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STRONGER Challenge Motivation Day 2: Building Lean Muscle

author image Jess Barron
Jess Barron is head of editorial at LIVESTRONG.COM.She has appeared on MSNBC's "The Most," ABC News Now, and XM satellite radio. Barron's writing has appeared on, Yahoo! and
STRONGER Challenge Motivation Day 2: Building Lean Muscle
Strong muscles do more than just look good. Photo Credit: GaudiLab/iStock/GettyImages

Pat yourself on the back, you've officially made it to day two! If you’re joining us for the 8-week STRONGER Challenge press “play” on the video below to watch this one-minute motivation video message from celebrity trainer Nicky Holender about why it’s important for both men and women to do strength-training workouts.

Video of the Day

Worried about getting bulky? Don't be! It takes a TON of concentrated effort to bulk up (just ask a bodybuilder). Strength training and building muscle is important for so many reasons. One of those reasons, as Nicky explains, is that building muscle increases your metabolism, and that means you burn more calories. Here are some other benefits of building muscle:

  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Improved balance
  • Boosted self-esteem and confidence
  • More energy
  • Weight control/maintenance
  • Increased strength
  • More stamina and endurance
  • Better sleep and mental health

So, will you be joining us in the STRONGER Challenge? If you are, why not join our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook Group to get daily tips, encouragement and motivation?

Read more: 13 Benefits of Strength Training No One Tells You About

“If Those Legs Are Shakin’, the Calories Are Bakin’.”
“If Those Legs Are Shakin’, the Calories Are Bakin’.” Photo Credit: LIVESTRONG.COM

How to Sign Up for the STRONGER Challenge

1. Download the MyPlate app for iOS or and create your account. If you're on Android or don't have a smartphone, you can also use the desktop version. Make sure you set January 8 as your start date so you can be on the same page as the rest of the LIVESTRONG.COM community!

2. On your start date (we're launching our next challenge January 8th), you'll be able to log into your account and click on “Meal Plan” in the bottom navigation bar of the app. There, you'll have access to each day's meals as well as each week's shopping list.

Tracking is easy with MyPlate.
Tracking is easy with MyPlate. Photo Credit: LIVESTRONG.COM

3. For each meal, track your calories by clicking the check mark next to each food or recipe. If you need to deviate from the meal plan, you can also enter foods manually from the “Track” tab on the bottom navigation. Just search for your food and click the “I Ate This” button. Also be sure to track your water intake from the “Track” tab.

4. Print out the STRONGER Challenge workout calendar and and follow along with each day's free workout video.

Here's your workout roadmap.
Here's your workout roadmap. Photo Credit: Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM

5. Track the STRONGER workouts in MyPlate. On the app's main page, click Exercise then search STRONGER. All of the workouts will be listed below. Select the one you performed that day.

6. Join our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook Group to get daily tips, encouragement and motivation! You can also join the conversation in our community boards in the app ("Community" on the bottom navigation) and on desktop.

7. Do the workouts with us, cross them off the calendar and post about it in the Facebook group. We're cheering for you!

Readers — Are you joining us for the 8-week STRONGER Challenge? What do you think of the STRONGER workouts? Have you taken a look at the meal plan yet? Are you having any trouble accessing and using either of them? Have you ever done a fitness challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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