By Dr. Michael Bilof
“I want to weight train Doc, I’m just afraid of getting too muscular”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this in my career (mostly from female patients but occasionally men). Well, this month I have some good news! If you are a regular reader of my column you know that for many months I’ve been talking about things you want to avoid or should NOT do—not this month! This month we are talking about things you are free to do and do more of!
Earlier this year we talked about the importance of muscle mass (technically ‘lean tissue’) and how to measure it but I suspect some of you are out there thinking: “Can I overshoot with weight training and become too muscular”? Short answer….No!
If you are a ‘normal person’, that is you are not a professional athlete who is paid to train, it is basically impossible to put on too much muscle mass. This is one area where the math is simple: more is always better.
As we age, increasing muscle mass has only upsides. Increasing muscle mass will improve skeletal stability and strength but also (somewhat surprisingly) is good for heart health as well! Let’s say for 2023 you have a goal of putting on 5 lbs of muscle mass (Good goal, btw!). The only way to do that is with a regimen of weight training. If you have never done this type of training I would recommend several sessions with a knowledgeable trainer to avoid injuries and ‘rookie mistakes’. But have no fear because even with a very aggressive system of weight training the chance that you will get too muscular is zero. The chance you will significantly improve your health—basically one hundred percent!
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