Saturday, 30 August 2014

Muscle size- in realation to fat

Welcome to 5.14 Fitness,

Okay guys, today I will be writing about a subject on which there is much confusion and a topic in which I have been asked a tone of questions on.

So does having big arms mean you will be stronger with someone who also works out just with smaller arms?

Here is the little introduction behind this post, so today I have been hanging out at my buddies gym and we were talking about size and the best way to get etc... My mate is a top rugby player; he plays all most everyday and goes to the gym at least once a week and he has huge arms! Despite this I (who am significantly smaller- muscle wise) am able to lift more, do more chin-ups, press ups and so forth.

How? Well chin-ups and press ups do depend on how much you weight (but his weight to rep ratio is still lower than mine), well to cut a long story short: size does not always equal a greater strength and performance.

This is probably due to the density of our muscle fibres; my mate is a rugby player, therefore he has adapted his body to play rugby.
  • He needs to get bigger (muscles) to increase his centre of gravity so he does not get pushed over so easily, he plays rugby almost everyday at a constant high intensity 
  • He needs to gain weight so he gain more momentum, he eats more to gain more weight 
  • He needs to get stronger so he can compete more on the field; he lifts heavy but quite inconsistently to achieve this
However, he thinks as he is playing rugby- a sport than uses a lot of your body- he can burn so many calories it does not matter what he eats. More calories equal more energy?  This is true but when he is eating rubbish and not exercising what do you think happens to all that food. It turns to fat!

So to review my mate:
  •  He exercises at a high intensity every day
  • He eats a lot (and most of it is shit)
  • He lifts heavy when he can be bothered to workout
The result he gaining size very quickly and looking pretty good, but he is not as strong as someone who eats clean, works out consistently, does high reps of reasonably light weight and also takes time to rest. This is because  he is working hard, destroying and rebuilding muscle fibres so much that his body cannot keep up as he does not take as much time to rest. Consequently his body needs fixing and quickly, so it simply finds something that it can use to increase the weight of his muscles, what is an easy source to manipulate that can be found in the body? I know what about all the fat from the shit his been eating! So what has happened is fat cells have developed between the muscle fibres in his arms, making them look bigger and making them harder to break down. So the muscle in his arm essentially consists of some muscle supported by fat!

This is fine for when he is playing rugby and it is helping his game- it is a problem most players of the sport suffer from and one that I am conscious to avoid-, but what happens when he stops playing rugby or he gets injured and is out for a while? Well his muscles will no longer be needed ( as he is not exercising ) so his body will break them down and as he is eating unhealthily he just add more fat to his arms. So he will have lost muscle and got fat, this will make it hard for when he starts exercising again as he is now totally out of shape and is sent back to square one- all his hard work... lost!

How do you avoid this scenario? Well I would recommend eating clean and if you need calories try foods such as nuts and cereal which contain a lot of energy. When lifting only use light weights, I am 14 and I only lift 5kg dumbbells; this is partly as lighting too heavy can stump your growth or lead to accidents, so stick to something light, yeah I know it takes longer to reach your goals, but that way you will have pure muscle fibres! Another tip is too not only exercise regularly (football, running, rugby, whatever) but to workout (work specific muscle groups, e.g. sit ups, press-ups, squats) consistently. My final piece of advance is to get a lot of rest in there as well, this is when your body actually changes, and by rest I don't mean days on the x-box, I am talking about sleep; aim for the minimum of 8 hours a day (or should I say night?)! If you stick to these tips you will not only get great results you will also minimise the risk of any problems that could occur.

Thanks for reading, please check out the blog again soon; if you have any ideas/comments/questions feel free to contact me all your opinions are valid and are respected greatly; remember to plus one everything, share the blog with friends, follow, eat clean and work hard- peace!



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