Ask The Trainer #105 – Lose Fat or Build Muscle?


My biggest question right now is should I focus on fat loss or building muscle??? I still need to lose some fat, so I am nervous to focus on building muscle and as such increase my caloric intake because I do not want to gain any more fat/weight. I’m 5’9” and weight about 176 pounds with approx 14% body fat. I have seen some real changes in my body over the last 8 months, but my arms, chest, and stomach, when not flexed, are soft. So should I focus on fat loss or should build muscle and hope that as I get bigger, some of this fat and softness will go away??? I’m so confused. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU!!



It seems to be a very common phobia for guys to think they will lose lots of muscle if they reduce their caloric intake to cut body fat. The truth is you actually CAN accomplish both goals simultaneously.

In fact, when you’re trying to lean out, you should actually focus more on building muscle than fat loss. This is because when people increase their lean body mass, they normally experience a reduction in body fat. This happens because an increase in lean mass will mean an increased basal metabolic rate.

A common mistake I see many people make when cutting calories is they also reduce their training intensity by lifting lighter weights and performing higher reps when they train.

This is a mistake because it can lead to a reduction in muscle mass. Believe it or not, your body does not want any extra muscle. Extra muscle just means additional tissue the internal organs will have to work harder to sustain. Therefore, your body will not retain any extra muscle tissue unless you give it a reason to.

When you subject your body to higher intensity lifting programs and use heavier weights, the stress will threaten your physiology properly. The result is your body will be more likely to retain additional muscle tissue to protect itself from the added stress it’s being subjected to.

As for diet, I feel most people should reduce their daily calorie intake by at least 500 calories per day. This will sufficiently starve fat cells for some significant fat-loss, yet still allow enough calories for muscle growth to occur. (If you are not losing fat adequately, drop calories by an additional 250.)

When it comes to retaining and building muscle while you lean out, there are a number of supplements that will greatly support your efforts. By maintaining an anabolic environment within your body, you will not only build muscle more efficiently, but you will also lose fat more rapidly.

An awesome stack that I think would really help out would be the following products:

Test Charge:

Test Charge is taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and then again right before bed. This product will enhance your natural testosterone levels to help boost your level of strength, intensity, and stamina in the gym. The gains that you make on this product will be very solid with no water bloat or anything like that.

Training Ground BCAA:

While many companies offer BCAA products, the one made by EFX Sports contains Training Ground BCAA. The patent-pending technology behind it makes it fully stable in solution and highly water soluble. For athletes who demand the very best, it’s the obvious choice. You can take multiple servings per day for maximum results. It mixes extremely well and tastes amazing.


I would take 2 GlutaZorb caps just before training and then 2 more caps at bed-time. That will help enhance natural growth hormone production during training and also during your sleep cycle.

If you have any questions about any of these products, feel free to ask me. I will do my best to answer any other questions you may have.

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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