Don't be afraid of muscle

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I have come close to being slapped by a couple of my female clients before!

Now I have your attention, it’s not for anything I did, it’s because I have been crazy enough to suggest they should build some muscle.

Why is it some women think if they put a heavy squat bar on their back they are going to have legs like Arnold the next morning? Working with female athletes over the years I have seen how hard it is for them to build any substantial muscle mass.

Some women think weights will turn them into one of those freaky female bodybuilders with the huge jaws and Adam’s apples, well unless you’re injecting growth hormone and more testosterone than found in your average men’s rugby team, it’s not going to happen.

Normally, training women tend to build fairly small, lean, defined and shapely muscle. And often once they build a little they start liking the look it gives their body.

Also, trained muscle is stronger for everyday activity because it is less likely to be injured than weak muscle. It learns to store more energy in the muscle to get through work. It fires quicker than untrained muscle, which helps in making you more coordinated in general movement. There are many, many benefits and one that everybody likes to hear is on the human body is the more lean muscle you have the faster your metabolic rate and the higher your metabolism. The faster and more constantly you burn calories!

Might seem unfair, but men naturally have more lean muscle mass than women, but with regular fitness training anyone can achieve a high metabolic rate for good weight management.
Strength training increases energy expenditure during a training session. The high intensity or anaerobic nature of strength training makes for a higher utilisation of carbohydrates during a training session. Then during the post-exercise recovery period, energy expenditure is elevated for a period ranging from two to 15 hours or even more.

These increased energy demands burn more calories, a large portion of which are from stored fat!
The addition of muscle mass causes more calories to be utilised even at rest. It’s comforting to know while one is exerting themselves through a high intensity workout, the hard work will result in an increase in metabolism that continues to burn fat long after the workout is over.
So feel free to swing at your trainer, just put a 20kg dumbbell in your hand first!

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