Run!!!! Not Too Much Muscle!!!
The terrible voice-overs, the puppet sets with the fake explosions, and the wonderfully dramatic music. Godzilla movies are more comedies than action-horror flicks. They are simply cheesy. So what does this have to do with putting on too much muscle?
You should feel the same way when someone says that “too much muscle is bad for you”.
Well is too much muscle unhealthy?
There are two things excess muscle and Godzilla have in common:
- They are less realistic than you think.
- They have taken very few lives (in real life).
I know we all have things we are scared of. Sometimes it is even hard for me to sleep in the dark after watching a scary movie or The View.
I also understand that for some of you there may be a phobia of excess muscle or as I say: “Excessius Musclius”. Don’t Google that.
Many of you are scared to lift too much weight or too many reps because:
- You will have veins bursting out of every limb and your forehead because you are gaining too much muscle.
- When you lose that muscle you will get flabby and gain more fat than you would otherwise.
- When you get old you will just get fatter even if you keep lifting weights.
- You are bound to rage and start punching people in the face.
- You won’t fit through doors, be able to sit down in any sort of public transportation, and you will have to buy new clothes.
So let’s bust these myths, answer the question “Is too much muscle unhealthy”, and prove that this Godzilla called Excessius Musclius isn’t worth fretting about.
The Truth About Too Much Muscle
As we have talked about before your body has either lean mass (mostly muscles and organ tissue) or body fat. There is no middle ground. They are different types of tissue. If you stop working out, your muscle doesn’t turn into fat. In fact, if you stop working out, but eat the right foods (protein, vegetables, and fat) you could lose muscle without gaining much fat. You could even maintain some of the lean mass for an extended period of time and gain fat on top of it.
The only way you can truly get toned is by minimize your fat tissue (shrinking it or fully getting rid of it) and increasing the size of your muscle tissue. These two steps help to create a better body composition of fat versus lean mass.
Understand this: muscle is muscle. Whether you are a bodybuilder with 250 pounds of lean muscle or a yoga instructor female with 105 pounds of lean muscle, muscle tissue is still muscle tissue no matter what your size or the amount of muscle you have. What matters the most is the ratio of fat to lean mass that makes up your body composition. You should be focused on having a higher percentage of your weight consisting of lean muscle mass instead of getting stuck on how many pounds you weigh. This happens by including both weight training and cardio.
Muscle is Not so “Weighty”
I know it sounds weird to think that adding muscle will help you look thinner, but it is true. In fact, if you want to have more of that hourglass figure, then you need more muscle. Muscle is 1/5th the size of fat that weighs the same amount. Shocking huh? That is a lot of muscle required to even come close to being the same weight of fat in appearance. Often people that look “muscly” or bulkier actually weigh quite a bit less than people with high body fat percentage.
Another interesting fact, muscle helps to speed up your metabolism in order to maintain it. A faster metabolism means more fat burning at a resting heart rate.
So you actually become leaner. This is why it is important to do both cardio and weight training to get the peak performance from your body.
A Godzilla Myth
Please calm down and trust me when I say don’t worry about getting abnormally large, don’t worry about too much muscle in your legs, chest, arms, etc. It takes a lot of dedicated work to get there. I am talking many months and years unless you start taking steriods.
Not only does muscle takes a long time to build up, but you have to have muscle building focused training to achieve that large muscle physique that you are scared of. According to Bodybuilding.com and numerous other sources, you can gain on average about 1 pound of muscle a month. That means a lot of creatine, calories, and weight training mixed with little cardio to have that happen. So unless you want to mix in some steroids with your bacon and eggs, I wouldn’t put much stock into this fear.
But What If…?
If by chance you look in the mirror and say “I have too much muscle” and your Godzilla-like nightmares become a reality, don’t worry. This is not an irreversible disease. You can lower your lean mass by eating a less protein, mixing in more vegetables, doing more extended cardio, and limiting your weight training. You can limit your weight training by doing less reps or sets. You can also do less weight and more reps.
If you feel like I betrayed you with the advice here, then you can write a mean email in ALL CAPS. Nothing hurts my eyes more than all caps.
Because you and I are friends I am going to share some cold-hard reality: this muscle fear is a cover for fear of exercising and attacking your weight issues. Let’s take care of the fat you do have today first, before we focus on cutting back on muscle you might have tomorrow.
The biggest lie you can tell yourself is that you don’t need weight training to help lose fat and get the physique you want. It is an important part of the equation.
Daryl Hall is great, but it becomes a bit more complete with John Oates. Weight training and cardio go hand-in-hand like Hall and Oates. The question is how much is the right amount for you. That is why you tweak this stuff so you can get to “know your body”.
Ok now you know that this “Godzilla” isn’t that real. So you can sleep a little more easily with the lights off and bust out some push-ups and squats without fear of looking like a mutant.