Published on April 29, 2021
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“I’m not losing weight because I’m building muscle”
. . . says the overweight or obese client who only recently started working out at the gym!
Here’s the reality, folks:
Building muscle takes much longer than most people realize. It’s a slow — almost excruciatingly slow — process.
While there are several factors that affect one’s ability to build muscle mass, two key strength training concepts play an integral role: frequency and volume. Frequency refers to how often you train a muscle or muscle group, while volume refers to the total load you stress a muscle with.
Building muscle involves the repair of micro-traumas in your muscle fibers. Here’s a breakdown of this extremely complex process:
The above is a very, very simplified version of what actually happens in your body after a weight training workout. In reality, the process includes more than just your muscles; your nervous system, circulatory system and endocrine system all contribute to muscle repair and growth.
Generally, it’s pretty easy to tell if you’re gaining muscle. When you gain muscle, you’ll notice they’ll look more defined and are more visible. They’d also be larger in size or feel “harder.”
Gaining muscle is a lot harder and requires a lot more work than the average Joe and Jane puts into it and who uses it as an excuse as to why they aren’t seeing weight loss on the scale. You have to progressively overload your muscles by lifting weights and continually challenging yourself over time.