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"Your muscles are weak" What??!!!

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  • "Your muscles are weak" What??!!!

    Hi there

    I know there are an awful lot of people on here who know an awful lot about nutrition and fitness and I would really appreciate any of your thoughts on this.

    I had a massage yesterday from a woman that comes into our workplace. Afterwards she asked me do I eat enough protein. I said I reckon I do (I'm about 90% primal at the minute I would say). She said she asked because my muscles were very weak. When I asked which ones (I do have a bit of lower back weakness that I'm trying to correct with core exercises) she said, well all of them!

    To be honest, I was shocked and very disheartened. I have been feeling that I'm in the best shape of my life in terms of nutrition and fitness. Like I said I eat 90% primal and while I don't do the actual primal fitness workout, I do the equivalent (lift heavy things twice a week doing a strength training program I get from a trainer and sprint once a week in a bootcamp type workout where they're really focused on short bursts of maximum effort). Plus I cycle the 10 mile round trip to work two or three times a week and am generally active and walk a good bit. There was a long period in my life before this when I wouldn't walk for 5 minutes but over the last five years I've changed massively.

    So what do you think? Can you tell that someone has "weak muscles" from a massage or was she talking crap? And if you can, what the hell am I doing wrong?! A number of the clients she sees in our workplace are quite unhealthy with awful diets and are overweight and unfit. How can I stand out for having weak muscles among that group?!

    So disheartened

  • #2
    I cannot imagine how she could determine the strength of your muscles by massaging them?! Maybe you are more relaxed than the other people she worked on??

    I really don't know what she was talking about, from the fitness program you outlined, you should be plenty strong, you should have challenged her to a push-up contest

    I wouldn't let this discourage you, although I know it's hard not to listen to others' opinions. However, you said that you're feeling great and would have continued to feel great if she hadn't said anything right?

    How you feel is far more important than the opinion of some random person.
    My Journal

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    • #3
      I once wanted to strengthen my legs because of bad knees (arthritis). More leg strength compensates for weak joints.

      So I had my doctor write a script for physical therapy, and in the assessment, the PT had to have me WORK the muscles to make an assessment of my level of strength. I can't imagine that a masseuse could tell muscle strength via massage--OR has the expertise required to assess your muscle strength.

      I'd ignore this if I were you.

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      • #4
        You know, this is what I thought but I didn't know enough to be sure! Feck her anyway, I let her ruin my day yesterday! But you're right, I feel great so have no reason to credit what she said at all.

        Push-up contest would've been a good idea

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        • #5
          *Phhhtttt*! I had a massage girl say I (get this) was missing one of the lower Lumbar in my back!!! Call me a mutant, but... I don't think so! ....Maybe she's mistaking lack of fat for "weak" muscles!!

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          • #6
            God I hate it when you misplace your lower lumbar!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NourishedEm View Post
              I cannot imagine how she could determine the strength of your muscles by massaging them?! Maybe you are more relaxed than the other people she worked on??
              This. I'm not trained, but I've done massage on several of my friends, and it's amazing how different relaxed muscle and tense muscle feels.
              Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

              If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

              Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly

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              • #8
                Find a new massage therapist.
                Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                • #9
                  There’s no way to asses the level of strength of a muscle by touching it. Through being around bodyweight circles I’ve seen plenty of SKINNY dudes that either lift massively or achieve feats of strength that few people can do, yet you wouldn’t be scared to fight them because they’re not big guys.

                  She probably meant you don’t have a lot of muscle MASS which is easy to see when you’re massaging someone, or just looking at them. Not having a lot of muscle mass doesn’t mean somebody is weak, chances are she just misspoke, and meant to tell you to put on more mass (for whatever reason) but her assertion that your muscles are weak by touching them is quite ridiculous.

                  My immature mind came up with this: Iniquity at a physical

                  Doc: Hey uh, does blood ever rush to your penis?
                  Me: … yeah, why?
                  Doc: cus it’s pretty damn flaccid right now.

                  That immature joke is supposed to be an analogy for what she said to you. You weren’t actively using your muscles, in fact, you were most likely very relaxed, so it’s nonsensical of her to say your muscles were weak. If you had been mid pull-up or something, that’s a different story.
                  I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                  • #10
                    I agree that without an objective assessment a person cannot judge muscular strength in another. End of last year I went to a chiropractor for help with tension and pain in my neck, shoulders, and headaches. He did adjustments, range of motion work, massage, etc, and then tested my front neck flexors because weakness in the front neck muscles can be a cause of the pain i was having. To his surprise, my neck flexor strength was not only fine, but WAY above average. Until he did that test, he had no way of knowing how strong I was.

                    Not only would I find a new masseuse, I would file a complaint either with her or with her supervisor. She was unprofessional to make such a statement, and probably undid any good she did during your massage by the angst her words caused you. Cheers!
                    42 yo female; 5'8"
                    Oct 2009: 205 lbs
                    Dec 2010: 167 lbs
                    Current weight: 158 lbs (first time under 160 in 17 years!!!)
                    Goal weight: 145 lbs

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                    • #11
                      There's not really anything to add to this thread... just agreeance... they were/are full of poop!... that's right I said it...POOP!
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        lol at iniquity's story

                        you know you're right bokbadok, i was feeling so relaxed and then got all tense again afterwards!

                        Iniquity, sorry if this sounds dumb but what would it mean to have low muscle mass? I mean, if that's what she saw, would that not be a bad thing also?

                        I know I should probably just discard her comment altogether as it seems to have been ill-thought out at best but I keep wondering what it was that she saw that made her say it! Maybe you're right and she just mistook very relaxed muscle for weakness...

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                        • #13
                          If I heard that, I'd be pissed that someone would come to that conclusion visually and I'd be forced to redouble my lifting efforts and I'd bump my protein intake even higher. It sounds like she doesn't know what she's talking about and I"m damn glad that wasn't said to me.
                          http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jodyanne View Post
                            lol at iniquity's story

                            you know you're right bokbadok, i was feeling so relaxed and then got all tense again afterwards!

                            Iniquity, sorry if this sounds dumb but what would it mean to have low muscle mass? I mean, if that's what she saw, would that not be a bad thing also?

                            I know I should probably just discard her comment altogether as it seems to have been ill-thought out at best but I keep wondering what it was that she saw that made her say it! Maybe you're right and she just mistook very relaxed muscle for weakness...
                            Having more muscle mass just means having bigger muscles, like the bulging kind I suppose. For instance, two guys of equal body fat levels but one weights 40 lbs more than the other, the heavier guy has more muscle mass than the lighter guy. Given they have equal height as well I guess.

                            It’s not bad to have low body mass, women in particular have a much harder time putting on muscle mass than guys do so I wouldn’t worry given that you already lift and such. If you youtube some women power-lifters, most of them don’t have huge muscles (maybe on their legs) they certainly have some muscle mass, but it’s not as much as you would expect from a male.

                            If it really bothers you though, shoot her a friendly email and ask what she meant by that. I’m curious to see what her answer is, I still believe she had to have been speaking about the size of your relaxed muscles. She probably made the common mistake of equating bigger muscle with more strength, which isn’t entirely true.

                            Or just let it go, you know you're strong and that's what matters. Image is not a good measure of strength like I said before.

                            Edit: I just thought of this. Your heavier co-workers possibly have more muscle mass than you but that’s only because they’re carrying a heavier load (their bodies) and she probably felt that through the fat and thusly said nothing to them. You have less fat to carry, your muscles don’t need to adapt to the heavier load, they’re adapting to the load you place on them from time to time (when you lift) but don’t have a constant load on them. It’s just a thought.
                            Last edited by iniQuity; 01-20-2011, 09:45 AM.
                            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                            • #15
                              Cheers for that. I think I am probably better off letting it go because if, as I now suspect, she doesn't quite know what she's talking about, it could end up being a very irritating conversation! I might be tempted to shout at her and that wouldn't do much for the working relationship

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