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What is the key to burning fat while preserving muscle mass?

I would like some easy to adapt top tips for my workouts and diet.

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Depending on your body type, this can be tricky. Notice I said “tricky” and not “impossible.” You will need to adjust your training and nutrition in order to achieve lean muscle gain while shedding fat.

Continue your strength-based workouts but instead of dedicating one or two days a week to cardiovascular exercise (otherwise known as “cardio”) you should be performing high intensity intervals. High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT, is the best way to supplement your current workout to achieve maximum caloric expenditure primarily from fat.

HIIT involves taking a set number of compound bodyweight-based exercises, typically 8 to 10, and performing them in rapid succession. Once the last exercise on the list has been completed, take a 60 to 90 second break and begin again. Complete between 2 to 3 sets for beginners and 4 to 6 sets for advanced lifters.

HIIT will support your strength training and muscle gain as this type of training helps to release maximum levels of repair hormones such as testosterone and HGH. Be sure to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night, otherwise you’ll miss out on this opportunity for growth.

In regards to your nutrition, you should not be cutting fats from your diet in order to shed fat. This is completely counter-productive. Healthy fats support those same repair hormones that will help burn more fat. You may need to increase your protein and complex carbohydrate intake depending on your current levels.

0.8 to 1 gram of protein per body pound will ensure that your current muscle mass will be maintained. Increasing your complex carbohydrate intake will provide your body fuel to burn during your intense workouts. The fiber from the complex carbs will help to avoid complications from the increase in protein. Be sure to supplement your muscles with protein and carbohydrates pre and post workout. A protein shake will be your best option.

Most important is your water intake. The more intense your workouts become, the more you will need. Water will help to flush out any lactic buildup in your muscles while keeping you regulated and ready for more gym time.

DISCLAIMER: This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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Answered by our Fitness Expert
David Sautter NASM Personal Trainer
What is the key to burning fat while preserving muscle mass?
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