Muscle Vs. Fat…Round 1!

So, I’ve been going to the gym 3-4 days / week for the last two months, with a brief break of about a week right around Christmas week.  I’ve started increasing my resistance training, and thought to myself: How much does muscle really weight compared to fat?

Basics:

Muscle Weight: 1.06 g/ml (grams per milliliter) (only 0.02g/ml more dense than blood)

Fat Weight: 0.9 g/ml (grams per milliliter) (fun random fact, this is the same density as Oil, cool huh? Also the same as traditional butter)

Below, we have our traditional muscle v. fat exact replica.  Now, if it isn’t motivating enough, I decided to look at it as a larger scale.  I KNOW I have more than 5 pounds of fat to drop, I have closer to 20…not only that, this shows us what they are in relation to eachother, but not necessarily how they relate to the real world, so let’s look at something we CAN understand.

fat-v-muscle

Alright, I suck at metric units, but Google is smart at converting them!  So 1.06 g/ml is the equivalent of 8.84 pounds / gallon and 0.9 g/ml is the equivalent of 7.51 pounds / gallon, this is way easier for me to think about.  Take a 1 gallon milk jug, it weighs 8.4 pounds all by itself (full of 2% milk), for a fun random fact, a gallon of water is still 8.34 pounds, so it’s only 0.6 pounds lighter than a gallon of milk.  Are you banging your head against the wall trying to figure out where I’m going with this yet?  How about this?  A Gallon of vegetable oil weighs 7.7 pounds, a gallon of Ethanol weighs 6.584 pounds…Brain still in tact?  Hooray!  Close enough comparison!  If you took a one gallon jug of vegetable oil (7.7 pounds) and compared it to one gallon jug of alcohol (like, rubbing alcohol, pure ethanol), the weight difference would be nearly 1.3 pounds, hooray!  If you’d want to SEE The difference, simply take a gallon jug and set it to one side, then take another gallon jug and put it to a different area.  Add one 20 ounce bottle and stick it next to the gallon jug.  That is the amount of at (in size) to be the equivalent amount of weight as the gallon jug, if the one gallon was full of “muscle”, and the other gallon+20 ounce was full of “fat”.

What it comes down to is this:  Muscle is 17% heavier than fat, roughly.  This means for every cubic inch of muscle you gain (have to think in terms of size, not in terms of weight, as one pound of muscle weighs the same as one pound of fat, as a pound is a term of weight), it is taking up 17% less space than if that space was taken up by fat, or rather, there is 17% more available space now where it was before stretched out by fat.

Well, my brain officially feels like swiss cheese.  If yours does too, welcome to the club!  Stay tuned to my next Muscle v. Fat: How much Does it Eat? How much does it burn?

In the most basic form, fat is 17% larger than muscle, as depicted in this image

In the most basic form, fat is 17% larger than muscle, as depicted in this image

Sources:

Google Answers
Specifically: http://biomed.gerontologyjournals.org/cgi/content/full/56/5/B191#R23 | http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1463-1326.2004.00410.x

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