It’s All About The LBM

6 Jun

Over the last 10 months, when my life was not my own and I was required to eat, sleep, and breathe nutrition (also known as “the dietetic internship”), I lost a lot of things: sleep, my social life, maybe some blog readers due to my lack of posting, and, from time to time, my sanity. BUT one of the most important things I lost this year is… muscle.

My wonky workout schedule over the past 10 months has caused my muscles to dwindle. Muscle is an undervalued player in the game of weight loss, health, and body shape when it should be the MVP. My mission for the summer is to get it back (along with other minor details like sleep, sanity, friends, and readers 🙂 ) Here’s why it’s all about the LBM…

What is it?

Lean body mass (LBM) is the nonfat mass of the body- everything minus the fat. This includes muscle.

Why should you want it?

  • LBM revs your metabolic engine. In other words, muscle burns “hotter” than fat- burning calories even when you aren’t doing a darn thing. This is one of the reasons why men can eat more calories than women- they naturally have more lean body mass. Building a body that is a calorie-burning machine (aka lots of muscle) is key to weight loss and preventing weight gain.
  • LBM helps you age gracefully. Muscle mass starts to plummet with age, which means less strength and more frailty. Also, as muscle is lost our metabolism starts to slow and our bodies burn less and less calories. Building muscle as we age can keep us strong and agile and prevent body fat from creeping up.
  • LBM will give you the body that you want. “Toned”, “strong”, “firm”, “lean”- these are all common words I hear clients use to describe their ideal body. Building muscle is the best way to alter your body’s shape. Ever heard of “skinny-fat”? People who only do cardio workouts and severely restrict calories are not metabolic engines. They may be thin, but they lack muscle tone and their slow metabolism requires them to eat very little in order to maintain their weight. Someone with more muscle not only looks better, but they are stronger, burn more calories, and can eat more.

How do you get it?

  • I’ll say it again if it isn’t already obvious: strength training! Yes, the weight room at the gym can be intimidating. Most gyms offer free consultations with personal trainers, so ask the experts to help you get familiar with the equipment. Strength classes are a great place to start if you’re new to lifting weights. Check out fitness websites and magazines for printable routines. If you aren’t a fan of the gym, find body-weight routines to do at home or at the park. I am working on a Running on Sunshine workout series so stay tuned for that!
  • Don’t forget about nutrition! I always say exercise and nutrition are inseparable and that is definitely the case with building muscle.  Protein is the the building blocks for muscle, so be sure to include a serving of protein at each meal. As Americans, we get PLENTY of protein, so overall intake is usually not a problem. Protein deserves it’s own post, so tune in next time!

*I quick note to my lady friends: You know who you are, you cardio queens. You are a tough crowd to convince when it comes to strength training! But trust me, it will give you the results you are looking for! You aren’t going to get amazing toned shoulders and a perky booty from the elliptical alone. You always tell me “but I don’t want to get bulky.” You won’t! Our hormonal makeup won’t let us beef up like the dudes. Would you believe me if I told you I bench-press 20lb. dumbbells on the regular? I do! If you are still anti-weights, try other strength workouts like advanced yoga or Pilates. However you do it, I encourage you to muscle up!

You may find it funny that I chose National Running Day to talk about strength training, but that’s usually how I roll- against the grain 🙂 Although, I did celebrate with a quick spin in my new kicks!

Off to an outdoor concert/picnic with JWD and friends! Have a great night!

Thanks for reading 🙂


6 Responses to “It’s All About The LBM”

  1. Abbey June 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Hey you got a little social life this weekend with some crazys! Great seeing you!

    • kayli (Running On Sunshine) June 7, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      Yes, I did! And it was a fabulous way to get my social life back on track 🙂 See you in a week!!

  2. Mom June 7, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    I’ve been a regular at the gym for the past 2 weeks. Getting back into a routine & loving it!! Thanks for all your help. 🙂
    Love you!

    • kayli (Running On Sunshine) June 7, 2012 at 11:14 am #

      Good for you! It feels good to get back in the groove. Maybe you should document you journey back to getting fit and you can write a guest post about it. Just an idea, think it over… 🙂

  3. emily June 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    i’d love to see your workout routine-I usually do free weights at home, but I’m always looking for tips. 🙂

    And what are your post-internship plans?! Love to read about those as well. 🙂


  1. Where Do You Get Your Protein? « Running on Sunshine - June 19, 2012

    […] to this conversation is its role as the building blocks for our body and muscles. You can’t reap the health rewards of lean muscle mass without adequate […]

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