Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why you should be resistance training like your life depends on it.

Not long after turning 30, I noticed something peculiar happening to my body.   I noticed a subtle change.  I would feel my legs and could get a sense of what was happening beneath the surface. It was as if my inner thigh muscle was secretly & slowly being replaced by fat.  Worse yet, my legs remained relatively the same size.  So if I hadn't paid any attention, my muscle loss would have continued on.

At that point, I decided to get a gym membership. But instead of allotting all of my time to the treadmill and elliptical, I'd head upstairs and leverage the resistance machines.  Months later, the fat stores were diminished as muscle mass returned.  Clothes fit better, energy levels where up and, overall, I felt better about myself.
Then, I stumbled upon this image which clearly details what I thought was happening to me. It's a cross section of the thigh of two men in their 70s.  One lives a very active lifestyle. The other, sedentary.  From the outside, their legs appear to be around the same size. It's what's happening on the inside that's most alarming.  Notice how little muscle mass there is compared to the guy who works out consistently. The bone of the inactive person also appears smaller.  They say that resistance exercises can actually build bone mass.  This image seems to correlate with that.

Lean muscle is good for us in so many ways.  Our metabolism increases, along with our glucose metabolism which, in turn diminishes the risk of diabetes.  As we build muscle, our ability to burn fat rises.  Our energy levels skyrocket.  And let's face it, having good muscle tone is should be a life goal for each one of us.  But we don't do it simply to look amazing in our crop tops.  We do it because a 2010 study found that resistance training helped improved the cognitive performance (brain functioning) of seniors over the course of a year.  There are too many benefits to ignore. Your body looks better, your heart gets stronger and your brain functions better.  Just know that, with each day that passes in which we choose not to incorporate strength training our muscles atrophy.  Slowly fat will creep in to take its place.  No one wants that.

No one.

  1. You look great in the pictures! Keep up the good work!

  2. I'm so sorry if this posts twice...I'm never sure if the first ones go thru....

    Thank you for this! I'm a new mommy on a budget, and eventually to be back in school. I've been putting together a fitness plan to build muscle at home using free weights, bands, and plain old gravity/resistance. People don't realize that while cardio is a great integral element of being fit, STRENGTH is really where it's at, especially if you already manage calories by eating clean. Muscle is what keep weight off especially as we age! MUSCLE IS OUR BEST FRIEND because it burns extra fat!!

  3. Instagram has been EVERYTHING to me in terms of convincing myself that I should not only do much more resistance training, but go heavier with the weights. I've also made it just as much of a priority as I do cardio. The women on instagram like Michelle Lewin, Tanaashlee, Followthelita, Missjoie, etc. look so good with minimal clothing due to muscle.

    Muscle brings out the sexiest parts of a woman's body.

    My hurdle is feeling comfortable in the free weights section of my gym. Every woman over there seems to get hit on constantly or some guy's "schooling" her on proper form (no problem there), my point is though, they can't leave the women alone and it irks me. I know I'm selling myself short by not utilizing that part of the gym though :(. I have to just get over it.

    1. God bless you for this. I actually dont feel comfortable going to the free weights too. I have been asked mockingly "what are you doing" . Just recently I was working on my obliques ( doing the famous routine- with a pole across ur upper back anx the gp side to side) I random guy whom I had never seen before came interrupted me rudely even snatched the stuff from me. That i wasnt doing it right. I was so embarrassed and demoralised. If only they can mind their business

  4. I love that image of the thighs, it's so crazy how much your lifestyle affects you. I have a gym membership but live 30 miles away so I end up getting creative at home with bodyweight moves. Great post about the importance of strength training.