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Becoming healthier means both losing excess fat and building muscle. The two work hand-in-hand, in order to create a healthy lifestyle. Many may wonder why not focus on one feat at a time: lose the fat, then start building muscle.
There are two key components to your lifestyle that’ll need adjusting in order to lose fat and build muscle effectively: diet and exercise. Dieting can mean many things depending on a person’s health. It could be intermittent fasting, cutting carbs, or simply watching calorie intake. For many people, the exercise component can be the most difficult to adjust long-term. Where do you start? What if you’re too out of shape to do it?
Fortunately, along with diet and exercise, there are supplements that may help expedite the process. High-quality fat burner muscle builder supplements with premium ingredients like chromium picolinate aid in boosting energy levels and metabolism, leading to faster results.
This guide will make it easier for you to get started. Here are some tips and key exercises to help you build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
Cardio is a scary word for many people, as it’s commonly associated with running. Don’t fret—cardio can mean many things. For those who don’t do much regular exercise, just walking a couple of miles a day can be a good source of cardio. As you lose some pounds and gain more strength, you may like to increase the distance you walk or speed up the pace until you’re jogging.
An alternative cardio exercise to spice up your routine is swimming. Fortunately, many gyms offer lap pools if you don’t have a pool in your backyard. Swimming is also a great form of exercise for those who are older, and people with mobility or weight issues, as it’s easier on the joints. You don’t have to train like you’re Michael Phelps to get the benefits of swimming. Simply treading water can burn calories and strengthen muscles. If swimming isn’t your cup of tea either, alternative exercises to lift your heart rate include:
- Cardio machines like stair-climbers, ellipticals, and rowing machines
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
For the best results, it’s recommended you do cardio at least 30 minutes, three days a week.
Weight training has a bad reputation too, as many avoid it so as not to “bulk up”. What people fail to realize is that building muscle also targets fat for faster and more effective results. Weight training can be broken down into five categories: legs, arms, chest, back and abs. To rest your body and achieve better results, it’s recommended you split these categories up into their own days, allowing for five weight training days which can be combined with 30-minute cardio days.
Walking into the gym for the first time can be overwhelming. Weight benches, dumbbells, the list goes on. To ease confusion and aid in your health journey, start with some light weights, and gradually increase the amount you’re lifting.
Squats are one of the easier weight training exercises because you can start without any equipment or weight. You know the old saying “lift with your legs”? Well, that’s the basic concept of a squat. You’re targeting your leg muscles while burning calories, allowing for greater fat loss. A squat done with proper form isn’t just going to target the leg muscles either; you’ll be engaging your entire core and even back. As tempting as it is to add weight and hit PRs on your squats, make sure you start with non-weighted squats to perfect your form, and work up to weights. Good posture prevents injuries and allows for faster, long-term improvements.
Dips are another exercise that can be done without any intimidating equipment. All you need is a chair or a sturdy surface to balance on. Simply place your hands behind you, shoulder width apart on the surface and keep your legs straight out, then bend your arms at a 90-degree angle, and lift back up. Keep your glutes and core engaged for maximum results. When you’re first starting out, bring your arms down and hold for just a second before lifting yourself back up. As you gain more strength, hold your arms at that 90-degree angle for longer. Keep increasing your hold time as you progress.
The best way to engage your chest muscles is through a bench press. Don’t worry, you won’t need a spotter. You can start out by just using the bar and not adding additional weight plates. As with every exercise, form is crucial, so you’ll want to train your body with minimal weight to get used to the proper movements. Generally, your chest muscles will be weaker than your leg muscles, so once you start adding weight to the barbells, add them in smaller increments than you would for weighted squats.
For an exercise newbie, the “deadlift” can sound very intimidating. This exercise also utilizes a barbell. The movement is done by placing the barbell on the ground, putting your legs shoulder width apart, bending your knees, and reaching down to hold onto the barbell and pull it up to your chest. This is one of the best back workouts, as it targets the upper and lower back in addition to your core, legs, and glutes. As you practice the deadlift more and perfect your form, not only will you start to lose weight and gain muscle, but your posture will improve, too.
Yes, the good old-fashioned sit-up—an exercise you’ve likely been doing since physical education class in grade school. But unlike in grade school, you need to pay attention to your whole body while doing this workout. Keep your neck straight and look up. Bending your neck is only going to cause strain. If you haven’t done a sit-up in quite some time, put your feet under something sturdy or have a friend hold them down. This will keep you balanced and make it easier for you to bring the weight of your body up.
As you start to burn fat and gain more muscle, you’ll see your body evolving and understand why it was important to incorporate both. You won’t just be a lighter weight, but your arms, chest, back and legs will be toned and you’ll feel much stronger, both physically and mentally.