It’s pretty common for me to get a new client who goes…

There is a crapload of people like this. Just like there are loads of Swedish people in the assemble-it-yourself furniture industry. IKEA. Gettit?

So, please, come on a literary journey with me and I’ll show 4 reasons why you don’t look like you lift weights.

1. You’re just exercising aka doing random workouts

Some people just want to come in, lift some weights, do some cardio, go home, and wait patiently for death’s sweet kiss. And that’s fine. If you exercise simply because you want to get some movement into your life and get healthier, kudos to you. Bring your friends too.

But if you also want to improve your body composition—build muscle and lose fat—random, TikTok and Instagram workouts won’t cut it. Just because you work out doesn’t mean you train in a way that’s going to add muscle to your frame and change the shape of your body. Sweating and feeling the burn aren’t enough.

If you really want to change your body composition, to get that “toned” look, your workouts need to be specific to muscle growth. Whether you want to lose weight or build muscle, the answer is the same—your training should be hypertrophy-focused because muscle creates the shape of your body and more muscle means sexier this and that.

So make sure your training is conducive to muscle growth. Progressive overload, sufficient proximity to failure, proper execution, exercise selection, etc. should all be dialed in.

2. You’re exercising to lose fat

I told you before why exercising to lose weight/burn calories is neither fucking cool nor effective. It’s silly. So let’s talk about it again.

If you’re exercising purely to lose fat, you’re putting a lot of your time and effort into the wrong place. As I said in the first point, your training should be hypertrophy-focused. It doesn’t matter how many calories you burn or how much sweat you leave on a bench. Which is wrong and dumb. Bring the towel to the gym.

I said it many times before and I’ll say it again: Train for muscle and strength. Eat for fat loss. Your training is there to send the stimulus to maintain/build more muscle. Your diet—to burn fat.

So stop looking for fat-burning workouts or exercises and control your diet to lose fat and train to build muscle. No more silly jumping jacks, high knees, or burpees, please.

3. You’re trying to lose weight too quickly

I’ve already told you why rapid fat loss needs to fuck off but let’s talk about it again and see why eating as few calories as possible to lose weight faster is hurting you more than it’s helping you.

Many people think that to look better, they simply need to lose weight. Wrong. I’m impersonating Dwight Schrute here. You need to add some muscle too.

The problem is that unless you have lots of weight to lose, you’re gonna lose muscle mass alongside fat if you try to lose weight too fast. This can leave you smaller and less defined (muscle creates the shape of your body, remember?). As if the only time you saw a dumbbell was when youn walked past the gym on your way home.

The size of your calorie deficit plays a huge role in whether you can lose fat and maintain/build muscle simultaneously. So to minimize the chance of muscle loss when dieting, think no more than 0.5-1% of body weight per week. The less weight you have to lose the closer to the lower end of the range you should be.

4. Your macros are off

This is the part where I tell you to stop eating like a dick. If you want to look like you lift weights, not only your calories should be controlled but your macro ratio should be balanced too.

Eat too little protein and your muscle maintenance/growth might be compromised. Go full-blown low-carb and your workouts might suffer (crappy workouts -> worse muscle maintenance/growth). Cut fat next to nothing and your meals will taste like cardboard. Your hormonal health might go down the shitter too.

So contrary to what some people might tell you, all calories are created equal. However, macros are not. Each has unique benefits. Especially in the presence of resistance training.

Set your protein intake at 0.7 g/lb of your body weight (1.6 g/kg). That’s your daily minimum intake. Feel free to eat more than that if you like. If you have lots of weight to lose (50lbs+/20kg+), use your goal body weight as your starting point.

Carb and fat intake will come down to your personal preference for the most part. Some of us feel better with less fat and more carbs, and some of us lie we feel better with more fat. Just kidding. And vice versa I mean. Either approach is fine. However, even if you prefer fat over carbs, your carb intake should still be high enough to support training.

In Sum

I’d be lying if I said I’m good at writing conclusions. I suck donkey balls at it. So let’s just say that if you don’t look like you lift weights, you gotta sort that shit out by training for muscle growth and eating for fat loss by taking into account the size of your calorie deficit and macro breakdown.

Also, if you want to bypass all of the nonsensical weight loss information and avoid common beginner mistakes, apply for the 1:1 Coaching Program because I like money, and those who do become my clients seem to get cool results. Check my approach and results on Instagram.

Cheers, Egis

Train With Me Program | 14-Day Fat Loss For Life Free Course

Originally published by me on Medium on the 6th of April, 2024

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