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Strength Training | Training Tips

Lose Fat, Gain Muscle—Tips to Help Your Clients Get Fit

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Lose Fat, Gain Muscle—Tips to Help Your Clients Get Fit

Reading Time: 4 minutes 18 seconds

As a personal trainer, it is your job to help clients accomplish their fitness goals. Many clients are interested in using fitness and nutrition programs to create changes in body composition, or body recomposition. Body recomp includes but is not limited to building muscle mass and losing fat.

Resistance training, strength training, and diet all play a vital role in this process. Read on to learn how to efficiently lose fat and gain muscle all at the same time.

What Type of Training Should I Do?

Strength training and resistance training are the two main types of weight training that will help build lean muscle mass. Muscle growth is caused by constant muscle breakdown and repair. Lifting heavy weights resulting in many metabolic processes leads to increased muscle mass. This is because muscle fibers tear and the body responds to repair damaged muscle tissue. 

Protein synthesis is one of the processes where cells make proteins to support muscle growth. The more strength training you complete, the more lean body mass you build. As skeletal muscle mass increases, you will notice a decrease in body fat percentage.

Body weight can decrease, but the increase in muscle mass may cause the total body weight to remain the same. In this case, there is still an improvement in body composition. More muscle can mean more body weight. But gaining muscle also increases your metabolic rate, which means you will burn more calories at rest. 

That is why it is often said that the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. Muscle doesn't directly burn fat, but it helps burn enough calories to help with the fat loss process. Cardio is a great tool that helps burn more calories. This is in addition to other nutrition techniques. 

Body recomposition is an approach to weight loss without losing muscle mass. This is the most efficient form of weight loss, which is why the number on the scale does not tell us much.

What Should My Nutrition Plan Look Like? 

For fat loss to occur, you must eat in a calorie deficit. When you pair the proper training program with a detailed diet, you will get results. To build muscle you must ensure that you train hard and replenish nutrients lost during exercise. It is important to monitor calorie intake, especially if you are looking to achieve weight loss. 

There are many supplements and nutrition tactics to use. Calorie cycling and supplementing with whey protein are two popular tactics. But really the most important thing is remaining in a calorie deficit and consuming nutritious foods. Consuming fewer calories to lose fat can be detrimental if not done properly. 

To avoid muscle loss during this process do not cut out healthy fats or limit protein intake whatsoever. Fats do not make you fat. You need to be in an overall calorie deficit to lose weight, but maintain a high protein intake to preserve muscle.

It works the other way too. If you want to gain weight you need to be in a calorie surplus. And if you want to maintain your weight, you need to find your total maintenance calories. Consuming the same amount of energy you expend each day will keep your body weight the same.

The last thing you want is to be “skinny fat.” This happens when you eat fewer calories to lose body fat, but don’t increase your protein intake and workout. This creates an unhealthy body environment. You experience both fat loss and muscle loss. Leading to a decrease in total body weight, which is often not healthy.

Focus on consuming enough calories to replace and replenish what you lose during exercise. This, paired with a high protein diet, will ensure an effective body recomp.

Here are 3 other science-backed methods for losing fat. 

In addition, cut out processed foods and unhealthy carbohydrates. Sugary carbs and processed foods like packaged or frozen foods contribute to storing fat in the body. Replace foods like these with complex carbohydrates and high fiber foods. These include vegetables, beans, fruits, and potatoes. 

The Power of Strength Training and Diet

Fat loss comes down to energy expenditure, consumption, protein intake, and training. Remain in a 200-calorie deficit, train intensely, and consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to lose fat and gain muscle.

Fewer calories, more protein, and strength training create body recomposition. Your diet should include lean meats, vegetables, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Create a nutrition plan for consistent results.

Calorie Requirement

Need to know how to determine your client’s personal calorie requirement? First, find their basal metabolic rate and then factor in their gender, height, age, and activity level. There are different formulas that can help you estimate individual requirements. 

If a client’s basal metabolic rate is 2,500, then they burn 2,500 calories each day through minimal activity. This is simply what they need to consume to survive each day.

Next, factor in activity level. If they burn 500 calories each day for a workout, that would result in a total of 3,000 calories burned per day. To place yourself or a client in a deficit, start off slow and low. Increase the total calories burned by no more than 200-300 calories depending on the client.

If you increase it too much from the start, they will lose too much body weight. This will include muscle and fat. Remember to consume a high amount of protein and don’t cut too many calories at first to preserve muscle mass.

Exercise Intensity

To accelerate the calorie burn, you can increase the intensity of training. You don’t need to just decrease the calories you consume to be in a deficit. To gain muscle mass, the body needs heavy weights to cause muscle fiber damage and then muscle growth. The heavier the weight used, the higher the intensity.

Your workouts should include compound lifts like deadlifts, squats, and presses to allow the body to undergo enough stress. This type of strength training stimulates fast twitch or type II muscle fibers. These large muscle fibers produce great amounts of force leading to greater overall gains.


Losing weight effectively comes down to increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat. Avoid muscle loss by implementing all the factors discussed. Become an ISSA Bodybuilding Specialist today and help transform clients bodies. Master the techniques important for body recomposition and begin changing lives.

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