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Fat Loss vs Muscle Building

By Greg Brookes

If you ever get confused between Fat Loss workouts and Muscle Building workouts then this is the article for you.

Below I’ve broken down the major differences between these 2 types of workouts and hopefully it can help you decide which is the best option for you.

Muscle Building Workouts Use Density

In order to build size you need to overload the muscles. The more density you can apply to the muscle the more the body is forced to rebuild a larger muscle to cope with the added stress.

Muscle overload means that these workouts will include: more sets, slower movements for added time under tension, fewer repetitions and more rest for recovery.

Fat Loss Workouts Use Confusion

Adaptation to an exercise or workout is a Fat Loss nightmare. Adaptation means that the body becomes more efficient and ultimately burns less and less calories.

To avoid adaptation a good fat loss program will include: a lot of variety, shorter rest periods, full body exercises, higher repetitions, and more dynamic movements.

Workout confusion and intensity also adds to the Afterburn effect that ensures you burn calories up to 24 hours after your workout is over.

Risks of Injury

Muscle building requires you to push your lifting intensity. You will push or pull close to your maximum amount of repetitions each set. Connective tissue and joints are forced to work very hard and you will be lifting heavier and heavier weights so injury potential goes up.

Muscle building workouts require good warm ups and a solid foundation in exercise before they are taken seriously. Great for the younger population due to faster recovery times but more trying for the older.

Also expect more frequent muscle soreness with muscle building programs.

Both Workouts with Build Muscle and Burn Fat

It is important to realise that all workout programs will burn fat and build muscle to a certain degree. However, which type of workout program you focus on will vastly improve your chances of achieving your goal.

So ultimately something is always better than nothing but a correct program will vastly improve your success.

Here are 2 workouts taken from both my Fat Loss Program and Muscle Building Program to demonstrate the workout differences:

Muscle Building Program (Week 1)

1A) Reverse Lunge x 10
1B) Single Leg Deadlift x 8

2A) Racked Squat x 10
2B) Side Lunge x 8

3) Sit and Press x 10

This workout is for the lower body. Each pair is repeated 4 times with 60 seconds rest afterwards. A workout like this will seriously overload the legs and leave a beginner sore for a few days at least.

Fat Loss Program (Week 2)

1A) Two Handed Squat & Press x 10
1B) Fast Mountain Climbers x 20
1C) Two Handed Swing x 20
1D) Bob & Weave x 20
1E) Slow Mountain Climbers x 10

A full body workout that is repeated 4 times with a 60 second rest at the end of each circuit. This type of workout would be more suitable for a beginner, is more cardio based and will generate less muscle soreness.

Hopefully you have found this comparison useful and it will help you make a better decision as to what type of workout program you should be following.

Take care,


P.S. See both my Fat Loss & Muscle Building Programs here

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