Could muscle gain be why I’m not losing weight? Probably not!

“I didn’t lose any weight last week but I’ve been lifting weights for 4 weeks now so I’ll have put some muscle on and muscle weighs more than fat…won’t I…doesn’t it?”

I hear this all the time, mainly from females, so let me clear up a few points.

1, How much does a female with a LOT of muscle and fairly low body fat weigh? Let’s look at two of the biggest female Crossfit athletes:

Sam Briggs: 5ft 6 | 9 stone 12 62kg

 

Lindsey Valenzuela
5ft 6: 150lbs | 10 stone 10 68kg

So, do you have muscles like Sam or Lyndsey? If the answer is no, then chances are that your extra weight is fat.

2, Unless you’re on steroids, you’re unlikely to put on significant muscle weight in 4 weeks. If you’re new to lifting and you train hard for 12 months, 4-5 days a week and eat properly 7 days a week, then you might make “newbie gains” of around 7lbs in that year…if you’re lucky and have very good genetics. So, if you’ve not lost weight or have put on weight then it’s unlikely to be down to muscle gain.

So, what can you do if you’re not losing weight? Well, you could start by asking yourself these questions.

A, How much do people who look like I want to look weigh?

It depends on what you want to look like. Here are some examples:

Jennifer Anniston: 5 foot 4 | 7.5 to 8 stones

Emily Skye: 5 foot 7 | 8.5 stones

B, Am I within 5-10% of my target weight (see question A)?

If the answer is yes then it might be better to forget weight as a measure of progress and use bodyfat, body measurements and progress pictures to track your progress. If you’re outside 10% of your ideal weight then weight is a good way to measure progress because, no matter what people say about not focusing on the scales, if you weigh 100kg then you are going to lose weight as you move towards your goal!

So, let’s get real. If you have weight to lose then set a realistic goal and keep working at it until you’ve reached it. Then set another goal!

Dan Sroda
Personal Trainer at Reach Personal Training
Dan Sroda is a Personal Trainer based in Birstall, serving Leeds and Bradford.


As the owner and lead trainer at Reach Personal Training, I am responsible for the philosophy of the business and overseeing client programmes.

My mission is for Reach Personal Training to be synonymous with a long-term, real-life approach to health and fitness. We help our clients to integrate health and fitness into their busy lives. We don't do fads. We don't do crash diets. We do "Fitness For Life".

I have a family. I’ve always worked (and not always in the fitness industry). I have housework and shopping to do. I have a REAL life. So I know what it takes to balance a real life with a sustainable approach to health and fitness.

If I can do it then anyone else can too. All you need is the desire to make eating healthily and keeping fit a priority in your life. An hour a day, thirty minutes a day, even fifteen minutes a day of exercise, supported with a healthy diet based on whole foods, is all it takes to make steady long-term progress towards looking and feeling fantastic.

I have a few simple values upon which I have built Reach Personal Training. Only personal trainers who share these values will be part of our team.

- Friendliness. Just be a genuinely nice person, it's dead simple and it's the best way to live. Smile as much as possible and try to see the best in every situation.

- No fads. No pseudoscience. My background in academia makes me question everything. There is so much nonsense in the fitness industry, mainly because some people are in it to make money so they'll believe anything and questioning it will mean they can't believe in the product. We are different. We do what works. We use science to create our programmes and we never put profit over effectiveness. You will NEVER find Herbalife or Forever Living in our studio!

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