Besides the smaller trainee’s who may like having a little fat to ‘pad them out’ and make them look bigger, I don’t know of a single bodybuilder who likes having a noticeable amount of fat on them. It detracts from their bodies, and prevents the beautiful detail of the hard-won muscles from showing through.
Losing fat and preventing fat build up is as much a part of bodybuilding as getting the muscles is, yet, many people are woefully undereducated on why fat builds up, how to prevent fat from building up, and also, how to lose it.
It’s rather simple to know the score when it comes to fat, and after reading this article you should know all you ever need to on fat management.
Body fat is stored calories, and there are 3,500 calories per lb of body fat. Body fat builds up when you eat an excess of calories – which aren’t burned or used by the body in any way, so they are stored as fat.
The body likes storing fat, because it’s a useful thing to have in survival instances when the body needs emergency fuel to function. But, in every day life in the western world, I sincerely doubt anyone died – under normal circumstances – because they lacked fat.
Anyway, as I was saying, let’s imagine you ate 500 calories more each day than your body could burn, and in the space of a week that’s 500 x 7 days, which equals 3,500 calories – and 1lb of fat.
The simple way to avoid fat build up is to monitor how many calories you need to build muscle, without building much fat. You will need to use callipers for this, as well as regular weighing sessions.
You will find that when you build muscle you do build some amount of fat, because the body isn’t forever workable by the same mathematics… it speeds up, slows down, burns less calories, and burns more calories. Things fluctuate and even if you had it down pat one month, the next, it could be different. Regular monitoring is the key, and you have to try to cut it close… by still making muscle gains whilst minimizing fat gains.
Losing fat is relatively simple; it’s just the reverse of gaining fat. If you wish to lose 1lb of fat a week, you will need to eat 500 calories less per day than your body requires to stay at the weight it currently is.
You can help yourself to keep below your calorie maintenance level by doing cardiovascular exercise such as jogging, swimming, cycling, rowing and so forth, and this will also help to speed up your metabolism so more calories are burned than normal and fat storage is more difficult.
Be aware that during the fat loss period you can’t gain muscle size, because you can’t have a calorie deficit (needed for fat loss) and a calorie excess (needed for muscle growth) at the same time.
The body will make fat loss more difficult as time goes on, but don’t attempt to starve your self; this will make the body eat into muscle tissue for fuel rather than fat, because the body deems the fat stores more important than excess muscle.
You should always continue lifting weights during fat loss as this helps to maintain muscle size by reminding the body the muscle is necessary for you to carry out your daily tasks. Plus it’ll burn extra calories.
In addition to lifting weights, a crucially important thing to remember when losing fat is to consume a large amount of protein each and every day, as this helps to provide the body with a readily digestible source of protein, so it doesn’t go after the muscle tissues (protein).