Can I get strong and lean at the same time? -
Strength & Conditioning
Weight Loss

Can I get strong and lean at the same time?

2 Answers

Dr. Jessica Klain PT, DPT
Healthcare on your terms! Personalized health & wellness services to live your healthiest life. Specialties: headache, concussion, joint & spine pain, vestibular & balance, and running ailments

Absolutely! In simple terms, strength requires strength training and getting lean is a product of diet. Strength training can include body weight, yoga, TRX, exercise bands, and/or weight lifting. A diet that promotes leanness is mostly about food nutrient density.

Getting strong and lean while supporting your nutrition and energy needs looks different for everyone. Then combine this with your lifestyle and what your purpose of getting stronger/leaner and then it gets even more variable! I'm happy to consult to give you more individualized advice!

Sara Callahan
Many of us are pressured to believe we'll have to cut out our favorite foods or starve ourselves to get the body we want. I support people to get the body they want by eating the food they love.

While you may not make progress quite as quickly as you could if you focused on each piece independently, it is possible to make strength gains and become leaner at the same time!

Aside from being sure that you're doing appropriate strength and resistance training, there are two key pieces here!

1. Make sure you're eating enough protein to support strength gains. Aim to eat between 0.7 - 1.1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you'd aim to consume 105-165g protein per day.

2. To support leaning out, you'll want to make sure that you're eating in a caloric deficit. This is harder to have exact math around, but you can start by taking your body weight and multiplying by 13. So, if you weigh 150, you can start with 1950 total calories per day and see what happens. If you're losing between 0.5-1 pound per week, that's perfect! If it's much more or much less than that, adjust your calories by 50 either way until you get to that rate of loss.

Keep in mind, too, that if you are gaining muscle mass and losing body fat, that your weight on the scale may not change much, but your body composition will. Aim to include other methods of data point collection aside from the scale (photos, measurements, sleep quality, how your workouts feel, etc.) to gage progress!
Hope this helps! Feel free to reach out with any other questions!

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