Gaining Muscle Mass is NOT the Best Way to Burn Body Fat

Is Gaining Muscle Mass a Good Strategy for Fat Loss?

There is a huge myth going around that gaining muscle is the best way to burn body fat and stay lean in the long run. This is a really trendy thing to say right now. Go into almost any gym and you will hear a personal trainer tell their client “You have to work on building more muscle, because then your body will burn more calories each day…leading to fat loss”.

attractive body

(Just two attractive people to “draw you into” the article…”Read more so you can look like us!”…LOL!)

Gaining Muscle is a VERY Inefficient Way to Lose Body Fat

For each pound of lean muscle that you gain, you will burn an extra 12 calories per day. If you gained 10 pounds of lean muscle mass, you would burn an extra 120 calories throughout the day (note: I’m talking 10 pounds of ‘lean’ muscle…most people would have to gain 15 pounds to build 10 pounds of fat free muscle).

Burn Body Fat 10 Times Quicker With Diet and Cardio

A tough cardio workout can easily burn 600 calories. If you reduced you daily intake of calories by 600, then the total calorie deficit would be 1,200 calories…this is 10 times the calorie burning effect that a 10 pound muscle gain had. Here is an amazingly effective cardio workout that I’ve used for the past few years: An Aerobic Workout Program That Forces Your Body to Burn Fat

Too Much Muscle Can Ruin the Look of Your Physique

Yeah…I’m completely against the idea of gaining a bunch of muscle…especially for women! The ideal look for a woman is toned with just a hint of muscle…kind of like the women on the cover of Shape Magazine. If you gain too much muscle, you may be asked to model for the cover of Flex Magazine…that is a terrible look! Too much muscle looks cheesy on guys as well…ask any woman.

Note: If you do want to gain muscle quickly because you are skinny, here is a great article: How to Gain Weight Fast

Summary: If you want to gain muscle, then work on gaining muscle. If you want to burn body fat, then diet and cardio is the way to go!

best way to burn body fat

33 thoughts on “Gaining Muscle Mass is NOT the Best Way to Burn Body Fat”

  1. I totally agree with you Rusty. I’ve been following a muscle building program more or less for 20 years. Because of this, I’ve never been able to obtain the muscular lean look that I initially went for. Everytime the question of how not to gain too much muscle on these fitness sites, the trainers or expert repeat the mantra that strength training is the best way to lose weight. From experience, I know that this not true. Thanks Rusty for your insight that confirms what I already know.

  2. I am a 23 year old female and have been lifting weights (with miminal HIIT cardio) for a few years now, and have never been leaner in my life. A lot of it had to do nutrition of course, but the muscle I have put on made me fill out in amazing ways (glutes, for one!). I don’t look bulky by any means, and in clothes, I still look tiny. Lean muscle is tightly packed (as opposed to fat) and gives women a feminine shape, and not just flabby skinny-fat. Also now that my BMR is higher from the added muscle, I can eat a decent amount of (for the most part clean!) food in a day and still retain my leanness easily.

  3. A very interesting and helpfull subject
    The only problem with dieting and doing cardio to loose weight is that you loose muscle within that weight loss too, is it much worth worrying about? Is it best to diet and do cardio first and then concentrate on building muscle OR vise versa OR could you alternate it?

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  5. Remember, that increasing muscle mass (especially fibre type 1 muscle) has shown to decrease insulin resistance, effectively making your body store less fat. Although this is an increase in calorie burn, it will help you get leaner and slim down, not lose weight, but lose fat in exchange for muscle.

  6. Yes, you hear it a lot “gaining muscle will help you burn fat”. Well, as you say, it will, but not much. Cardio and diet are what burns fat, but thanks for putting up some exact figures to clarify the issue.

    As for the woman in the picture; yes I agree, she’s way too skinny. But the bloke is too in my opinion.

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  8. This really does work. I am not into over exercise but the combination of dedication, determination, correct eating and exercise does work on that fat.

  9. Wow. Just wow…
    I find it very unfortunate that you and the rest of the world seems to find emaciated women to be attractive. Tell me why should women care what “society” wants them to look like?? Quite personally, I find muscle on women to be attractive myself which is why I regularly partake in muscle training and muscle confusion. In fact, if you actually did your homework, you too would realize that it is and only is muscle training which promotes lifelong health and weightloss; something that cardio and diet alone is uncapeable of. It creates a metabolism in which muscle eats your fat. And you know what the best part is? You dont have to STARVE yourself. Sounds like a done deal to me. I must give you and the rest of the media credit for doing such a good job at spreading your lies and keeping women down. Thanks and way to go!!! (with much sarcasm)

  10. well, I personally love the way she looks on that photo, another thing is how she looks in real life..!! I worked with a model once, and she look destunning on photos but in real life she was nothing but bones.. couldnĀ“t get a boyfriend or just a flirt.. What I mean is, that I may have a few pounds too much on the side, but my love life is great and if the weight is getting a bit out of control I use my stepper AND NOT MUSCLETRAINING:-)

  11. It is always fun to find a good buy. I am on my second bottle of the Dr. Max Powers Testosterone Boost….its Tribulus supplements….

    I am really amazed at how it has helped me. I am finding that I am developing muscle mass much easier than I used to. Without a lot of exercise, it looks like I have actually been working out a lot. I have also found that my back muscles feel a lot better after regular and heavy lifting. I carried a large tv uspstairs, with the help of a friend. I had to grab it down low, over and over again with each step, and I was at the top end so I really had to bend. I was sure my back with be very soar for a few days but suprisingly, my back muscles recovered very quickly and I wasnt even soar the next day.

    I also find myself less nervous talking to people in general. I attribute this to the Tribulus as I am convinced that it has restored my natural levels where they had been lacking. I am a huge fan and will continue with the Dr. Max Powers brand.

  12. Follow up to last comment: I should have mentioned that this works great with the biggest and hardest exercises. Squats, deadlifts, clean and presses, chins, dips…I know you’re against squatting and deadlifting. If anyone else is too for rusty’s given reasons then just do front squats and some other posterior chain exercise that won’t build up your hips and glutes…reverse hypers maybe.

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