Thoughts on building muscle
Everyone would benefit from having more muscle on their frame. Everyone.
Today I'm going to take a few minutes to share why muscle is important, how to add it, how much muscle you need and some of the myths about building muscle.
This is going to be a very strong entry on my blog.
What does muscle do?
Muscle burns fat. Who loves to have fat on their bodies? Not you and I. The mere fact that we have muscle means we automatically burn more fat 24 hours per day. One of the best ways to trim fat is to add muscle.
Muscle helps us move and perform better in life. From picking up a couch to walking the dog to making love to our spouse; more muscle will help with all that.
Muscle looks looks good. Let's be real. Do you look better with more muscle or less muscle?
For the most part it's more muscle.
The reason for having more muscle are many. Most, but not all times (more on that later), we should strive to add more muscle.
How do you add the appropriate amount of muscle?
The basics of adding muscle are the same as the basics of losing fat and getting fit in general. I'm reveiw that real quick.
1. Clean up your diet. Eat less crap and more good food. Focus on getting in more protein throughout the day and especially at night. Eat more eggs, meat and vegetables. Eat less sugar laden and processed foods.
2. Workout harder. You are going to need to do resistance training every time your workout. Add weight! Always work on metabolic conditioning and always use resistance; do both of these and your body will shed the crap out of your fat and add muscle like crazy.
3. Take your supplements. When my wife first starting drinking protein shakes back in 2011 she gained 12 pounds of muscle is two months. It was an impressive transformation from only one change in her life. I suggest you add a protein shake (The IDLife protein shake is excellent: thefitlifemeals.idlife.com), a recovery shake so you can workout harder and the health basics: a high quality multivitamin, Omega and probiotic to cover all the general bases. (The IDNutition from IDLife is customized and takes the guesswork out of it! Learn more here: thefitlifemeals.idlife.com)
4. Change your attitude about muscle. A little more on this when I talk about myths but don't stress about muscle and especially the scale. Let it happen. Work harder on the process and you will see the side effect of muscle gain. Don't fear adding muscle. Don't worry too much if it isn't happening fast enough. See gains in the mirror and be happy. Remember that the end goal really isn't to add a lot of muscle. The goal is to look, feel and perform better. More muscle is a fantastic side effect.
There are some of the basics of adding muscle but the next question is this: How much muscle do we really need?
I don't know. That's for you to decide. At the end of the day, if you work hard your body will determine how much muscle is appropriate for your frame.
We are all different. I lift a lot of weights and I am 5'10" and about 170 lbs or so. My body fat is 4-6% so I am pretty lean and defined. My friend Alex does a lot of the same stuff but he is a little over 200 pounds. He has a lot of muscle included really big biceps. That is where our bodies have determined that we need to be.
How much muscle you need is something that I believe your body should and will determine.
This thought segways me into the myths about adding muscle. There are two general myths that I want to address.
First off let me tell you that I am not a fan of the concept of "body building"? Don't get me wrong. Exercise is good ALWAYS. If you are doing something to get more fit then I am all for it.
The problem lies in the culture that we have created in the fitness industry. Many people think erroneously that you need to isolate a muscle to make it grow and that is fitness. Along the same vein many think that getting the heart rate up will also lessen the gains from the isolation exercises.
This is only true of you are trying to add an unnatural amount of muscle to your body. This goes back to the how much is enough discussion. When you try to play tricks on your body and add muscle that shouldn't be there you are, in my professional opinion, headed down the wrong path.
Is muscle cool? Does muscle muscle look sexy? Absolutely! I would argue, however, that being lean and muscular can be done right without adding bulk that isn't supposed to be there.
This is my opinion and you can take it or leave it.
If you have read my other entries you know that I believe that it's fitness and health first. What happens in the mirror is a side effect. When you focus on the mirror is fitness and health a side effect? Not really. Without getting off topic too much let me just tell you that doing isolation exercises as your primary workout and avoiding high intensity cardiovascular situations isn't going to give you long term health and fitness.
It just won't.
The last thing that I want to talk about is the female muscle myth.
I promise I will do a specific entry on this at a later date. For now let me address it real quick.
Ladies have less testosterone so, genetically speaking, it is harder to gain muscle. More often than not a lady with a lot of muscle bulk isn't seen in a positive light. People aren't always attracted to that. It can be seen as "unladylike" or whatever.
The point is this: That is EXTREMELY rare and EXTREMELY hard to accomplish. You aren't going automatically get veins, talk in lower voice, lose your boobs, and need all new cloths to contain your muscle just because you did a set of bench press after your 60 minutes of cardio.
It's ridiculous. It's super hard to get lean and muscular like that. Most women add very little mass at all. Some do as time goes but but it is NEVER something to avoid. Believe me when I tell you, the overly bulked our ladies are and anomaly. This is not something to worry about.
Sadly the globo gym seems to be a place where men are pursuing more muscle and ladies and looking to burn fat. This is why you see the dudes hitting the free weights and the ladies doing endless cardio.
Neither plan works for long term health and fitness.
When you focus on basic health fitness and conditioning like I outlined above the results come. If adding muscle is one of the results that you want it will happen. Trust the process and it will love the results.
Click the link below if you want my comprehensive training on gaining more energy. Trust me when I tell you it's a great training and it will help you in all ways.