T Nation

Advice for Building Muscle and Burning Fat

Hello!

I’ve always had a relatively fit body as far as I remember. I always enjoyed playing sports and having an active lifestyle. I’ve served 5 years in the army and that helped me stay in shape. But, I’ve always liked eating!

And I mean good food, and lots of it. That didn’t do much to my body until I turned 30 years old! Around that age, I started to develop abdominal fat but I didn’t really notice, until people around me were commenting that I was getting a big belly!

So, I decided to get a fit body again and get rid of my abdominal fat, no matter what it took. That was this year in February. I measured my body fat% and it was around 18%. My weight was 176 pounds. But my frame was slim so most of my fat weight was around my waist and pecs.

So, I did some research and I learned that the workout that burned the most calories was running, so I started running 3 times a week and at the same time I changed my diet, drastically.

I cut all refined/fast sugars and bad fats. I also drank about a gallon of water a day. Within 4 months I had lost 32 pounds of weight and my body fat% went down to 13%. The problem was that I had gotten really skinny. I had gotten skinny arms and legs even though I was doing some weight training during the weight loss.

My height is 5’ 11’’ and right now I have around 14% body fat. I would like to get it down to around 8% because my abs don’t show well yet. But, I don’t want to get skinny in the process.

Instead, I want to build some serious muscle mass. Right now I have 150 pounds and I would like to get at least 10 more pounds of lean mass.

What do you recommend? Could I perform cardio to burn fat on even days of the week and do weights and gain muscle on odd days? Would that work?

Thank you very much for your help.

Rule #1- don’t be lazy. Go to the Beginner forum and read all of the stickies (the threads at the top of the page). That is the best advice you can get here.

The weight training is the most important part, not the running. Well, and proper diet. But yeah, search around this site, read the stickies at the top of the beginner forum, find a good workout program that looks good to you, stick to it. Cardio is good too, but stick to eating well and lifting hard.

OK, I’ll focus on lifting hard instead of doing lots of cardio as I did previously. Any other tips? Thermogenics?

Thermogenics probably aren’t necessary. If I were you I’d make gaining muscle your main goal right now, not worry about losing fat at the moment, although you may get some fat loss in the beginning.

You should really only concentrate on one goal at a time. Once you put on some lean mass, you can lose a bit of fat. Supplements you may wanna try are fish oil, and possibly creatine

[quote]Spartian wrote:
What do you recommend? Could I perform cardio to burn fat on even days of the week and do weights and gain muscle on odd days? Would that work?
[/quote]

Some replies but nothing’s really being said.

I suggest adding 25-30lbs over the next 6 months, by eating more and hitting the weights 4x a week - 3-6 reps, 4-6 exercises & heavy weights.

You can add cardio 1-2x a week on off days or after training but this is to limit fat gain (not to promote fat loss), as well as help with recovery.

If want to be 160lbs lean at 5’11 that’s your choice, but you’d look a lot better at around 180-200lbs lean @ 5’11.

Thank you very much. I will do that, I’ll hit the weights 4 x week with heavy weights and limit my cardio.

But my question is, will I burn fat in the process?

Wow, I would surely like to have 180-200lbs of lean muscle…

Please advise on this program:

Monday: Pecs/Biceps
Tuesday: Back/Triceps
Wednesday: Shoulders/Forearms/Abs
Thurday: OFF - Massage day :slight_smile:
Friday: Legs/Abs
Saturday: Cardio
Sunday: OFF

Another question, if I take Lipo6x while training heavy as you suggested will it improve my lypolisis do help me shed off fat without doing much cardio?

Thanks again!

No, you will not burning fat while building muscle. If you are at the beginning stages of your training career you maybe get some positive body comp changes (meaning reduced fat) but you simply have to either choose between adding muscle and losing fat, otherwise you take twice as long and end up getting almost no where.

Just think of it this way - a body 180lbs of lean mass at 10%BF burns more calories at rest than a 180lbs body with 20%BF - muscle will help you lose fat so the more you have the easier it becomes.

As for the program I don’t usually comment on them, but at this stage anything will be working for you.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:

Just think of it this way - a body 180lbs of lean mass at 10%BF burns more calories at rest than a 180lbs body with 20%BF - muscle will help you lose fat so the more you have the easier it becomes.
[/quote]

My math is probably off right now (4AM), but…
if the OP is 150lbs @ 14%BF that’s about 21lbs of fat.
If he got to 180 with no loss of fat at all, that should put him at 10 or 11% without even counting metabolic effect (20lbs/180?). Usually I’d think a gain of 30 lbs of muscle would be a stretch, but 5’11"? It seems impossible to not hit that weight.

[quote]Mad_Duck wrote:
Usually I’d think a gain of 30 lbs of muscle would be a stretch,
[/quote]

Why would gaining 30lbs of muscle be a stretch for a beginner?

That should pretty much be the fucking average if people quit being pussies in the gym.

PX-

I really wish you would stop beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel.

More unanswerable, do-the-research-for-me-lay-out-a-free-plan-for-me-because-I-can’t-peruse-100s-of-articles-on-the-net-or-talk-to-some-big-BBers-live-in-person questions!

I want to know when it became so difficult to type the key word combo “beginning bodybuilding” or “beginning bodybuilder” into the T-Mag search engine, Google, or Amazon!

CT has a whole newbie series on here and a few articles that basically give you the entire roadmap to becoming a bodybuilder!

While I love this board and seeing people help others out - and I like it too - simply telling newbies to eat more and train is also too simplistic.

I like all the dudes on here but the same old “double your poundages and eat more” is also too simplistic and says nothing of a routine or meal plan. So these guys will have to start getting a damn pencil out, writing routines, for themselves, and whipping the calculator out and designing a meal plan or PAYING someone else to do it.

I totally respect paying someone to do shit if you can’t or will not do it yourself.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Mad_Duck wrote:
Usually I’d think a gain of 30 lbs of muscle would be a stretch,

Why would gaining 30lbs of muscle be a stretch for a beginner?

That should pretty much be the fucking average if people quit being pussies in the gym.[/quote]

I couldn’t agree more…

That’s doable in (way)less than a year when you’re starting out… And it doesn’t require any illegal substances or anything… Just common sense and dedication.

Okay, I guess that’s asking too much of people these days.

the thread title just sounds like one of those infomertials of someone on tv trying to sell you shit

[quote]crod266 wrote:
the thread title just sounds like one of those infomertials of someone on tv trying to sell you shit[/quote]

Mr Venuto anyone?

Amen.
I’m just waiting for the knowledgeable guys who solely exist to roll off numbers like “get to a 500 pound incline bench press for not ONE but 8 reps, a 650 pound squat for 15 reps and rack deading 800 pounds for 10 reps and eat to support growth WITH daily cardio and you will be fucking huge and lean”. Sure…no argument with that. Hell, get your squat to 10,000 pounds for 100 reps and your quads will be titanic, i promise.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
I like all the dudes on here but the same old “double your poundages and eat more” is also too simplistic and says nothing of a routine or meal plan.[/quote]

Ha ha good catch.
In fact, Tom’s original plan was to use ‘Burn the fat and build the muscle" but then he relaized how much it sounded like a corny infomercial line. Besides the concept of burning fat while "feeding’ (not necessarily building large amounts of) muscle makes sense.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
crod266 wrote:
the thread title just sounds like one of those infomertials of someone on tv trying to sell you shit

Mr Venuto anyone?[/quote]

I think Tom’s book is great. I have it on my computer. Its very thorough and well written and informative. Beats most of the other shit books out there.

Tribunaldude,

That’s the problem. I mean - well - these guys don’t even know how to organize their training to get a 315 lb bench. How are they going to know how to get to 500, a poundage almost all on this board will NEVER EVER reach!

“Get a 405 lb incline bench for 15 reps!”

“Uh, hello? How am I going to do this?!”

^^^That is where the problem lies.

“Follow a program that allows for poundage increase.”

“Well, how should I set up my program.”

A more rational way of giving someone advice is to point them to an information product (article, DVD, CD, book) that allows for them to write their own progral or meal plan. OR actually suggest “go to this guy, he is good. Pay him to do it for you.”

I forgot who said it and even if I did, I wouldn’t point someone out, but I do remember someone saying “get your incline bench to 405 for 10 reps and see how your chest looks.”

Well, I can assure everyone that almost no one on this board will EVER have an incline bench of 405 x 10 reps! Dorian used 455 on the incline for 5 reps at his peak. Who on this board is going to perform anywhere near this?

Very very do-able on the smith machine and hammer incline though.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
Well, I can assure everyone that almost no one on this board will EVER have an incline bench of 405 x 10 reps![/quote]