Strength (also known as resistance or weight) training helps you get stronger, increases your metabolic function and reduces your risk of injury. Strength training increases muscle tissue and gives shape and structure to your muscles. Because fat is burned in muscle tissue, the more muscle you have, the greater your fat-burning potential. Weight training burns 4-10 calories per minute, depending on your size and fitness level.
You are likely to experience the positive effects of resistance training very quickly. Research shows that muscle performance increases by 45-65 percent after two months of strength training. Resistance training should be performed 2-3 times per week, or as recommended by your coach.
Proper metabolic or “cardio” training increases your cardiovascular fitness, circulation, endurance, burns calories and body fat, reduces stress and improves overall health and well-being. Cardiovascular exercise utilizes body fat and carbohydrates for energy, allowing the body to deliver a significant amount of energy for long periods of time. The body burns fat most efficiently if the muscles are worked with short very intense (anaerobic) bursts of energy followed by short periods of rest then repeated.
High intensity interval training, HIIT, has proven, both in the lab and in the gym, to be far superior for fat loss than traditional long steady-state aerobic exercise. Essentially, intense anaerobic exercise in short bursts followed by short periods of rest for 20-30 minutes forces the body into what is called the afterburn affect. In afterburn your body will continue to burn calories at an accelerated rate, with a slow taper, for up to 48 hrs. This affect does not occur with traditional steady-state aerobic exercise.
One pound of fat burns approximately eight calories daily and stores 3,500 calories of energy. The two keys to changing body composition are performing activities that cause your body to use its stored fat and strengthening muscles to become better fat burners. This can be accomplished through a healthy diet, resistance training and cardiovascular workouts. One pound of muscle tissue burns approximately 35-75 calories daily and stores 450 calories of energy.
While rapid weight loss may be temporarily satisfying, your percentage of body fat may not decrease significantly. By fueling your body with proper nutrients, your body will transport fat into the muscle to be metabolized and result in a decrease of fat tissue.
Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss
It is important that altered body composition and fitness goals are attained through fat loss and lean muscle tissue gain, not weight loss. Calories are burned in muscle tissue. One pound of muscle burns approximately 35-75 calories daily and stores 450 calories of energy. Conversely, body fat is a storehouse for calories. One pound of fat burns approximately 8 calories daily and stores 3500 calories of energy.
A minimum of 25% of weight lost quickly (more than 2.5 pounds per week average) will be lost from lean muscle tissue. If 25% or more of the weight you lose is from lean muscle tissue, you will easily regain the lost weight, and will likely gain additional weight.
Rapid weight loss and under-eating cause muscle tissue to be used for energy, which decreases metabolism. Providing your body with the food and nutrients it needs, will sufficiently fuel working muscles, initiate fat loss and develop a healthier metabolism.
Supplementation and your fitness goals
When attempting to lose fat while gaining muscle tissue it becomes virtually impossible to receive the necessary nutrients from food alone.
The formula for losing fat, while increasing lean muscle tissue, is a combination of a nutritionally dense caloric intake and proper exercise prescription. In order to continue building muscle, it is necessary that your diet includes a specific amount of nutrient-dense calories, which must continually increase as your lean muscle grows.
The three primary purposes of supplementation are to provide nutritional insurance for optimal health, to provide nutrients without the addition of calories and to provide readily available nutrients at the proper times and in the proper quantities, in response to exercise.
The key to achieving your ultimate body is to direct the body to use its stored fat to supply the extra calories needed to build or sustain muscle, therefore, simultaneously reducing your fat stores. This is building and sustaining muscle at the expense of your body fat. This can be accomplished through proper food intake, resistance training and cardiovascular workouts.
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