Friday, May 16, 2008

Turn Fat Into Muscle

Fitness myths are a real pain in the butt. They waste your time by leading you to use ineffective and inefficient exercise and nutrition techniques. Here's one of my myth busters from Men's Fitness magazine. That column gives you the truth on how to lose fat and gain muscle.

Myth: You can turn fat into muscle

The Truth:

You have a better chance of turning straw into gold than converting fat cells to muscle-the two are completely different kinds of tissue. For one thing, fat can't be flexed, whereas muscles control all your body's movement. Nevertheless, when people see a guy who's made a successful body transformation, they tend to assume he actually swapped one for the other. At first thought, it seems to make sense-the muscle he built is exactly where the fat used to be.

In reality, though, the only way anybody ever turned flab into abs is by losing fat and building up the muscle that was lying beneath it. Your best strategy for doing that: a high-protein diet; regular, intense strength training; and cardio-especially fat- and calorie-incinerating intervals.

Here's another popular myth:

Myth: 1 pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day

The Truth:

This is another of the biggest misconceptions and most often quoted myths in fitness articles.

Unfortunately, it is just not possible for each pound of new muscle to burn 50 extra calories per day. Just think about this number in the big picture. If I put on 10 pounds of muscle, it is wishful thinking to believe that my metabolic rate will go up 500 calories. That would be a huge jump, and would make it difficult to keep the new muscle on my body if my metabolism jumped up that much.

I'm the first person to recommend strength training to people, but we can't use this myth any more as justification. But not to worry, there are plenty of other reasons to strength train when your goal is a better body (increased bone mineral density, increased real-life strength, and improved bodysculpting are just three reasons to use strength training).

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Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked fat burning, muscle building workouts have helped thousands of men and women with weight loss and fat burning in less than 45 minutes three times per week. His new bodyweight, muscle building, and fat loss workouts each month help you get more results in less time. Craig is using the Muscle Gaining Secrets Workouts from Jay Ferruggia to gain 25 pounds of muscle without supplements.


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