Wright: What muscular strength training can do
The Fitness Trail
Almost daily clients will ask me if they regularly perform muscular strength training programs will the loose skin or “flab” tighten up and highlight muscular definition at the specific muscle site. Of course, the answer is no. It is physiologically not possible for skin, fat or “flab” to be converted to muscle. Fat is fat and muscle is muscle. As the fat diminishes through performance of well-designed, comprehensive exercise programs and a sound nutritional program is consistently adhered to, the muscle which has been developed through that same exercise program and grown due to properly inputted high quality protein, may begin to become more prominent and visible.
The second component of visibly noticing muscular definition is that in many cases it is genetically pre-determined to what extent you may be able to build muscle mass, strengthen musculature and to “see” the muscular “cut” throughout the body. Additionally, you may be very strong physically, possess a favorable body composition for your gender and age, and find that the muscular definition of your shoulders is excellent; however, your abdominal region, while strong and fit, does not display significant definition.
Your body is completely unique and it is simply counterproductive to spend time and money attempting to achieve what may not be achievable in terms of definition and symmetry. So, setting realistic goals and objectives for your body type, considering the time and economic investment that you have at your disposal, and making certain that the muscular strength training program you are performing is designed by a certified, qualified fitness professional, who understands your body, its beauty and its limitations, is the key to approaching a strong, healthy and lean body.
Once you have identified your specific fitness goals, then set about achieving those without comparing yourself to others. Understand that the skin on the body may begin to be impacted by gravitational pull and other environmental factors such as exposure to the sun. You may slow the progression of these elements by paying attention to the basics including limiting your sun exposure, wearing high SPF sunscreen products, keeping your body in a physically fit state throughout your life so that the skin is not continually being overstretched and inputting high quality protein, timed well post muscular strength workout to keep the muscle growing and repairing.
Hormonally, our bodies change as we age. Women possess less estrogen and progesterone and men less testosterone and this directs the body in many ways, not the least of which, to where the fat will be deposited and how much muscle mass we can build. Does this mean we should give up? bsolutely not! The major benefit to managing a healthy lifestyle is the quality of life. Perhaps we may add years to our lives, but it is the quality of those years that ultimately matters. Consequently, perform your muscular strength training programs consistently and experience all of the positive outcomes available to you as a result.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado.
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