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Effective Muscle Building and Fat Loss #1: The Basics
Feb 16th, 2010 - written by Stephan in Health

The long-term goal of effective muscle-building and fat loss is to get your own body weight in a desirable area and to keep it there, which requires a daily confrontation with your actions and habits. There are really no secret tricks or weapons on the way to the body you want to have. Any success is based on your personal behavior and the understanding of the functioning of your body and your metabolism.

Why Should I Lose Weight?

Normalizing your body fat level entails very significant benefits for both, your body and your feeling of well-being:

Improved Cardiovascular PerformanceObese people suffer from a permanently overstressed cardiovascular system, because the extra body fat needs to be supplied with blood and to be carried around. Each pound of body fat has about 8.5 miles of capillaries, which are the smallest of the body´s blood vessels. The consequences are high blood pressure, many of cardiovascular and other lifestyle diseases and premature death. In particular, the excessive intake of animal fat leads to a high concentration of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, one of the main causes of strokes. Reducing body fat by a healthy diet and activity leads to a significant improvement in physical performance.
Relief of the Musculoskeletal SystemExcess of body fat is a major burden for the body´s passive structures such as bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Consequently the untrained muscles and tendons cannot withstand the load, which ultimately leads to joint pain as another reason to not move at all.
Decreased Risk of DiabetesThe risk of developing diabetes increases with each pound of excess body fat. Studies have shown that the number of diabetes patients in a country is directly linked to the number of overweight people.
Decreased Risk of Premature DeathCommon sense alone is enough to know from that obesity and healthy living even in older age very seldom go hand in hand. The average life expectancy of overweight people is about 8-15 years below the normal levels. In addition to that it results in an enormous loss of quality of living, especially in the last third of life, when the overall physical performance declines and excess body fat becomes an even higher burden.

The Ideal Body Weight via the BMI

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a tool to decide, whether the average adults relation of body weight and body size is in an acceptable range.

Calculating the BMI

Metric SystemAmerican SystemBritish System
BMI = weight (kg) / height² (m²) BMI = 703*weight (lb) / height² (in²) BMI = 6,35*weight (stone) / height² (m²)

Calculating the Body Mass Index does not meet the requirements of athletes, because it does not consider the body composition, e.g. an increased level of muscle mass. It is generally preferable to have a look at the body fat percentage.

The Body Fat Percentage

The body fat percentage is expressed as a percentage, indicating how many shares of the body are consisting of body fat. The following figures are averages. For athletes the normal range can be lowered by up to 5%.

Nominal Body Fat

Based on the percentage of body fat one can calculate nominal amount of body fat as follows.
  • Weight Body Fat(lb) = Body Fat Percentage(%) * Bodyweight(lb).
The ideal range of the nominal weight of body fat is almost the same for men women.
  • 20 lb < body fat in pounds < 30 lb,
i.e. values below 20 lb as well as values above 30 lb are unhealthy.

Somatic Intelligence

Regular and consciously executed training does not only improve your physical performance, but is especially increasing the awareness of dealing with your own body, which is an intelligent and perfect system, but that is only capable to respond to actions and circumstances according to its possibilities.

An excessive food and thus energy supply.arrow_green_left_rightGrowth of the body's energy stores, the fat cells.
Consuming unhealthy food and dead calories.arrow_green_left_rightPoisoning and weakening of the body. Reduced performance.
Too little fluid intake.arrow_green_left_rightDecreased metabolic functions and poisoning of the body.
Lack of physical activity and sport.arrow_green_left_rightLoss of muscle mass, growth of fat cells and decreased metabolism.

The reasons for being overweight, underweight, sickly or not having enough energy can ver rarely be excused with bad genetics or "heavy bones". Our body is nothing but a mirror of our own expectations for ourselves Train and move (use ) it regularly, befriend with it and your body begins to tell you what it is doing well and what does not.

Self Awareness

It is important to have an exact picture of yourself, but don´t take it too seriously or compare with others. Realize your strengths and weaknesses, without apologizing for it, it makes it easier to give life a new direction. You are overweight? Great! Accept it as a result of your recent actions and ways of thinking and change it. You are not motivated and do not feel strong enough to do so? Get up and move you. The more energy your body and mind demand, the more they get. Open the windows, take a deep breath and do 20 squats, take a brisk walk around the block once and drink a liter of cold water. (and then please continue reading...)


How does a piece of coal happen to become a valuable diamond? It is two crucial things: pressure and time.

Transforming your body also needs regular pressure (training) a lot of time (patience). Time is especially important because the organism has to adapt to the new situation. Rapid changes, as the media often praises them to get you to buy useless products, are medically questionable and the results usually are not long-lasting. It is unrealistic to expect the perfect body within a few weeks of training. That´s one of the main reasons why so many people fail: they give up, because their expectations do not fit into the concept of their present life.

Expect a lot, but do not expect a convenient way!

Also read part 2: Effective Muscle Building and Fat Loss #2: The Metabolism

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