Posted by UzeIt Fitness on 06/13/2019

I don't want big muscles, I'm not lifting weights!

I don't want big muscles, I'm not lifting weights!

‘I don’t want big muscles so I’m not doing weights!’, ‘I want to lose weight therefore I’m only doing cardio’.

These are two very common statements that I hear all the time when interviewing new members or asking current members who only ‘do’ cardio to do a makeup session and the only one of the timetable that they can get to is a toneup (resistance) session.

Although we are all built differently and some people are genetically more muscular than others & will develop muscle more easily, unless you are pushing heavy weights 5 days a week you are not going to build big muscles and look like Arnold Swartzenegger.

Resistance training on a regular basis, accompanied by a sensible nutrition plan, will result in various systems of the body changing in positive ways. Muscles become stronger and better toned and show less fatigue with subsequent training sessions. The brain learns to recruit specific muscles and muscle fibres to assume the various loads, which means that you can lift heavier loads.

Many people consider aerobic exercise as their first option when trying to reduce body fat, however, a combination of resistance training and aerobic training is the best option. This combination will burn calories and maintain or build muscle mass, which encourages an improvement in the fat to muscle ratio. Continuous aerobic activity burns the most calories which is why those who wish to lose weight tend to gravitate towards this type of exercise. Resistance training sessions do not typically expend as many calories however they do maintain or increase muscle mass, and this is important as adding more muscle means more calories are burned.

Resistance training is also important as we age, from our 30s we begin to lose muscle mass and function. Those who are physically inactive will lose around 3% to 5% for each decade over 30, and even those who are physically active will still have some muscle loss. As muscle is heavier than fat as you age you may find that the number on the scales gets less however if tested by other means you will probably have a higher body fat percentage than when you were younger.

Australian Health Guidelines now recommend two resistance sessions per week for all ages. Resistance training is particularly important as we age as muscle mass and function is vital for having functional independence. Research has shown that resistance training twice a week can prevent and decrease muscle deterioration, in some cases reverse the effects.

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