Fitness Minutes: (79,879)
2,489 11/28/13 10:07 A
You can. It's a myth that you can't do both at the same time, particularly those who are new to weight/resistance training and especially if you are in the obese BMI.
You can also increase strength without building mass but the only way to know for certain if you are building lean mass while losing fat is to have your body fat tested monthly. If lean mass is increasing, while body fat is decreasing, you'd be building lean mass. However, it requires full body and heavy training to really build lean mass while losing fat. A few push ups may be increasing your strength and conditioning but you'd need to work your way up to a challenging full body routine to really let your body know that you need your fat/calories to be put toward building muscle. You also don't want your body to think it's starving or it won't be using those cals to build muscle, that would be low on its list of priorities. Adequate calorie intake, adequate protein and make every calorie count (ie; eat clean, nutrient dense foods, cut out all the junk).
A lot of strength gains (at least initially) come from improved muscle quality, rather than increased muscle mass. Specifically, the nerves controlling muscle fibers 'learn' how to better co-ordinate themselves and become more efficient. With pushups for example, there are several muscles involved (triceps, shoulder, chest), and the nerves 'learn' exactly how many muscle fibers are needed for the movement, and which order they need to fire, so there is less wasted effort. This is known as "neuro-muscular adaptation".
I wouldn't quite say you "can't" grow muscle while burning fat, but it is difficult, and any gains will be small.
Fitness Minutes: (5,041)
255 11/28/13 8:15 A
A couple of weeks ago I started incorporating pushups and crunches into my routine so I can get toned as I lose weight. When I started I could barely even do 3 pushups. I just did 23 and feel I can do at least another 2 sets of 8. Same with the crunches, I can now do plentiful situps. Did I grow these muscles? I'm curious because I know you cant grow muscle while burning fat/losing weight, but how could I have the strength to be doing more and more pushups if I aren't growing muscles fibers? Thanks!
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