The Difference Between Muscle Tissue and Body Fat

The body is an amazing organism and is made up of many different elements, including various tissues, bones, organs and fluid. The two that we seem to focus on the most, when it comes to exercise and our health, are muscle and fat. We exercise and monitor our nutritional intake to build one, muscle, while trying to lose the other, fat (also known as adipose tissue).

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photo-60Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the body accounting for approximately 42% and 35% of body weight in men and women respectively. An average male who weighs 185 pounds would have about 78 pounds of lean muscle tissue while a female who weighs 140 pounds has approximately 49 pounds of lean muscle tissue. The remaining body weight, once muscle and fat are accounted for, includes water, mineral, bone and organ weight (the average human heart weighs about 10 oz. while the brain weighs about 3 lbs.). That same average male that where talking about may have, on average, about 25% body fat (or 46 pounds of fat) while that average female may have 30% body fat (or 42 pounds of fat).

One of the amazing things about muscle tissue is that it has the ability through regular, progressive exercise, to increase in size (known as muscle hypertrophy). Donnelly and colleagues have reported that strength training studies (lasting from 8 to 52 weeks) have shown increases of 2.2 to 4.5 pounds of muscle mass. On the other hand, fat tissue typically decreases in size when an exercise prescription is consistently followed. In addition to increasing in size, muscle can also get stronger and with additional training, improvements can be seen in endurance capacity, power output and force production as well.

Fat is stored in the body in the form of triglycerides and also stored in fat cells which are called adipocytes. According to Coyle, about 50,000 to 60,000 calories of energy are stored in fat cells throughout the body. Fat can also be stored within skeletal muscle cells. Protein stores in muscle can account for about 30,000 calories of energy. Muscle tissue can contribute approximately 20% of the body’s total daily energy expenditure compared to 5% for fat tissue.

The photo shows equivalent amounts of both muscle and fat (5 lbs.) but the same amount of muscle, which is more dense, takes up one-third less space compared to fat. Five pounds of muscle and fat may in fact weigh the same but that is where the similarities end. Muscle tissue, pound for pound, requires 3-4 times more calories to maintain compared to fat and is important in the process of energy metabolism. A pound of metabolically active muscle tissue requires 5-7 calories per pound while fat tissue is less metabolically active, needing about 2 calories per pound.

Finally, muscle plays an important role in the aging process. With advancing age we experience a loss of exercise capacity. This is due to first, to a decline in skeletal muscle mass and strength during aging and then a decrease in maximal oxygen uptake mainly due to a drop in maximal heart rate, according to Henning Wackerhage, PhD, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Exercise Physiology at the University of Aberdeen.

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Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub

About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in Cape Cod, MA.

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References

Marieb, EN and Hoehn, K. (2010). Human Anatomy and Physiology (8th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.

Elia, M. (1999). Organ and Tissue Contribution to Metabolic Weight. Energy Metabolism: Tissue Determinants and Cellular Corollaries. Kinney, J.M., Tucker, H.N., eds. Raven Press. New York.

Donnelly, J.E., Jakicic, J.M., et. al. (2003). Is Resistance Training Effective for Weight Management Evidence-Based Preventive Medicine. 1(1): 21-29.

Wackerhage, H. (2014). Molecules, Aging and Exercise in Molecular Exercise Physiology. Routledge.

Coyle, EF. (1995). Fat metabolism during exercise. Sports Science Exchange, 8(6):59.

The Stronger Life Project: Family Wellness Month

Happy May!

May is such a great month – for so many reasons!

First, it represents the end of cold weather – particularly here in the Northeast! – and the emergence of spring and warmth at last.

May is also a special month because it’s when we celebrate Mother’s Day – a time for us to reflect on our moms and how much we love and appreciate them!

May is also Family Wellness Month. And given that, I thought is only appropriate to spend just a few moments sharing what we can do as parents to ensure the wellness of our families.

I can’t tell you how many parents, and moms in particular, who are always so crazy busy; balancing work, the responsibilities to their kids and family – always seems time to themselves is so rare. And, when it come to fitness, they say they don’t have time – because they’re always putting others in front of themselves.

As parents, I know the thing we want more for our kids than anything is their health and happiness. Well the truth is, when it comes to helping our kids have healthy lives, there’s nothing more important that for US to be taking care of ourselves. And here’s why:

Not only does focusing on your health enable you to be there for your families for the long haul, more specifically MODELING healthy behavior, is possibly the greatest gift you can give your children.

Our kids learn more from what they SEE us doing, than what they hear us saying. And when – especially when – you are busy, SHOWING your kids that you put your health first is important. Showing your kids that you can fit exercise and healthy eating in the busiest of lives, SHOWS them how they too can build the life long habits of good health.

So when you are thinking, and wondering next time whether you have time to get that workout in, time that day to take care of yourself, think twice. If you don’t show your family how you do it, and how important it is for you, they will never learn how important it is for them.

I am reminded of a letter I received from a member – how her behavior influenced her family in unexpected and delightful ways. Here it is:

Dear Koko,

I originally became a member with the goal of losing 30 pounds by my 40th birthday. And, yes, that 30 pounds is gone, but what I really want to share with you are the other changes.

I read a perfect analogy in a book recently: life can be related to dominos lined up to fall in perfect succession. The first domino must fall for all the dominos to fall in order.  If you start at the 4th domino, the first 3 still remain.  Koko was that first domino for me.

Slowly my pantry and freezer were less stocked, opting for fresh, organic ingredients, my veggie drawers were filled and fruit took the place of chips.

My daughter’s lunch was packed with bottled water in lieu of the sugary drinks she’d become accustomed to.  And before I knew it, water was all she wanted.

Memorial weekend we went hiking, zip lining, and boating.  Several times during the hike my kids would yell at me – because I was ahead of them – “Koko it up Mom!”  That’s the new, cool thing to say to me.  And my daughter’s friends have said they’re jealous of our “adventurous” family.

Of course there are other dominos falling as well.   My resting heart rate is a wonderful 54bpm, down from 83.  My blood pressure is a cool 110/62.  My pants are smaller, and even my watch is in desperate need of sizing.  It’s crazy!

If Koko wasn’t a part of my life absolutely none of this would have happened and I couldn’t be more excited about where my life is right now.

It all starts with that first domino, and I want to thank you so very much from my family and myself, for truly making a workout that does just boil down to my showing up and doing it and enabling me to be an example for my family.
I’ll spend the next year looking ahead, but will occasionally look back and reflect on all the domino’s that have fallen and will always see that Koko was the beginning of it all.

Thank you so much!

So when we think about our lives, and the dominos we set in motion for our family – start with the first one…that is with YOU. With you manging your health wisely. Modeling what great decisions look like – for food and fitness; modeling great healthy habits… this won’t just serve you, but will serve your children, and in turn their children, for generations and generations.

This month I salute all of you – for showing your kids and family how to live a healthy life. And finally – last but not least – a huge shout out to all the mothers out there. A very Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Mary Obana
President & Co-Founder, Koko FitClub

Mud Run season is here and more people than ever are using this coaching system to get ready

Here is a truly remarkable KokoNut! Meet Charles, a 3 time Spartan Race vet who loves to train at Koko!

chris-bruek-whats-your-whySo last year I decided to cross out a bucket list objective of running a Mud Run before I turned 50 and lost the ability to make it happen.  I trained hard and completed not one but THREE Spartan Races in 2015, earning the coveted Spartan Trifecta!  It was a difficult achievement and a dream come true, but no matter how hard I trained each one seemed to kick my butt a little harder, but I did finished it!

So how do you follow that up when you turn 50?  Well you do it TWICE that’s how!  Here is a pic from the Dallas Beast on Sunday, which completes my first of two 2016 Trifectas.  27 combined miles and 75 combined obstacles later I accomplished half my goal.  What did Koko do to get me there?  It made me FASTER.  I cut considerable time off each of the previous years time’s.  In addition to being faster, Koko made me STRONGER.  Out of 75 obstacles, I only failed 6 in 2016.  Again, that was half the failures of 2015.  Not to mention, I blew through the penalty burpees that almost crippled me in 2015. The CONDITIONING Koko has provided as given me the strength to preserver.  For example after the 2015 Beast, I spent over 24 hours in the bed and did not make it back to the gym for over a week.  This year I got up at 7 a.m. on Sunday and helped a friend move for 11 hours AND I was back in the gym after 2 days!

Will I stop there?  No way!  I have another Spartan race in Alabama on November 19th and two more in Florida on December 10th and 11th for a total of six races in 2016!  That’s KoKo STRONG.  Thank you for ALL you do to keep us all moving forward and achieving our dreams.  When I started KoKo, my doctor told me he wasn’t sure which one, Diabetes or a Heart Attack would take me out first but if I didn’t change my lifestyle I wouldn’t live to see my kids graduate from High School.  Now he pumps me for fitness tips when I have a check up because he “hasn’t seen anything like this before.”  I could not have done it without Koko.  Barbara’s non-stop inspiration and the Monthly Challenges keep me coming back everyday when all I want to do it get a little extra sleep.  I tell everyone 50 is the new 30 🙂

Attached is a picture of me proudly flying my Koko flag at the finish line with my Trifecta Medals.  You are more than welcome to use it or any part of this to help or motivate others.

Thanks for ALL you guys do!

Charles
Certified KokoNut

There you have it.

Stay Koko Fit!

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub

About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.

Know Your Nutrition Numbers for Fiber and Sugar

There are many variables that you can look at when you’re trying to get your diet under control especially during the cold “hibernation” months of winter. Rather than trying to count calories or eat specific macronutrients, become more aware of your fiber intake and the amount of added sugar you’re consuming each day. Gaining more knowledge and having a better understanding in these two areas could significantly improve your health and well-being.

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Is 10-Minutes of Jumping Rope Equivalent to 30-Minutes of Running?

There was a report that was circulating recently regarding how 10-minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to running 30-minutes.

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