How to Burn Fat And Build Muscle At The Same Time

man building muscles

One thing I can assume, is that everyone reading this article is either looking to lose fat or build muscle, that is a given. However, this is 2012, people want results as fast as possible, and most men and some women want to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously.

That is the fastest way to get your ideal body right? Well for some people using this type of mindset is what is slowing their progress to a halt. For very experienced trainees (2 years+) it can be hard or seemingly impossible to accomplish this.

Burn fat or build muscle?

The problem with trying to accomplish both these goals at the same time is to dependably gain WEIGHT, be it muscle, or body fat you need to be in a calorie surplus. A calorie surplus is when you are taking in more calories per day then your body is burning. Now on paper that means you will weigh more and hopefully some will be muscle but you will also likely gain FAT.

Alternatively, to lose WEIGHT whether it is body fat or muscle (which is to be avoided at all costs) you need to be in a calorie deficit.  Now a calorie deficit is when your body is taking in less calories than burn in a day , so your body has to use existing ” energy stores” as fuel, whether that be fat  stores or breaking down muscle.

How to burn fat and build muscle at the same time

That is the bad news, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of you, there are timing strategies and techniques you can use to burn fat, while you build muscle.  Remember there is no way for them to be as consistent as doing each goal separately from a physiological standpoint but they are effective and used by many people with great success including myself and people I have personally trained.

Another thing for you to consider is you new people to the fitness world are the ones who will have the best consistency with both goals simultaneously. Being  relatively new  you will get results a lot faster than someone who has been training 2+ years , you will likely constantly be improving your arm , chest and shoulder size while dropping your waist size.

Nevertheless, back to the basics, here are some helpful tips and techniques you can use to make progress at losing fat while building muscle.

Use nutrient timing effectively

Immediately after your workout drink a fast absorbing protein such as a whey protein shake. Then about 30 minutes to an hour after training consume a large balanced meal mainly consisting of protein (Chicken, Fish, Beef, and Eggs) and Carbs (Pasta, Whole Wheat Bread, Brown Rice, etc.)

Do your cardio immediately upon waking before breakfast

Studies have shown this is the biggest opportunity for your body to tap into fat stores instead of using eaten carbohydrates later during the day.  This will also put your body into more of a fat loss state for the rest of day until your workout.

Avoid empty calories

This is especially important when trying to build muscle while losing fat. You need to make every calorie count and a large coke will not benefit you in any way towards your goal of building muscle although it is 200-400 calories.

Train hard and constantly progress your workouts

This will be one of the biggest determining factors in whether you actually build the muscle or not, you will need to expose your body to a lot of stress consistently  through weight training to make your body need to constantly adapt and  actually build the  muscle.

Consume at least your bodyweight in protein everyday

A 180-pound man should be consuming at least 180 grams of protein daily to gain muscle. Most body builders consume 1.5 times their bodyweight in protein.

Consume more calories (Mostly from Protein and Carbs) on days you workout.

On training days your body will be likely to use consumed protein to build muscle and needs more carbs for energy and recovery. I am not saying eat like a pig on training days but at least consume a large carb and protein filled meal 2-3 hours pre workout and around an hour after your workout.

If you follow those strategies everyday and really focus on the training and nutrition, you will be very likely to build muscle and lose fat, especially if you are a beginner.  It may not be as fast as focusing on weight loss only or “bulking up” and gaining fat and muscle, but it can effectively give you a balance between the two.

It is also important you realize how much a few pounds of muscle really is, to get an idea go to a supermarket and look at 2 lbs of lean beef.  Even competitive body builders would be thrilled to gain 10 pounds of muscle every year; building muscle is just a long process in general. However, once you do put on a good amount of muscle it will be there for years and years.

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