Facebook Pixel

Lean Body Mass--How Much do Women Need?

Rate This
Weight Loss related image Photo: Getty Images

Has anyone ever asked you how much lean body mass you have? I didn’t think so. Don’t expect an infomercial to educate you about lean body mass. The first words spouted from a fitness infomercial are “weight loss,” especially in January.

The truth is this: you will know the success or failure of your exercise program by knowing your lean mass weight. Lean mass can basically be described as all body tissue except fat storage. Lean mass is made up of the cells, water, muscles, bones, and other body organs such as the heart. For the purposes of this article, I will concentrate on muscle mass.

You can make the changes you need to your body’s composition by increasing your muscle mass through weight training. This will help you decrease your body fat to a healthy level. In terms of percentages, your total lean body mass needs to be 70 to 80 percent of your body’s composition to keep your body healthy. Eighty percent lean mass would be very fit and 70 percent would be acceptable.

Change your body's composition to more muscle mass and less fat mass to keep weight loss off for good. That's easier said than done but you must keep that as your main goal when trying to lose weight. It takes longer to change your body's composition, so be patient. It's worth the wait. Quick weight loss gimmicks will never work long-term for you.

As you increase your muscle mass, your total weight may not change much in the beginning. That’s because muscle weighs more than fat. If you are losing inches and body fat, you are on your way to shaping the body you want. And, the weight will eventually melt away.

Here is an example of how to change your body:

A woman weighed 150 pounds, with 30 percent body fat
(lean mass = 105 lbs. and fat mass = 45 lbs.)

Exercise program results after 3 months:

Weight: 130 pounds, 20 percent body fat
(lean mass = 104 lbs. and fat mass = 26 lbs.)

This woman's exercise program was very successful. She lost 20 total pounds, burned 19 pounds of fat and lowered her body fat percentage to 20 percent. And she is maintaining her muscle mass.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Weight Loss

Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!