You've Got Less Muscle Than You Think

You’ve Got LESS Muscle Than You Think…

Chances are that you may have LESS Muscle Mass on your body than you think you do.

I’m not trying to be negative or put you down. I’m just telling it like it is so that you can use this information to your advantage, and actually be successful in reaching your muscle building and fat loss goals.

Now that summer is here lots of guys are training for fat loss with hopes of getting ripped six pack abs for beach vacations, pool parties, etc.

But unfortunately most of them will fail to reach their fat loss goals simply because they don’t realize just how much weight they actually need to lose in order to get that lean ripped look.

“If you have never followed a serious fat loss cutting diet before, than you probably don’t realize how much weight you’ll need to lose in order to get those six pack abs.”

Most guys who have never dieted down before think they have more muscle and less bodyfat than they really do. I know because I used to be one of them back in my early days of bodybuilding.

To give you an example, let’s assume we have a typical bodybuilder who has been working out for a few years, has a decent level of muscular development, but is a bit soft and smooth… Say somewhere around 15% bodyfat.

Most guys in this situation would think that if they clean up their diet, do some cardio, and drop 10-15 pounds that they’ll be sporting ripped six pack abs. But when they actually try to do it, they generally don’t look any different, except they will be 10-15 pounds smaller.

To Get Ripped You’ll Need To Lose More Weight Than You Think.

To see what I mean, just check out the pictures below…
These pictures were taken back in 2007 when I dieted down to compete in the HWC Bodybuilding Championships. I had to drop 40 pounds of bodyweight in order to get into ripped contest shape.

Lee Hayward Before & After Pictures

I’m not alone with this, I’ve seen this same scenario time and time again from years of coaching competitive bodybuilders and helping them with their pre-contest fat loss cutting diets. Most guys are shocked by just how much weight you really need to lose in order to get ripped.

Part of the reason why most guys think they have more muscle mass than they really do is because when you start a fat loss diet the first 10 pounds that you lose is mostly just water, glycogen, and intestinal bulk. It’s only after that initial 10 pound weight loss when you really get into burning your stored bodyfat.

To help you figure out how much weight you’ll need to lose in order to get ripped, you first need to find out your body fat percentage. Click Here to use our online Bodyfat Calculator. Once you know your bodyfat percentage you’ll be able to calculate how much lean body mass you have and how much body fat mass you have.

For example, let’s say that a 200 pound man has 15% body fat.

This works out to:
200 pounds bodyweight @ 15% body fat
170 pounds of lean body weight
30 pounds of body fat weight

In order for this guy to get ripped with six pack abs he will have to diet down to at least 170 pounds.

Now you’re probably looking at the above example with a puzzled look on your face…

“Why in the world would he have to lose so much bodyweight in order to get ripped? According to the numbers if he got down to 170 pounds wouldn’t he have zero bodyfat…?”

It doesn’t work that way, remember a lot of your initial weight loss will come from water, glycogen, and intestinal bulk. Which is technically part of your lean body mass, since it’s not actual bodyfat.

So during the process of dieting for fat loss, it’s inevitable that you’ll lose some “lean mass”. But it doesn’t mean that you are doing anything wrong, this is totally normal and happens to every bodybuilder. Even the top pros have to lose some of their lean mass in order to get ripped.

Some of the top Mr. Olympia competitors like Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, and Dorian Yates would get up over 300 pounds in the off-season while still maintaining relatively low bodyfat and visible abdominal definition. Yet they still had to lose 50+ pounds and get down to the 250 pound range in order to achieve the ripped shredded look that we associate with top level pro bodybuilders.

Most guys who are new to dieting simply don’t realize this and very often think that they have more muscle mass on their frame than they actually do. So what ends up happening is they don’t lose enough bodyweight to actually get ripped.

Unless you’ve been around the sport of bodybuilding for some time and have witnessed the physique transformations of competitive bodybuilders first hand, it’s hard to fully grasp just how much weight you need to lose to get that lean ripped hard body look. But to give you a rough ball park estimate of just find out your body fat percentage, calculate your lean body mass, and strive to get down to that weight.

So if you have 30 pounds of body fat (like in our example above), and you lose 30 pounds of bodyweight, this doesn’t mean that you will have 0% body fat. But it will mean that your body fat level should be low enough for you to have the lean ripped condition that you are striving for.

Do You Need Some Help With Losing Fat & Getting Ripped?

If you would like some help with planning out a realistic action plan to help you lose the fat, build lean muscle, and get back in shape – just let me know and we can schedule a time to chat and come up with a realistic action plan that’s right for you… Click Here to book a Free 10-minute Strategy Session Call.

Jacob Before and After Losing 42 Pounds

Kevin Falcone Before & After Progress Pictures

Trevor James Before and After Pics

About the Author:

Lee Hayward started working out in 1990 and began competing in bodybuilding competitions in 1995. Then in 1999 he started the very website you are reading right now.

Over the years Lee has struggled with his weight and understands first hand the frustrations of Yo-Yo Dieting – going on extreme cutting diets, losing weight, and then re-gaining it back again. Because of this he has committed himself to helping Men Over 40 who don’t want to be fat anymore come up with a realistic and sustainable solution for losing fat, building lean muscle, and developing a strong healthy body for life.

If you would like Lee to help you get in your personal best shape with personalized diet and training advice, just click here for more information… Muscle After 40 Blueprint – How To Lose Fat, Build Muscle, & Maintain It For Life!

About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you...


  • Thank you Lee!! I really appreciate you!!!!

  • Vaibhav

    Hi Mr Lee,

    I have been following your blog posts, mails & videos for over a year now, and i have to say that they are very informative& fruitful. Many times i read an interesting article from you and i go “A-ha, so that’s why….” 🙂
    I have a quick query here. i follow a 4 day on-1 day off weight training regimen, coupled with 2-3 times a week of cardio. I also try to keep my diet as clean as possible (no carbs after 7 pm and the like). However i have noticed that my problem area are the love handles. Even when i go to low body fat %ges, when my abs become slightly visible, the love handles are more or less there.
    After various analysis & trying to chuck out various aspects of my diet, i feel that the only “suspect” part of my diet is my pre-workout. Can consuming regular pre-workout powders lead to higher water retention (or higher fat retention) by the body? And is it the same with creatine powders?

    Awaiting your insight on the same. 🙂
    Best regards

  • Vaibhav,

    From the sounds of it you just need to lose more bodyfat in order to trim down those “love handles”. You said that you get down to where your abs are “slightly” visible, that means there is still a significant layer of bodyfat around your mid-section. To be truly lean with a low single digit bodyfat percentage your abdominals will be very visible. To help speed up your fat loss you can either increase your cardio, I personally do cardio every single day when dieting for fat loss. Or you can reduce your caloric intake even further (say lower it by 500 calories per day).

  • Vaibhav


    Thanks Mr Lee, I got what you say. But i’m still confused: Does pre-workout powder and/or Creatine play a role in water retention, and hence the soft bloated look?

  • zoned

    You look amazing! The only thing you are wrong about is a 200lb man at 15% body fat does not have 30lbs of fat on him. Very simply because the body is not made up of entirely muscle and fat, far from it. You are correct that the majority is water but we also have a skeleton bones, internal organs and skin. It is very hard to determine exactly what portion of any particular body is fat because everyone is so different. Just our organs alone weigh up to 25 pounds , and bones on a 200b man weigh about 30 or so pounds. It’s hard to calculate the water weight and what part is in the muscle and fat. But just from organs and bone that’s 50 pounds.

  • Janus Kazuski

    But Seriously, How do Magnets Work?

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