There is a LOT of misinformation out there in the fitness world, I know, I’ve listened to some crap advice and done my fair share of ridiculous programs!
But here is the TRUTH. Answers from PROVEN research and personal experience to protect you from the lies.
I want to add definition to myself without adding extra weight, how can I improve muscle definition without hypertrophy?
Hi Matt, thanks for the question! To increase your muscle definition you have to lose fat whilst maintaining your current muscle mass, and hopefully strength, I’m assuming that losing weight due to fat loss won’t be a problem so here goes:
There are 2 things we need to take into account to achieve this goal:
1) Your diet has to change to decrease caloric intake AND increase the quality of foods you eat
2) Your training must increase your metabolism to burn more fat AND still maintain your strength and muscle mass
Your diet is the most important aspect of changing body composition, and you can’t just eat less than you’re eating now either! Focus on eating unprocessed foods, which means cutting out all pasta, bread, pastries and refined sugar based foods, and replacing your source of carbohydrate with natural foods. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and brown rice are a great start. Have more vegetables with each meal and always include some meat or eggs for high quality protein. It’s also good to include more unsaturated fats with your meals.
This will give your body some high quality protein, vitamins and minerals, enough carbs to fuel your workouts and you reduce the risk of your body holding on to fat for energy by constantly feeding your body healthy fats. This is how you become a fat burning machine through diet! Also try to only eat carbohydrates until after you workout. Take a look at my Top Ten Diet Rules too!
Now as for your training, you need to continue to train heavy, train twice a week with the ‘big’ exercises using 85-95% of your max to maintain your strength. Maintaining strength helps to keep your muscle during a fat-loss phase. Throw in a few assistance exercises for the related muscles, (e.g. after your heavy sets of bench press add in some dips for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps) and you’re gonna save as much muscle as possible!
To further increase the fat-burning furnace add some sprinting to your program, after your workouts run 8-10 sprints of 50-100m, this will get the fires burning! You could also do a strongman style ‘finisher’ for 4-6 sets, or do 3-4 intense exercises back to back (for example, front squats, push-press, jumping lunges, tyre flip) with 30-60 seconds rest.
You can also go for a walk every morning before breakfast, walking is low-impact and uses fat for energy due to the low intensity. But this is just a bonus, so do it if you can!
Do your best, enjoy the journey and remember that being strong and healthy is a lifestyle, it is not a 6 week program, it’s the rest of your life.
Thanks for the question Matt. Good luck!
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