Can I Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time?

Today's question i: can I build muscle and lose fat at the same time? That's a question that I get quite a lot, and the truth is, absolutely, you can. A lot of people are more familiar, if they have some sort of fitness background, with a more traditional, bodybuilding style of fitness. Where you're bulking by eating a lot of protein and lifting heavy weights in low repetitions, or building cardiovascular capacity and/ or losing body fat by doing lighter weights in higher repetitions. And that's pretty common, that does work, absolutely. But the nice thing about CrossFit is that, again, we do a lot of constant variations of what we're doing.

We're lifting heavy sometimes, we are running sometimes, going for long distance runs (usually we're doing high intensity interval training so that we're spiking that heart rate and then dropping it down), and it's a much more efficient way of working out. But the combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardiovascular (what we call monostructural or monomodal movements), areisgoing to get you strong, it’s going to give you more cardiovascular capacity, and also build on other general physical skills; balance, coordination, agility, et cetera.

So you do absolutely build muscle. You get hypertrophy. Muscular hypertrophy simply means building stronger, bigger muscles. Your muscle fibers grow in size. At the same time, you do burn fat, you burn off excess body fat, and your body actually uses it for fuel, and we do that simultaneously.

Now of course this does happen on a little slower pace. You don't build as much muscle with CrossFit as you do with just bodybuilding, bulking, and you don't burn as much fat as you do with just a cutting cycle. Those are pretty extreme methods, but the fact of the matter is that, when we are doing CrossFit and we're training in this way, we're preparing ourselves to be ready for all physical tasks at all times. So it's not just, “oh, I'm really strong right now, but I don't have any cardiovascular capacity because that's not the season I'm in.” There's no such thing as seasons in a functional fitness world.

We want to be ready for anything at any time. We want you to be strong at the same time that you have cardiovascular capacity. We want you to be lean so that you can move your body weight (if you weigh less you have a higher strength to body weight ratio). We have to have all of those things at the same time. That's what we want, that's what we're training for. And so yes, absolutely, you can build muscle and lose body fat at the same time with CrossFit.

But of course the proof is in the pudding. Come into Sequoia CrossFit, try a class. Your first class is always free, but in order to get, really, the best service out of us, is to come in for a No Sweat Intro. You'll spend about 15 minutes talking with one of our coaches about your personal goals and how CrossFit, and how Sequoia CrossFit specifically, can help you meet and exceed those goals.

We'd love to have you come in any time, so click on this link, visit us, check it out sometime soon!

Matt Andrus