Last week we discussed muscular hypertrophy and the science and mechanisms we use in our training to build lean tissue. This week I’m going to talk about why building muscle should be the top priority ESPECIALLY if your goal is weight loss.
Every new member at Townie begins with a conversation with a coach, and we ensure our current members are seeing the progress they want throughout their fitness journey in a quarterly athlete check in. Both of these conversations revolve around goal setting and building a plan of action to reach those goals.
Most of the time our clients goals involve losing weight. While this is a great goal, we try to aim and be a little more specific. What clients really mean when they say, ” I want to lose weight” is that they want to lose body fat. Now we are getting somewhere! This is where our Inbody USA body composition scan is so vitally important to establish a baseline and be able to track our progress moving forward. While a normal scale only tracks weight, the Inbody tells us exactly how much muscle you have and how much body fat you have. These are the numbers that really matter, and while overall weight loss will certainly occur over time, our main goal is to see an increase in lean muscle mass and a decrease in body fat.
So how does building muscle mass help me with my goal of losing weight? Now this is the cool part!
To lose weight you need to consume less calories than you burn on a daily basis (every diet shares this same principle). Each persons basic caloric needs differ based on gender, age, and amount of lean tissue. We call a persons minimum daily caloric needs their BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate. This number tells us the minimum calories your body needs to sustain life at a resting state. The more muscle mass or lean tissue you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate will be. Meaning your body will burn more calories per day the more muscle mass you have, making it much easier to achieve a caloric deficit to lose body fat.
So how does this work? 10 lbs of body fat burns roughly 20 calories per day at rest, while 10 lbs of muscle mass burns nearly 50 calories per day at rest. That means muscle mass burns more than 2x the amount of calories as fat mass!
Most people think to lose weight they need to spend hours on the treadmill or elliptical when in reality they need an intelligent strength program to help them build muscle, lose body fat, and live pain free. Now this isn’t to say people should neglect aerobic conditioning because science has proved numerous health benefits to aerobic training that we will talk about in another blog, but if your goals are to lose body fat, then strength training is the key to results.
If you want to learn how to implement an intelligent strength training and nutrition program in your life to help you look, feel, and move better, click the link below and book a Free Intro with one of our coaches today.