If you really want to improve the way that your body looks there are two key components to focus on:
#1 losing fat – the less fat you have the leaner and firmer you look
#2 increasing muscle mass – to enhance your shape and increase metabolism (the more muscle you have the more calories you burn)
Lots of people say that you can’t build muscle and lose fat at the same time…
Which isn’t true.
Providing you do the following…
#1 Consume Enough Protein
To lose fat you have to create a calorie deficit e.g. consume less than your body needs, so that it uses it’s stored energy for fuel. When in a deficit your body will take energy either from fat (ideal), muscle (not ideal!) or from carbohydrates (glycogen) – which are stored in the muscles and liver and used for energy.
When trying to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously we want to burn fat for fuel, use carbohydrates for energy (to train hard) and use protein to build muscle. Get this right and your body will improve enormously.
As mentioned in order to build muscle you need protein. This is key and often neglected by people trying to improving their body shape.
Whilst creating a calorie deficit is paramount to losing weight, far too many people end up losing weight, but their weight loss is often a combination of fat, water and too much muscle. You need to keep/build as much muscle as you can, because not only will muscle make you look leaner, but it will also help you to burn more calories over a 24 hour period (which is going to mean it’s easier to stay lean!).
Each day i’d recommend consuming between 1.5-2g of protein per KG of bodyweight. Let’s say you weigh 80kg, that means you need between 120g-160g of protein each day. Foods high in protein are: chicken, mince, turkey, steak, eggs, salmon, cod, tuna, nuts, protein bars, and whey protein.
#2 Train Hard
It’s amazing how many people undergo a muscle building/fat loss program but don’t train very hard. They may think they do, but the intensity is no way near what it could be…
I remember thinking I used to train hard, until I signed up to a personal trainer called Mark Coles (owner of M10 Fitness) and he totally killed me lol! I had never trained that hard in my life, and realised after those sessions with Mark that I had a lot more in the tank.
If you’re not sure whether you are training hard enough then i’d 100% recommend investing in a private 1-1 personal trainer to help you achieve your goals. A good coach will provide a plan of action and get the very best out of you each session.
I’m a firm believer that no matter who you are, or how good you are, there’s always room for improvement. Look at all of the top bodybuilders, athletes and sports hero’s – they all have coaches, personal trainers, physios, dieticians, etc, etc! To get the best results invest in a coach.
With your training you should be constantly looking to improve, for example by: lifting more weight, completing more reps, taking less rest, doing more overall volume, becoming faster, etc, etc.
#3 Assess Progress
I wrote an in-depth article recently on how to assess your progress during a fat loss phase – read full post here. In order to keep on track and make-sure what you are doing is working it’s important to assess progress along the way. When trying to build muscle and lose fat at the same time i’d recommend…
- taking your weight each week
- taking progress pictures every 1-2 weeks
- taking body fat and muscle measurements
- record training progress – e.g. a log book of your weights, sets, reps, etc.
The aim is to improve on each of the above.
Thanks for reading,