Muscle vs Fat

Have you heard of the term “Muscle weighs more than fat?” Well, technically that doesn’t make sense. Just like the riddle, “Which one is heavier, 20lbs of feathers or 20lbs of steel? They both weigh the same similar to how 20lbs of muscle weighs the same as 20lbs of fat. The difference between fat and muscle is that fat has more surface area compared to muscle.

If you take two individuals that both weigh 190lbs but one person has 10% body fat and the other person has 20% body fat, who do you think looks bigger? The person with the higher body fat would appear bigger. If we were keep all other variables the same (height, bone structure, etc) the person with 10% body fat at would approximately have 19lbs of body fat versus the person with 20% body fat would have 38lbs. The person with 10% body fat would have 181lbs of lean body tissue and the 20% person would have 152lbs of lean tissue. Now you can see how much leaner the person with 10% body fat appears versus the 20% body fat person. Another instance is when you ask a friend about what size clothes they wear. Even if though that person may weigh just as much as the next person, she may be wearing clothes that are 3-4 sizes less than the other person. The explanation is simple; muscle is more compact than fat so that means that it takes up less space. Mystery solved.

So the number on the scale shouldn’t necessarily be the sole determinant on progress if you’re looking to enhance your physique. Progress pictures, body fat testing, and body measurements are additional methods that you can use to see how much you progress over time. So don’t get caught up on the weight of the scale, understand if what you’re doing is improving your body fat composition.