Image Credit: Wenisa Ng / Pixabay
Some people want to show off the fruit of their labor with bulging and veiny muscles, and some are terrified of looking like a professional bodybuilder. If your goal is to burn fat, get thinner arms, without adding bulk you’ll need to adjust your workouts and diet to get those specific results.
Here’s how to get thinner arms without getting bulky.
The Muscle Building Process
If you’re concerned with building bulky arms, it’s relevant to understand the muscle building process and how you can avoid adding bulk.
There’s a cycle, or muscle process, that you go through when adding mass consisting of three primary principles.
Create Muscle Damage
Any strenuous exercise, beyond the threshold of what your body is acclimated to, will cause microscopic tears. It’s this muscle damage that signals your body to add new mass to prevent damage in the future.
Your body wants to reach a state of equilibrium, where you don’t cause damage. Its solution to preventing the tears, or damage, is to add new muscle tissue.
Supply Nutrients To Build New Mass
Your body can’t create new muscle tissue without the needed protein and nutrients. Once you’ve created enough muscle damage to require new muscle tissue, you would then supply enough protein to physically add new mass.
This is why you see professional athletes and bodybuilders constantly drinking protein shakes throughout the day. The bigger you get, the more protein is required just to maintain your current mass.
The most practical way to add new muscle mass, is to enter a calorie surplus. This is where you eat well above your average daily calories. These calories will be used to create new muscle, as well as some additional fat stores.
If your current daily calories were 2,000, you would then increase the total to 150%, or 3,000 per day to start growing.
That’s the basic concept of adding new muscle. If you’re lacking or insufficient in any of the three areas it will be difficult to add new muscle. You will get stronger, faster, with more endurance but the process of adding muscle bulk is actually quite challenging.
See Also: Carb cycling for beginners
Burning Fat Without Building Muscle
While all exercise has the influence to burn fat and build muscle, certain activities are considered more efficient.
Cardio = Better For Burning Calories and Fat
Resistance Training = Better for building muscle mass
The Key To Cardio Training
The key to burning fat with exercise, is cardio. The sport or activity you choose isn’t as important as the intensity. You need to elevate your heart rate to burn calories, and it’s difficult to do that with a leisurely walk.
You really do need to challenge and push yourself to get your heart rate up enough to churn through calories. Staying at a comfortable, steady pace is much easier but is unlikely to achieve noticeable results.
Here’s the best cardio burners
– High Intensity Interval Training
Related: Does the Eat Stop Eat diet work?
Avoid Heavy Resistance Training
The most direct activity to cause muscle damage, and influence growth, with a specific muscle group is with resistance training. While most sports incorporate your biceps, or arms, they don’t cause direct muscle fatigue in the way biceps curls would.
If you primary goal is to avoid building bicep mass, avoid weight training that is bicep or tricep specific.
– Heavy Weight Lifting
See Also: How to lose 10 pounds in two weeks
The last point to address is with diet content and calorie restriction. A calorie surplus can add mass at a rapid pace, and at the other end of the spectrum is calorie restriction.
Cutting or reducing your calories by a significant amount, will make adding new muscle tissue unlikely. The more probable outcome, and very common, while on a diet is a loss of muscle mass as your body breaks down muscle tissue to use as energy.