Overestimating Muscle Mass

Happy 2011! As far as New Year’s Resolutions go, it’s common to want to get in better shape. Some even aspire to be “ripped” like the models on the cover of fitness magazines.

In fact, almost everyone wants to get lean but not too muscular. I have news for you: you’re not as muscular as you think. That’s not meant to discourage you, but as a reality check.

I can assure you because I’ve seen it with my own eyes: getting six-pack lean requires massive weight loss, and invariably the loss of inches. The common perception that you can “sculpt” the body to be the same size but better proportions is false. Imagine creating a sculpture from a hunk of clay – you’ll need to remove a lot of clay to get the finished product.

If you have a moderate amount of body fat, take 20-30 pounds off your current body weight and 2-3 inches off the waist (and a little bit from other areas), and that’s the size you’ll be cover-model lean. And fitness models aren’t small people, either. If you’re up close in person with one you’ll get an idea of the proportions, it’s pretty nuts. And we’re not even talking about the huge bodybuilders.

So do yourself a favor and embrace the beauty of fully developed muscle mass. It’s what you’ll have left when you decide to lean out.

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