Why Should You Build Muscle for Fitness?

To Be Fit and Burn Fat, Focus on Building Muscle

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It is important to build muscle for fitness for both men and women.

As we talked about in fitness goal setting, when setting goals, you should focus on the right measurement for your success.

I have many conversations with females (and males, for that matter, though less so) who want to burn fat, but avoid lifting heavy weights for fear of bulking up and looking like a bodybuilder. They say that muscle weighs more than fat and they want to lose weight, so therefore, to build muscle for fitness would be counter productive. This is the fallacy.

You must build muscle for fitness.

First, let me say that being afraid of getting "too big" from lifting heavy weights is an insult to those that sacrifice in the gym and in the kitchen to build big muscles. Those muscles do not just show up. It often takes years to get muscles as big as the ones you are concerned about.

Second, it is a myth that muscle weighs more than fat. One pound of muscle equals, wait for it, one pound of fat! That's right, a pound is a pound. That fallacy comes from the "per volume" measure. This simply means that if you were to fill two bowls, one with muscle and the other with fat, the bowl with muscle would weigh more. This is because the fat is less dense than the muscle. A pound of fat takes up more space than a pound of muscle.

There is another group of people that have not yet heard of this myth that muscle weighs more than fat. They go into enter the gym with an excellent workout that balances heavy weights to build muscle with a good cardio/aerobic program to burn fat. After a week or two, they are feeling and looking better. And then it happens. They hop on the scale and find that after a week or two, they have not lost a single pound, or, , they may have even put on a pound! What do they do? Most cut back on the weights and increase the cardio, hoping to move the scale in the right direction.

Build Muscle Fitness

This is exactly where many businesses, and, since our bodies are very much like a business, go right off the rails. There is a saying, "what gets measured gets managed." And that is absolutely true.

In both cases, one where we think that muscle weighs more than fat, and the other where we were surprised to weigh more even though the mirror says we look better, the measure of choice dictates the workout approach.

Suppose a company were focused on market share and only market share. They may be willing to sacrifice profits to gain one more percent in market share. They often make less money after they increase market share than they would have if they would have maintained their current standing due to the amount of profit they needed to cut to achieve that goal.

Now, lets look at it from a different perspective. Suppose a person were focused on weight and only weight. They may be willing to sacrifice muscle to lose one or two extra pounds in weight. They often do not lose the inches where and as fast as they would have if they would have maintained their weight (by building and maintaining muscle) than they were after sacrificing muscle to move the scale.

Fitness: Build Muscle to Burn Fat

As you can clearly see, dieters are putting themselves in a position to be disappointed with their results. Either their progress is too slow, the weight does not seem to be coming off in the right places, or, even thought they look better, the measure of success they chose does not support the result the mirror clearly says is there.

Ultimately, most companies really want to increase their profits and mistakenly believe that more market share equals more profits. Similarly, most dieters want to be more attractive by occupying less space in the right places, and they believe that simply weighing less achieves this goal. In both cases, if you focus on a quality "product," ultimately you will lose weight, but in the places where you want to lose it.

You must build muscle for fitness and to burn fat fast. This will result in the weight loss results that you truly want.

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