Article seen on Livestrong.com, written by Andrew Bennett.
Many trainers and fitness gurus will tell you that you cannot build muscle at the same time as burning fat. It is much harder to build muscle on a diet, due to caloric restriction, however, the human body is truly an amazing machine. With proper nutrition and training, the body can partition nutrients, breaking down body fat for energy and building muscle simultaneously. There are training and dietary tips to put you on the fast track to building muscle and losing fat on your next diet.
Perform resistance training workouts three to five days per week. Lifting weights or using weight machines stimulates muscle growth and keeps our bodies burning fat for up to 48 hours or more following training sessions. Find a good training program and stick to it for at least four weeks. The e-books “Xtreme Lean,” by Jonathan Holman and Steve Lawson, and “Combat the Fat,” by Jeff Anderson are two good choices. In addition, you can access thousands of free training articles at Bodybuilding.com.
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Do cardiovascular workouts five days per week. The “Muscle Nerd,” Jeff Anderson, recommends low-intensity cardio, such as walking at a steady pace on the treadmill, set at an incline. Low-intensity cardio uses more body fat for fuel and does not break down precious metabolically active muscle tissue. However, jogging, swimming and riding a bicycle are also good cardio exercises. Workout duration may vary from 10 to 60 minutes. Cardio is cumulative, so you can do it all at once, or split it into several smaller sessions. Take at least one day off a week from all formal training.
Add NA, or negative-accentuated, sets to your workout. The negative portion of an exercise is the range of motion in which the weight is lowered. Slowly lower the weight on any given exercise with a 6-second count. According to fitness authors Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman, this strategy causes micro-tears in muscle tissue, which take a lot of calories to repair. In addition, the NA technique triggers the release of growth hormone, which is a potent natural fat-burning hormone in our bodies.
Add drop sets to your workout program. Drop sets extend the tension on muscles to help increase muscle tone and definition. Many trainees know from experience that higher-rep training helps with fat-burning, however, they do not understand why, or how, to optimize this training variable. To do a drop set, complete a full set of 10 repetitions, for example, then immediately decrease or “drop” the weight and do another set of 6 to 8 reps until the point of exhaustion or failure. Training to failure means stopping the set when you can no longer do a controlled repetition. Once you get the hang of drop sets try double or triple drop sets, decreasing the weights several times and performing back-to-back sets with no rest in-between.
Eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day. According to the “Fat Burning Bible,” the best macro-nutrient ratio for burning fat is 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 40 percent carbohydrates. Eat “clean” by consuming only lean proteins, such as fish, turkey, chicken, lean beef cuts or whey protein. For carbohydrates, stick to oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain bread and pasta or sweet potatoes. The majority of your fats should come from olive or flax seed oil, avocados, natural peanut butter or nuts and seeds.
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Andrew Bennett enjoys exploring health and fitness through his personal workouts, as well as researching the latest about the subject. As a natural body builder, Bennett enjoys the ongoing pursuit of health and wellness in all aspects of life. He writes articles, blogs, copy, and even award-winning screenplays.