| build muscle and lose fat Fitness recomp recomposition

What Is Recomposition And How To Do It

By Jayton Miller

What Is Recomposition And How To Do It

This is an excerpt from the UMZUfit Recomposition Course. For an in depth step by step guide to recomposition make sure to check out the course only inside of UMZUfit.


Table Of Contents:


Recomposition is the process of forming the body in a new or different way.

For the purpose of this course, we are going to reform your body both externally and internally:

External Recomposition: 

  • In this course, you will be building muscle and losing fat at the same time. This concept has been popular in the world of sports performance for quite some time. Over the last five years, this concept has risen to popularity in the general fitness space as a method through which to form the body more aesthetically.

Internal Recomposition: 

  • Internal recomposition is the process of restoring your internal processes - digestion, gut health, skin health, cognitive health and more. This will all be done by increasing the rate of the metabolism and sustaining hormonal balance within the body. 

In order to properly explain how one can lose fat and build muscle at the same time, we must first explain how the body loses fat and how the body builds muscle...

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why do we gain fat

Storing fat is how the body puts away extra energy in case it is needed for another time.

This mechanism has evolved from our ancestors, who went through times of abundance followed by times of famine.

During times of abundance, our ancestors would store extra body fat so when the inevitable famine was upon them, they would be able to tap into that stored energy to survive.

In this survival state, the body begins to lower the metabolism to slow down energy consumption. 

This is an important point to understand in relation to crash dieting. Going too low in calories will cause your body to mimic the metabolic reactions of our ancestors. If you are not eating enough food, your internal processes will fight back.

Not until your body receives enough nutrition does it move into a state of abundance, where the metabolism is firing properly, energy levels are high and insulin resistance is low.

In this program, we will be placing you directly into the state of abundance, giving your body exactly what it needs. Nothing more and nothing less.

There is one more catch to this concept.

Most people consume food and drink that is largely devoid of nutrients. Our ancestors were able to easily flip back and forth between survival and abundance due to the high vitamin and mineral content of their food.

Micronutrient deficiencies are so prevalent in today’s society that we are fighting an obesity epidemic driven by excess fat storage and improper metabolism regulation.

In the section on nutrition, we will discuss how an external recomposition can be performed eating anything; however, this comes at the sacrifice of internal processes like metabolic regulation. We highly recommend that you adopt a high nutrient containing diet or supplement with micronutrients to support an internal recomposition as well.


how to lose fat

Fat loss occurs through a process known as lipolysis. During lipolysis, triglycerides within the fat cells are broken down and fatty acids and glycerol molecules are removed.

The waste products from lipolysis are then exported from the body through stool, sweat, urine and breath, so it is vitally important that your digestive system is regular, you are breaking a sweat and breathing properly when trying to lose fat.

Fat loss can only happen when there is less energy going into your body than is going out. This is known as an energy deficit or calorie deficit.

While you will not be in a calorie deficit while recomposing, it is important for you to understand what happens during and how to achieve a calorie deficit.

When in a calorie deficit, your body taps into its fat reserves in order to survive.

A calorie deficit can be achieved in two ways:

  1. By decreasing the amount of food and drink entering your body
  2. By increasing the amount of energy expended through activity

Learn More: How to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat Fast


what is muscle

Muscle is a band or bundle of fibrous tissue that has the ability to contract, producing movement in or maintaining the position of parts of the body. 

There are three different types of muscle:

Skeletal muscle

  • Skeletal muscle is the type of muscle you want to build. Skeletal muscle is the voluntary muscle controlled by the periphery of the central nervous system (CNS). 

Smooth muscle and Cardiac muscle

  • Smooth muscles and Cardiac muscles are involuntary muscles. These are responsible for operating the processes in your body you don’t think much about - heart beat, breathing, digestion, and other processes in the body. There’s nothing you can do in this program about building up your involuntary muscles.

In UMZUfit Recomposition, you will be working to build more skeletal muscle.

In addition, there are three types of muscle fibers:

Fast twitch and slow twitch oxidative muscle fibers

  • Oxidative muscle fibers primarily use glucose as a fuel source when they are being used in exercise. They are used for short, explosive bouts of movement and burn through fuel rather quickly.

Slow twitch glycolytic muscle fibers 

  • Slow twitch glycolytic muscle fibers use fat as a fuel source. They are constantly being used and slowly burn energy. You use your slow twitch glycolytic muscle fibers when standing and walking.

All of these fiber types burn fat when you are at rest, which is why you burn more fat when you have more muscle.

Muscle is highly metabolically active tissue, burns calories at rest, and makes you more resistant to fat gain. 

This is very important to grasp when trying to understand how a recomposition works.


how to build muscle

Muscles grow as an adaptive response to stress on the muscle fibers.

There are two main types of muscle growth:

Sarcoplasmic muscle growth

  • Sarcoplasmic muscle growth occurs when a rush of sarcoplasmic fluid enters the muscle, stretching that muscle out. Sarcoplasmic fluid is fluid that surrounds muscle tissue. When that muscle tissue is placed under stress, the sarcoplasmic fluid will enter the muscle cells, supplying the muscle with energy. This process is what fitness practitioners call “the pump.” When exercise is complete, the remaining unused sarcoplasmic fluid is flushed out of the muscle. Over time, muscles will gradually hold more fluid and will appear larger.

Myofibrillar muscle growth

  • Myofibrillar muscle growth occurs when the actual muscle fibers grow as they heal after exercise. Exercise and resistance training damage muscle fibers. Once damaged, a signal is sent to the cells surrounding the damaged muscle fiber (satellite cells) to fuse to that muscle fiber. As the surrounding cells come together to repair the damaged muscle fibers, they begin to use amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and protein to build more actin and myosin (the proteins that contract the muscle). This builds new myofibrils (long rope-like structures that make up muscle), resulting in a healed and slightly larger muscle.

Here’s the main idea: You can gain muscle size in two ways - through sarcoplasmic or myofibrillar muscle growth. Both require resistance placed on a muscle to occur.

It’s important to understand that when you exercise, you are not building muscle, you are breaking muscle down.

Muscle grows when you are recovering from that exercise - when your muscles are adapting to the resistance they just faced.

In this program, you will have 3 rest days per week and will be rotating target muscle groups by training day to ensure that your muscles are getting enough time to recover and grow.

Later on, we will stress the importance of sleep -  a crucial component of recovery and therefore muscle-building.

Muscles only grow when they have enough time to recover, making rest days, target group rotations and sleep of paramount importance in any muscle-building journey.


build fat and lose muscle at the same time

Recomposition allows you to gain muscle while lowering the amount of body fat that you have. 

This is done in two ways:

By keeping the amount of fat on the body stable while building more muscle tissue

  • When you keep body fat stable and grow muscle, you increase the proportion of muscle to fat on the body. 

By increasing metabolic rate

  • Increasing the rate of the metabolism naturally puts your body in a calorie deficit. As energy requirements go up, fat on the body goes down. By building more muscle and increasing the metabolic rate, you increase the amount of calories you need to sustain your current state of fitness. 

Throughout this program you will increase the rate of your metabolism and increase your muscle mass. During this process your body will tap into its fat storage until it gets the energy requirements it needs. 

In summary, your body will burn fat for energy to maintain increases in metabolism and muscle mass.


what happens in the body during recomposition

When in pursuit of health and fitness goals, few ever allow their bodies to rest.

Recomposition allows for the body to rest and achieve homeostasis - a state of balance.

To really drive this point home, let’s take a look at the stress placed on the body when in a pure fat loss or muscle building phase:

  1. The Potential Pitfalls of Fat Loss
    1. When losing fat, the body enters a state of catabolism, getting rid of its own tissue in order to sustain normal function. To survive, the metabolism slows to decrease energy demand. Catabolism is a stressful process on the body, leading to more stress hormone production as catabolism continues.
    2. You never want to be in a calorie deficit for too long. Being in a chronic catabolic state results in a slower base metabolic rate and chronically high cortisol levels.
  2. The Potential Pitfalls of Muscle Building
    1. When building muscle, the body triggers an inflammatory response to heal the broken muscle fibers. Chronic inflammation can lead to hormonal imbalance and metabolic damage.
    2. In addition, being in a calorie surplus will lead to at least some fat gain. Excess fat gain increases estrogen production and reduces production of protective hormones. 

Allowing the body to rest by consuming the same amount of calories that you burn supercharges metabolic health, bringing the body into a state of balance where it can heal.

During this healing process, the body will maximize energy production, regenerate tissue and restore stress-damaged internal processes.

Whether we know it or not, we are constantly under the stress of a calorie deficit or surplus. By giving the body exactly what it needs - nothing more and nothing less - we can achieve an important state of balance that allows the body to heal. 

For more information on exactly how to go through a recomposition phase make sure to check out the UMZUfit Recomposition Course inside of UMZUfit!

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