Build Muscle & Burn Fat? Training & Eating Strategies For Both

Elite Conditioning Coach Brad Davidson & Dr. Jade Teta:

How To Train & Eat For Muscle Building & Fat Loss



Brad Davidson and I get together and talk shop as often as we are able.  In this discussion we started out with a review of a controversial post I posted on the Metabolic Effect Facebook page (that post is below).

From there the discussion went into great depth about how to thing about workout programming and nutritional protocols to build muscle and burn fat.  We talked about:

  • What workout parameters build muscle and which don’t
  • How to eat to build muscle if your an athlete or hargainer
  • How endurance athletes can get stronger without bulking up and reducing exercise economy
  • Why average crossfitters have trouble gaining muscle and/or burning fat
  • How to pair exercise and diet to build muscle and burn fat at the same time
  • How to pair exercise and diet to burn fat
  • and more………..

The Facebook PostScreenshot 2014-01-30 20.40.24

“Beware of the “circus workout”.

What is the circus workout? A workout that has you jumping around so much from one thing to the next that you never adequately stimulate the muscles in a way that forces them to respond.

If you are going to exercise for fat loss, you need to understand it is not about just burning calories.

Too many trainers and exercise enthusiasts miss the most important and beneficial aspects of exercise.

When you exercise you want to create a “metabolic disturbance” in the body to force it to respond.

When you do this, you will not just use a huge amount of energy during the workout, but you will adjust your hormonal chemistry in a way that continues to use large amounts of energy (mostly fat) during recovery, repair and adaptation after the workout.

To do this, stay away from the circus. Overload the muscles. Make them strain (lift heavy weights) and make them burn. And overload the same body parts again and again.

There are many different types of exercise that focus on different types of goals. But if it is body change you are after, the circus workouts are not going to be your best bet.

Here is an example of a circus workout:

– Bang this rope up and down. Now run over here and do some jumps. Come over here and do some burpees. Run back over here and pat your belly and rub your head. Come back over here for some pushups. (get the point?)

Here is an effective workout for body change:

– Do some pushups. Now do some pullups. Now do some pushups again. Now do some pullups. Now do some pushups. Now do some pullups. Oh, your getting tired? Do some more pushups. Do some more pullups. Oh your getting bored? do some pushups, do some pullups. oh your almost completely spent? do one more set of pushups. Do some more pullups. Good workout.”


Enjoy the discussion.  And let us know your thoughts. To learn more about Brad Davidson.  Check out his facility here




2 Responses to Build Muscle & Burn Fat? Training & Eating Strategies For Both

  1. mfmaxpower April 20, 2014 at 9:04 PM #

    Here’s what I find confusing: you guys in the video talk about fat loss but also working out in the 8-12 rep ranges for body-recom/muscle gains. I am no expert but others who are often recommend weight training during a diet for the sole purpose of maintaining muscle and strength, not for gains, based on the premise that muscle gains are not going to be happening with a calorie deficit.

    Often those who follow this line of thought recommend cutting down on strength workouts (again based on the presumption that restricted calories leads to less than optimal recovery), doing the bare minimum to maintain muscle/strength, and maybe add some glycogen depletion/metabolic workouts (with say 15-20 reps) to maximize fat loss potential, but above all allowing diet to lead to fat loss.

    So I’m curious (especially cause Brad talks later in the video about focusing only on one goal at a time) why you guys are recommending workouts that are best suited to hypertrophy during a fat loss phase. And also, do you disagree with the method I presented above?

    • Jade Teta April 22, 2014 at 8:58 AM #

      I think your confusion stems from the fact that we are talking about several things here, but the major discussion is around building a better body. We started with one question and then talked about a number of things some related and some not. I agree, and my bet is Brad would agree, with everything you are saying here.

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