Building muscle and burning fat at the same time is a goal shared by many bodybuilders.
As fat represents the archenemy that deprives them of the taste of success after fatigue and hardship of exercise.
But burning fat and building muscle are paradoxical physiological processes, because of the body’s resistance to do both at the same time.
Your body has evolved to store both fat and muscle during times of plenty and lose them in periods of scarcity.
In a clearer sense:
Fat loss: It requires that the amount of calories lost is greater than the amount gained from them.
Muscle Building: It only works if the amount of calories in it is greater than the amount lost.
Can you build muscle and burn fat at the same time?
Building muscle while burning fat “Let’s be realistic” is not an easy goal to achieve, and some may even think it is impossible.
Building muscle while burning fat “Let’s be realistic” is not an easy goal to achieve, and some may even think it is impossible.
Despite that, there are many studies and experiments that prove the possibility of losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time.
But this depends entirely on your weight and physical fitness.
1. If you are a bodybuilder at an advanced level and your goal is to gain a large amount of muscle while losing a large amount of fat this contradicts the physiological nature of the body, and an experience that may cost you time and effort without deserved results.
2. If you are a beginner or an intermediate level and want to balance the proportion of fat with muscle in your body, then the answer is yes, you can build muscle while getting rid of excess fat.
How is the process of building muscle while burning fat ?
If you are trying to gain muscle while losing fat, you are rebuilding your body.
In this situation, you are not targeting the general body weight loss.
But you want to increase muscle mass and reduce fat percentage.
Your primary goal is to reshape the components of your body.
To ensure the success of this process, you must understand how to reconstitute the body.
So this may be the most important part of the article, and it is what I want you to focus on well.
1. What does recreating the body mean?
Body composition refers to the amount of fat and muscle that the body contains.
Besides water and bones, but what we are interested in now is both fat and muscle.
Considering this, the best analysis for the body is to measure the percentage of fat and muscle in the body instead of dealing based on general body weight.
This is because the ratio of body fat to muscle ratio better reflects your healthy body condition.
So, body restructuring depends on burning fat and building muscle to improve the balance in proportions “in favor of muscle” instead of general weight loss.
The reason, as we mentioned earlier, is that “weight loss depends mainly on reducing the incoming calories.
And this contradicts our goal of building muscle, because of the acquired muscle need for protein sources to grow.”
The problem is that some people may fall victim to the scale when following a weight-loss diet.
The decrease in the scale index is considered a positive result of the success of the weight loss method used, and the problem here is that most weight scales will not tell you if this is weight loss or muscle.
So from the beginning, keep in mind that building muscle and burning fat at the same time will not be accompanied by rapid weight loss.
“Because you compensate for this loss with the gained muscle.” For example, instead of losing 10 kilos, you will find that you only lose 5 kilos.
But given the muscle that she has gained, it is a great bargain.
2. Recreating the body is a method, not a diet
We are not talking about a fast weight-loss diet.
If you want to gain muscle while burning fat, you must follow a nutrition method and a method of exercise that facilitate the process of reshaping the components of your body.
Instead of tracking your general body weight, you should assess the proportions of fat and muscle in your body using more specialized measuring devices.
Note that traditional methods may succeed in losing weight, but on the other hand, it is accompanied by a loss of muscle mass as well.
Therefore, there must be a harmony between the exercise method and the diet, so that they form a suitable climate for burning fat without affecting the muscle mass.
How to burn extra fats ?
When it comes to burning fat, there is one simple sentence that says, “You consume fewer calories than the calories you lose or burn.”
The body then enters a caloric deficit stage, “meaning that your body does not have enough calories to perform its vital functions.”
Accordingly, it begins to break down fats and muscles due to energy requirements, “but depending on your nutrition and training method, you will make your body withdraw energy from burning fat.”
How to create a calorie deficit?
Assuming that you want to lose a kilogram of fat per week, or the equivalent of 3,500 calories, then you will need to create a deficit of 500 calories per day, and there are two ways for this:
- Burning 500 calories every day while keeping the same amount of average calories you need each day.
- Deducting 500 calories from your diet means a reduction of 500 calories from your average daily caloric intake.
So which is the easiest to burn 500 calories or not to get them into your body in the first place?
To make it easier for you, what if I told you that “one liter of Pepsi” can enter 500 calories into your body while to burn you need to run 6 miles !!!.
So there is no room for debate that reducing the intake of calories is the best choice to burn fat quickly.
Hence, how you lose excess body fat depends mainly on watching what you eat well.
An appropriate nutrition method to burn fat while building muscle
1. Rely on nutrient-dense foods :
This type of foods “such as meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits and nuts.” They are often low in calories.
This helps you fill your stomach without overeating or introducing more calories than necessary.
To illustrate the idea, note the difference between 200 calories of broccoli compared to 200 calories of bread.
2. Eat a protein-rich diet :
A Study of 88 overweight adults found that following a diet containing 0.64 grams of protein per pound (1.4 g / kg) of body weight was more effective in maintaining muscle mass and reducing body fat than following A diet that provides 0.36 grams per pound (0.8 g / kg) of protein.
Getting plenty of protein, divided evenly throughout the day, helps protect muscle tissue from breakdown.
Furthermore, it has been shown that eating a high-protein diet positively affects the number of calories you burn throughout the day.
The reason is the increase in the amount of calories burned through the process of digestion itself, absorption and distribution of nutrients, referred to as the thermic effect of food.
And that, according to a study conducted by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, you can read it from here.
3. Reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed :
Many people face a big problem with carbohydrates when it comes to losing weight, as carbohydrates are one of the biggest causes of weight gain.
And to urge the body to demolish the fat stores forever and to make sure that the only way to produce energy is to burn the excess fat.
And by reducing carbohydrate consumption as much as possible, “make it two hours before exercise and immediately after”, for example:
1.5 grams per pound of body weight, or 1 gram only if you are obese, “on days when you do a lot of physical activity, whether through exercise or daily tasks.”
On moderate days, reduce this amount to “1 or.75” grams per pound.
4. Eat healthy fats :
Not all fats are our enemies, and it is best not to lose the healthy benefits of fats for weight loss.
Fats play an essential role in maintaining optimal cell structure and hormone levels, and each type is important to support the muscle building environment. Also, healthy fats help you feel full.
1- Try to consume about 0.5 grams of healthy fats per pound of body weight each day.
2- Make sure to include a variety of sources to reap the many benefits provided by different types of fats (omega-3s and 6s, and monounsaturated fats).
3- Examples of healthy fats include “salmon, sardines, walnuts, flax, chia seeds, avocados, olive oil, hemp oil, egg yolks, and coconut oil.”
Build muscle and burn fat in the gym
While losing fat is important, preserving or gaining muscle is key to changing body composition.
The only way to protect the muscles from getting off with the lost fats is stimulatory pressure on the muscles, which means relatively intense training, with a frequency of at least three times a week.
1. Rely on compound exercises :
If you want to build maximum muscle and strength, focus on compound exercises in your workouts.
There is a good reason why the most powerful exercise programs in the world revolve around compound exercises.
These exercises have been known from ancient times as the shortest way to build muscle quickly.
The reason is that these exercises depend on more than one muscle group .
And put more parts of your body and your joints under pressure, thus forcing it to burn fat.
Add to that the stimulation produced by the release of the hormone testosterone, which speeds up the process of building muscle.
Here are some examples of compound exercises:
“Squatting, dead lift, bench press, rowing with the bar, pushing my shoulder in front of the bar … and others.”
2. Heavy weights are your shortcut :
If you want to increase muscle growth, you must resort to heavy weights and increase the intensity of the exercise.
“Meaning that you lift weights equivalent to 80% of the maximum weight you can carry, with a frequency ranging from 5 to 6 repetitions.”
This strategy has been proven throughout the ages and the following study proves its effectiveness where it was performed on 33 physically active men.
1- Group 1: She did 4 exercises per week consisting of 4 sets of each exercise in a range of 10 to 12 repetitions (70% of 1RM).
2- Group 2: She did 4 exercises per week consisting of 4 sets of each exercise in a range of 3 to 5 repetitions (90% of 1RM).
Both groups performed the same exercises (which included bench press, back squat, dead lift, and shoulder seated push).
And both were instructed to maintain normal eating habits (which was monitored with the food diary).
The result? ..
After eight weeks of training.
Scientists found that “Group 2” had gained much more muscle and strength than “Group 1.”
It is not surprising that the high-intensity group gained more strength, but many people did not expect them to gain more muscle either. .
Researchers point to two main reasons why weights that are heavier and lighter build muscle.
1- Higher amounts of stress imposed on the muscles, resulting in greater amounts of metabolic stress.
2- Urging a greater number of muscle fibers to work to resist the weight, causing more damage to the fibers, and thus a better result appears after these fibers recover again.
The best cardio exercises to build muscle and burn fat at the same time
You can burn fat without resorting to cardio exercises.
But if you want to get rid of fat more quickly, you can benefit from cardio exercises, provided you employ them in a manner that suits your goals.
For this purpose, “HIIT” is considered the best cardio exercise system.
It is also gaining more popularity these days as studies have proven that it is the best cardio diet to burn fat and preserve muscle mass compared to other cardio exercises.
What is “HITT” and why is it the most powerful cardio exercise program?
For example, if you are on a treadmill, you exercise with the Sprint system at full speed for a minute, for example, and then reduce your speed for 3-4 minutes and then repeat the process.
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Western Ontario gives us insight into their effectiveness.
The study was conducted on 10 men and 10 women who trained 3 days a week, and divided them into two groups.
- The first group does 4 sets of “running at full speed for a period ranging between” 30 to 60 seconds “and breaks between 4-6 minutes.
- The second group is running on a treadmill for a period ranging from “30 to 60 minutes”, about 60 per cent of their training load.
The result: After 6 weeks of follow-up, it was found that the first group had lost more fat than its counterpart.
The reason for the superiority of HIIT compared to traditional cardio methods
Despite the superiority of HIIT over traditional cardio exercises, the exact mechanisms for this are not yet understood, but scientists have isolated some causes, including the following:
- An increase in the metabolism rate, which reaches 24 hours after exercise. In other words, oxygen burning in the muscle remains for longer periods, which results in burning excess fat.
- Improve insulin sensitivity in muscles.
- Higher levels of muscle fat oxidation.
- An increase in levels of growth hormone (which helps with fat loss) and levels of catecholamine (which are chemicals your body produces to mobilize and burn fat stores).
- Suppress appetite after exercise.
The Best Cardio Exercises “Based on the HIIT System”
- Free running: After running to warm up, run as fast as possible for 30 seconds, then walk or run at a slow pace for one minute, repeat for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Riding a bike: In the same pattern as for free running, alternate between short periods at the maximum possible speed, then reduce the intensity until you catch your breath.
- Squat with only body weight with jumping: as in the previous examples.
- You can apply the same strategy to many other exercises, such as swimming or skipping rope, among others.
Although HIIT has been proven effective, it is not suitable if you suffer from diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or if you have a history of heart disease.
The importance of sleep in building muscle and burning fat together
Research shows that sleep deprivation causes hormonal disruptions that can cause muscle loss, which helps explain why it is linked to muscular dystrophy.
For example, one study by researchers at the University of Chicago found that when 10 healthy men reduced sleep for a week from about 9 hours a night to 5, testosterone levels decreased by up to 14%.
Insufficient sleep also reduces growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor levels, which play important roles in maintaining and building muscle mass.
Sleep restriction also raises cortisol levels, which increases muscle weakness.
And when it comes to fat loss, sleeping too little can increase your appetite, making you more likely to break your diet.
Sleep needs vary from person to person, but according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Adults need an average of between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night each night for adequate muscle recovery.
So, be sure to get a full sleep to be able to build muscle and burn fat successfully.