As a Muscle Hacker, your goal is not weight loss. It’s FAT loss.
The big problem with most conventional advice (especially marketed towards women) is that you lose muscle tissue in addition to fat. So even if you’re successful in losing weight, your actual SHAPE will more than likely be worse than it was before. Ugh!
To change your shape you need to preserve, if not build, your lean tissue while burning the fat mass on top.
I talk at length about this in the introduction to my fat-stripping plan Total Six Pack Abs. I tell those clients to imagine that they are wearing 2 suits on top of their skeleton, first the lean muscle suit, then the fat suit on top of that.
The idea behind getting ripped and looking good is shredding that fat suit while building the lean suit underneath.
Here’s a recent pic of me.
I’m pretty lean here.
So what’s my cardio routine to get this lean and stay this lean?
I don’t have one. I do no cardio. None. Never. Not even when cutting. I get my calorie burn from lifting. And I fuel growth and create a fat-loss environment with diet. Most of my Total Six Pack Abs clients do no (or very little) cardio while getting shredded.
See my article ‘Why Cardio Sucks And You Don’t Need To Do It‘ for more on the inferiority of cardio.
So here’s 4 ways that weight-training alone burns fat. And it burns it better than anything else.
If you’re a guy, do me a favor and tell your girlfriend or wife about this post.
(1) MORE MUSCLE = FASTER METABOLISM
Did you know that almost a quarter of your resting metabolic rate (RMR) comes from muscle tissue? Muscle is ‘metabolically active’ tissue (fat isn’t). This means that muscle tissue burns calories just by being there.
The more muscle you have, the more energy you burn doing absolutely nothing – even lying on the couch. Muscular people find it easier to get lean and STAY lean.Muscle tissue contributes to ~a quarter of your resting metabolic rate. Build muscle to stay lean Click To Tweet
(2) LONGER CALORIE BURN
A single weight training session will increase your metabolism for ~36-48 hours. This is because your body is busy repairing all those destroyed muscle fibers – this costs energy. With cardio, your RMR comes back to normal shortly after the session ends.
By the way, we’re talking into the low hundreds of extra calories burned here, not just a couple dozen (if training to a high intensity i.e. to failure in each set).You have an elevated metabolic rate for ~2days from lifting. You don’t get that from cardio Click To Tweet
(3) FAT IS USED AS FUEL
In the post-workout period of a weight-training session, as the body goes into an anabolic environment (the workout itself is catabolic) these increased hormones cause a greater percentage of fat to be used for fuel. This doesn’t happen to the same degree after cardio.
(4) INCREASED LEVELS OF EPINEPHRINE AND NOREPINEPHRINE
Consistent weight training over time causes your average levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine to increase. And happily…they stay that way.
These hormones help increase RMR and the amount of fat your body burns for energy. More in-depth science on this issue here on ideafit.
Click here to discover 4 ways that weight training burns fat better than anything else Click To Tweet
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Fascinating! I’ll make sure I share this with the old lady lol.
Informative. Straight to the point. Great work as always Mark 🙂
Morning, is it OK to give a woman creatine to help with there work out?is age a factor?
@Mike. Women are fine on creatine and age is not a concern. Cycle it, though. Read this: https://musclehack.com/when-and-how-to-take-creatine/
Do you know where I can find a graph description of the cardio vs. weights metabolism-boosting idea (#2)? I’ve found graphs of HIIT vs. cardio graphs that show the “afterburn”, and I realize that weight training is sort of super-high intensity interval training, but that’s too far to explain through without losing my cardio-loving friends along the way. Know of anything like this but with weights added as a 3rd style in the graph?
Muscle doesn’t burn that many calories – about 10 per kilos of muscle per day. So to burn an extra 100 calories a day you need to add an extra 10 kilos of muscle!
Weight-training will help maintain muscle – or even build on a calorie deficit. But to really cut you need to reduce your calories.
You’re right about cardio. Better not to stuff your face in the first place!
@Peter Williams. Sorry, buddy. I don’t know of an actual graph. But surely if you explain the repairing of tissue costs energy/calories, they will understand that it necessarily burns more energy until the recovery process is complete.
@John. The article doesn’t make any claims as to how much energy a new pound of muscle burns at rest. The article simply doesn’t address this issue. It states that everyone’s total muscle mass contributes to about 1/4 (it’s actually 20-22% on average) of their resting metabolic rate. Secondly, it states that in the recovery period from an intense weight-training session, metabolic rate is raised for about 36-48hrs. There’s nothing in this article about how much newly built muscle raises resting metabolic rate (which is significantly less than most people think).
Just wondering why you do back exercise after back and shoulder on Mon & Fri for 3 day THT, aren’t we supposed to train the big muscle first? What’s your opinion on time under tension for 40-70 seconds for hypertrophy, reverse grip vs gironda neck press (guillotine press) for upper chest, and this link https://www.musculi.com/articles/most-effective-exercises-per-muscle-group-using-electromyography show different order from ACE for biceps emg ? Which should we follow?
Sorry I asked a lot of questions/