The summer is closing in and we’re here to answer our most frequently asked question, how do I strip the fat and pack on muscle?
As we all know, there’s no quick fix but there are steps you can take to strip the fat and pack on the muscle for that lean athletic build. We’re going to simplify this entire approach into 2 areas. Exercise and Nutrition. What do you need to be doing in the gym? And what do you need to be eating?
If your goal is to get lean and your attention span is as short as ours, scroll down to the bottom for a summary plus the key Supreme Nutrition products for lean muscle gains.
If you’re here then you’re probably already following some kind of program or exercise routine. If you’re not then we’re going to explain why you need to get started! We always recommend that you work with a PT to develop a personalised workout program best suited to your body and goals but lets look at what you need to focus on to get lean and pack on muscle.
Strength Training - Build Muscle
There’s no denying that lifting weights and building strength is the way to go when aiming for a lean physique. It's widely recommended you aim for 3 strength workouts per week but there are countless programs out there that may be better suited to your needs. In all the aim here is to build muscle - train for muscle gain, not fat loss. Gaining muscle will help you strip the fat and look leaner – this seems fairly obvious but there are a few key reasons here that you may not be aware of…
Looking Leaner – it’s a common myth that muscle weighs more than fat – a gram of fat weighs the same as a gram of muscle but this myth does come from somewhere. Fat is much bulkier than muscle in that it takes up more space under the skin. As an example, 500g of Fat is roughly the same size as a grapefruit, whereas 500g of Muscle is more like a tangerine – so by having more muscle you will look leaner purely because it takes up less space...
Muscle burns more calories – this is a big one, muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat so by increasing your muscle mass you’re increasing the number of calories you burn just by having more muscle!
Feel the burn - as the body attempts to recover after training it produces an extra calorie burn that can last from hours up to an entire day. The scientific name for this afterburn effect is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) which is effectively an oxygen debt – we’re talking about the amount of oxygen the body needs post exercise to get back to a resting state. In this time, you’re burning extra calories to get back to a resting state.
Take cyclists as an example – they are the leanest of the lean and this is due to a combination of exercise and nutrition. In recent years Team Sky with famous riders such as Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas have begun to dominate due to their research into alternative fitness ideas – cyclists would typically do all their training on the bike but in recent years this has changed. One area that all professional cyclists now focus more time on is resistance training. They found that by squatting and performing strength exercises the afterburn effect left them burning calories all day and made it much easier for them to maintain their all important lean physique.
So we’ve established that strength and resistance training is important and it’s even used by the leanest of the lean. But how do we make sure that we’re stripping fat AND maintaining/packing on muscle so that we look less like Chris Froome and more like Cristiano Ronaldo?
Nutrition is the answer, and this is where we can truly begin to change our body composition, by reducing our fat %, increasing our muscle % (through exercise) we’ll be looking lean in no time.
Avoid ‘Weight Loss’ but focus on a Calorie Deficit
Remember that our aim here is not to monitor the scales for weight loss but to change our body composition so that we have more muscle and less fat. A calorie deficit means a reduced calorie intake that ignites fat loss. When going for a lean physique we have to negotiate a fine line to make sure we don’t eat too few calories – this will result in muscle loss as your body tries to maintain its fat reserves – this is the last thing we need!
Read our article here on what a calorie deficit is and remember that we’re not aiming for weight loss but fat loss.
So how do we make sure that we’re burning fat and not our all-important muscle?... Protein – Increasing your protein intake is vital for losing fat and gaining lean body mass. High protein intake preserves lean muscle and increases growth whilst you’re working in a calorie-deficit to lose fat. According to a study in a 2016 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition it was made clear that you should aim to consume about 0.9 grams per pound of your body weight daily; for a 150-pound person, this amounts to 135 grams spread out over all your meals and snacks.
The proof is in a further study by the American journal of clinical nutrition. Their research has shown that a strategy of increased protein, high-intensity interval training and strength training help you simultaneously build muscle and lose fat. In the study, they put young men on a low-calorie diet, but increased their protein intake significantly and had them exercise six days per week with resistance and high-intensity intervals. After just four weeks, the participants posted notable increases in lean body mass and decreases in fat mass. Those who consumed the higher-protein diet experienced better results than participants who consumed less protein daily.
We feel this research is pretty conclusive iso lets summarise what we need to focus on and what Supreme Nutrition products can help us get there.
Remember: We are aiming to change our body composition – more muscle, less fat = lean machine :
- Lift Weights, Gain Muscle – Resistance training comes in many forms, find what works for you and get lifting. We need to build more muscle to get lean - remember that muscle burns more calories than fat and is also much smaller making us leaner
- Hit the Calorie Deficit – Read our article on what a calorie deficit is and make sure you’re working towards this without overdoing it – too few calories means losing muscle
- Increase your protein intake – we’re trying to shape our body composition so this means more protein to get that muscle growth moving and fat intake down
What Products Should I Take?
Our entire ethos is about creating products that are perfectly created for your goals – we’re here to make reaching your goals easier. Fortunately for you with lean goals, our range is very lean and our products are built for athletic and aesthetic builds so you can’t go wrong but what are the products that would really take your lean gains to the next level? We’ve narrowed it down to 2.
This is our purest and leanest form of protein. It’s filtered, filtered and filtered again to leave you with 96% protein and therefore minimal fat and lactose. We’re talking 0.4g of fat per serving (1%) and over 33g of protein – this will really ramp up that protein intake and get those lean gains moving.
Our Diet Whey blend is engineered for weight loss and lean gains. We’ve taken the standard protein shake and ramped it up by including natural ingredients that have been proven to burn fat (ideal for those lean goals!). It also contains over 20g of protein per day – go for 2 shakes a day and you're burning fat whilst building muscle.
Let us know how you get on and remember we're always on hand for tips and advice!
The Supreme Nutrition Team