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How to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat

Gaining muscle while losing fat can be a tricky balance of calorie intake and exercise. Most of the time, losing fat while gaining lean body mass will be a slow process, but by following some simple tips and tricks, you can develop a routine a diet that helps you become lean and ripped.

To gain lean muscle mass, you need to constantly force your body to grow and produce more muscle.  How does one do that, you say? It is all about the fitness principle of progressive overload.

This principle states that to build muscle, your body needs to be challenged everyday, and you need to do this on a consistent basis. Challenging your body can be accomplished by a variety of different ways – heavier weight, less rest, more reps, and more sets.  The key is to always challenge your body.

Compound exercises combined with isolation work will work every muscle in your body and really tax your body. High intensity interval training (HIIT) can be done after each workout to really push your metabolism into overdrive. HIIT training is intended to be completed in a short amount of time and produce maximum results.

Usually, this requires alternating a 30-40 second recovery period with a 15-20 seconds of hard sprinting, biking, swimming or other cardio work.  HIIT has been proven to increase your VO2 max (your maximal oxygen consumption), and burn fat more effectively than low long duration activity like biking for an hour.

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In addition to lifting heavy, using compound exercises, and adding HIIT cardio, your diet needs to be on point in order to see fat loss and lean muscle gain. By providing your body with the nutrients it needs to build muscle, you decrease recovery time and are able to see results quicker.

Your diet should consist of approximately 1 pound of protein per pound of lean muscle. Try to consume complex carbohydrates when ever possible, like: sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal. Have as many fruits and vegetables as you like, and get healthy fats like flax seed oil, olive oil, and omega 3.

Another important aspect of gaining muscle and lose fat is recovery time and how many hours of sleep you get. Overtraining can seriously hinder your progress, and lifters should be careful to listen to their body and get rest when they need to. Now, this doesn’t mean missing a work out because you’re tired, it means if you are unusually sore or sick, you should probably take the day off.

Sleep is important because not only does it improve your emotional well-being, it also helps your physical well-being. The body does much of the muscle-repairing during sleep, so it is important to get around 8 hours a night (teenagers may require more).

Following these simple tips and principles will help you on your way to building muscle and losing fat at the same time. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. The scale might not reflect your dedication and consistency, so use the mirror to judge your progress!

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