What are the benefits of building muscle? How having more muscle mass on your frame can help you get stronger, look more toned or burn more calories. Today we will be covering every single thing there is to know about building muscle and why you should build more muscle mass.
More Muscle Equals More Strength
More muscle mass equals more strength. How, you might ask? When you lift anything that is heavier for you or, let’s say, for multiple repetitions. You use muscles to do almost every single type of lift possible. The harder the lift, the more stress the lift puts on your muscles. The more your muscles breakdown due to micro tears resulting from all the resistance that can be either from pulling, pushing or lifting etc.
The body repairs these micro tears when you go to sleep. Hence, the saying “Muscle is built while you sleep”. The body fuses the muscle fibers together through a cellular process known as muscle proliferation. This process fuses your muscle fibers together, forming myofibrils. These myofibrils keep expanding as you keep doing resistance training.
The reason your body does this is to adapt to the stress that you are putting on the muscles. The human body adapts to the environment it is in. It is the body’s basic survival mechanism that has allowed humans to survive in different regions of the world. The same analogy can be used in the case of building muscles. If the muscles are put into constant stress, the body adapts to survive. To become strong enough to handle the stress placed on the muscles. This results in the muscles being built back but stronger.
Build Muscle Lose Fat
Putting on more muscle mass on your frame is going to help you further as far as losing weight goes. Muscle, just like any other thing in your body, requires calories to maintain itself. When you have more muscle on your frame. Your bodies’ caloric demands are also increased due to the extra muscle you now have on you. This can help you burn more fat over time as well as maintain your current fat loss.
Let’s estimate, your current calories are 2000 and, with a deficit of 200 you are left with 1800 calories. Say you cannot eat any less than this and your energy levels go down and you feel hungrier. This is where building muscles can help. Once you start putting on muscle. Your muscles will need more calories and your body will have to burn more to fuel your muscles to build them back and recover, depending on your muscle mass. The deficit can increase from being 200 to 300 or even 400 (depending on muscle mass). Your muscles act as an additional weight-loss tool.
However, this does not mean you can eat more. Unless you are someone extremely skinny, that is the only exception to a certain degree. If you already have some fat on you. Your body already has enough to supply the muscles from within. This is what results in fat-loss. If you were to start eating more, then the fat remains on you and the additional calories get fed to the muscles. This results in a fat and muscular appearance. Commonly referred to as “Bulky muscles” by people.
Muscle as a weight loss tool
Muscle mass can be an excellent weight-loss tool. It can help burn more calories just by existing on your frame because it is metabolically active. Meaning muscle requires energy (calories) to maintain itself as well as to recover from the constant microtears and grow.
For example, if your body needs only 2000 calories to maintain itself, if you start weight training your muscles will take some calories, which depends on how much muscle mass you have. Since your body needs 2000 calories and some are required to repair and maintain the muscles. Your body will utilize the fat stored in your body to compensate for the additional calories it now needs.
That is why, if your overweight, it’s recommended to go in a slight deficit and build more muscle so that you can lose fat faster than you normally would. The more muscle on your frame, the easier it is to maintain your fat-loss. Being overweight allows you to stay in a slight deficit and build more muscle using your body’s own fat stores as energy for the muscles to rebuild and grow. If your skinny, your approach is not going to be the same. You will need a slight calorie surplus as your body barely has enough for itself. Hence, it will not allow you to build more muscle. The body prioritizes its survival above all else.
How not to build muscle (Bulky muscles?)
The truth is, there is no such thing as bulky muscles. Muscles are a lean tissue which means that they are mainly protein and do not contain fat. Even if it weighs heavy it appears lean. There are wide misconceptions spread around by people that building muscle makes them get fat or that their muscles are bulky. The truth is, they are overeating their calories.
Eating more than they should. The muscle is not the culprit here. It’s the fat that is not being utilized by the body or more keeps coming in from constant eating. If you start eating more, you will stay fat with added muscle because you are providing enough to the body for it to not burn fat. Your body needs to be in a position where it has to burn fat to support muscle maintenance and growth. That is why a deficit is recommended along with building muscle, for good measure, to avoid such a scenario from occurring. If you’re skinny fat, even then avoid taking in surplus calories as once you build the muscle and lose the fat. Then and only then should you make any surplus related changes.
Top Exercises based on major muscle groups with at-home alternatives (Requires dumbbells)
- Building more muscle mass can aid in fat loss, especially if you have your diet under control.
- There is a certain leeway you can get with your dieting if you have more muscle on your frame due to it being metabolically active.
- Muscle mass is a weight-loss tool. A tool is only there to aid you. It is not a replacement for bad diet practices.
- There is no such thing as bulky muscles. It’s overeating that is extra calories not being taken into account.