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The (almost too) complete guide to maximise muscle mass and minimize fat.

fat fat loss gains lean muscle Jan 14, 2019


The age-old question, can you gain muscle and lose fat???

  1. Yes, if you look at a period of time (like a week), but no, not in the exact same minute (nobody cares about that)
  2. Yes, its 100% possible to improve the look of your physique muscularity wise and body shape wise at the same time
  3. Yes, it completely matters how much bodyfat you have when you are trying to do this


The Cheat Sheet for people that don’t like to read

  1. Focus on body goals is shown to be less successful than focussing on increasing happiness and decreasing stress – Step 1, focus on FEELING better and ignore other factors
  2. Start with sleep – Step 2, make a goal of sleeping better, if you can’t get more
  3. Eat at maintenance on days off Step 3, Figure out BMR
  4. Eat 100-200 calories over via carb on days on Step 4, figure out your macros
  5. Nobody cares about your weight or bodyfat percentage, win the mental game by LOOKING better Step 5, treat yourself


Why our results look so good in the first 5 weeks (and yours can too)

We’ve always had a great track record with huge physique changes in the first 5 weeks. Lets breakdown what we do.

First, we give your body a change to reduce gut inflammation. Ever roll your ankle? It takes a while to reduce that inflammation, right? It doesn’t go down in a day. Your gut is exactly the same. People drop dairy for three days, and see no difference, then go straight back to it.

The first month, no dairy, no gluten, no eggs, no soy. All of these have shown, in some people, to create inflammation. You may have no tolerance issues, but you may as well see how it feels. Bonus points, we are creating mental strength that comes in handy later on (a lot).

Next, we love carbs at JCF. Carbs, when timed properly, make you look full, replenish glycogen, let you train harder and sleep better. Also, when we cut out fat in your diet, we again increase your mental strength.

Last diet wise, we add a stack of veg and fiber, so you will end up pooing way more than you thought.

Training wise, we put you on the correct volume for your experience and give you the best exercises for your physique.

So here is the very logical reason you look better after 5 weeks

  1. You are likely less inflamed, bloated and watery
  2. You are carrying less waste in your bowels
  3. Your muscles are fuller
  4. You’ve gained muscle mass
  5. You have prioritised sleep (we make you)
  6. You have taken a huge level of stress out of your life by letting someone take over your training, eating, sleeping and recovery


Why your results may not be as good as ours

Firstly, we think most BMR calculators are wrong. How can they be right without taking into account your sleep, your stress, your muscle mass, your fat mass, your hydration, and your activity levels?

If you or your PT has used an online BMR calc, that is usually the biggest issue.

Next biggest issue is people cheating on their diet. Not eating enough protein to use your calories elsewhere is 100% cheating. No protein, no muscle.

Biggest issue after that is not sleeping.

Lastly, poor training due to an injury or imbalance you don’t know how to work around.


Trick yourself - its a major key

You should 100% do everything you can to feel better in the first month. Reward your mind, create positive links to health and feeling better. Get a haircut. Get a tan. New outfit. Whatever you think helps. Throw up an insta shot with a filter. Brag to friends.

If you loved food, your dopamine level is LOWERED by dieting. You are taking away joy. Actively plan to replace it. Set up hiking dates with friends, annoy workmates with healthy recipes. Stand in the corner with the fit people when they eat cake at morning tea.

When you do well, post up that before and after photo, feel good as each like comes in. Sit down, and really really sit with the feeling of accomplishing goals. Not just shrug it off. Take the win. Let it sink in. You are beating a problem.


Health over abs

Despite what the fitness industry yells down your throat, placing your mental well being in front of body goals is science.

Your mind, and your body, but more importantly, your happiness. The higher your Body Mass Index, the lower your mental well being. Satisfaction with life is diminished with body fat. It’s an awful truth (which you probably know). The author of this study said – “Frequently individuals are encouraged to lose weight because this will lead to better physical health, but for many this is not motivating enough. Becoming happier and more satisfied with their lives might be the extra motivation needed to encourage more people to maintain a healthy weight.”

Don’t write down a weight, write down how you want to FEEL in a month.


The Hormonal Considerations

"The study of more than 2,000 people, most of them in their 40s, found those with the highest levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol performed worse on tests of memory, organization, visual perception and attention."

Long term exercise, good sleep, diet, and meditation lowers cortisol better than any other solution.

I’ll make this real easy

  1. Sleep better and eat better
  2. Lower your cortisol
  3. Be more organised and able to make the decision to train
  4. Train more
  5. Lower your cortisol more
  6. Get better sleep because of training effect
  7. Lower your cortisol more
  8. Make better decisions food wise, diet improves cortisol levels
  9. Train better and more efficiently
  10. Be what you want in life

This article is STILL focussed on dropping body fat while gain mass. Your muslce mass will OF COURSE increase via better testosterone and estrogen levels. That is created by more exercise and reduced stress.

The fitness industry never really talks about this, but your compliance to diet is 100% related to your motivation. Your motivation is related to your stress levels.


From little things, big things grow

Your mind is constantly looking for the path of least resistance. Two voices in your head. One telling you to do the right thing, the other says ‘who cares’.

A lot of people don’t want to say losing weight is possible, feasible or within grasp, because it feeds that ‘who cares’ voice. The consistency of compliance is your own cognitive behavioural therapy.

We say this to EVERY client. You have to ignore the people that say you can’t lose body fat while gaining muscle.


How much fat can I lose? How much muscle can I gain?

If you have no muscle, its easy to put it on. If you have lots of body fat, its easier to lose. If you are 10% bodyfat and training for 10 years, you know that you will gain very little muscle while dropping bodyfat. The VAST majority of the people reading this article still have A LOT of muscle to gain, and A LOT of fat to lose. Over 20% for gals, and over 14% for guys are you are fine.

You need to think of it as a percentage loss.

  • If you want to drop from 30% fat to 25%, that’s roughly 16% of the available fat on your body you want to lose.
  • If you are 15% and want to be 10%, that is 33% of your body fat, and WAY harder than the above example.

Life is long. Generally, losses of around 10% of the starting body fat are good goals (ie, 30% BF to 27% BF)


The more fat your body has to burn, the easier this process is. Pretty logical right?

There are lots of reason for this, but adaptive thermogenesis will decrease your daily caloric expenditure to try to limit weight loss, when you already have lots of muscle and little fat.

If you have MUCH muscle to gain, its actually opposite, the increased muscle will increase your BMR, and you be able to lose weight faster.


Other considerations

You are going to feel more tired on reduced calories, especially if you have been eating up a storm prior. You need to adjust to the lowering of constant ‘sugar energy’. Do not do this by ramming coffee down your throat, or pre workouts. The guys at examine.com complied 26 studies showing that 400mg is the top out, but 300mg is a huge diuretic. Really, try to limit it to one or two coffees a day.

Low glycogen reserves make training very hard. This is another reason we don’t love Keto. We want you in the gym, training as much as possible. Again, only really very lean people will be eating so low in carbs they can’t fully replenish glycogen.

It bears repeating, if you are not eating enough protein, this whole thing is a waste of time.


You’re still reading? OK, lets fix your training.

Progressive overload is necessary for muscle gain. We use a good ole trick here. Reducing rest time is a valid overload. We set a goal of 90 seconds, and generally, it takes about a month for people to get there. They don’t even know they are adding work.

If you bench 100kg for 5 reps and 5 sets, its WAY harder with 90 second rests than 5 minute rests.

We generally don’t increase intensity (weight) but may push up volume or frequency as valid overloads.


That’s it (I know it’s a lot)


  1. Focus on feeling better
  2. Enjoy looking better
  3. Eat enough protein
  4. Eat very little fat, but keep carbs up
  5. Train your mind to be stronger (no cheat meals AT ALL for the first 5 weeks)
  6. Always progressive overload

Lastly, you need to be realistic. All the images here are actual clients, time varies from a few weeks to a few months. We see A LOT of people that 'think' they are a few kgs from abs, and they are realistically 20kg off. Measure your waist. It is not near the 30 inch for guys, and 28 for gals, abs aren't close (body size dependent).

As always, and question, head over to FB and send me a message


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