Posts Tagged With: Building muscle

Building Muscle


Hello fitness friends. I did not forget about you! It’s been insanely busy. I’ve committed to making most meals at home and working out almost daily.

Tonight, I wanted to talk to you about building muscle. Muscle supports your skeletal system. Muscle helps your body burn fat. Muscle helps your body fight the aging process. Muscle is your friend!

I’ve been doing P90X2. If you know anything about P90X, it’s an intense workout. Version 2 involves more balance and stability. The goal of starting this program was to gain more lean muscle and decrease my body fat percentage. I’ve always been a mesomorph (muscular). I’ve had trouble gaining muscle without feeling bulky and boxy. So here’s my 411 on building muscle to get lean.

A. Diet Matters

Sugar, high glycemic foods, deep fried foods, and poor nutrition are not your friend:
If you’re eating poorly and lifting weights, you are more likely to have a layer or layers of fat over your chiseled muscle.

You need adequate protein consumption. It’s essential building block of muscle.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 0.8 g protein/kg body weight or 0.36 g protein/lb body weight. If you’re lifting, you may want to increase your protein intake. Don’t overdo it, excessive amounts of protein for those with kidney problems or diabetes can experience health issues. Check with your doctor, trainer, or nutritionist about your intake. Protein supports muscle repair, increased growth and to protect against the strains of vigorous training.

Don’t starve:
You need to eat enough food. When your body thinks you’re starving, it begins to eat away at your muscle.

B. Increased Water

Drink it to flush toxins.

C. Rest Days Matter

Your body repairs during the times of rest. Muscle building requires that you give your body time to rest. Most people alternate training different groups on different days. It’s also beneficial to have one day with no training.

D. Challenge Yourself with Proper Form

I had a issue last year where I was doing good mornings and dead lifts with improper form. This caused strain in my back and a trip to the spine specialist. If you can, practice with a mirror. Get with a trainer. And never lift heavy weights without knowing proper form. It’s better to forgo the exercise than injure yourself.

E. Supplements

There are so many on the market. The only one I use aside from vitamins is L-Glutamine which helps muscle soreness, and repair; preventing muscle loss during exercise. I take Trans Alanyl Glutamine by Metabolic Nutrition.

F. Don’t Let the Scale Discourage You!

Muscle weighs more than fat, yet takes up less space. Grab some measuring tape. Track inches lost. Stop by your gym and have your body fat measured with calipers.

Just in case you’re wondering….5 weeks into the program and I lost 1-2 inches off the chest, waist, and hips. There have been 8 pounds lost.

P.S Please talk to your doctor before using any supplements or starting any weight lifting program.

Good luck my friends! Take care of your mind, body, soul, and spirit.




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Reshape Your Body



Hello my fitness friends. I have not forgotten you. While I work on another post about hormones, I wanted to post something about getting lean. Nutrition is crucial to having a healthy body and getting lean. There is another component that people can overlook, resistance training. Disclaimer: Talk to your doctor before starting a training program.

I was hesitant to start circuit training. I have a naturally muscular build and felt like weight lifting would cause me to bulk up. I had a trainer before who had me on a program, and I hated the way I looked when it was over. So, after that I decided I never wanted to lift weights again. Here are some things I learned.

1. Get the right trainer. Tell them what your goals are. If you are not interested in becoming Mr. or Mrs. Olympia, let them know. There are different programs for people with different goals.

2. Add cardio and weights to your routine. If you have layers of padding 🙂 then your muscles will not be easily seen. Resistance training is great because the muscles you build burn more calories than the body fat you have.

3. Be patient. Depending on the amount of muscle mass you have and strength, it will take time for you to see results. Give yourself 4 to 6 weeks to see changes. Keep going. It’s not a sprint, it’s a long distance run.

4. Rest and Switch it Up. Muscles need time to recover. Try to switch it up; alternate muscle groups.

So here’s the example from my routine:

  • Monday, Friday, Sunday (Back side of the body: glutes, hamstrings, calves, back, and biceps). Anytime you work the back you are working biceps.
  • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (Front side of the body: Quads, abs, chest, shoulders, and triceps).
  • Cardio 2 -3 days a week.  Rest day Wednesday.

Before you cringe at the example I gave you, these sessions are no longer than 35-45 minutes long.

5. Every 4-6 weeks challenge your body in new ways. If you do the same circuits over and over with the same amount of resistance, you won’t see improved results. Our bodies are smart and they adapt. Once they adapt, they use less energy to do the same exercises. It can be as simple as increased reps, adding a few more pounds, adding new exercises….

6. Stretch it out. Many people forget how important stretching is to their routine. Stretching decreases your risk of injury. So warm up, cool down, and make sure you are stretching before and after your workouts.

7. Muscles will reshape your body. I wanted nice arms. I admit it. That was impossible with the treadmill and elliptical machine. I had to lifting weights. And I do not look like the hulk. 😉

8. Diet is important. Training is great. If you are not eating well, your body will show it. Choose whole foods, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and tons of water.

9. Muscles help protect your bones and keep you young. There is something to be said for a muscular body versus a fleshy soft one. I am not saying you need to be a literal brick house, but muscle ages better than fat or a body that is not toned. My dad works out and he looks great. He looks much better than other men his age who don’t workout. He is healthier and has more energy.

So dear friends, if your doctors approve, don’t bypass resistance training. And you don’t always need extra weight. Your body weight is often sufficient or exercise bands. Do some research on workouts you can do safely at home. Make sure you are doing proper form and not trying to be a super hero at first. You don’t want to hurt yourself.

Keep up the good work and enjoy the rest of your week. xoxo Erin.


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Take 5

Young Woman Sleeping on Lawn Chair

We spend so much of our time doing. We are busy from sun up until sun down. We are plugged in, connected, and constantly busy. Today, I would like to talk about something we sometimes fail to do, but it’s very important for our well-being; rest.

Rest is so important. We can think that running full steam ahead is a great idea, however our bodies will suffer if we don’t rest. Here’s some info on rest.

Rest helps keep our hormones in balance. The hormone grenalin which controls hunger is disrupted when we do not get adequate sleep. When we are sleep deprived, we are often hungrier. Grenalin  stimulates our desire for fatty food and high calorie density food. Lack of sleep also disrupts the hormone leptin. “Leptin signals the brain that the body has had enough to eat, producing a feeling of satiety. Moreover, this fullness hormone may make it easier for people to resist the temptation of foods high in calories.1″

Rest helps us to build muscle. Despite what we may believe, working out every day at high intensity is not the best. Here’s some information from Livestrong. “Overworking your muscles actually prevents muscle growth, because your muscles do not have time to adjust to the strain put on them. By doing tough muscle-building exercises with adequate rest, you will see gains in muscle strength and bulk in a few weeks,” Read more:

Even if you are not working out to build muscle, overworking our bodies is not beneficial for our health. Rest is important for a healthy body.


Rest improves mental and emotional health. If you have ever suffered from insomnia, which I have, you know that your mental health suffers when you are exhausted. You can’t think clearly. Everything seems to be especially hard and taxing. You may suffer from anxiety, a bad case of the grumpies, lack of concentration, etc…Sleep and rest (ceasing from continual activity) helps the mind to function the way it is supposed to.

Rest helps your body combat stress. Stress is not our friend. You can go back and read earlier posts about what stress does to the human body. Prolonged stress causes hormonal imbalances, weakens the immune system, can cause gastrointestinal problems, relational problems, hair loss, etc…We want to rest so our bodies can rebound from excess stress.

Rest helps us to remain at center, at peace. I am a person of faith. I believe peace is powerful. Rest helps us to remain at peace. When we are constantly moving, doing,etc…our spirits suffer. I often lack peace when I am ceasing to rest. You may not be a person of faith, so hang with me if you aren’t. My goal on this site isn’t to push my beliefs on you. I do believe in God and that rest is a spiritual discipline. A Sabbath is needed to benefit not only the body, mind, and emotions, but our spirits as well.

Well, my dear friends. I hope that you find time in the midst of busy lives and strenuous workout schedules to rest. Make rest a priority! Keep up the good work, I am cheering for you!

1. Baicy K, London ED, Monterosso J, Wong ML, Delibasi T, Sharma A, Licinio J (November 2007). “Leptin replacement alters brain response to food cues in genetically leptin-deficient adults”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104 (46): 18276–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.0706481104. PMC 2084333. PMID 17986612.

Categories: Emotional Health, Fitness, Mental Health, Spiritual Health | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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