Today I am going to explain to you exactly why you need to build muscle.
The fitness/health industry continues to stuff the idea of “weight loss” down our throats everywhere we look.
Theres waist trainers, pills, balance boards and more that all have claims to be the next best thing. And let me tell you, none of them work the way you want them to.
The key to weight loss is building muscle. This is exactly how my members and clients see results without hours of cardio.
And let me point out:
This isn’t the act of building a ton of muscle so you look huge. This is simply building strength and muscle on an average scale.
Let’s dive right in.
It has been said before that gaining muscle improves your metabolism. This is true – but it is important to note that gender, genetics, and age also play a role in this.
It has been estimated by researchers that every pound of muscle burns roughly 6 calories, per day, at rest. A pound of fat burns roughly 2 calories per day, at rest. So – this leads to the conclusion that more muscle does indeed mean more calories burned at rest.
This also does not mean that having muscle is the only way to burn calories. We burn calories everyday just by walking, eating, sleeping and thinking. We also burn calories when we exercise intentionally, which is going to ultimately lead to the result you want…fat loss.
Boost bone density
Resistance training is beneficial not only for muscle tissue, but also for bone density. The resistance of weights being added to the skeleton is what helps build new bone. So while minerals like calcium and magnesium can help bone strength, you need some kind of stimulus to create new growth.
If you want to be healthy overall, you have to see exercise as a benefit in more ways than looks. If you are doing tons of cardio on ellipticals and bikes without ever adding resistance or pressure, you are likely losing bone density.
It’s like all of the elderly people that break hips so easily when they fall. They have lost so much bone density that they become fragile.
Don’t become fragile.
Use resistance training to improve bone density so you have both strong muscles/ligaments and bones/joins.
The idea of getting “toned” is just uncovering muscle tissue. There is no other secret. You cannot open a jar of “toned” and rub it on. Muscle – Fat = Toned.
Building strength is easier at the early stages than the later ones because of the adaptation phase. Once the energy systems catch up and you are hit your strength potential with your current muscle, you can start to build more with a progressive overload program and a surplus diet.
As you do more strength training and work on building muscle tissue, you are also building up your stamina. You will be able to recover faster, carry groceries without getting winded, get up from the floor without your hands etc.
The day to day benefits far exceed the benefits of looking toned, but I get that we are a very aesthetic society.
But you do have to work at it to keep it. If you don’t work on strength training now, your body is going to start breaking it down the muscle tissue you do have.
So make strength training a big part of your fitness routine, and you will reap the benefits.
Aside from aesthetics, building more muscle is also going to help you to recover faster during your workouts. This means you won’t get tired as easily, you will be able to lift more and go longer. This is going to allow your body to adapt, and change so that you can continue to push yourself, and not hit a plateau. Because if we do the same thing over and over again, our body catches on and stops needing to adapt.
The more we push the weights, reps, speed, aerobics, the more benefits we are going to see in our body and in our performance.
Manage Blood Sugar
The diabetes epidemic is on track to be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.
And it is a disease that can be prevented (unless it is type 1) by managing diet and exercise.
The US has the worst food industry. The amount of empty carbs and sugar snacks we consume is astronomical. So while it is important that we start to limit these foods, we also need to put them to use.
The liver and skeletal muscle are what store our glucose (sugar, aka carbs) as glycogen. This storage is limited. So if we continue to eat, spike blood sugar, and not “use it” then we are going to store it as fat.
This is where muscle building comes in. The number one energy source for strength training is glucose. So by building muscle tissue, you are using the glycogen within the muscle tissue and therefore keeping blood sugar more balanced.
Not to mention, the more balanced meals you eat that contain a carb source, a fat source, a protein source and a vegetable (fiber) source the easier it will be to keep blood sugar balanced.
Balancing blood sugar is key because it think slowly gives you energy (sugar) as you digest, instead of it digesting and dumping all at once.
How to Build Muscle
Building muscle is not something that can be done overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, and a lot of consistency. But – all good things are worth the wait, right?
In order to build muscle, a few different factors have to be in place.
• You have to be eating enough calories to be in a surplus. This means eating more than you burn in a day, so that the extra calories can be used for strength and recovery.
• You have to follow a progressive overload program. So this means you are following a resistance training program that has you increasing intensity as you go. This can be in the form of increased weight, increased sets/reps, less rest periods etc.
• Biofeedback has to be top notch. This means lower stress levels, more sleep, increased recovery. Without these, our bodies will continue to be in a fight or flight mode and will not create the composition you are looking for.
It is also important to note that you cannot (typically) burn fat and gain muscle at the same time. In the beginning stages of your fitness routine you might be able to. But as you become more seasoned in the area, it is going to get much harder to do.
I recommend focusing on one or the other at different times, rather than trying to do them both at once.
Now, I would like to hear from you.
Was this new information to you? Does the science here make sense on why you need to build muscle?
Let me know by leaving a comment below!