Regardless of whether you seek to gain or lose weight, you should always try to develop maximum strength. This will have you looking, feeling, and performing your best. Strive to add resistance to all of your exercises with each workout, no matter how challenging this goal feels. How much food you eat will then almost entirely determine if you get lighter or heavier.
Those experienced in fitness, or even just those who have given real thought to the issue, may find any doubt in this concept baffling. A principle of physics known even to the general public, the law of conservation of energy, states that the total amount of energy remains constant in an isolated system. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it just changes form. Why would your body exist as the only exception to this rule?
Whatever number of calories you consume, combined with your physical activity, will determine how much you weigh. Exercise fails to help here as much as many would wish though, despite having other more important benefits.
Lifting threatens survival so that your body wants to build or at least maintain muscle. Lifting itself does not make you larger. If anything, it shifts you a bit toward weight loss since you burn calories.
Many people that lose weight without strength training will look, in the best case, like a smaller version of the same person that has them dissatisfied in the first place. Done correctly, this process should instead reveal a better physique. Someone that hopes to avoid becoming too big, leading them to stop lifting, makes a tremendous mistake.
Consider these observations explaining why you should always maximize strength.
Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.
– Henry Ford
- A stronger person, for their same weight, will always be leaner.
Someone with great relative strength for their weight will tend to be very lean. Relative strength is how strong you are compared with your bodyweight.
View the types of athletes that require this trait. Gymnasts, sprinters, and others in power sports all look impressive. They can run faster, jump higher, and accomplish other similar feats better than someone with more absolute strength.
This is not an easy goal to achieve though. Genetics certainly plays a part. It does demonstrate though the results of having great strength yet without too much size.
- Lifting stimulates appetite.
This occurs perhaps due to the body’s need to recover. Many people then falsely associate their growth with lifting instead of noticing how much more they ate. This shows that correlation does not equal causation.
Your body can slow down its metabolism slightly as you drop calories. It cannot defeat a sustained reduction though. You may face hurdles due to hormonal changes pressuring you to eat more, but you always have a choice.
If hoping to lose weight well, so as to hold onto muscle and burn fat, you will want to get your calories just right. This will require measuring your bodyweight and food intake. Usually you should not deviate too far toward weight gain or weight loss by more than 500 calories.
- Weight gain or weight loss occurs no matter what, though the ratio of lean tissue to fat can change.
Consider that you build a small amount of muscle when you gain weight even without exercise. Lifting can only change the proportion to favor lean tissue over fat.
Imagine that you eat enough calories to gain 5 pounds over a couple months and lift weights. During this time, you receive a 4 pound slab of meat to place anywhere as muscle on your body. You may then have to accept a pound of pudding distributed as fat throughout your whole body. This is acceptable as have gained much more muscle than fat.
Now, in the same scenario, without lifting weights, you still gain about 5 pounds. Now though, you have 4 pounds of pudding placed all over your body and only a pound of muscle distributed in much the same way.
The same logic applies when eating less to lose 5 pounds. With exercise, you may even lose 6 pounds of fat and gain a pound of muscle. Without exercise though, you could drop 3 pounds of muscle and a mere 2 pounds of fat.
The 5 pound difference, either toward weight gain or weight loss, is inevitable. Your behavior, lifting weights or not, will change only the ratio. This example should make it clear then that lifting is good in all circumstances. Though the figures used are arbitrary, the idea holds up in reality.
As you lose weight, you likely will lose muscle too. You should still try with all of your might to maintain progress. When gaining weight, you will have more potential to build muscle size and strength. It seems to happen this way due to how our hormones work.
- Almost everyone cannot attain a world-class physique.
A lot of people can build a healthy-looking and muscular body that would astound the majority. For the highest levels of bodybuilding though, you need to have an innate potential that most do not have. Though hard for some to accept, you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Many older men and women fear looking like a bodybuilder that they perceive as freakish by lifting weights. They fail to understand that for them this level of development is almost surely an impossibility. Those in fitness that overhear such a comment often cannot help but laugh or feel frustrated. If only it was that easy! This website itself has grown a following precisely because this goal is so difficult to achieve. Many with that mindset will always look and feel far below average anyway, since they justify not pushing themselves.
No one just so happens to reach a top bodybuilder’s physique. Champions possess countless advantages through both nature and nurture above the typical person. Without performance-enhancing drugs as well, building above-average muscle is tough. If truly lean, most male natural bodybuilders have no more than 180 lb. of lean mass, with this approaching the upper limit.
Beyond aesthetics though, you will improve your health with more muscle and less fat. You gain a modest boost in your basal metabolic rate, so you burn more calories even at rest. It provides unique health benefits unobtainable through aerobic exercise alone.
Always Maximize Strength to Look Your Best
A disbelief in this shows the folly of conventional wisdom. It goes beyond just lacking in fitness knowledge though. Someone thinking logically, even with little or no relevant background, should reach the same conclusion presented here. Having such a perception may reveal a poor overall way of thinking.
To make important decisions, you should research widely, consult others, and then put things into practice. Make a final judgment based on your own experience. Watch for misattribution, trying to isolate variables that you test as well as possible.
Good nutrition is needed for progress. A good strategy involves alternating between cycles of gradual weight gain and weight loss. This preserves muscle, which develops more slowly than fat. Use a sensible lifting routine that allows for progress and safety at all times.
Always maximize strength to look your best.