Weight loss support with a spiritual element. I will keep you posted on my journey in the hopes that you will join me in becoming the person God wants you to be. Don't worry about being religious. Come as you are.

Monday, January 27, 2014

From Norma

You are spot on, Myra.  No one -- man or woman, of any age, on any routine, will build muscle at the same rate they lose fat.  One weird thing I've noticed about muscle mass --for myself, anyway -- is that once you've built some, it is relatively easy to maintain.  I say this because I stopped working out with my trainer just about a year ago and stopped following a heavy lifting schedule because once I started my job, I couldn't get to the gym in the mornings, and I need to exercise in the A.M. as opposed to evenings to do  my best.  So for the past 12 months, I've been lifting, still, but not nearly as often, not nearly as much weight due to only using at-home  equipment, and not following any sort of plan like I used to.  Yet in that time, I have retained virtually the same body composition (I did have my trainer do a caliper body fat measurement and I'm still 16.7 % -- was 16.4% a year ago) and I'm the same weight (144-146 lbs depending on the day, and I weigh at least 4-5x/week) and I don't feel I've lost any measurable strength or stamina. So the old "use it or lose it" motto is somewhat true but for me personally it seems I can maintain my level of fitness even with a different, less strenuous exercise regimen.

Norma is still following my blog and "coaching and encouraging" me. This was her email today after reading my post that said that we lose fat a lot faster than we gain muscle.  I am glad to be able to look forward to an easier time maintaining my muscle mass once I achieve it. It's news we all can use.


  1. Awwww, thanks, Myra. Of *course* I'm still reading. ;)

    What I didn't say in my email because you already know it is that I do still work out pretty much daily -- maybe one or two rest days per month. But at present I do not follow a structured weight-lifting routine as I did 2010-2012. Most of my workouts are a combination of intervals, steady-state cardio (elliptical, jumping rope, running), and strength training using both free weights and body-weight exercises.

    I do circuits of my own invention or from Oxygen Magazine, The Angry Trainer, or a few other youtube channels I follow, and I rely heavily on my old favorites: push-ups, dumbbell bench presses, martial arts workouts, Tabatas, etc.

    My point was to echo your previous post which is to say that building measurable muscle (particularly for women, and especially for a woman over 25 or so) is a project that takes pretty extreme time and effort; i.e., a very strict and carefully planned diet and a rigorous, regular schedule of structured weight lifting. This is not to say that a woman of any age will not be able to see and feel improved muscle tone and performance in her own physique in a short time with an improved diet and regular exercise, but to credit weight gain to muscle-building is generally erroneous: It's generally believed that a male can build 7-10 lbs of muscle in a year's time with dedication to a clean diet and a challenging, deliberate workout program; and that a woman can build 3-5 lbs in the same amount of time following a diet/training program.

    A gain of two pounds in a week's time is not muscle; it's a normal variance, water weight, or, possibly (oh yes) a fat gain if the diet has been off and the exercise has been lax.

    Still spewing the truth and ready for the onslaught...

    Yours Truly ;)

    1. I remember when I was still teaching if I would be fussing at one student or reading someone the riot act or reasoning with someone it wasn't the one I was angry with that got much from it but the others who were listening. There are many people who read blogs and never comment and many of those probably learn the most. There are people suffering in silence and I always feel like they are so beaten down they don't want to put themselves out there for fear of scrutiny - it would be too painful to fail again in front of everybody. There are many who participate and are willing to learn and take constructive criticism and those are the fun ones we truly become friends with. Those of us who are passionate about this get into it every now and then with those who take issue with being blunt. That's just the way it is.

    2. It's a really common thing to see in weight loss blogs that people believe weight gain over a week or two is due to muscle gain ... It's a strange fallacy that I see over and over. I think that sudden weight gain when starting a new strength routine could be due to
      Inflammation due to minute muscle tearing AND the fact that many people tend to subconsciously eat more when working out hard (higher hunger as well as feelings of having earned the food)

    3. I think the muscle inflammation may be the reason for my unexplained weight gain this week. I know it's not a gain in muscle mass. I have experienced the "I deserve it" syndrome as well but am over that to a great extent. Be careful out there today.

    4. Hi Norma, That's so thoughtful that you do that!!! I have been thinking about you lately and hope that you and your two lovely daughters are very happy and having lots of fun excursions. I still think you should blog again, since your fitness voice is unique. :D

    5. Hi Myra, Well, you couldn't do any better than to have Norma in your corner of the ring. :D

    6. Agreed. I always liked her matter of fact way of communicating. She was very supportive of those who struggled but didn't play games. She could recognize BS a mile away however and wasn't shy about calling it out. Hope you are well.