Muscle Out Extra Fat By Weight Training
By Ellington Darden, Ph.D.
What use are bulging muscles in the society of the micro chip?
The machines made by man can’t replace the machine that is man.
Muscles are the engine of the body; they perform work. Arthur Jones, the inventor of Nautilus strength-training machines, told us so more than three decades ago. And it’s true.
Muscles are where energy is released, power is produced, and where movement originates. Because the condition of our engine has a lot to do with the way we look, feel, and function, strong muscles are very advantageous.
As the engines of the body, our muscles burn fuel or calories. It’s estimated that each pound of muscle burns approximately 37 calories for sustenance at rest (basal metabolism).
If you’re not putting forth serious effort in the weight room a couple of times per week, you’re forfeiting about one-half pound of muscle per year. That’s how much will atrophy. This lowers your metabolic rate. If there is no corresponding reduction in caloric intake, the result is a gain of body fat.
Excess fat is unhealthy – and, to most people, unappealing.
The body’s shape is determined by bone structure and muscle-to-fat ratio. More muscle and less fat improve most people’s physiques. Muscle adds shape and firmness to the body.
Strength training is the only exercise that simultaneously increases muscle and decreases fat.
If you think you have to burn body fat aerobically, you’re wrong. The immediate energy source is irrelevant. You’ll breakdown fat stores in your body to replace muscle glycogen that was burned during anaerobic exercise (strength training). Increased muscle will need more fuel from fat stores.
In addition to being the engine of the body, muscle is also the shock absorber. Strength enhances the integrity of the joints, guarding against painful tears in the connective tissues of the knees, neck, shoulders, elbows, ankles, and – above all – the lower back.
More and more elements of our society are awakening to strength training’s benefits: improved physical capacity, increased metabolic rate, reduced risk of injury, and enhanced physical appearance.
Make sure you understand and apply what’s involved.