Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's like turning water into wine. The myth of fat turning into muscle

Sometimes, personal trainers can work magic. This magic usually entails motivating and inspiring people to live healthy lifestyles, or using education and creativity in fitness routines to maximize results. However, personal trainers are are not miracle workers and miracles rarely happen in the gym (except for the few people who may have had a heart attack while doing cardio and lived to tell about it).

One fitness myth that many people believe is that fat can turn into muscle when you workout. Or, that muscle can turn into fat when you stop your regular routine.

It doesn't work that way. Fat is fat and muscle is muscle. They are biochemically drastically different. It's like apples to oranges or oil and water. What happens when you lift is that you build muscle, making it more dense and that muscle burns more calories - getting rid of fat, or really, shrinking the fat cells. The fat does not convert to muscle. When a person stops lifting, the muscle does not convert to fat. What happens then is the muscle atrophies (losing muscle) and burns fewer calories. The loss of muscle increases body fat and increases inches. It's like a balancing scale.

So, while we hope for miracles to happen in our fitness routines, it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to really get results. Eating right for your body and goal, working out with a balanced cardio and integrated training routine and staying on track is the only way to change your body composition, shifting the scale in the right direction.

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