Weightlifting & Exercise/Weight training


I have a few questions.

I'm 20, 5'6" and about 125. I'm slim, but I'm skinny-fat. I have quite a bit of cellulite all over my legs and I have done since I hit puberty. In the past year or so, despite losing weight, the cellulite has worsened and spread to my calves and even the front of my calves.

1. Although I am aware my cellulite will never fully go away, is it possible if I gain muscle it will reduce the amount/appearance of cellulite?

2. Should I lose weight before I start weight training/trying to build muscle? I used to be underweight and although my stomach was flat and I had slim arms, I still had massive amounts of fat and cellulite on my thighs. I know it is a hard thing to assume, but if I should lose weight, how much do you think would be suitable?

3. I don't know a lot about weight training or building muscle. How often should I work out each part of my body to see a difference?

4. Will this change the overall shape of my body?

5. How hard is it to add muscle to calves and how is it possible that I have cellulite on the front of my calves?

I would appreciate any answers you can give me and I understand if you can't answer every question.

Thank you.

ANSWER: Sarah,
Most importantly you need to understand what it is you are dealing with.  Cellulite is fat, and it can be everywhere on your body.. Shows up more in women than men.  How much cellulite you have and how visible it is can be influenced by the following things.
Poor diet
Fad dieting
Slow metabolism
Lack of physical activity
Hormone changes
Total body fat
Thickness and color of your skin.

Weight lifting can certainly help your body look better, but the thing that may help cellulite is to clean up your diet.  If you are not clear on how to do this write back and outline what you ate Saturday and today. Include portions and also liquids.

I cannot even begin to judge how much weight you have to lose and I'm not sure you need to lose weight.   To me it doesn't sound as if you do.  Do you work out at all? Run? Sports?

Let me know if you want guidance on the diet.  I believe that's a good course for you to try.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My diet is not perfect and I used to drink a lot of sugary stuff, but over the past six months I've got it down to mainly white tea and water. I'm picky with food, so I do tend to eat the same things over and over again.
Both today and Saturday has been the same thing: two main meals with some stuff in between.
Saturday: Green beans, peppers, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, peas chicken, fish, a small amount of chocolate and some juice.
Today: The same as above pretty much minus blueberries and add corn and fish.
I cannot include portion sizes because I'm not all that sure how to. My meals are not huge though.

I work out three times a week. Kickbox twice a week and swim once. I also go on a long walk at least once a week.

Sarah, thanks for writing back so fast. I understand picky, but you eat vegetables! Many of my clients in the mid west of the United States don't eat fish or vegetables.  Bah!  So, I'm more interested in the amount of food. Are you willing to track your food for perhaps two weeks? I have clients who use the app called Lose it!   You can directly email me from the app with your daily food diary. I would be willing to review your food on a daily basis to get to the bottom of this. You are very young to have this issue.... Sound good?  If you do facebook I have a page called ZWL Method. If you like my page you can message me there.  The privately I can give you my email address.  I'm on lose it as karenfilisullivan.

Let me know!  

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Karen Fili Sullivan


Get on the inside track with Karen and her daily advice. http://karenfilisullivan.com. Or on FacebookLIKE us at ZWL - Zen of Whole Living I have more than 30 years experience and can help with lifting technique, muscle recovery, weight loss, body building and powerlifting. I've been certified by AFPA as a Personal Trainer and 12 years ago acquired a second certification from the same agency as a Post Rehabilitative Exercise Specialist. Any recommendations or advice rendered are based on fitness information as specified by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. Follow my Blog on http://karenfilisullivan.com


Almost 25 years coaching and training. Wow! I feel old. Before that I was a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter (ask my Chiropractor -- he can tell you). I have trained kids ages 12 to 89. From sports specific training to stroke rehabilitation. I love helping people move more gracefully, powerfully and safely.

A few.

Published in Spring of 2013 The Zen of Weight Loss: A Mindful, Livable Approach to Fitness Get your copy at Square Market. https://squareup.com/market/body-restoration-by-karen/zen-of-weight-loss-in-mo

English with a Journalism concentration was my college education. My training has been with my mentor, Jack Michaels, ACSM and professor at the College of William and Mary. My certifications are with the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. AFPA. I hold a certification as a Personal Trainer and a Post Rehabilitation Exercise Expert (Isn't that a mouthful?l). My continuing education requirements have been fulfilled at a number of organizations and are monitored by AFPA. I keep my Red Cross CPR and First Aid current.

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Past/Present Clients
Clients include athletes training for marathons, mountain climbing and general weight loss. In addition I have clients troubled with COPD, Fibromyalgia, and Parkinsons as well as stroke rehab. She was the Strength and Conditioning coach for Williamsburg Aquatic Club, a USA Swim Team, in Williamsburg, Virginia for 3 years.   Karen is presently working at Main Street Gym in Historic St. Charles, Missouri where she teaches Pilates and continues her work with clients. Her training reaches across the country with her long distance Body Restoration eTraining. Her dedication to fitness reaches into the nutritional supplementation with Shaklee products. She only works with clients who add nutritional supplementation to their training. Read more of her story on www.shaklee.net/BodyRestoration

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