I'd advise against carrying weights while walking. Joints are generally designed to be compressed not stretched, and having to arrest the momentum of the weights with every stride stresses the joints in ways they were not meant to be stressed. There is a reason "The Rack" was a medieval torture device.
If you do want to carry extra weight to increase the intensity of your walking, use a weight vest or backpack, which keeps the weight close to your center of gravity.
Also, strength training is effective only to the extent that it is genuinely challenging your muscles at close to their maximum capacity. This is generally taken to mean fatigueing your muscles in 15 reps or less (ie. 1-2 minutes). If you can carry something for 20-30 minutes of walking, it is simply not challenging enough to develop your arm muscles. If you want to develop them, lift heavy with dedicated strength training.
6/28/13 11:33 P
I have a question for anyone who has the answer or suggestions. I love to walk, walking in my living room to a video, on a treadmill, on a hard surface road (I live in a rural area) and lately I've started hiking on trails. So my question is, is there a benefit to carrying weights while walking? Would this help to define my arm (bicep/forearm) muscles? I appreciate any feedback to this. Thanks!
Devices that measure body fat are NOTORIOUSLY inaccurate - they basically only measure enough to complete the circuit (the bottom half of you if you're standing on a scale, or your arms and chest if it's a handheld thing), so if you carry your fat more in one half than the other, it won't look right.
For example, my Tanita scale knows I am 5'10", I weigh 178 lbs, and it tells me I have 41% body fat. That's just not possible, and realistically I'm probably at around 27-30% by looking at comparison pics. I'm carrying most of my excess fat in my thighs and butt, so the scale thinks my entire body is composed like that.
Yes, impedance methods are known to be considerably inaccurate. Even being out 1 or 2% is going to significantly change the interpretation of where that 10 kilos is coming from.
It can be a good idea to check yourself occasionally (eg. every 3-6 months) with a more accurate method - most gyms will do a skinfold caliper test for $10 or so. That way you can calibrate your scale against a more accurate measurement, while still using the BF scales to track progress on a shorter term basis.
It is difficult to add substantial muscle mass while running a calorie deficit to lose weight - the body tends to burn protein for energy rather than creating new muscle tissue. Visible muscle definition is normally about reducing the fat covering your muscles rather than increased size. And much of the gain in strength actually comes from improved muscle quality (known as 'neuromuscular adaptation') rather than increased size. So seeing more definition, and being able to lift more is not necessarily evidence of increased muscle mass.
6/28/13 10:48 A
I've been strength training using a York 2000 universal home weight machine starting in February of this year. I can see and feel my new muscles. However, according to my Aria Scale my lean tissue mass has still reduce by about 30%. Of the 10 kilos (22 pounds) I've lost 3 were lean tissue and 7 were fat. Why is this happening? If I can see the muscles and I'm stronger shouldn't I be losing less lean and more fat. Currently my fat percentage is about 35.5 percent. My goal is to get it down to less than 30 %. I've also lost quite a few inches, including 5 inches off my waist and 2 inches off of each thigh and upper arm. Is the impedance method of calculating fat percentage that inaccurate? How much more weight am I going to have to lose to reach my goal?
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