Lots of people want to build muscle and lose fat but most aren’t sure where to start – we go through 5 steps that will make a major impact to your workout.

Here we’ll demonstrate how you can build a stronger, fitter body - giving you tips on the types of exercises you should be doing and the types of foods you should be eating in order to build muscle and lose fat.

1. Change the way you train

If you want a better body, one of the simplest things you can do is to make small changes to the way you train. Instead of long, slow sessions, try short, intense workouts where you work really hard. After an intense session, ensure you give your body time to rest too, as it’s during these periods of rest that your body and muscles progress. 

Also, as part of your better body plan, make sure you’re not in a training rut - mix up the types of exercise you do in your sessions. Work different muscle groups using a wide range of exercises and equipment, ensuring your body always works hard and keeps burning unwanted fat. 

These two small tweaks to your training will have a big effect on your workouts and help deliver a better body. 

2. Build muscle quickly

One way to build up your muscle mass quickly is to use a pre-exhaust technique when lifting weights. This approach aims to tire a muscle, then use the same fatigued muscle again, but work it using a different exercise.

A good example of the pre-exhaust technique in a workout can be seen if we look at exercising the chest. Begin by doing three sets of dumbbell bench flyes, resting as appropriate. Then complete three sets of dumbbell bench presses, again taking appropriate rests.

This is a great exercise as the dumbbell flye tires the chest and the dumbbell press uses your tricep muscles while also working your chest. This combination will ensure you can build muscles quickly, you can use it to bulk up key areas such as your chest, arms and trapezius muscles.

3. Work on your posture

Most people have bad  posture . In fact, chances are that you’re stooping or hunched over right now. The key to getting great posture is to work on strengthening and stabilising your core, so aim to do exercises that work your core at least twice a week. 

Attending yoga or Pilates classes should help you to work out all of the key areas you need to target in order to strengthen your core, such as your rectus abdominis, your transverse abdominals, your erector spinae and your obliques. And if you don’t fancy attending classes, you could do some exercises at home, such as single leg extensions, a seated stability ball roll, and the plank. 

4. Healthy isn’t always enough

You may think you have a great diet, but sometimes eating healthily isn’t enough to get a great body. Instead you need to be eating foods that support your body and help you build muscle and lose fat too. Swapping lunches like pasta or a jacket potato for tuna or chicken salads is one way to fuel your body, while ensuring you lose fat and gain muscle. Eating things like eggs, spicy peppers that contain capsaicin and spinach will help you stay fuller, while also boosting your metabolism. 

Changing the way you cook your foods can also help you to get a better body. Studies have found that grilled food contains a compound called methylglyoxal, which has been linked to weight gain. Instead of grilling, try steaming or poaching your food, or even make some tasty stews or casseroles.

5. Goals and fun

Despite all the expert advice, the only way you are going to maintain a better body is if you set some goals and have fun reaching that target. These two areas are the glue to your better body plan - yet most people unwittingly skip these stages. 

Setting goals doesn’t have to be a long-winded process; it could be as simple as taking a photo of yourself before you begin your better body plan. That way, when you’ve been working out and eating correctly for a month, two months or three months, you can see the progress you have made. Other goals could be made from taking your body measurements, aiming to lift a certain weight, or using the caliper test.

As well as setting some goals, incorporating fun into your better body plan is key. If you don’t enjoy yourself you won’t feel motivated to train and won’t put in the 100 per cent effort you need. Find workouts, classes, DVDs and training methods you look forward to doing, and try out new sports too. The best thing to do is to experiment and keep things fresh.