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Long and Lean Muscle??

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Old 09-18-2010, 02:54 AM   #1
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Default Long and Lean Muscle??

I have a natural tendency to get bulky easily and I just really want long, lean musculature....

I have been doing mostly cardio, some light weight resistance training but the cardio is getting *easy*. If I increase the resistance, I can make it much more difficult for me to complete the work out, but I don't want to increase my muscle mass too much. Although, I understand that with more muscle mass, I will raise my underlaying BMR, I really really pack on muscle really easily.

I wear a body bugg, and it seems like I can workout with the easy resistance or the difficult resistance for the same amount of time, and I still burn the same amount of calories. That is very surprising to me.

How is it possible that I can feel like I am working much harder with one work out, and much easier on the other - and still burning the same amount of calories for the work out? My heart rate is the same for both work outs, I'm sweating the same for both work outs, but one makes me exhausted and the other makes me feel like I can go forever.

Am I being ineffective? Do I have the wrong idea on how to be leaner?
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:53 AM   #2
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Hi there - don't worry about muscle mass coming on too easily. Cardio and cardio with resistance will help build muscle, but not the type you are trying to avoid. It takes a really strict and intense regimen (with heavy weights) to gain lots of mass. You may feel bulkier while you are still losing body fat, but as more body fat decreases and you get to your goal, you will start to see that long and lean definition that you are hoping for.

Edited to add - On the days that you can go longer - did you get a better night sleep? Eat differently? Workout at a different time? I think we all have days that we just can't go on any further and some that we really leave a trail of smoke! Maybe you can find your magic combination.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:46 AM   #3
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I wear a body bugg too. I love it, but I don't rely on it for a totally accurate number of what I'm burning. I consider it to be just an estimate, and when I'm lifting weights I'm not really moving around too much, so in my opinion how does it really know how many calories I'm burning? I could be wrong but I feel like it mostly goes off of steps taken each day to estimate calorie burn. If you feel like you're working a lot harder, you're probably burning more calories.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:47 AM   #4
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I worry about getting more bulky than lean sometimes. My calves can get really huge and so can my biceps so I haven't been weight training those areas at all lately. I heard there are two types of muscles, one type is made from strength and the second are made from endurance. So cardio is best because its lots of repetition. When I do use weights I make them light and just do more reps instead of heavier with less reps
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:06 PM   #5
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Unfortunately you guys are confusing muscle mass with muscle mass and excess body fat.

There is no such thing as "long lean musculature" or long/lean muscles. Physically, it does not exist. Either you have muscle tissue or you don't. Without the use of growth hormones, nearly all women can gain around 5lbs of muscle tissue (muscle tissue excluding body fat gains) per year.

I have been into body building for several years. These women, who eat above maintenance calories and lift heavy *heavy* on a daily basis, will gain at most, 5-8lbs of pure muscle tissue per year, if they work consistently. Unless you are using growth hormones, you are not exceptional in this.

Bottom line is that in order to gain muscle (or what you may think of as "lean muscle"), you need to eat barely above maintenance calories (about 100-200 calories) and lift heavy - for months/years.

You cannot gain muscle without gaining a bit of fat. Whether or not you gain just a little or a lot of fat with it is up to your diet.

If you want to **reveal** the muscle you already have, then you eat below maintenance calories (ie fat loss) but not at an extreme deficit in order to preserve muscle and lose fat.

I hope this is helpful. I have been weight training for so many years and if I had a nickel for every woman who thinks she gains muscle easy I would be rich. It's very hard to gain muscle for young men with raging testosterone and that much harder for a woman.

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Old 09-19-2010, 09:33 AM   #6
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Sacha, I was just going to say! Thanks so much for taking the time to type up such a great and educational post.

I used to say the same things, and then I realized all the lies women believe in about their bodies and what they push at you from fitness magazines.

Spread the word about the truth about our bodies! (20lb dumbells and LESS reps have shrunk my arms )

I just wanted to add, you can't make your muscles longer! They start and stop in the same spot that you are born with based on your genetics. You can't detatch them and stretch them out, and women have a hard time getting bulky without years of weight training and the really big ones usually take something to get that big.
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:10 PM   #7
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StephanieM wrote. . .I just wanted to add, you can't make your muscles longer! They start and stop in the same spot that you are born with based on your genetics. You can't detatch them and stretch them out, and women have a hard time getting bulky without years of weight training and the really big ones usually take something to get that big.



Okay, my legs (from ankle to knee) resemble a chicken leg that has been boiled beyond redemption, where the tendons have come away from the bone, leaving a skinny stick-like ankle to hold up what looks like a turkey drumstick! The more I use them (and I use them all day every day) they swell and gain circumference, but they don't really grow? Am I not building mass? And I don't take growth hormones that I know of. . .

Is there a difference between swollen muscles that are retaining water from use, and building mass?
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodforme View Post
StephanieM wrote. . .I just wanted to add, you can't make your muscles longer! They start and stop in the same spot that you are born with based on your genetics. You can't detatch them and stretch them out, and women have a hard time getting bulky without years of weight training and the really big ones usually take something to get that big.



Okay, my legs (from ankle to knee) resemble a chicken leg that has been boiled beyond redemption, where the tendons have come away from the bone, leaving a skinny stick-like ankle to hold up what looks like a turkey drumstick! The more I use them (and I use them all day every day) they swell and gain circumference, but they don't really grow? Am I not building mass? And I don't take growth hormones that I know of. . .

Is there a difference between swollen muscles that are retaining water from use, and building mass?
Yes. This is also frequently known as the "pump" that one gets after lifting weights (where they swear that a certain muscle looks bigger). It's the water retention.

Now slowly, over time (long periods of time, at least 6 months for a female), your body will add lean mass. You will always get the water retention/ or "pump" when lifting, but they are two very different things.

Gaining muscle is part science and part optical illusion.

Here is what I tell women who think they are gaining mass when really it is water retention - if it was so easy for any woman (or man) to gain mass in such a short time, then it makes no sense that competitive weight lifters, athletes, and bodybuilders struggle so much to add real lean mass, despite the fact that they eat above maintenance calories AND lift very heavy weights on a daily basis.
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