Just like you can't target fat loss, you can't target fat gain. However, making regions of your body bigger can be targeted doing specific exercises to add muscle.
Adding muscle will also help you lose fat by increasing your resting metabolic rate. Think of this as the number of calories your body burns at rest. For example:
A lean, muscular body builder may burn 4000 calories per day (by doing nothing).
A lean model (with little muscle) may only burn 1500
calories per day (by doing nothing)
Consider what's required by your body to build muscle
Proper diet is required to build muscle. You need enough protein and carbohydrates and fats to fuel and enhance recovery from your workouts.
You also need rest and recovery time between workouts to allow your body to rebuild and increase your muscle mass.
You don’t grow muscle during your workout - but rather between workouts.
Think of these resources like a bucket of water
- The more often the bucket is full - the faster you're able to gain muscle mass.
- The emptier the bucket - the harder it is to build more muscle.
For each strength training workout you perform:
- You take a scoop of water out of the bucket. The harder you train, the bigger the scoop of water you take from the
As you replenish your muscle-building and energy supplies by resting and eating effectively - you assure that you have all the necessary resources necessary to build muscle. In other words:
The problem with doing 90 minutes of cardio is that you draw on the same resources that you have available to build muscle. In other words:
- You take more scoops out of your bucket.
That not only means fewer resources that are available for building muscle, but because your recovery is also compromised.
- It becomes even harder to refill the bucket.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do any cardio while building muscle. It just means that you need to perform cardio that minimally impacts the resources necessary to build muscle - such as shorter, more intense forms of cardio.