General Question

demonictruth's avatar

Burn fat and gain muscle?

Asked by demonictruth (455points) February 1st, 2011

So I’m on my school’s track and field team as a long distance runner and I run cross country too, but I need to burn off some more fat and gain some muscle before track season officially starts. I’m unable to get a gym membership so that’s out of the question. I guess my real question is: What can I do at home as extra efficient workouts? Also, should I have a modified diet or drink protein shakes? It would be great to get as much stuff I could do as possible, Thanks =D

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

jazzticity's avatar

Been doing this kind of thing all my life. A LONG time.

Forget the protein. Waste of time and calories. You don’t need a gym. Check out what Herschel Walker has been up to. That should debunk all of the myths about extra protein and heavy weights. This guy’s bad. The formula’s simple—beat your body up without breaking it and you’ll grow. No pain no gain isn’t good enough. It takes agony.

Disc2021's avatar

Dieting is very important, though you will burn a lot of calories just from running track and field alone so you may have some wiggle room as far as caloric intake goes. No Mickey-D’s, fast food, junk, etc. – this stuff will add weight quicker than you can drop it.

If you’re trying to build muscle, protein is a pretty strong combatant against muscle atrophy. As long as you’re eating 4–5 balanced meals a day, you should be in good shape. Otherwise, protein powders (recommend ones that say 100% protein on the container, not “special GNC blends or any other gimmick’s you’ll find around every corner) make a good supplement for when you know you aren’t exactly eating 20–30g of protein in a meal. Note: Supplements are supplements, not meal replacements.

You may want to look into investing in some cheap dumb bells for home workouts (dont waste trillions on the gimmick “home gyms”, just buy something standard but comfortable) and research proper form and technique. Videos online and Youtube are an excellent place to start. – Great resource, kind of an indie guy who doesn’t have any special health credentials but a guy who’s a body builder and also has done a ton of research on the subject.

Goodluck and good for you for joining a team! Have fun.

mrlaconic's avatar

What I do and what you might find effective for you because you like to run is go get yourself a weighted exercise ball and you can work your difference muscle groups.. say your tri’s hold the ball above your head and throw it as far as you can…. then go run after it and do it again.

You will get a good cardio work out from that and after just a few times you will start to feel it.

You can work your ab’s by sitting on a table and lifting your knees to your chest or putting your legs straight together and doing short V like moves…

And as a final thought, you do need protein if you want to build muscle. Do you need to go out and get yourself a protein power or whatever? No you do not… just make sure you get it in your meal.

tranquilsea's avatar

Find a really long set of stairs and run them multiple times throughout the week. Work on your lunges, burpees and buy a good skip rope and skip. Do the 100 push-up challenge and 200 sit-up challenge.

The suggestion to buy a small set of weights is a good one. With a few weights you can do a ton of exercises.

gorgeousgal3's avatar

Get kettlebells and use them a few times a week.,

Fyrius's avatar

If you want to gain muscle, you can make a good start with body weight exercises, and with improvised makeshift weights. You can use a backpack full of soda bottles of water or bags of sand to make many body weight exercises harder.

If you mean to get serious about strength, then I’d recommend free weights to anyone: a set of dumbbell bars and a barbell bar, and loose weight plates to load them with. And some reference on how to use them properly, such as Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. You can pirate that.
The materials can be expensive, and it takes some reading up to get the movements right (and it can be dangerous if you do it wrong), but it’s worth it.
There are a lot of nonsensical snake oil fitness gimmicks out there, but free weights are a tried and true type of equipment that has been used for centuries. It freakin’ works.

In your case, though, your main interest seems to be running, for which you won’t need a lot of strength, I suppose. I think muscle gain need not be one of your main objectives.
I’m no expert on running, but it seems obvious enough that you can become better at long distance running by running long distances regularly. Running up stairs seems like a good idea too, but not as good as just doing the thing you want to become better at.

Extra protein, a myth? Not really.
Muscles are physical devices that are made of a physical substance. Without building materials, they cannot grow, not even if you torture them really badly. And that building material is protein. It’s literally indispensable to muscle development.
Imagine a Pharaoh trying to build a pyramid by whipping the slaves really hard, but not giving them enough bricks.

You don’t need protein shakes, though, there’s plenty of regular food stuffs that are high in the right proteins. Eggs, meat, fish, cottage cheese, that sort of things. But pay attention to what else is in there, too. For example, cheese is very high in protein, but also in saturated fat.
Whether regular meals gets you enough protein depends on what your meals normally look like, I suppose. But the more you demolish your body, the more protein you need in order to rebuild it stronger.

As for agony: I’m all for pushing your envelope, but there is such a thing as overexertion. Disregard your body’s warning signals at your own risk. They’re not always just nagging, sometimes things actually go wrong.

jazzticity's avatar

Fyrius is right, adequate protein is absolutely essential in building muscle. But the old bodybuilding myth that extra protein somehow makes muscles grow faster has been debunked. That’s why I mentioned Herschel Walker. If a vegetarian can build that kind of muscle mass and perform as he does on a vegetarian diet, obviously all we need is an adequate supply of protein. But eat normally and that will take care of itself.

Listening to your body is also good advice. The first sign of a stressed joint and I do something different or stop. It’s just too easy to injure yourself. That said, exercise is hard work, and you have to know the difference between your body telling you something is wrong and just being lazy. TV commercials with people smiling while they “exercise” are quite misleading. Look at athletes train. They don’t look very relaxed while they’re doing it. I’d like to see someone smiling and chatting while knocking out 15 pull-ups.

In short, eat correctly, work hard, rest well.

Fyrius's avatar

“But the old bodybuilding myth that extra protein somehow makes muscles grow faster has been debunked.”
I see…
I think this is a “bottleneck” sort of situation, actually. If you exert yourself more than you get the protein to rebuild, then some of the exertion will be for nothing; but if you eat more protein than you need for rebuilding, then the surplus goes to waste.
If both are optimal, then the bottleneck will become the maximal growth rate that your body can reach, I suppose.

“That said, exercise is hard work, and you have to know the difference between your body telling you something is wrong and just being lazy.”
Oh, absolutely.

demonictruth's avatar

Wow…well thank you everyone for the answers. I have a very good place to start at now and, thanks to you all, can probably get to these lofty goals (one of which involves me running a 4:46 mile twice to letter on my track team).

Garebo's avatar

Definitely, pick up the “4-hour body” by Tim Fresse, I guarantee he will answer all your questions, and then some.

cinnAmini's avatar

OK you guys may think I’m crazy for mentioning it but I have to say, an intense session of power ashtanga yoga is a fantastic way to burn fat and build muscle, at the same time, in one workout, while also stretching out your body and keeping everything healthy and in alignment. It’s not weight-lifting, but holding yoga postures for extended time and doing vinyasa sequences of poses quickly really gets your heart rate up and taps into isometric strengthening. And you don’t need any special equipment to do it!

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther