BUILDING MUSCLE VS. BURNING FAT: HOW TO EAT, SUPPLEMENT & TRAIN FOR YOUR GOAL
Time to read 6 min
Time to read 6 min
Back in the gym? Assessing your goals? We have the perfect guide to help you choose the most beneficial training styles, boost your nutrition with the best foods, and support your performance with the best supplements.
If you are looking to build muscle and bulk up or to get lean and cut down, you will need to change up your training and nutrition programs.
When building muscle, incorporating a mixture of heavy compound exercises and isolation will allow you to build strength and target individual muscles. But what are compound exercises? Compound exercises are exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups when performing a certain exercise, at the same time. For example, this could be a squat, deadlift, pull-ups and others where multiple muscles are utilised to perform the exercise.
By doing compound movements, you are building a solid foundation to engage more muscle fibres and tear them down before provoking them to grow stronger and fuller. Progressive overload is a common training technique used to maximise muscle growth. Putting the muscles under more tension and stress by increasing weight each week results in more muscle fibre recruitment, leading to greater muscle growth.
To build ‘gains’, you need to eat nutrient-dense foods. This means you will need to increase your daily caloric intake to assist with training and fueling your body. Initially, you’ll need to find out your maintenance caloric intake (You can do this with a calorie calculator), which is how much you should eat to maintain your weight. Once established, you should slowly increase your total calories by 200-300 calories per day as a starting point. Find foods your body will easily digest and not make you feel bloated. Track your food intake and make adjustments if required so that your nutrition is sustainable.
In contrast, to burn fat, you will need to implement cardiovascular exercises into your routine. You should continue with your resistance training, but adding cardio will boost your caloric output and help with fat loss. Research has shown that you will also have a greater caloric output by increasing overall strength and muscle mass. This is because more strength will require more energy expenditure and muscle fibre recruitment.
Dieting for fat loss isn’t about restricting your caloric intake. You will still need to find your maintenance intake and lower it from there. This doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to starve and not eat but to eat smarter by having more fulfilling foods that are low in calories, allowing you to eat and not be restricted.
So, how can you gain muscle? Let’s look at some of the best training styles you can incorporate into your training regime.
Let’s start at the top: how does muscle grow?
Your muscles grow and increase in volume when you continue to challenge them with higher levels of resistance in a process known as muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy occurs when the muscle fibres sustain damage or injury. In the process of muscle repair, those muscle fibres are fused, which can increase the size and mass of the muscles. Hormones, including testosterone, human growth hormone, and insulin growth factor, can also promote muscle growth and repair (Leonard, J. 2020).
We know muscle building can sound intimidating, but don’t worry; you won’t need to spend all day every day at the gym. Weight training for 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times per week, can be enough to yield results as long as you are targeting all of your major muscle groups at least twice per week during your training (Marcin, A. 2020).
We’ll kick off with a few that you can do from home in case you don’t always have time to go to the gym after work. Some of these exercises include:
Burpees (sorry, guys)
Now it’s time to bring out the weights; try these exercises:
If you’re trying to lose weight, getting back into the gym and building up a regular training routine is an essential first step. And guess how you can start? By walking. It’s that simple. Adding more steps to your day and trying to walk for 30 minutes three or four times per week can go a long way in reducing body fat (Raman, R. 2023).
If you’re trying to reduce visceral fat (or belly fat), running or jogging for 20-30 minutes over three or four days per week can help you burn visceral fat. Let’s look into a few more exercises that can help you lose weight:
Weight training (which conveniently also supports muscle gain)
For a formula that can improve your energy, enhance your metabolism and support weight loss while you train, a thermogenic formula like Evolve Pyro can help you achieve your health goals.
It’s not enough to work up a sweat in the gym; what you fuel your body with is essential in building muscle. If you’re trying to gain muscle, balancing your diet with nutrient-rich foods high in protein while limiting processed foods and alcohol is vital. That means you may need to cut down on sugary snacks, deep fried fast-foods and weekend beers.
The best foods to build muscle are high in protein and low in saturated fats while also consuming adequate carbohydrates to support your energy reserve. When it comes to gaining lean muscle, it is essential to focus on eating more calories each day from foods that can help you build muscle (Tinsley, G. 2023). Some of these foods include:
We understand that it isn’t always easy to meet your nutritional needs daily, but there are other solutions. While supplements shouldn’t replace a balanced diet, they can be effective when used in conjunction with one. If you haven’t hit your daily caloric intake, didn’t get enough nutrients into your diet, need an easy meal replacement or need to boost your recovery after an intense gym session, Evolve Incredible Mass can help you build muscle and gain mass with a high protein formula that is enhanced with creatine and designed to help you re-fuel your muscles with a combination of fast and slow-release proteins.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re going to have to change what you eat. And yes, that may mean cutting back on some of your favourite snacks.
One of the most effective ways to lose weight is to cut back on refined carbs, starches and sugars. One way to achieve this is to substitute those refined carbs with whole grains; this will help you lower your appetite leading to fewer calories consumed each day. A low-carb plan can also help you utilise stored fat for energy instead of carbs (Gunnars, K. 2022).
Consuming protein, fats (yes, you read that correctly) and vegetables will help you balance your diet and preserve your health and muscle mass while facilitating weight loss. Here are a few foods that you should add to your diet to help you lose weight:
And let’s not forget the vegetables:
Additionally, healthy fats like olive & avocado oil, nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados are healthy options that can help you improve your diet. For more help getting started on your weight loss journey, check out our guide on how to Kickstart your Weight Loss Program.
We get that it’s hard to constantly fuel your body with the proper nutrients, which is where supplements can be a game changer. If you’re trying to lose weight, boosting your protein intake is essential, which is where a weight-loss protein formula like Evolve Lipo Whey can be a game-changer. This formula is designed to facilitate weight loss and contains thermogenic ingredients like L-Carnitine and Green Coffee Extract to support weight loss. It also includes the ground-breaking InnoSlim, a natural weight & metabolic syndrome regulator that targets weight loss at its root cause.
If you want to achieve your health and physique goals, it will take a lot of hard work and willing changes to achieve your desired results. From re-evaluating your diet, considering the supplements you consume, and building a training schedule with the most effective workouts for your goals.
Whether you’re having a hard time achieving your goals or need help finding the best supplements to support you, our friendly team at ASN are always eager to help out. Just head in-store or reach out online, and our team can help you get back on track.
Leonard, J. 2020, ‘How to build muscle with exercise’, Medical News Today, accessed 24 March 2023, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319151
Marcin, A., 2020, ‘What You Should Know About Building Muscle Mass and Tone’, Healthline, accessed 24 March 2023, https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-to-build-muscle
Tinsley, G. 2023, ‘26 Muscle Building Foods to Add to Your Diet’, Healthline, accessed 24 March 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/26-muscle-building-foods
Raman, R. 2023, ‘The 8 Best Exercises for Weight Loss’, Healthline, accessed 24 March 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-exercise-for-weight-loss
Gunnars, K. 2022, ‘Want to Lose Weight Fast? These Science-Backed Tips Can Help You Lose Weight Sustainably’, Healthline, accessed 24 March 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-as-fast-as-possible