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  • Lose Fat, Gain Muscle – Part I

    By Travis Steffen on Thursday, August 13, 2009in Muscle & Bodybuilding  

    Lose fat, gain muscle…Sounds easy doesn’t it?  Unfortunately the two can be conflicting goals.  The most important part is that you establish exactly what your desired outcome in the gym is.  Do you want to lose fat or gain muscle?…or both?

    As a rule of thumb you generally require more calories to build muscle, and obviously less calories to burn fat.  That’s not to say that while your doing hard cardio exercises or a fat burning workout that you wont develop lean muscle and strength.  Or the opposite, by training purely for muscle gain you cant burn fat.

    In this post I’m going to give you clarity on how to do both, and it should be noted each method will differ for each person.

    Here are my two favorite ways that I have found to be most effective:

    1. Phases

    To lose fat you must have a high-intensity = cardio program complemented with a nutrient-rich, low calorie diet, all while still lifting weights (I’ll explain that bit in a minute).  To build muscle, you need to do less cardio (though some is still important), eat a high protein, nutrient-rich, higher calorie diet – all while lifting weights intensely and regularly.

    Yes, as you may have noticed, these are fundamentally opposite styles of training.  This is the reason why people who try to do both, they often see little or no results in either area.

    One possible solution is to work out in two separate phases,  breaking it into a fat loss phase and then transitioning to a muscle building phase.  This is also known as “cutting” and “bulking”. There are other, equally as effective strategies, but this is one that works well for many.

    Now I hear you asking, “But Lance, if I want to focus on losing fat, why should I lift weights?”

    Good question. Here’s the answer:

    Weight lifting exercises, or any resistance exercises for that matter, have a whole heap of benefits other then just building muscle.  In fact, the process of repairing muscle requires your body to burn calories!  This raises your resting metabolic rate, causing you to burn more fat when your just going about your daily business.  Pretty good deal isn’t it?

    It is for this reason that you must keep your calories higher and cut back on cardio (though not eliminate it entirely) when looking to purely build muscle.

    But I did promise you two methods for losing fat and gaining muscle….

    But that’s in Part II…

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
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    Done reading? Here are a few related posts:

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