How To Build Muscles And Lose Fat

There are several questions that I’m continually asked at JAR Fit in Denver, CO. One of those is how to build muscles and lose fat at the same time. It’s truly a challenge, since you need all the nutrients to build muscle tissue, but also few enough to shed weight. Preparing for competition can require both, depending on your present level of fitness. Shedding weight and gaining muscle is called body recomposition.

To get that chiseled appearance, you have to shed fat and build lean muscle mass.

It doesn’t matter how many exercises you do or how muscular your abs are, if you have a layer of fat covering them, you’ll never make the first cut at competition. This type of fitness requires both exercise and a healthy diet. Your diet should have about 25 percent protein, but that will vary from individual to individual based on your goals. That means you require about 1.5 grams of protein for every pound you weigh. I create programs for clients that include a diet specific to their needs. Your diet also needs micronutrients that help build muscle tissue. Even though you’re trying to shed fat, you definitely need it in your diet. In fact, approximately 15% of your calories should come from healthy fat.

People who are just trying to lose weight aim for a 500 calorie shortage every day.

If you’re getting ready for competition or simply want to shed those extra pounds while building muscle, you don’t want to take the route of calorie deficit. You need those calories to build muscle. The key is to increase your activity, but maintain your caloric intake for your weight, otherwise, you’ll break down muscle to make up the deficit in energy. On the days you do strength training and have a tough HIIT workout, you’ll actually increase your caloric intake minimally. On your off days, you’ll eat normal calories for weight maintenance, but on the days you workout, up that amount slightly by 200 to 300 calories. You’ll have the energy to function at peak performance, but building muscle, rather than fat.

Focus more on strength training and less on cardio training.

Cardio burns calories, but it doesn’t discriminate what it burns to get that energy. Strength training also burns calories, but from fat tissue, while building muscle tissue. If you want to burn more calories, use strength training compound exercises, which work more muscle groups at once. Also HIIT—high intensity interval training—strength training workouts can provide the cardio you need, while also focusing on muscle building.

  • Make sure you’re drinking adequate water throughout the process. Even moderate dehydration can affect your workout and strength. Studies show dehydration can reduce performance by as much as 18%.
  • Get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling hungry, since it causes the hunger hormones and satiety hormones to go out of balance. It doesn’t give the body, especially the muscles a chance to recover and build.
  • More is not always better. Recovery time is extremely important when you’re building muscle tissue. If you don’t give your body a chance to do that, it is unproductive and hurts your progress.
  • Lean muscle mass requires you to lift to failure. Varying the weight you use and number of reps is also important. If you’re using lighter weights, do more reps. I’ll design a program specific to your needs and take out the guesswork.

For more information, contact us today at JarFit Body Transformation


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