When you set out to conquer your fitness goals, you are usually doing it for a few key reasons. You might be an athlete, and currently striving to set school records or even set your own personal records on the playing field. You might have recently come aware of the important of your health and well-being and decide to start eating healthy and exercising so you will feel good and live a long healthy life.
But there is one reason that we as humans decide to head down the long path of health and fitness that sticks out the most. And the reason it is so crucial is that although a great deal of us focus on this aspect of health and fitness, it is also the side-results of our other focuses, such as athleticism or well-being.
This aspect of fitness is called aesthetics.
Heard of it before? Odds are you have.
Aesthetics is the focus on how your body looks, down to every last fat cell and every last muscle tissue in your body. Most people will try to act humble and say that they don’t care too much about how they look. Well guess what, they are lying. Because everybody, in some way, in some amount, cares about how their body looks. There’s no way around it. Your body is the shell for your soul, and you live within this shell every single day, so how can you not care what it looks like?
Let’s break down aesthetics into how our society thinks of what a good body should look like today. Tan, muscular, minimum fat, and proportional. So basically, to have good aesthetics and to look good, you need to BURN FAT and BUILD MUSCLE.
Some will say you cannot do this at the same time. These people are mostly bodybuilders who compete with other bodybuilders who go through extreme bulking and cutting phases, which is not the route a normal person should take. There are ways you can burn fat and build muscle at the same time, and I am here to show you the light.
I have said this once, and I will say it a thousand times again. When you are trying to burn fat, working out harder is not going to get you the results you want. YOUR DIET IS. And when I say diet, I do not mean the crash diet your anorexic sister used in high school. I am talking about a sustainable lifestyle. Some people call it flexible dieting. I just call it making healthy choices every day of your life.
To burn the fat off of your body, you should not focus on setting a monthly goal of losing a certain amount of weight or decreasing your body percentage. You need to focus on the long term. This is what I advise you to do.
Start replacing your unhealthy meals one by one. Start with breakfast. Instead of turning to sugary cereal or processed sausage biscuits, start your day off with a healthy smoothie or a few eggs and fruit.
Do not change what you eat at other meals…YET.
If you change all of your meals all at once, your healthy lifestyle will go down the drain in a matter of weeks. Big change is not sustainable for most people. You need to make small changes.
After a few weeks or eating a healthy breakfast (and seeing how much better you feel during the day) you can now change another meal in your day. Pick whichever meal makes the most sense for you to change.
Replace your pizza dinner with vegetables, rice, and chicken. Replace your lunch burrito with a healthy salad. Since these two meals are the hardest to change, I recommend you allow yourself to your unhealthy lunch or dinner at least once or twice a week when starting off. Then slowly get rid of those as time goes by. The key is, do not restrict yourself too much, or you will get to the end of a week of eating just salads for lunch and think to yourself, “I must eat unhealthy now!” Trust me, I have done this.
After you begin making these small changes to your diet, you will begin to notice gradual changes in your body. Couple healthy eating with daily exercise and cardio you will look like an Instagram model in no time! (that is if you already aren’t!)
Building muscle mass does have a lot to do with what you eat, but it is more weighted than fat loss on how you lift. When striving to build muscle, you need to be lifting heavy to medium heavy in order to achieve this goal.
The most important thing I tell all of my clients when they are looking to build lean muscle mass is STICK TO THE COMPOUND MOVEMENTS. A lot of bodybuilders have popularized isolation movements, such as one arm curls or the chest fly machine, but unless you bodybuild for a living, this is not the way to go.
You need to be performing squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, bench press, military press, and dips every single week. And the weight needs to be something you can do 5-10 reps with, with 5 reps being the last set where you push yourself until failure.
You should include at least one compound movement in each workout. However, you should supplement these compound movements with isolation movements. Perform 1 or 2 isolation movements per body part per week. When it comes to isolation movements, it is not about the volume of sets that you perform, it is about the intensity of those sets. So make sure you are pushing yourself to failure on your last sets of that isolation movement. This is what is going to tear your muscle fibers and allow your body to grow and build more muscle.
COMBINING FAT LOSS AND MUSCLE GROWTH
Burning fat and building muscle at the same time seems tricky, but it really is not. There are just a few things you need to focus on and you will execute this perfectly.
- Do not restrict your calories. Eat a lot of healthy food and healthy proteins. When you eat like this, you do not need to be in a large calorie deficit to see results, your body will do the work for you
- Lift heavy. Ignore the myth that high volume of reps get you shredded or that just getting that pump in the gym is going to make you swole. Stick to the 5-10 rep scheme, and lift consistently.
- Eat more protein. You do not need to count calories or macros to do this. Simply add a little more chicken, a little more pork, or a little more whey protein to your smoothie.
- Don’t forget cardio. Perform cardio on 3-4 days out of the week. But no long form cardio, such as running for over 30 minutes. If you do not have adequate food in your stomach for this type of cardio, your body will begin to break down muscle tissue along with fat to provide energy.
This article debunks the myth that you cannot burn fat and build muscle at the same time. For so long we have seen bodybuilders and fitness professionals cycle between bulking and cutting phases, that we started to believe this was the only way.
At BassFit.com, we believe in a new way to achieve the same results. A healthier, more sustainable way. So go apply these techniques to your life today, and see results!
Here are some of our best SoundCloud playlists and mixes to help you reach your goal of becoming an aesthetic freak, and doing it the healthy way!