Who is suitable for body recomposition? Body recomposition works for most people that isnew to training however doesn’t work under certain circumferences. In this post, I will go into every detail on which type of person is suitable for body recomposition. Also, I will help you figure out whether body recomposition is for you.
Here we go!
Factors To Determine Who Should Body Recomposition
Basically, body recomposition works with the principles of taking advantage of the newbie gains. Therefore if you are a person with an average physique, while also new to proper weight training, you are probably able to benefit from body recomposition.
To be more specific, these are the three factors that determine whether you should body recomposition or not.
A body recomposition works well with individuals that have an average body fat percentage (Male 13-20%, Female 22-28%).
An adequate amount of body fat actually helps to provide our body with more energy for it to build muscle. The person that falls on both extreme sides (too lean or obese) would find body recomposition less effective on them.
For instance, a person that is obese would be slightly difficult as their body fat would not be optimised to be used. Same case for those who are overly lean. Since their body is in shortage of fat, therefore, it would be less possibly to optimize fat storage for building muscle.
People that have less or no weight training actually found themself gaining strength rapidly in the first few weeks of their training. Even some of them would start noticing some muscle definition at this time.
This is not a miracle. In fact, most of us that had not trained with weights did not have the chance to activate the muscle group and apply enough stimulus to it. Therefore it remained just the same. When we started to train with proper resistance training, it will activate the hyper-responsive effect on the muscle. In the best scenario, those that start training would gain muscle at a rate that is even faster than experience trainers.
That is the terms ‘newbie gain’ comes in place.
Your current weight actually doesn’t impact the successfulness of body recomposition, but it does determine your goal when you decide to jump-start into recomp or go for the other approach (cut or lean bulk).
The reason is simple, since body recomposition will use your current weight as the starting point, you need to be happy with your weight first. As recomp is different from cut or bullk method, there will be less change on your current weight.
If your starting weight is found on the extreme, it is better to start on the opposite rather than recomp.
For those that are underweight, directly going for a lean bulk instead of recomp will be a healthier option for you.
If you found yourself categorized as ‘overweight’, don’t directly jump to a cut directly. You need to consider whether you really have high body fat or just your lean mass that makes up the number.
Fitness Approach Flow Chart
Here is an easy flowchart for you to determine which category you fall in. As every individual is different, there is no one size fits all solution for everyone. We still need to experiment throughout the process and find out which suits you best. However, a vague direction would always be better than aimless.
If you found yourself being asked for your body fat percentage in the flow chart, heads over here for the body fat calculator. https://www.calculator.net/body-fat-calculator.html Remember to prepare your measurement tape!
Once you get your category, continue to the section corresponding to your result.
Body recomposition is for you!
Anyone that found themself under the result that contains the word ‘Recomp’ will be under this category. That means that you possess the condition that makes body recomposition works for you.
As I said, there are many factors that we still need to consider, as well as your nutrition part. Some of them are advised to take in more calories during their recomp, while some of them actually don’t need an extra amount of calories. Therefore, I had divided all of you into 3 sub-categories. You can look at which applies most according to your condition.
Sub-category A (Eat on Maintenance Calories)
- An individual that is within an acceptable weight with an average physique; has little to no weight training experience.
These types of individuals could start off recomp without making much alterations to their current calorie intake (means you stay at your maintenance calories). The thing you need to change is to start improving your macro nutrition distribution with more protein.
With proper training, you would soon notice an improvement in your body such as a more toned physique and a decrease in body fat. The good thing is you won’t need to worry about high fluctuation in your weight as long as you keep consistent with your training and diet.
Once you had built quite an amount of muscle tissue within the comp period, it is much easier for you to lose that extra weight you want as your metabolism is increased.
Sub-category B (Mini surplus)
- For those who are considered lean, but still above underweight.
Most of these types of people might claim themself as ‘skinny fat’. Chances are you look quite fit when clothes are on, but just that extra fat that is hidden under your shirt makes you struggle to lose it.
In this case, you are not recommended to focus on losing weight. One of the reasons that might be keeping you skinny fat is that you have less amount of muscle. The lack of muscle definition often results in low metabolism therefore it is counterproductive in order for you to burn more fat.
The good news is, skinny fat person benefits most from body recomp. It is because as you are naturally lean but just with some substantial fat, adding in a surplus of calories actually won’t makes you gain fat.In order to let your muscle grow, besides training, you need to add in a mini surplus on your maintenance(150-200 kcal/day). These extra calories won’t add a huge amount of body fat to you, but also effectively help you build up muscle when you start training.
Sub-category C (Calorie Cycling)
- Individual that think they are but actually their body fat percentage stills under acceptable category
As our bodyweight factors by both fat mass and lean mass, we can suspect that those number that add up on the scale is actually your lean mass. Chances are it’s might be also your bone density, genetics or you naturally have a greater lean body mass that makes you heavier than others (which is actually a good thing).
As the main reason resulting in your weight isn’t about the body fat that you have. Our strategy here is to start building some muscle mass at the same time implement carb cycling between training and non-training day.This could help you lose some fat gradually while at the same time maximizing your training performance during the training day.
Anyway, the overall calories and macro nutrition is still important factor for a better body composition. Therefore, you need to be more careful about food choices, eat better not lesser. If you could, start tracking your food and making changes to your macros distribution.
Individuals that should try other approaches.
And what to do instead..
A person that is underweight is advised directly to go for bulk. With proper training and sufficient nutrition, your body would start functioning more efficient than before and grow an amount of muscle, that would eventually help you burn more fat.
Though you still consider yourself as skinny fat, chances are you probably undereat (most people claimed they eat a lot, in fact, they didn’t). You will be surprised by how much actually you need to eat in order to optimize your body to function fully.
As you already have a lean physique, bulking won’t make much impact on you instead you could enjoy the benefits of bulking without worrying about much fluctuation in your body fat. Aside from aesthetics, bulking could help you improve bone density and you would notice an increase in energy level.
Also, it’s a great chance for you to get rid of the ‘underweight’ label if you want.
For those who have a dieting history
Some of you might just come across dieting history before (within 6 months from now). If this is your case before you jump into bulking you need to start off by reverse dieting. This is due to our body tends to store fat as much as possible after experiencing severe energy deficiency, causing it to switch into ‘starvation mode’. This might result in fast weight gain if you dramatically increase your calories too much at a time.
This option is for those who clearly overweight. If you are under this category, don’t be upset. Every fitness level has it’s own solution, there is no end point as long as you start looking for change.
The first thing you do before focusing on getting toned is to cut. The good news is that you won’t lose as much muscle mass as others at the beginning of your cutting phase. But you still need to do some resistance training with a mixture of cardio. The aim here is to lose fat, while some resistance training would avoid muscle loss as possible in the process.
For food intake, gradually decreasing your calories would make a more steady and less harmful effect. Most people would always go for the extreme, therefore I preach for the importance of cutting gradually for everyone that needs to do this.
Don’t be rush, you will soon get to that point.
When you are already at relatively lower body fat, start to swift from cutting to recomp. And you are good to go.
You probably already have a certain level of achievement in weight training. The reason that leads you interested in body recomposition is that you might think you still do not look ‘shredded’ and wish to benefit from recomp.
Unfortunately, recomp might not work as effectively for those trained individuals. As I said, the principle of body recomp is when we optimize ‘newbie gain’. For an individual that already possess some training background, that would be less possible.
The good news is, to lose fat is much easier for you because you probably have a higher metabolism as your starting point. You can just start where you currently are but with more observation and attention to detail.
Here is the two things you can look into:
Reevaluate the effectiveness of your current training program. Do you stay at the same program and with the same intensity over weeks or even months? Sometimes it’s just because your body had adapted to the intensity. If this is the case, the best fix is to apply progressive overload to your training.
Start to pay attention on your nutrition, you might never think of it at all. It is possible for an individual that had trained for years but didn’t care about nutrition. Therefore, your nutrition ended up to be a pitfall that makes your body store extra fat.
It is not a necessity for you to decrease your daily calorie intake for a lot. You could just make some small changes to your diet by swapping to some healthier options. If you interested in macro dieting, IIFYM macro calculator is also a good way to start.
That is all for my post about ‘who should recomp’ in the body recomposition series. The next post would be a big thing, it’s about ‘HOW’. It’s all about the practical steps you could do to start your body recomposition journey.