Most trainees usually pick up their first barbell for two reasons: huge muscles with shredded definition. Of course everyone wants to be huge with chiseled cut's, so they should train to build muscle mass while burning fat, right?
Now here's the kicker ….
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to build huge muscles without earning some extra body fat, PERIOD!
The reason? Because to build muscle mass it is necessary to consume a surplus of calories to achieve optimal protein synthesis.
Since your body can not put 100% of it's caloric surge towards muscle growth, there will always be a caloric excess adding to your body fat, making it impossible to burn fat and gain muscle simultaniously.
Your goals should focus on building muscle mass, and then reducing body fat; Not gaining muscle and burning fat simultaniously.
It's easier to burn body fat once you've built up your muscles, so obviously starting off by building muscle mass is the quickest route. So once again; focus on burning fat only after you have gained serious muscle.
3 key tips to achieve this are:
1) Do not go crazy on calories …
Work toward a program of "optimal nutrition", simply shoving more food down your throat that has nothing to do with gaining muscle mass, and you will probably get fatter.
When eating to gain muscle; a mere 15-20% more calories over what you would typically take in to keep yourself at your current weight will achieve muscle growth without gaining extra fat.
2) Consume quality food sources …
To insure maximum muscle growth, consume only lean, quality proteins, natural / full fiber carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats.
Stay away from sugar and if there is a farmer's market nearby, try shopping from there for fresh produce.
3) Throw in a moderate amount of cardio.
During a mass building cycle, try adding 2-3 cardio sessions weekly to increase your body's ability to restrict fat gains. Long duration cardio can cause you to break muscle, so stick to high intensity / low duration sessions of cardio lasting no more than 10-20 minutes.