Weight training might not seem all that important if you’re skinny fat.
After all, weight training is designed to build huge muscles and lots of strength.
While true to some degree, weight training is essential for skinny fat folks, regardless of gender.
Let’s find out why that is and what you can do about it.
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What Does It Mean to Be ‘Skinny Fat’?
A skinny fat person has low muscular development and a high body fat percentage. As a result, skinny fat folks appear thin while wearing clothes but don’t look great with a shirt off.
Skinny fat men tend to store more fat around the chest, stomach, and hips. Women store fat around their stomach and hips, but they also accumulate fat around their buttocks and thighs.
Despite the seemingly simple physique, there are different categories of skinny fat people, which determine the best approach for getting fit. Some people are genetically predisposed to the look. Others end up in that situation after a long weight-loss period, which is what happened to me when I first started training.
What Skinny Fat People Need to Get Fit
Despite the overwhelming amount of information on the topic and the many ideas, skinny fat individuals need two things:
- Lose fat
- Gain muscle
Replacing even a small amount of your fat with muscle will drastically improve the way your physique looks. Following a decent weight training program will play a huge role here. The great news is that you can also do calisthenics or any other form of resistance training.
Why Weight Training Is The Answer
Most skinny fat folks go about fixing the way they look in an unbalanced way. They focus on the fat loss portion of the equation but completely ignore their muscle mass. As a result, they only exacerbate the issue, get frustrated, and give up.
Cardio, which we’ll discuss next, can be helpful, but it alone is not the answer. Weight training is crucial because it causes significant muscle stress in the form of metabolic stress and mechanical tension. Both play an important role in muscle growth, allowing us to transform the way we look.
There are various great exercises we can do, each with its unique impact on the body. A balanced workout program allows us to train all major muscle groups in the body:
- Abs, obliques, and transverse abdominis
Training these areas sends signals that the muscle we have is crucial. As a result, the body strengthens and develops these muscles to handle the same stress better in the future.
Weight training is also essential when trying to shed fat. Eating fewer calories puts us at a higher risk of muscle loss. But by training our muscles hard, we hold onto them and instead lose primarily fat. The best part is that we don’t have to do traditional gym workouts to reap these benefits. Home tools like resistance bands also offer versatility, allowing us to have great workouts in the comfort of our homes.
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But Wait, Isn’t Cardio Important For The Skinny Fat Look?
Not everyone enjoys weight training, and you might be wondering if there is any way to fix the skinny fat look with cardio and nutrition alone.
Aerobic exercise can be beneficial because it helps you burn extra calories, which can put you in a calorie deficit. But cardio alone won’t help you fix the skinny fat look because, as mentioned above, doing so requires two things:
- Build muscle
- Lose fat
If you only do cardio, you focus on the latter but ignore the former. What’s more, aerobic exercise combined with a caloric restriction puts you at a greater risk of muscle loss, which only contributes to the skinny fat look. Sure, you might drop scale weight, but you lose fat and muscle, which prevents you from achieving the lean and athletic look you desire.
Let me demonstrate with a visual example. The below is a group of long-distance runners. None of them are skinny fat; they are lean and athletic. But what you probably realize is one shared characteristic: low muscular development.
Focusing on cardio alone makes them great endurance athletes, but it prevents them from building muscle mass. Some folks don’t do any form of exercise, and that is even worse.
Now, let’s compare these guys to a person who lifts weights and has an above-average muscular development:
Despite his slightly higher body fat percentage, this person looks great, which goes to show you how important it is to build muscle. These ideas also apply if you’re a woman. Don’t believe the myth that lifting weights will make you ‘bulky’ or Hulk-like. Adding muscle to your frame will add shape to your body, make you more functional, and help you get rid of the skinny fat look forever. Here is a girls’ workout program you can check out.