Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, but don't start pulling out your Fall clothes just yet. The day's are supposed to get shorter, not your workouts! Most of us workout to lose fat and build muscle and it's easy to get overwhelmed with the various workout "fads". Remember, a workout that may work for you friend or better half, may not necessarily be the best for you to reach your goals. Not only do we have have different body types, but we each have our own unique metabolism, hormones, genetics, and external stressors.
Workout to lose fat and build muscle - smarter not harder! Think of your body like your checking account. You can make withdrawals or you can make deposits, but you can't do both at the same time! Can you build muscle and lose body fat at the same time? You'll read tons and tons of opinions and studies that say yes, and those that say no. None of that matters because if you're not clear about your specific goals, you won't do either. What's Your Goal? Build Muscle - Muscle burns calories. The more lean muscle on your body, the more calories you're burning all the time. If your goal is to lean out remember to include exercises and workouts that are challenging your muscles to grow. Strapping yourself to a cardio machine or running miles on the treadmill are sure to burn calories but they're not necessarily doing much to build muscle. Women are especially afraid of weightlifting because they don't want to "look bulky." New flash... unless you're hitting the gym hardcore, if you're a female you're not genetically built to put on bulk. One of the most silly phrases I hear is "muscle weighs more than fat." One pound of muscle "weighs" exactly the same as one pound of fat. The difference between the two is actually the density. A pound of muscle is more dense than a pound of fat - it takes up less space. It's tighter. Good workouts to include if your goal is to build muscle: Crossfit workouts (don't forget your crossfit gloves) , Bootcamp workouts, Weight lifting, Body Weight Exercises or isometric training. Lose Fat - Fat serves a purpose to the body. Excess fat hurts the body. Fat is not only a fuel source but it is the body's natural insulation. Unless you're running around naked at the north pole you really don't have to worry about the insulation factor! Again, let's go back to our checking account example. Imagine dollars are calories. If you add more dollars than you withdraw, you'll end up with a surplus or positive balance. If you add more calories to your body than you burn, you'll end up with a surplus as well! To lose fat you either need to reduce your caloric intake or increase the amount of calories you burn. HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is a great example of workouts that will help you lose fat and lean up. Whatever you choose as your workout to lose fat and build muscle just remember that you get out of it, what you put into it. If any of the fad diets, workouts of the moment, books, articles, medications, or supplements worked - everyone would have an ideal body! The fact of the matter is that nothing will replace healthy lifestyle choices and a commitment!