By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
When I ask potential clients what their overall goal is, most of the time the first words out of someone’s mouth is “I want to lose weight.” Which is typically followed by “and maybe build a little bit of muscle, but mostly I want to lose the fluff/flab.”
LEAN MEAN MUSCULAR MACHINE
Basically, what I hear from most people when they come to me for help is that they want to, in some way, reshape their body – transform their body composition so they can have a leaner, more muscular physique.
The biggest difference amongst my clients is the degree to which they want to transform their physique – some want a huge, drastic transformation while others just want to see a little bit more muscular definition and a little less jiggle.
WHICH PATH TO TAKE?
Regardless of the degree of physique changes you want, there are several different ways of going about it. There’s the round-about way of doing it, then there’s the up and down and all-around way of doing it, the backwards way, etc. … and then there’s the most direct route to gaining muscle and losing body fat. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to just cut to the chase and get on with the show (i.e., take the direct route).
So, what is the most direct, efficient way of transforming your physique into a leaner, more muscular you? While many may be tempted to lose body fat first, then build muscle second, that (to me) is more of the “backwards” up and down and all-around way of doing it. Here’s why:
1. Reducing body fat is a weight-loss process while building muscle is a weight-gaining process. Why would you lose weight (body fat loss) only to gain weight again (muscle gains)? Build the muscle first.
2. Building muscle increases metabolic efficiency, function and rate of speed, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Build the muscle first.
3. The less muscle you have, the harder it typically is to burn/lose body fat. Build the muscle first.
4. If you focus on losing weight first, you will just basically be a smaller version of your current body composition with no increase in visible muscle. So, you wouldn’t really be transforming your body but rather reducing your current size – which is totally fine if your goal is to lose weight on a scale and wear smaller clothes. But if you want to transform your physique and embark on a complete body re-composition, it takes both building muscle and losing body fat, not just losing weight. Build the muscle first.
5. If you focus for a period of time on building good quality muscle, you should theoretically be able to lose fat more quickly and efficiently when you start your shredding process than you would if you tried to lose body fat first, then build muscle. So (everybody say it with me!): build the muscle first.
If you start to get impatient during your journey toward physique transformation, just think of this motto in your head: “If you build it, they (results) will come.”
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.