Lose Weight, Gain Muscle | STACK

Lose Weight, Gain Muscle

September 14, 2010

Must See Nutrition Videos

One question we frequently receive at STACK is, “How do I lose weight while still building muscle?” This is difficult to do using improper methods, which is why many athletes struggle with it throughout their careers. To meet both your weight and strength goals, throw out that old treadmill program and replace it with a multi-faceted approach that incorporates both training and nutrition.

Jumping on the treadmill and running for a half hour burns calories; however, you aren’t strengthening your muscles. To elevate your heart rate and engage your muscles for improved strength, perform plyometrics and other bodyweight exercises. This type of training allows you to do more reps at a high intensity, which activates your aerobic energy system and burns more calories. To achieve your goal, perform your regular exercise program with lower weight, more than 12 reps and less than 30 seconds of rest.

If you want to burn even more calories, use the treadmill, but avoid simply jogging at a medium pace. You need to push yourself and run like you would in a game. Interval training is a great way to condition your body for improved game-time endurance, while also helping you shed extra pounds of fat.

After all that hard work, it’s important not to go home and suck down four sodas and a bucket of fried chicken. A proper diet is just as important for losing fat and gaining muscle as your time in the weight room. Your muscles need fuel, so don't pare down your calorie intake too much—trim only around 500 to 1,000 calories per day. Stay away from fatty foods and eat nutrient-dense meals, such as salads and lean meats (fish, chicken breast and pork).

For more information, read STACK's article on eating for weight loss and muscle mass, and check out a Plyo program inspired by Kobe Bryant.

Photo:  Getty Images

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Mechanical Overload: A Strategy for Bigger Muscles

Pushing Limits: Mechanical Overload for Size and Strength (Bigger Muscles) Mechanical overload might be the most important principle in strength...

Q&A: Brad Schoenfeld on Maximizing Muscle Growth

Build Muscle in Less Time With Massed Practice

5 Easy Muscle-Building Tips for Hardgainer Athletes

Pressed for Time? Try This 20-Minute, 200-Rep Workout

Build Bigger Arms With This Bicep Workout

Shoulder Workouts for Mass: 3 Tips

5 Tips to Increase Lean Body Mass

The 15-Minute Beach Muscle (Plus Hustle) Workout

The 8 Craziest Things People Do to Build Muscle

Get Strong and Thick With Strongman Exercises

3 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Stronger

A Simple Strategy for Serious Muscle Growth

Build Bigger Biceps Without an 'Arm Day'

I Lift Weights But Can't Build Muscle. What's Wrong?

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

Why Hard Work May Not Always Beat Good Genes

Keys to a Successful Full-Body Transformation

The Food Rules for Building Muscle

5 Food Swaps that Help Athletes Bulk Up

Increase Metabolic Stress for Size and Performance

When to Use Isolation Exercises for Growth

Get a Big Chest With 5 Stand-up Exercises

6 Skinny Pro Athletes Who Dominate Their Sport

5 Reasons Why You're Not Ripped

Quickly Build Muscle for Football

You Need Rest Intervals. Here's Why

Why You

How the Actors of 'Blue Mountain State' Get in Shape

The 4 Rules of Bulking Up

The Weakling's Guide to Working Out

How to Build Muscle: A Game of Angles

Can Your Diet Prevent Sports Injuries?

What You Need to Know About Gaining Muscle Mass

How to Strengthen Small and Weak Muscles

Why You Need to Change Your Workouts More Often

3 Simple Moves for Bigger Triceps

5 Reasons You Can't Build Muscle

Pack on Muscle by Wave Loading

Build Muscle Faster With This Simple Weight Room Trick