Muscle Makes You Lean Not Bulky

With no effort to preserve it, the muscle loss experienced with age is significant:

  • 25-50yrs old = 10% loss
  • 50-80yrs old = 40% loss

Among other things, this is why gaining and maintaining it should be prioritized in our pursuit of better health and performance.

Unfortunately, women tend to battle this recommendation the most (even though they’re the ones more at risk of osteoporosis). Which, other than an obsession with the scale, usually stems from the misconception that focusing on activities that build muscle will make them look like a man, or a bodybuilder.

lifting-weights-what-women-think-happen-what-really-happens-900x562

A statement that’s almost laughable when you realize:

Males have approximately 8 times the blood concentration, and 20 times the daily production of testosterone compared to a woman.

Or understand how difficult gaining and maintaining muscle actually is.  As evidenced by the failure of men across the globe to put on size, despite extremely intense weight-lifting efforts.

Realistically, if you have female friends and acquaintances that lift weights and look bulky, it’s because they don’t eat right – underconsuming protein, overconsuming carbohydrates, and thinking 200 calories of cookies is the same as 200 calories of an avocado.  With this study from 2010 (comparing 3 diets with varying amounts of protein) illustrating this perfectly:

  • Low Protein – 5% protein, 52% fat, 42% carbs
  • Normal Protein – 15% protein, 44% fat, & 42% carbs
  • High Protein – 25% protein, 33% fat, 41% carbs

Though all 3 groups gained 8lbs, the composition of the weight gain was quite different. And yes, the normal and high protein groups gained more, but nearly half of that was useful, healthy, and metabolically active muscle mass.

  • The low protein group gained least total weight, but along with an 8lb fat gain, lost 1.5lbs in muscle mass
  • The normal and high protein groups gained muscle mass, approximately 6lbs and 7.5lbs respectively

When looking at strictly body composition, the high protein group produced the most impressive outcome. Storing only 50% of the excess calories as fat, and storing the other 50% as lean muscle. While the low-protein group gained almost 90% fat!

muscle vs. fat

Moreover:

  • The low-protein group had a 2% decrease in Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), while the normal & high-protein groups had an 11% Increase in RMR.

Meaning while sedentary (inactive), the low-protein group will burn less energy per day, and have a higher probability of gaining in the future. Compared to the well-muscled groups that will continue to burn more with no additional effort.

In other words, avoiding animal protein and weight-training for fear of putting on muscle is simply increasing the likelihood that you’ll put on fat. And by following a nutrition and training regimen that results in muscle loss, you’re accelerating the aging process and the potential degenerative conditions that come with it.

People that focus on muscle building and maintenance always look better than those that worry about cutting weight. Not only because a toned muscular build and shape is more aesthetically pleasing, but because muscle increases the rate at which we burn fat.

But more importantly, those that eat and train to build muscle, while cutting out all the breads, pastas, and cardboard carbage (cereal) can experience all this extra burning WITHOUT putting on fat.

lean-couple-feed-the-muscle-starve the fat

They’re effectively deciding to ‘Feed the Muscle‘ (by prioritizing animal protein), and ‘Starve the Fat‘ (by avoiding starchy carbohydrates), and their body composition reflects that.

Stay Lean!

Coach Mike


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