If Muscles Are Not Used It Turns Into Fat: A Myth Or Fact?
By Vishwanthar on General
January 6, 2010
The above statement turns to be one of the most damaging to haunt a gym. It also never seems to die down, for many argue against weight training as the majority of us never think it to be one of the most beneficial attribute towards living a healthy life. But please note that fat and muscle tissue are two different types of cellular tissue and cannot change into one another. But when muscles atrophy (shrink) because of inactivity, fat fills the space where the muscles used to be, giving the mistaken impression that the muscles have turned to fat.
A probable presumption for individuals who quit weight training and become fat would be that they tend to eat the same amount of calories even after they stop visiting the gym, thus the calories consumed turns out to be excess, for the excess calorie consumption subsequently happens in the absence of weight training. For example, say you burn around 500 calories in a single session of weight training from the food you consume, so when you stop lifting weights the 500 calories consumed which has actually to be burnt is saved and those excess calories turns into fat. So, for a week’s time you are saving 3500 calories. Let me explain this math: 500 calories saved for a day when multiplied by 7(week’s time) results in 3500 calories. You need to burn 3500 calories to burn a pound of fat, as one pound of fat contains 3500 calories. It means that you are gaining 1 pound of fat per week. Please note that I have generalized the entire issue of fat gain in the above example, for the above example should not be treated as concrete step towards fat loss, as fat loss/gain depends on many variables which has to be introspected to deal with it in a convincing way.
As you now know the possible reason for fat gain after you quit lifting weights, what do you think is the way out for you to stay lean? I would definitely suggest you to not quit lifting weights, as the benefits are enormous even at a cellular level. Allow me to explain about the biochemical changes which take place because of weight training, for many still think that gyms are only meant to flaunt muscles which do not serve any purpose. But it should be known that training intensifies the formulation of all cellular material including the mitochondria, myofibrillar proteins, sarcoplasmic reticulum, and various enzymes. There is also a marked improvement in the nervous and endocrine processes to increase metabolic efficiency. We now know through research that adaptation, for example, gaining of muscle mass, is primarily dependent on the interrelation between a cell’s function and its genetic apparatus, which constitutes the constantly active mechanism of intracellular regulation. We see that the body takes advantage of the biochemical processes by activating the genetic apparatus. It invariably means that any intense physical activity energizes the body mechanism even at subtler levels. On the same note, we should know that weight training to be extremely beneficial in improving once muscle mass, bone density, and in improving once immune system. Importantly, it should be known that as we age we lose muscle at a faster rate resulting in crippling our immune system. The weakened immunity leads to many infectious diseases, and as we age we also lose our ability to kill germs because of muscle loss, for the body loses its ability to produce antibodies and white blood cells. Antibodies and white blood cells are made of protein and the only place to store extra protein is in our muscles. When we carry more muscle, we have ready source of protein to make antibodies and cells.
Coming back to the question on how to stay thin after quitting lifting weights. We have to make a conscious effort in cutting down our caloric intake, as that doesn’t persuade us to gain fat. This will help us in not gaining fat, but we will lose the much required muscle, as our muscles atrophy (stop growing) when we stop lifting weights. Subsequently, all other benefits in relation to weight training which are mentioned above fall apart.
It is time to lift weights and flaunt your muscles, for that is a sign of a healthy body. Better late than never my friends, and it is high time to wake up from your slumber. You have all the knowledge at your disposal which is just a click away. Doesn’t the name Google ring a bell in your minds? I hope it does.