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Fat Loss in Bodybuilding

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The Mechanics of Fat Loss in Bodybuilding

For any aspiring bodybuilder hoping to reach anything near competition standard, it is essential to be rid of every last gram of excess far. There are many techniques to achieve fat loss, but all boil down to some form of diet or exercise. Here we give five tips on fat loss:

1. Preparation. Before a bodybuilder begins any fat loss program, they need to find out exactly what they weigh and what their body fat percentage is. In this way they can keep tabs on their progress during and after all far loss activities and knowing how far you have come – and how far you have to go – can be a real motivator.

2. Choosing the right type of exercise. It is fair to say that undertaking any kind of exercise is better than doing none at all, but a dedicated bodybuilder will naturally want to maximize fat loss and muscle gain. Key factors to look at here are the duration of any exercise, the frequency with which the exercise takes place and its intensity. Exercise bikes are considered a good balance of the three factors, while running is also a cheap and easy option. Many people swear by swimming, but because it is not a weight-bearing activity, there is less resistance and it does less to help strengthen the bones. That said, it is impossible to name a fat champion swimmer!

3. How long should one exercise for optimum fat loss? There are different schools of thought when it comes to the duration of fat loss exercise. Many favor short, intense bursts of exercise of around 15 minutes in duration, while others find that more fat is burnt up during longer drawn out periods of exercise, of lower intensity – the sprinter vs. long-distance runner dilemma. Both approaches have their merits, based on the different forms of energy burn that the body utilizes.

4. Understanding a low-fat body's energy burn. There are three "energy pathways" in the human body, which burn calories – oxidative metabolism, phosphocreatine and glycolysis. The latter breaks down glucose and gives you fast energy at a steady rate, while phosphocreatine is ideal for intense energy expenditure, yielding low amounts of energy, but at a far higher rate than normal. Phosphocreatine energy production is what occurs at the start of a training session, and when this is depleted, the body turns to glycolysis. Both forms of energy production create lactic acid, which builds up in joints and muscles, and gives the well-known workout “burn.” Finally, oxidative metabolism kicks in, giving a high energy yield, but at a slow rate.

5. Frequency of exercise. Considering it is just as possible to train too hard as it is to not train enough, it is important to get the frequency of your fat loss exercise sessions just right. More than five sessions a week is definitely overdoing it, whereas under three is not enough.

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