10 Minutes of Fitness with James FitzGerald: Lean Mass is Misunderstood

10 minutes of fitness with James FitzGerald, Lean Mass is misunderstood

In this episode of 10 Minutes of Fitness, James FitzGerald breaks down the misconceptions of building lean mass.

How Lean Mass, Function, and Biology Are Related.

Coaches are all too familiar with the goal of gaining lean mass. But, the kicker is that 95% of clients are not able to gain lean mass. Why? Well, there is a myriad of reasons but here is the most common and how a coach can address it.

In order to gain lean mass clients need strength.

Clients may be struggling to gain lean mass because they are not capable of breaking down their muscle tissue. This is because they lack the prerequisite levels of strength. In order to gain lean mass, the client needs to be capable of breaking down muscle and recovering from that breakdown.

How to build the prerequisites for lean mass.

In order to gain lean mass, a coach should first build the client’s strength by building motor coordination and increasing the time under tension. However, while a coach might create a great program that in theory should build lean mass, there may be one final but substantial obstacle standing in the way, biology.

As FitzGerald explains, biology and how we have adapted as humans play a large part in gaining lean mass. FitzGerald’s answer is short and simple:  

“When in life do we grow? We grow from 12-18 and reach peak height and peak weight. In other times of life, how much do we grow? Nada, we don’t”.

Is lean mass really the goal?

While a coach can do everything right sometimes it might be impossible to gain lean mass. This begs the question, why is the goal to gain lean mass? The answer will be different for every client but, unless the goal of gaining lean mass is related to their function they might be better off chasing over health.

Coaching a client through the process of gaining lean mass requires the client and the coach to be aligned on the goal, knowing how to ask the right questions to determine a client’s goals and function is one of the most powerful tools a coach can possess. Learn what questions to ask, how to conduct a thorough consultation, and understand the OPEX System of Coaching in our free mini-course Coach’s Toolkit.

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