The research continues to pour in that muscle is magic.

I’ll even go so far as to say…

Where health, wellness and aging are concerned, you can never have enough muscle.

A study published in the journal Obesity last year found that, compared with dieters who didn’t exercise and those who did only aerobic exercise, dieters who did strength training exercises four times a week for 18 months lost the most fat (about 18 pounds, compared with 10 pounds for non-exercisers and 16 pounds for aerobic exercisers).

That is MAJOR. That is eight pounds more major!

Now remember, muscle is smaller and more compact that body fat, and it takes up less space.

Therefore, when you add muscle to your body, you will notice that you get smaller, tighter, and leaner at the same body weight. To say this another way, my clients often find that they weigh the same (and sometimes more) but that they now wear a size smaller in their favorite clothes.

I often say,

Does it really matter what the scale says if you are the size and shape that you want to be? If you are wearing your skinny jeans in a smaller size, would you really care what number is on the scale?

Speaking from experience, the answer is no for most women.

Soon I will share with you the story of one of my private coaching clients. She recently sent me current progress photos so that we could assess her progress over the past few months. Comparing her “before” and “after” photos you would think that she had lost 30 pounds. But yet, her actual weight lost on the scale is only 5 pounds.

She is wearing smaller clothes; looks like she has lost a ton of weight; feels better, feels stronger, and has more energy.

This is all because we increased her muscle mass.

Lean muscle mass improves your resting metabolic rate. Some studies show that this increase is minor, but, a boost is a boost, am I right? For most people, ANY increase in the number of calories you are expending at rest (and in a given day) is a bonus!

Muscle is also the first stop for injury prevention. Your bones and joints are supported and held in place by your muscles. Got some aches and pains? Improving your strength, and the amount of lean muscle mass you have, is one of the best ways to feel better and reduce the energetic “drag” on your body.

Now, for women, adding muscle mass is not easy (for most of us). Yes, some women are blessed to be able to add muscle more easily than others. In my experience (over 24 years) about 80% of women have a hard time adding muscle. So listen up, because they are some rules if this is you.

Check out this week’s video below to learn exactly how many reps for each exercise you should be doing in order to improve your lean muscle mass.

Also, click below and watch this week’s video to learn the most important rule for eating to improve your lean muscle mass.

Holly started Women’s Strength Nation to improve the ratio of women to men strength training around the world. You can Join the Movement by sharing your thoughts and questions below. Your thoughts and ideas may help another woman’s journey. Please join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Stay strong, friend.  

Want to hear even more on this topic?

Be sure to check out “LIVE with Holly” HERE!

10 replies
  1. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    Hi Holly – I am on my fourth week of your Newbie strength training program from your book “Lift To Get Lean” and strength training twice per week with one day of cardio per week at this point. Does the 15 times one’s body weight for total calories per day apply for those who are new to strength training? This would equal 1,950 calories per day for me, which seems like a lot. I am not overweight so don’t need to lose pounds— just looking to get stronger, lose fat, build muscle, and look and feel better. Thanks for the very helpful information! Love your book and website!


  2. Bob Lee
    Bob Lee says:

    Holly Perkins! you have shared amazing facts about muscle strength. I am glad to bookmarking your site. I am looking forward for more interesting facts. Thanks.

    • Holly Perkins
      Holly Perkins says:

      Hi Bob,
      I’m so glad you bookmarked my site! I have tons of info to share each week, here on my blog as well as on Facebook and Instagram. I hope you can join us there too.

      In Strength,

  3. Mani
    Mani says:

    I am in love with your article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us you have described in detail. Bookmarked for my future visit. All the posts are very helpful and informative.

  4. Rach
    Rach says:

    So excited for this topic. I just ordered your book. I’m hoping to figure out how to add muscle to my thin, bird legs. I’m 35 and have never really lifted my legs.

    Thanks for all the great content!!!


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