Strength training does not only shape your body, but also helps with weight loss. The more muscles you have, the more fat you burn – even while at rest!
Define Your Muscles
Strength training does not only strengthen your muscles, but it also boosts your metabolism. One kilogram of muscle mass burns more calories per day than one kilogram of fat. Due to their increased mass, larger muscle groups (e.g. leg muscles) also consume more energy than smaller muscle groups (e.g. forearm muscles).
Muscle growth requires time, targeted training, an optimized diet & sufficient recovery time.
Muscles & Growth
Our muscles are composed of muscle fibers, the number of which is determined from birth. Strength training stimuli improve the collaboration between muscle fibers and increases our strength, leading to muscle hypertrophy. This means your muscle fibers get broader and stronger! Women might be especially afraid of disproportionate muscle growth – but no need to worry! Due to the lower amount of testosterone in female blood, women’s muscles grow slower than those of men.
The Afterburn Effect
Afterburn effect (or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, EPOC) refers to the increased post-workout metabolism which burns additional fat. Scientists found that challenging & intense training sessions lead to particularly high post-workout fat burning. The more large muscle groups (legs, back) you work out, the more you benefit from the afterburn effect. During exercises that target the whole body, like burpees, planks, etc., different muscle groups cooperate and you actually train the ENTIRE body. That’s what we call effective – and you’ll get great results without any need for equipment!
How to Treat Sore Muscles
After completing exhausting physical activities your body isn’t used to, your muscles might hurt a bit – that’s when we talk about sore muscles. This pain is the result of tiny muscle injuries and occurs after unfamiliar, or too intense exercise. You’ll feel sore muscles mostly the day after, or two days post-workout. It’s usually unpleasant, sometimes actually painful, and not always totally harmless. Careful, sore muscles can lead to ulterior muscle injury (like pulled muscles).
Too tight apparel, a lack of liquids and minerals in the body, too intense physical activity, or cold weather can all lead to cramps. If you experience muscle cramps, you should immediately stop working out. Stretching and gently massaging the affected body part alleviates the pain. An appropriate nutrition and liquid intake can help avoid muscle cramps. Bananas, nuts and mineral water contain essential minerals. Be aware, however, that not every mineral water is suited to compensate the loss of minerals and electrolytes from sweating. For an ideal supply, opt for mineral waters containing twice as much calcium as magnesium.
6 Practical Tips to Avoid & Ease Sore Muscles
- Boost your blood flow
- Walking, swimming, or easy jogging gently improve blood circulation. This helps your muscles recover faster.
- Stimulate your muscles.
- Alternating between baths and showers is soothing, boosts blood circulation and helps little muscle injuries heal quicker.
- Try these foods
- Foods with a high content in antioxidants and secondary plant substances (like berries, tart cherries, green tea, or red beets) are great domestic remedies against sore muscles while boosting recovery.
- Slow, but steady.
- Especially beginners should start off their training slowly. Give your body time to get better at its own pace. Don’t overdo it, but take your time to get used to the training.
- Preparation is key.
- Warming up before the workout increases your muscles’ performance and prevents sore muscles as well as injury.
- Cool down!
- A cool-down phase is ideal to end your workout and helps your body calm down and relax after a sweat session. Easy jogging or moderate biking are great options to cool down and prevent sore muscles.