How Getting Smaller Makes Your Muscles Look Bigger

Gabe Johansson
2 min readNov 2, 2023

Recently after a seemingly endless 11 hour work shift, attempting to go to a Halloween party that didn’t seem to happen, and getting dinner out, I did my push day workout.

And during the second half of my workout, Martha walks up to me holding our youngest daughter and says:

“You look huge!”

Which is funny to me, because I’m sitting at a measly 158lbs at 5'11" and that’s the lightest I’ve been since I got out of high school in 2007.

It’s crazy what being fairly lean can do, especially when you get pumped up and have some good lighting.

I look more muscular now lifting 25lbs dumbbells and my own (much lighter) body weight than I did when I was in the 190s and 200s lifting hundreds of pounds in the gym.

And it’s simply because I have a whole lot less fat covering my muscles, so you can see a whole lot more definition.

For the longest time, I would get tripped up by the raw number on the scale.

And people online posting things like…

“If you’re under 200lbs, can you call yourself a man?”

…only further reinforced this ridiculous thought.



Gabe Johansson

Man. Husband. Father. Black coffee enjoyer. On a mission to help 1000s get in shape. Get free newsletter + fat loss guide + community: