Bodybuilding FAQ - Can I Use Bodybuilding for Weight Loss?

I have read many of your articles and I am thinking that if you can use bodybuilding principles to achieve very low levels of body fat, maybe I can use them too in order to achieve some lasting weight loss? If so, how can I adapt your bodybuilding principles to lose weight? Also, if I gain muscle, wouldn't that interfere with my weight loss?

In my opinion, bodybuilding is the best way to lose weight safely and permanently. By embarking on a bodybuilding program, your weight loss will be permanent since bodybuilding is a lifestyle, not a quick fix to losing weight.

While your weight loss goals may not be nearly as extreme as those of a competitive bodybuilder, or even those of a recreational bodybuilder, you can use the same bodybuilding principles that we use in order to lose weight in a very fast but safe manner. In addition, practicing bodybuilding is the only way in which you will get a fit and toned look (due to the increased muscle mass) once you achieve your weight loss.

As far as your question about gaining muscle interfering with your weight loss, the answer to this depends on the way that you look at things. If you are just interested in losing scale weight, then yes, if you gain muscle, then you will not lose scale weight as quickly. However, I'd like you to consider the following:

The weight that you are interested in losing is fat weight, not muscle weight.

Every time that you gain a pound of muscle, your metabolism (the rate in which your body burns calories) goes up. This, in turn, will help you to lose fat weight much quicker since your body will require more calories on a daily basis in order to keep its current weight. So even though the scale weight may go down a bit slower (due to the fact that you are gaining muscle weight), your fat weight will go down much faster!

Bodybuilding Program for Weight Loss

Bodybuilding has two components of equal importance: Training and Diet. If you have never lifted before, please take a look at my Guide for Getting Started in Bodybuilding. This guide will set you on the right path to success. The only thing that you will do differently is that once you get to the Intermediate level, here is the routine that you will follow:

We are going to choose three days a week to work out with weights and three days a week to do aerobics. Then we will have a free day without exercise.

For instance, you can do weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays and do 30-minute aerobics on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. In this case, Sunday is the off day. Remember that you can set it up any way you want, but I have found this schedule to be the favorite one for most people.

Now I will present you with a routine that you can do at home with only a pair of adjustable dumbbells. Since I want you to get done in 30 minutes we have to move fast. We will use trisets in order to get the heart pumping (so that fat is burned) and to save time.

That way, we not only firm up the muscles and gain strength but we also get cardiovascular benefits. Trisets are three exercises performed one after the other with no rest in between them (kind of like circuit training). The routine that we will use is composed of three trisets of 3 sets each.

Triset A (Chest/Back/Abs): 

Push Ups (against the wall if you cannot do them in the floor yet) 3 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)

One Arm Dumbbell Rows 3 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)

Crunches 3 sets x 25-40reps (1 minute rest)

Triset B (Delts/Biceps/Triceps):

Dumbbell Upright Rows 3 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)

Dumbbell Curls 3 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)

Overhead Triceps Extensions 3 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest)

Triset C (Thighs/Hamstrings/Calves): 

Squats 3 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 3 sets x 10-12 reps (no rest)

One Leg Calf Raises 3 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest)

Note: Move to Triset B after you have completed 3 sets of Triset A. Move to Triset C after you have completed 3 sets of Triset B.

If you follow this routine, you will be amazed at the results that you will get from it. You will also realize that not much is needed to get in shape (certainly no expensive equipment is necessary) and that all you need is the determination and the will to make it happen.

Remember that in order to get in shape, training is only half of the equation as nutrition is the other half. Therefore, make sure that you follow the Beginner's Diet found in the Guide for Getting Started in Bodybuilding. Once you get to the Intermediate level, then your diet should resemble the one found in this sample bodybuilding diet.

I guarantee you that if you follow this simple bodybuilding program your weight loss goals will be reached in no time.