What is body composition and how do you achieve it?

December 20, 2023

Body composition is the proper term that’s used for that “lean” or “toned” physique. Simply put, it’s the breakdown of body fat and lean mass that you carry. This also varies and depends on a number of factors such as age or genetics. However, there is still a lot you can control when it comes to improving your overall body composition.

I want to set the record straight when it comes to achieving body composition.

  1. It’s an advanced goal. The closer you currently sit to your body composition goals, the easier it is. This ultimately comes down to lifestyle. The more you have to change your lifestyle to meet these requirements, the more challenging it will be and/or the longer it may take.
  2. Methodology and strategy is required. Body composition is something that takes consistent and strategic work in order to achieve the results you want. Normally, that means meal prepping, tracking, and being on a custom training program.
  3. Tradeoffs are involved. Are you able, ready, and willing to make tradeoffs that are required to achieve this physique? That means changing your lifestyle, environment, and potentially the people that you spend your time with.
  4. Assess where you are so you can identify how to fill the gaps. This is a very overlooked part of the body composition journey. For example, you need to be at the higher end of the spectrum of protein which generally speaking is your body weight in grams. If you’re sitting below your minimum, then you need to figure out how you’re going to bridge the gap to get to the higher end of the spectrum.
  5. The scale may not move. This is normal. Body composition is not normal something that we see change on the scale. This is why it’s important to track progress in other ways such as photos, measurements, and/or articles of clothing.

I think we speak of body composition like it’s something easy to achieve and even easier to maintain which is absolutely not the case. I think the other question to consider is, why is this important to you? As we’ve learned, it can require a lot and consistently, so make sure this is something that’s important to you or the process may be even more difficult and feel like a full time job.

On that note, here are a few things you can start doing to begin achieving your body composition goals.

  1. Meet the higher end of your protein goal consistently. Body weight x.74 for the lower end and body weight x .94 or body wight in grams of protein for then higher end.
  2. Sleep and hydration are a must and a non-negotiable. We need to be well rested and hydrated in order to meet our nutrition goals and training demand.
  3. Do not be at a caloric deficit while achieving body composition. Weight loss or fat loss is not the same thing as body composition. Developing lean muscle takes close to your maintenance in terms of caloric intake. That means taking your body weight x 15. Being at a deficit will not be enough to build or maintain lean muscle mass much less have enough energy to sustain your high intensity workouts.
  4. Get on a custom program. Body composition is a specific goal which means you need a specific plan. Generalized workouts may not be enough to achieve the kind of results you’re looking for.
  5. Track your progress. Getting lean isn’t enough of a specific goal because we never really know when we’ve achieved it. Each person’s perception of lean is different.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *