Don’t think it’s possible? Think again!
The capacity of the human body is an endless and fascinating thing. A lot of limits can be pushed with the right amount of balance, determination and discipline. Just like any other workout program, it’s hard to start off but it gets better.
It is possible to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. Regardless of how many times that it’s been said otherwise! It involves a balance between diet and exercise, which is no surprise.
Let’s take the process apart and see where the puzzles fit:
The science behind how muscle bulk is attained is through protein biosynthesis, which the normal wear-and-tear process of the muscle cells in the body. The life cycle of a muscle cell is approximately ten years. That is a pretty long time! So how do we build muscle? When muscle fibers are damaged through high intensity exercise, the muscles regenerate. The process not only repairs the damaged tissue but it makes it even better. The new muscle tissue would be able to withstand the initial damage and then some; making the muscle fibers thicker and stronger. This is how the muscle builds up. If the rate of muscle repair is greater than the rate of damage then it results in bulk.
Fat reduction on the other hand involves the metabolism. The primary energy source of the body is derived from calories. When calories are used up, the secondary energy source would kick in, which is fat. So to lose fat, there has to be a deficit of calories in the body. Limiting calories would burn fat, but it can also inhibit protein biosynthesis. Hence, the need to adjust the diet.
So how can you achieve both at the same time?
First off, this focuses on two processes at the same time, which means short-term results won’t be as prominent as when you are focusing on a single process. Don’t expect immediate results, since it is a delicate balance that needs to be done consistently over a longer period of time.
Diet and Proper Meal Plan
The first step to take before hitting the gym is getting a proper meal plan. For this goal, the best form of diet to take is a moderate calorie deficit diet, wherein 20% to 25% of calories are taken out from the normal calorie intake. This percentage would encourage fat metabolism without inhibiting protein biosynthesis.
Compound Lifting and HIIT workout
With two goals, there are also two different exercises to address each. Heavy compound lifting, with moderate repetition range and sets, will help build muscle. Moderate intensity workouts would promote muscle growth without excessive muscle damage. Examples of these exercises are bench press, squats and deadlifts.
High intensity interval training is a combination of sudden stops and starts. A concrete example is 30 second sprints with 5 minutes of rest in between for 6 sets. Not only does this burn more fat than a straight cardiovascular workout, it also inflicts less damage on the muscle tissue. This may seem short but long cardio workouts have been linked to muscle hypotrophy and decreased function.
This is no surprise. Getting enough sleep is very important in building muscle! It is during sleep that the body repairs any damage that occurred during the day. In the REM sleep phase, the growth hormone which is responsible for muscle repair is released in the body to help with healing and restoration. Sleep regulates so many bodily functions that the recommended hours of sleep is around 7 to 9 hours for adults. So better hit the sack!
With this combo, getting your body to burn fat and build muscle would not only be a possibility but a reality. Get your workout gear and your meal plan ready. Don’t be content with the mediocre and challenge yourself today!