Difference Between Lean Muscle and Muscle Mass

Body image is very important for self–esteem. Since very recently only body builders were interested in lean muscle and low body fat levels. As non-communicable diseases rise, body weight, body mass index, body fat content, muscle mass and lean muscle mass have become very familiar to many.

Muscle Mass

Mass is synonymous to weight. Muscle mass refers to the total weight of muscles in the body. Tissues can be divided broadly into soft tissues and bones. Muscles are a type of soft tissue. In addition to muscles, soft tissues include fat, organs, blood, and connective tissues. Weighing each component separately is impossible. Therefore, muscle mass is actually a subjective expression. An athlete with big muscles will have a larger muscle mass while a slim individual would not. Because measuring muscle mass is impractical, body mass has become the validated method.

There are no simple ways to build up muscle mass. The only way is to work out. Regular cardiovascular workout as well as a resistance work out is needed to build up and maintain a good muscle mass. There are various supplements that are said to improve muscle gain. Intake of these supplements should be done only after careful consideration and medical review. It is important to understand that in general our muscle mass adapts to the work we do regularly. When we do heavy lifting as a part of our job the relevant muscles tend to enlarge to be able to cope with the work. This is a physiological process known as hypertrophy. Exercise is the trigger which initializes hypertrophy. This makes it obvious that to maintain a certain higher muscle mass, relevant level of work should be done regularly. If we stop rigorous exercise after we build up muscle, the muscle mass will slowly go down because the work needed to maintain the larger muscle mass is not there.

Lean Muscle Mass

Lean muscle mass is the actual weight of all muscles disregarding the fat. It is impractical to measure the lean muscle mass. Therefore, lean body mass is the valid measurement. Skeletal muscle is made up of bundles of individual muscle fibers. There is connective tissue interspersed between these muscle fibers. These connective tissues contain the fat. Therefore if we weigh a skeletal muscle it includes the weight of the fat inside the muscle. In professional athletes who exercise regularly the amount of stored fat is very low. That is why they are said to be lean. The lean body mass is the body mass excluding fat. The formula to calculate lean body mass is as follows.

Lean body mass = Body weight – (Body weight x body fat %)

There are many ways to calculate the body fat content. Use any of those methods to get the value for body fat percentage and solve the equation to calculate the lean body mass.

What is the difference between Lean Muscle and Muscle Mass?

• Lean muscle is the amount of muscle disregarding fat while muscle mass includes the weight of fat, as well.