About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Muscle Up!

Working with your body to create muscle is an important part of staying fit and healthy.  Muscle helps us to stay young, strong, and vital.  There are many myths about having muscle that I would like to address.  First off, creating large muscle takes a lot of work, focus, and effort on ones part.  You will not build big muscle by lifting weights a few days a week, unless you are a genetic freak!

Throughout my thirty years of teaching fitness, I have heard hundreds of times from women, "I don't want to have big muscles."  Unless you are going to devote your life to "body building", trust me, you will not get that big.  It takes commitment to proper nutrition, daily workouts, and getting enough sleep to even get close to building big muscles.  Some people have certain areas of their bodies that have the propensity to grow faster and bigger, but for the most part it takes quite a bit of effort to build big muscle.  Body builders spend much of their day devoted to building muscle, whether it is in their training, their diet, or their sleep.

Another thing that I have heard over and over is, "When I stop working out, will my muscle turn into fat?"  No it won't.  Muscle is muscle, fat is fat.  They do not turn into each other.  What does happen when you stop working out after you have built muscle, is your muscle will atrophy and you will probably gain more fat from not working out.  It is simple and logical.  Working out creates muscle and keeps you lean, not working out will cause you to lose muscle and gain fat.

What muscle does do for you is all positive.  When you develop muscle in your body you will speed up your metabolism, build bone density, reverse your aging process, burn more calories at rest, tone and define your body, become stronger, and feel better all around.  Having muscle is a win win no matter how you look at it.

I have spoken before about the "Blue Zones" in our world.  These are areas in the world where people live into their hundreds without disease and medications.  They are active up until the day they die.  One of the things that the Blue Zone people have in common is that they build muscle throughout their lives on a consistent bases.  It might be by doing gardening, or other household chores, but they are always active in some kind of way that builds muscle.

Creating muscle can be done with free weight, weight machines, resistance training, palates, push ups, pull ups, lunges, squats, and ball exercises.  Many cardiovascular exercises help develop muscle for certain parts of the body such as running and biking for the butt and legs, and rowing for the upper body. 

It is important to understand that the body needs protein to create muscle.  Protein is the main nutrient that helps the body build and strengthen muscle.  Without proper amounts of protein, it is difficult to create or keep muscle on your body.  Most women need a minimum of 50 grams a day, and men need at least 65 grams for optimum health.

Your posture and balance is improved with muscle.  Your body's appearance is better with muscle.  You will live longer and healthier with muscle.  Muscle is key to having a lean and healthy body.  What's not to like?

When you are creating your fitness program, make sure you include muscle building activities to insure a balanced regime.  If you are lifting weights, a minimum of three days a week is recommended.  Make sure you know proper form when doing weight training to avoid injury.  There are classes and of course trainers to help you with this process.  Proper form is a must when weight training.

So don't forget your "Muscle Building" activities in your workouts.  It is an important part of being healthy and fit.  You will look fantastic as well, which is always a good thing!

Till Monday,

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