Posted on 04 Mar 2015 02:48
You know, it would be beneficial for me to post on forums. Yes, there are still forums out there where people go to seek help for all sorts of problems, or just to communicate with similar people. But I have a reason for not posting on forums. Most of them are ruled by one or two influential people, usually a moderator or even an admin, who are self-proclamed experts. Quite often, they give paint-by-numbers rote advice, or ridiculous advice. For me to go in there and give my kind of advice, would be like swimming upstream. I'd have to deal with the clowns who run the place, and I don't have that kind of patience, at least any more.
Today, I saw a common piece of advice, for a fellow who was really needing some help, that just burned my britches. Sometimes when people who don't really know anything about helping people lose weight give fat loss advice, the "tips" they give are pretty much akin to waving a magic wand. They are just as magical and they make just as much sense. This fellow who had dieted down with some extreme measures, now wanted to put back on some muscle, and he was having one heck of a time doing it. He felt like he was cramming food down his throat, and couldn't seem to put on any muscle.
So, what does Mr. Forum Guru, tell him? He tells him that "bulking up would be beneficial for your goals," because added muscle burns 30 to 40 calories a day.
Added muscle? Not regular muscle, but only added muscle? And how much added muscle does this? Is it a pound? Is it just any amount of muscle that you "add?" This kind of thing that passes for advice on most forums, is so imprecise on one level, and so far off the mark even if it tried to be precise, it is shameful. The original poster wasn't even trying to lose fat any more but he still got this magical and vague little tidbit.
I don't really hand out a lot of fat loss advice. I let fat loss experts do that. But I sure do know crappy advice when I see it. I also know that the idea of muscle turning your body into a roaring furnace is wonderful to contemplate. If I consume mega calories, even in excess, to bulk up, I'll put on more muscle, and then, that muscle will push the fat loss button! I eat and I train with weights. And then, POW! My new muscle takes a blow torch to the calories and I get so very defined and lean.
Putting on muscle is not the key to fat loss. Maintaining muscle, and trying to put on muscle, is one of the factors in successful and sustainable weight loss, leading to a more favorable body composition and perhaps helping to maintain metabolism (don't think it is impossible to do without resistance training). And yes, the EPOC effect from intense weight training is nice, but don't think it is any more a magic wand than the existence of muscle.
Does a Pound of Muscle Burn 30 to 40 Calories a Day?
However, if we are asking how many calories muscle burns, well, a pound of muscle does NOT burn 30 to 40 calories a day. Not even close, though this seems to be the range most often reported. I've reported this several different times in different articles, most notably in my post Is Strength Training the Key to Fat Loss? A pound of muscle, just being muscle and not doing anything special, burns maybe 6 calories a day. SIX. You add it up. It ain't anything to get all precious about. Using your muscles burns a lot more, of course.
See, what the people reporting this inflated caloric number don't realize is that any increased amount of fat burning from "adding muscle" has a lot to do with the act of training, recovery, and its effect on fat loss. In other words, once you stop actively training and building muscle, that extra muscle is not just going to sit there like a red-hot furnace, burning a significant amount of extra calories.
I'm all for fat loss tips. But these facts are easily checkable and verifiable. When advice concerns numbers, you're going to want to check that! The more precise the number the more you should want to check up on it. You should check up on my six, too. Meanwhile, whatever you do, when it comes to fitness, don't be too swayed by numbers: Be suspicious of them.
This page created 04 Mar 2015 02:48
Last updated 23 Jul 2016 22:48