Friday, 13 November 2009

How to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Every bodybuilder at one point or another has tried in vain to pack on muscle and reduce fat to a level where they look ripped.Reason being is simply in order to pack on muscle you have to feed your body with a surplus of calories which everyone will know is the complete opposite to cutting down.In some case yes there are people who have achieved both even myself but not to such an extent that i was overwhelmed with the results.As long as you maintain a balanced diet with healthy foods train like a machine and mix it up and keep up the consistancy then there is no reason why you cant achieve your goal of a jaw dropping body.

Here is some advice i think you will find gives you a kick in the ass and gets you up off your butt and to the gym.

Anyone who's ever truly been on a real bulking phase or a cutting phase will know exactly what extremes I'm talking about. In order to gain muscle the body needs food and lots of it coupled with a reduction of all extraneous activities. In order to shed fat after building this muscle the body needs much few calories and lots more tedious cardiovascular type exercise. To try and embark on a mutual compromise between bulking and cutting typically brings compromising results in either direction.

However, with science, information, and understanding on how the various systems of the body function, we can better understand and apply correct exercise and nutritional timing to better enable us to achieve the goal of increasing muscle mass and losing fat simultaneously. The plan I am about to unfold here is, as only a bodybuilder would have it, a bit extreme. However, if dedicated to and followed, it will enable you to achieve these 2 mutually exclusive goals simultaneously by taking advantage of nutrient and exercise timing.

What we are going to do is take advantage of the body's hormonal state as it pertains to day to day circadian rhythms, exercise, and nutrient timing. The plan involves periods of both rather extreme underfeeding for fat loss, and rather extreme overfeeding for muscle gain coupled with both training for fat loss (cardio, HIT) and training for muscle gain (heavy weights). Basically what will be happening is you'll be in a fat burning mode the majority of the time eating lower carbs and calories and performing fat burning activities like regular cardio and HIT cardio to help in this aspect.

The rest of the time you'll either be sleeping, hitting the iron heavy and hard, or eating like a madman to drive protein synthesis, build muscle, and take advantage of the anabolic hormones induced by the weight training and feeding schedule. So let's take a look at the nuts and bolts of the program.


Some form of cardio should be done 3-6 days per and alternated between longer, slow duration cardio, and HIT cardio. Walking on a slightly inclined treadmill for 45 minutes is an ideal form of the longer duration cardio which should be performed on weight training days (up to 3x per week) and sprinting outdoors, on a treadmill and/or cycling is an ideal form of HIT cardio which should be done on weight training off days (2-3x per week). For the HIT portion there are many different methods of implementing this.

I like to keep the work:rest intervals a little longer than most at 1:2. As an example, after a 4 minute slow jog/cycle warm up perform 20 seconds of all out sprints followed by 40 seconds of jogging repeated for 8-12 sets with a 4 minute cooldown of slow jogging at the end. If there is one key to HIT cardio it is to keep it creative. Basically, the more you struggle with fat gain and/or loss, the more cardio and HIT sessions you'll need to perform with 3 cardio and 3 HIT cardio sessions being the max. Those somewhere in the middle of the metabolic continuum should perform 3 HIT sessions and ditch the regular cardio sessions. Those with excellent metabolisms might find they need only 1 or 2 HIT sessions per week.

Weight Training

The actual content of your weight training sessions is not nearly as important as the timing. It is important for this program that your weight training sessions be done sometime in the late afternoon/early evening to allow you to burn fat throughout the day as this is the time when you'll be eating a lower calorie/low carb diet. Also make sure you schedule the weight training early enough in the evening so that you are allowed a minimum of 6 hours between your weight training session and bedtime as this is the time you will be overfeeding to drive protein synthesis and replenish glycogen stores. Doing so too early in the day would halt fat burning for the rest of the day and put a damper on our training and fat burning economy.

The weight training should be done 3x per week on alternate days, M/W/F or Tu/Thu/Sat being ideal. The training sessions should consist of heavy, basic compound movements with some overlap. In other words, don't make any sessions arms only as you want workouts that stimulate a lot of anabolic hormones and muscle mass.

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