As women we should stop being afraid to build muscle!
The reality is the goal is not to lose weight but to lose fat. One kilo of fat will look very different to one kilo of muscle. A far better gauge than the number on the scales is your dress size. If your clothes are feeling looser but the number on the scales remains the same (or goes up!) trust that you are heading in the right direction.
In a nutshell, the purpose of weight training is to break down muscle forcing it to rebuild stronger than before – the power of evolution! If you are lifting a weight that does not place enough load on the body, you will not stimulate growth of new muscle tissue and your body will see little to no change.
Before you say “but I don’t want to build muscle!” let me explain a few reasons why it’s a must if your goal is fat loss:
- Building muscle increases your BMR (basal metabolic rate) causing you to expend more calories throughout the day even when you are not exercising.
- Muscle is active body tissue. It consumes calories simply by existing. This means the calories you take in are more likely to fuel your muscles, which require a lot more energy than body fat.
- Muscle is smaller tissue than body fat and will likely reduce your size and body shape. For example, a 63kg female with 15% BF will look significantly different to a 63kg with 25% body fat.
To build muscle you must first stop lifting light weights. 15-20 reps on an isolated body part (think bicep curls using 2-3kg weights for example) is not going to get you results quickly.
You will see far quicker and better results working in the rep range of 8-10 reps x 4 sets on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, chin ups and bench press. These exercises are your big bang for buck lifts, meaning they use multiple muscles at one time – far more efficient and guaranteed to get your heart rate firing!
Yours in health,
Amy Needham / Clean Health Fitness Institute Coach
Clean Health Fitness Institute
Editor’s note: If you are a personal trainer wanting to learn how to maximize results with every day clientele, check out our CALENDAR OF EVENTS to find out when we are teaching our world leading courses on business, nutrition and training for fitness professionals in a city and country near you!