The word ‘dry training’ is a well-known term in the gym world and a wish of both men and women. But is there such a thing as dry training? If so, how do you train yourself dry?
DRY TRAINING = NUTRITION
The term ‘dry training’ is used by sporting men and women as a synonym for burning fat, losing weight while maintaining muscle mass. In other words, lowering the fat percentage so that your muscles stand out better. You often see that people view dry training as working for hours on a cross trainer, but the question remains whether you will achieve the desired result with this. If you ask me, the term dry training is not entirely correct, because it is not only about dry training, but mainly about ‘dry eating’; nutrition is leading. Because both words are a bit vague and incomplete, we prefer to use the concept of ‘burning fat’, or lowering the fat percentage.
You can reduce your fat percentage by burning more energy than you consume through food and drinks.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH DRY TRAINING?
Simply burning fat without losing muscle mass is easier said than done. This requires a precise approach. There are a number of simple tips that I use for good results, below you can read the most important ones:
1: DETERMINE YOUR ENERGY BALANCE
Dry training, or burning fat, starts by determining your energy balance: how many calories does your body need to maintain its weight? You then know approximately what your energy balance is. Step 2 is to be a certain percentage below this; so consume slightly less energy than what you need to keep your weight stable. Personally, I (man) eat between 0 and 10% below my energy balance during dry training; As a woman, our advice is no different. The fewer calories you eat, the faster you will lose weight. Of course, that’s not rocket science. This does mean that how quickly you lose weight also affects the degree of loss of muscle strength and muscle mass. You may also have less energy for your workouts if you cut too many calories.
It is best to slowly reduce your energy intake. Especially if you actually ate above your energy needs in the period before dry training. In other words, first you make sure that you consume exactly the amount of energy your body needs to maintain its weight. Then you keep turning this down a few percent. For some people, this is just a matter of cutting out your daily filling cookie or swapping your bananas for blueberries.
2: DON’T EAT TOO LITTLE
Be careful not to eat too little. If you consume too little energy (20 or 30% below your energy balance) you run the risk of additional loss of muscle mass. This especially happens if you stick to the diet for too long. So keep a close eye on your energy intake. Another important signal is the loss of a lot of muscle strength. Is this happening? Then increase your energy intake (amount of kcal) a bit.
3: DO NOT TRAIN EXTREMELY
If you want to burn fat, you don’t necessarily have to jump on cardio machines several times a week. Of course extra cardio helps, but this is not a requirement. You can achieve at least as good results by reducing your energy intake a bit.
I do recommend that you do cardio for health reasons and to maintain your fitness. Preferably do extra cardio at least twice a week (20-30 minutes) in addition to your strength training. Try to increase your heart rate considerably to approximately 75 to 85% of your maximum heart rate.
4: RECIPES FOR DRY TRAINING: HEALTHY, RICH PROTEIN AND RICH FIBER
As mentioned earlier, in addition to training, your diet is very important when dry training. Make sure you eat healthy. In addition, it is important to get enough proteins. For example, aim for 15-25% of your total energy intake. Proteins are important for your muscle recovery.
In addition to a protein-rich and healthy diet, it is wise to pay attention to your consumption of fiber-rich products. These include vegetables and whole grain products. Fiber-rich products ensure that you feel full more quickly, which means you are less likely to consume many calories.
5: PROVIDE A STRONG TRAINING INCENTIVE
During the period when your calorie intake is lower, it is important to keep your training load high. Your body needs a reason to keep the amount of muscle mass intact. It is unwise to suddenly do many more repetitions or to change your entire fitness schedule and only focus on cardio. Your muscles need a comparable heavy training stimulus as in the period before you started losing weight. Perhaps this training stimulus is even more important now.
6: MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS AND ADJUST
How do you know if you are on schedule with dry training? You can monitor your process and progress in different ways. When losing weight, keep a close eye on the following factors:
- Muscle strength
- Fat percentage
- Progress photos. Or keep an eye on your reflection.
This way you know whether you are not losing weight too quickly when dry training.
SCHEDULE FOR EFFECTIVE DRY TRAINING: FOCUS ON THE LONG TERM
Losing weight is often not a quick fix, but usually a long-term project. If you want to train dry, use a suitable schedule that will achieve and maintain results for you (man/woman/x) in the long term. If you want to lose weight in a healthy and sensible way, it is better to spread this over a few months or even six months. If you lose weight too quickly, this is often at the expense of a lot of muscle mass. It may seem like things are going well and fast according to your scale, but you probably don’t want to lose your precious muscles.