Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Myth: You Can't Gain Muscle & Lose Fat At the Same Time

So, according to scientists, you can't gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Phooey, I say.

And ironically, I turn to science to show you that you can...

In fact, even if you are "past your prime", you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time (as the study that supports this was done in men and women with an average age of 60 at Perdue University).

For many men and women, the idea of an exercised-based weight loss program conjures up thoughts of long, boring aerobic workouts on a treadmill or a bike. But a recent study shows that doesn't have to be the case.

Exercise and nutrition scientists from Purdue University showed men and women (with an average age of 61 - with one subject 80 years old!) were able to lose fat, gain muscle, get stronger, lower LDL cholesterol, and improve blood sugar control with a simple strength workout routine.

(Reference: Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Apr;85(4):1005-13.Resistance training and dietary protein: effects on glucose tolerance and contents of skeletal muscle insulin signaling proteins in older persons.Iglay HB, Thyfault JP, Apolzan JW, Campbell WW.)

Note the absence of "traditional cardio aerobic exercise"...yet they still lost fat!

In the study, 36 healthy men and women performed strength training three times per week for 12 weeks while consuming a 2000 calorie per day diet.

The workouts consisted of basic exercises that can be performed at any health club, including leg presses, chest presses, and seated rows.

Each workout consisted of 3 sets per exercise and 8-12 repetitions per set.

While the average bodyweight of the men and women didn't change over the 12 week program, they did gain an average of four pounds of lean mass and lost over four pounds of fat.

They gained muscle and lost fat at the same time!

Normally, most scientists will tell you that you can't gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, but when beginners start a program, it does seem possible - at any age.

In addition, strength training also improved the subject's blood sugar control - helping to protect against diabetes. The researchers believed the gains in muscle mass contributed to improved blood sugar control.

If you are new to strength training, simply ask a personal trainer to design you a workout using basic, time-tested exercises that have been used for decades to help build muscle and burn fat.

You don't even need fancy machines, as a good trainer can easily provide you with dumbbell exercises to do at home.

Helping you cut through the fat loss clutter to get more results in less time,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Click Here for a home gym workout to gain muscle and lose fat

No comments: