Importance of Building Muscle

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Don’t think building muscle is that important?  Well, listen to this; did you know that the typical person will lose up to 30% of their muscle strength between the ages of 50-70?  Maintaining muscle strength at an older age is extremely important to not only maintain mobility, but to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Building muscle has many health benefits, and I am going to breakdown a few important issues that will help you understand why.

• First off, muscle is much leaner than fat (obviously right?).  A pound of fat is generally the size of 2 fists side by side, whereas a pound of muscle is the size of 1 fist.  Building muscle will in turn, make you leaner and help shape your appearance.

• Like I mentioned above, lifting weights and building muscle will help shape your appearance.  You see, when people diet to drop weight and do not incorporate resistance training, they are limiting their potential.  Not only will lifting weights build new muscle, it will also add some definition to your body.

• Strength training has benefits that go beyond the appearance of toned muscles.  Building muscle will help your balance and coordination, as well as your posture.  If you are one that suffers from poor flexibility, strength training will greatly reduce your risk of falling, a crucial benefit as you age.

• Want to kick up your metabolism, lift weights!  Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. This is why metabolism slows down with age-related muscle loss. Building and maintaining muscle by lifting weights is the most effective strategy for maintaining muscle, and speeding up your metabolism. Not only does lifting weights burn calories, each weight training session elevates your metabolism. An intensive weight lifting session can raise your calorie-burning rate for hours.

• Women – This one is specifically for you - When you have a high percentage of body fat, that body fat is stored not only in the tissues that are obvious, such as your hips and your midsection, your arms and legs and so on, it's also stored intramuscularly, which means it's stored within the muscles of your body. It's sort of like the marbling of beef from a cow. If you slice a muscle from a cow, there's some fat inside the muscle, which is the same kind of fat that's in our muscles when we have a high percentage of body fat.

That fat takes up a lot of space in the muscle, so it actually makes the muscle look bigger, because there's fat inside. When you start losing body fat, even if you're engaged in strength training, that intramuscular fat will begin to vanish. So even if your muscle mass begins to grow, which again, is very difficult for women to accomplish, your overall muscle size is probably going to be smaller when you're at a lower percentage of body fat. The net change in your muscle size is going to be almost nothing, unless you really start to do strength training on a regular basis for a period of a year or two, and then you might actually begin to put on a little bit more muscle.


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