Weight and Resistance Training - when do you see muscle definition?




teawithsunshine
05-02-2009, 05:49 AM
Hi!

Quick question: if you're consistent with your weight lifting routine, how long does it generally take before one sees muscle definition in the mirror? 5, 6, 8 months?

thanks!

~ tea


Meg
05-02-2009, 06:14 AM
Muscle definition is the result of low body fat levels, not time spent building muscles. In fact, we all have six-packs already -- under various thicknesses of fat! But we have to strip away the fat on top of the muscles in order to see their definition.

When and where you'll see definition depends on where you carry fat in your body and what your overall BF% is. As a general rule, you'll probably need to be in the teens of BF to see much definition but it just depends on where you hold fat. Abs will be visible probably under 15% BF or so.

I have a lot of upper body muscle definition because all my fat congregates in my butt and hips. From the waist up -- not bad. From the waist down -- :p.

It really is exciting to watch the muscles become visible as the fat burns off. :carrot:

Jacque9999
05-02-2009, 06:41 AM
Muscle definition is the result of low body fat levels, not time spent building muscles. In fact, we all have six-packs already -- under various thicknesses of fat! But we have to strip away the fat on top of the muscles in order to see their definition.

When and where you'll see definition depends on where you carry fat in your body and what your overall BF% is. As a general rule, you'll probably need to be in the teens of BF to see much definition but it just depends on where you hold fat. Abs will be visible probably under 15% BF or so.

I have a lot of upper body muscle definition because all my fat congregates in my butt and hips. From the waist up -- not bad. From the waist down -- :p.

It really is exciting to watch the muscles become visible as the fat burns off. :carrot:

That was great info!!! Thanks. I did not know that...what I did know is that I do have 6 pack abs....under my keg abs :lol:

Question: Years ago...eons actually...My mother had treated me to a spa vacation at Canyon Ranch. This was about 12 years ago. At that point, I was in the best shape ever. I was at my ideal weight, was working out consistently and for the most part eating healthy. While there I had my BMI calculated. It was 17%. I felt great!!! My question is, they used instruments and what not to calculate my body fat. Is that the only way to calculate it accurately? I have seen on line where you put your height/weight in and it tells you but is that accurate?

Thanks in advance.


Meg
05-02-2009, 06:53 AM
Hi Jacque! I think you're mixing up BMI and body fat %. They are two very different things, so let me take a stab at explaining them. :)

BMI is Body Mass Index. It's simply a height-weight correlation. 18 - 24 is considered normal weight, 25 - 29 is overweight, and over 30 is considered obese. We have a BMI calculator right here at 3FC: BMI Calculator (http://www.3fatchicks.com/bmi-calculator%20/).

BMI is handicapped by the fact that it doesn't distinguish between pounds of fat and pounds of muscle (it just uses total weight) so that's where Body Fat Percent (BF%) comes into play. Your BF% tells you how many pounds of fat are on your body and how many pounds of Lean Body Mass (LBM), which is everything in your body that isn't fat - bone, hair, skin, water, and muscle (the significant part).

The ranges for BF% for women are as follows: 32% and above is considered obese (or "high risk", which is a nice way of saying obese), 25 - 31% is acceptable (or normal), 21 - 24% is considered a "fitness" level, 14 - 20% is "athletic", and under 12 - 13% starts to compromise essential body fat. There are different ranges and names for the categories, but this is what the American Council on Exercise (ACE) uses.

Once your weight is in the normal range, BF% is a much better indicator of your fitness level than scale weight. You can have two women - same age, height, and weight - and one can have a BF% of 18% and the other 30%. The one with more muscle and less fat will be several sizes smaller than the other because muscle takes up much less room than fat. And she'll be tighter and a whole lot less flabby! Yay, muscle! :carrot:

It sounds like your body fat % was tested at Canyon Ranch, not your BMI. 17% is a great result! Handheld testers use bioelectrical impedance and probably aren't as accurate as a nine-site caliper test in the hands of an experienced operator, but they're a fast and easy way to track trends in your body composition over time.

Bottom line -- forget BMI and start tracking body composition by checking your body fat percentage. :)

Jacque9999
05-02-2009, 07:10 AM
Hi Jacque! I think you're mixing up BMI and body fat %. They are two very different things, so let me take a stab at explaining them. :)

Gosh I feel stupid

BMI is Body Mass Index. It's a height-weight correlation. 18 - 24 is considered normal weight, 25 - 29 is overweight, and over 30 is considered obese. We have a BMI calculator right here at 3FC: BMI Calculator (http://www.3fatchicks.com/Diets/Calculators_and_Tools/BMI_Calculator/).

I used this and am right at the "overweight" level...I already knew that;)

BMI is handicapped by the fact that it doesn't distinguish between pounds of fat and pounds of muscle (it just uses total weight) so that's where Body Fat Percent (BF%) comes into play. Your BF% tells you how many pounds of fat are on your body and how many pounds of Lean Body Mass (LBM), which is everything in your body that isn't fat - bone, hair, skin, water, and muscle (the significant part).

Thanks for clarifying...I understand now...I think!!

The ranges for BF% for women are as follows: 32% and above is considered obese (or "high risk", which is a nice way of saying obese), 25 - 31% is acceptable (or normal), 21 - 24% is considered a "fitness" level, 14 - 20% is "athletic", and under 12 - 13% starts to compromise essential body fat. There are different ranges and names for the categories, but this is what the American Council on Exercise (ACE) uses.

A little confusing but I think I got it

Once your weight is in the normal range, BF% is a much better indicator of your fitness level than scale weight. You can have two women - same age, height, and weight - and one can have a BF% of 18% and the other 30%. The one with more muscle and less fat will be several sizes smaller than the other because muscle takes up much less room than fat. And she'll be tighter and a whole lot less flabby! Yay, muscle! :carrot:

It sounds like your body fat % was tested at Canyon Ranch, not your BMI. 17% is a great result! Handheld testers use bioelectrical impedance and probably aren't as accurate as a nine-site caliper test in the hands of an experienced operator, but they're a fast and easy way to track trends in your body composition over time.

Yes, I do remember them using a test/instrument like you described. So if I want to find this out now, I need to go to a professional?

Bottom line -- forget BMI and start tracking body composition by checking your body fat percentage. :)

Thank you soooooo much!!!

:thanks::thanks::thanks::thanks: