How do I Choose the Best Way to Burn Fat and Gain Muscle?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2018
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No simple way exists to burn fat and gain muscle. To accomplish this goal, you must be willing to commit to a lifestyle that supports exercises and other practices that help you burn fat and gain muscle by default. While weight training can help you build muscle, it won't necessarily help you burn fat. Riding an exercise bike can help you burn fat, but it may not be the best way to gain muscle. Generally speaking, the best way to burn fat and gain muscle is to develop a healthy routine of exercise and eating right that you can stick to long-term. No short-term, six-to-eight week program will help you if you do not commit to a new lifestyle.

Your plan to burn fat and gain muscle will revolve around exercise, of course. Lifting weights can help build muscle, as can plyometrics workouts and other physical activities such as hiking or biking. To burn fat, a cardiovascular workout is necessary; riding a bicycle, running, playing racket sports, or other activities that raise the heart rate and sustain it will help you burn fat. Such exercises must be combined with a healthy diet and the proper amount of sleep to be effective, and excess stress is a surefire way to counteract any gains made through working out.


The key to getting to a point in which your body can routinely burn fat and gain muscle is training the body to work harder. Muscles get built after repetition, and the body remembers how to do the exercises naturally. Starting small and working your way up to larger weights is a good idea, as the smaller weights get the body used to the lifting motion, and as muscle builds, greater weights can be lifted, building even more muscle. The same strategy works for cardiovascular workouts; starting slower or with shorter durations gets the body used to the strain. As you become more fit, you can do ladder workouts or interval training, which can both help you burn fat and gain muscle.

Consistency is key. You must commit to working out regularly and eating healthy foods daily. You will find that the more you work out and eat healthy, the more energy you will have to keep the routine going. The body can lose fitness, gain fat, and lose muscle mass relatively quickly, so maintaining a regular workout routine is essential. The path to burning fat and gaining muscle is less a matter of figuring out a workout routine and more a matter of changing your lifestyle.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

@Fa5t3r - If a person has set goals though, they need to make sure they aren't doing a sport that will focus on one but not the other, or maybe develop only one part of the body.

My two best friends in college were a cyclist and a swimmer and one of them had muscular arms and the other had muscular legs and both of them were like twigs everywhere else.

If your goal is to ride a race, then don't worry too much about anything else. But if you're trying to develop a particular kind of body you have to make sure that you do what it takes to get there, not just flail around and hope for the best.

Post 2

@Ana1234 - In my opinion, the best way to do both is to concentrate on neither. There are a lot of sports out there which encourage you to work on both burning fat and gaining muscle. Swimming is probably one of the easier ones for people to get into but anything you find fun and engaging is a good idea.

Post 1

It is definitely the right way to go to combine these two things, rather than trying to do just one or the other. Gaining muscle isn't going to help your heart in the long run without cardiovascular exercise, and in fact it might actually make you more prone to heart problems, as your heart has to work harder to support the muscle.

And burning fat by itself is a tough road without building muscle to help with the journey. When you have more muscle, you burn more fat for everything you do because muscles need more energy.

It's probably better to work on a little of each than to try to do both.

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