Friday, January 3, 2014

Fat vs Muscle: How to create a leaner body

A bout of boredom, one day, led me to scroll through my Instagram feed to see what was the haps.  One pic made me stop dead in my tracks as I paused to contemplate the lesson before me.
As you can see, it's a visual of 5 lbs of fat weighed next to 5 lbs of muscle.  The difference in size is striking. It appears as if the fat takes up at least twice as much space as the muscle if not more. Notice how smooth and compact the fat is compared to the lumpy, massive blob of fat.

Then I see pics like these where a person has appeared to shrink in size and yet manage to weigh more than when they first began their fitness journey.

At first I wasn't sure how that was possible but now it's completely clear.  Last year I began to add weight bearing exercise to my fitness routine.  Before that my workouts were mainly aerobic activity.  Both types of exercises helped me burn fat.  But when I started working against resistance,  it was like I was sculpting my body, not just losing fat (mass).

Another shift I made after seeing these images is not putting all of my faith on scales.  If I go too long between workouts, and my eating isn't the best, I start to gain fat.  The scale may not move as quickly, but I can see it on my body.  That's why I rely on visual inspections now instead of the scale.  If anyone reading this has fitness goals you want to achieve in 2014, consider the benefits of building lean muscle through resistance exercises.  The myth that you will automatically bulk up is a complete farce. By the looks of the first pic, fat bulks us up more than anything.  Another benefit to having more muscle is the added calorie burning power muscle has over fat.

Whenever I've allowed my fitness levels to slip and I want to get back on track (quickly) I can almost guarantee that I'll experience faster visible results when I work out with weights coupled with "resistance cardio."  Simply walking on a treadmill, for me, isn't enough so I employ the use of a high incline while working out in interval sessions or holding small weights while walking.

I hope this important reminder in fat vs muscle was as beneficial to you was it was to me.

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