I am so sick of seeing this myth regurgitated in fitness magazines and from personal trainers. So many times I’ve heard that “you can’t build muscle and burn fat at the same time” – and its complete rubbish.
I KNOW from my own experience in training MMA athletes, footballers, rugby players and non-athletes that when you blend the RIGHT fat burning methods with the RIGHT muscle-building principles you will sculpt a lean, ripped, athletic body.
Plus, it’s well known that muscle is the biggest energy-burning tissue in the body – therefore the more you stimulate your muscles, the more fat is burned.
The truth is that building lean muscle LEADS to more fat burning. More fat burning keeps you lean, ripped, and improves your ability to build MORE muscle – it’s a continuous, positive cycle – NOT two separate things.
Use these 3 principles – proven by scientific studies – to build lean muscle and melt fat fast. These are the Secret Principles that you need to start building the body you want:
Principle 1: Train with Speed & Efficiency
You want MAXIMUM results in MINIMAL time, right? You may have heard of the 80/20 rule, which states that in most things in life, 80% of your results come from just 20% of the strategies you are using.
I applied this rule to fitness training and realized that the exercises that will put slabs of lean muscle on your body AND burn fat simultaneously were athletic-based exercises such as squats, deadlifts, Olympic lifts and pull ups.
As such, these are the staple exercises that your workouts should be based around. And because you’ll be using ONLY the very best, top 20% of exercises known to man, your workout time is cut considerably – whilst you actually get BETTER results.
Frequency of training is a vital key in muscle growth – repeated stimulus for each muscle group. Therefore start cutting your sessions down to no longer than 30 – 40 minutes, and start training at least 4-5 days a week. The short sessions allow you more energy to train every day (whereas if you were training for 1 – 2 hours per day like most guys do) then a 6-day per week program would burn you out quickly.
In fact, top athletes train by frequency – that is, they train up to 6 or 7 days per week. Think about it – if you wanted to learn to get good at playing a sport or a musical instrument, the best way to get good would be to practice almost every day.
If you start to train your back, chest, shoulders, arms, legs and stomach 6 times per week while your friends only stimulate those muscle groups about twice per week your results will skyrocket past theirs and they’ll be left scratching their heads as to how you are getting stronger, faster and leaner so quickly.
Another reason that shorter, more frequent sessions are more effective is that if you train for a full hour, then by the 30-minute period you’d likely be tired, and every exercise you do in that second half would be at a lowered performance level.
However, with shorter sessions, you will feel FRESH each time and you can put 100% of your energy, effort and FOCUS into the exercises and get a rock-solid 30 minute workout. Plus, as another bonus, you won’t be so drained after each workout, making your recovery for the next workout happen more easily.
You can download my free 21-day training & eating blueprint that I used to get in shape FAST for the summer by Clicking Here.
Up until now you’ve been led to believe that to build muscle you need to lift an insane volume of weights and spend at least an hour in the gym each day. Now you know that building a ripped, athletic body is NOT about going for longer – it’s about going harder, then resting, recovering and eating healthy foods so your body grows back fitter and more powerful than before.
Principle #2: Maximize Muscle Recruitment
A HUGE piece of the puzzle when it comes to gaining lean muscle and burning fat at the same time is what’s known as ‘muscle recruitment’. Unfortunately, most training programs don’t talk about this cutting-edge training principle.
One of the reasons power athletes develop slabs of ripped muscle and shed body fat so quickly is due to not just what exercises they use – but also by HOW they perform them. If you’ve been following a typical bodybuilders routine or following a ‘tempo’ based training (“3 seconds lifting, 2 seconds pause, 3 seconds to lower the weight”, or something similar to that) then you’ve been MISSING OUT on some major muscle growth and fat loss.
It’s time to FORGET tempo-training and slow lifting. One of the big secret training principles is what I call the ‘Power Reps’ Method. This means that every repetition is performed explosively – like a rocket launch, and then lowered under control. This approach is scientifically proven to use a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers with each repetition when compared with slower lifting speeds.
Apart from stimulating more muscle fibers at each workout (which leads to faster muscle growth), ‘Power Reps’ will also switch your body from ‘fat-storing’ mode into ‘fat-burning’ mode.
Studies show that after each workout performed with Power Reps, your body re-directs the flow of nutrients in your body. Basically, after ‘powering up’ your body, the food you eat is transported directly to your muscle cells, where the nutrients are used for energy and to repair your muscles, making them bigger and stronger.
This also means that any nutrients you take in ARE NOT dumped in your fat cells. This process occurs AFTER the workout session, meaning your body is feeding and growing your muscles and keeping fat storage at a minimum even when you’re not working out.
Principle 3: The Strategic Blend of Strength & Power Development, Lean Muscle Building, & Metabolic Fat Loss Training Sessions
If you study how top athletes and even top Hollywood actors such as Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans (Captain America) train, you’ll see that they combine the elements of Strength Training, Power Training, Athleticism and Metabolic Fat Loss into EVERY session.
That’s one of the Principles right there – to blend and synergize your workout to kill several birds with one stone. Dividing your workout up into ‘cardio’ and ‘weights’ is quite unnatural and produces poor results. Instead, train the body in the way it’s designed with full body movements that produce athleticism, agility, muscle and a faster metabolism to burn more fat.
I put my clients through 3 different types of workout sessions – power / athleticism sessions, heavy muscle-building sessions, and metabolic cardio sessions. These sessions give you the perfect blend of mixed sets and repetitions, and also include a number of highly effective body-weight exercises – just to get you even more ripped.
For Strength Training days, your aim is to develop lean muscle mass by lifting heavy weights for lower repetitions (below 8) to get brutally strong. Lifting heavy also makes the muscle more dense and firm, giving you a sharper, angular appearance to your physique. The Strength Training sessions will force your body to become stronger over the weeks so you can lift more and more weight – leaving your body NO CHOICE but to adapt by growing stronger and denser.
But, to MAXIMIZE your lean muscle growth you also need some (but not too many!) higher-repetition sets too. For that reason rotate your Strength Training days to include some higher-volume training workouts that will cause a boost in muscle growth when combined with the lower-volume / higher weight training days.
For the Power & Athleticism Training Days you should be lifting fairly heavy weights explosively with the scientifically-proven ‘Power Reps’ method. This will make your body fast and explosive whilst re-directing the nutrients in your body away from fat cells and instead into muscle cells for energy and repair.
Even if you don’t play a sport, it’s important to train like an athlete as this will help your joints become more mobile and injury-resistant.
With better overall athleticism and agility you will keep body fat levels low, and be able to perform the strength and power exercises more effectively and reduce the risk of injury.
To perform the ‘Power Reps’ method simply explosively lift every repetition as if it was a rocket launch. Lower the weight under control. When you feel your rep speed start to slow down it’s time to end the set and save your energy so you don’t get burned out.
This approach will keep you fresh and you’ll find you may even get more and more energy as the session goes on (as the power-based approach ‘wakes up’ your central nervous system).
To really get shredded, perform Metabolic Fat Loss Training Days in place of traditional cardio. In addition to developing muscle mass, in order to keep body fat levels low and keep the ripped and defined appearance that makes women go wild, you have to include some high-intensity metabolic conditioning.
I started using these high-intensity cardio conditioning workouts with athletes such as mixed martial artists and rugby players. It got them into incredible physical shape but what we didn’t expect was just how much fat just literally MELTED off their bodies after doing these workouts.
As such, I made some modifications to the workouts to make them more suitable for general training clients and non-athletes and this Metabolic training has been the foundation of my rapid-fat loss programs ever since.
The Metabolic Fat Loss workouts all started when I came across some scientific research papers from Dr Tremblay et al. that compared high-intensity training to low-intensity cardio to see which was superior for fat loss…
Tremblay A, Simoneau JA, Bouchard C.
Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism.
Metabolism. 1994 Jul;43(7):814-8
The results were shocking – the test subjects performing high intensity cardio (like sprints in fast bursts) burned 9 times more fat than the test subjects who performed low-intensity cardio (such as long-distance jogging, or slow aerobic exercise for an hour).
What’s more – the high-intensity group lost all that fat and only spent HALF of the time exercising. That’s right – the low-intensity group trained for 1 hour per day, whilst the high-intensity group trained for just 20 minutes – yet working out for 20 minutes burned 9 times more fat.
Here’s another study:
Schuenke MD, Mikat RP, McBride JM.
Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management.
Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002 Mar;86(5):411-7. Epub 2002 Jan 29.
This study showed that high-intensity cardio training with short rest periods also boosted your metabolic rate for up to 38 hours FOLLOWING a workout.
Yes, that means that your metabolism will be increased and your body can keep burning fat over the next 2 days each time you perform a Metabolic Fat Loss sessions.
I took this approach one step further – I wanted rapid fat loss but also wanted my clients to keep their strength and power levels up at the same time. So, we decided to experiment with high-intensity WEIGHTED cardio training – or ‘cardio with weights’.
From body-weight circuits to unique back-to-back weight lifting routines, my ‘Loaded Endurance’ sessions turned the guys I trained into ripped, lean athletic alpha males faster than anything I’d ever seen. As a result they were performing BETTER than ever at their sports, but what they commented on the most was how INCREDIBLE they looked and felt…
Lastly you should also perform one Recharge Training Session each week. This is a lighter workout that is designed to help your muscles recover from the more intense workouts by promoting blood flow and nutrients around the body. You will also work on keeping joints mobile with some light power-based moves. Stick with exercises that are explosive such as squat jumps, push presses and Olympic lifts.
Perform these exercises with an empty barbell or very light dumbbells and treat them more like a ‘warm up’ routine. It’s just to get blood flowing so more nutrients are delivered around your body, as well as wake up your central nervous system and keep metabolism activated. This will make you feel a lot more alert, and your muscles should start feeling better and fresher for your next intense session.
The 60-Second Summary
There are 2 things you need to do to start building lean, ripped muscle & shedding body fat at the same time. They are:
- STOP the traditional styles of training that have never worked for you. No more bodybuilding magazine workouts, and no more long, slow cardio that can make you store fat and get hurt.
- START adapting your training to create a simultaneous muscle building and fat-melting environment in your body. This is done via 3 cutting-edge principles:
a) Speed & Efficiency – use only the top 20% effective exercises & keep sessions short so you can stimulate every muscle multiple times throughout the week.
b) Maximum Muscle Recruitment – Use the ‘Power Reps’ method to lift every weight explosively and terminate the set when your rep speed slows down significantly. DO NOT perform any grinding, slow reps, and avoid muscular failure at all costs in order to protect from CNS fatigue.
c) Strategically Sync Your Strength, Power, Lean Muscle-Building and Metabolic Fat Loss Training Sessions – use the right blend of high-load, low-rep and low-load, high-rep training. Also, include exercises that develop power and athleticism to the mix, and top off with the right amount of ‘weighted cardio’ fat loss training for your desired goal.
Author Bio: Justin Devonshire is a Men’s Fitness & Conditioning Specialist. He is the author of the 21-Day Emergency Muscle Building Blueprint – a unique workout & diet plan he used to gain 6lbs of muscle in just 21 days.
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