Everybody loves Dan John.
(Hmmm… maybe that should be a TV show…)
And if you don’t know Dan, you should.
He’s like the uncle everybody loves. In fact, I sometimes call him “Uncle Dan.”
He’s just a real likable, smart, and wise guy (wait, just read that after writing that – not a WiseGuy like the Mob or anything like that… not that there’s anything wrong with that… fuggedaboutit…)
Anyway, Dan likes bodybuilding.
No, I’m not talking about training for puffy muscles, tanning, waxing, and posing on stage in your $200 underwear…
I’m simply talking about the process of putting some extra meat on your bones…
… especially as you age.
In recent years, both Dan and I have been advocating do some things a little outside the kettlebell box.
Namely, building muscle. (Remember that little book that came out a couple of years ago – “Kettlebell Muscle”…?)
Now Dan calls it “armor” which, admittedly, I wish I had thought of cause it just sounds cooler.
Like Action Hero cool.
Plus it takes away the “ick” factor associated with bodybuilding.
Anyway, why should you spend some time doing some hypertrophy work (Like that fancy “science-speak”?)
Here’s at least FOUR reasons:
#1. Muscle helps keep your metabolic rate up.
Muscle is some of the most “metabolically active” tissue in your body. It’s what burns calories. Think about it – if you can’t move or move well, you can’t burn calories. And when you can’t do that, your body in its intuitive wisdom decides it doesn’t need to use as much energy at rest as it once did.
So it slows down the rate at which you use energy on a daily basis – your metabolic rate.
Taking a look at the opposite side of the coin here, this means it’s easier for you to get fat. Nice, huh?
#2. It also helps keep your hormonal profiles “young”.
Two of the hormones used in the muscle building process are testosterone and growth hormone. Men build muscle using both hormones, but primarily through T, while women build muscle primarily through GH stimulation.
Both T and GH help tissue repair and regeneration and retard the aging process.
And who doesn’t want that?
#3. It also helps form a strength “base.”
There are 2 ways to get stronger – grease the groove – which is to train the skill and to increase the size of your muscle.
Science has proven that the strength of a muscle is directly proportional to its cross-sectional area.
Therefore, the bigger the muscle, the greater the POTENTIAL for strength.
Why not take advantage of both mechanisms?
Besides, strength acquired through GTG is lost faster than strength gained through laying down new muscle.
#4. It makes you look better nekkid.
Look, if you say you don’t care what you look like in the mirror, I’m calling “BS” on you! Cause if that’s the case – you better stop shaving (ladies too), stop combing your hair and using that fancy “product,” and quit showering while you’re at it.
When you like what you see in the mirror, you feel better on the inside. Plain and simple. Putting a little bit of muscle on in the right places will help improve that feeling.
*BONUS* #5. It helps with collision/contact sports
Now I don’t know the last time you were tackled or taken down, but if you’re like me, it’s been a couple of years. But this is a valuable point Dan makes, which is that muscle helps absorb impact.
So what that really means in “geezer-speak” is that you may not break something when you fall, trip, or roll down the stairs after a late night drinking binge… (Not saying you would do that, but just in case…)
It also means you recover quicker and you can “play” sooner at full speed, whether it’s on the field or doing office antics. You get the point.
Next time, I’ll show you a super-easy method to pack on some real usable muscle that will make your whole body stronger.
P.S. I think this video really does a great job making Dan’s point about the whole “collision” thing… (Try not to laugh too hard.)