A lot of personal trainers will tell you that adding muscle is the way to go in order to increase fat loss in the body, but really there is more to understanding the relationship between muscle gains and fat loss.
The truth of the matter is lean tissue is difficult to add to your body. Many trainers will tell you that you want to increase muscle because this will increase your resting metabolic rate, but in actuality the extra calories burned per day by an additional pound of muscle is limited.
For this reason fitness enthusiasts should be looking more into the metabolic cost of exercise or the total calories spent during a training session. Now Iâ€™m not arguing that adding muscle is not a good thing for overall fat loss and long term weight management. Of course itâ€™s a great thing, but every individual has different potential when it comes to adding muscle to their frame and some people just donâ€™t have the genetics for massive gains.
We also know that the affects of actual added muscle mass is not as significant as calorie overall calorie expenditure. Â Even still, muscle gains come quite slowly for most people and so when youâ€™re looking to lean out itâ€™s going to boil down to calories in versus calories out and total expenditure.
If burning body fat is your goal and getting lean and strong is the results that you want then itâ€™s time to crank up that furnace. Itâ€™s important to understand that maximizing total calorie expenditure during a workout is a good thing. More calories burned the less potential to store those calories as fat. Of course your exercise program should be coupled with a healthy and balanced diet.
Anyhow, back to the metabolic cost of exercise. When youâ€™re training for fat loss then your intensity needs to be high. Now that doesnâ€™t mean you have to be nearly passing out throughout the workout or during every session. There should be proper rest periods and recovery applied in an interval fashion, but the challenges that you provide your body should be of higher intensity, meaning you should have exercises that challenge stability through multiple planes, balance and coordination. Constant variability is one of the keys to increasing your bodyâ€™s overall recruitment of muscle.
Why should you do exercises that challenge stability, balance and coordination? Well the brain is very important to your overall fitness. The more neural connections you build between your brain and muscle the better control your body has over movement. As your body learns to recruit more motor units it also begins to utilize more energy as you are activating more muscle to do tasks. The reason that challenges are constantly needed and layered in a workout is because your body adapts quickly and will find the most energy effective method of accomplishing a task. Keeping the body off balance and confusing the muscle is an important stimulus for growth and total calorie expenditure, increasing metabolic cost of your workout.
These are the principles that some of the top coaches are using to get the most out of their athletes and refine their bodies into lean, high performance machines. Everyone is an athlete deep within so step it up and get your body revving to a higher degree. Burn those extra calories and shed that extra fat.