How to Burn Fat and Build Muscle
The first step when picking the right routine and meal plan is to figure out your body type.
There are 3 major body types, each of which requires a different style of strength training and diet to burn fat and build muscle properly.
These are the 3 body types:
So what does this mean? Here's a quick breakdown of each body type so you can figure out which is yours (and how to start meeting your goals):
Endomorph - This body type means there is excess fat. If you want to burn fat and build muscle, you are most likely in this category.
Ectomorph - This is the "skinny" group.
Mesomorph - These are the muscular, athletic types.
For me, I wanted to burn some extra fat and gain some more muscle mass to look less like an Endomorph, and more like a Mesomorph. I have always been somewhere in between the two (you know, just enough to to look decent with my shirt on, but not feel so great with my shirt off...)
NOTE: Since this article is focused on losing fat and gaining muscle, I'm going to assume from now on that you are somewhere between an Endomorph and a Mesomorph, so I can focus on helping you reach both goals at the same time.
Alright, so now that you have a good idea of which body type you are, it's time to figure out what you'll need to do to start shedding some body fat and adding some lean muscle mass!
For Endomorphs, the key is to start using a solid strength training routine to boost metabolism. As I mentioned earlier, this allows your body to burn calories all day long, making it much easier to lose fat (and keep it off). More on that in a minute...
It's also very important that you eat properly. This is crucial for Endomorphs, almost more so than the other body types, especially if you want to reach the Mesomorph, muscular figure. Now, I'm sure you've heard about all the fatty foods you're not supposed to eat, and how you should eat more veggies, but there's more to it than that!
Nutrition is NOT just about What you eat!
How you eat and when you eat can be just as important as the actual foods you eat, so it's crucial to pay attention to these aspects of nutrition, too!
What we eat: You know the drill with this. Remember to avoid an excess of SCSCS (Sugar, Cholesterol, Sodium, Carbs & Saturated Fat) and eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, protein, lean meats, and any other whole, natural foods.
How we eat: This is one that many people overlook...try making it a habit to chew your food completely. I know I know, this is a lame tip, right? Nope. The less you chew your food, the more work you're making your digestive system do, meaning your losing calories (energy) to unnecessary work. Sounds good, right? Well, it would be, except for the fact that it makes us hungry more often, meaning it increases the amount of snacks we eat and lowers our metabolism.
Also, follow the 80/20 nutrition guideline: try to stay between 20% and 80% full, all the time. Never get too hungry, and never get too full. It helps to eat smaller meals more often...
When we eat: In order to eat smaller meals and still consume enough calories, it's best to spread our small meals out by 2-4 hours, instead of eating 3 large meals every 6-7 hours. This helps to boost metabolism, curbs cravings, and reduces snacking.
Those guidelines cover at least 80% of what you need to succeed on the nutrition side when trying to build muscle and burn fat. So, let's focus a bit more on the training side:
There are two major sides to training: cardio & weights.
Unfortunately, most people think that they have to run to burn fat, and lift weight to gain muscle. So, they are left with a tough decision if they want to do both..."Should I run AND lift weights 3x/week?"
In short, the answer is NO. If you want to do both, it is a good idea to get some form of cardio exercise in to keep the fat off, and as I've mentioned a few times, strength training boosts metabolism and helps you lose fat and keep it off. So, the key is find a healthy balance of the two.
I personally don't like to run long distances, partly because of the harm it does to my knees, and partly because it gets boring to me. Plus, I don't like to be in the gym for more than 45 minutes at a time, just because I like to have time to get work done, run this website, and have fun. =)
So, how in the World can you workout for 45 minutes,3 times/week, and still burn fat & build muscle?
It's easier than you might think...
You Know How, Now Take Action!
Alright, so you know how important nutrition is when trying to improve your body, and you know that nutrition is not enough. You need to lay a foundation of knowledge about how you fuel your body, but it's just as important to learn how to burn the fuel properly (training).
So, after buying 9 strength training programs online, I found that in order to both of these things (and actually stick to a routine that I liked), I needed to combine two programs together:
1) Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle - Lays the foundation you need for nutrition
2) Turbulence Training - Provides the training routine you need
Now, these programs are of course optional, but the combination helped me to burn fat (I went from 19.6% body fat to 11.4% and lost 28 lbs of excess fat in 4 months) and build muscle (gained about 7 lbs of lean muscle mass and more than doubled my max. bench press).
I used the strength training techniques in Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle and the High-Intensity Interval Training cardio methods in Turbulence Training to stay motivated with my training, and the knowledge I gained about nutrition (and the free printable meal plans with grocery lists) to take action and get results quickly and easily.
If I could only pick one program for someone starting out (especially if they need help with nutrition like I do), I would pick Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle:
However, I will say that Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is much more focused on nutrition, so if you're looking more for a ready-made training routine, you might want to see my Muscle Gain Truth review.
The best form of cardio exercise ever is Interval Training, and Craig Ballantyne (an author for Men's Health) created Turbulence Training, an entire routine based on cardio, bodyweight exercises you can do from home, and traditional weightlifting workouts with the "turbulence twist".
Here's the deal: I tried sifting through all the free stuff online to find the tips I needed to reach my fitness goals, and bounced around from one routine to the next for months. What happened? I failed.
Even though I was a poor college kid at the time, I decided my body was worth the $80 to buy these programs (I actually spent $544.80 in 3 weeks on 9 products), and I'm sooooo glad I did.
I found out pretty quickly that taking action and paying for a strength training routine and meal plans held me accountable. It forced me to stay motivated and focused on using them, which never happened with free crap I found in some random forum.
If you are serious about learning to burn fat & build muscle, I highly recommend you take action.
Get Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle if you want to learn more about nutrition (and get free printable meal plans to get started quickly), and invest in Turbulence Training if you want to take advantage of an expert trainer's high-intensity interval-based training routine for less than the cost of one hour with a personal trainer.
I was so sick of looking down and seeing that extra fat on my stomach, and I knew it was time to get moving and do something about it. It's practically impossible to stay focused & motivated alone, but with the help of these professionals, it's much easier than you could ever imagine.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and I wish you luck in your quest to build muscle and burn fat!
Have a great day,