Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Metabolism Myths and Muscle Building

Lame articles about "boosting your metabolism" are all over the I want to talk about two of the bigger myths today.

1) "Eating breakfast boosts metabolism" = myth.

Just another one of those things that trainers repeat all day long without data. Show me the research. (I know research shows that folks who eat breakfast keep the weight off, but where's the "breakfast boosts metabolism" study?)

And what does that mean anyways - eating breakfast boosts your metabolism by 10 calories, 100 calories or 1000 calories? Does anyone stop and think before they repeat this stuff all day long? 

2) Another "metabolism" myth - One pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day.

Sounds good when you're talking about one pound, but would i really burn an extra 1000 calories per day if I gained 20 pounds? No, of course not.

Bodybuilders that have over 100 pounds of muscle on their bodies would have metabolic rates of over 5000 calories per day if this was true. Again, another myth spreads because we don't take time to stop and think...

Fitness "journalists" need to show a little critical thinking when they write their articles.


Alright, now on to my workout for the day. Since I'm traveling to Atlanta today and not sure if I'd get to a "real gym" with barbells, I moved up some of my barbell exercises to today that otherwise would be done on Friday.

1) Jumps - doing well with these...need to test out on a basketball court, but pretty sure I can touch the rim again.

2A) Deadlift - 3x6, 2x10
2B) Military Press - 3x6 (little weak on these today)

3A) BB Row - 2x12
3B) DB Press - 2x10
3C) BB Curl - 2x10

I'll save lunges, pullups, and some other DB and ab exercises for the hotel gym workout on Friday.

Train safe, train hard, stick to the basics, and forget about boosting your metabolism with "tricks". All that matters is that you eat enough for your goals, and you workout with intensity.


PS - Consistency is key...

According to the October issue of Men's Health magazine, "People who workout in the morning are 90% more likely to stick to their workout than folks who try to workout later."


dan said...

by claiming it is a myth are you suggesting that one shouldnt eat breakfast or are you just annoyed that it is a popular saying without extensive research. There are many claims in an NSCA book that lack the studies as well arent there?

Jason Pegg said...

I think that what he is getting at is that it isnt the boost some would make it to believe. Great post craig.


UofMWolverine81 said...


The "daily number" I keep seeing for each pound of muscle is around 6 calories, so while it is certainly better than not having that boost, it is definitely, as you noted, not even close to 50. Incidentally, I think I've seen that a pound of fat will actually burn 2 kcal, so the advantage of having that muscle instead of fat (at least in terms of times when you're sitting on your duff or not being especially active)works out to around 4 kcal per pound.

As far as the breakfast "myth", it never made sense to me, as you would think that short-tern fasting would give you a brief metabolic boost, since it would encourage you to go out and hunt/search for food. So long as fasting is not for greatly extended periods of time and provided that daily intake meets a certain threshold (regardless of the number of feedings), there shouldn't be any noticeable difference in metabolic rate, regardless of whether breakfast was eaten of skipped........another thing is that I've never seen how you can equate someone who unconsciously skips breakfast and gorges at various times throughout the day to someone who chooses to not have a meal immediately upon awaking and then controls dietary intake within an appropriate (for his body comp and activity levels) range during the day.

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