5 lbs of Muscle VS 5 lbs of Fat

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5 lbs of Muscle VS 5 lbs of Fat

Just the other day I received a text message from a friend of mine who is a doctor…MD. She was explaining to me that she was frustrated that she was working out with a trainer and lifting weights, but she had actually put on a little weight. She ended the text message with “I know muscle weighs more than fat” and that could be accounting for the weight gain.

This is when I decided to address the MYTH that muscle weighs more than fat.  I know this has been a common rumor for some time now, but think about it…5 pounds is 5 pounds no matter how you slice it. The difference here is that 5 pounds of fat is MUCH BIGGER in mass than 5 pounds of muscle! Just check out the picture below comparing the two!



This is why we always tell our clients to GET OFF THE SCALE and focus more on how their clothes fit.  Many times as you get fitter, stronger, and leaner, your weight will stay the same.  But because you are replacing fat with muscle, you are getting smaller and tighter.  Just take a look at the picture below.  Clearly this woman is much smaller and leaner in the picture of her on the right and is only 4 pounds lighter.  The image, if you didn’t know better, makes it seem as if she’s lost over 10-15 pounds!

Before and After comparison


Moral of the story, STOP focusing on the scale, and focus on how those clothes fit!  Focus on weight-bearing exercises like running, jumping rope, stair climbing and resistance training with either just your body weight (think squats or pushups) or weights (think bicep curls, bench press).