How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle – Tips From a Personal Trainer

To lose fat and gain muscle, you need to ignore “the fat burning zone” and remember that veggies preserve muscle mass! These five fat loss, muscle building tips are from certified personal trainer Jini Cicero.

Before her tips, a quip:

“Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes.” – Robert M. Hutchins

That’s not the number one way to lose fat and gain muscle! If you’re serious about bulking up, read The All-Pro Diet: Lose Fat, Build Muscle, and Live Like a Champion.

And, here are five tips for fat loss…

How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle – Tips From a Personal Trainer

1. Remember that an effective workout may last only 45 minutes. The best time to work out is when you can fit it into your schedule — and if it’s done properly, you CAN complete a total body workout in forty-five minutes (complete with warm-up, cardio and stretching).  Keep the rest between sets to a minute, include a series of 4-5 “bursts” of high intensity cardio after resistance training, and end with a stretch of your personal “hot spots” or, the areas of your body that tend to be the tightest. My favorite way to lose weight is with the 10 Minute Solutions Pilates DVDs (high intensity 50 minute workouts).

2. To gain muscle, skip the elliptical trainer. Treadmills and ellipticals are typically the most popular pieces of cardiovascular equipment in the gym. While many people prefer the elliptical because it’s easy on the knees, remember that it also supports a great deal of your body weight. This decreases the demand on your cardiovascular system, so the calories burned is also decreased (and you’re not losing fat!). Additionally, the way these machines are programmed is notoriously inaccurate, so the average person believes he burned a lot more calories than he actually did.

3. To lose fat, work your whole body. For years, the conventional wisdom was to lose weight by breaking it down into a combination of “body parts.” However, the muscles don’t work in isolation!  The body was meant to function as a unit.  Instead of isolating specific body parts, focus on combination movements that work as many muscles simultaneously as possible. You’ll gain muscle if you train your whole body during each workout.

4. Remember that the “fat burning zone” is a myth. Here’s the concept: the body burns a greater amount of fat at lower intensities than it does at higher intensities. It’s true that the body burns a greater percentage of fat at lower intensities than at higher intensities.  But, it’s a greater percentage of a smaller number. At lower intensities 50% of calories may be burned from fat, while at higher intensities only 35% of calories are burned from fat. At higher intensities, you burn a LOT more total calories. So, to lose fat and gain muscle, go for short intense workouts.

5. Eat your fruits and veggies; they increase muscle gain! A recent study suggests plant foods may help preserve muscle mass.  Over time, some foods create a mild but slowly increasing metabolic “acidosis.” Acidosis promotes muscle protein wasting by both increasing protein degradation and inhibiting protein synthesis, or creation.  Diets relatively high in potassium-rich, alkaline-residue producing foods (fruits and vegetables — which the Mediterranean diet is all about — may help neutralize acidosis. This study concluded that eating more (alkaline) vegetables and fruits can help build muscle.  This is particularly important as we age because our muscle mass naturally begins to decreases (and remember: losing muscle mass slows your metabolism).

If you need motivation to achieve your fitness goals, read How the Best Womens’ Golfer in the World Overcame Childhood Scoliosis.

If you have questions or thoughts on these tips for burning fat and building muscle, please comment belowand, read Jini’s other article on Quips & Tips for Achieving Your Goals:5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight – Fat Loss Tips.

To learn more about Jini Cicero, visit her website.


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