Gaining An Understanding Of Muscle Versus Fat

Gaining An Understanding Of Muscle Versus Fat

by Martin Bolduc, 2008 Lean Body Challenge Champion

By gaining an understanding of muscle versus fat as you go about your workout program, you can ensure that you’re going to see maximum success.

Some people don’t quite understand this distinction and often make the mistake of thinking that you can actually replace your fat with muscle.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. You can never turn body fat into muscle, nor will muscle ever get converted to body fat if you don’t work it. What will happen though is that if you aren’t working out and using your muscle tissue, your body may start to lose muscle mass as it sees no reason to keep it, and as you lose muscle mass, your metabolism goes down hence you can start to gain additional body fat.

So while it may appear that you have seen your muscle turn to fat, you actually haven’t. Rather, you lose muscle and gained body fat in its place.

Let’s look at a few more important things that you should note about the difference between muscle and fat.

The Density Of The Two Tissues

The very first thing that you must know about the difference between muscle and fat is the fact that they are very different in terms of density.

Muscle is much more dense than fat is, hence one pound of muscle will take up much less space on your body than one pound of fat will.

That’s why you can have two people of the exact same weight standing side by side looking entirely different. If one person has a body fat level of 22% and the other has a body fat level of 14%, the person with 14% is going to appear far slimmer than the other individual.

This is simply due to the fact that the weight they have on their body (which is a higher amount of lean muscle mass) will take up far less room, hence they look smaller.

Even more interesting to note is that sometimes you can actually have someone who is heavier on the scale appear to be slimmer than someone who is lighter on the scale but who also has more fat mass.

This is a big reason why going off your body weight only as a guide to your progress is a big mistake. If you have very low body fat levels but have a high degree of muscle mass, the scale will show you as being very heavy and often place you into an ‘overweight’ category, but you will definitely not look the part.

As you go about your fat loss diet plan, it would be far better to have body fat tests performed to see whether or not your body fat percentage is going down.

If it is but your body weight on the scale isn’t changing, you’ll still be looking slimmer so will be moving in the right direction.

People who just use their scale weight as a guide are often very thrown off by this and will lead them to infer wrongly about the progress they’re making.

The Metabolic Activity Of Muscle And Fat

Second, another important difference to note between muscle and fat is the metabolic activity of each tissue. Muscle mass is highly metabolically active, which means even at rest it’s going to be burning up a very large number of total calories.

Fat on the other hand hardly takes any calories at all to sustain itself, so will do nothing for your basal metabolic rate.

This is why individuals who have plenty of lean muscle mass often lose fat so easily. Their body is rapidly burning off calories at all times even while they’re sleeping just because of all that muscle tissue, hence they have an easy time burning body fat.

What’s more is because of this elevated metabolic rate, these people also often find that they don’t put on body fat nearly as easily as someone who doesn’t have that much muscle tissue, so they tend to stay lean overall.

If you want to win the battle of the bulge, adding more muscle mass to your body is simply the best way to go about achieving this.

So there you have the top things that you should note about the difference between body fat and muscle mass. They are completely different tissues and will act very differently in the body so it’s vital that you come to terms with their differences and work towards maximizing one while minimizing the other.

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About the Author

From an early age, Martin Bolduc has been actively involved in different sports, such as ice hockey, baseball and cross-country skiing. At the age of 14 he started to practice Martial Arts (Karate Kyoshindo) and obtained his Black Belt by 21. He has won more than 75 tournaments in North America, including a first place at the U.S. Open Karate Championship in Florida in 1986 and was ranked 4th in Canada in 1988. In 2001, Martin had a career change and found a new passion when he began bodybuilding. He has placed 2nd at the Natural Caribbean Grand Prix in Grand Cayman, 6th at the INBF World Championship in New-York and has won 1st place in the Lean Body Challenge in 2008. As the author of “Ultimate Guide to Express Fat Loss, Martin believes a real winner is someone who sets his goals, commits himself to those goals and pursues his goals with all the capabilities he has until he reaches them. You can visit Martin’s Web Site at