Build Muscle to Burn Fat
By Ellington Darden, Ph.D.
In the battle of the bulge, or bulges, there is a way to be slimming down while exercising in a manner that most consider bulking up.
You can build muscle to burn fat. This is the central idea to three of my books: The Six-Week Fat-to-Muscle Makeover, 32 Days to a 32-Inch Waist, and A Flat Stomach ASAP. In the six-week makeover, 90 women lost an average of 12.5 pounds of fat. In the 32-day program, 146 men reduced 17 pounds and trimmed 3 inches off their waists. In six weeks, the average man in the ASAP plan lost 23 pounds of fat and 4 inches off his waist. The average woman lost 15 pounds and 3-1/2 inches off her midsection.
The typical man in these programs gained 4 pounds of muscle and the typical woman built only slightly less muscle, 3-1/2 pounds.
All these people performed circuit strength training of no more than 30 minutes three nonconsecutive days each week. They followed moderate-calorie eating plans ranging from 1700 to 1300 calories per day for men and 1300 to 1000 calories per day for women. Each started at the higher-calorie level and descended by 100 every two weeks. The diet was composed of 50 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent fats, and 25 percent proteins.
These people built calorie-burning muscle. Each pound they added to their bodies raised basal metabolic rate by an average of 37.5 calories per day. This was in addition to the calories burned during workouts.
Traditional aerobic exercise was not part of the program. These people rested in between workout days so that their bodies could overcompensate for the muscular overload by increasing muscle mass, the process of hypertrophy.
Time efficiency is an attractive aspect of building muscle to burn fat. Ninety minutes of strength training per week will build muscle that burns as many calories during normal activities as hours and hours of aerobic exercise.
But you better watch out. Most men trim their waistlines through this strategy while broadening their chest and shoulders.
You can build muscle to burn fat, but you can’t be sure your shirts and jackets will still fit. Not a single person who has been through such a transformation, however, has been displeased with the results.
Decide today that your body needs more muscle, and act on it.