Weight Loss or Muscle Building

Weight loss or muscle building are two options that can be contradictory. Muscle weighs more than fat so in converting fat to muscle, a person is likely to gain weight and lose inches.

weight loss or muscle building
Weight loss or muscle building

The Right Way to Lose Weight

There are a few good paths to losing weight. It is important in losing weight that you think about losing fat and not stripping your body of lean muscle. Therefore, a weight loss program should include resistance training or you lose weight and get weaker structurally.

We must consider that the body sheds lean muscle as we age and if we don’t exercise. If we don’t exercise we can lose muscle mass and bone density. Both are bad. The third result from not exercising muscle is that insulin carries sugars straight to adipose tissue (fat) instead of to muscle tissue.

A beginner exerciser program will usually focus on losing fat and gaining muscle. It can sound like converting fat to muscle, but in reality they work together but separately.

Losing Fat

Aerobics and calorie reducing will cause the body to lose fat. Low impact aerobics use fatty acids for fuel. A reduction in calorie intake will induce the body to use fatty acids for fuel. An advantage of aerobics in burning fat is it will burn endomycium fat first which is the fat that wraps around muscle fibers and prevents muscle from absorbing nutrients and expelling wastes. This is invisible fat unlike viseral fat that is under the skin.

Burning muscle for exercise and following with a quick carbohydrate and protein snack will start training the muscles to absorb glucose and interrupt its trip directly to adipose tissue. Over weight individuals that have not been exercising should begin by reducing calories and walking every day.

This begins the aerobic process of weight loss. This weight will be fat. As the body gets conditioned to burning fat for fuel the individual can begin adding movement exercises to ensure posture and function are correct before adding weight to resistance exercise.

The Moderate Exerciser

A moderate exerciser engaging three to five days a week that wants to lose fat and build muscle should engage in an aerobic and resistance training program. Low impact aerobics use fatty acids for fuel. Intermediate aerobics of higher intensity where intervals, speed, or duration of over an hour are included, burn fat and glucose, but also burn lean muscle.

It is important that intense exercise is accompanied by the correct nutrition program. The muscles will need carbohydrates and protein to perform. A meal should be ingested two or three hours before intense exercise. Afterward, the body will use muscle for fuel so another meal should be consumed with carbohydrates and protein to begin anabolism (building muscle)

The Muscle Building Process

To maintain the body’s muscle building process, carbohydrates and protein should be consumed every four hours. Protein becomes unusable by the body after four hours so if muscle is trying to repair and build, it will begin to use muscle for fuel. Carbohydrates cause insulin to spike and insulin will take glucose and protein to muscles in need of glucose and nutrients for building.

Beginner resistance training starts with high reps at low weight loads (50% to 60% of capacity) to burn fat, build endurance, build strength, and prevent injury. This exercise should be coupled with low impact aerobics like walking, tread mill, swimming, or biking to continue weight loss, build cardiovascular fitness, and build aerobic endurance.

A combination of aerobics and resistance training is the best process for weight loss and muscle building. After the beginner exerciser is conditioned, they can begin adding weight to resistance training and reducing the amount of reps.

Advanced Training

Advanced training includes lifting loads near maximum capacity with only 4 to 6 reps. The exerciser is then building maximum strength and increasing size. Building muscle will use fatty acids for fuel in rebuilding but a nutritional program must be closely followed to assist the body in what would appear to be converting fat to muscle.

For more in depth coverage of formulas for this process see the Fitness page.

For Coaching to begin your program see the Coaching page.

For Packages on beginning a program and saving money see Packages.