Posts Tagged With: Lean muscle

Building Muscle

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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.

Protein:
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.

xoxo,

Erin

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Cardio Only vs. Resistance Training

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Cardiovascular exercise, also called cardio or aerobic exercise, is physical activity which raises the heart rate to around 60 to 85 percent of the heart’s maximum heart rate for an extended period of time, usually twenty minutes or longer, Gregory Hamel.

Resistance training has two different meanings. A broader meaning that refers to any training that uses a resistance to the force of muscular contraction (better termed strength training), and elastic or hydraulic resistance, which refers to a specific type of strength training that uses elastic or hydraulic tension to provide this resistance, Wikipedia.

Hello fitness friends. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Today, I wanted to talk about cardio only vs. resistance training. Of course as previously stated you should talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine or changing your fitness regimen. I wanted to give you some information that helped with my fitness goals.

I was addicted to the elliptical machines at the gym. I also felt like walking or running outside was the best workout for me. If you can only walk or do low impact aerobics, then please do that. Follow your doctor’s orders for you. I, however, saw some weight loss, but my body did not change shape with cardio only. Granted, I did more walking than running outside, and the intensity of our workouts makes a difference. Walking helped me shed a few pounds, yet my arms were still flabby. My abs were not ripped, and I did not have the body shape I wanted. Here’s what resistance training/circuit training (cardio with weights) did for me.

1. Overall Body Change. I now have toned arms, shoulders, abs, and legs. I no longer have flabby arms. I am not bulky, but toned. Most people want to be lean, not skinny and flabby. Resistance training helps to tone the body.

2. Reduction in Body Fat. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat you are burning. Muscle is great for your metabolism.

3. Smaller Body. Muscle takes up less space than fat. Have you ever met someone who weighed the same amount as you, yet they were bigger than you? According to the scale I should wear a bigger size than I do, but I have more muscle than fat. The more fat we have, the bigger we are.

Image found online. Muscle vs. fat.

Having more muscle than body fat also help with aging. See quote from LiveStrong.com.

According to an interview with Reuters Magazine with Dr. Judy Kruger, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention specialist in elder care, exercises that strengthen muscles can reduce the risk of falls and fractures, promote healthy bone density and improve balance and coordination, which can help prevent falls. Benefits like this can lead to a better quality of life during one’s senior years.

Muscle is good for us. Excess body fat is not. I have met people who are runners or do primarily cardio that are in great shape. Their workouts are intense. Meaning they are not doing a leisurely stroll. Our body can serve as resistance for cardio as well. Kickboxing, boxing, rowing, etc…are great ways to challenge the body. Cardio is good for us. If want our body to change shape, we have to challenge our muscles.
Have a great weekend! Stay focused. You can do it!
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