I don’t want to be a bodybuilder

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"What is the best way to lose fat and get toned or build more muscle?"

If I had a pound for how many times someone has said to me that they don’t want to be a bodybuilder and get massive, in the same breath as asking the question above, I’d have exactly ‘some’ pounds.

While I appreciate that not everyone wants to have huge muscles the premise of the question really needs some thought.

If you want expert advice you go and ask an expert.  

If I wanted some tips on how to run a 5k I may go and ask an experienced marathon runner what they do to prepare and train.

I wouldn’t need to tell them that I don’t want to become a marathon runner, that would be obvious as I’m a technically obese 5’4 bodybuilder with oversize muscles.

The  chance of me getting even halfway around a marathon course is remote.

But I could use their advice to improve my 5k running.  A task involving running that isn’t a full blown long distance but still a decent sized journey.

Not that I’d do that either but let’s pretend.

If you want to build more muscle and lose some body fat then you go and ask the people who do that regularly or who coach that regularly.

You’ll normally find that the best muscle building and fat loss coaches have some degree of muscle themselves and have dieted a few times so know their subject.

If they are

  • former competing bodybuilders (like me)
  • who have over 10 years coaching experience in building muscle and losing fat with multiple client demographics (like me)
  • who now maintain a decent physique at 40 (sort of like me)

then it’s also likely that their techniques for building muscle are pretty sound.

The best workouts for building maximum muscle are bodybuilding workouts.

I know that there are a few crossfitters who will argue this point but I’ve worked with crossfitters and the principles are fitness through weights.  You build muscle but there’s a trade off with cardiovascular fitness.

Bodybuilders only care about building muscle, they only have to walk between machines for their cardio. (jokes)

The workouts are set up for maximum muscle.  So if you want to build a bigger pair of glutes, a bigger, fuller chest or a set of guns that need to be registered the quickest route to this will be bodybuilding workouts.

You can train as a bodybuilder and not be a huge behemoth

The problem of bodybuilding is the surrounding stigma of steroids and while I’m not going to get into a moral debate over drug use here, it’s the stigma that dogs most guys/girls that have decent muscle.

Big muscles = Steroids M8

I know some incredible natural athletes, I have coached natural athletes that have awesome bodies, one of my best mates Emil has been natural all his life and because all of these people have good bodies they get the drugs label.

In a way it's a back handed compliment but it's what stops people from training like a bodybuilder because they don't want to 'get massive'

Yet they want to build muscle

Do you see the problem here?

It's why many people never achieve the body they want, they are afraid of getting too big.

Here’s a free pro tip: It’s really not easy getting big, even with drugs.

I’ve been bodybuilding for over 23 years and I never got ‘too big’.  I was always trying to improve.

I also find that exactly ZERO clients have come to me saying


“Tom, you know I think we need to back off from this training plan as it’s working so well I’m getting TOO BIG”


Because it just doesn’t work like that.  

I coach and have coached many female clients.  None of them ever complained about getting too big lifting weights.

They did complain of having to buy new clothes as they now needed a dress size smaller or jeans to fit their bigger glutes but that’s not really a ‘complaint’

I am a fat loss expert

I wrote a book on fat loss techniques called ‘Target Lean’.

In it, I detail the exact processes that I have used with hundreds of clients to transform their lives.

Part of that transformation was training with weights.

Weights should not be feared, they should be embraced. 

fat loss book - tom with cover of target lean

I get incredible results with clients from blending bodybuilding training techniques with research based fat loss protocols.

None of my clients of recent years have been ‘bodybuilders’ in the sense they are huge behemoths, but they all use bodybuilding techniques to get more muscle and lose body fat.

christiaans transformation
Hannahs body transformation

Fat loss must involve a calorie deficit and this can be achieved by reducing intake of food or by increasing activity.

Bodybuilding volume workouts are an incredible way to increase activity.  They also build muscle which makes you more insulin sensitive.

This means you have less likelihood to store fat and are more likely to store excess carbohydrate in your muscles.

Transformation pic for Daniel

People get worried about 'weight' on the scales when they really should be looking in the mirror

Many of my clients only lose relatively small amounts of weight.

Yet they look incredible afterwards.

Why is this?

Because they build muscle at the same time.

In the testimonial pictures on this page both Theresa and Hannah have changed their body composition radically to more muscle and less fat but the weight shift was very small.

Bodybuilding training is supposed to gain muscle if you do it right.  Too many body transformation programs focus on weight and not the body composition.

I have some clients who don’t even weigh in because the constant negligible weight movement is annoying for them.  We stopped weighing and instead monitored other factors and their results improved.

Bodybuilding training is a tool for a job. The job is building a better body

There are many ways to train.

There are many diets that you can do.


  • Dieting for fat loss needs a calorie deficit – this is a fact of science.

  • Building muscle requires taking the muscle to failure with resistance (weight) – this is also a fact of science.


Combine the two and you’ve got a recipe for an incredible body.

That is what I teach and coach in my clients.

To join my coaching program, lose fat and build some muscle click the button below to get in touch

Other things you may want to look at

Muscle Gain Calorie Calculator – Work out your calories and macros for building muscle

Lose Fat Calorie Calculator – Get an accurate macro split and calorie allowance for losing body fat

Lean Body Eating Plan – Get a custom diet to lose fat while eating to build muscle

How good is your DIET – Take my 5 minute test of your current diets and habits to see if what you’re doing is right for you.  Free report and 4 follow up coaching emails

tom blackman instagram

To work with me to develop a stronger Physical, Mental and Inner Health contact me via the website

www.bkmnutrition.com or 


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