Muscle Does Not Weigh More Than Fat

Workout of the day for Tuesday August 19, 2013

In 15 Minutes, Find Max Bench Press Load

A. 3 Rounds
Run 260 meters
20 Box Jumps 24″/20″ box

rest 5 minutes

B. 60 Bar Facing Burpees

Hydrostatic body Fat Test

CrossFit Roseville is hosting Hydrostatic Body Fat testing today from 2:00 PM through 7 PM.  $49 for first time test, $39 for a re-test.

Today is the day……. You see tangible proof of the results of your hard work and disability ……..You get a wake-up call that you turn into motivation……..You get a starting point, a great metric to use to track your progress……You use the Lean Body Mass information to calculate your zone prescription and you decide to work the zone….


Muscle Does Not Weigh More Than Fat

Muscle weighs more than fat.  *Ahem!*  Correction: Muscle is more COMPACT than fat.  It doesn’t WEIGH more than fat.
by Lindsey Perry

As you can see, five pounds of fat is much bulkier than five pounds of muscle, but five pounds is still five pounds.  Muscle does not weigh more than fat.

Fat is bulky and lumpy, so if you carry an extra five pounds of fat, you’ll be lumpier than you would be with five pounds more muscle.  A five-pound pile of fat will take up more space (volume) than a five-pound pile of muscle, but five pounds is still five pounds.  So for those of you that don’t “get” English, you cannot say one thing weighing a certain weight weighs more than another thing at that same weight.  The correct way to state the muscle-weighs-more-than-fat scenario is, “Muscle is heavier by volume than fat.”

A woman weighing 140 pounds with 19% body fat will look much smaller (and be much healthier) than a woman at 140 pounds with 35% body fat.  They weigh the same, yet the composition is different.  Because muscle is more dense than fat, the person with less fat and more muscle will look smaller.

Muscle tissue is more compact than fat and is metabolically active, meaning it requires calories to be maintained.  Fat is the opposite.  It simply sits there waiting in case it may need to be used in the future.  Fat does not require any calories to be maintained.  Fat is fluffy and bumpy, while muscle is sleek and shapely.  Fat is emergency storage tissue, while muscle allows you to move, bend and stretch or leap tall buildings in a single bound!  Muscle is what you’re after if you want a shapely, sleek body.

A quick example:  A woman at 14% body fat and weighing 140 pounds.  140 pounds times .14 = 19.6.  Subtract that 19.6 pounds of fat from the total body weight of 140, and the remainder is the amount of muscle she has:  120.40 pounds of muscle.

Compare that to a woman at 20.5% body fat and weighing 140 lbs.  140 pounds times 20.5 = 28.7.  Subtract that 28.7 from the total body weight of 140, and the remainder is 111.30 pounds of muscle.  (This equation does not take into account other things like bone, etc., but it is how the calculation is done.)  That explains how a person can weigh the same but become larger or, conversely, how a person who works out (exercising with purpose) can become leaner and wear a smaller pant size but weigh the same.  And THAT’S how 140 pounds can be a size 8 and also a size 12!

THE LESSON HERE:  Stop being so obsessed with body weight and start paying attention to body composition.  How much body fat do you have compared to muscle?  Simply seeing how much you weigh isn’t very helpful.  Now if I could just stop stepping on that scale every morning…

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