If you want to kick your calorie burn into overdrive, the best way to do that is to increase your muscle mass. You see, muscle burns more calories than fat. So, even if you’re not doing anything physical, such as sleeping or watching television, you’ll burn more calories at rest simply because you have more muscle.
Calculate Your Body Fat
To know how much fat you have, or your body fat percentage, you can do a couple of things:
If you’re a woman, you want a body fat percentage somewhere between 14-35%. Any less than that and you’ll fall into unhealthy ranges. (Remember that your body needs some fat to function efficiently.) Men, you’ll want to keep your fat in the range of 6-25%.
It’s important to realize that body fat and body weight are two different things. You can have a ‘normal’ weight and still have too much fat. Or, you can have a higher weight and also have lower body fat (which is common with bodybuilders). That’s why it’s important to know your body fat percentage.
How do you increase your muscle mass? The best way is to perform exercises that focus on strength training.
Strength Training Basics
When you use weights or your own body weight for resistance in exercising, you are building your muscles. The way it works is that the resistance creates tiny tears in your muscles that get bigger when they heal. It’s like when you add fibers to a strand of rope. It becomes thicker and stronger over time.
You have a few options when it comes to strength training. You can join a gym and use all their fancy equipment, buy your own weights at home or use your body as resistance to help you build muscle. They’re all effective options to increasing your muscle mass.
The main thing to remember is that you have to perform strength training exercises on a regular basis to get results. The more you work your muscles, the stronger they’ll become and the more fat you’ll burn!
Strength Training Exercises
If you want a great strength training routine, just use the same exercises that schools and the military use. Here are some to consider:
Sit-ups – Click here for a video demonstration
Pull-ups – Click here for a video demonstration
Push-ups – Click here for a video demonstration
Wall sits – Click here for a video demonstration
Squats – Click here for a video demonstration
If you have a hard time doing these exercises, that’s normal. Just modify them so they’re easier. Once you get stronger, you can make them harder.
As an example, if push-ups are too hard, try them with your knees touching the floor until you can do them with your toes touching instead. If that’s too hard, try vertical push-ups against the kitchen counter.
You can change the way you do sit-ups too. Do crunches until you can handle a full sit-up. As your abdominal region gets stronger, you’ll find a whole range of exercises easier since your core assists with many strength training moves.
Proper Strength Training
If you’re new to strength training, try to do it twice a week. The stronger you get, the more you can increase your workouts, ultimately aiming for 4-5 sessions a week.
Also, don’t work the same muscle group two days in a row because you have to allow time for the mini-tears to heal. So, for example, if you work your arms on Monday, you wouldn’t want to work them again until at least Wednesday.
The best way to build your muscle quickly and effectively is to push them until you feel you can’t do another exercise. Once you have fatigued them as much as possible, it’s time to give them a rest so they can heal and get stronger.
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