The effects that being a fat ass have on your training

By Douglas Pieterse, Co-Founder & Head Personal Trainer
"It may be simple but not always easy"

The first thing I want to get clear is that I am not fat shaming, but starting with a higher body fat percentage baseline means that training results are harder to achieve. Higher body fat levels generally mean lower testosterone and higher oestrogen levels in men. This is great if you are chasing the dream of wearing Victoria Secret bras - not so great if muscle gain is your goal. 


The more fat tissue you have, the more aromatase enzymes are available to convert testosterone into oestrogen, which affects the body’s ability to build muscle. Another side effect of too much body fat is poor insulin sensitivity, which means that when you eat for bulk you end up with more fat than muscle. Having low testosterone can also aid in gaining fat more easily, so it's a horrible circle. 

How can we apply this knowledge?

Your first step when looking to either get fitter or add on lean mass would be to bring down your body fat to ideally below 20% for guys and 25% for girls. This way your body will be better primed to build muscle, improve performance and recover more optimally. 

Where to start? 

Focus your training and nutrition on fat loss first. Fat does not turn into muscle, and fat loss and muscle gain time frames also differ a lot. You can lose 1-2lbs of fat a week but only gain 2-3lbs of muscle per year, all depending on genetics and pharmacists. There goes the theory that you can be the same weight by losing fat and gaining muscle!


You would also benefit from trying to improve your natural testosterone levels by recovering more intelligently by…sleeping! At the end of the day, if you still suspect that you may be at the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to the male hormone then consider going for a blood test to make sure. 

When to start? 

Today! If you still have more questions and need someone to guide you through the process then book an appointment with us here at R3 Personal Training. We’ll work with you to get rid of the moobs and bring on the muscle!