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Lack of Muscle Tone

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Old 04-18-2014, 07:28 PM   #1
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Default Lack of Muscle Tone

I hope I explain this right. I've always considered myself a tough strong person. LOL I've even referred to myself as a linebacker! Why? Because I'm tall. If I'm tall then surely I'm strong...right? Wrong! Once I lost weight I realized that under all that fat was a fine boned person. I have teeny tiny wrist bones, wear teeny tiny rings on my fingers, and have very little muscle tone. I finally understand that height does not = any extra strength or super abilities.

Here is my problem though...I feel like I have such low muscle tone for my size. I understand strength training takes patience and perseverance, but it seems like compared to others with similar height and weight I'm definitely lacking in the muscle department.

LOL you should of seen me at the gym! When I started focusing on weights and toning I thought I was going to select a fairly average starting weight on the machine and build from there. It was shocking to put some of these machines to the lowest resistance/weights and still struggle!

I'm not giving up! I know it may just take me longer than others to get where I need to be. I'm just wondering if anyone else deals with this?

I actually watched a show on (I believe) the Discovery Channel (for the life of me I can't remember the name!) and it discussed different ways people carry their weight and how some lose easier and others struggle. It also went over different body frames...one being a man who was very tall but in spite of his great height lacked muscle definition (defined by a weak sunken chest). Pretty much just because he was large did not make him strong. They also discussed how he could work out but he'd have a harder time developing his muscle due to his body's natural inclination to maintain his leaner underdeveloped frame.

LOL sorry does any of this make sense? Anyone maybe see this show? It was pretty fascinating.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:00 PM   #2
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Yes it makes sense. There are people with big bones and people with smaller bones and them people with bigger bones will be able to carry more muscle than those smaller boned people. A pretty smart guy compiled some data and made a calculator

Having said that, everyone can get a lot stronger. Strength, believe it or not, is hugely neurological.

For a beginner, just start very light and increase your weight every time. Once you hit the wall it becomes a little more complicated but for at least a couple months if you start light enough you should be able to work out a body part 2 or 3 times a week and make tremendous progress.

The most important thing is form. Improper form even on a machine can cause injury quite easily and certain things like shoulders and backs do not heal very well.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:12 PM   #3
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VC2000 I get what you mean. I have the opposite problem, I am above average height but not tall. I have a large body frame. Top of the range for shoe size, cannot buy hats and wear men's gloves as women's are not broad enough over the palm and cannot find a dainty wristwatch to fit as the wrist, while bony to look at is too big.

When I lost weight I started gym and I was a weakling, my first lifting sessions were using bar weight only and I was wrecked!

As JohnP said, start your work out by concentrating on form first. Chose weights that challenge you to maintain form, but don't break your good habits (struggling at the end of a set is good, struggling through a set is not). Keep you protein intake up and keep it clean. You will get strength in lots of small gains that add up without you really noticing.

Are you following a plan or working with a trainer? It helps to keep to a structure.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:11 PM   #4
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I am such a wuss every time I start working out, with the exception of my adductor and abductor muscles in my legs. I have no upper body strength whatsoever, and John is certainly right. An injured shoulder will just never be the same- I know that for certain. All I do is breathe wrong and hurt my back. It is crucial to move with deliberation and purpose. Otherwise you limp out of the gym in front of the strong man crew, embarrassed as heck. What amazes me is how quickly I gain strength every time I decide to start again. The body truly is amazing. You can get stronger. Just go slow at first and keep a journal to show progress.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:31 PM   #5
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Thank you for all of your replies! John I'm checking out that site! Thanks for the link. I just need to dig up my measuring tape and get some numbers.

It's kind of funny because my best friend is about 6 inches shorter than me but she is a total power house! I admire her strength and the tone she has to her body. I have very little definition and jiggly fat. LOL I kind of feel like this pencil frame that's encase in a big fluffy pillow!

I definitely won't let it stop me. Sometimes when I work out or speed walk I just feel like I'm walking through molasses. I think it's because I have such little muscle to support my frame and weight that I feel this way. I also used to get a lot of flack from the owner of the gym I USED to go to. I'd struggle with the weights and he'd always tease me about picking up such light weights. I honestly want to push myself but I just couldn't pick up the bigger weights! I signed up with a new gym that has a wide variety of weights and strength training machines. I get a lot of encouragement to start where I'm comfortable and just keep pushing myself to do more.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:46 AM   #6
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you need more of a certain vitamin...sorry, i don't remember the name of it, but bananas contain a lot of it. Start eating a banana once a day. That should take care of it.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:25 AM   #7
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The other thing to keep in mind is that we lose muscle/lean mass right along with fat. So ironically, your success in losing weight may have left you with a little less muscle than you started with.

That being said, it sounds like you're doing all the right things - awesome! Woman rarely put more than 0.25-.5lbs of muscle every month (though beginners might manage up to a full 1lb for the first little while). So this is a marathon game, as opposed to a sprint.

If you're looking to 'up your game' at the gym a bit, consider eating a handful of carbs an hour or so before. You can also play with creatine, which really makes a difference in some people, in terms of force production and endurance.

You're doing great, keep going!
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