Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. Gaining muscle not only looks great, but it helps people get rid of the chunky jiggle, too.  Today we are looking at how gaining muscle and burning fat correlate. If you have any questions about this or would like to begin your own journey into putting your muscles to use, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

The two most desired goals by most people are to lose body fat and to increase muscle tone. Everyone seems to have that better image of themselves they want to become.  Great, but vision itself is not enough to accomplish such a hefty goal.  While the right diet and a solid workout plan are going to put you on the path to success, far too many people focus solely on cardio when they could be exercising their muscles in order to burn some extra calories.

You gotta move it, move it.

‘Exercising your muscles’ doesn’t just mean doing endless bicep curls.  How boring! We have to exercise the right muscles and in the correct way to get the results we hope for. . Biceps are great but they are very small muscles and don’t burn a lot of calories to maintain them. We need to focus on building muscles across the board (no, ladies, I’m not talking about bulking up. I mean we have to tone them up; reign them in).  Lifting weights are a great way to increase your strength, but, there are plenty of other options that might get you more excited. Activities like as hiking, dancing, mountain biking, pilates and even yoga can all pack on your muscles while simultaneously helping you get long and lean.


Finding activities that you enjoy will keep you more involved and also show you why lifting can increase your enjoyment and performance during this “fun time”.  Finding a physical activity that’s also enjoyable can also make lifting or cross training much more enjoyable as well. So why do we need to lift or strengthen our muscles to lose body fat? It’s the science behind all of this is and what happens when you achieve muscle breakdown where the secret path to losing fat exists.

Bigger means Better, Right? Wrong.

Let’s take a bodybuilder, for example. Many people assume that the development of muscle happens when they are in the gym. The more weight they lift, the bigger their muscles are. This isn’t the case. A bodybuilder’s aim while lifting weights is to achieve muscle breakdown, or to tear the muscle apart. Almost like a controlled injury.

The reason weightlifters get a ‘swell’ after a set is due to this breakdown. The body rushes blood to the area to try and compensate for the ordeal it’s just gone through, causing the skin to appear more bloated and the veins to come into view. This is also why delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurs a day or two after working out. The body is trying to repair itself.  As the body is trying to repair itself, it uses all the nutrients and vitamins we have eaten and use those as the building blocks of repair.  If you’ve ever seen a body builders daily intake of food you’d never guess that it’s possible to stay physically fit and still eat that much food.  As a personal trainer in Amarillo, I remember when Michael Phelps was beginning to win all those medals at the Olympics.  People would come into my office astounded at how much food he packed away at every meal and was still lean.  That’s because he’s eating to feed his muscles.

The bodybuilder, though, has pounds and pounds of lean muscle which use this abundance of nutrition to fuel themselves.  Everyone knows the bigger a person is the more food is required, just like the bigger a gas tank is the more fuel is required to fill it. Michael Phelps eats 10,000 calories a day when he is training to compete. Although he is not what many would consider “big”, he is very tall and has a lot of lean mass. While 10,000 calories is not needed for most people, we can look at him as an example of how the right training and proper nutrients will have us reaching our goals.

Your body uses calories in order to recover which means, in essence, you will be burning energy even if you’re sat in front of the TV. Getting on a treadmill for an hour straight is a fantastic way to spark fat loss and increase endurance, but as soon as you step off of it your body stops working. Here, you’re leaving it in a constant state of productivity.  The fun fact about adding muscle is for every pound gained your body requires 50 more calories just to stay alive and maintain our vital functions (breathing, thinking, heartbeat, you know the important stuff) If I told you that you could eat as much as you wanted (not whatever you want, but as much of the right foods) and add 5 pounds but still increase the body fat lost, everyone would normally jump at the opportunity or balk at it as if to good to be true.

So next time you’re working out, think how it is affecting your muscles and how you can incorporate such a method into your training regime. Remember how your lifts will aid during your training. Think about the last time that trail, yoga position, hill to climb was too much for you and how this time you will conquer them all because you are stringer and can last longer. You don’t have to lift weights to achieve muscle breakdown. You just have to make sure you hit them in the right way, and when you do, results are right around the corner. Guaranteed!

To take the next step and talk to one of our trainers about our many programs: nutrition, personal training, group fitness and more. We are ready to get you on your way to your goals. You can contact us at 806-322-3188 or info@customfitness.biz.  We look forward to working with you.  Have a great day.