Gain Mass Reduce Body Fat


Hello I'm a 5'11" 85 kilogram guy who has maybe in the 12-16% body fat range. I'm trying to gain some mass, then reduce body fat.

First of all, thank you for such an amazing, informative website! I have lots of questions though, sorry for taking up your time. I am currently trying to build mass.

I know that maximizing weight training volume is essential, but if I am resting for a minute (at most) between sets, then I am unable to lift nearly as much weight, and my volume goes down as compared to waiting 3-4 minutes between sets.

Why shouldn't I rest so long between sets? (Actually, in my case, I do a small circuit, so I'm training other muscles while the first ones are resting, but it still takes around 3-5 minutes to do a full circuit).

Another question I have is this: Why does doing a smaller number of reps increase strength, while doing a higher number of reps can increase bulk, help with weight loss, etc?

If I am upping the weights each week to just meet my target, why wouldn't my gains in strength be equal, regardless of the amount of reps I'm aiming for?

Lastly, in one of your responses to another person's emai, you showed why trainers don't pay much attention to scale weight, and you showed a client who gained muscle and lost fat over a 4 month period.

I thought I also read that gaining muscle and losing weight didn't normally occur at the same time, you work on one, then you work on the other. How was this client so lucky?

I think that's about it. Thanks for taking the time to look at my questions, and thanks for creating such an informative site.


Answered By:
Jason Spencer, CSCS

Jason Spencer Online Personal Training

Jason Spencer CSCS

Jason Spencer ACSM Certification

Jason Spencer BS degree

To answer your first question, yes you do need to generally rest at least a couple minutes between sets when your working at the intensity necessary to build muscle.

Since it requires heavier weights and much more strain on your muscles than toning or maintenance, more recovery time is appropriate. Now, the fact that you are doing circuits may or may not be inhibiting your results in this regard. Circuits are not necessarily good for bulking routines...

Secondly, the reason why certain rep ranges and weights dictate particular fitness results is because of their differing intensities placed on your muscles.

So increasing your weights so quickly like you're doing is ineffective towards your muscle building goal for two reasons. One is that higher reps means you're using lighter weights and aren't providing an intense enough stimulus.

Two is that changing reps often like that before it's time never allows your muscles to sense a consistent intensity for any sufficient period of time.

Lastly, the reason why trainers don't get hung up on scale readings of weight is because when someone is strength training, the muscle tone or size they achieve offsets whatever fat weight they lose due to the fact that muscle is so much denser than fat.

So relying on the scale tends to be misleading and confusing to some clients when they see little or no actual weight loss and think they aren't losing fat when they really are.

But that is not saying that you can't lose fat and build muscle at the same time. You can... You just have to understand that the actual number on the scale may not go down as fast as expected because of the muscle weight being put on.

I hope this points you in the right direction. Seems like you can definitely benefit from more consistent organization with your routine and features I mentioned.

A little programming would serve you greatly. Please feel free to check out my bio if you want to learn more about me, and best of luck reaching your goals.

Also read to learn more about all that we can offer you in regards to further guidance with your goals. We hope to be able to assist you more thoroughly!

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