If you have ever asked yourself, why does muscle weigh more than fat, you have come to the right place. You have probably heard time and time again that muscle weighs more than fat. But what does that mean for you, and why do you need to know this?
Whether you are trying to build muscle or lose fat, there is a constant battle between fat and muscle.
If you are trying to lose weight, your goal is most likely going to be to lose fat while keeping as much muscle as possible. And if you are trying to gain muscle, you are going to want to do so while gaining as little fat as possible.
This is all pretty simple, but it still doesn’t answer our question.
Why does muscle weigh more than fat
It may seem pretty obvious that a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle. But the difference here is going to be the volume. When people say that muscle weighs more than fat, they mean that the area covered by 1 pound of fat is larger than the area covered by 1 pound of muscle.
This tells us that muscle is more dense than fat. That is the main reason that muscle weighs more than fat.
From a functional standpoint, our bodies are meant to have a little bit of fat on them, but not an amount that would categorize us as overweight.
Due to modern technology, and the fact that a lot of people now work on computers or indoors, human need for muscle is diminishing. That is to say that we need to actively workout to build muscle.
How can you build a body around these facts
You have probably seen the before and after pictures of someone out of shape in the first picture, and in great shape in the second picture. But they are the same weight.
This is a great example of a body transformation where fat was lost but muscle was gained. And their body was transformed due to the density of muscle. They lost large amounts of fat, but their muscles did the talking by coming through.
It doesn’t matter how many times you have heard it, but you cannot build muscle while in a caloric deficit. Just like you cannot lose weight while in a caloric surplus. If you can understand these 2 principles, then you are going to be better off.
If you want to get in epic shape, you must first learn that you are going to have to count calories. Learn first about calculating maintenance calories. Once you have your maintenance calorie number, then you can eat at either a caloric surplus, or caloric deficit, depending on what your goals are.
If you are having trouble learning how to get started working out at the gym, just go there for 5 minutes per day until you get the lay of the land.
Now, if you know your calorie goal, we can take it to the next step and learn about what workouts we should be doing. Eating at a surplus or deficit is only going to guide your results. Working out is going to solidify the direction of those goals.
Best workouts for losing fat
It may be no surprise, but the workouts that you do to lose fat are going to be completely different from those you would do to gain muscle.
Traditional methods of cardio are pretty good for losing fat, but the ultimate way to lose fat is by performing HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and yes, it is intense!
HIIT works by going through intervals of intense exercise followed by a short rest.
Here is an example of a 15 minute HIIT workout:
Warmup: 60 seconds
Intense Exercise: 30 Seconds
Rest: 60 Seconds
Repeat 10 times.
It seems pretty simple, but the intense portion should have you get to 90% of your maximum heart rate. Learn how to calculate your maximum heart rate here. If you are not getting to 90% of your maximum heart rate, you need to go harder for the intense portion.
Eat at a caloric deficit and do HIIT 3-4 days per week, and your fat is going to shred off of your body like never before. To get started, check out 4 of the best high intensity interval training workouts for beginners at home.
Best workouts for gaining muscle
As I mentioned in the losing fat section, the workouts that you are going to be doing to build muscle are completely different from losing fat.
The best workouts to do for building muscle involve weight training. And lucky for you, our whole entire company was built upon the premise of building muscle. We have countless resources on this site about building muscle.
If you are more of an app person, definitely download our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). We have multiple FREE workout plans, over 100 exercises, illustrations, videos, and more.
The workout plan that I personally used to build over 20 pounds of muscle in my first year of eating at a caloric surplus is in this app. It is called 3 Day Overload if you are interested!
So that is the general gist of it all. If you are eating at a caloric surplus and doing weight training 3-4 days per week, your body will absolutely gain muscle. Be sure to check out our realistic fitness goals for beginners.
Dispelling the myths
There seems to be a lot of myths when it comes to fitness in general. Why does muscle weigh more than fat? You will get a lot of different answers. The only real answer is because it is denser than fat. And when you compare the same amount in volume side by side, muscle will far outweigh fat.
Another one of my favorite myths is that people think that you can just lose belly fat and be done with it. That’s not how it works. People hold fat differently. Most of us hold it in our belly.
And when you commit to losing fat, you aren’t just going to lose it in your belly. You are going to lose fat cumulatively throughout your body.
Almost every week, I hear of some breakthrough “technology” that is going to get you shredded overnight. Please don’t buy into these false claims. The only way to lose weight is through diet and exercise. Meaning eating at a caloric deficit, and doing HIIT workouts 3-4 days per week. The sooner you realize this, the better off you will be down the road.
The last myth I will touch on is that people claim they don’t have enough time to get in shape. Everybody has time, believe me! Just look at the example that I gave for the HIIT workout. That one is only 15 minutes and burns hundreds of calories!
I will admit that building muscle requires a commitment of at least 45 minutes on your workout days, but it is completely worth it. If you think you don’t have time, simply go to the settings on your phone and see how many hours per day you spend on it. Then get back to me.
Main Point: Why does muscle weigh more than fat
The answer for why does muscle weigh more than fat is simple. It’s because it is more dense than fat. And no, this doesn’t mean that 1lb of muscle weighs more than 1lb of fat. It means that if you put fat and muscle side by side in equal volume, muscle will weigh more.
Since that answer was so simple, I wanted to give you all some more things to take away from this article instead of just a quick answer. You can build the perfect body when you know the facts about fat loss and muscle building.
The facts are simple. You cannot build muscle in a caloric deficit. And you cannot lose fat at a caloric surplus.
Before you even get started, identify what your goals are first. Do you want to lose fat, or gain muscle? Each path requires a different plan of working out and eating right.
Along your journey, you are going to come in contact with a dizzying amount of false information about fitness. No, you can’t lose fat overnight. It is a long process that requires months and years of dedication.
The same goes for building muscle. It’s not going to happen overnight. Take the time to learn everything that you need to know. This blog itself is a wealth of actionable information that will help you along your way.