Challenge: How To Add Muscle

And Lose Fat At The Same Time

By: Sayif Saud

Keep your nutrition under control in the off-season. Remember, you can’t flex fat

Magazine 10 #2

The most important bodybuilding lesson I’ve learned to date is that although training is important, nutrition is key. Adding muscle is a difficult task by itself. But, adding muscle and losing body fat at the same time is a far greater challenge.

My interest in bodybuilding oddly came about while I was training for Karate. I’d competed in Karate since the age of six and had some success winning four national titles in various weight classes. Now I was sixteen and it was time to go up another class. This time I thought I’d consciously add some muscle as I gained the weight. I started a basic lifting regimen and stuck to it faithfully. One year later, I was still lifting and karate was taking a backseat. At age seventeen I did my first bodybuilding contest winning the lightweight teenage class at the N.P.C Midwestern States. Now five years later, I’m still lifting and have done seven competitions including the NPC Collegiate Nationals. My best showing to date was at the NPC Hoosier Classic where I won first place in the Novice and Men’s light heavyweight class.

Sayif Saud law student
My goal during my first year in bodybuilding was to just keep the scale moving forward. Back then I didn’t think of weight in terms of good weight (muscle) and bad weight (fat). All weight was good – or so I thought. Then I dieted down for my first show.

All of sudden I wasn’t so fond of all that weight. I quickly realized that the more body fat carried in the off-season, the more I would have to work to take it off in my pre-contest phase. Huge fluctuations in weight are probably not that great for your health, but I can tell you for sure that the more fat I have to lose for a contest, the harder it is to retain muscle mass. Keep your nutrition under control in the off-season. Remember, you can’t flex fat.

Warm-up before posing

Now, I stay lean in the offseason. Twenty pounds over my competitive weight is my limit. By staying lean in the off-season, I find I do not lose strength as I get closer to a contest. Not only that but I actually gain lean muscle while I lose body fat due to my high protein intake and the right supplementation. I actually have a higher energy level throughout my workouts. Here’s the lesson – maintain low body fat levels in the off-season to maximize muscular gains.

Training off-season

Before I give you the specifics of my nutrition and supplement program, I first want to touch on training. I keep my training regimen the same in the off-season up until the day of the contest. I believe that the core lifts are essential. They are the best for gaining in the off-season and they’re the best for maintaining during my pre-contest phase of training.

Leg day – heavy squats are a must, Squats stimulate the quads, hamstrings and glutes like no other exercise. Your leg muscles are used to carrying your body-weight all day, every-day. To make them grow you must stimulate them with heavy squats using a full range of motion. As a precaution, I do perform light leg extensions to pump blood in the knees and I stretch for at least five. minutes prior to squatting. Don’t kid yourself by using more weight than you can handle. Use as much weight as you can squat to parallel in perfect form – and no more.

For chest, my favorites are incline bench presses and dumbbell movements. I switch them up weekly to avoid stagnation. Dead lifts and chins are the mainstays of every back session, because I believe these are the two best exercises for building a wide, dense back. I stick with military and dumbbell presses for delts and incorporate front, side, and rear laterals. Curls and close grip benches are my favorite arm movements.

When putting together a program, you must take a hard, honest look at your self and use the muscle prioritization theory. Basically this means allotting the most time and energy to your weakest muscle groups. Your personal training program requires individualization. Your weak areas won’t be the same as mine. A good place to start is to take a look at some of the training splits in Beverly’s No Nonsense Magazine and Body Muscle Journal.

Another great resource is your own past training experiences. Take notes of your workouts – especially your good ones and use them to draw up your new "game plan".

Journal your workouts

Core training is essential for gaining muscle in the off-season and maintaining muscle pre-contest. From my notes.

Keep in mind that you need to continually improve in your training sessions in at least one of these three areas – the amount of weight lifted, reps in a set, or shorten your rest between sets..

Training program
Monday: Quads, Hamstrings
Quads: Warm Up: Leg Extensions, Squats, Hack Squat, and Heavy
Leg Extensions
Hamstrings: Stiff-Legged Dead Lift, Lunges, and Hamstring Curls
Tuesday: Chest, Triceps, Calves, Abs
Chest: Incline Presses (Dumbbell-Barbell), Incline Flies
(Flat Flies/Alternate), and Cable Crossovers
Triceps: Close Grip Bench Presses, Tricep Pushdown, and Dips
Calves: Standing Calf Raises, and Seated Calf Raises
Abs: Crunches (5 sets of 25), and Hanging Leg Raises (3 sets of 15)
Wednesday: Rest Day: Minimize physical activity
Thursday: Back, Biceps, Calves
Back: Chins, Dead Lifts Lat-Pulldowns, and Dumbbell Rows
(Alternate With Barbell Rows)
Biceps: Barbell Curls, Hammer Curls, and Concentration Curls
(Alternate With Machine Concentration Curls)
Calves: Standing Calf Raises, and Seated Calf Raises
Friday: Delts, Calves, Abs
Delts: Military Presses, Dumbbell Presses, and Super Set: Side, Front
and Rear Dumbbell Laterals
Calves and Abs (Same as Tuesday)
Sat/Sun: Rest

A common mistake that many people make is training a body part when they are not properly recovered from their previous training session. This is like taking two steps forward and three steps back. Your training tears down the muscle, it repairs itself during rest days and that is where the growth occurs. Remember, your body grows outside the gym not in it! If for example your chest is still sore but it is time to hit it again in your weekly rotation, I advise taking one more day of rest; you will allow your body to recover, therefore allowing more time for growth. Overtraining is all to common, no matter how bad you want to train, you have to listen to your body and respond accordingly, that is smart bodybuilding.


As I stated earlier diet is the key to bodybuilding success. I eat the same type of foods off-season as I eat precontest; I just eat larger portions offseason.
Here is a sample Lean Gain-Fat Loss diet plan:
Meal #1
2 whole eggs plus 4 egg whites
6-oz. chicken breast or lean ground beef
1-cup oatmeal before cooking
3 EFA Gold
Meal #2
3 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein or Ultra Size,
2 TBS Heavy Cream in 12-16 oz water (or I use
less water and make a pudding)
Meal #3
8 oz chicken (before cooking), turkey, or fish
6 oz sweet potato or 1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or salad with 2
TBS. Low Cal Dressing
Meal #4 (same as for meal #2)
Meal #5
10 oz lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish, or sirloin steak
2 cups non starchy vegetables
3 EFA Gold
Meal #6
6-8-oz. of lean ground beef
2 cups of non-starchy vegetables
During pre-contest, I cut my portions and maybe drop my sixth meal depending on my progress.


As far as supplements go, I love Muscle Provider. Muscle Provider allows me to get the quality protein I need when I am on the go. It mixes easily which is so convenient when I am in class or at the library and can’t get home. I also use Creatine Select and Glutamine Select all year round. These two products make me recover so much faster from my workouts, which is crucial when you’re on a tight schedule. (Did I mention I’m a law student?)

I’ve been working with Beverly for four years now. I am plain and simple a Beverly athlete. I wouldn’t have had the success I have had and learned as much as I have about competing if it wasn’t for the experience of the Beverly team. Every Beverly team member I have worked with has been not only an expert in bodybuilding nutrition, but also an accomplished athlete.

With Beverly’s help I went from a lightweight my first show to a middleweight the next year and now to a light-heavy weight, scoring wins in each of the respective weight classes. I gained eleven pounds of competitive weight from last year to this year while coming in leaner using Beverly products. This year I plan to compete in the Collegiate Nationals. I’m working with Mark Ritter who has been a national champ a couple times over including winning his class at the collegiate nationals a couple years back. With such great people in your corner how can I go wrong! The bottom line is that Beverly products and their staff are the best out there.

front and back double bicep
Products I use are: Ultra 40 liver tabs These contain B-complex vitamins with natural iron increase my energy levels and help me get a great pump while increasing my protein intake.

Mass Aminos
Are great when I am on the run, I know I am getting the best-utilized form of quality protein quickly and easily. I also like to take Mass tablets while working out to maintain a positive nitrogen balance in the body while dieting.

Muscle Synergy
Is a great product, this product gives me great strength, energy, and awesome pumps during my training sessions.

Super Pak
Is a must all the time, I know I am getting all the vitamins and minerals I need to support my body.

In conclusion, whether you are striving for a national title or just want to look good by the pool, proper diet and supplements is key. Why waste your time training if you do not improve your nutrition? Year after year I see the same people in the gym putting in time and effort and forging little to no change in their physiques. If you are going to invest time and effort into training, do yourself a favor and be sure you have the proper nutrition and supplements to garner the best results.

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