I highly recommend working out for a short amount of time per session and spreading out your workouts over the course of several days. The reason for this is because if you train for a short amount of time per session, you can train at a high level of intensity and really focus on the task at hand. After about 45 minutes, your body’s natural hormone levels will begin to decrease so you really want to focus on keeping your exercise sessions short and intense. Use a split routine and spread your muscle groups out over a week like this:
- Monday: Chest (8-10 total sets)
- Tuesday: Back (8-10 total sets)
- Wednesday: Shoulders (6-8 total sets)
- Thursday: Arms (4-6 total sets)
- Friday: Legs (8-10 total sets)
Studies have estimated that for each pound of muscle that you add to your body, you burn an additional 35 to 50 calories per day. So, an extra 10 pounds of muscle will burn approximately 350 to 500 calories a day, or an extra pound of fat every 7 to 10 days, without making any other changes. In another study, researchers found that regular weight training boosts basal metabolic rate by about 15%. This is because muscle is “metabolically active” and burns more calories than any other body tissue even when you’re not moving.
In terms of your diet, you really need to increase your calories each day. Eating only 1,000 calories a day is simply not going to cut it. You should be eating at least 1,500 calories a day at the bare minimum and ideally, you should probably focus on consuming around 2,000 for optimal health. Remember, food is fuel and you want to run your body on high-octane fuel which means eating nutrient dense whole foods that contain quality calories coming from lean protein, clean carbs and healthy fats. Your body and overall metabolism run much faster when it receives adequate calories. It’s much better to eat a little more quality calories and burn off the excess with cardio exercise then it is to drastically cut your caloric intake. When you cut calories too low, you get the negative effects that have been discussed previously along with decreased energy levels. Low energy mean your workouts will suffer which results in less strength training workouts and a decrease in overall lean muscle mass. So, make sure you eat a sufficient amount of quality calories to optimally fuel your body and then use that energy to power you through high intensity workouts in order to pack on quality lean muscle.