Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!

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    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:00 am

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:00 am

    Please see my website for details!

    I am also teaching a yoga class for the City of San Jose on Wednesdays through June at 5pm

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training all virtual, of course!

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Posts Tagged ‘muscle’

Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

Posted by terrepruitt on August 2, 2011

I think you have probably heard that before.  You might have even said it.  I know that I have.  It doesn’t make sense.  One pound of muscle CANNOT weigh more than one pound of fat, that is impossible.  A pound of something does not weigh more than a pound of something else.  Nope, just not possible.  Doesn’t matter if one pound is feathers and another pound is rocks. As you probably know, it is really about volume or the SPACE that one takes up over the other.  A POUND of fat actually takes up more space than a POUND of muscle, but they still WEIGH the same.  There is really no getting around that weight thing.

Sometimes a scale that measures weight might be a little deceiving in terms of size and health.  It all depends upon your goal.  Right?  I always say that, but it is true.  If your mainly concerned with how much you weigh then that is what you should focus on.  If you want to be smaller then maybe a scale is not the best way to measure that.  If you want to build muscle or be stronger then you might not want to be concerned with the weight because it is difficult to get weight to go down and muscle to go up.  Of course, this is all very general, I am not saying one is good or one is bad, I am really just trying explain the point a bit.

I find, on occasion, one of the best ways to explain something is to use a visual aide.  Here is a picture.

What you see is three pounds of butter with a three pound weight.  What is butter?  Fat.  I am using the weight as a rough sample of muscle.  This is three pounds of fat compared to three pounds of muscle.  Yeah, yeah, I know it is not exact, but it gives us a rough idea right?  You can clearly see that three pounds of fat take up much more room than three pounds of “muscle”.

If you are working out and exercising to “lose weight” your scale might not always tell you the accurate truth. Because first of all usually we are working out and exercising to lose fat and one of the best ways to do that is with strength training.  A muscled body burns more calories than a fatty body, no matter what the body is doing.  So one way to help lose the fat is to gain muscle.  But if you gain muscle the number on your scale might not go down as much as you think it should.  Second, if you are not doing some type of resistance training you would be losing muscle.

If you are doing something in your fitness routine that builds muscle and the scale is not moving down or it is not going down fast enough for you, don’t get discouraged.  Maybe it is time to take out the measure tape.  It could be that you are going down in size but staying the same or even gaining pounds.

Also remember that in order for you to actually build bigger muscles you have to follow a specific training plan so chances are you are not going to get bigger. Women – in general – don’t need to be concerned with that.  That is another great reason to measure because the body will change so it might look different or seem bigger to you, but with a measure of it, you will know.

Not too long before I hurt my foot I thought my scale was broken.  It kept showing me the same weight but my clothes weren’t fitting the same.  I threw my scale away.  Turns out it really wasn’t broken,  I was NOT gaining weight,  I was just losing muscle mass.  So now that my foot is better (better, not the same, but better) I want to get back to having more muscle.  I thought this would be a great way to remind me.  Sometimes I know things, I just need a reminder, what about you?  Do you sometimes need a reminder?  I am sure that you know that muscles DOES NOT weigh more than fat — not possible, but I thought I’d give us a visual to keep in our heads.

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Muscle Book

Posted by terrepruitt on April 25, 2009

When I was studying for my Personal Trainer Certification I came across a book I thought would be helpful, The Muscle Book by Paul Blakey. After buying it, I took another class for which this book was recommended reading. The book is also recommended reading for Nia teachers. Obviously instructors think it is helpful too. It is a good book. It is very simple and easy to understand.

It has 45 pages, it is black and white, and spiral bound. Page 4 explains how to use the book, because every page that describes a muscle has a lot of information on it. Each page gives you the muscle name and where the name originated, it explains the possible movement issues, and advises that certain actions can injure or cause pain. There are line drawing illustrations, action of the muscle, the muscles origin and insertion, and the muscle’s contribution muscle (synergists). And last but not least “Finger First Aid”.

At first I thought the “Finger First Aid” was ridiculous because the book claims it strengthens weak muscles. Then I realized that it is great instructions on massage or what I am thinking of as acupressure, because the “massage” is not of the muscle itself, but of the origin and the insertion. The book claims that massaging these areas “stimulates the circulation”.

A few times when my upper back was sore, I had my husband press the points as shown in the book and it really helped. He didn’t really massage my back, but just pressed the points and it was amazing the relief I felt.

So, I wanted to share it with you because it is easy to read, which makes it easy to learn from. I really like this book and I refer back to it often, and I am a believer now, in what Mr. Blakey calls “Finger First Aid”.

I bet you can find this book in any book store in most cities like: San Jose, Los Gatos, San Ramon, Mountain View, etc. or through Amazon.

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My First Zumba Class

Posted by terrepruitt on March 21, 2009

I took my first Zumba class recently in Willow Glen (San Jose).  I want to say it was fun.  The instructor was awesome, just fabulous.  She would do the move at least once slow so that we could learn it, then she would crank it up!  Now don’t let that scare you.  If you have been thinking about taking Zumba, but have been intimidated, don’t worry, it is very similar to Jazzercise, except it is to Latin music.  Once you get the “Jazzercise part” down, then you can Zumba it up with all the moves that make it Zumba, like the hip gyrations, the Latin motion, the “Orange Julius”, the shimmy, the shake, the hip bumps, and all the things that make it Latin.

Since I have taken Jazzercise in my past and I am currently practicing Nia, I think I did well.  Nia has actually helped me find the confidence to just go into a class and shimmy, shake, and gyrate! 

The music is club-pumping loud, but the instructor either shouts above it or uses hand motions to try to get you going the right direction.  I honestly hadn’t thought about blogging about it so I wasn’t paying attention to the other participants that much—aside from giving them enough space and trying not to run into them–so I can’t report much there, except they were having a good time.  I was so intent on the instructor AND trying to make sure that I was doing it in “my body’s way” that I didn’t focus much on the others.  Even though I was in a Zumba class doing Zumba I still wanted to make sure that I was doing what my body needed.  So I have to say that the three minute cool down was not enough for me and that I didn’t follow it because I needed to stretch in different ways in order to properly facilitate my cool down and recovery.

As for the rest of the class, it is a great sweat inducing cardio workout.  But I didn’t feel as if any of my muscles or my core got any work, but I did get very sweaty jumping around to the music.  I want to get two for the price of one, so I want a workout to make me feel as if I have worked my muscles and did some cardio.  So, it’s not what I am looking for in a regular workout, but I will probably make it to a class every-once-in-awhile to throw some change into my workout regimen.   And like I always say, find something you like and do it.  Zumba might be right for you.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »