When summer comes, one of the goals that we usually mark and that we always keep in mind is the loss of fat and the achievement of greater definition and muscular tension. For that, we start working in the gym. But not always what we do is the most appropriate. That is why it is important that we consider how things should be done.
Around the muscular definition there are many beliefs and myths that we hear day after day and that we can not get out of our heads. It is important that we are aware that not everything that is said or believed sometimes is reality. To do this we will stop at these myths that we must banish forever.
Losing fat and achieving greater muscle definition is something that seems easy to achieve. The theory is easy, since it consists of reducing the intake of fat so that the body can take over the reserves and thus eliminate part of them. But the way to carry it out is not so simple.
Diet, proper exercise and knowing how to do things is essential. Surely more than one of us would think that running every day is enough to burn fat. In theory, we would burn reserves of fat, but, for example, if we do not eat well and do not exercise, the muscles can be affected, because we can consume part of them.
This is the main problem, muscle catabolism, which is that the body needs more food than we have in reserve or that we give, and uses the muscle fibers to obtain it. This can happen in many cases at the time of wanting to define. In the end we lose weight, but also muscle quality. Therefore, it is important to know what myth is and what is true.
For that reason we will begin with a very extended myth, and it is the one that we have previously supported. To define it, it is necessary to do only aerobic exercise. It is true that with aerobic exercise we accelerate metabolism, but we also increase energy consumption and run the risk of consuming muscle fibers.
Aerobic exercise should be performed, but not in excess. The definition is achieved with a mix of high intensity exercises that combine aerobic exercises with strength exercises. Do not forget that by exercising the muscle fibers through strength exercises, we can increase their size and with it the energy consumption at rest.
This increase in fibers makes the muscles larger and with it greater nutritional needs. Therefore, the work of force will help us to consume more energy at rest. It is a way to accelerate the basal metabolism at rest. In this way we can not neglect muscle work under any circumstances, even if we are in a defining moment.
Another myth that we find is to perform more repetitions by lowering the weight. This is a belief that we have always seen in training rooms and from which many people remain loyal followers. As we said before, we can not neglect muscle work. By reducing the load and increasing the repetitions, we simply work the muscular resistance, but nothing else.
We emphasize again the importance of intense work and the mixture of high intensity exercises. A good way to burn more without neglecting the muscular work is to perform functional exercises in which we activate the muscles and the metabolism without neglecting the proper muscular work.
Also the intense work of force with high loads, will help us to burn more calories and with it to increase the loss of fat at the time of obtaining a good definition. It is a mistake to think that training with less weight and high repetitions will help us burn more. It does not make sense and it is not recommended. Muscle fibers need us to work them, and it is the basis to define well without losing muscle tension.
An extended error is also to think that the conventional work with free weights or machines, will not help us to achieve a good muscular definition. In fact, there are many people who think that gym machines only serve to tone and never get a good muscle tone.
This statement is totally false, since the muscles respond to the stimuli they receive. The fibers are worked whenever they receive that stimulus. For this reason, it is necessary that we work correctly, either with free weights or with machines, using a load appropriate to the intensity we want to give to training.
In this case, the important thing is to know it and take it into account when looking for a good muscular definition. Never leaving muscular work is essential. It is always necessary to train anaerobically when we are in the definition phase. As we said before, this does not only work with aerobics exercises.
Many people think that if we have excess fat, to get a better definition, it is better to harden the fat by exercising. This is one of the weirdest and weirdest beliefs we have ever faced, but it exists and many people think it is.
The fat does not harden. This is a maxim to take into account. Fat can not be turned into muscle, nor can muscle become fat. The only thing we can do with the excess fat we have in the body is to burn it and consume it. Less tonic areas with more fat can be defined only by their loss and consumption through an appropriate exercise and focused on achieving this goal.
For this reason, it is important to think that not only will exercise allow us to achieve the desired muscular definition. The diet is fundamental in this period. So much to lose fat in a healthy way, to keep the muscle fibers well nourished and not to get into the catabolism, as we said before.
Decreasing the consumption of saturated fats is necessary. It is true that we must maintain a fat contribution, but from healthier sources, such as blue fish, olive oil, coconut oil … This decrease in fat will keep us with an increase proteins, to keep the fiber fed and well nourished.
Along with this, it is necessary to decrease the carbohydrate intake. Those we consume must come from sources such as whole flours or fruits and vegetables. Leaving aside sugar is essential, as well as refined flours, as their consumption will prevent proper fat burning.
At the same time, proper training will be essential. Therefore, we want to end this message by highlighting some training modes that combine aerobic and anaerobic exercises and thus achieve the desired definition goal. Then we will indicate the best ways to work:
Strength training with high intensities. As we have seen previously, we must never neglect the fibers and their definition and burn more fat stored in the fibers, it will be done with this type of muscle work.
Performing metabolic training is another option. This training consists simply of resting between each exercise. This type of training speeds up the metabolism and, therefore, burns more fat. It works through predefined circuits, in which most exercises are functional.
Performing a HIIT training is a good alternative. It is a high intensity interval training. It combines exercises of maximum intensity, with virtually no rest. This is done in short but very intense sessions.
Fartlek training, which consists of interval training in which we will vary the intensity. That is to say, we will perform high intensity exercises with others of less intensity. It is similar to HIIT, only that there will be less intense exercises, which will serve as rest. But rest is not understood as standing, but it is active.
We must now keep this in mind when we want to get a good muscle definition. It is time to ban the myths that drive us in training, to be consistent and to know what we are doing at every moment.
To lose abdominal fat, it is not enough to do abdominals
Dedicarnos to make thousands of abdominal crunches (an exercise, by the way, we already explain why it’s better to get away from our routines) so that the fat from the central area disappears is a very reckless time investment. . And it is not possible to eliminate fats from a specific area of the body, let alone by exercise.
When it comes to eliminating fats and marking the tablet, a goal of many who come to the gym, our diet will be more important than the exercises we do. Although the exercises help to tone that part of the body and keep us in shape, a low fat percentage is crucial to being able to watch six-packs.
Our body fat percentage is the most important factor when it comes to marking the six pack
To reduce our fat percentage, nutrition is the most useful, controllable factor that we can use. A diet adapted to our needs, made by a dietician, with the amount of calories and an adequate distribution of macronutrients in addition to strength training is what will enable us to perform a body composition.
What percentage of fat are the abdominals visible for? There is no exact number because it will depend on each person, their genetics and the distribution of fat in their body. In general we can say that in men this percentage of fat is around 10% or 12% and for women (we have a higher amount of essential fat) around 17% or 18%.
Muscle and fat do not “trade” with each other
“Look at that guy: he has stopped training and everything he got from muscles has become fat.” It is a common expression in gyms and is incorrect. Muscle and fat are two completely different things and one cannot “convert” to the other.
The process of body composition (losing weight and gaining lean body mass) is easier for beginning athletes
What happens in our body when we train and follow a sufficient diet is that we lower our fat mass and create muscle mass. These are two different processes that fall within the corporate recomposition we discussed earlier. As we say in the video, it is not a simple process, because in order to achieve both things, you must set opposite requirements: in order to gain muscle mass, we need a calorie surplus, while, in order to lose fat mass, we need to be deficient .
However, the reverse process is much simpler: losing muscle mass and gaining weight, something that is clearly not what we are looking for when we go to the gym. But this is what happens when we stop training and take care of our diet: the fat mass increases and the muscle tension decreases. But by no means does the muscle get thick.
You don’t have to drink the milkshake in the gym’s dressing room
The anabolic window is the period that elapses after training and during which the body recovers and the fibers regenerate. It was traditionally thought that this anabolic window would close shortly after training ended, which took about half an hour, and that has led us to implement practices such as the use of dietary supplements to take easily after training (finally and ultimately, for practical purposes it is much easier to take a shake than to eat a steak) or to eat the tupper in the same gym dressing room.
Recent studies, however, suggest that this time window in which our body benefits better from nutrients from food is wider and can last up to five or six hours. Thanks to these studies we know that we can wait to go to our house from the gym to prepare a meal or that we should not rush to drink the smoothie.
Another of the most common beliefs in the gym is that if you don’t sweat, your workout has not served at all. Let’s start with the principle: sweat is a mechanism of our body that “cools” us when body temperature rises, such as during cardiovascular exercises.
Sweating during training is not a guarantee for losing fat, nor is it more effective
Sweat usually consists of water, with a small amount of salt (that is why salt tastes) and a very small amount of toxins: what you lose when you sweat is actually water, and in no way is it fat. Those liquids that we lose through sweat, and for which it is important that we stay well hydrated during exercise, will be restored when we hydrate again.
Another thing is that physical activity or exercise contributes to some extent to the loss of fat: the calorie expenditure that we do with exercise will affect when we change our weight, but this does not mean that when we we sweat “burn fats” when we sweat.