Should I Lose Weight or Workout First?

If you're having trouble shedding those extra layers of fat, weightlifting should be your first step if your main goal is to lose weight. Starting a weightlifting routine will deplete your body's glycogen stores at a much faster rate. To answer your other question, yes, adding some fat is okay with 10% body fat, but you should be careful. Ideally, you don't want to be constantly cutting and bulking; just one or two cycles, and then maintain the muscle mass you've gained.

I'm not a fan of eating excess calories and lifting heavy weights all the time; I did it for years. Building muscle should be your main focus, as it increases your metabolism and helps you burn fat. If you want to lose fat first to improve your body composition, you'll need to train your strength and increase your protein intake to minimize the amount of muscle you lose as well. Experts are divided on this topic.Most fitness experts recommend doing cardiovascular exercise after weight training, because if you do cardio first, it consumes much of the energy source for your anaerobic work (strength training) and tires out your muscles before your most strenuous activity.

This same view holds that strength training will first deplete carbohydrates stored in muscles (glycogen or sugar) and therefore improve fat burning during cardiovascular training due to a lack of sugar available as fuel. If you want to do both cardio and weight training with 100% effort, you can try doing them on separate days, allowing your body to recover in between. Or if you prefer weights to running, start with a shorter run and then “treat yourself” with weights, Millington said.As mentioned, if you're training for a large endurance event, such as a triathlon or marathon, you'll generally want to use your energy for your cardio efforts and focus on them before doing weights. To support fat loss efforts, use an app like MyFitnessPal to set a daily calorie goal for a slow and steady weight loss plan.

If you get up to 20% body fat, you'll need to lose around 20 pounds of pure fat without losing muscle to reach 10% lean body fat, which is when you'll have the killer beach body.I have encountered a few plateaus during this journey, however I have been stuck at this weight for more than two weeks. While building muscle can be beneficial, ultimately it's the combination of regular resistance training and eating a calorie deficit that allows you to lose fat without losing muscle. Keep reading to find out why you'd want to do cardio or weight training first, and how to know which one best fits your goals. For example, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition of people who lifted weights, did high-intensity exercises, and had a calorie deficit found that those who ate more protein lost 27% more fat and gained eight times more lean muscle mass.If you want to lose weight, it's also important to increase non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), that is any movement or physical activity you do outside the gym, says Sternlicht.

If you have a lower body fat percentage and don't need to lose as much fat, your body supports muscle building more first. It's not typical to lose fat and build muscle over a certain period of time but it does happen especially with men your age who are new to weightlifting. I started weight training for the first time in my life and for 5 months I kept it both with a personal trainer and on my own.

Scotty Lancour
Scotty Lancour

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