The answer to this question seems simple – go to the gym and exercise.
While the exercises with weights are necessary, there are several factors that you should pay attention to in order to successfully melt excess fat and build muscle at the same time. This guide for beginners you can see all of the factors which will help you achieve extraordinary results.
Depending on the goal, many people practice strictly one type of exercises – cardio for melting fat or exercises with weights to build muscle mass. But regardless of your body shape, in order to achieve maximum results you need to do combinations of these two types of exercises.
In any good guide for beginners you will notice that there are 5 key aspects:
1. Number of workouts, exercises, sets and reps
The optimal number of workouts is 4-6 times per week. If you do exercises for different muscle groups on different days, your program can be divided as follows:
- Day 1 – legs
- Day 2 – chest and triceps
- Day 3 – biceps and shoulder
- Day 4 – back
- Day 5 – abdomen
Try to do 3 to 5 different exercises per muscle group and 3 to 5 sets of exercise. The optimal number of repetitions in the series range from 8 to 12 to encourage muscle growth.
There are many theories about the best way that you can get rid of excess fat with cardio exercises, including the most prevalent theory: to practice in the morning on an empty stomach.
No matter which option you choose, do cardio 4 times a week, including 2 times for 45 minutes at a slow pace and 2 times for 20 to 30 minutes of intense exercise.
3. Intensity and breaks between series
Do short and intense workouts. No need to exercise for 2 hours, it is actually not recommended because it increases levels of the hormone cortisol (catabolic hormone that destroys muscle). As for breaks between series, keep them in the range of 60 to 90 seconds.
Remember that the point of the exercise is to pull your body out of its comfort zone.
The choice of exercises depends on many factors – your current form, your goal, flexibility and mobility. But complex exercises such as squats, dead lift, bench press, pull-ups, rowing, etc. are always a great choice for building muscle and melting excess fat.
The movements which these exercises require involve multiple muscle groups at the same time and encourage greater hormonal response of the body. This does not mean that you should neglect isolation exercises.
This may surprise you, but muscle growth doesn’t happen at the gym, but outside of it when you are resting. Muscle fibers regenerate from the micro-traumas of exercise while you sleep. Therefore you should pay special attention to rest.
General recommendations are quality sleep from 7 to 9 hours at least one day a week without exercise. For beginners it is advisable to take a break of exercise time for 2-3 to give your muscles time to adapt to changes.
Following a carefully composed diet plan is crucial to encourage muscle growth and release of excess fat. No matter how much you devote to exercise, if you don’t consume the necessary nutrients – protein, fat, carbohydrates and calories, your fitness plan will not succeed.
- Proteins are the basic nutrient for building muscle mass and therefore you need to consume the right quantity of them daily. It is advisable to import about 1.5 grams of protein for each kilogram of your body weight. For example, if you have 70 kilos you should consume 105 grams of protein each day. Try to eat every 3-4 hours and add a source of protein in every meal – eggs, fish, meat, milk.
- Fats are an important part of the diet, not only because they are necessary for the secretion of testosterone, but also because they help in transporting vitamins through the body. They should participate in your diet with 25-30% in the form of healthy fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, like those contained in olive oil, nuts, butter nuts, avocados, fish, eggs. Avoid trans fats found in processed foods.
- Carbohydrates have a bad reputation in the fitness world and the general advice is to avoid them if you want to reduce body weight, but this is not true. They are the main source of energy to your body and they regulate insulin, and without them you can’t build muscle mass. Carbohydrates should account for 50-60% of your overall diet, but you should be careful about what sources of carbohydrates you consume. Good sources are those that have a low glycemic index, such as vegetables, leguminous fruits, wholegrain products and sweet potatoes.
- The calories you eat determine whether you reduce weight or build muscle. If you want your body to grow, consume more calories than you spend, and vice versa – if your goal is the release of excess body fat, try consuming fewer calories than you spend.
The use of supplements will help you to quickly achieve your fitness goal. They are designed to fill the gaps in your diet and to provide enough power for an effective workout.
Remember that they are supplements and you should not use them as a substitute for a healthy meal.
- Protein – The intake of 120 grams of protein a day is not a simple task. Look at the nutritional values of the foods you normally eat and it will become clear what do we mean. Therefore, a protein shake will give you 20-30 grams of pure protein without overeating. If you are taking a shake 2 times a day – before and after a workout, you enter 40-60 grams of protein and the rest of the food that day shouldn’t be based on meat, eggs and other protein sources.
- BCAA (branched chain amino acids) will help your body to synthesize protein in muscles more easily.
- Glutamine plays a vital role in the recovery of muscles after an intense workout and gives extra energy, so your performance will improve significantly.
- CLA and Omega 3 in the form of dietary supplements will help you quickly get rid of excess fat.
If you remember the advice of this beginners’ guide you will have great results.
To review your progress, keep a diary about diet and exercise and monitor which combinations work best for you, and in the meantime do not give up. You will have periods where you will see drastic changes, but there will also be periods when you will feel that you are stagnating.
So you should make a small change and see how it will affect your form.