Is That Muscle, or Am I Just Fat?


That’s an honest question, okay!  A lot of people who have been training for a decent amount of time run across the same question: I’m getting strong, right? These questions come up for one of two reasons:

  • The amount of weights that I’m lifting haven’t increased.
  • I haven’t lost weight for some time.

So, why was this question coming up for me? Well I’ll tell you one thing:

My Lifts Are Stronger!

Not only stronger, but more intense! Man, I could lift those 20’s (Totally joking, I was up to 40’s). The point is my workouts were definitely working out well enough for me be proud of myself and acknowledge that I was doing something right. Everything was improving and it didn’t seem to be slowing down soon.

Is that muscle or fat?
Look how well I can open pickles!

My weights were increasing and my intensity was improving, but there’s just one thing:

 But I’m Not Losing Weight?

Hold up, wait a minute, let me put a “what-what?” in it (I’m horrible at chants, don’t judge me). Though I’ve done nothing but improve in all areas of my training, HOW AM I NOT LOSING WEIGHT?

It’s ridiculous, an outrage, who do I complain to!? I mean seriously, it’s like I can’t do anything right. Should I be changing up my diet again or adjust my training?

Again, I had to look deeper before I could find the real answer. And the real answer may shock you.


Here’s the situation Jimbo: muscle is a big factor when it comes to weight loss. When you want to start a training program, most people choose to lift weights, which is great! Lifting weights in the long run can lead to significant health benefits and make it easier to keep a lean/healthy body in the future.

However, in the midst of training so hard you can actually putting on weight (shocking I’m sure). What the weight is is completely dependent on  your training and diet.

When lifting you can put on: muscle, fat, water weight, etc. See, plenty of factors, isn’t lifting great?

Is it Muscle or is it Fat?

Is that muscle or fat?
But really though.

That’s the big debate, isn’t it?

Am I losing weight? Is my training progressing the way it should? Is my diet on point? Don’t worry, everybody asks these questions at some point in their training.

The best way to judge if you’re putting on the right kind of weight is by keeping a consistent track of your body fat percentage, weight, and measurements. Chances are if you’re body fat percentage consistently decreases but your weight levels out, you’re losing body fat. However if you stop losing weight and your body fat percentage levels out as well, then there might be a problem.

However, there are bigger things to keep in mind:

Focus on Pushing Yourself

Yes, you should always keep track of your weight and size.

Yes, you should always keep improving your training.

However, you should be focusing more on how your training is improving rather than if you’re gaining weight. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re wanting to lean out then obviously putting on weight is a big “no-no” from what you want to accomplish. However, putting on muscle can sometimes skew the scales.

Provide a good amount of emphasis on challenging yourself every day, and sticking to a beneficial training diet, and you can’t go wrong!

Is that muscle or fat?


So, what do we focus on?

  • How your progressing rather than if your weight stalls for one period of time.
  • How your body fat percentage goes up or down during your training.
  • How your measurements change throughout your training progress.

Focusing on these three aspects of your training will keep you at a sound peace of mind AND allow you to work harder in your training. Weighing yourself every day or constantly stressing yourself out on the fact of leveling out is going to do more harm than good.

What do I always say?

Do your research, get prepared, and get lifting!

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