Heavy Weights? Protein Shakes? Zero Gains?
If you want to build muscle, you hit the gym 4-5 times a week, most likely lifting heavy weights, followed by chugging a hulking protein shake. You fuel-up on foods like egg whites and skinless chicken breast at meals and snacks.
At least that’s what you might imagine if you visit any nearby gym and observe the focused, muscular men and women determined to get strong as if that was their favorite hobby.
The truth is that to build muscle—and maintain strength—requires the balancing of several physiological aspects.
When someone says they want to gain weight, they typically mean they want to build muscle and lose fat, but finding that balance can become a challenge.
That’s because when you lose weight, you also potentially lose muscle mass. Research shows weight loss reduces muscle mass, but not strength.
At the same time, inactive adults have a 3-8% loss of muscle mass every decade. Along with muscle loss comes a decreased resting metabolic rate and fat accumulation. The result: You lose muscle and gain fat.
But that fate isn’t inevitable. You can reverse that deterioration with resistance training. Studies show even among older women with sarcopenic obesity (low muscle mass and either low muscular strength or low physical performance along with obesity), 16 weeks of resistance training improved weight loss, muscle strength, and functional capacity.
In other words, nearly everyone can lift weights to gain muscle provided you do it safely, with proper form, and with optimal weight levels.
Everyone has different requirements to optimize muscle gain, and consider discussing additional strategies with your healthcare professional. At the same time, these four strategies provide a solid foundation to build muscle and get lean, and (just as importantly) maintain those muscle gains and fat losses.
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- Boosts metabolism†
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Testosterone is a sex hormone primarily associated with males.(1) Even though women have small amounts, testosterone’s main function is to support bone and muscle development, produce male characteristics, like a deep voice and facial hair, and produce sperm.(1) However, testosterone may also affect mood, mental health, cardiovascular functions, and the perception of pain.(2)
Studies show that about 13.8 million men over 45 have low testosterone.(3) Signs and symptoms of low testosterone include:
- reduced sexual desire
- sleep disturbances
- reduced muscle strength
- increased body fat
- low energy
- emotional changes such as depression.(1)
Although testosterone production naturally declines with age, males can take a proactive approach to optimizing testosterone levels with these dietary and lifestyle modifications.(1)
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.