One unfortunate thing that many people experience during weight loss is, burning too much muscle while trying to burn fat – there is a distinct difference between weight loss and fat loss.
Long distance cardio sessions are not good for anybody who wishes to maintain or build muscle- an example of this comparing the frame of an Olympic 100m sprinter with an Olympic 5000m athlete. Sprinters have strong lean physiques whereas 5000m runners are very skinny.
It is good to utilize as many different methods when it comes to building muscle and burning fat, you don’t want to do too much of one thing as your body will stagnate.
Our bodies easily build up immunity to the exercises we put ourselves through, so we need to keep ourselves in a safe, physical state of shock.
Here are some of the methods that would help you maintain muscle mass while trying to lose weight:
Moderate Pace Cardio
Benefits of moderate pace cardio include:
1. You will recover quicker. If you work out for an hour a day it may seem hard to sacrifice your resistance training for the treadmill and be defeating the objective but moderate pace cardio can actually burn fat at a better rate than HIIT. Your muscles will also have more energy and glycogen stores for when you get back to lifting weights.
2. Improved blood flow. Improving blood flow into recovering muscles can speed up recovery time by oxygenating the area and restores the muscle with nutrients.
3. Build up your aerobic fitness. This will increase your cardiovascular endurance meaning you will have more fuel to lift weights and build a big solid frame, in the long run.
Benefits of HIIT include:
1. It is a very time-efficient method. Many people don’t do cardio as they find it boring and time consuming but HIIT is a perfect way around this.
2. Flexibility. It is easier to come up with high intensity circuits and program than a standard cardio regime. One can even implement HIIT into your current weight lifting plan.
3. Increase in GLUT4 concentration. Meaning greater glucose uptake in muscle cells.
4. It improves aerobic capacity 4 times faster than treadmill jogging.
Utilize both types of cardio training and keep your body guessing, work in periodization and don’t give up no matter how hard it may seem at the time. Every step you take is one closer to your final destination.
Don’t Cut Out Your Carbs and Keep Protein High!
Carbs are your source of energy and if your body does not have them available it will eat away at your precious muscle tissue instead as an alternative source of energy.
It is important to note that the more muscle mass you have, the more fat your body can burn. This explains why men lose weight faster than women (men have more muscle mass than women and unfortunately women lose more muscle tissues than men when losing weight).
When you do decrease calories one must also keep protein consumption high to maintain muscle mass, at least 1g per lb of body weight per day is advised.
Women should also not be intimidated about lifting weights, this builds the immune system, muscle mass and increases your fat burning potential! Give it a try.