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Recomposition: Maintaining weight while losing fat

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  • robingmurphyrobingmurphy Posts: 335Member, Premium Member Posts: 335Member, Premium Member
    With a recomp you aren't losing weight. What other body measures are worth following instead? Body fat should decrease right? How soon should you see results there? Should you expect waist size to drop, or does it stay the same size but more muscular?
  • mmapagsmmapags Posts: 8,661Member Member Posts: 8,661Member Member
    With a recomp you aren't losing weight. What other body measures are worth following instead? Body fat should decrease right? How soon should you see results there? Should you expect waist size to drop, or does it stay the same size but more muscular?

    Some of what you ask will be determined by genetics and some by the recomp. The body measures you use instead of weight are body measurements. Waist, hips, chest, arms, calf, thighs for example. Yes, body fat should decrease but there is no truly reliable way to determine this very precisely. All measurement methods have some margin for error. Dexa scans and Hydrostatic testing being the best.

    Whether waist size drops or not depends on how much abdominal fat one carries. If not much, the waist could stay the same and be more lean and muscular. But that is mostly determined by genetics and is the same recomp or not.

    As far as how fast one seems results, recomp is a slow process. Very slow. An untrained subject will initially see result with muscle gains a little quicker.
    edited January 6
  • mmapagsmmapags Posts: 8,661Member Member Posts: 8,661Member Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    So is there any reason why a person could not do recomp cycles during the last 30 or so pounds of weight loss? If so, what would make sense? Would something like 4 months at TDEE followed by 2 months of deficit (the deficit part I will figure out) be worth doing? I am not in a significant hurry to finish losing and I am patient enough that just because some of my results will stay hidden won't bother me. I don't think I would be interested in any type of bulking while I still have so much to lose.

    You certainly could try this. As a relatively untrained subject and if you still have a good amount to lose, you are in a great position to initially gain muscle mass for a few months even in a deficit. I forget how much more you have to lose. But as you get closer to goal, you could certainly cycle recomp with deficit until you get to where you want to be leanness and muscle mass wise.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 16,119Member Member Posts: 16,119Member Member
    @robingmurphy

    With a recomp you aren't losing weight. What other body measures are worth following instead?
    Whichever ones are of interest to you. (Upper arms, upper legs, chest and waist were mine. Neck was a waste of time as impossible to be consistent, probably should have added calf muscle measurements too.)

    Body fat should decrease right?
    Correct

    How soon should you see results there?
    That's a how long is a piece of string question as it depends on the rate at which you personally can add muscle. Young, male, untrained, athletic bodyfat levels, good responder to stimulus who starts training consistently is going to see results in weeks. Change those variables and the speed of muscle gain changes too. The "seeing results" part (as opposed to getting results) is very dependant on your bodyfat levels - just a small covering of fat can mask what's going on underneath

    Should you expect waist size to drop, or does it stay the same size but more muscular?
    If you are carrying excess fat there yes you would most likely measure less over time.

  • tracybear86tracybear86 Posts: 135Member Member Posts: 135Member Member
    I think I am at a point where I would like to start working on recomp. I am about 10-15 pounds above my ultimate goal weight but I think that recomp may help me achieve what I am looking for vs continuing to lose. I am currently 5'4" and maintaining between 130-135 lbs. My question revolves around recomp with restrictions. After a knee injury about 3 years ago I found out through an MRI that I don't have a ton of cartilage left in either of my knees (left being worse). The orthopedic surgeon said I would need both knees replaced at some point but I was too young for that to be a consideration for some time (I was 38 at the time). His recommendation was to preserve the cartilage I have left by restricting certain activities that could exacerbate the breakdown of the remaining cartilage. He said I should avoid running, jumping activities, squats, lunges and squatting or kneeling for extended periods of time. Currently I mostly swim for exercise but during the summer months I also do some biking and walking. Most of the recomp programs I have looked at (Strong Curves, Starting Strength, Strong Lifts 5x5) all require a decent % of squats, lunges or both. Does anyone know if it is possible to recomp without doing squats and lunges? Does anyone have a program they use or would recommend?
  • tracybear86tracybear86 Posts: 135Member Member Posts: 135Member Member
    @sijomial Thanks for the input, I appreciate it! I was kind of figuring I may just have to develop my own program. I was doing Strong Curves prior to my injury so I may try that again, skip the squats and lunges, maybe add some additional body weight exercises and see how that goes. I am pretty good at differentiating general soreness from when I am overdoing it. This past weekend we were taking Christmas decorations down to the basement and after about 6-7 trips up and down the stairs my knee started to hurt and make its "2 rocks rubbing together" noise so I knew it was time to take a break! :p
  • staticsplitstaticsplit Posts: 533Member Member Posts: 533Member Member
    Wow, dude! A clear difference. Well done.
  • GoJohnGo71GoJohnGo71 Posts: 376Member Member Posts: 376Member Member
    Thanks! It was a really different way of doing things for me. Other 12 week challenges I’ve done have been cardio focused. I’ve always lost allot of weight in the past but it was never sustainable. With the recomp method I’ve been able to continue at maintenance since the challenge and hopefully will
    continue to drop a bit more fat and gain more muscle.
    Best thing is I never feel hungry.
    I get heaps of protein in and keep sugar as low as possible. Usually under 40 grams a day.

    Awesome! How many grams of protein a day do you aim for?
  • AdamAussie34AdamAussie34 Posts: 125Member Member Posts: 125Member Member
    I aim for between 160-200 grams daily

  • AdamAussie34AdamAussie34 Posts: 125Member Member Posts: 125Member Member
    ghudson92 wrote: »
    How is everyone getting on with their recomp? I was seeing good results October to early December of last year, but had to take time out due to injury and illness. During that time I simply focused on maintaining as couldn't be active. This week I am back to recomp and loving it! This time round I am focusing more on the quality of nutrition and upping my protein levels too.

    Good luck with your recomp! Hope the injury is okay now..
  • magpye76magpye76 Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    @AdamAussie34 that's a fantastic transformation! Look how happy it's made you!! And in just 12 weeks? Raa!🤟
    I'm particularly impressed with your triceps.
    Nice job! Wow that's a lot of protein! I aim for around 120 and really struggle despite prioritising it constantly.
  • ghudson92ghudson92 Posts: 1,819Member Member Posts: 1,819Member Member
    ghudson92 wrote: »
    How is everyone getting on with their recomp? I was seeing good results October to early December of last year, but had to take time out due to injury and illness. During that time I simply focused on maintaining as couldn't be active. This week I am back to recomp and loving it! This time round I am focusing more on the quality of nutrition and upping my protein levels too.

    Good luck with your recomp! Hope the injury is okay now..

    Thank you. I very nearly broke my wrist so it was slow to get better, but I'd say it is 90% recovered now. Love your post upthread, congrats on the amazing progress!
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