To build muscle mass and burn fat simultaneously, Kelly Baggett of BodyBuilding.com recommends combining cardio and weight lifting into a high-intensity interval training schedule several days a week. The diet should alternate between a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate plan on off days and a high-calorie, high-carbohydrate meal plan on training days.
The goal of this plan is to provide the body with enough calories to fuel the energy requirements for building muscle, while also facilitating fat burning by decreasing calories and increasing cardiovascular activity. According to Baggett, weight training is only necessary approximately three days each week, while cardio exercises should be performed six days weekly. On weight-lifting days, cardiovascular activity should be less intense and more prolonged. Baggett recommends performing cardio exercises in the morning and saving the weight-lifting sessions for the evenings. On days between weight sessions, cardio exercises should be intense and alternate between rapid bursts of activity and short periods of moderate exercise. These intervals challenge the body's metabolism by shocking it into high gear and helping to avoid fitness plateaus. They can be performed at any point during the day. The seventh day of every week is reserved for rest and recuperation. People can supplement their diets with beneficial ingredients to support optimum performance, such as omega-3 fatty acids, whey protein, alpha lipoic acid, creatine and glutamine.