Does Building Muscle Burn off Body Fat?

You may have heard this question, does muscle burn calories? is there any truth to it? and if so how effective is it for burning fat and increasing your metabolism?Does muscle burn body fat

Our bodies burn calories around the clock, even while sleeping, so the idea of building some extra muscle to burn even more calories is a very nice one.

Does building muscle burn fat?

It takes an excess of calories to build muscle and muscles require calories to be maintained, this is fact. So to answer the question of whether muscle burns calories? the answer is yes! and if muscle burns calories it has the potential to burn body fat, therefore aiding you in getting lean and toned.

So now we have established that muscle does require calories to be maintained, so obviously the more muscle mass we have the more calories we burn.

The thing about muscle is, it consumes calories 24 hours a day, muscles need constant energy just to be maintained which potentially makes it very effective for burning and keeping off body fat.

Think about two cars, one has a small 1.0 liter engine and the other has a 2.0 liter engine. The car with the 2.0 liter engine requires more fuel just to move around compared to a small 1.0 liter engine, even if they’re traveling at exactly the same speed. Building extra muscle has a similar effect on the human body and energy consumption.

How many calories does muscle burn?

There are many different reports on this floating around the internet and these reports vary greatly on the actual amount of calories burned by building an extra one pound of muscle. Reports range from 5 calories to 150 calories burned per day per one pound of muscle mass. As you can see there is a huge difference in the amount of calories burned at either end of the scale. The effects of building extra muscle on fat loss is either minor or considerable.

Based on my research, the actual calories burned per pound of muscle seems to be in the range of 50 to 150 calories. This would make building some extra muscle mass a worthy consideration when thinking about reducing your body fat. Plus there are also many health benefits to adding a little extra muscle to your frame.

So yes it’s definitely worth building some extra muscle to burn off some extra calories around the clock. However don’t rely on this idea solely, think of it only as an addition to your fat burning plan.

Muscle Size vs Strength Any Difference?

Muscle Size vs StrengthTraining for muscle size or strength, they are both connected however there are differences in how you train depending on what you aim to achieve.

When we build muscle, we should also become stronger and when we become stronger there will be an increase in muscle mass. The two are very much connected as one would expect. Everything sounds simple enough, however there is more to it than that.

Training for strength and muscle mass differences?

Strength training normally involves compound exercises only, exercises such as deadlifts, squats, pressing and lat rows. These exercises are the best for increasing overall body strength including core strength. Having a strong core should be a priority for everyone, especially for those who are focused on strength training and lifting heavy weights.

Strength training also normally involves low reps, for example 1 to 6 reps and a maximum amount of weight to condition the body to lifting those very heavy loads. This type of training will definitely build muscle mass, however it’s not the best or optimal way of training to develop muscle mass and to gain a well balanced muscular body.

If your main goal is to develop a well muscled physique you should be training more like a bodybuilder rather than a power lifter.

Now there are a few myths when it comes to focusing on training for muscle mass, or training like a bodybuilder.

Bodybuilding Myths

  • Focusing on isolation exercises only
  • Using high reps only
  • Lifting light weights
  • Short rest times

These misconceptions are just exaggerations of the truth. Yes ideally you should be using isolation exercises, however compound exercises should still be your main focus because these are the real mass and strength building exercises. You need to build strength to get bigger, the two goals go hand in hand.

There is an advantage to including isolation exercises into your workouts. They allow you to target certain muscles in specific ways, in ways that cannot be achieved by performing compound exercises alone, this is essential if you want that balanced muscular look.

Using slightly higher reps 6 to 12 for example and using a full range of motion during the exercises really helps to target and trigger muscle growth. Using more motion and complete movement during the exercise also allows for a complete and a more well rounded development of the muscle.

Another thing bodybuilders do is use different variations of certain exercises, for example, incline and decline bench press, this is to target different areas of the chest. Again this is aimed at complete and balanced development of the muscle group, which will look both bigger and better which is the goal of a bodybuilder.

Can you Build Muscle and Burn Fat?

Can you build muscle and burn fatSo can it be done? can you build muscle and reduce your body fat percentage at the same time?

To build muscle we need to consume more calories than the body normally requires, to burn body fat we need to consume less calories than the body requires. So it appears that on the surface that it cannot be done. With the two different goals requiring the exact opposite in terms of calorie consumption.

How it works

Your body requires calories to build muscle and if you haven’t consumed enough calories your body will simply use your body fat as needed for those extra calories for growing those muscles. It basically works exactly the same as regular weight loss and fat burning.

So to achieve both at the same time you have to get your calorie intake just right. It may take some experimenting and you have to factor in things like your height your current physical condition, how often and intensely you train and what foods you are eating to make up those calories.

Example calories intake for an average man that’s 5 foot 8 inches tall

  • Fat loss muscle building diet – 3200 calories
  • Advanced gain muscle building diet – 4400 calories

Something else to consider

There is something that will dramatically affect your ability to burn body fat and build muscle, especially at the same time. What I am talking about is genetics(fast & slow twitch muscle fibers). Genetics play a large part when it comes to burning fat and building muscle, and If you don’t have the right genetics it could be very difficult, maybe even impossible to simultaneously burn body fat and build muscle mass.

Those with higher levels of fast twitch muscle fibers will be able to achieve this goal easier. They will build larger muscles faster, which in turn speeds up the bodies rate at burning energy/calories and potentially body fat.

If you are not one of the lucky few people that can simultaneously do both then you will have to do things a bit different. Instead you should focus on one goal at a time, building muscle mass or burning body fat.

If you were to focus on burning body fat first, you should still be weight training to maintain any muscle mass that you may already have, along with high calorie burning exercises (cardio) and a calorie controlled diet.

When you have achieved a good level of fat loss, increase your calorie intake, reduce cardio and increase the amount and intensity of your weight training. However be sure to do this gradually, eat clean and make sure that you do not regain any of the body fat that you lost during your weight loss phase.

You may have to alternate between muscle building and weight loss to get your desired results.

Can you build muscle and burn body fat?

Yes! you can achieve both at the same time, however it depends on your genetics and training. The key is to find just the right balance between your diet and your training.

Would you Benefit from Muscle Building Supplements?

Would you Benefit from Muscle Building SupplementsAre muscle building supplements any good? and what benefits would you get from using them?

This article talks about the pros and cons of taking supplements to help you decide on whether you need them.

Are protein supplements for you?

That depends on a few factors like how serious you are about building muscle and getting fit, how much free time and spare cash you have.

If you are very serious about building muscle, maybe you want to become a fitness model, bodybuilder or just wanting to pack on muscle as fast as you can.

For the quickest and best results you will need to consume plenty of protein, having high levels of protein in your body will help with workout recovery and increase muscle growth. So using muscle building supplements can help to keep those protein levels high.

If you are more casual with your training and workout goals and if you’re already eating a well balanced diet with a few good sources of protein included, then you may not need to bother with a protein supplement. You are probably already giving your body enough protein to make moderate gains.

Again if you are a casual weight trainer and you struggle to get good quality sources of protein into your everyday diet due to time restrictions or other reasons why you cannot prepare a proper meal, then they’re a great way to boost your protein levels. However supplements still shouldn’t substitute a good solid balanced meal.

Are they any good?

There are many different makes and types out there as you probably already know, you should stick to well known brands to insure a quality product. They can aid you in your muscle building goals by increasing your protein consumption. The more expensive ones should have better quality protein with a higher protein percentage per 100 grams.

A major benefit of protein supplements is that when taking one shortly after your workout,(within one hour of working out) the protein is absorbed into the body quicker in liquid form, therefore getting protein into the muscles faster at that crucial time just after your workout.

Protein Supplements VS Real Food

Tuna for example has about 26 grams of protein per 100 grams, many protein supplements have 90+ grams per 100 grams, so on the surface it appears the protein supplement is far better for muscle building. In reality the protein from the tuna is far superior and it will benefit you a great deal more, not just because of the protein quality also because of all the other vitamins and minerals included.

How Muscular Development Works

Performing heavy resistance exercise is the best way to develop muscle mass. When you place your muscles under enough stress it causes minor muscle tares, this is what causes the muscles to be sore the what is muscular developmentnext day.

The amount of soreness tends to reduce as the muscles get accustomed to exercise, however the soreness may never completely go. Heavy weight training is not the only way to trigger muscle growth, exercises like running, cycling, swimming and rowing can also trigger muscular development.

Compound exercises for muscular development

Muscle Development

When you train hard enough and those muscle tares happen, your body needs to repair your muscles to better cope with further muscle stress. Your body achieves this by making those muscles stronger. If you continue this pattern your muscles will get stronger and therefore they will get bigger.

Regular stress on the muscles also causes the body to release more nutrients into the muscles therefore resulting in better physical and athletic performance. This nutrient release will also aid with quicker recovery times and increased muscular development.

There are two main forms of muscle development, these are hyperplasia and hypertrophy. Hyperplasia is an increase in the amount of muscle fibers, and hypertrophy is an increase in the size of your current muscle fibers. The type of development you gain is dependent on the type of training that you do.

Your Diet

What you eat plays a big part in muscular development, you need carbohydrates for energy so you can train hard enough to trigger muscle growth. You also need protein because this is responsible for repairing your muscles and making your muscles stronger and bigger. It’s recommended to eat protein throughout the day, as the body doesn’t store protein and the body can only use a certain amount at any given time. If you consume more protein than the body can handle the excess protein will be wasted.

I would recommend eating a good source of protein with every meal, 4 – 5 meals spread out during the day. Calorie consumption also needs to be increased, how many calories you require is dependent on how tall you’re, for example a male who is 5 foot 8 inches would require about 3000 calories minimal to make good gains in muscular development.

Weight Training For Size & Strength Tips

Weight training is a great way to increase strength, build muscle and to burn body fat. Tips for size and strength.

Weight training for fat lossweight training for size and strength

Weight training itself is not as effective as running or other cardio intensive workouts for burning calories in the short term. However a high repetition high intensity weight training workout is still an effective way to burn off some calories and improve your metabolism for the long term.

How to build natural muscle mass and get stronger?

Simply you’ll need to work the muscles hard enough to trigger muscle development for size and strength.

Sets and Reps

Weight training routines can be completed in a few different ways. The standard method which is performing around 8 – 10 reps, resting and then perform another set, or you can also apply the super set and drop set methods. I would recommend changing things around once every 4 – 8 weeks.


Your muscles get accustomed to the same routines, so if you’re performing the same exercises and routines week after week your workouts will become less effective. Your muscles respond to and are stimulated by change and variety. These changes can be the workout duration, the exercises used, workout methods, for example super sets and drop sets and also the workout days themselves.


Many exercises focus on multiple muscles, these are called compound exercises, others focus on one single muscle, these are called isolation exercises.

Compound exercises should be the main focus for developing both muscle size and strength.

Technique vs Weight

Technique comes first, if you lift heavy with poor technique you will increase the risk of injury, plus your muscle and strength gaining results will be reduced.

What you eat is important

To build muscle you need to consume plenty of calories, however these calories should come from quality foods. Your diet should include plenty of fruit, vegetables and good carbohydrates such as oats and whole grain foods. These quality foods will give you natural energy so you can train your muscles hard enough and keep your body working at its full potential.

Your body needs protein to build muscle, you need to eat a good source of protein every 3 – 5 hours, your body doesn’t store protein so you need to continually eat it throughout the day. You should also drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.

Get plenty of sleep

You muscles actually repair and grow while we are resting and sleeping, so rest at least 2 days a week and try and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

Weight Training For Women

Many women avoid weight training because they don’t want to become bulky or muscular, this is a common myth. Men are able to increase their muscle mass significantly due to the hormone testosterone, women have very little testosterone so the ability to become bulky is reduced. Even for most men it’s still difficult to increase muscle mass, it requires heavy weight training with a high protein diet and it can still take months to see a noticeable difference.

You shouldn’t be afraid of resistance training, a very small amount of muscle increase across your whole body will offer some fat burning benefits. If you would like to get toned you would benefit from a high intensity resistance workout designed for your whole body.

With weight training you can also change the shape of your body, if you are unhappy with a particular area of your body you can train specific body parts to change that area. With larger firmer glutes/buttocks it will give the appearance of wider hips and a slimmer waist.