Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Does Fat Change Into Muscle?

Man, Board, Drawing, Muscles, Strong  I remember being told by P.E. teachers, we had to exercise to change fat into muscle.  They always said, muscle was denser and so much better for us but I couldn't figure out how fat could be changed into muscle.

The phrase is actually not quite right because fat cannot change into muscle.  In fact, they are two different parts of the body.  Fat is the body's way of storing potential energy while muscle is active as you move and burns energy.  

You cannot turn one into the other but with it is possible to build muscle and shrink your fat.  Its important to eat enough protein, about one gram per body fat, eat dense carbohydrates, and include healthy fats.  Balance weights with cardio and you have the best situation for building muscle and cutting fat cells.

When doing weights, implement compound movements so more than one group of muscles is worked at any one time.  The cardio should be in the form of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training or circuit training alternating cardio with strength.

Here are 7 myths associated with the topic which seem to persist.

1. The first myth is that cardio is best for burning fat.  While cardio does burn more calories, lifting weights actually burns more fat.  In one study, it was found women who completed an hour long strength training session burned at least 100 more calories in the following 24 hours than those who skipped it.

2. It it believed that is you lift weights, you will become bulky but this is not true.  Muscle growth occurs slowly over days, months, and years.  People comment about having gained bulk quickly after adding weights but all that happens is that you are packing more muscle in the same place. You are tightening your body.

3. One of my favorites - If you do not exercise your muscle will turn to fat.  If you quit training, your muscles actually shrink while your fat cells fill in the areas where muscle used to be.  They do not turn into fat because they are two different creatures.

4. This is a new one on me.  I was taught to stretch muscles before working out or just after your muscles are warmed up.  Apparently, stretching increases flexibility. Most injuries occur during the normal range of motions. It is recommended you warm-up properly to prevent injury.

5. Another new one is that cables and resistance bands have gained a reputation for toning muscles while free weights are better for building muscles.  This is a total misconception because a muscle contraction is the same regardless of tool used.

6. As you know by know, eating lots of protein does not build muscle.  Your body requires a well balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to build muscle. 

7. Spot exercise such as lunges does not burn fat from one location.  Your body when it burns fat, burns it from the whole body, not a specific location.

I grew up learning most of these myths which were promoted as gospel for anyone wanting to watch their weight.  I now know they are all wrong.  You may wonder why I wrote about the topic?  Well, its fall and pretty soon the colder weather will arrive.  Once the snow starts, I do not take the long walks I do the rest of the year.  I need to know the proper ways to keep my body fit so when spring comes again, I do not start at the beginning again.

Let me know what you think.  Have a good day.

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