Muscle weighs more than fat.
This is the number one most annoying thing I hear, especially when it comes out of the mouth of a fitness professional.
I’m sure you’ve heard this statement. You may have said it. Heck, you may even believe this. So I figured it was time that I step in and set the record straight
I’ll start with a question:
Which weighs more: 50 lbs of feathers or 50 lbs of bricks?
I vividly remember being asked this question in high school and there was a girl who was very confused when the answer was neither – they’re equal. She was so focused on the volume of feathers and bricks that she couldn’t comprehend that they weigh the exact same.
50lbs = 50lbs
There are a lot more feathers than bricks because it would take a lot of them to equal 50 pounds. But that doesn’t change the fact that they’re equal in weight.
This is what I think of every time someone says that muscle weighs more than fat.
5 pounds of muscle weighs the same as 5 pounds of fat. The difference is the amount of space it takes up in your body.
This is the reason why, when you lift and strength train with purpose, the scale may not move but you notice drastic changes in your shape. Because your physique is changing, your body is becoming more sculpted, but since your relation to gravity is the same, the scale won’t change.
Take this picture that I posted on my Instagram.
There are 5 months in between them, and only about one month of actual hard work. There isn’t a single pound difference between the two pictures. This is in huge part because I lift heavy, hard, and consistently. Muscle is very energy hungry, so your body begins to pull from your fat stores to provide that muscle with the energy it needs. While the number on the scale may not change as quickly as you’d like, your body will begin to visibly change shape. This is so much more important.
So it isn’t that muscle is a magical substance that happens to weigh more than fat. It’s that it takes up much less space. This is also why building muscle is so important. It increases your metabolism, using up the fat stores you already have and more efficiently processes the food you take in. If you provide your body with quality nutrition and continue to lift heavy, you’ll be able to maintain and even continue increasing that metabolism. You’ll turn your body into a fat burning, muscle building machine!
Have you heard that age old saying “muscle weighs more than fat?” Was there ever an explanation behind it? I’d love to hear from you!