The key to gaining muscle is to train with weights. Many other activities can create some muscular gains, but nothing beats straight-up strength training. The key is to master those exercises in which will give you the most benefit, and lifting the weight with a proper strategy.
If you focus on weight training, the fat loss will eventually become a reality. It is achieved a lot faster if you observe your nutrition and make intelligent choices daily. Below I will highlight some tips that will help you get there a lot more quickly.
6 Ways to lose fat and gain muscle – fast
- Focus on the multi-joint lifts, and save the isolated exercises at the end of your session. When you are at your strength peak in a workout (usually when you begin), it’s essential to focus on an exercise that’s the most taxing on your body, and therefore, will give you the best results. Hitting it first up will allow you to use all your energy to focus on making this the biggest and best lift of your workout.
Think squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench press and pull-ups. Isolated exercises are still great, but should be left to those that have already gained some size, and are looking to fitness a specific muscle (like your traps, etc.). Always write down how much you have lifted and the reps. This helps monitor your progress and keeps you accountable.
It’s imperative to track your progress, so you have something tangible to work with next time around.
- The technique needs to be correct – if not, practice it until it is. Everyone starts at the bottom, beginning the journey. The trick is to keep practising until you get the movement right. Then you will have the leverage to pack on the weights and get results. The most important part of the movement is the lowering (this is called the eccentric phase). It’s essential to count to 4 when you lower the weight, and 1–2 when you lift the weight. Always use a full range of movement, not partially executing the repetitions. Doing it this way probably means you won’t be able to lift a lot, but that’s not important here. The focus is on getting the technique right and getting the most leverage from the movement, to create hypertrophy and strength gains.
- Isometric training is the best kept hidden secret. One movement I’ve been using for many years is the isometric protocol. It increases the neural drive to maximise the strength potential of newly developed muscles.
The concept is performing one-and-a-quarter contractions on a particular movement. This can be with a squat (on the downward phase), leg extensions, biceps curls, triceps curls and even calf raises. In describing the squat, so you can get more of an idea how the movement is performed, you go all the way down, then come up 20–30 degrees, pause for one second, the descent back to the bottom and then come up quickly.
To add more of a growth factor, do not extend your legs fully on the way up. Do not stop at the top for a break! This gets the burn going, and increases your potential for muscular and strength growth exponentially! Try it and see for yourself!
- Let’s touch on nutrition for this point here. When you work harder in the gym and are aiming for muscular growth and strength, you need to make sure your food is as good as it can be. Increase your fat intake by getting it in coconut oil, avocado, salmon, fish oil, butter or olive oil.
These are all anti-inflammatory and will help you to recover faster from your training. Try to increase your caloric intake once per week to about 150%. You have been eating all week properly, and this one time will help you to increase muscle protein synthesis, as well as give your body an abundance of calories for recovery. This could be in the form of a cheat meal, or a high caloric meal, including a cheat meal dessert. Once per week is not going to cause any problem with fat gain. It’s continually eating this way which will cause fat accumulation.
- Plan your training sessions properly – in 4-week increments. Think of this as your intensification and accumulation phases.
Accumulation is more reps and sets, with more significant time under tension. This brings on more muscular gains, whilst burning more fat stores.
Intensification is lifting weights that are more towards your maximal load that can be handled (as in, very heavy). This means fewer repetitions and less time performing the movement. You can always offset this by performing more sets, but that’s for another blog post. This strategy means that during the year, you will be increasing your strength, as well as building muscle, whilst losing body fat! There is no more significant accomplishment than this one. Hitting three goals all at once, patiently and with precision. I recommend you train this way all the time, changing your exercises constantly, to have the best gain the best possible results.
- For fat loss, consider strongman or HIIT. Strongman training is excellent, as can use quite a range of equipment, that can make the workout exciting and very challenging. Think kettlebells, medicine balls, skipping ropes, sled and even rope slaps. When it comes to HIIT, try getting outdoors for hill sprints or track sprints. If all else fails and temperatures do not permit this training, using a treadmill is still a great option. Make sure your efforts are gearing towards your maximal capacity, and the only sprint on and off for a 20–30-minute duration. More will be detrimental to your body composition goals.
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