Of Abs and Legs

Walking Fido VS Crunches

Let me say it in the following way. You’ll burn more calories by taking Fido for a walk around the block than by doing 100 or even 200 crunches. Think about it. Walking around the block requires you to MOVE YOUR ENTIRE BODY WEIGHT for say a quarter mile (440 yards or 1320 feet) or more, depending on the size of the block.

Let’s Do the Math

By multiplying your body weight, say 200 lbs, times by 1320 feet you’ll find that walking around the block requires you to do 264,000 foot pounds of work. On the other hand doing 200 crunches requires you to move a fraction (half would be a generous figure) of your entire body weight through maximally 2 feet of distance per crunch. Multiply 2feet times 100lbs and you’ll find that doing 200 crunches requires you to do approximately 200 foot pounds of work. In other words, in terms of calorie burning, crunches are not in the same league as walking Fido around the block.

Now Let’s Talk About Your Metabolism

But the argument in favor of leg work doesn’t end there. Percentages vary according to expert, but they all agree that in a resting state a pound of muscle metabolizes many times more calories as a pound of fat. Therefore, every pound of fat that you can replace with a pound of muscle will increase your overall metabolism many times over. And that’s while you’re just sitting around playing couch potato in front of the tube or the computer.

So what does all that mean in terms of spare tire reduction? For the sake of argument let’s say that you spend enough time in the weight room over the next several months to produce a 10% overall gain in muscle mass. Since the muscles in your legs and hips are naturally (at least) twice as big as the muscles in your arms and shoulders, the 10% legs and hips muscle mass gain will metabolize at least twice as many calories as your 10% arms and shoulders muscle mass gain.