Wondering how important building muscle is?
MOVE IT / LOSE IT
When my client Dave was around 60 years old, his doctor gave him a grim prognosis. His blood pressure and diabetes were getting worse. His weight was increasing, as were his feelings of hopelessness. At 262 pounds, he wondered if he would ever be healthy again.
Five years later, at age 65, Dave weighed 152 pounds. He rode his bike between 20-30 miles a day, then hopped on the elliptical for an hour and finally, lifted weights with me 3x a week. Against the odds, Dave reversed both his diabetes & high blood pressure diagnosis. Even with his arthritis & numerous past-injury related limitations, he learned how to do a full-depth squat, bench press & deadlift that rival younger lifters.
At age 65, he was training for his first powerlifting competition. Tragically, 7 days ago, Dave was hit by a car. His injuries, though severe, would have been much worse had he not been in shape. His muscles, now dense and strong, protected him from shattered bones, broken hips and whiplash. He’s already asking for exercises he can do in bed, and I expect he’ll be back in the gym slugging weights around in a few short weeks.
Building Muscle Melts Fat
When you exercise correctly & intentionally, you build muscle first by tearing it down. Your muscles then go from being sedentary to being high maintenance. Instantly your muscles will require recovery via blood circulation – which delivers the nutrients they need to rebuild.
More oxygen inspiration / exhalation = more circulation.
More circulation = more calories burned.
After a weight training session, you are still melting calories for at least a couple of hours. You’re building muscle at that point, which burns a heck of a lot more calories than body fat. Muscle, especially working muscle, burns 5x more calories per day than fat. I’ll write more next time. Hope to see you in the gym!
Vicki is a strength trainer at Flex Gym in Colorado Springs. Visit her at victoryfitnessteam.com.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program, or a healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience pain or difficulty with exercise, stop and consult your healthcare provider. This article is not meant to take the place of any treatment your physician has deemed necessary.