Our society loves beauty. The most beautiful bodies are lean, symmetrical and firm, or in one word - buff. So why do we see so many women starving themselves trying to be skinny? Lack of knowledge is the epidemic.
The problem is too much focus has been placed on dieting and doing cardio, and not enough importance placed on weight training. Most women don't understand that weight training is how they can shape their bodies, into the buff bodies they want.
All the experiences that I've gone through in my quest to be buff have culminated into a revelation: Muscle burns fat! I've known this scientific fact for years, but for some reason I didn't realize what it meant. It means the more muscle you have on your body the more fat your body burns.
So if you want to get rid of the fat on your body, lift weights and build strong active muscles that will eat the fat off your gut and butt! Remember, muscle burns fat!
- After puberty your essential muscle growth is over and your muscle starts to deteriorate.
- As you age you lose muscle. "If you don't use it, you lose it."
- The act of pregnancy further accelerates your muscle loss. The amount of protein your baby needs to develop requires the baby to steal protein (muscle) from you!
- Dieting and aerobic exercise without strength training causes muscle loss.
- Weight training re-builds your lost muscle.
- Women who weight train won't increase their muscle size much, just their muscle's density and strength. So forget the fear of "bulking up."
- MUSCLE BURNS FAT!!!!
Why Is Muscle So Important?
- It is the driving force behind your metabolism.
- Muscle is an active tissue that is constantly renewing itself therefore requiring energy (calories).
- The primary source of energy for muscle is fat.
- Muscle gives shape to your body.
- Muscle helps you perform optimally as a woman.
The more muscle you have on your body the more fat you burn and the more calories you burn. If you have a certain amount of muscle on your body you can eat a reasonable diet without gaining weight. This is called a good metabolism. A good metabolism doesn't happen by accident. I do admit genetics play a part in metabolism, but you'd be amazed how much metabolism can be affected by your life choices.
Keys To A Good Metabolism
- Weight training
- Nutritious eating
- Interval training
- An active lifestyle
- Consistency in all of the above
We are often programmed to think we have to weigh a certain amount to be happy. We say to ourselves, "If I could only weigh what I did in high school." You need to get rid of that scale mentality.
Who cares how much you weigh? The most athletic bodies are often considered overweight if you place them on the standard height/weight chart. Why? Because muscle is so dense that it weights much more than fat. Muscle also holds about 60% more water than fat tissue causing muscular people to weigh much more than their "skinny fat" counterparts.
Since muscle weighs more than fat, don't think that you have to be a certain weight. What you should be most concerned about is your muscle mass percentage and your body fat percentage. That is what it all comes down to, your body composition.
How much muscle and fat is on your body? Does it jiggle and wiggle? Or are you firm and tight? To be buff you need to have a high percentage of muscle and a lower amount of body fat. That way you can see those sexy muscles your fat is hiding.
Muscle in women deteriorates at almost every stage of life. This is why we must weight train! Weight training rebuilds your lost muscle and therefore rebuilds your metabolism. BuffMother!'s weight training philosophy is based on:
- The Basic Big three
The Basic Big Three
What do I mean by the big three? There are 3 larger main muscle groups of the body and my lifting program is centered around them. Metabolism will be affected most if these 3 muscle groups are emphasized since they comprise the majority of the muscle mass on our bodies. The basic big three are your legs, chest and back.
1 Legs (and butt)
Leg muscles are the biggest muscles of our body and in order to have a great metabolism you must not neglect lifting with these potential "fat furnaces." The vast majority of women don't realize how strong and powerful their legs can be without getting bulky.
I understand that most women have a fear of lifting with their legs because they often carry a higher amount of fat in their legs and therefore fear adding bulk to their lower half through strength training.
As women we don't have the levels of testosterone necessary to build big bulky muscles! So don't think that if you lift with your legs you will make them significantly bigger. Initially a small amount of muscle growth will occur and before you start to lose your fat on top and inside of this muscle, you may notice a slight size increase, but this is temporary.
You will soon notice how your legs gain new shape, firmness and a leaner appearance, all of which is caused by these muscles becoming more active and therefore burning more fat!
Let's talk about the area that all women are concerned about, your butt. It must be dealt with head on. Meaning you must make a huge concentrated effort to reshape the behind that inactivity and age has destroyed. Butts require squats and lunges! Lots of them and with weight.
These exercises are great auxiliary ones and are helpful initially and in complementary sense to a leg weight training program, but on their own they will not do much. Legs and butts are strong muscles so in order to change their looks we have to challenge them. This requires using heavier weights and intense contractions.
Most modes of cardio or aerobic exercise utilize the legs. These exercises do great in toning the muscles of the legs that are used during these aerobic sessions. However, they don't hit all the muscles of the legs and butt and for the most part they don't build them. Instead they are what we call catabolic.
This means they lead to the breakdown of these muscles. For instance look at a marathon runner. They look sickly. They are some of the most aerobically in shape people and they do a lot of working out with their legs, but there muscles are tiny and they have gross butts.
So let's take a lesson from this. Aerobic exercise is very important for health issues, for stress relief, for conditioning the muscles we have, but bad at building muscle! Strong, active leg and butt muscles burn fat!
2 The Chest
The looks of a woman's breast goes beyond the mammary tissue, it lies underneath in the pectoral muscles. Remember what I had said about pregnancy robbing our bodies of muscle. This means the muscle that once lifted our breast now is gone, and it too needs to be rebuilt.
If you want to give yourself a natural breast lift, build up your chest! It will not only help those saggy boobs, but also boost your metabolism! Strong, active chest muscles burn fat!
3 The Back
Most women are absolutely unaware of the huge potential fat burning muscles they have on their back. Our backs are full of muscles. There are tons of them holding our spine, ribs and shoulders in place.
These muscles are very important to our health. How often do we hear about back and neck pain? Unfortunately it is rampant. I truly believe that weak back muscles cause much of the pain. Lifting with your back requires proper form and extreme focus on the muscles you are working. Strong, active back muscles burn fat!
Muscles are very smart. If challenged to the limits of their capabilities they realize that they need to rebuild themselves even stronger. Then when faced with that same challenge they will be able to perform at a higher capacity. This is the key to understanding your weight training program.
You must find a way to challenge your muscles. Lifting the same weight every time you perform an exercise will maintain what muscle you have, but not change them. I don't know many people that like spending an hour in the gym to stay exactly the same.
We all crave to improve ourselves. So we must challenge our muscles by lifting weights that are challenging. There is nothing complicated about it. Just make sure you find yourself slightly challenged by your lifting program. Challenge yourself.
Change It Up
Change is good. Your muscles get used to the same thing over and over again. They get bored just like you do. Boredom causes your muscle to not respond just as it causes you to not want to do your boring workout. Don't be afraid to change:
- Try some new exercises
- Change the number of sets and reps of your exercises
- Increase or decrease your rest time between sets and workouts
- Change the order of your exercises
Just remember to keep the basic big three muscle groups as the foundation to your weight training program. Change will help you stay focused and your muscles will keep working hard to burn your fat!
Exactly what I take depends on how I feel and what I am trying to accomplish. There is a lot of money wasted on sports supplements that are ineffective, so do your research before purchasing anything.