Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Calorie Furnaces

All this bike riding is doing some great things to my legs. I can see and feel my quads starting to poke out from underneath the flab. I really notice a difference in the size of my legs because my pants are fitting much looser in the thigh area.

I've done a lot of reading over the years on working out and muscles and nutrition etc etc... One thing that stuck with me is that your muscles act like calorie furnaces at rest and especially when doing work.

The bigger the muscle group being worked the more calories you burn. And the biggest muscles are in our legs. When you contrast the muscle mass in your legs (Quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves) versus the muscles in your arms (biceps, triceps, forearms) There really is no match. Your legs account for roughly half your body. The next biggest muscle group is the back and then the chest.

So getting back to the idea of calorie furnaces. I have dubbed each of my legs with a name: Calorie Furnace #1 and Calorie Furnace #2. When I'm starting a bike ride I am motivated with the following thought: "Calorie Furnaces 1 and 2 warming up."

Sometimes I look down and watch those thighs churning through some decent resistance while my IPOD pumps mad paced music into my head and it almost feels like a switch being thrown. I feel like I go from a guy trying to get some exercise to an unstoppable machine. Like a calorie terminator. All of a sudden fatigue doesn't exist.

My legs are pistons pumping relentlessly, my heart the engine, my mouth acting as both an air intake and an exhaust, my perspirning skin the cooling mechanism, my brain a computer running a calculated program matching each pedal stroke in time with the drums pounding into my ears.

Boom-Pedal-Boom-Pedal-Boom-Pedal, and as the song intensifies the Calorie Furnaces follow suit. I can feel the burning, the engine revs harder, the exhaust/intake increase volume, coolant drips from my nose and runs down my back, and my computer brain relays the folowing information: Calorie Furnaces #1 and #2 are kicking ass!



  1. I've heard the same things about our legs being the biggest muscle group, but I like the idea of the calorie furnace. Thanks for the great post. You seem to be doing so well!

    Keep pedaling, Marcus.

  2. Yeah... good job man!! I like that analogy. Pretty funny!

    You are EXACTLY right... the more you train your muscles... the bigger they are.... the more calories they burn at rest. I work sitting down everyday all day long and I try to always do some lifting in addition to cardio just for this reason.

    I like your blog! Thanks!