3 min read

Is it possible to turn fat into muscle?

Lächelnde Frauen nach dem Workout

Do you want to build muscle, or reduce your body fat and fit into your favorite jeans again? It’s difficult for beginners to decide on a goal and set their workout priorities. Maybe this situation also sounds familiar to you. And how tempting does the idea of being able to turn fat into muscle sound? Unfortunately, we have to disappoint you and dispel this fitness myth right away. Your body is capable of more than you think but converting body fat directly into muscle mass – it just doesn’t work like that. Reducing body fat and building muscle mass are two completely different processes.

However, what does actually work up to a point, at the beginning of your fitness journey, is reducing fat and building muscle at the same time. Many factors are important in this kind of plan: in addition to the right diet and an active daily routine, your workouts should focus on strength endurance training. That means sets with a higher number of repetitions (12-20) at a lower intensity (about 50% of your maximum power). One good way to organize your strength endurance training is with superset workouts, where you alternate between two sets of exercises and wait to rest until after. Keep reading for three of the best combinations of strength and cardio exercises to get you closer to your goals.

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#1 Deadlifts and Mountain Climbers

This first superset packs a punch. With the combination of deadlifts and mountain climbers, you’ll work some large muscle groups and burn plenty of calories, all while strengthening your core. Lose weight and build muscle at the same time? No problem!

person doing deadlift
© jacoblund

A real must-have in your training plan is the deadlift. It’s all about activating large muscle groups, because your back, as well as your legs and glutes, are all under intense strain. You can perform this exercise with a kettlebell first and switch to the barbell when you feel more confident. Check out this article for everything you need to know about deadlifts and other glute exercises.

Mountain Climbers not only work on your endurance and replace lengthy cardio sessions, but also strengthen your core and arms. Make sure to place your hands right under your shoulders and keep your core engaged.

#2 Squats and Jumping Jacks

This superset will make you work up a sweat and melt the fat away! Want an extra boost to keep you going when the going gets tough? Check out our Energy Aminos!

person doing barbell squats
© kupicoo

Squats don’t just strengthen your legs and glutes, they’re challenging for your entire body. That’s one of many reasons why they deserve a place in your workout plan. There are many different squat variations, depending on your fitness level and athletic goal. With a Goblet Squat, for example, the training focus shifts even more to the front of your thighs. No matter which variation you choose, pay attention to the stability in your ankle and knee joints! But you don’t have to worry about whether your knees are sticking out over your toes. This myth is not only outdated, it can actually have a negative effect on your hip joint.

Before the set break, it’s time to step on the gas with jumping jacks to burn lots of calories. Make sure you keep your core engaged throughout the jump.

#3 Bench Press and Squat Jumps

In this superset, the focus is on building muscle in the upper body with bench presses. But before the set break we add in some squat jumps to make your legs burn again!

person bench pressing
© Hiraman

After an intense leg exercise, your upper body is next. During the bench press, you primarily work your chest muscles and triceps. If a bench press with a barbell is still too difficult for you, you can use dumbbells or kettlebells instead. You can also try out training unilaterally and maybe achieve faster results. Find out more about how unilateral training works here.

To make sure you keep burning calories in your set breaks without tiring out your chest and arm muscles too much, this superset is all about squat jumps. If you already completed supersets 1 & 2, this is where it gets really tough. But of course: no pain, no gain.

Build Muscle and Burn Fat – This is how it works!

Do all three supersets in a row, or just choose the superset that’s easiest to integrate into your training plan. The intensity depends on your fitness level. We recommend starting out with the following per superset:

  • Exercise 1: 12-20 reps. Exercise 2: 30-60 seconds at high intensity. Set break: 1-3 minutes. Three sets.

By this point we hope you can see that losing weight and building muscle are not contradictory. However, the more advanced your workouts get, the more difficult it becomes, and you will eventually have to decide on one goal. But no matter which goal and which form of training you choose – your muscles will be happy with a creamy Whey Protein shake* after your workout!

More healthy living tips from foodspring:

*Protein contributes to muscle growth.


Sources for this article
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