These are all things I have picked up over the years.
- Muscle is metabolically active. That means, if you have it, it burns more calories than fat. This is good because it means that you burn calories even when you are resting, hence, you can eat more.
- To create muscle, you need to lift heavy weights. Not piddly little things that you can do 100 repetitions of, as much as you can lift for 10-16 repetitions while still keeping the right form.
- More muscle is created by creating tiny tears in the muscle and then having them heal up. This grows the size of the muscle and hence you get bigger muscles. You need protein to help heal the tears otherwise you will ache!
- Muscle takes up less space – gram for gram than fat. So someone who weighs 80kgs of muscle can look very very different to someone who weighs 80kgs of very little muscle.
- Weight training is one of the best ways to build up your lung capacity.
- Learning to breathe correctly really makes a big different to how much you can lift. (I scoffed at this for years and had it proven to me over the last few weeks. )
- Huge muscles need a lot more testosterone than small ones to create. This is why women struggle to build huge muscles and even some men struggle. Your natural body shape and size really will determine how big you can get.
- You can’t spot reduce. You can however build up muscle in various places to a larger degree but if you don’t lose weight, then your muscle will be covered by a layer of fat.
- Weight training and dieting at the same time is the most effective way to lose weight.
- Typically with weight training alone, the fat loss is equal to the muscle gain, give or take a few pounds. Add in calorie restriction and some cardio training and you’ll be lean, strong AND fit in no time.
Some great resources and blogs
EXRX is a really great website – with videos and articles for beginners to advanced people.
The lovely Just A Girl – runs a friendly blog with loads of great tips. She’s been experimenting with a paleo diet at the moment and is having great results.
Women’s Health – the female version of the well written Mens Health.