Muscle vs. Fat – The Battle of the Bulge

We have this discussion again and again with new female clients who want to lose body fat:

“I don’t want to gain any muscle. I want to get long lean muscles, tone and lose body fat. ”

I am really sorry, but we need to clear up some misconceptions here.

What “cardio only” will get you:

Working out at Shape Up Fitness & Wellness Consulting Charlotte

The benefits of hard work!

You might have heard the terms teacher arms, bat wings, bye-bye arms, etc. before. You might have even used it. If you are doing just cardio, that would be what you will receive. Just cardiovascular training will help you lose body fat, but it also will decrease the muscle mass.

I know this sounds pretty crass. It is simply the truth. Just cardio is not what you want in your battle against the fat.

What strength training will NOT do for you:

If you are a woman and you are afraid to be big and bulky; don’t worry about it. It is not going to happen. You don’t have the necessary hormone levels by nature to accomplish that. The only time we see women get bigger when lifting weights is when they are not following their nutrition plan at the same time. They are building lean muscle under layers of fat.

If you have lost big amounts of weight (50+ lbs) on the other hand there will usually be some excess skin. Weight training can only help so much. At some point your skin might just be too stretched out.

What strength training will do for you:

  • Build fat burning muscle: lean muscle gains increase your metabolism
  • Stimulates your bones: an intense strength training program can stimulate your bones and help you prevent osteoporosis or slow down its progress
  • Fill out some or all of the space that was formerly occupied by fat: giving you the lean toned look you desire
  • Stabilize joints and help with joint aches and pains.

How often should you lift weights?

That is a loaded question. Beginners can get away with 2 x/week for 30 min. More experienced athletes will train 3-5 days a week for about 60-75 min. It all depends on your training development and your goals. Most people have great results training 3 days week.

I hope this showed you a little bit on what a well designed strength training can do for you.

If you are new to training and you are looking to get into check out our January Specials for new clients, and let one of our trainers help you get on track. Click HERE

Have an awesome day,




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