Burning fat while maintaining muscle
You do not need to be an expert to distinguish the athlete in the off-season form from the bodybuilder preparing for the performance. Bodybuilders in the off-season form show very weak muscle relief and usually look much more massive in comparison with the pre competitive form.
When you go on a diet, the main goal is to burn the maximum amount of subcutaneous fat, but along with this, there is necessarily a certain loss of dry weight, including muscles. Training with weights is one of the most effective ways to minimize the loss of dry weight while dieting. Another aspect is how fast you lose weight.
Most scientists argue that for the maximum possible conservation of dry mass diet should be long. Attempts to rapidly lose weight often lead to unnecessary loss of muscle. If the amount of calories and carbohydrates consumed is too sharply reduced, then the body will start using protein reserves, that is, muscles, when the energy deficit becomes critical. In this regard, it is recommended to lose only 0.5-1 kg per week.
Experiment on the optimal fat burning rate
In a recent study, scientists compared the effects of two rates of weight loss, fast and slow, in a group of thirty high-level athletes. (1) The slow weight loss group sought to lose 0.7 percent of the body weight per week,
while the fast-decline group targeted 1.4 percent,
equivalent to 0.5 and 1 kilograms per week for a 70-kilogram person.
All athletes received 1.2-1.8 grams of protein daily and 4-6 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight, as well as 20 percent of total calories from fats.
They ate five to seven times a day and received at least 1500 calories a day.
In addition, 30 minutes after training, all athletes drank a reconstitute drink, consisting of milk protein and carbohydrates. The consumption of creatine was prohibited, but it was possible to take a vitamin-mineral complex together with liver fat of cod. The athletes practiced four times a week, training each muscle group twice a week.
As a result, the slow weight reduction group showed an increase in dry weight by 2.1 percent, and the fat burning rate was the same. In addition, in this group there was an improvement in the performance of sports performance tests, including strength and power. In athletes from the fast weight reduction group, there was no increase in dry weight, but burning of subcutaneous fat took place. Also, their effectiveness increased only in a one-repeat sit-up. The slow weight reduction group followed the diet for 8.5 weeks, while the fast-drop group had a diet of 5.3 weeks.
Thus, athletes from the first group were trained for three weeks longer compared to the second group, which may well explain the increase in dry weight that was observed in the group of slow weight loss. Most of the dry mass obtained was on the top of the body, moreover, the highest increase in this mass was observed in female athletes, possibly as a result of the fact that at the beginning of the experiment they had the highest level of subcutaneous fat.
Based on the results obtained, the authors concluded that athletes wishing to increase the level of dry body weight and also increase strength and power during the fat burning phase, which includes strength training, should aim to lose not more than half a kilo of weight in A week. Athletes who simply want to maintain a dry body weight can increase weekly weight loss to one kilogram.