Should I lose fat or build muscle first?

Jason - Should I lose fat or build muscle first?

This is a question that I have heard many times in my 20 years experience in health and fitness. And it's definitely not going to be the last any time soon! A quick Google search for the answer makes it even more confusing even to myself. The answer you will get is to lose fat first, however this makes very little sense to anyone who is in the know! I have even heard on occasion that losing fat and building muscles can't be done at the
same time.

This is of course absolutely false, you can lose fat and build muscle at the same time, in fact I strongly recommend it. The more muscle your body has in terms of its power output, i.e how much power can your muscles produce will inevitably use more energy than weaker muscle with less capabilities to produce power. Being active all day requires muscle that doesn't fatigue quickly, and being active all day will require more energy. So how does this affect the outcome of the question of fat V muscle first?

Powerful muscle that can be effective for longer uses more energy, and what is fat used for in the body? Energy! Food is our energy, excess intake of energy results in excess body fat. Now at this point a calorie deficit must be touched upon, if you are below your energy requirements/ food intake for the day you will burn off your reserve energy supply, body fat! So a calorie deficit is as always required when losing body fat.

So powerful muscles that you use all day will burn off more fat so logically more muscle will use more energy. So if you begin immediately following a resistance training program that will result in hypertrophy/muscle growth you will gain more muscle which will in turn use your body fat as an energy source, with the right nutritional guidance body fat will begin to be removed from your body instantaneously.

I hope you found this helpful and if you want to understand more about building muscle and losing body fat try my online coaching program which covers resistance training, cardio including anaerobic and aerobic cardio with tailor made nutrition plans. Get in contact and book your free consultation today - I would love to hear from you!


Running Coach & Personal Trainer: Jason Cafferkey

He works with both private clients and teams of athletes. Jason has 20 years experience coaching and is qualified as a: Level 3 Personal Trainer, AFN certified Diet Specialist & NSA Fitness Diploma. When not with clients, you can find him at the track improving his 800M time.