build lean mass

The way most people go about trying to lose fat is insane. Like, literally. Insanity, by definition, is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Countless people use the same strategies that helped them lose the first five pounds of fat to lose the last five. Week after week. Year after year. It’s insanity. And it’s not working.

So, how do you fix it? Adopt a different strategy—a new strategy. Build lean mass.

If you want to lose more fat, you need to build lean mass.

And I’m about to show you exactly why adding muscle to your frame will help you shed those last few pounds of stubborn body fat. Plus, I’m going to give you everything you need to make it happen—pack on pounds of lean mass without gaining fat in the process.

But be forewarned, this is going to be different. To some, it may even seem counterintuitive. But that’s exactly what you need to break the insanity cycle of fat loss.

To get different results, you need a different strategy. This is that strategy.

Why Programs—Even Great Programs—Won’t Get Results Forever

Just about everybody that’s ever tried to lose fat is familiar with the dreaded plateau. You’re cruising along, getting great results, looking better, feeling amazing, and loving every second of it. And then it hits.

Out of nowhere, your results come screeching to a halt. (It’s the worst, right?)

The plan was working, but then it stopped. Suddenly. Don’t worry, though, it’s perfectly normal. In fact, it’s expected. Here’s why:

Fitness programs help your body change, or adapt—be that losing fat, building strength, or gaining muscle. The outward manifestation of this adaptation is your progress. For example, a fat loss program stimulates the burning of energy stored in the form of body fat. The result? You whittle away at your waistline. Huzzah.

If your program’s working, your body will adapt to the stimulus and your results will eventually level off.

That’s the plateau.

Follow any program long enough and your body will reach a new equilibrium. In other words, you’ll hit the plateau. It’s a sign that your program has run its course and you got the results. Well done.

At this point, the same program won’t keep working.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize this. Instead of changing the program to spark new progress, they double down on the same plan. But the body already adapted. It’s done. And doing the same thing won’t get different results.

Losing the First Five Pounds Isn’t Like Losing the Last Five

The driving principles of fat loss are pretty straightforward. In its simplest form, fat loss comes down to maintaining a caloric deficit—consuming fewer calories than you burn. Do that and you’ll lose fat. But it isn’t linear.

Dropping the first five pounds of fat is relatively simple compared to peeling away the last five.

At first, it almost feels like the fat falls right off. Simple changes like drinking more water and eating your veggies make a big difference.

But those last few pounds are pesky. They’re stubborn. And they seem stuck on your trouble spots.

Even though the results are the same on paper—losing five pounds—they’re very different.

Like we’ve already talked about, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity. Similarly, expecting the same plan that dropped the first five pounds to shed the last five is also insane. They’re different results.

To lose more fat, you need a new plan. You need a different plan. You need to build lean mass.

Build Lean Mass to Lose More Fat

Body composition has two main components—lean mass and fat mass. Often, these are measured by testing body fat percentage. Let’s say Tom weighs 175 pounds with 20% body fat. Simple math shows us his body composition is as follows:

– Lean mass: 140 pounds
– Fat mass: 35 pounds

If Tom’s trying to lose fat, traditional wisdom suggests he should use proper training and nutrition to shave down on those 35 pounds of body fat. Assuming everything is in order, he’s crushing his workouts, and nailing his caloric deficit, that’ll work. Until he hits a plateau and it doesn’t anymore.

Lucky for our friend Tom, there’s another way to shed fat.

Best part? It’s a new strategy and that means it’ll lead to new results. It’s simple. It’s effective. And it’s slightly counterintuitive. Instead of trying to melt away the 35 pounds of body fat, Tom can add to the 140 pounds of lean mass.

In other words, he can build lean mass to lose more fat. Here’s how it works:

Two Ways Lean Mass Leads to Less Fat

1. Burning More Calories (Even at Rest)

Like we’ve covered, the key to fat loss is burning more calories that you consume. This caloric deficit, over time, will inevitably lead to results. You’ll lose fat.

When it comes to reaching and maintaining a deficit, there are only a few ways to do it. Eating less and moving more are the two most popular tactics. And they’re great. They’re simple, they work—all that jazz. But there’s another.

Instead of logging hours on the treadmill and ditching the bagel to lose fat, you could build lean mass.

Each day, your body burns calories. Your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is the sum total of calories burned in a single day. Science shows that about 70% of these calories come from your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), about 20% from physical activity, and about 10% from the thermic effect of food (TEF).

Your BMR is the number of calories you burn simply being alive. It’s the energy needed to perform vital function, even if you’re at rest. That means when you’re laying in bed binging on Netflix, your BMR is burning calories—about 70% of your TDEE.

Physical activity takes movement into account. Everything from scrolling through memes on your phone to crushing a workout at the gym contributes to the energy expenditure from physical activity—about 20% of your TDEE.

Lastly, TEF is the number of calories needed to break down the food you eat. Yes, eating food burns calories. But it’s only about 10% of your TDEE.

As far as daily calorie burn is concerned, BMR is the big player. And the simplest way to increase it is building muscle.

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. The more muscle you have, the more energy you need to support vital function (BMR goes up). The more energy you need, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the more fat you’ll be able to lose.

Put simply, building lean mass allows you to you burn more calories. Every. Single. Day. Even at rest.

2. Decreased Body Fat Percentage

Along with increasing the number calories you burn each day, adding muscle to your frame literally makes you leaner.

build lean mass

Because body composition is measured as a percentage, it will improve (read: you will get leaner) as you gain lean mass. Even if you haven’t lost an ounce of fat, you have proportionally less fat and your body fat percentage goes down.

Allow me to illustrate.

Remember our friend Tom? Well, let’s say he started a sweet workout program and packed on 10 pounds of lean mass. Well done, Tom. All other things remaining equal, here are his new numbers:

– Weight: 185
– Body fat: 18.9%
– Lean Mass: 150
– Fat Mass: 35

Tom didn’t lose any fat in this example, but his body fat percentage dropped. Significantly. His physique is leaner and he’s got the metabolic benefit that comes with 10 extra pounds of muscle. How? He decided to build lean mass.

It’s your turn.

How to Build Lean Mass That’ll Reignite Your Fat Loss

The Training to Build Lean Mass

People don’t gain muscle by accident. Nobody’s woken up to find that they’ve suddenly got 19-inch arms. Gaining mass, especially lean mass, is a process. It takes time, effort, and consistency. But it’s worth every ounce—of both effort and muscle.

According to the research, there are three main pillars of hypertrophy (muscle growth)—mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress. I’ll translate: Mechanical tension is maximized with heavy loads. Muscle damage comes, in large part, from time under tension. And for metabolic stress, you want to chase the pump and feel the burn.

To optimize growth and build lean mass you need all three.

Here are two plans that effectively leverage science-backed strategies so that you can build lean mass:

Melt Fat, Make Muscle

I created this 28-day program to help people not only build lean mass, but also lose fat—at the same time.

Melt Fat, Make Muscle combines strategies of both fat loss and hypertrophy into one program.

You’ll lose fat. You’ll gain muscle. And you’ll get leaner. Best part? I’m giving it away.

>>> Snag Your Copy of Melt Fat, Make Muscle <<<

Freak Muscle

This is the very program I’ve been following lately. Since starting, I’ve gained about six pounds of lean mass, added over an inch to my arms, and almost three inches to my chest. If you want to build lean mass, Freak Muscle will make it happen.

It’s 12 weeks of elite-level fitness programming from two of the best coaches I know—the Sons of Strength—for $37. (They literally train some of The Avengers.)

Less than $40 to add slabs of muscle to your frame? Worth. Every. Penny.

>>> Uncover Your Freak Muscle <<<

The Nutrition to Build Lean Mass

Training is great. It’s an important piece to the puzzle. But it’s just that—a piece. Alone, it’s incomplete. A well-designed workout program will stimulate muscle growth. But you also need to eat in a way that will fuel the stimulated growth. Ideally, without gaining unwanted body fat.

There’s a problem, though.

Most people have been stuck in the insanity cycle of fat loss for a long time. They’ve been doing everything they can to lose fat—cutting carbs, dieting down, juice cleanses, fad diets, and crushing it in the gym. That’s great.

But it can also lead to negative metabolic adaptation. That’s not so great.

When the body adapts to a major caloric deficit and you hit the plateau, your metabolism has down-regulated to meet your new equilibrium. In other words, your metabolic rate is slower at the end of a long diet than it was when you started.

If you go back to eating normally, you’ll gain fat. If you suddenly try to eat enough calories to build muscle, you’ll gain even more fat and erase your hard-earned progress.

But you’ve hit the plateau. You need to change your program. And you should build lean mass so that you can burn more fat.

Enter Reverse Dieting

During a reverse diet, you slowly and strategically eat more calories in a way that allows you to build lean mass without gaining fat. By combining the right eating—a reverse diet—with proper programming, you’ll be able to build lean mass and, in turn, lose more fat.

Luckily, I’ve already written all about reverse diets—what they are, how they get results, the scientific rebuttals, and why they work in spite of those counterarguments.

Here’s everything you need to know about reverse dieting.