3

I am a 5'6" 31M and I weigh 165 lbs. My fitness trainer put me on a muscle building program even though I have 38 inch waist line. The Evolt machine said I have 30% body fat and I read that for such people, the best bet is to focus on cutting first while keeping protein intake high and lifting heavy 3-4 times per week. Muscle building requires going on a bulk and I am not sure if at 30% BF I should be doing that.

I told my trainer this and he told me that when I put on muscle, my metabolic rate will increase and it will raise my caloric expenditure even when I am not actively training. Hence, he said muscle building is a suitable option for me in my current state.

Is his claim correct? Please let me know what you think.

4
  • Does the muscle building program include a diet plan or is it just training?
    – DeeV
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 23:23
  • @DeeV They told me how many grams of protein, carbs and fats I should eat. They also listed supplements. Is this what you mean by diet plan? On top of that, they train me 2 days a week for an hour each.
    – a_sid
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 1:48
  • Yes, macronutrient prescriptions (grams of protein, carbs, and fat) are a diet plan. Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 3:31
  • @DavidScarlett ok
    – a_sid
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 4:20

1 Answer 1

6

muscle building program

Training programs for building muscle are the same regardless of whether or not you are cutting. Cutting training may need to deal with recovery a bit more, but overall the basic principles are the same.

Muscle building requires going on a bulk

Not necessarily. Muscle building requires stimulus, energy and protein. Eating in a caloric surplus makes it easier to get the last two. Being overweight can ensure the energy part.

There are four types of people who can gain muscle while eating on a deficit:

  1. Those who are new to lifting.
  2. Those who are overweight.
  3. Those who are on PEDs.
  4. Those who are some combination of 1-3.

The body scan machine said I have 30% body fat and I read that for such people, the best bet is to focus on cutting first

I would agree with this statement. However there are other things to consider like how easy it is to adhere to the plan. Maintenance and slight deficits are easier to follow. Especially if you're building and learning new habits like calorie/macro counting and training.

he told me that when I put on muscle, my metabolic rate will increase and it will raise my caloric expenditure even when I am not actively training

That's technically true, but it's not very much. It's about on average 10 calories per LB or 5 calories per KG. So let's say you had a great year and managed to add a whopping 20 lbs (10KG) of lean muscle, your TDEE would have increased 200 calories a day.

Hence, he said muscle building is a suitable option for me in my current state.

I believe this statement is true. Not just for weight loss, but for overall health, lifestyle, and longevity.


I personally in that position would start at a maintenance plan or maybe even slightly under (around 250 calories).

Although I can't speak for your trainer. That may be what (s)he has planned but is starting with a starting point just to test and assess how your body reacts. Hopefully, they will adjust accordingly to meet your goals.

17
  • Thank you for the elaborate response. Not necessarily. Muscle building requires stimulus, energy and protein. The Evolt machine I was measured on stated that for muscle gain, I should eat around 200 g of protein. It seems to indicate I should be in a caloric surplus. My concern is that I am already overweight and eating in a surplus will add more fat to my body. I don't think I can afford that at 30% body fat, no?
    – a_sid
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 3:25
  • It's worth noting that assuming you're a man and not asian, you're considered to be at increased risk (of excess adiposity related diseases) if your waist circumference is above 37", and at greatly increased risk if it's above 40". So at 38", you're only just into the potential problem zone, and certainly not dangerously overweight. I disagree with the trainer's strategy and would be much more inclined to start without a deliberate dietary intervention and see how your body changes first, but I wouldn't regard a slight caloric surplus as grossly negligent advice. Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 3:35
  • @DavidScarlett I am a man and of Indian (South Asian) ethnicity
    – a_sid
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 4:19
  • @a_sid Ah, in that case the recommendation is to keep your waist circumference below 35.4 inches, so losing weight would probably be a good idea, but you may actually find that with your strength training, your waist circumference goes down even if you're losing weight! Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 5:25
  • 1
    @a_sid 200g of protein is grossly excessive for someone of your size. 120g would be more than sufficient.
    – Thomas Markov
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 7:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.