Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I thought muscle weighs more than fat

“But I Thought Muscle Weighs More Than Fat?”

I love this one. When someone is partaking in a resistance training program, and the scale starts going up, time and time again I hear, “Oh it’s okay. I’m working out, so I must be gaining muscle….and muscle weighs more than fat, so that is why the scale keeps going up.”

This is the type of thought-process that could actually potentially make you get FATTER. Let’s blow this one out of the water right now.


A pound is a pound is a pound is a pound…. no matter how you cut the cake. Remember that old riddle, “Which one weighs more: a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?”

Here’s what you need to know about muscle (and it’s relation to fat)

Muscle is what makes up your metabolism. How much muscle you have determines how many calories you burn each day. For every pound of muscle you have, you burn about 35-50 calories per day…. compared to every pound of fat on your body, you burn 1-2 calories.

In addition to this, muscle takes up about 1/3 of the space that fat takes up– not to mention it’s tighter, leaner, not as squishy. Trust me when I say that you would rather have a pound of muscle over a pound of fat any day!

So wouldn’t you rather get rid of some of that fat that is taking up so much space on your body and filling up so much space in your clothes and replace it with Lean Body Mass that looks smaller and takes up a heck of a lot less room? I sure would.

To conclude, I want to emphasize just how important it is to lift weights or partake in resistance training if you goal is fat loss or “toning up”.

Remember these crucial elements next time you want to skimp on the weights and just do the cardio…

■Resistance Training is the ONLY way to build muscle– cardio isn’t enough to do it
■Muscle is about 25X more metabolically active than fat, meaning that it burns about 25X the amount of calories when you are at rest– just sitting on the beach relaxing =)
■Muscle is denser than fat– it takes up about 1/3 of the space of fat
■Muscle is tighter, more firm, and not as squishy– it looks prettier
■Females are not genetically predisposed to get big and bulky. Ladies, don’t fear– pick up the weights.


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  1. Hey, thank you for this insightful post. it helped motivate me to keep exercising and not worry about the scale. I hope its ok if I linked your post to mine?

  2. Muscle does weigh more than fat. You need less muscle by volume to equal the same weight of fat. That's why you can find slim and muscular people that weigh 250 pounds and aren't sporting a 50" waist.

    1. Maybe a better way to express it is by not comparing weight and volume. 1 pound of fat and 1 pound of muscle will weigh 1 pound (same weight)...1 pound of feathers and 1 pound of rocks will also weigh 1 muscle does not weigh simply takes up less space

    2. Of course you don't want to consider volume because it completely disproves your argument. If you look at the periodic table you will notice that each element has a different atomic weight. If you were to gather 1 pound of two different elements you would end up with more of one element than the other, even though you have 1 pound each. The same principle applies to muscle and fat. Muscle requires far less mass than fat to achieve that 1 pound threshold. If you need less of something to reach a higher weight then the conclusion is that something weighs more. All you have to do is google 1 pound of fat vs 1 pound of muscle to see visual examples of the difference between the two. Your argument is nothing but semantics for the uneducated.