Skeletal muscles are your body’s natural fat burners, according to exercise physiologist William McArdle. They constantly use fat and carbohydrates to keep you warm and provide you with energy for movement.

Calories Burned

One pound of muscle burns about 6.5 calories per hour, according to McArdle. Muscles burn 5.5 times more calories than fat tissues, which burn about 1.2 calories per pound per hour.

Strength Training

You can increase your muscle mass by strength training, which stimulates your body to develop thicker muscle fibers. You can use various methods to increase muscle size, such as weight training, calisthenics (circuit training / boot camp), sprinting and jumping.

Basal Metabolic Rate

Basal metabolic rate, or BMR, estimates how much calories you burn when you are at rest, according to dietitian Ellen Coleman. The more muscles you have, the more calories you burn when you exercise and rest. A man with 100 lbs. of muscle would burn about 1,342 calories per day, while a man with 120 lbs. of muscle burn about 1,558 calories a day.


  • “Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance”; William McArdle; 2001 + “Ultimate Sports Nutrition”; Ellen Coleman; 2004