Your muscles aren't just fibers and nerves. They're complex tissues that help you move and, in the process, torch calories and fat to give you a lean, fit figure. So do yourself a favor and get to know them—they're a lot more interesting than you might think.
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1. Your muscles can be up to 70 percent water, says Monica Nelson, American Council on Exercise-certified fitness expert. So when you work out, you should always carry some H2O with you to keep them hydrated.
2. Muscle tissue makes up 35 to 40 percent of your body weight, says Nelson. So keep this in mind before jumping to conclusions when you hop on the scale.
3. For every pound of muscle, the average person can burn up to 50 extra calories, says Nelson. Hmm, suddenly that number on the scale doesn't seem so bad...
4. Using heavier weights in your exercises won't necessarily make your muscles stronger. In order to make strength gains, practicing good form should be at the top of your get-fit list, says fitness expert Suzanne Bowen, creator of BarreAmped.
5. While you can't target weight loss, you can spot tone certain muscles. Just do workouts that are specific toward the body part you want to work on (shoulders, abs, legs), and you'll start seeing results in no time. (Or, try following our guide to The Best Workout for Your Body Type.) Learn how, here.
6. A single step uses almost 200 different muscles, says Nelson, including your hamstrings, quads, iliacus, and psoas major and minor.
7. Your muscles memorize movement patterns, says strength coach Lee Boyce, owner of Boyce Training Systems in Toronto, Canada. So if you end up taking a break from the gym—planned or unplanned—all your body needs is a few warm-up exercises to remember how to get into the swing of things.7-Day Workout Plan to Trim Trouble Spot
Stay in shape in a fitness class.