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Building an incredible physique is simple -

You need to put on muscle mass and You need to lose fat.

Body recomposition is a process of achieving both the goals of adding lean muscle mass and losing fat simultaneously.

But it is not as simple as it sounds, and you need to take care of a few things before going forward with it

In this article, we will be discussing Body Recomposition in detail and who can do it and what are steps needed to carry it out effectively.

What is Body Recomposition?

Body recomposition is not a scientifically accepted or 'objective' term. Still, it is used in bodybuilding circles to describe losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time.

Body recomposition causes so much confusion because you're attempting to achieve two diametrically distinct goals. To lose fat, you must be in a calorie deficit, which means eating fewer calories over time so that your body can burn fat. And, to build muscle, you must be in a calorie surplus–that is, you must consume more calories than your body requires for it to use the extra calories to build new muscle. And this is where body recomposition makes it possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, but the extent to which this will happen, depends on the individual.

Who Can Do Body Recomposition?

Beginners or Newbies

When you're new to resistance training, just started working out and making gains as a beginner, your body can gain more muscle at this stage. As a beginner, you have to do follow these guidelines for recompositon:

  • Be in a slight caloric deficit or at maintenance.
  • Eat a high protein diet.
  • Constantly increase your resistance in the gym.
  • A key element in body recomposition is to be consistent and train hard at the gym and follow your nutrition plans. Being a beginner, you wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to gain the most muscle mass that you can.

    Detrained Athletes or Individuals

    If you've stopped working out or not going to the gym due to an injury or because you can't prioritize it as much as you used to, your body retains the muscle memory from when you used to work out. That's because the myonuclei, or muscle control centres, do not disappear when you stop working out. When you start lifting weights again, those myonuclei can boost protein synthesis and help you get into body recomposition much faster.

    Overweight Individuals

    When you're overweight, your body's fat has already stored up to work towards building your muscle. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend bulking and gives you the leverage to go through a more significant caloric deficit.

    People often believe that you can't lose fat unless you do a proper cut. Still, you can be gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time, which works to your advantage when you've already stored enough to give you the energy for powerlifting and going through more difficult resistance training than leaner people.

    How To Do Body Recomposition Effectively?

    Set Up Your Diet & Nutrition

    Now that you have decided to do body recomposition, here is our recommendation to set your diet-

    • The first step is to find your maintenance calories and set your calories following a calorie cycling approach. This means you need to eat in a surplus when you are training and stay in a deficit on rest days while keeping your weekly average calorie intake at maintenance or a slight deficit. Consuming more calories on training days, you have more energy coming in to fuel your performance at the gym. Also, eating more calories on training days may have some beneficial nutrient partitioning effect. This means that those extra calories are biased toward building muscle rather than being stored as fat. In addition, knowing that you can eat more calories a few days a week can help increase adherence when compared to eating the same amount every day.
    • The next step is to set up your macros intake. For building lean muscle on a deficit diet, the most important macronutrient is protein.

    Protein: You need to set up your protein intake at around 1g/lb of your body weight.

    Fats: 0.3-0.6g/lb of your body weight. You can go with the higher end if you prefer a high-fat diet and the lower end if you prefer a low-fat diet. Or it could be somewhere in the middle for a more balanced carb/fat intake.

    Carbs: It will make up for the remaining calories once protein and fat intakes are set. It would be best if you eat more carbs on training days and fewer carbs on rest days.

    You can also calculate your macros using Epicvita’s Macro Calculator which will accurately calculate the quantity of each macro nutrient you need to consume to attain your goal.

    Set Up Your Training Routine

    Strength Training: Body recomposition will only happen with a rigorous resistance training program. You need to follow a weight training program where you majorly focus on compound exercises and hit each muscle group 2-3 times every week. You need to aim for total training volumes of 12-20+ sets per muscle group every week.

    Talking about the rep range, it's best to stay in the hypertrophy range of 8-12 reps for most exercises. Whereas for major compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses, you can follow a strength training program where you do 5*5 training every week and try progressive overload to provide a stimulus to your muscles by giving them a reason to grow even on a deficit.

    Cardio: This could be good for your recovery and can help you to improve your tolerance to high volume, high-intensity weight training. So, you need to keep the total volume of cardio from low to moderate to help you improve your gains. The best approach would be to include one or two low-intensity training sessions for 30-60 minutes at a time on rest days from resistance training.


    Sleep is essential to gain muscle and lose fat. It improves your performance, helps your body repair damaged cells, and reduces the risk of any injury. In addition, it enables you to release hormones that help you build muscle and burn fat. In a scientific study, subjects who slept 4 hours burnt half as much total fat and built half as much total muscle as those who slept 8 hours per night. So, it is crucial to get enough sleep if you are serious about improving your body composition. Alternatively, you can read a list of some awesome benefits of having well marked rest days within your workout plan. We have this listed in our blog, Why is Rest As Important As Your Workout?

    The Bottom Line

    Body recomposition requires patience as it is a dreadfully slow process. The idea is to stay around the same weight but look different with gaining more muscle mass and losing fat. You need to focus on your nutrition and training to optimize the results. Establishing good nutrition habits like cooking your meals, portion control, and drinking enough water will help you maintain weight. Throughout the week, alternating between strength and endurance workouts will improve overall performance and make you more functional. If fitness truly is a lifestyle, then Body Recomposition is just that—lifestyle taken more or less seriously depending on how you want to look.


    Tang, M., Leidy, H. J., & Campbell, W. W. (2013). Regional, but not total, body composition changes in overweight and obese adults consuming a higher protein, energy-restricted diet are sex specific. Nutrition Research, 33(8), 629–635.

    Aristizabal, J. C., Freidenreich, D. J., Volk, B. M., Kupchak, B. R., Saenz, C., Maresh, C. M., Kraemer, W. J., & Volek, J. S. (2014). Effect of resistance training on resting metabolic rate and its estimation by a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry metabolic map. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(7), 831–836.

    Helms, E. R., Zinn, C., Rowlands, D. S., & Brown, S. R. (2014). A Systematic Review of Dietary Protein During Caloric Restriction in Resistance Trained Lean Athletes: A Case for Higher Intakes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 24(2), 127–138.

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