Losing Fat Before Building Muscle?
You want to gain 3 to 5 pounds of muscle. But, you are also overweight and you also need to lose fat. Is it better to focus first on fat loss or building muscle?
If you are an overweight beginner, losing fat or building muscle is not mutually exclusive. With a good diet and a workout program, you can do both at the same time. In fact, bodybuilding programs designed to boost muscle growth also appear to be an extremely effective way to lose fat.
In 2002, a research unit at the University of Wisconsin found that a 31-minute session, consisting of just 3 exercises (bench press, power clean and squat), increased the rate at which fat is burned for at least 2 minutes. days after the end of training.
More recently, Italian scientists have observed the effect of a rest-pause workout, using compound exercises (thigh press, bench press and seated row) and heavy weight (80-85% of the 1RM, which which limits you to series of 5 to 10 repetitions). When measured 22 hours later, meal metabolism increased by 450 calories. Much of this increase was due to an increase in fat metabolism. All this from a workout that lasted less than 25 minutes.
In other words, the type of workout that gives you the greatest increase in metabolism after the session is also the type of workout that will make your muscles bigger.
In addition, lifting weights also burns more calories during the training itself than previously thought. Traditionally, energy expenditure during exercise was estimated by calculating how much oxygen your body uses. However, this method is not particularly accurate when it comes to intense intermittent exercises, such as strength training.
Bodybuilding training should be considered as an example where oxygen supply can not be used to correctly interpret energy expenditure. As exercise intensity increases, the anaerobic and post-exercise components contribute more and more to caloric expenditure. Leaving aside any of these components, as many studies do, results in an incomplete estimate of the number of calories burned.
What all this means is that strength training is a much more powerful tool than you think when it comes to losing fat. So, if you are an overweight beginner and you are not sure whether to focus on fat loss or muscle building, choose the first one. By combining strength training and a calorie deficit you will lose fat while building a few muscles.
If you are overweight but not a beginner, I would also recommend focusing on fat loss. A dry and massive type of 85 kilos will always be more impressive than another fatter, weighing 100 kilos.
Your routine should be based on exercises with a high metabolic demand. I’m talking about squats, deadlift, row, pull-ups, and bench press (as well as military development), using weights that limit you to a range of 5 to 15 repetitions per set. This type of workout will help you gain muscle while maximizing your energy expenditure.
But, you can not train like that on a daily basis. That’s why I recommend combining weight training with low-intensity activity such as brisk walking early in the morning. Walking or pedaling, at a low or moderate pace, burns some extra fat without overly interfering with your performance at the gym. This is not the case with more intense forms of exercise, such as HIIT.
Strength training is one of the best ways to change your body composition, and it should be practiced from the first day of a program for weight loss.