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Build Muscle to Lose Fat

In the battle of the bulge, there is a way to be slimming down while exercising in a manner that most people consider bulking up.

You can build muscle to burn fat. In fact, this is the central idea of three of my books: The Nautilus Diet, 32 Days to a 32-Inch Waist, and A Flat Stomach ASAP.

In 10 weeks, the average man presented in the Nautilus Diet dropped 30 pounds of fat and the average woman almost 19. Those were averages; some lost quite a bit more. In the 32-day program, 146 men reduced an average of 17 pounds and trimmed 3 inches off their waists in a little more than a month. In the ASAP course, which stretched six weeks, 109 women lost an average of 15 pounds of fat and 41 men trimmed an average of 23 pounds off their bodies.

All subjects performed circuit strength training for no more than 30 minutes, three non-consecutive days per week. Each person did one set of 6 to 10 repetitions of no more than a dozen exercises each workout. Each exercise, however, was performed slowly and smoothly - and terminated only when additional upward movement was not possible.

Furthermore, all trainees followed moderate-calorie plans ranging from 1700 to 1300 calories per day for men - and 1300 to 1000 calories per day for women. Each started at the higher calorie level and descended by 100 every two weeks. The eating plan was composed of 60-percent carbohydrates, 20-precent fats, and 20-percent proteins.

At the end of the program, follow-up tests revealed that each trainee built calorie-burning muscle: on average approximately one-half pound per week, or 3 pounds in six weeks. Each pound of muscle added raised a person's basal metabolic rate by 37.5 calories per day. This was in addition to the calories burned during workouts. Strength training - indeed - provides a potent, double-reducing effect.

Traditional aerobic exercise was not part of the program. The trainees rested in between workouts days so that their bodies could over-compensate for the muscular overload by increasing muscle mass, the process of hypertrophy.

Time efficiency is an attractive aspect of building muscle to lose fat. Ninety minutes of strength training per week will build muscle that burns as many calories during normal activities as hours and hours of aerobic exercise.

But you'd better watch out. Most men trim their waistlines while broadening their chests and shoulders. Women do the same, but also note a significant reduction in the size of their hips and thighs.

You can certainly build muscle to lose fat, but afterwards, you can't be sure your jackets and pants will still fit. In fact, they probably won't. Not a single person that's been through such a transformation, however, has been disappointed with the results.

Decide today that your body needs more muscle and less fat - and act on it!

Updated on: 12/10/09
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