Do you want to feel energized and healthy every day? All you have to do is gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.
‘Getting toned’ is often at the top of the list of most fitness enthusiasts. These individuals know what they want – i.e., body recomposition, which alters one’s physique by gaining muscle and burning fat simultaneously.
However, they usually do not know what it takes to get to that stage. This is what you are about to discover. You will also uncover the secret weapon that many personal trainers and fitness buffs have used – and still use – to attain and maintain their toned physiques.
First, Workout is Crucial
Many reasons for working out exist, including burning fat, improving overall health, gaining muscle, or just feeling better. Many fitness enthusiasts have multiple goals almost at once, most of which go – logically – hand-in-hand. But the most conflicting is gaining muscle while losing fat.
Trying to lose fat means you want to get rid of some of your body mass. Gaining muscles seem to achieve the opposite by building up your body. This is why many individuals claim that it is impossible to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. But this is far from the truth; you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.
Working on both goals can significantly maximize your results. This is because most exercises for burning off fat can be used for building up your muscles. This is why workouts are crucial to achieving this outcome.
Nevertheless, you must adopt a strategic approach if you want to nail muscle gains and fat loss in one fell swoop. This includes burning up more calories than you consume.
But you have to be careful so that your body doesn’t pull from the existing energy stores in your cells when you restrict your calorie intake. This has the outcome of losing fat as well as muscle mass.
This is why you should focus only on 2 things if your goal is to gain muscle and lose fat: weightlifting or strength training and protein.
Body Recomposition: What is it?
Body recomposition has to do with changing the ratio of fat mass to lean mass, i.e., gaining muscle mass and losing body fat. The primary goal of body recomposition is to gain muscle and lose body fat simultaneously.
This is unlike the conventional ‘bulking and cutting’ approach where you, first of all, deliberately bulk up by putting on a lot of weight, i.e., muscle and fat. Then go through a very intense calorie deficit in order to lose excess fat so that muscles underneath can be revealed. Body recomposition is all about fat loss.
How to Shed Fat
The best way to shed or lose fat is to consume fewer calories. Engage actively in cardiovascular exercise or combine resistance exercise with cardio. A healthy diet is also essential as your body still needs some vital nutrients to achieve your realistic goals. (PhenQ meal replacement shake is a healthy alternative to regular meals)
Depriving your body of these nutrients via disordered eating habits is a considerable risk you shouldn’t take.
How to Gain Muscle
Protein consumption and weight training are the two primary factors you should focus on in order to build muscle. You need to challenge your muscles if you want them to grow, and strength training is the key to making that happen.
However, to build muscle sustainably, you must have a caloric surplus. That means you must consume a lot more calories than you burn during workouts in order to boost muscle growth.
Protein is the #1 most important nutrient for building muscle. A lack of protein in your diet is a recipe for disaster as your body will always struggle to fix or repair muscle tissues that break down during intense weight training.
Research also shows that consuming a high-protein diet simultaneously helps with fat loss and muscle gain. Eating more protein-laden foods helps preserve your lean body mass. This is more crucial than going on a caloric deficit with zero changes in your protein intake.
You can get the protein your body needs from several sources, including:
- Meat (bison, pork, steak)
- Legumes (chickpeas, black beans)
- Shellfish and fish (salmon, shrimp, tuna)
- Poultry (chicken, duck, turkey)
Experts also recommend consuming mostly unprocessed food such as eggs, meat, vegetables, nuts, fruits, etc. These are nutrient-rich foods that are incredibly low in calories compared to many of their processed counterparts. This means you can fill up quickly without overeating, which is crucial for meeting your goal of gaining muscle and losing fat.
Types of Exercises for Losing Fat and Gaining Muscle
The human body requires stimulatory stress in order to maintain bone and muscle mass while losing body fat. As mentioned earlier, you can do this by varying your workouts or incorporating a mix of cardio and weight training.
Engage in highly intense weight training at least 3 days every week, inject the days to take a rest in-between. Lifting light weights with higher repetitions can promote muscle growth. But the results will be somewhat negligible compared to when you lift heavier weights.
For instance, if you can normally squat up to 60 kilograms (130 pounds), make sure you train with at least 38 kilograms (85 pounds).
Aerobic exercises also help burn off excess calories in the human body. Engage in short bursts of high-intensity cardio intervals or steady-state cardio at a very moderate pace. You can do this steadily in conjunction with an excellent weight training program. This gets you in an excellent place for losing fat.
But do not do cardio for more than an hour, or else you may end up breaking down your muscle for fuel.
However, it is essential to avoid monotony during workouts. Therefore, cycle between 2 types of workouts. Intersperse these 2 types of workouts with rest days.
You can also combine the exercise following the HIIT-style exercise. It is also vital that you vary which muscles you exercise every day. You should consider dedicating one day to the upper body, another day to the core, and a third day to the lower body, while the whole body takes up the fourth day.
Why Rest and Recovery Are So Essential
In addition to intense workouts and eating healthfully, rest is also vital as you aim for a specific fitness goal. As you already know, building muscle is not all about consuming more protein and lifting weights.
When you challenge your body to push through added resistance or lift much heavier weights, it breaks down nearly every muscle fiber before building each one back up again. This is known as muscle hypertrophy, which significantly increases muscle mass and size.
Your body will need some time off in order to recover from muscle hypertrophy so that it can repair itself. Therefore, create a plan that allows you to take at least a day or two off from your regular workouts every week.
If you suspect that your body is not coping too well with the intensity and volume of your workout plan, reduce the plan by half or consider taking extra days off.
It is also imperative that you get enough sleep. You don’t want to deal with the adverse effects of sleep deprivation. Research shows that athletes deprived of sleep had less-than-optimal performance, reaction time, vigor, accuracy, and even endurance.
Therefore, set a target to sleep consistently for at least 7 to 8 hours every night. Go to bed at a precise hour every evening and get out of bed the next day at a specified hour, with no breaks, including weekends.
How to Track Your Progress as You Gain Muscle and Lose Fat
It is always essential to track things you are trying to improve, such as your body composition.
After a few weeks’ workouts, most fitness enthusiasts keen on gaining muscle and losing fat jump on the scale. This is okay, but the truth is that they will only get a small part of the entire story.
Since your primary goal is to build muscle while losing fat, jumping on the scale may not give you the results you seek. You may even discover that you weigh even more than when you started! But despite this, you may have a much better physique.
The best way to track your progress – in addition to just jumping on the nearest scale – is to take progressive photographs.
Stand in front of your mirror and take a side and front photos of your body. Wear only a bathing suit or underwear. Take new photos every week and record the number on the weighing scale under each weekly scenario.
The scale, in many cases, can lie, but 2 forms of tracking allow you to get the whole picture. If you follow the tips shared about strength training, eating for a calorific deficit, and prioritizing protein in your diet, you may find yourself gaining muscle and losing some fat.
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Many individuals believe that it is practically impossible to gain muscle and lose fat. But this is far from the truth, as results have shown that you can lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously.
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