Yes muscle is more dense than fat, so its possible that you have gained 5lbs but still have the same waist measurement etc. I.e. you have more muscle and less fat than you did before.
I feel for fit people its better to go by how you feel and by measurements rather than weight.
P.S. I had to say 'dense' rather than 'weighs' otherwise someone would have given me a lecture involving a ton of feathers and a ton of lead!
Wow my plan to avoid getting a lecture backfired a bit!
Fat floats whereas muscle sinks as I recall - is not the proper way to get your body-fat calculated to get weighed underwater ?
Spooky. I was imagining the "muscle weighs more than fat" discussion on the way in to work this morning. (OK, not spooky, probably just sad!) and wondering how long it would be before someone corrected someone who wasn't actually incorrect in the first place. But gymaddict explained it better than I probably would have done.
Actually if you wanted to be really anal, I'd prefer to define weight as "The force with which a body is attracted to Earth or another celestial body, equal to the product of the object's mass and the acceleration of gravity." In other words, a body of a certain mass will weigh a different amount depending on the force of gravity. On the moon, your mass is the same but you weigh less. That doesn't tell us much about the muscle vs fat debate but there you go.
Getting to the practical matter in hand, since body composition can change a fair bit given changes in exercise regime, diet, etc. I think the best thing is not to get too hung up on your weight as such but keep an eye on waist size and how much flab you can pinch around the belly. And how you feel, how fast you're running, how you're sleeping, etc, etc...
BTW that link from Andrew makes very interesting reading. I may be making a few tweaks to my core exercise routine to make it a little more dynamic and running specific. More twisting, less static.
Gym addict wrote "If something is denser then it is heavier." No, it's heavier per unit volume. If I dropped a gold ring or a one tonne weight made of aluminium on your head (from the same height in the same gravitational field), you'd come off worse with the tonne weight because the less dense block of aluminium is heavier.
You're all missing the point.
The op wants reassurance that they haven't really failed at maintaining/losing fat because they've convinced themselves that they've gained muscle.
Rather than arguing semantics over mass, you should be saying the op doesn't "feel" bigger because they've toned some underlying muscle through exercise, but have gained almost 5lb in fat through subconsciously eating more...
Running and sit ups alone are hardly likely to gain you 5lb of pure, hard muscle...
If you can be genuinely subjective about your body composition, then yes, ditch the scales. If however you (like me!) find it easy to convince yourself you're getting more stocky, gaining muscle in a good way, then no. Because before you know it, you'll go from 12.5st to 15st, and wonder why you've got slower!
Just work on measurements - from experience, when i was attending a gym 3 times a week I put on half a stone, but at the same time dropped a dress size from 14 to 12.
Another example, based just on their weight and height, any rugby player would be considered Obese!
Mmm, I think there is a great deal of mass vs weight confusion here, even from physicists.
Gym addict is not entirely correct, just because something is denser doesn't mean it is heavier, how can it? If that was the case a small peice of mercury would for example have a greater mass then the Atlantic Ocean, because it is more dense
density is not the same as mass, it is defined as an objects mass per unit volume.
therfore if you took the same volume of muscle and fat, the muscle would weigh more.
I like to think of it like this (keeping it simple as otherwise my head explodes).
A kilo is a kilo whether it is muscle or fat...however, a kilo of muscle will take up less space on your body than a kilo of fat, which is where using the tape measure rather than just the scale can help you work out what is going on.
In my humble opinion it is quite difficult to gain significant amounts of muscle, in a shortish period of time, especially without doing targeted exercises (lifting weights/resistance) and by making certain changes to your diet. OP, you don't mention how long you've been training harder, but as long as you're feeling ok and have no specific body fat goals, you can still fit in your clothes and run within your own defined parameters, I probably wouldn't worry. If the upping of the training is recent, you might find you are retaining glycogen and water in your muscles to aid repair and that could be the gain showing on the scale. I find I easily retain 3-5 pounds when I first start to up my training, but that soon settles out as your muscles get used to the new regime.
GymAddict wrote (see)
I would be happy to say that mercury is heavier than water. The implication in that statement is that the volumes compared are the same.
I don't understand why people don't get this. In the statement "muscle weighs more than fat" is it not bloody obvious that the amounts of both substances we are comparing, as implied by the simplicity of the statement, is volume? It is to me, which is why criticisms of the statement, or even worse positive statements of fact that it is in fact wrong, wind me up so much.
Can we talk about iPods please?
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