Friend or Foe? | The Fitness Show

"Do we have to choose between fat loss and muscle gain?"

Most fitness journey start with the goals of losing fat, gaining muscle and getting lean, but can they all happen at once? This question was raised recently, so Coach Ed and Coach Mike set out to answer it! 

After that, we review an exercise you've been doing since you were in diapers, crawling! 

The Take-Away

Q: “Do we have to choose between muscle gain and fat loss?”

A: The answer is, in the short term, no, but in the long term, yes. Both can't maximize at the same time. 

In short bursts, it is possible to do both at the same time. New stimuli, like beginning an exercise program or introducing new loads or training styles into their program, may lead to a short window where muscle increase and fat decreases.

What people expect to happen is that this will go on forever.

That’s just not how it works. Fat loss and muscle gain are part of the same family tree. The trunk of that tree is nutrition. 

Start By:

Following our prerequisite habits of eating slowly, stopping at 80% full and then eating every 2 to 4 hours. 


For fat loss, we need to make sure we’re eating frequently, stopping at 80% full and managing carbohydrates. Following Precision Nutrition’s “perfect plate” a typical meal should contain protein, vegetables and a healthy fat. Meals after a workout should be lower in fat and include a starch or other source of carbs like a higher carb fruit.

For muscle gain, we’re going to follow the same path as fat loss, just eat a lot more! Our first recommendation for people who ACTUALLY want to build muscle is to focus on post workout nutrition. Having a post workout shake, followed soon after by a post workout meal, a.k.a. a meal with starch, is a good starting point for getting enough calories to fuel muscle gain.

We’d also recommend adding a second or third starch meal to your diet. Having starch with breakfast and in your shake would be easy places to weave in the extra fuel you need. Now that you have general guidelines on fat loss and muscle gain, let’s talk training.




Fat loss and muscle gain happen in phases. Look at your calendar and plan a time you can devote 6 weeks to nailing down your nutrition and limiting carbs to after your workouts. During this time, maintain your fitness regiment. After this 6 week block, plan an 8 to 12 week block dedicated to resistance training.

Focus on learning new skills, changing implements or just lifting heavier things. The body responds to new stimuli. By taking the muscle gain recommendations from earlier, then adding new training techniques, you’re on your way to building muscle mass, which will come in handy during your next fat loss cycle.

Note: This is a VERY SIMPLIFIED VERSION of these concepts. General health, hormones, sleep, hydration and stress all play a factor in our ability to lose fat or gain muscle.


Segment 2: Crawling

At Results Driven we’re all about the fundamentals. Whether it’s nailing the set up, talking about breathing or perfecting the “basic” lifts, we believe in the power of going slow and respecting the process.

Crawling can be used to gain stability and strength at the shoulders, hips and everything in-between. It seems easy, but it’s interesting seeing grown adults struggle to do it well.

Level 1

Start on your hands and knees, taking small, controlled steps and breathing smoothly.

Once you can control the hands and knees crawl, we can progress to hands and feet. The goal is to continue to maintain the smoothness in both breath and step. In the beginning the steps may feel clunky, but over time work towards getting smoother. 

In a perfect world, we’d like to see your hips and shoulders stay on same-ish level, maintaining that smooth breath and step. Over time, the length of the steps can increase, as long as you maintain the integrity of the movement. Move backwards, forwards and side to side when you’re feeling fancy.


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We're strange, are you?!

Mike TooleComment