And… Should you use KBs to build muscle?
I’ve mentioned this before – but the idea of building muscle
within the KB niche is perceived as girly – or less than manly.
I find this incredibly ironic since –
a) Most women are brainwashed into thinking that if they
lift weights they’ll end up looking like Lou Ferrrigno
when he played The Incredible Hulk
b) Most of the “strong men” we admire and hold up on
a pedestal in our niche were all very muscular –
way more so than the average person who uses –
and dare I say the average KB Instructor.
Guys like Franco Columbu – who was not only a
Mr America and Mr Universe, but sported a 700+
deadlift weighing less than 200 pounds.
So what gives?
Should you use your KBs to build muscle – and should
you even give a rat’s rear end about building muscle
Let’s start with the answer to the second question.
You NEED to build some muscle – especially if you’re
(Over 30 really.)
Or muscle loss.
You’ll lose between 0.5% and 1% of your muscle mass
each year over the age of about 25.
So, if you sit on your butt all day in front of your computer
for 50 years starting at age 25, you potentially could lose
50% or HALF your lean muscle mass.
What’s so bad about that?
Muscle is the machinery that burns calories.
So the less you have, the less calories you’ll burn.
And if you’re eating the same amount of food – or even
an excessive amount of calories – you’re body won’t
be able to burn them at rest and you’ll store them as
Less Muscle = More [Potential] Fat over time.
Does that mean you should jump on a muscle building
program with your KBs?
Not so fast, pardner.
Consider that most of America is overweight – 66%
at last count.
That means that the average, or the majority of the
US has excess body fat on them.
According to a research paper by Gallagher et al,
published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
(2000), men over 19% bodyfat and women over 33%
are considered “overweight.”
So chances are better than good that you may fall
into that average range too.
Since I’m betting you haven’t had your body fat
tested in awhile, here’s what those body fat
percentages look like
What does being overweight have to do with building
muscle or better yet – building muscle with your KBs?
When you’re overweight, your hormones don’t
That means there’s an imbalance between your
fat-burning hormones and your fat-storing
Coincidentally, two of those fat-burning hormones
are also muscle-building hormones –
Growth hormone (in both women and men)
Testosterone (in men)
In men, body fat contains an enzyme called aromatase,
which converts your Testosterone into estrogens,
the main sex hormone in women.
So, get rid of your body fat, decrease your estrogen
levels, and increase your T levels so you can build
Excess body fat leads to insulin resistance (in both
men and women).
This condition is where your body secretes more
insulin than normal to store fat or carbohydrate.
The tough part is, the more insulin your body releases
the more you’re likely to store fat.
And it becomes a downward spiral –
The fatter you are, the fatter you get.
So first thing’s first –
In order to build muscle, you need to take a step back
and strip off the excess body fat.
So there’s an actual scientific sequence for building
Get lean first.
Then build muscle.
Tomorrow we’ll cover the WHY you should use your
KBs to build muscle.