The 4 Benefits of Building Lean Muscle Mass
The benefits of building muscle are fairly obvious for high performance athletes. But, a lot of people don’t realize that building lean muscle is incredibly beneficial to everyone, not just high performance athletes. Whether you’re a high school athlete that’s just entering the prime of their athletic ability or an aging athlete that’s still competing, building lean muscle mass will benefit you in many different ways.
Increasing your strength, improving your athletic abilities, maintaining a healthy body weight, and improving your appearance are just a few of the benefits to building lean muscle mass. When it comes to improving your athletic performance, overall health and your quality of life, there is no better activity than consistent exercise and weight training.
Building Lean Muscle Makes You Stronger and More Athletic
One of the most obvious benefits of building lean muscle is that it will make stronger and more athletic. Lifting weights and building muscle mass is the staple to being the best athlete that you can be at any level. For example, weight training in younger athletes will give them the edge of their competition while developing their body’s to compete at a higher level as they naturally develop. In older athletes, continuing to develop lean muscle and build lean muscle will allow them to compete at a high level as they age.
Think of weight training as preparation. Then combine it with effective cardio training such as high intensity interval training. As an athlete, this type of training will help you develop and maintain a high level of functional lean muscle mass and a great cardiovascular endurance level.
Keep in mind, lean muscle mass is different than bulking up. Athletes need to maintain functional lean muscle mass which allows them to perform at a high level. Too much bulk will be detrimental to most athletes’ performance as they’ll lose flexibility and will have to carry too much weight, which takes a toll to the cardiovascular system and makes the body work even harder during competitions.
Lean Muscle Helps You Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Obesity is a growing problem throughout the world. And, while it’s not a huge concern for most athletes, even a slightly heightened body weight can negatively impact an athlete’s performance and ability.
When it comes to building lean muscle and maintaining an ideal bodyweight, programs like high intensity cardio and CrossFit are becoming increasingly popular. High intensity interval training has essentially replaced the older versions of cardio such as long distance running or biking and replaced them with a more condensed version of cardio which pushes the body to the limit and produces better results. On the other side, CrossFit has become recognized for its ability to improve an athlete’s lean muscle mass and cardiovascular endurance simultaneously.
Simply put, there are a lot of people that not only want to, but need to, lose weight. However, far too many people focus on losing weight the wrong way. For instance, when you go to the gym, I’m sure you notice all of the people on the treadmills, elliptical, and exercise bikes. While these are great aerobic exercises, they aren’t ideal for burning fat and building lean muscle mass. Weight training is far more effective when it comes to losing weight and building muscle mass.
It’s simple; weight training raises your metabolism. Lean muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat does, so that means that your calorie needs are higher. When you have more lean muscle your metabolism will help you by burning off the excess calories. On top of that, bodybuilding workouts also burn a lot of calories, which will further increase your ability to lose weight and keep it off.
Building Lean Muscle Improves Your Appearance
It’s no secret that building lean muscle mass will greatly improve your overall appearance. This is true for both men and women. When it comes to celebrities maintaining their looks and youthfulness, weight training is a key component. Whether you’re looking to pack on serious muscle mass or simply tone your muscle for a healthier appearance, weight training is the way to go.
And while, I won’t go so far as to say that our appearance is the main reason that we lift weights, I’m not so sure it’d be wrong if I did. Let’s face it, we live in a society in which we often judge each other and base our first impressions on looks. An awesome body will always leave a great first impression. As the saying goes, money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy a healthy, muscular or toned body. There’s only one way to achieve that and that’s through dedication and hard work. Because of this, muscular bodies and naturally respected and envied.
So, Who Should Build Lean Muscle?
I think it’s extremely important to take a second and see who can benefit from being stronger, more athletic, healthier, and having a better appearance. Well, it doesn’t take long to realize that virtually anybody will benefit greatly from building lean muscle mass. Whether you’re in your teens or your golden years, building lean muscle will greatly improve your quality of life.
Weight Lifting and the Aging Process
I want to take a quick second and point this out for our older readers who may be hesitant to get back into the gym or to lift weights. And, it’s extremely important for our younger readers who are focused on achieving a long, healthy life. As we age, we lose muscle mass and bone density. This causes fractures to become more and more likely as we age. The only way to fight against the natural aging process is by lifting weights. Regular weight training helps to improve bone density and strengthen the muscles around the bones which adds protection. This is why people who work out regularly often seem to look younger.
While it’s impossible to stop the aging process, it’s definitely not impossible to slow it down. Watch your nutrition and exercise regularly and you’ll be shocked at how much better you look and feel.