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Doing more pushups, am I building muscle?

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JENNILACEY's Photo SparkPoints: (69,446)
Fitness Minutes: (44,019)
Posts: 2,480
11/28/13 10:07 A

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You can. It's a myth that you can't do both at the same time, particularly those who are new to weight/resistance training and especially if you are in the obese BMI.

You can also increase strength without building mass but the only way to know for certain if you are building lean mass while losing fat is to have your body fat tested monthly. If lean mass is increasing, while body fat is decreasing, you'd be building lean mass. However, it requires full body and heavy training to really build lean mass while losing fat. A few push ups may be increasing your strength and conditioning but you'd need to work your way up to a challenging full body routine to really let your body know that you need your fat/calories to be put toward building muscle. You also don't want your body to think it's starving or it won't be using those cals to build muscle, that would be low on its list of priorities. Adequate calorie intake, adequate protein and make every calorie count (ie; eat clean, nutrient dense foods, cut out all the junk).

You may find these links helpful:

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/28/2013 (10:09)

Take your focus off the Marshmallow.

"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. If you don't want to get bulky, lift heavy!

I can bench Nicole Richie, eat more than she does in a day before noon, I have a good 20 lbs on her but could still wear her pants.

 current weight: -1.4  under

MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo Posts: 13,648
11/28/13 9:50 A

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A lot of strength gains (at least initially) come from improved muscle quality, rather than increased muscle mass. Specifically, the nerves controlling muscle fibers 'learn' how to better co-ordinate themselves and become more efficient. With pushups for example, there are several muscles involved (triceps, shoulder, chest), and the nerves 'learn' exactly how many muscle fibers are needed for the movement, and which order they need to fire, so there is less wasted effort. This is known as "neuro-muscular adaptation".

I wouldn't quite say you "can't" grow muscle while burning fat, but it is difficult, and any gains will be small.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

 current weight: 178.0 

CAPTATHLETICA's Photo SparkPoints: (2,874)
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11/28/13 8:15 A

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A couple of weeks ago I started incorporating pushups and crunches into my routine so I can get toned as I lose weight. When I started I could barely even do 3 pushups. I just did 23 and feel I can do at least another 2 sets of 8. Same with the crunches, I can now do plentiful situps. Did I grow these muscles? I'm curious because I know you cant grow muscle while burning fat/losing weight, but how could I have the strength to be doing more and more pushups if I aren't growing muscles fibers? Thanks!

Edited by: CAPTATHLETICA at: 11/28/2013 (08:16)
Take it one day at a time. :)

11 Maintenance Weeks

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