You’ll hear this term a lot if you read anything to do with food and balance; in the fitness industry we use it in the same way as they do in the nutritional industry. Which is to say that a diet is made up of macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients, or macro’s are your carbohydrates, fats and proteins whereas micronutrients are your vitamins and minerals.
In biochemistry a macronutrient is any substance such as carbon, hydrogen or oxygen that is required by the body in relatively large amounts and it is the same in botany (plants) for nitrogen, hydrogen or phosphorus.
Macro, from the Greek makros, means large and so we use it to describe fuels that are required in large amounts by the body.
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are made up from molecules and these in turn are made up from atoms of carbon, hydrogen or oxygen in different combinations. It is how these atoms are put together and with what bonds between them that determines their function in the body. Essentially, the break down of molecules releases energy and this energy is used by the body to function.
The body operates a priority system whereby the first source of energy is derives is from the glucose circulating in the blood. This is a small molecule that is easily accessible and easily broken down to be used for energy, however there is only a certain amount of circulating glucose one can store in ones blood and so the body then must turn to its second choice. This usually happens after about 20mins of aerobic exercise and is one of the key factors we consider when, as online personal trainers or Brighton personal trainers, we are creating weight loss plans for clients. Because what happens next is crucial; the body looks for its next favourite energy source and as a result of prior planning it is able to accesses the molecules of fat it has stored for just these occasions.
These are converted to glucose to be used for energy, in fact the number one goal of the body is to serve the brain with energy so this is the first place the body will check if it needs fuelling. In an exercise session the energy will quickly then be directed to the working muscles via the pumping blood flow to ensure they can keep operating at the level needed.
So that’s it in a nutshell! If you have any questions about any of this or anything else just drop us a line as usual…
Dont worry, the weights you will be lifting probably wont make you TOO muscular unless you are lifting them every day for years and years. We may ask you to include them in your training as part of a metabolic conditioning program to increase the rate at which you burn FAT as well as:
- Increased bone density
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Injury prevention
- Enhanced performance in activity generally
- Lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease
- Boosts confidence
- Improves balance
- Fights depression
Take a look at these 3 photos:
Model 1 will live at the gym, be taking some kind form of steroid drug, will eat huge amounts of food daily and consume various supplements. She will endure enormous mood swings, possess a rare set of genetics and probably exhibit some typically male traits ranging from a large adams apple and excessive hair growth through to an out of control libido. She will be a competitive bodybuilder training on a periodised program and have spent years and years sculpting the physique you see today. You will not wake up one day having done some strength work and look anything like this!
Model 2 Won’t be on steroids, yet will also have to be military with her training and nutrition. She will also be on a periodised training program and will have also had to make huge sacrifices in her life to gain the amount of muscle she has whilst stripping her frame of fat. Women have only 10% of the testosterone (muscle building hormone) that men do, and so to even build this physique would have taken years of dedication and understanding of her body’s metabolism, adaptation rate, water holding fluxuations not to mention monumental mental strength. You will not wake up one day having done some strength work and look anything like this!
Model 3 Depicts most of the rest of us. It is very difficult to build a well muscled physique. Men have much more testosterone than women and often still find it difficult to build a well muscled physique. Ask yourself this: How many of your male friends want to bulk up and pack on some muscle? The answer would be higher than you may imagine. In summary, you don’t need to worry about bulking up through strength training, in order to do this you would have to embark on a hardcore program of muscle gain, revamping your entire nutritional vocabulary, and employ a set of lifestyle rules so strict a sergeant major would whimper!