There's no way to do both at the same time? I read on here that you need to have a calorie deficit to burn fat, and a calorie surplus in order to gain muscle. I would say I burn anywhere in the neighborhood of 900 to 1100 (maybe more)calories a day on cardio and daily activities. I do cardio everyday for about 2 1/2 hours. Am I working towards an unattainable goal of losing weight and gaining muscle at the same time? I'm a lean guy by nature but most of my fat is stored in my midsection which makes it difficult to achieve washboard abs. The abdominals are muscles, so by having a calorie deficit am I actually losing the abs that I do have? I want to remain natural and not take any kind of supplements. If somebody can shed light on the subject, I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
I agree that you don't need to be doing 2.5 hours of cardio. 45 min to an hour is enough. What you should add is some strength training. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn during any activity. But you should avoid doing lots of weight. You should stick with low weight and higher repetitions for toning. If you are trying to concentrate on your abs, maybe you should also do some crunches. Some people store their fat in one place, so it may take time to lose it from that one spot. But you are more likely to keep it off, if you take it off slowly. Follow a lifestyle you can keep forever!
i need to gain muscle. but i dont need to lose body fat. im already a rake as it is. how much cardio should i do then? not including school sports (we're in badminton rite now), i always skip rope like 4 times a week for 20 minutes. and i usually go for a walk if the weather is nice (never done that in a while because its winter and FREEZING) so yeh i skip rope. i have started doing this for a couple days now. i am strength training and work a muscle for 30 minutes or so everyday. today is my obdominal area day. i work it 3 times a week, legs 2 times a week, and arms 2 times a week.
i am starting to eat more which is hard because i am recovering from an ED, but i can do it!
am i on the right track? should i be doing more strength training or less cardio? gimme the scoop!
For the average person, it is impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Like you said, one requires a caloric surplus while the other requires a caloric deficit. You will no doubt run into people claiming you can achieve both goals at the same time. Ignore them. Unless you're one of the genetically gifted, you will have to focus on one goal at a time. If you're carrying a significant amount of body fat, it's better to lose the fat before you try to gain muscle. When a person is trying to lose fat, they will lose some muscle too since they're taking in fewer calories than their body needs. When a person is trying to gain muscle, they will gain some body fat too since they're taking in more calories than their body needs. The trick is to minimize the muscle loss or fat gain. This is why it's especially important to track your body fat and muscle mass every week. That way, you can see where your weight loss/gain is coming from and make adjustments to your diet and exercise plan immediately. If I see that I'm losing muscle, I don't scale back on the cardio, I just eat more. If you're losing muscle, it's more likely because you're taking in too few calories than doing too much cardio. Don't be afraid to do cardio. There's a lot of paranoia out there about cardio causing muscle loss, but at one time I managed to shed 20 pounds of fat and only lost 1 pound of muscle despite doing 2 hours of cardio a day.
Another thing to keep in mind is that whatever plan you come up with has to be suited to you and only you. Someone may tell you that you're doing too much cardio but only you can know if it's too much by listening to your body and tracking your body fat and muscle measurements. In order to lose fat, I have to do 1 hour of cardio every morning but someone else may have a body that responds better to cardio and so they only need to do it 3-4 times a week. Also remember that most people tend to overestimate the number of calories they burn. Chances are you're not burning nearly as much as you think you are. But cardio is the best way to get rid of body fat. Diet manipulation can speed up your metabolism and weight training can help preserve muscle mass, but it's cardio that works directly on body fat.