The fastest way to gain muscle and lose fat according to most health news articles is to focus your nutrition and training to target muscle-building variables and minimize fat storage. Learn nutrition requires eating “clean” and timing nutrients for optimum results. Emphasizing certain training techniques will further encourage muscle building while burning unwanted body fat. Add some targeted cardio and a few natural supplements that are backed by science, and you should see progress soon.
Eating clean means taking in the foods that best optimize muscle building while minimizing fat storage. Protein sources should include lean cuts of beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and whey protein. Clean carbohydrates include oatmeal, fresh fruit, brown rice, whole grains, and sweet potatoes. Healthy fats are olive oil, natural peanut butter, flaxseed oil, avocados, and nuts and seeds.
Timing optimizes muscle gain and minimizes fat storage. For example, some choose to take in carbohydrates in the earlier part of the day when the body requires more fuel and avoiding large amounts of carbs before bed since sleep is a fasted state with lower energy requirements. Also, the “Muscle Nerd” Jeff Anderson recommends 50 g whey protein, 60 g high-glycemic carbs (dextrose or fruit juice), and 30 g healthy fats immediately after training. You can also add a low-carb protein shake before bed, along with a tablespoon or two of flaxseed oil, to promote muscle building while you sleep.
Fitness authors Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman recommend following a high-rep contraction exercise with a compound movement. For example, you would do a 20-rep set of dumbbell flys, followed by bench press for 9 to 12 reps. NA or negative-accentuated sets ramp up metabolism for as long as 72 hours. NA sets are performed with a six-second negative stroke of any compound movement, such as the bench press. Another technique is drop sets. To do these you do one set of an exercise, then immediately reduce or “drop” the weight and do another set to exhaustion. According to “Xtreme Lean,” drop sets are great for isolation exercises such as dumbbell flies for the chest.
Cardiovascular exercise is an integral part of losing body fat. However, it can also burn away hard-earned muscle. Fitness author Jeff Anderson recommends walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes immediately after resistance training. This causes the body to burn fat almost exclusively. You can do 30 to 60 minutes three to five days per week. Cardio training is cumulative, so the duration of each individual session does not matter as much as the aggregate total.
Supplements can help you gain muscle and burn body fat faster. Whey protein is a bodybuilder staple because it is digested very rapidly. According to “Natural Anabolics,” whey is effective for initiating protein synthesis. Creatine monohydrate is another supplement that can improve your results. Creatine combined with whey protein and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) was shown to increase lean mass, compared to placebo, according to “The Power of Three” in the January 2010 issue of Muscle & Performance.