So you want to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously? Welcome to the club! Although many sources might have you think it’s nearly impossible to accomplish this, it’s actually not at all. In fact it’s easy. It’s a matter of using the right tool for the job.
You already know that cardio is a waste of your time, the #1 reason you’re not getting stronger, and that short, intense strength training will get you the vast majority of your results in the gym. But with these concepts in mind, what are the best movements to do? Where do you start?
Well, we want to use prime movers. These prime movers are the big, powerful muscle groups in our body that can move the largest amounts of weight. We use these prime movers because doing so will build muscle and burn fat by increasing insulin sensitivity, activating hormone sensitive lipase, boosting testosterone, breaking down muscle fibers for repair, and upregulating human growth hormone. We’re targeting the largest groups of muscles to incite the most intense hormonal response.
Before we discuss the most effective movements, let’s discuss the least effective movements. These are isolation movements that literally isolate one muscle and only engage one joint, like bicep curls or tricep kickbacks. Sure you can do these for eternity, but if your goal is to build muscle and burn fat, these won’t be the most effective. They will however be effective at taking up a lot of time and getting very little results.
So if your primary goal is to build muscle and burn fat efficiently, you want to avoid isolation movements. What you want to do is compound movements. These are the most effective strength exercises you can do to build muscle, burn fat, and improve functional strength (more on this in a later post).
Compound movements engage multiple muscle groups: push ups, pull ups, and squats are examples of body weight compound movements. Chest presses, pull downs, and leg presses are examples of machine compound movements.
PUSH UP/CHEST PRESS
This movement engages the largest pushing muscles in your upper body, mainly your pecs, deltoids, and triceps.
PULL UP/PULL DOWN
This movement engages the largest pulling muscles in your upper body, mainly your lats, rhomboids, and biceps.
This movement engages the largest muscles in your lower body (and actually in your entire body), mainly your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
All three of these movements, whether you’re using the body weight version or machine version, are extremely effective because you can move the greatest amount of weight, and you’ll trigger the greatest response. So use these three movements in conjunction with a short, intense, effective strength training protocol to build muscle and burn fat!
In Excellent Health,
Garrett & Luc