Functional Training for Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

May 7th, 2013

Category: Fat Burning

Functional Training for Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

Functional Training for Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

By, ;Mark Wine CSCS; NASM PT, PES, CES
Founder of Functional Muscle Fitness
Creator of The 12 Pack Abs Program
resistance training for fat loss

When growth hormone and lactate concentrations levels are elevated within the body the results are an environment that burns fat and grows lean muscle. Metabolically focused workouts involving intense weight lifting / resistance training result in increased lactate concentrations, which in turn elevate growth hormone levels. Simply put, growth hormone is the key behind fat loss and lean muscle gain.

The common misconception with fat loss focused training is that aerobic / cardiovascular training is of the highest priority. In fact, some studies point to the opposite. In these studies persons who solely focused on aerobic training often ended up increasing their fat levels. The metabolic demands of the workout stimulated fat storage and type I fiber recruitment. Although aerobic focused training will increase lactate concentrations within the body, which in deed are beneficial for fat loss, aerobic training will decrease muscle, will not elevate growth hormone and will increase body fat. Note that persons who are sedentary and start a program that is focused on aerobic training will often lose fat / weight in the beginning but the results are short-lived.

Weight lifting, power lifting and resistance training, especially which involves complex movements with medium to high volumes, has proven to produce the most favorable results. One study calculated the exact lactate response of the power clean movement under different volumes. The low volume power clean tested 3 sets of 3 at 90 percent 1 rep max (RM). The medium volume power clean tested 3 sets of 6 repetitions at 85 percent 1RM. The high volume power clean tested 3 sets of 9 repetitions at 75 percent 1RM. The results showed that the high-volume power clean stimulated a much greater lactate response (7.43 mmol/L) than the low-volume power clean did (4.03 mmol/L).

We know that fat loss requires lactate concentrations to be elevated within the body in order for growth hormone to be produced. Therefore, for fat loss and lean muscle growth incorporating higher volumes more frequently is essential to achieve optimal results.

Complex exercises produce the greatest amount of lactate concentration and growth hormone production due to their metabolic demands. More muscles are active in unisons, which involves higher metabolic stress on the body. The study we looked at involved the power clean, which is an Olympic weightlifting exercise. Olympic weightlifting requires countless hours of practice in order to be able to properly perform the movement without being injured. The exercise, if performed correctly, recruits type II muscle fiber because of its explosive movement pattern. The power clean is most often kept to a low repetition count in order to prevent technique breakdown and reduce the risk of injury. Typically speaking, 5-6 repetitions are set as the industry maximum.


In contrast to the industry norm, I have found that for advanced athletes performing the power clean near the end of the workout is advantageous in attaining strength and power endurance, which is an integral part of modern day sports. This tactic must be kept to the more advanced weight lifters. Take caution in those performing higher repetitions with Olympic movements can decrease strength and power because of the lightened load. Therefore, be sure that you incorporate more traditional repetition counts that require 85-95 percent 1RM at least one day per week.

A program geared for fat loss and lean muscle growth should perform higher volume training, typically 8-15 repetitions with shorter rest times (30-60 seconds), at least 2-3 days per week. The other 1-2 days of training should incorporate strength focused lifts that involves slightly lower repetitions at 85-95 percent 1RM. Exercises that should be chosen throughout the program are deadlifts, squats, power cleans, RDLs, baker squats (i.e. Bulgarian), split squats, bench press, pull ups, military press, etc…

Complex movements with higher volumes and limited rest times will turn your body into a fat burning and lean muscle building machine.

Copyright Functional Muscle Fitness LLC © 2013

SOURCES
1. Lactate Response to Different Volume Patterns of Power Clean.
Date A. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013. 27 (3)

2. NASM Essentials of Personal Training 4th Edition
Michael A. Clark, Scott C. Lucett, Brian G. Sutton
©2012

Copyright Functional Muscle Fitness LLC © 2013


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