These two methods are similar in some ways, vastly different in others; but both are extraordinarily effective if used correctly. Applying each at the right time during your training cycles is a surefire way to allow for continued growth.
I've often said that while gaining muscle can be very difficult, it's also pretty simple -- at the heart of it, you just need to take in more energy than you expend, and use an intelligent program. This is especially true for beginners.
Have you lost your abs recently? Maybe you're noticing a "muffin top" or "beer belly" that needs to disappear? Or perhaps you just need that extra bit of definition to compete with Ryan Gosling's impressive physique. Good news: You can get a flat stomach, in three steps.