Preventing Stretch Marks Caused by Lifting Weights

When you’re taking strides to get into shape and perfect your body by lifting weights, the last thing you want is for your weightlifting routine to cause you to develop stretch marks. Stretch marks are commonly caused by rapid muscle gain associated with weight lifting, so it’s important that people starting a new bodybuilding routine take steps to prevent stretch marks. Consider the following stretch mark prevention methods to help you avoid developing striae.

Avoid Steroids and Other Supplements

The most common reason for the rapid muscle gain that causes stretch marks is using steroids, creatine, or other supplements that promote quick muscle development. While these supplements may help you get buff more quickly, they may also cause your skin to stretch, tear, and form stretch mark scars due to your skin being unprepared for such rapid change in shape. While it will take longer to develop muscles naturally, you’ll be happier with how your body looks in the end if you don’t end up with stretch marks.

Eat Foods That Promote Collagen Development

Collagen is a protein found in the body that promotes skin health: it encourages skin to repair itself when damaged and helps keep skin strong and elasticized. While your body produces less collagen as you get older, there are certain foods you can eat that promote collagen development and help keep skin from tearing when stretched because of weightlifting. Adding the following foods to your regular diet can help promote collagen development: green vegetables, berries, and fish and other lean meats.

Wear Sunscreen or Use a Sunless Tanner

After you’re ripped, you’re going to want to show off your body, and you’re not going to want to be pasty white. However, UV rays can damage your body’s production of collagen, encouraging stretch marks to form. When out in the sun, make sure to wear sunscreen to protect your skin, and avoid using tanning beds. If you want to look tan when showing off your new physique, use a sunless tanner or get a spray tan. You may feel silly doing it, but you’ll look better with a fake tan than with stretch marks.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water helps to keep skin hydrated and supple, so making sure you’re drinking enough water is important when preventing stretch marks. Check with your doctor to find out what amount of water you should drink daily to support your new workout regimen.

Use a Stretch Mark Prevention Lotion

Not only will using a stretch mark prevention lotion make your newly muscled body soft and shiny, it will also help you avoid getting stretch marks. Lotions that help prevent stretch marks are a cost effective and simple way to avoid developing stretch marks that are caused by lifting weights. Using a stretch mark prevention lotion once or twice every day while building muscles will help you avoid stretch marks so you can feel proud showing off your body once it’s ripped and ready for display.

What Causes Stretch Marks After Losing Weight?

Striae, more commonly referred to as stretch marks, are scars that form in the middle layer of skin when brittle skin stretches and tears. While stretch marks are most commonly associated with pregnancy and weight gain, losing weight is also a common cause. This surprises most people because skin isn’t stretching when you lose weight—it’s shrinking. However, there are a few reasons why stretch marks form as a result of weight loss:

Weight Loss Causes Stretch Marks to Appear

In some cases, it’s not losing weight that causes stretch marks—they were caused by gaining weight and just didn’t become visible until after you lost that weight. If you have preexisting stretch marks caused by weight gain, you won’t be able to prevent stretch marks when losing weight because they’re already there.

Excess Skin

If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight and have excess skin because of your weight loss, that excess skin can cause stretch marks because it weighs down other areas of skin. The excess skin pulls on healthy skin and can cause stretching, tearing, and scarring. If you plan to lose a lot of weight, using a stretch mark prevention cream daily can help prevent stretch marks from developing due to the weight of excess skin.

Muscle Gain

If you engage in strength training to lose weight, quick muscle development may cause stretch marks to form. Rapid muscle development can stretch skin to accommodate larger muscles, so strength training and bodybuilding are common causes of stretch marks. To help prevent stretch mark development, try to gain muscle as a sustained pace rather than very quickly, and avoid using steroids or other supplements that encourage rapid muscle development.

Rapid Weight Loss

Any rapid changes in the shape of skin can result in stretch marks, even the shrinking of skin caused by losing weight quickly. To prevent stretch marks from forming due to weight loss, try to lose weight at a consistent pace rather than all at once or very quickly. Dramatic diet changes and sudden intense workouts can cause rapid weight loss and stretch mark development, and these weight loss methods are also harder to maintain. You’ll have more success making gradual changes to your diet and exercise routines, and you’ll be less likely to develop stretch marks.

Treatment Options

If you are already suffering from stretch marks, there are many treatment options available for fading or eliminating stretch mark scars. Laser treatment, chemical peels, and microneedling are all procedures that a doctor can perform to minimize stretch marks scarring. A tummy tuck can also be performed in cases where you have both stretch marks and excess skin, though a tummy tuck is a highly invasive procedure that carries many risks.

An economical first step for stretch mark removal is to use a stretch mark removal cream. Available over the counter, a stretch mark cream may reduce the appearance of stretch marks and doesn’t require a doctor to perform a high-cost treatment.

What You Need to Know Before Starting CrossFit

CrossFit is a popular workout and training program that encourages people to push past their limits to lose weight, gain muscle, and get stronger. Proponents of the program absolutely love it; they rave about its benefits and attempt to recruit others. People who aren’t fans of the program, on the other hand, warn that it’s dangerous: trainers with minimal credentials encourage people to push further than they feel they should go. This combination could lead to injury and other serious health conditions.

Regardless of which side is correct, you need to do your own research to determine if the CrossFit program is right for you. Talk to your doctor before starting the program, and consider these four pieces of information designed to assist you in making a decision:

CrossFit Is Not for Beginners

If you’ve spent the last year sitting on the couch eating potato chips and watching Netflix, you probably don’t want to start exercising at the level of intensity required in a CrossFit program. While you’ll probably lose weight if you stick to it, you’ll be so sore after you first workout that you’ll never want to go back, discouraging you from sticking with the program. Additionally, going from not working out at all to working out at such a high intensity can lead to injury and other serious health issues.

Becoming a Trainer Requires Little Education

You can become a CrossFit level 1 trainer by taking a weekend course and passing a written test—that’s it. What this means is that pretty much anyone with a little extra cash and a couple of free days can take on the title of coach. These coaches may have varying levels of education on proper form and health and could coach you into doing reps of an exercise incorrectly, increasing the likelihood that you’ll be injured. An injury could leave you stationary for weeks and force you to start all over again after healing.

CrossFit Works

Like any program that encourages regular exercise, weightlifting, and constant improvement, CrossFit does help people get in shape, lose weight, and build muscle mass. It’s high-intensity workouts provide regular practitioners with sculpted bodies and can provide desired results to individuals who already engage in regular exercise and weightlifting in their daily lives and are looking to get to the next level. CrossFit also promotes dieting to assist in getting into shape, which can also add to the program’s effectiveness.

Weight Loss and Muscle Gain Can Cause Stretch Marks

Before starting any new diet or exercise program, it’s important to keep in mind that losing weight rapidly and gaining muscle rapidly are two of the most common causes of stretch marks. Since one of your goals for getting in shape is likely so you can look your best, you may want to start using a stretch mark prevention product daily before beginning CrossFit. An over the counter stretch mark prevention lotion or cream may reduce your likelihood or developing stretch marks when you start CrossFit.

Are There Risks Doing The p90x Workout? Find Out Here

The popular workout regimen Power 90 Extreme (p90x) is a video series of 12 exercise routines developed by Tony Horton that are designed to help individuals lose weight and get into shape within 90 days of starting the program. The regimen is intense and, as such, carries many risks and rewards. Consider these benefits and disadvantages before starting p90x to decide if the program is right for you.

Benefit: You Will Most Definitely Lose Weight

Unless you are a professional athlete before you start p90x, you will most certainly lose weight if you complete the program. Where average-intensity cardio routines allow you to burn 6-8 calories per minute, high-intensity workouts like p90x can help you burn up to 13 calories per minute—almost twice as much. Burning 13 calories per minute during the average 60 minute p90x workout means you’re burning 780 calories each day, enough to work off an entire meal.

Risk: The Regimen Is Dangerous for Beginners

Because the workouts in the p90x regimen are high-intensity and lengthy, they’re not really designed for people who don’t work out regularly. If you’re going from not exercising at all into p90x, there is a risk that the intensity of the workouts could cause you to suffer from health issues. Injuries like strained muscles are common among beginners, and straining a muscle will keep you from continuing your routine for a week or more while your body heals. More severe conditions can also develop, so it’s important to check with your doctor before starting p90x.

Benefit: You’ll Develop Muscles

Because p90x combines weight training, flexibility training, and cardio, it promotes weight loss, makes you more flexible, and aids muscle growth and definition. Unlike other workout programs that focus primarily on one of the three areas: weight loss through cardio, flexibility through stretching exercises, or muscle gain through weight training, p90x allows individuals to focus on all three areas in the same routine.

Risk: You Might Develop Stretch Marks

When your body changes shape due to rapid weight loss or muscle development, there is a high risk that stretch marks will form. Stretch marks form when skin tears due to rapid changes in its shape, and that tearing forms the scarring we commonly refer to as stretch marks. Stretch marks do not go away on their own, so it’s important to take preventative measures in order to prevent them from developing when starting a new workout routine. Many stretch mark prevention products can be applied to skin daily that will reduce the likelihood of stretch marks forming.

Benefit: p90x Lets You Skim the Gym

If working out at a gym is your own personal nightmare, p90x is a good way to get into shape in the comfort of your own home. Performing the routines requires little equipment—you can do some version of all of the exercises using just dumbbells and a set of resistance bands—so there’s no need to go to the gym or fill your house with workout equipment to get into shape.