Losing Fat and Building Muscle – “Recomping” The Holy Grail of Fitness

Ever shown an interest in fitness? If you have, then chances are you’ve heard the terms “cutting” and “bulking”. Bulking involves eating more to gain muscle. Cutting involves eating less to reduce body fat and show off some lean muscle.

Most people in the fitness world swear by bulking and cutting. But when it comes to recomping, the house becomes divided. Some believe that recomping is pointless. Others are ready to put their name on the line to defend its effectiveness.

The truth is recomping is a great way of building a better physique. The trick is to do it properly and under the right conditions. The aim of this article isn’t to sell you some ridiculous claims. It is simply to introduce recomping to you.

What is Recomping?

Recomping, sometimes known as body recomposition is all about building muscle mass and losing fat at the same time. An example of body recomposition is when an individual’s body type changes from fat to lean, yet they keep or even gain extra muscles.

The concept of building muscle and losing fat simultaneously may seem farfetched, but it is possible and it works. Recomping may even be more efficient than traditional bulking and cutting fitness methods.

3 Factors that Influence Recomping

The success of recomping is mostly unquestioned. However, results vary from one individual to another. The reason for that is that people build muscle and lose fat at different rates. Here are some factors to consider when recomping.

1. Level of Training Experience

Individuals with little to no fitness experience are more successful with recomping. The reason for that is because your body is basically a blank slate at that point. Your body will react more to the weight training and adapt better to it in more pronounced ways.

Additionally, the amount of muscle you can gain, and the rate at which you gain said muscles depends on the total muscle you’ve built up already. If you’ve been building muscles for a year, then you’ll find it twice as hard for any new muscle gain. If you’ve been building for two years, you’ll find it three times hard to gain additional muscle. Therefore, individuals with zero years of muscle building find it easiest to gain new muscle.

2. Body fat Percentage

People with a higher percentage of body fat are more effective at recomping than people who are on the lean side. Body fat is a form of stored energy, their body uses the energy from the stored fat to power the muscle growth process. The higher your body fat, the more muscle you can gain and vice versa.

3. Genetics

The final factor that influences the effectiveness of recomping is genetics. Genetics play an import role in the process of building muscles. Genetics covers a bunch of other factors like insulin sensitivity, testosterone levels, growth hormones, etc. Every one of this affects the effectiveness of recomping on a body.

Individuals who are most successful at recomping are typically weight training beginners with a high body fat percentage.

Getting Started on Recomping

Since recomping is more suitable for people who are skinny fat or overweight, the first step is to get on a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is when you burn more calories than you eat in a day. It is a very effective weight-loss method. Remember to consume adequate amounts of protein as it’ll help with muscle building.

The next step is to get on a proper weight training plan. Consult a fitness instructor to help draw a training plan tailored to you. By sticking to the calorie deficit and the training plan, you should notice yourself losing fat on a week-to-week basis. There should also be some mass gain at the same time. The amount of muscle you can gain is hard to state because it depends on your body fat percentage and your genetics.

Simply focusing on losing the fat and you’ll gain the right amount of muscles your body is able to recomp. The only thing you should worry about is maintaining your training and sticking to the calorie deficit.

Continue with the steps above until your body fat percentage drops to around 12 – 14% for men and 19 – 21% for women. Once you achieve this, you can drop the calorie deficit and concentrate on lean bulking.

Incase this is too much information to remember, you can structure it into two phases; training and non-training days. On your training days, you want a calorie surplus with a large protein diet to help you gain muscle mass. On your non-training days, you want a calorie deficit to help you lose body fat.

Advantages of Recomping

– It is a more effective method of retaining muscle.
– It is easier to handle on a psychological level as you won’t feel like you’re dieting
– It is ideal for people who are worried about losing muscle mass while trying to lower their body fat.

The Cons of Recomping

It requires a lot of patience
There will be days when it’ll feel exhausting and tedious
It is less than ideal for people who want to lose fat fast


Recomping is a brilliant fitness tool for anyone interested in losing fat and building muscle. It barely affects your everyday living as it is not as aggressive as running a total calorie deficit (which often leads to fatigue due to lack of energy).

Recomping requires a lot of patience and paying attention to detail. If you’re not the most patient of individuals then you may want to go for something else like a straight fat loss program.

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