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You Can’t Build Muscle And Burn Fat

Weight LiftingI’m sorry it is a fact that you can’t be in muscle building mode (anabolic) and fat burning mode (catabolic) at the same time. These are two entirely different processes, calorie and hormone requirements for the body. Anabolic literally means to build, while catabolic is all about feeding the body as energy. If you’re working out to burn fat you will naturally strengthen and build some muscle. But true muscle building is the practice of  focusing on making your muscles larger like a body builder would. If you are trying to burn fat, you will not gain more muscle you will simply strengthen the muscle you already have. Muscle weighs more than fat and also burns more calories.

Depending on your fitness goals muscle gain or fat burning you will different nutrition and exercise regimens. If you’re looking to burn fat you want to keep your body in a catabolic state. You should reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your exercise. There are all sorts of fantastic posts on this blog about proper nutrition for weight loss. Fat is a storage location for substances your body doesn’t know what to do with. The more toxins and foreign substances, the more fat. Your body rids itself of toxins everyday, but depending on your diet it may be struggling to get rid of all of them. This is where a healthy diet full of nutrients comes into play. It can help the body clear out what it doesn’t need and release toxins from your fat cells. And it’s not just your diet, it may be things like lotion or anti-bacterial soap that contains obesogens that may be contributing to the problem.

The three hormones that must be in balance to maintain this state are leptin, ghrelin and cortisol. Leptin is your main fat burning hormone. If you’re focused on gaining muscle that will decrease your leptin levels. Focus on cardiovascular exercises that gets the heart rate up. Instead of spending an hour on the treadmill everyday, opt for short intense workouts called HIIT, high intensity interval training. This short workout gives your heart rate a boost and creates an after burn effect where you continue to burn calories at a higher rate for the next few hours. Ghrelin is the hormone responsible for signaling hunger, but it can get thrown out of whack sometimes. Cortisol lets you know when you’re in danger and prepares you for flight or fight. Unfortunately given today’s stressful lifestyles it is coursing through our veins constantly and is responsible for belly fat.

If you’re a body builder being a catabolic state for too long is your worse nightmare. It will slow or even stop your muscle growth. Worst case scenario, you will lose muscle. These diets tend toward way more protein, very little cardiovascular exercise and a ton of weight lifting. Even if all you want to be is muscle-bound all over, small amounts of cardiovascular exercise is still important to train your vascular system. Getting the heart rate up and the blood vessels pumping blood is important to keeping the vascular system in tip-top shape.

The body was not designed to stay in either anabolic or catabolic state for prolonged periods of time. As with all nature there is a balance. If you’re fat burning include strength training in your regimen and vise versa, if you’re muscle building include some cardiovascular. The addition of either in small amounts won’t effect your goals because the body switches states over a period of time, it’s not instant.

If you’re not seeing results either way, check your diet and your exercise regimen. If you have tips, tricks or just want to comment on this post please do so below. We want to hear from you and share with your friends.

 

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