Poor Muscle Quality is Linked with Fat Gain, Poor Metabolic Health, Heart Disease and More

by Mike Mutzel


Muscle quality is linked with higher odds of poor metabolic health, heart disease and chronic disease. In today’s show we discuss more about this emerging science and ways to support muscle health and quality.




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Studies Mentioned:

Maltais, A., Alméras, N., Lemieux, I., Tremblay, A., Bergeron, J., Poirier, P., & Després, J.-P. (2018). Trunk muscle quality assessed by computed tomography: Association with adiposity indices and glucose tolerance in men. Metabolism, 85(C), 205–212.

Murai, J., Nishizawa, H., Otsuka, A., Fukuda, S., Tanaka, Y., Nagao, H., et al. (2018). Low muscle quality in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients with visceral fat accumulation. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 1–10.


Time Stamps:

0:15 Poor muscle quality increases the probability of poor metabolic health, which increases the possibility of cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and autoimmunity.

0:45 Low muscle quality increases your odds of dying prematurely.

4:30 Differences in mid-life leisure can positively reduce the risk of impaired mobility in your older age.

6:20 Fat can accumulate within and outside the muscle, leading to functional decline and muscle quality.



9:42 Ageing is associated with a decline in muscle mass and muscle strength. This starts in your 30s and 40s.

9:55 Muscle loss per year from .4% to 2.6% per year.

10:22 Strength loss per year 1 to 3% per year. Decline in muscle power is even greater.

10:55 Doing resistance training to failure a few days per week helps to preserve fast twitch muscle fibers that generate force and strength.

12:10 Consider taking a power lifting class so you can understand how to build strength.

13:50 Fast twitch muscle fibers (type 2b fibers) are recruited during high intensity activity.

14:05 Type 1 muscle fibers are recruited during low intensity activity.

14:25 Be explosive in your training. Your last rep should be challenging.

14:45 The neuronal aspect of your muscle, high force motor units, becomes dysregulated first.

15:35 The intermuscular (between muscles) and intramuscular (within muscle) fat accumulation underpins poor muscle quality and causes insulin resistance within the muscle.

17:20 Muscle architecture improvements are possible with just 4 to 5 weeks of regular resistance training. This precedes changes in muscle size.


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