slightly confused as I've been following Joe wickes eating plan who says to not worry about Calories as your muscles need them to get bigger. But then I've read online the only way to slim down is to cut out the calories and do cardio. But if I do this I'm worried about losing the muscle mass I've worked hard for.

Any advice would be great

Replies

  • ysoto2014
    ysoto2014 Posts: 25 Member
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    Congrats on the wedding! I'll be following this I would also like to hear some feedback.
  • hdrenollet
    hdrenollet Posts: 147 Member
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    Basically, you can't do both. You can't really bulk and cut at the same time. The only way to lose weight is to consume a deficit of your TDEE. The only way to bulk is to consume an excess of your TDEE. That's not to say that you can't build muscle while losing fat as long as you eat at a slight deficit and maintain good macros, but there's really no way to bulk and cut at the same time. This is typically done in cycles.
  • sammyliftsandeats
    sammyliftsandeats Posts: 2,421 Member
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    Well it's too short of a time frame for a recomp (that requires a lot of time and patience) so my advice is to continue exercising and eating at a deficit to lose fat.

    Unfortunately, you can't pick where it comes from but some of it may come from the stomach.

    But yes, if you want to bulk - you should be
    1. at lean enough BF% (I believe it's sub-15% for guys)
    2. eat in a surplus
    3. do a progressive overload resistance training program and
    4. deal with the fact that any weight you gain won't be 100% muscle but the more overfat you are, the more likely it's going to be a lot more fat. Especially if your surplus is really high.
  • mifow86
    mifow86 Posts: 17 Member
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    I want to continue with body beast as I've made it this far already seems ashame to stop now. I'm in the bulk phase now and doing progressive sets which are meant to be used to bulk up. I should be okay continuing this as long as I eat a calorie deficit? Or should I stop and just go full cardio like doing insanity or something?
  • sammyliftsandeats
    sammyliftsandeats Posts: 2,421 Member
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    When you say bulk phase, do you mean you are eating in a surplus?

    I'm sorry, I am not familiar with the body beast or beachbody systems so I don't know the different phases of the workouts.

    The progressive nature of the workout helps build muscle but it really comes down to how much you're eating. Are you in a surplus or in a deficit?

    You mentioned Joe Wickes and his telling you not to count calories. Well, regardless of if you are eating in a surplus or a deficit, calorie counting would be beneficial here to gauge how much you're eating for your goals.
  • TR0berts
    TR0berts Posts: 7,739 Member
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    You're not going to bulk up with a Calorie deficit. You'll lean out. And by all means, don't just go cardio. Keep the resistance training. You'll (likely) lean out some, keeping LBM.
  • jilleebee77
    jilleebee77 Posts: 329 Member
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    Pay attention to what is in any supplements you are taking too. My brother was bulking and started taking something he usually takes (don't recall what off hand) but a different brand and he found out he was doubling his creatine in take and it was causing bloating/belly issues. So make sure you know what is in EVERYTHING you are taking in.
  • CharlieBeansmomTracey
    CharlieBeansmomTracey Posts: 7,682 Member
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    mifow86 wrote: »
    Hello,
    I'm getting married in Mexico in 5 weeks and for the past month and a half I have been doing team beach body's "Body Beast" (resistance training) to get beach ready.

    I've noticed my arms and shoulders getting bigger which I absolutely love. However can't slim down my stomach no matter how hard I try.

    I'm slightly confused as I've been following Joe wickes eating plan who says to not worry about Calories as your muscles need them to get bigger. But then I've read online the only way to slim down is to cut out the calories and do cardio. But if I do this I'm worried about losing the muscle mass I've worked hard for.

    Any advice would be great

    if you are building muscle you are in a surplus,if you want to slim down and lose fat you have to be in a deficit and you cant spot reduce so if you start eating in a deficit you will lose fat from all over,your stomach may be the last place to lose fat.you cant do both at the same time. so either keep lifting and building muscle for now,or keep lifting and eat in a deficit to lose fat.you dont have to do cardio if you dont want to either.I lost weight/fat just lifting and no cardio,its because I was in a deficit.
  • JonDrees
    JonDrees Posts: 161 Member
    edited April 2017
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    It's possible, but challenging. "Don't worry about calories" is another way of saying "don't worrying about how your body looks." You need to know how many calories you are taking in and how many you are burning, otherwise you are very unlikely to reach your goal.
  • mifow86
    mifow86 Posts: 17 Member
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    Thanks for all the replies. I think I understand. Now. It's impossible to do both and I need to pick one. Either bulk up or loose some flab on my stomach. I choose the latter.
    From my understanding it doesn't matter what excercise I do. My calorie intake is important. Eg lift weight and it lots = bulk up, lift weights and eat less = get trim. I will throw in the odd hiit workout for good measure.
  • CharlieBeansmomTracey
    CharlieBeansmomTracey Posts: 7,682 Member
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    mifow86 wrote: »
    Thanks for all the replies. I think I understand. Now. It's impossible to do both and I need to pick one. Either bulk up or loose some flab on my stomach. I choose the latter.
    From my understanding it doesn't matter what excercise I do. My calorie intake is important. Eg lift weight and it lots = bulk up, lift weights and eat less = get trim. I will throw in the odd hiit workout for good measure.

    yep,just know that the flab on your stomach may not come off as fast as you want. its going to come off all over and it may be a slow process because the less fat you have to lose the slower it will be at coming off
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,613 Member
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    It does matter what exercise you do if you want to maintain muscle as you lose weight. It sounds like your program may be hypertrophy based, which works well to maintain mass and strength in a calorie deficit.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    edited April 2017
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    this is my layman's understanding of this: you need calories to fuel the workouts in which you challenge your current muscle mass with the work. you need protein to rise to the challenge and grow more fibres. calories for exercise, protein to recover from it. [ edit: this is also kind of a false dichotomy since protein has calories.]

    the extra on top of that is your body will use calories from food if you're providing them. if you don't, then it digs into its own tissue and breaks that down to meet the demand. i don't know anything about the hard physiology of how and whether and when it chooses between 'eating' your fat and 'eating' your muscle though. but afaik, that's the simplistic explanation of why people say (correctly) that you need calories to work out.

    fwiw, i follow mark rippetoe's loose guideline of 'carbs for lifting, protein for rest' when i'm even trying to engineer my own self. but i'm pretty casual about it so i couldn't tell you much meaningful about the results :tongue:
  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
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    It isn't impossible to gain muscle while losing fat but it is difficult to get the balance right. Essentially, you have to provide your body with protein in proper portions at the time it needs it but eat at a calorie deficit at the same time. If you eat too much protein, part of it will be wasted and you may not have enough calories left in your goal to allow you to eat protein when you need it later.