Sort of, kind of, maybe; not really.
Weight lifting can increase muscle mass, primarily through becoming damaged (via weight lifting) and then sending out signals to the body to turn ingested proteins into new muscle tissue as a repair mechanism. Carbohydrates and fats are used as energy to fuel this process.
Weight lifting can also decrease fat mass, by using up body fat stores to fuel both this muscle building process and also using fat stores directly as fuel for the exercise that is needed to damage the muscle.
The technical, literal, direct conversion of fat into muscle.
Fat is comprised of triglycerides, which are molecules shaped like a capital E comprising a backbone and three chains of fatty acids (shown below). These chains are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen almost exclusively.
Muscle mass is made up of muscle tissue, glycogen, water, and some intra-muscular fat. The muscle tissue (the only tissue able to contract) is made up of chains of amino acids, which can be quite various in their structure. These chains contain nitrogen, and nitrogen is almost exclusively stored in the body as muscle (with some amino acids floating around).
It is impossible for fat to directly turn into muscle, since fat lacks the nitrogen and no mechanism exists in the body to reconstruct fat into amino acids. No evidence has surfaced implying that amino acids can be made in the body from anything other than other amino acids, a process known as transamination.
So although lifting weights can both build muscle and induce fat loss, these should be viewed as two separate results and not one being the result of another.
- Does Garcinia Cambogia help with weight loss?
- Can hypothyroidism lead to fat gain?
- How do I stay out of "starvation mode?"
- Measuring body fat percentage: It's an accuracy thing
- Does eating at night make it more likely to gain weight?
- Does diet soda inhibit fat loss?
- How to minimize fat gain when you binge
- A compound from beer may help fat loss
- Can one binge make you fat?
- Will carbs make me fat?
- How do I get a six-pack?
- How does protein affect weight loss?
- What should you eat for weight loss?
- How do I lose fat around my belly?
- Does high-protein intake help when dieting?
- Does eating fat make you fat?
- Is diet soda bad for you?
- How important is sleep?
- How to minimize fat gain during the holidays
- I have lost significant weight and now have loose skin. How can I tighten up my skin?
- Why do my muscles get sore?
- My muscles are not sore after a workout. Am I working out hard enough?
- What are the benefits of resistance training?
- I am a female. Will lifting heavy weights make me bulky?
- Does resistance training work for the elderly?
- Why you shouldn't be always taking antioxidants, especially if you want to build muscle
- Does dark chocolate’s epicatechin content promote muscle growth?
- Does ashwagandha increase testosterone?
- Can arachidonic acid work as a bodybuilding supplement?
- Is saturated fat bad for your health?
- Low-fat vs low-carb? Major study concludes: it doesn’t matter for weight loss
- How eating better can make you happier
- Does eating a higher carb diet make you more full?
- Will eating eggs increase my cholesterol?
- How are carbohydrates converted into fat deposits?
- What is Adrenal Fatigue?
- Does aspartame increase appetite?
- Is my “slow metabolism” stalling my weight loss?
- The lowdown on intermittent fasting
- I'm not too tired to stuff my face
- Will eating breakfast keep you lean?
- Do you need to detox?
- Is it really that bad to skip breakfast?
- Will my breasts shrink with weight loss?
- 5 little-known facts about protein
- Is weight lifting bad for kids?
- Whey vs soy protein: which is better when losing weight?
- Is it better to do aerobic exercise fasted?
- Cellular signaling pathways regulating the initial stage of adipogenesis and marbling of skeletal muscle. Meat Sci. (2010) Du M, Yin J, Zhu MJ.
- Fat as a fuel: emerging understanding of the adipose tissue-skeletal muscle axis. Acta Physiol (Oxf). (2010) Frayn KN.
- A review of the transamination reaction and its relationship to acute myocardial infarction. Am Pract Dig Treat. (1957) GOLDNER F Jr.
- Dual substrate recognition of aminotransferases. Chem Rec. (2005) Hirotsu K, et al.
- The science of muscle hypertrophy: making dietary protein count. Proc Nutr Soc. (2011) Phillips SM.
- Dietary protein to support anabolism with resistance exercise in young men. J Am Coll Nutr. (2005) Phillips SM, Hartman JW, Wilkinson SB.