When I talk to clients I often hear the myth that muscle weighs more than fat. It’s always funny to me because it reminds me of that grade-school riddle; which weighs more, a ton of feathers or a ton of bricks? A ton is a ton regardless of what you are weighing. It is an equal amount. The same applies to muscle and fat. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, however the properties of the two is what I think most people are referring to.
CLEARING UP THE MYTH
When most people make this statement, I tell them that a more accurate way to think of it is that a given volume of muscle and that same volume in fat would have different sizes. Muscle is much more dense than fat (about 18% more) so it takes less of it to equal the same weight. In the picture to the right, you can clearly see the difference in size between 5 lbs of muscle vs. and equal 5 lbs of fat.
BENEFITS OF INCREASED MUSCLE MASS
One of the biggest advantages of increased muscle mass is that muscle burns more calories than fat. Even at rest muscle constantly needs to consume calories to maintain itself, so with increased muscle mass your daily metabolic rate will be higher, even if you are just sitting. Another benefit of increased muscle mass is that you will look better. For instance, think of two people who are 170 lbs. One has a body fat of 22% while the other has a body fat of 12%. While both these people step on the scale and have the same weight, the difference in their looks will be quite noticeable. The person with lower body fat will look more lean and muscular. In addition to being more dense, and thus occupying less space than fat, muscle is also more smooth looking in appearance. Fat is has a more lumpy and globular appearance which is why excess body fat sticks out like a sore thumb.
It’s important to note that weight loss alone will not achieve this desired look. In order to gain muscle while losing fat, you need to have a focused weight training program. Having a skilled and knowledgeable personal trainer can do wonders to your body composition and make sure that you stay motivated and on track. If you are ready to change your life and your looks, contact personal trainer Aaron Morales today to get started!
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