Cardio Won’t Tone Your Body, You Need to Lift Heavy

Leora placed 4th in the Venus Index Transformation Contest. Just take a look at how has she transformed herself in just 12 weeks.

Leora - Venus Index Transformation

Leora's back shot.

Leora - Venus Index Transformation

Leora's front shot. Red background seems to work for her.

Leora’s goal was to lose 15 pounds of fat and gain another 15 pounds of muscles. She basically wanted a body re-composition. She did lose 15 pounds of fat, but on the other hand, she wasn’t able to gain the same weight of muscle mass. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise, you can’t expect to gain 15 pounds of muscle in just 12 weeks, hell even guys usually can’t gain that much muscle mass in such a short period of time. And guys have a lot higher level of testosterone than you do.

And not only that it’s impossible for you to gain so much muscle (especially in such a short time frame), but there is also no need to do that. Do you know how much 15 pounds really is? Next time you are in a shop take a pound of steak to see how much just a single pound really is.

This is exactly what Leora found out. She thought that just because her husband is and always been masculine, it’s easy and quick to gain muscle.

She just had no idea how big of a muscle gain is actually realistic for her.

5 Pound Dumbbells Won’t Get You Ripped

Usually there is not a lot of women lifting weights, most of them are on a treadmill or doing some other type of cardio. And if they do lift, it’s with pathetically light weights.

Light weights won’t help you or will change your body shape only very little.

You don’t have to worry about gaining lot of muscles and looking like a male bodybuilder. That is really impossible.

Yes, there are few women that have taken bodybuilding little bit too far, but you have to understand that they are on an insane amount of drugs to achieve and maintain such a look. You can’t lift weights and expect to grow muscles like men do.

Your natural level of testosterone won’t allow you to build lot of muscles and those few pounds you will build will only make you look more fit, attractive and feminine.

If you want to build a naturally attractive and toned body, lifting heavy is key.

Most girls make the mistake of just losing fat and thinking that it’s going to be enough, they are scared to death of going to the gym. However, if you just keep loosing fat you will become anorectic and not fit. You need to build some muscle too.

Just put your faith in weight lifting and start believing that what is build naturally must be attractive and you will be rewarded with a great body. Just take some models from Victoria’s Secret as examples, they are fit and they all work out and lift heavy!

At first Leora was lifting 5 pound dumbbells and while she was really trying to get most of her training sessions, the intensity just wasn’t there to stimulate any significant muscle growth. It wasn’t until the second month of training with Venus Index Workouts and also the second month of the contest that she finally realized that she needs to and actually can go significantly heavier on her lifts.

You may be very surprised how strong you actually are when you pick some proper weights. This is what she said: “I Didn’t know I’m that strong, you need to push it to its limits and challenge your body”.

Workouts were challenging on their own, but there was one more thing that was pretty tough for her.

One of the biggest challenges for her was admitting that she needs to lose weight. You would say that 135 pounds is already low enough, even her doctor told her that she needs to gain weight if she wants a prescription for birth control pills. However, judging your weight without considering LBM and your height is really pointless. Weight itself tells you nothing, it doesn’t say if you need to gain muscle, lose some pounds from your abdominal area or your hips. This is why it’s better to rather rely on body measurements and photos instead of your weight scale.

Being concerned about weight can also lead to some disbelief and skepticism about weight loss. People are afraid to weight too light (this is even worse for guys, it’s like they are scared of losing their manhood if they get under 170 lbs).

There is no reason to be concerned, all that matters are your proportions and overall shape. Does it look attractive and healthy? Then it’s okay to be that light.

Fat Loss Happened Kind of on It’s Own

Apart from the other contestants, for Leora dieting was the easy part. She is used to eat around her expenditure level and throwing few fasting days wasn’t really that difficult after a while. Even though she walks all day long, because of her job, she managed eat low enough to lose 15 pounds of fat. All while still enjoying food like ice cream and pizza.

She ate slightly more on the work days and then created bigger deficit in the rest of the week.

You may be wondering how she could lose so much while eating like a regular person, well this is the beauty of fasting with Eat Stop Eat. You can eat like you normally do (assuming you are not overeating) and just throw in few fasts and you will end up losing pounds of fat.

Fasting 2 days a week accounts for about one pound of fat a week. In 12 weeks you have 12 pounds. If you add some activity like her 20 000 steps of walking during the day like Leora did, you will easily get to 15 pounds of fat loss in 12 week.

Leora really transformed her body.

Today she is excited that it is moving in a right direction, its what she wants.

The best part is that anyone can do it.

Take away advice for girls that are in a similar situation as Leora was before the contest:

  • Be patient, building muscle takes some time
  • It’s important to stay busy and keep yourself occupied during the fast
  • You have to challenge yourself every time you are in the gym
  • If you feel pain, work around it – Stop training, don’t risk an injury
  • You need to force your muscles to grow, not expect them to appear all of sudden
  • Get into a supportive community – Chances are whatever your problem is, somebody else already solved it long before you have even encountered it
  • If you are really getting results then stick with whatever you are doing – Both diet and workouts
  • If you want to look better, you need to build some muscle
  • Stop looking at your weight scale and with the whole weight obsession, weight itself says nothing about how you look
  • Fat loss is the easy part if get the flow right, even if it’s struggle for you, it’s still pretty quick compared to muscle building

Plus at the end she tells how she had to call her husband to set up the camera for the after photoshoot and literally ran for food afterwards.

Listen to the interview here:

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Facebook comments:


  1. stephanie says:

    When is the next contest coming up, I feel very inspired, especially from all the podcast that I have listened to and the constant emails that I receive. Now just might be the time for me to start a REAL program , and get REAL results.

  2. thanks for the enjoyable podcast.
    I think Leora has a very different approach to others that is similar to the way i live my life and it is nice to hear that someone else thinks/acts the same way as I always feel like eating the way i do is wrong.
    i also have injuries that hold me back alot and it was confirming to hear her say that she pulls back as that is exactly what i am forced to do as frustrating as it is.
    Although i am not at the level she is, I felt quite alot of similarities between her and myself that are a comfort to me.
    Leora, thanks for the different perspective and good luck for the future.

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