If you were asked to describe your ultimate goal physique, nine times out of ten, you, and indeed virtually everybody else that was asked, would list several characteristics, including increased lean muscle mass, along with severely reduced levels of body fat.
For most people, fat is the enemy, and muscle is the friend, yet sadly, it seems as if it is incredibly easy to gain fat and lose muscle, and extremely difficult to gain muscle and lose fat. Despite this, however, we still bust our butts in the gym for several hours each week, as well as spending a great deal of hours in the kitchen, prepping healthy meals, taking our supplements, and denying ourselves of the foods we crave, due to the fact that we have physique goals to work for. Now, when you speak to some overweight individuals, they will talk about the fact that they’re looking to get themselves into much better shape and how they intend on turning their existing body fat into muscle. Before we go any further, it is worth noting that in reality, it is not physically possible to turn body fat into muscle, so please don’t take things to literally, as we’ll clear things up as time goes by. You see, fat is, and always will be fat, so unless your body fat is magical, it can’t suddenly change its genetic structure and transform it into muscle.
What you can do, however, is burn away body fat and REPLACE it with muscle, which is what we’ll be telling you how to do in this article. So, by talking about how you can turn fat into muscle, don’t take things too literally as we’re actually talking about replacing it with muscle, although the same principle applies. So, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s help you build yourself the ultimate physique by sharing a few handy tips on how to turn fat into muscle.
Perform Enjoyable Cardio
For anybody trying to burn fat and build muscle, before you even consider lifting any weights whatsoever, you should first figure out how much cardio you plan on performing, and indeed what kinds of cardio.
Cardio can be pretty boring, there’s no two ways about it, and if you intend on burning dozens upon dozens of pounds of body fat by slugging it out on a treadmill or elliptical machine in the gym for several hours each week, you had better have one heck of an iPod playlist, or the most discipline in the entire world, as doing the same repetitive exercises and staring at the same four walls for several hours each week, will be boring, difficult, and a little soul-destroying if truth be told.
If you enjoy cardio in the gym, then more power to you, but if you don’t, just remember that there are plenty of other viable alternatives.
You know how people say that “time flies when you’re having fun”?
Well, when it comes to cardio, if you’re having fun, that saying does appear to ring truer than ever before.
If you enjoy playing football with your buddies for example, then that’s great as you will have fun, and burn fat in the process.
The same goes for various other forms of cardio as well, so whether you enjoy doing Wall sit exercises, cycling, walking, running, swimming, playing tennis, golfing, or taking part in any other form of outdoor, or indoor, activities, you can have fun and still burn fat in the process.
Consume more protein
Protein is a vital macronutrient that plays a key role in a number of internal processes within the human body, including helping to build lean muscle and increase recovery time post-workout.
It also plays a vital role in cellular health and function as well, which is one of the main reasons why bodybuilders increase their protein consumption and consume more protein than average sized individuals.
Because of this, if you’re looking to get super-jacked and ripped up, you will need to make sure that you’re consuming plenty of protein on a daily basis.
The average human being consumes around 0.4 – 0.6 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, whereas a bodybuilder, or a would-be bodybuilder, would consume between 1 and 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
So, for example, a 200 pound man trying to increase his muscle mass, would aim to consume 200 – 400 grams of protein per day.
As far as which protein sources go, you should stay clear of processed meats and fatty cuts of meat as these are obviously not very beneficial.
Instead of those, you should stick with healthy, balanced, and nutritious sources such as organic eggs, fish, fresh cuts of whole meats, nuts, and seeds.
Protein not only helps to build muscle, it also helps to burn body fat as it is much harder to digest than other macros, which means that it increases the metabolism as the body burns more calories as it has to work much harder just to digest and break down the food.
Incorporate plenty of isolation exercises into your routine
For anybody trying to burn fat and build muscle simultaneously, as well as compound exercises and movements, you should also make sure that you perform plenty of isolation exercises for each of your muscle groups.
This is because isolation exercises will focus solely on one muscle group and often require lighter weights and higher reps.
Because of this, not only are you building muscle, you are also burning fat as the higher reps will increase your resting heart rate, thus boosting the metabolism.
Of course any program with the aim of increasing muscle mass should consist of plenty of compound exercises and movements, but on top of those, you will need to make sure you also include plenty of isolation exercises, using both free weights, and, machines as well.
Don’t forget your supplements
If your diet and training are both on point, to help to really take your physique to the next level, you will need to also think about including plenty of supplements into your routine by building yourself the ultimate supplement stack.
When it comes to bodybuilding, and indeed fat burning, supplements can provide incredibly useful. First and foremost, whey protein should be at the top of your list of priorities as this is a bodybuilder’s best friend.
If you’re trying to consume 300 – 400g of protein per day, obviously getting your protein solely from food sources would be difficult, which is where whey protein comes into the mix.
Whey protein shakes will provide around 35 – 45g of protein per serving, as well as plenty of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Whey protein assists with fat loss, it initiates protein synthesis, and it promotes post-workout muscle growth and repair.
For a slow release protein before bed, casein protein will keep your muscles fuelled as you sleep, and for anything else, before you commit to any other supplement, consider your goals and your training regimes.
Finally, before we wrap things up, for anybody trying to turn fat into muscle, not only is the type of training that you perform, incredibly important, but on top of that, your training frequency is also absolutely crucial.
In order for anybody to build muscle and burn fat, they are going to have to be willing to really put in the hours in the gym and really push their bodies to their absolute limits on a regular basis.
If you’re guilty of going to the gym for 5 days one week, then deciding you can only be bothered to train for 2 or 3 days the following week, you simply are not going to make any real progress.
When it comes to making muscle gains and fat losses, consistency is the key to success.
Take the time to work out a viable training regime, make sure you have the time to actually meet your training commitments, and, if your routine says that you are training chest on a Monday, you make sure that you train your chest on a Monday.
If you take a relaxed approach to your training, this will show in your physique, whereas if you are dedicated and really push yourself, again, this will show as you will be leaner and more muscular than ever before.
You don’t need to train 7 days each week, you don’t even need to train for 5 days each week, as a simple training schedule of 4, even 3 days per week, can still yield impressive gains, but you must make sure that you train when you are supposed to, and that you don’t take shortcuts when it comes to your training.