Personal Fat Loss Certification, Day 6

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Myths And Facts About Muscle

Welcome to Day 6 of your 7-Day Personal Fat Loss Certification Course! Today we’ll cover some of the popular myths about muscle. Believe me, there are plenty floating about, many of which has discouraged people from wanting to engage in resistance training. We will expose and expel these fears today.

We will also cover some of the science behind why resistance training and muscle is absolutely crucial to your life-long pursuit of a leaner, healthier body.

Muscle Myths

Myth: “Resistance training for muscle is for guys”.

FACT: Resistance training is by far the most important form of exercise that anyone can do at any age to improve their health and their physique. The old notion of becoming “muscle-bound” by training with weights or resistance is for the most part an old fairy tale that needs to be buried along with the Easter Bunny and Bigfoot.

Muscle burns more calories at rest than any other tissue in the body. Therefore the more you carry, the more calories you burn. But this does not need to be a substantial amount of muscle to get the job done. In other words you do not have to become a “bodybuilder” to reap the rewards. Just ten pounds of muscle can help you burn up to 500 additional calories per day doing the same exact amount of work. At rest, these 10 pounds burn anywhere from 150 to 250 calories… that’s just sitting around watching television. However, in motion this added muscle cranks up thermogenesis and fat-burning to a whole new level.

Muscle is also the only tissue responsible for one thing we all want: better shape to our bodies.

Take a look at the pictures below…

Maxine vs Angelina

The woman on the left is the beautiful Angelina Jolie. To say she has superb genetics is an understatement. And no one is saying it is “bad” to want to look like her.

But look at the woman on the right. This is Maxine Johnson, one of my Role Models in my book Fit Over 40. Maxine’s physique is far superior in many ways. She’s carrying a good 20 pounds more muscle and (believe it or not) 10-15 pounds less bodyfat. Look at the arms: Angelina’s arms are soft and without tone or definition. Maxine’s arms are toned; not overly large, but well-developed. Her abs are incredibly superior — defined and leaner. And trust me — the rest of her is just as incredible.

But folks… Maxine is thirty years older than Angelina in these pictures. And she is a mother (a natural mother) of three. The difference in her body and Angelina’s, other than thirty years and three kiddos, is about 15-20 pounds of lean muscle and about 10-15 pounds less fat. She probably weighs about 15 pounds more, but really… does it matter? She’s still a size 2 and looks like an absolute BOMB at 55.

Fit Over 40

Are you beginning to see the power of resistance training when it comes to defying age? I will promise you this: At 55, Angelina will look nothing like Maxine unless she takes up resistance training. And that has more to do with just looks. Weight training in women bone density. The leading cause of ostereoporosis is not calcium depletion — it’s a weakening of bone density. Calcium plays a role in this of course, but if you think taking Tums with calcium (what a joke) or even your typical calcium supplement can have half the effect of resistance training, it’s time to think again. Training against resistance builds stronger bones and increases testosterone levels. Bone density is directly related to declining testosterone levels in men and women. Want to protect your spine and your posture as you age? Resistance train. Want to prevent bone loss and those frequent fractures that happen over the age of 60? Resistance train.

Bottom line: If anything, resistance training is more important for women than men!

Myth: “Weight training builds bulk. I’m afraid I’ll end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

FACT: YOU are in control as to how much or how little muscle you put on your frame. The magical muscle fairy is not going to visit you in your bedroom one night and presto — you wake up with 19 inch arms. If only it were so for those of us who want that kind of development.

I usually laugh when I hear this one, as I’ve busted my tail in the gym for a decades to build the moderate amount of muscle that I carry. How I wish it were so easy to just train and wake up looking like Arnold.

Men have about ten times the level of testosterone as women. Testosterone is the key muscle-building hormone. The women you may have seen with overly-developed muscles are either taking male hormones (very common in bodybuilding) or one of the very, very few genetically gifted individuals who have higher amounts of testosterone. Even then, they can stop any time they choose.

Muscle mass — the amount you want and where you want it — is utterly within your control.

And without muscle mass you will look “skinny” but never look “toned.” It simply will not happen.

Myth: “Muscle makes you inflexible.”

FACT: Hardly. The legendary bodybuilder Tom Platz, known for his freakishly-developed leg muscles (still considered today to be overkill, even by bodybuilders) could do the splits and touch his toes. I bet you cannot even do that. I know I cannot. Mass and flexibility have nothing to do with one another. The important thing to do is simply stretch, as covered in yesterday’s lesson. Do that and you’ll have no problems.

Myth: “You have to take steroids to build muscle.”

FACT: This is not only false, it’s absurd. This myth of “rampant steroid use” with anyone possessing so much as a 16-inch biceps (a bit larger than average for a male) is just plain silly. Besides myself, I know thousands of natural bodybuilders who have built far more impressive physiques than I using nothing but smart training, diet, and supplements. Tom Venuto is one such athlete. Tom doesn’t even take aspirin. Personally I think Tom would have far more gains if he DID include specific supplements. Most natural bodybuilders do take supplements, although most of them are junk. The good ones were covered in my previous day’s Course.

Here’s another fact: The majority of steroids are actually safer than aspirin. This is NOT an endorsement of steroids at all. In fact they can be deadly. But my point is simply this: The media has blown steroid use out of proportion to sell media time and newspapers. Our diets, our OTC drugs, and our stress levels are killing us much faster than the average steroid-user’s cycle. Let’s just keep things in perspective, shall we?

Again, to reiterate, I do NOT endorse steroid use. This is for many reasons: Practical, ethical, logistical, and safety reasons. Plus you simply do not need them. Proper diet, training, and supplementation will give 95% of you all the muscle you will ever need.

Myth: “Muscle is gross!”

FACT: We’ve already seen Maxine. If she’s ‘gross’ then I’m the Prince of Wales.

But what about the guys? When it comes to “bodybuilders”, as in competitive high-level bodybuilders, I could not agree more (same for female bodybuilders.) I think their physiques are grotesque for the most part. But again, this is an issue of time scale and desire. They trained longer, harder, and wanted more muscle. Plus almost all of them take steroids. It simply is not a concern for most of us real-world trainees.

Hugh JackmanLadies: Like Hugh Jackman? A lot of you do, as he was voted “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine in 2008. Hugh is an avid body-shaper. Just take a look at his pics for his X-Men movies. He plays the character “Wolverine”. Hugh is carrying about 25 pounds of added muscle to play the part and his body fat is below 10%. Oh… and he’s also 45 years old.

So much for “gross”, eh?

Myth: “Muscle workouts take too long.”

FACT: My bombshell book 7 Minute Muscle blew the lid off that theory. I have hundreds of clients putting on muscle in just 7 minute a day, 5 days a week. That’s 35 minutes a week folks. I bet you spend more time than that looking for a pencil you lost on your desk. The irony of that last statement is that it’s true: Over a year of your life will be spent looking for something you lost. That’s downright scary… and it’s a call to action to get your desk organized. Point being, time is NOT a factor when it comes to fitness any longer.

7 Minute Muscle created a way for people to get into shape in no less than two hours per week (that includes cardio) and into competition shape in about five hours per week. Again, this is far less than people spend watching television… a DAY.

Myth: “I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing and people are staring at me in the gym.”

FACT: The gym is one of the most self-centered places you will ever visit. Frankly, unless you’re someone who a gym member finds attractive (guy or girl) no one gives you a second glance in a gym. This is especially true for beginners.

Beginners in the gym are often viewed as heroes, not as people to scoff at. Personally I always compliment beginners when I see them and offer to help in any way I can… and I’ve seen this response from dozens of other advanced trainees. It’s a fun place where we go to work on our self — not to stare at other people (sexual stares aside… but that happens everywhere.)

Myth: “Muscle turns to fat when you stop working out.”

FACT: Muscle can no more turn to fat than I can turn into a tomato. In fact the latter is more probable.

Muscle and fat are biochemically different tissues. They do not “ever” change into one another, and that includes vice-versa: Fat does not, unfortunately, turn into muscle. You can add muscle and burn body fat and give the illusion that this is happening, but it is not. Likewise, if you stop training with resistance, your muscles will atrophy (shrink) and they will look softer than normal…but they will not be fat.

That said, what if this same attitude was taken with showering… or investing? “I better not start a savings plan because when I stop my accounts will stop earning money.” “I better not wash my hair because it will just get dirty tomorrow.”

Sounds silly, doesn’t it?

Myth: “I feel fatter when I train with resistance.”

FACT: You are not fatter. You are gaining muscle underneath the layer of fat that you still need to burn off. This is a valid point, however, and one that should be addressed. When you start resistance training, your body responds fairly quickly — much more so than it responds to average fat loss. (Radical Fat Loss is another story.) So, for a few weeks or months, you may feel as if you are gaining size in your thighs or in your arms. And you are… but eventually your fat loss kicks in and then your thighs and arms look completely different. They take on that sleek, toned look we all want.

I highly encourage you to get past this point of more rapid gains in muscle and slower fat loss for the first month or so in order that you can see the wonderful results afterwards.

Muscle Facts

We covered many facts about muscle above, so this section is dedicated to the science behind muscle and why it is absolutely vital for anyone who wants to change their body and keep weight off for life.

Muscle Fibers

We covered the three primary types of muscle fibers yesterday: Type 1, Type 2a and Type 2b. What we did not cover is how each of them function, and why resistance training is so important when it comes to muscle fiber composition.

Type 1 muscle fibers compose about 45% of the sedentary person’s muscle structure. This widely varies per individual, but the statistic is valid for the population as a whole. Most of the time Type 1 fibers use aerobic metabolism to produce ATP. They are composed of a highly developed mitochondrial reticulum (fancy talk for the dense network of interworking components in the energy-producing section of a cell) which helps make them resistant to fatigue. It is no wonder then that we see higher levels of Type 1 fibers in marathoners and endurance athletes.

Type 2a muscle fibers are where the action is when it comes to muscle size and shape. They are moderately resistant to fatigue, therefore respond very well to mid-range repetition and resistance training. This is why most muscle-building plans call for repetitions within the 5-15 range,as this is ideal for tapping the resources of the Type 2 fibers. What’s even more interesting is the larger amount of contractile proteins found in Type 2 muscle fibers. This means the muscle can contract at a much greater force.

If you will recall yesterday’s lesson, contraction is key to muscle development. It only makes sense why training with resistance in the 5-15 repetition range produces greater gains in muscle and does so at a faster rate. But there’s more to the story. Several recent studies have shed light on the possibility of fiber conversion — that is Type 1 fibers transforming into Type 2a fibers. Considering the make-up of the body (55% Type 2, 45% Type 1) it makes even that much more sense to train the entire body with resistance and increase these faster-contracting Type 2 fibers. They are the fibers associated with more shapely and larger muscle mass.

Type 2b muscle fibers are used in heavy strength training — in the 1-5 repetition range — and fatigue very quickly. Like Type 1 fibers, Type 2 fibers have been shown to “transform” into Type 2a, and 2a into 2b.

What this means is that you can literally transform the shape and look of your body through resistance training — but only through resistance training. Any other form of exercise does not have this level of dramatic impact on muscle fibers.

Anti-aging Properties of Muscle

I never thought my muscles were literally turning back the genetic clock. But this new research proves this is exactly what is going on when you exercise with resistance, according to a national study published on PlosOne.

The mitochondria is the energy factory of the human cell. As we age our muscles begin to show what researchers call “mitochondrial dysfunction”. This is what causes all the bad stuff associated with “sarcopenia.”

Sarcopenia is just the wasting away of muscle due to age and under-use. As we age most of us will experience a gradual loss of muscle.

The problem? Muscle is active tissue. It is responsible for most of the calories we use during the day. The less muscle you have, the more bodyfat you will gain if you eat the same amount of food.

Muscle loss is also related to the onset of many bone diseases. The muscle that holds our spine in alignment can deteriorate as we age and cause major back problems. The same is true for the muscle and tendons around the knee and hip joints.

Can you see why muscle loss is a major deal? Is it any wonder researchers wanted to see if there was something we could do about it?

Resistance training obviously builds muscle. And it does so at any age as we’ve already covered. But that is not the real find in this study. We have numerous studies that show you can gain lean muscle at any age. This study revealed something extraordinary: after just six months of resistance training test subjects showed a reversal of most of the genes affected by age in muscle tissue.

Wow. Age reversal at the cellular level. This is not hype or science fiction, this is science FACT — and the reason I am so adamant about you taking on resistance training.

With age and no resistance training, researchers found 596 genes expressing themselves with “aging”, or decreased mitochondrial function. But when subjects engaged in resistance training, in this case simple weight training, their strength increased by over 20%… and their genes literally reverted back to the same markers as younger genes after only six months of exercise.

This is staggering.

There were older and younger folks involved in this study. When the older folks in the study began, they were almost 60% weaker than the younger members of the study. In just six months, they were only 38% weaker.

I can tell you from personal experience that in a few more months they would be even stronger. In some cases their strength would surpass the younger test subjects. I am much stronger now than when I was 23, or 33, into my 40s.

Convinced?

Biochemistry-friendly Muscle

Want to add an arsenal of fat-burning weapons to your daily life? Add ten pounds of lean muscle to your frame.

Muscle…

  1. Increases free testosterone, making you feel younger and more energetic.

  2. Increases gH (growth hormone), helping you burn more body fat.

  3. Increases LPL (lipoprotein lipase), a fat-diverting and oxidizing hormone found in lean people.

  4. Increases thermogenesis and calorie-burning around the clock.

  5. Increases the amount of food you can eat without gaining fat.

  6. Muscle-building exercise produces positive changes in HDL, total cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and reduces the chances of contracting most of the top 5 killer diseases.

  7. Increases insulin sensitivity, making blood sugar control and insulin management far easier on the body

I could go on and on, but I think the point is clear:

Muscle rules.

Tomorrow we will conclude our 7-Day Personal Fat Loss Certification Course with perhaps the most vital lesson of them all.

It deals with a three-pound part of your body that, if exercised correctly, will absolutely ensure your success in fitness and in life.

: : THIS CONCLUDES DAY SIX   |   TAKE THE QUIZ BELOW TO PROCEED : :

Click Here Now To Take The Quiz For Day 6

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19 Responses to “Personal Fat Loss Certification, Day 6”

  1. Richard says:

    Hi Jon,

    My turn to chime in. I’m on the RFLB program and really appreciate this course to help better understand the strategy behind the supplements. You’re amazing! My question, I’ve heard of white muscle fibers (runners) and red muscle fibers (body builders) is this the same as type1 (white) and type 2a/2b (red)?

    Richard

  2. hoshi chinwalla says:

    the BEST of all the 6
    all r v v accurately worded n easy 2 adapt thanks
    warm regards = hoshi =

  3. Jose Sanchez says:

    Out of all of the courses, I like this ONE. Great info!

  4. Loren says:

    I am an older guy and I recently started working out again. I can say for sure this stuff is NO BULL. I have a better body now than I did at 21.

  5. Tanya T says:

    Thanks Jon, great info again.

    I was wondering what your thoughts are on gaining muscle while burning fat. Obviously it would be ideal to put on 10pounds of muscle while you are burning fat. Is this possible? I’ve heard it’s probably not.

    Thanks again.

  6. Pauline says:

    Hi Jon,

    Enjoying the course – currently taking NVQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor Course and as you can imagine there are a few sections where they teach you a more old school method but I tend to agree more with your advice (won’t be telling them at my assessment – need the certificate!) My question is about BMI if you build muscle which weighs heavier why should we be concerned about BMI being slightly over 25 – people without muscle mayve a lower BMI but have more fat and be less healthy?

    • Jon says:

      Hi Pauline,

      Yeah, I remember in school having to cringe and say, “Oh, the Food Pyramid is sooooo cooooollll.” Ugh. ; )

      BMI is worthless. BMI as you know cannot differentiate between fat and muscle, nor bone, sinew, etc. The only measurements that matter are body fat and height to waist ratio. Measure your waist. Multiply it by 2. If that number is greater than the measurement of your height, you’re 4 times more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and/or stroke. Period. BMI cannot make that claim. Body fat measurement is crucial as we know muscle is “healthy weight” — it’s the only number these fitness certification courses should even be concerned with. The problem is that the “masses” adopt to the BMI because they do not carry or have a desire to build more muscle and burn fat. On the BMI scale, many of my bodybuilder friends are “obese.” I’m close to it on the BMI. And none of the studies on BMI and health risk except ONE that I’ve read made a distinction between body fat and BMI. The one that did showed a ‘clear’ difference in the health stats — in fact those with higher BMIs but LOWER body fat levels decreased risk for all lifestyle disease.

  7. Pauline says:

    Hi

    I agree with you – I was responding to an article I read on your site ‘does being slightly overweight matter?’ which does discuss BMI and I just wondered what your take on this was. It’s quite tricky to measure body fat – I have some calipers but get different results all the time

  8. Emma says:

    Hi Jon,
    Thank you for your great info and your support. I read somewhere on your site, but can’t remember where, that you are coming out with a new 7 Minute Muscle for people like me who really need “at home” workouts. I am 24/7 caregiver for my homebound mom with Alzheimer’s and need this book! When is it coming out and how can I get one? Thanks again for everything…you are my hero!

    • Jon says:

      Thanks… ; ) Yes, this week (or next) 7 Minute Body comes out, which is the in-home version of 7 Minute Muscle. Anyone who owns 7 Minute Muscle PRIOR to the release gets the book at 50% off — and of course the principles are the same as 7MM so the videos and other bonuses for 7MM would be a nice added feature.

  9. Loraine Traverence says:

    I really enjoyed the first 6 days of the personal fat loss certification. How do I obtain Day 7? It did not arrive in my email after I completed Day 6. Are your books available in actual book form as opposed to e-books?

    Many thanks!

    • Jon says:

      Hi Loraine,

      I’ll email you the link to Day 7. Also you can get my books in physical format in several ways. I’ll tell you about that as well. Just be sure to check your spam and junk folders for my email as “telus.net” has been known to be aggressive filterers.

      Thanks!

  10. ivon says:

    Hi Jon:
    Let me start by saying THANK YOU for sharing your wealth of pragmatic knowledge. As I am reading the 7MM eBook I just purchased, i realize that it relies on the nutritional advise of EODD.
    Here is my problem: I read EODD, and i understand how the different variations of a low-carb, high in greens diet will enable substantial fat loss, and how the different tactics for minimizing the quantity and the impact of high calories foods will greatly help. HOWEVER, ~90% of my diet is already comprised of non-starchy vegetables, beans and seeds. I am already lean, BUT skinny and still have too much fat in my belly. My goal is to replace some ~10-15 pounds of body fat with ~10-15 pounds of muscles. Any suggestions how to apply effective caloric staggering or other planned variance techniques to a diet that has no high-carb or junk food ???

    Looking forward for your advise !!!

    Ivon

    • Jon says:

      Hi Ivon,

      Staggering your calories and doing very intense short training intervals and walking should do the trick. It’s the last fat to go, so just hang in there!

  11. gyorgyi baunok says:

    I hope you going to believe to this Jon!
    All your writing is;what I was vondering,and now I do have the answers.You write abouth what others do not. tnx gb

    Thanks Gyorgyi!

  12. Prospero says:

    this has been a great foundation to understanding all of your material and to flesh out the information in your EODD and RFLBP thanks, it is life changing to be well again and on the fast track to living life to its fullest THANK-YOU

  13. Pam says:

    Jon,

    I’m still hanging in there and reading every word. Thank you so much for all of this information. It has taken you a lot of research and years of work to learn this and now you share it with us for ….free. We need to do the work just to show our appreciation. I’m 56 and I’ve read Fit after 40 and now this FIT365 Program. I promise to do my best just to say thank you. Pam in Virginia

    Good for you Pam! Thank YOU for saying thanks, and do keep me posted. Remember, we’re here for you. If you need personal coaching, let me know. We’re about to raise the costs over at our 1-on-1 coaching site… just fyi. : )

  14. Ramona lTP says:

    This is eye opening for me .I constantly seek motivation to start, be consistent,and persistent in my exercise.
    I still have a mindset that I cannot do it or that I cannot do it alone. I have no money to buy any of your books ,so I am taking everything you are giving for free, until I can afford, which I hope will be soon. perhaps in Jan.2011.I want to accomplish losing my 100 lbs,and being healthy.

    Hi Ramona! The reason I put this online for you and many others is to help get you started. A lot of folks are really tight on cash right now, so I want to do all I can for them while at the same time paying my bills… : ) So I look forward to having you as a “client” in 2011, but in the meantime I’m thrilled to have you as a reader… and a future success story! Keep me posted.. Jon

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