When talking about losing weight quickly, people generally want to lose fat. Unfortunately, when cutting calories and exercising regularly, many people lose muscle at the same time.
Although the scales might show you have lost weight, you will probably still have fat in unwanted areas.
In addition, losing weight too fast can mean you put it on again just as quickly.
The answer? Body Re-composition
1. Body Re-composition for Serious Transformations
If you’ve never lifted weights before, or you’re returning to the gym after some time off, your body is the perfect candidate for a re-comp. With the right diet and exercise selection, you can pack on muscle while shedding some serious fat – at the same time.
A beach-ready, toned, athletic body.
To maximise your body’s ability to add muscle and lose fat, you need to forget curls and crunches, and concentrate on heavy, compound moves.
Four workouts per week, using an upper and lower body split, is all it takes.
Although there are many more exercises you can add to your routine, the following moves are essential if you want to lose weight fast while adding muscle.
To add muscle to your frame, you need to lift weights. Heavy weights. Spending an hour or two curling dumbbells and doing crunches is not going to cut it. What you need is the king of compound moves – the deadlift.
If you could only choose one exercise to perform for the rest of your life, this is it. You’ll work your back, arms, legs and core – a bit of everything, really. You’ll be surprised at how fast your strength increases, and you’ll be itching to get back in the gym and beat your previous personal bests. In time, this exercise can allow you to lift two or three times your own bodyweight!
When re-comping, perform 5 sets, with 4 to 6 reps on lower body day. Once you can do all 6 reps on every set, increase the weight.
3. Bench Press
Like the deadlift, the bench press is another compound move. This means it works multiple muscle groups at the same time. While the bench press primarily targets the pectoral muscles (pecs), your triceps and shoulders also get a piece of the action. Narrowing your grip will target more of your triceps and widening will incorporate more chest.
You might hear fellow gym-goers or personal trainers tell you to bring the bar down to your chest while performing this move to “activate” or “stretch” the muscle. If you have shorter arms, and a wider rib cage, this might be easy and comfortable to do. However, if you have longer arms and narrower rib cage, you might stretch the muscle too much, which can cause a tear, or put extra stress on the rotator cuff, causing injury.
Again, 5 sets in the 4 to 6 rep range is ideal here.
When it comes to working your legs, there is no better all-round exercise than the squat. As with the deadlift and bench press, there are many variations you can use, but the most common is the back squat. You’ll target your quads, calves, glutes and core during this move.
To reap the most benefits from the squat, your hips should end the descent below your knees. This is going past parallel. As with the bench press, the length of your limps will likely determine how “deep” you can go with your squat. Shorter individuals tend to be able to squat deeper, while those with longer legs find if more difficult to keep the torso upright, resulting in shallower squats.
Perform 5 sets of 4 to 6 reps.
5. Barbell Row
The barbell row is essential to add mass to your back. You’ll work your traps, lats, rear delts, as well as biceps or triceps – depending on which grip you use. For example, lifting with an underhand grip will incorporate more biceps action, while the overhand grip will recruit more triceps.
Perform 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps.
The debate regarding whether to perform cardio during a re-comp is ongoing. In reality, it is more down to personal preference. Personally, I feel I am not recovering adequately when I hit the cardio hard while in a calorie deficit. For this reason, I tend to skip cardio.
That said, I walked a lot during my successful body re-comp; three or four times per week, for an hour or so. The body doesn’t burn out, yet burns a few extra calories which might otherwise be stored as fat.
Based on experience, we recommend some steady-state cardio. Walking is great, as it gets you outdoors. It doesn’t cost anything, and I find it provides a great opportunity to think clearly about things. Other forms of low-intensity cardio can be performed at home with a treadmill or an exercise bike.
7. Other Exercises
Compound moves should be the bread and butter of just about any fitness regime. Whether you’re looking to become stronger, leaner, more athletic, or increase endurance, these core exercises will benefit you in numerous ways.”
Before adding isolation moves such as biceps curls, triceps extensions and crunches to your routine, Robin suggests some other high-quality compound exercises you should incorporate:
Overhead Press – targets the shoulders, incorporates the triceps, and when performed standing up, engages the core and recruits the back muscles.
Pull-ups – performing these with varying grips will target different areas of the back. In addition, you’ll heavily work your biceps and forearms.
Romanian deadlifts – these are great for your hamstrings and glutes, and can help strengthen these areas which, in turn, can help improve your deadlift.
Diet for Fat Loss
While exercise is important to build muscle and burn fat, it can not work wonders on its own. It is important to get enough protein to aid protein synthesis.
For those who struggle to get enough protein in their diets, there is always the option of protein shakes.
If you’re not sure which ones might be right for you, you can always check out this helpful guide: Best Protein Powders for 2018 – Fitness Savvy’s Top 5.
It takes a detailed look at what you should watch out for and contains interesting facts about BCAA content and other important elements to consider.
By concentrating on these five exercises, you should be capable of building muscle while burning fat at the same time. However, it is important not to be tempted by high-volume, isolation moves. While these can be fun, and get you a great “pump”, they will often waste your time if you’re looking to lose weight.
These kinds of exercises can be added once you change up your routine – which typically happens every eight to 12 weeks.
Simply get enough protein, perform these core exercises, and you will see results.