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Bulking up

As part of my weekly exercise regime I want to start a weekly weights class - body max - which includes using weights, lunges, squats etc as I'm trying to lose weight.

My friend in work, however, who is also trying to lose weight says it's better not to start a class like this until I've lost a load of weight first as the muscle builds on top of your fat which makes it harder to lose the fat.

Is this true??


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    No, Rhi, it's not true!

    At the beginning, you may find the developing muscles make your sleeves and shorts a little tighter, but don't worry because that will wear off. Having lots of muscle actually makes it easier to lose weight and maintain the loss.

    Body fat is fantastically efficient stuff - almost completely metabolically active. It burns virtually no calories. Muscle, on the other hand, uses 30-50 calories per pound per day just ticking over, before you even do any exercise.

    If you do resistance training while losing weight, you develop a better body composition, with more muscle and less fat. You'll feel better and look more toned. You won't end up looking like a bodybuilder unless you eat 7,000 calories a day, use heavy weights, and do no aerobic work. A Bodymax class, which has a good aerobic base, is a great idea.

    Doing endurance weights work - lots of reps of relatively low weights - can help your running too. Running only develops your calves, hams and glutes, but to run at your best you need good quads, back, abdomen and upper body.

    So go ahead!

    Cheers, V-rap.
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    Oops - I should have said that body fat is almost completely metabolically INACTIVE. Could we have the edit facility back please?

    Cheers, V-rap.
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    Yeh, what V-rap say is correct, any training that encourages the build of muscle will help burn the cals, as more muscle = more cals burnt .

    And a weekly class is not going to turn you into Arny Shw..athingy (that takes lots and lots of heavy training) it will only help you tone up.

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    I don't often find it difficult to keep a straight face at work, but one such occasion occurred during a session with a young woman who wanted help with losing weight. After steering the conversation away from the minutiae of whether Snack-a-Jacks have more or less calories than Twiglets, I suggested she go along to the gym and have a toddle on the machines and do some gentle weights. "But I can't do weights," she wailed. "I don't wanna BULK UP".

    It would not have been funny had she not been five foot tall and weighed about 18 stone. Bulk up? Ha!

    Anyway, if bulking up was that easy bodybuilders wouldn't need to take all those supplements and anabolic steroids and bore everyone to bits with their protein-powder diets.

    Cheers, V-rap.
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