When people are looking to get in shape, they typically want to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. The problem with attempting to achieve both is there are a lot of misconceptions about how to build muscle and burn fat separately, let alone in conjunction with each other. Personal trainer Max Weber, NASM, ACE, called out many of the myths that float around the internet about how to both build muscle and lose weight.
In his Instagram post, Max addressed the common myths associated with building muscle and losing fat: "anyone" can do it, you have to rely on fat burners and other supplements, you should perform spot-reduction exercises, you must avoid carbs at all costs, you need to do lots of superset workouts, you should have aggressive calorie deficits, and you have to do a lot of LISS (low-intensity sustained state) cardio and exercise.
Then he pointed to what actually works, according to science: it's best for beginning and intermediate lifters, you can supplement where necessary, you should focus on compound exercises, you need a proper macronutrient breakdown, the focus should be on progressive overload, there should be a slight or moderate calorie deficit, and you need to do some HIIT cardio/exercise.
"The truth is that building muscle and losing fat at the same time is much, MUCH easier for someone who is at the beginner level of fitness," he wrote in the caption. "And focusing on things like compound exercises and progressive overload [Editor's note: compound exercises are exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time, and progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress on the body while training], proper macronutrients and strategic cardio will prove to be the most efficient way to achieve this 'recomposition' goal you desire so much, assuming you have calories in check."
He added that everyone should tweak these variables to achieve their goals, but it's best to listen to experts (think: certified personal trainers, registered dietitians) instead of just "internet gurus" and influencers for their advice. Progress doesn't happen overnight — it takes work, but if you make the right moves, you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time.