Strength Training

Subject: ⚽ Sports
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 581
Topics: Exercise, Health, Physical Education, Weight Loss
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Strength training is a kind of physical workout focusing the building of strength, the size of skeletal muscles and anaerobic endurance through the use of resistance to stimulate muscular contraction (Andersen & Jakicic, 2003). Properly well-performed strength training has significant benefits and it improves the overall well-being and health which includes ligament and tendon strength and toughness, increased bone, improved joint function, muscle, and reduced potential for injury. Strength training has found its way in most sporting activities as part of their training regimen and is increasingly becoming popular (Andersen & Jakicic, 2003). However, its growing popularity has also been accompanied by a lot of misinformation especially with many professionals in this field. In this paper, a misconception that muscles turn into fat if one quit training is explained.

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To begin with, the misconception that I have heard from many people is that muscles turn into fat if you happen to quit training or stop for a while. I was ones discouraged by a friend, a typical gym rat, not to engage in strength training because of my supposed weakness when it comes to endurance. Because of our past experiences on matters that require sacrifice and commitment, he considered me weak and he could foresee me quitting the training soon.  His reasoning was that I will soon swell like a balloon just like most athletes who quit training and start looking squishy around their edges. He linked the sudden body swelling of these athletes with their muscles and concluded that the muscles turn into fat. However, his reasoning is not the truth because there is no way the muscles can turn into fat. This is because the cells that make up the fat and muscles are totally different.

The muscles cells are never gained but rather enlarge when one engage in physical exercise (Christie, 2011). The same way, when one quits exercise, the muscles never go away but rather shrink. When one exercises, the metabolism is raised because the built muscles require a lot of calories to maintain. Studies have shown that more than 20 calories per day are required by a pound of muscles. Again, intensive training and workout lead to a lot of calorie burn. Therefore, metabolism is quickly raised when one engages in intensive exercise and would need to consume a lot to compensate these calorie losses(Christie, 2011).

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On the other hand, when one stops training, the muscles start shrinking due to lack of need for them. Therefore, the metabolism is slowed down and the body requires fewer calories. However, people who top regular exercise fail to adjust their calorie intake to compensate for the reduced caloric need and they continue to take an equal amount of calorie. Because of the high difference between the body requirement and the consumption, one begins to see a fat gain at an increasingly high rate of about one pound per week (Christie, 2011).

In conclusion, while muscle never turns into fat, the decrease in the caloric expenditure and lack of the need to maintain muscle by the body without calories consumption adjustment leads to muscle loss and fat gain almost concurrently giving the impression that muscle of former athletes turns into fat.

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  1. Andersen, R.E. & Jakicic, J.M. (2003). “Physical activity and weight management: Building the       case for exercise”. The Physical and Sportsmedicine, 31 (9): 39–45.
  2. Christie, J. (2011). “Progressive resistance strength training for improving physical function in      older adults”. International Journal of Older People Nursing, 6 (3): 244–246.
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