Changing perceptions: From fit to fat in an instant

You are getting stronger and a bit heavier; surely most of that weight is muscle. Some refer to this phenomenon as bulking up. You might subconsciously have a bias when you look in the mirror, as you stand a little straighter, you suck your gut in a bit, and square your shoulders. You could be fooling yourself. 

Several years ago I used to weight myself at the health club where I worked. I was the heaviest I had ever been. No problem, I was the strongest I had ever been. Instead of asking if I once played basketball people would ask me if I had played football. 

Shortly after that I went to work at a different health club. They had no scale, but when they did get one I was told it was five pounds off. The scale indicated 250, so I subtracted five pounds to get 245 pounds. I had gained an additional five pounds. Still no problem, I was bulking up and getting stronger.

I was later informed that the scale registered a number that was five pounds too light. I was not 245 pounds as I had thought; I was really 255 pounds! Looking in the mirror I did not see the strong-bulking-up me; I was horrified to see the fat me. I was seeing myself without the bias. I did not have a pot belly; my fat was distributed over much of my body, mostly my back (See before picture), but still, I was fat.

A water immersion fat test determined that my fat percentage was 24.6%. That was my wake-up call to lose weight. I cut calories, did the right kind of exercise to lose weight, and got down to 8.8% body fat (see after picture).

When you cut calories the body, as an act of self-preservation, will lower its metabolism by consuming lean body mass. Strength training sends the opposite message - you need to maintain that lean body mass to survive the demands placed on it by strength training.

A stronger body will have a higher resting metabolism, and proper strength training will burn calories four ways. At New Orleans Fitness Training and Austin Fitness Training we can show you how to workout effectively and efficiently, get stronger, and burn more calories.