Fat vs Muscle
Over the past few years that I have been tweaking my personal training style I have come across this very big misconception that most trainers are now starting to understand.
Fat is not muscle. You cannot change fat and transform it to muscle. Now I know this may go against everything the publics idea may be, but the reality is that muscle and fat are completely different. So, what is fat? What is muscle? How are they different? Why can I not change fat to muscle, so I look better? Are all questions that I have been getting from clients over the decade of working with clients.
Let’s start with the first question. What is fat?
Fat is a macronutrient that our bodies needs to function properly it is a triglyceride that is found in food. Now when it comes down to our bodies, this macronutrient is used as an energy source so that we can use to do work and repair any damage that we may have impeded on our bodies. If there is an excess of fat that we intake, then our bodies will store this for later use. This storage can and will cause other unwanted issues as our bodies really does not want to have to store this macronutrient. Our bodies just want to use it or break it down and remove it.
Next question, what is muscle?
Muscle is a soft tissue that contains a protein filament of actin and myosin. These filaments have a tendency of “sliding” across each other which can cause microtears in the soft tissue. This tissue later repairs itself thicker and stronger. There have been some cases where our bodies use muscle as an energy source to keep our bodies nourished, but this happens only under extreme circumstances and we don’t have to worry about it in the Americas. There are three types of muscle that we have in our bodies these are skeletal or striated, cardiac, and smooth. I mostly concern myself with the striated muscles as this is what my job is all about, however, the other two types of muscle are extremely important as well (cardiac is self-explanatory and smooth muscle is located in the organs such as stomach).
How are they different?
Well we use fat to feed muscle and a good source of fat in our system can help with stuff like colds as the fat cells can actually encapsulate the virus and remove it. Where muscle helps us move through the shortening of the actin and myosin. Muscle tears and fat fixes, it. So, both are important.
Why can I not change fat to muscle?
They are two different cell structures for one. Fat does not ‘transform” into muscle. Fat “burns” itself off as it uses its energy to nourish the muscle that needs it. Even if you look at the cellular make up of the two different components you can see how different they really are.
This is what a triglyceride looks like:
Now let’s compare that to what muscle looks like:
Now as you can see for yourself there are vast differences between the two and to say that they are the same is a major falsehood, and cannot be done.
The pictures above have a major and extremely complex story behind both that really needs more than just a mere 1,000 words so I am only going to say that this is an intro to show of the major differences between the two.
In closing I would really like for you guys to do some research on this topic as I will lose you guys trying to explain this in an essay form, I will lose myself in it if I try.