Ep.49 Christopher Barakat: Body recomposition, building muscle and losing fat
Christopher Barakat is a competitive natural bodybuilder, coach, and researcher investigating training & nutrition intervention to optimize body composition outcomes. He started competing in 2011 as a teenager and this passion led him to pursue academic studies that would enhance his knowledge to be a better coach and athlete. He earned his bachelor's in Athletic Training and his master's in Exercise & Nutritional Sciences. He's been teaching at the University of Tampa since 2017 and continues to research in the human performance lab under Dr. Eduardo De Souza and colleagues.
In this episode we cover:
- Chris's background in bodybuilding and exercise science
- Chris's current research projects on repetition tempo and intra-set stretching
- What is body recomposition and how does it occur?
- Is it something that only occurs in untrained people or why does it happen more readily in that group?
- Why does muscle gain and fat loss get harder the closer someone gets to their genetic potential?
- What are the different ways of measuring muscle mass and body fat and what's the difference between them?
- The importance of standardizing someone's hydration, food and exercise before measuring body composition
- What definitions are used for "resistance trained" individuals in studies?
- The importance of looking at participant's starting strength to guage their level of training or training status
- What role does detraining and retraining play in the results of body composition studies?
- Why people shouldn't be too worried about losing muscle or strength during lockdown
- Chris's thoughts on the difference in the training of the average gym-user and the type of training he employs in his research
- The importance of tracking your training in a log book
- The interesting science around protein intake and its effects on fat mass
- Protein intake recommendations for body recomposition
- Why is body recomposition not observed in case studies of physique competitors?
- Do physique competitor's lose muscle during contest prep?
- What role does sleep play on body composition?
- Chris's key recommendations for evidence-based body recomposition