It can sometimes seem to be the ultimate goal of body building – build muscle while simultaneously losing fat. However, it can also seem to be an internal contradiction. Common thinking has it that in order to build muscle you need to eat more. And in order to lose weight you need to eat less.
So, is possible to lose weight and build muscle? It is if you carefully design a program that consists of the right number of calories and brief, high intensity weight lifting.
The Right Number of Calories
You first need to learn how to count calories for weight loss and the amount of calories you require to maintain your current level of body weight. Start by weighing yourself and use a calorie counter to determine how many calories you eat per day. After three weeks, weigh yourself again and if you are the same weight as when you started then you now know how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight.
Next, start your weight lifting program as outlined below, and drop the number of calories you eat by 300 calories per day. If you are losing weight and gaining muscle after three weeks, keep these numbers of calories. If you aren’t losing weight, reduce your daily count by another 300. If you are not building muscle but are losing fat then you will need to fine tune by increasing your calories.
High Intensity Body Building
As you are on a calorie controlled diet, you will need to implement a typical hardgainer body building program. This means a brief number of sets and compound exercises done very intensely. A typical hardgainer program would consist of squats, bench press and chin ups or pulldown.
You would do each exercise once per week. You would also only do one set (yes, one set) done to the point of muscle failure – that is when the muscle is so exhausted you can’t move the weight anymore. This is maximum intensity and actually the most you can fatigue a muscle.
Combining high intensity body building with a slight reduction in calories is an effective way to lose fat and build muscle. If you have an excess of fat then you may want to also include a moderate amount of cardio exercise of about 30 minutes 3 times per week in order drop some extra pounds.