Fat vs Muscle

The link between muscle growth and body fat loss

How many of you know the link between muscle growth and body fat loss?

We often hear stories of friends, but more so, a majority female’s avoiding their weight training sessions or reducing their protein intake to prevent gaining ‘muscle’.

However, did you know that the higher muscle percentage on your body the lower your body fat stores will be? So how does this occur simultaneously?


When your body gains muscle, you burn more calories maintaining that muscle tissue. Unfortunately, with cardio training, you stop burning calories roughly 12 hours after you have finished your session but with resistance training, when you increase protein synthesis (growth), you can turn your body into a fat burning machine with up to 72hours or fat burning post session. When lifting weights, damage/micro tears occur to the cells in muscle tissue, which results in the body producing more protein to repair these tears which entail stipulate growth of new tissue which increases strength and mass.

Sigal, et al. (2014) in a randomised control trial that a combined aerobic and resistance exercise training regime, tended to be superior to aerobic training alone in decreasing percentage of body fat and waist circumference. While resistance training alone had (quantitative changes in skeletal muscle mass or fibre diameter and increased muscular strength). Sigal RJ, Alberga AS, Goldfield GS, et al. Effects of Aerobic Training, Resistance Training, or Both on Percentage Body Fat and Cardiometabolic Risk Markers in Obese Adolescents

In addition to weight loss, building muscle can also do the following:

Reduce injury probability - Through the growth of tensile tissue strength.

Reduce blood pressure – Weight training increases your heart rate and works on building the strength of your heart muscles. A stronger heart can pump blood around the body more efficiently with less effort. The less your heart has to work to pump the blood around the body the lower your blood pressure.

“The Systolic Blood Pressure lowering effect of exercise among hypertensive populations appears similar to that of commonly used antihypertensive medications”. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018

Increase happiness – Studies have shown that weight training can reduce the development of depression and other mood disorders. During weight training, your body releases opiates, which is a powerful anti-stress messenger to the brain.

Reduce the risk of developing diabetes – Weight training has shown to reduce the risk of developing diabetes in recent studies. Lifting weights can improve the bodies response to insulin release and also balance blood sugar levels.

“resistance training has the potential for increasing muscle strength lean muscle mass and bone mineral density, which could enhance the functional status and glycemic control” American Diabetes Association 2006