People who aspire to improve their physical appearance by losing body fat and gaining muscle mass have always asked me the same question: Is it even possible to lose fat and gain muscles simultaneously? After all, it’s commonly believed that you have to store calories to build muscle and burn them to lose fat. However, it is possible to do both.
The people who posses body fat in abundance are the lucky ones here, because their reservoir of fat will help them in the short-term to build new muscles. That’s because the fat acts as a fuel for muscle growth . That said, all you need to build muscles is the following exercise routine.
Leg Press: 1 Set of 25 Repetitions
Deadlift: 1 Set of 20 Repetitions
Smith Machine Calf Raise: 1 Set of 25 Repetitions
Close-Grip EZ Bar Curl: 1 Set of 12 to 15 Repetitions
Plank: Hold as long as possible
Wide-Grip Pulldown Behind The Neck or
Pullups: 1 Set of 15 Repetitions each
Cable Crossover: 1 Set of 20 Repetitions
Triceps Dips: 1 Set of 15 Repetitions
Upright row (EZ-bar): 1 Set of 12 to 15 Repetitions
Side Lateral Raise: 1 Set of 15 to 20 Repetitions
Front Dumbbell Raise: 1 Set of 15 to 20 Repetitions
This leg exercise is great for adding size to your legs. It helps you focus on your major leg muscles, including the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings . It also significantly increases strength. If you like to squat, this is the workout for you — if not, it will still help, since you should never skip leg day. The best part about the workout is that it takes the load off your back; it prevents there from being too much pressure directly on the spinal cord.
Sit down on a leg press machine and place your legs in front of you. Press the weighted platform while lowering the safety bars, and extend your legs completely. Make sure to get a perfect 90 degree angle with your torso and legs when you bring them back in.
Deadlifts are said to be the king of mass-gaining exercises. Anyone who wishes to add muscles to their upper and lower body for a stronger and better physique can't do without it. It strengthens the core, which supports all the other muscle groups, and simultaneously works more muscles than any other exercise. It forces the whole body to grow.
In terms of form, keep your feet hip-width apart with your back flat from start to finish. Squat down, hold the bar, and pull up. Lower the bar and repeat. Focus on good posture every time you deadlift in order to reduce your risk of getting injured. Long live deadlift!
Smith Machine Calf Raise
Calf raises are a method for exercising the gastrocnemius muscles of the lower leg. These muscles are actually made up of fast twitch muscle fibers, which means they benefit more from heavy loads and low repetitions.
That said,, set the bar on the smith machine around shoulder height and rack up the weights you want to use. Grasp the bar and position it across the top of your back muscles, not the neck. Space your feet shoulder-width apart and stand on your toes maintaining this position for a second. Squeeze the calf muscles, then slowly lower the heels and repeat.
Close-Grip EZ Bar Curl
This exercise is for those who want to build biceps really fast. Experts recommend it over a straight bar because it allows your wrists and elbows to be in a more natural position.
Stand straight holding an EZ curl bar on the inner handle with the palm of your hands facing up and elbows close to the torso. Keep the upper arm stationary, and focus only on moving the forearm. Curl the weight forward and raise it until your biceps are fully contracted. Take it back to the starting position and repeat.
Cable crossovers are considered an advanced exercise. The shoulder blades in this exercise are free to move in a more natural way than typical exercises, which pin them to a bench. It also allows the body to move more freely.
Begin by placing the pulley in a position higher than you are tall, and select the amount of resistance you need. Hold the cables in each hand, step forward in a straight line bending your knees a little, and pull each cable forward. Let your arms extend to the side and keep a slight bend in your elbows so that they make a wide arch. Do this until you feel your chest stretching and then repeat.
The plank is one of the best exercises to get a flat and toned stomach. This single exercise works out all the muscles in your core. Because of that you will experience an increase in your metabolism, significantly improve your posture, and become more flexible than ever.
So, get into a push-up position, supporting your weight only with your toes and forearms. Your elbows should be placed directly below the shoulders. Keep you body straight and hold the position as long as possible. To increase the difficulty level, try different variations of it, such as a side plank, straight arm plank, or one-legged plank.
Triceps dips are perfect in every way. They are superior to push-ups because they focus specifically on the triceps, which means you’ll add muscle weight and strength to the upper body. Compared to the biceps, the triceps are “the larger, stronger, and more important muscle,” celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak told Men’s Journal .
To do this exercise, squat in front of a chair or bench, holding the edges with your knuckles pointed out. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows. Make sure your arms support your weight as you go down, then lift up to your starting point and repeat.
Now, in order to lose body fat at the same time as you build muscle, you’ll need to follow a strict cardio plan. First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach is best — you’ll be able to eat afterward. Experts suggest doing 30 to 45 minutes of cardio before eating because your body will use its fat stores as a source of energy .
Make sure to follow a cardio and muscle building exercise routine on the same day for better results. If you cannot do cardio in the morning, do it in the evening or right after your workout. Keep your diet clean. Eat lots of foods rich in protein, keep your carbs low, and drink as much water as you can. Avoid frozen meals, artificially sweetened drinks, alcohol, carbohydrate-rich foods that absorb oil, and high-fiber snack bars.
So, let the fat-burning and muscle-building routine begin. Good luck, folks!
Evie Dawson is a fitness coach and health writer based in Boston, Mass. Her passion is to encourage others to rediscover their lifestyle and get inspired for organic living. Follow her on Twitter .