Because the difference in density between fat and muscle (and water), it is often better to track your progress with the tape, rather than the scale.
Fitness Minutes: (283,078)
11/4/13 1:56 P
Hi, Maria !
Even if you were taking steroids, you would not have gained 5 pounds of muscle in two weeks. Women just do not pack on muscle that fast. If you gained that much muscle that fast, you would notice. Supposedly, a top male body builder "might" be able to gain a pound of muscle a week, but not even a top women body builder could do that.
No, what you're experiencing really is perfectly normal. it's nothing more than a temporary water weight gain. You mentioned that you increased your strength training. That's why you "gained" weight. It's not because you gained muscle, it's because your muscles are retaining water. When a person works their muscles intensely (with a vigorous workout), their muscle fibers soak up water like a sponge. This is what your muscles are supposed to do. Your muscles will release any excess water they don't need in a few days. And yes, it could take a few days before you see a change in the scale.
Ever notice your weight goes up during TOM ? most women tend to gain weight during their menstrual cycle. Is that a fat gain ? Nope. it's nothing more than a temporary water weight gain that passes in a few days.
This is what you're experiencing right now, it's nothing more than a temporay water weight gain as a result of starting strength training. When your muscles adapt to the new routine, your body will shed the excess water. However, you're going to notice that there will be weeks your weight goes up. And that really IS perfectly normal. So, don't beat yourself up because you gained five pounds.
I can gain or lose 3-4 pounds in a day because of a shift in my water weight.
Believe me, it takes an awful lot of hard work combined with a special nutrition plan for a woman to gain lean muscle. The reason we don't pack on muscle the same way men do is because we lack the necessary testosterone.
In short, you're normal. the weight gain is nothing more than water retention.
Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 11/4/2013 (13:58)
Fitness Minutes: (110,991)
1,474 11/4/13 1:10 P
Well they weigh the same--a pound of muscle weighs a pound as does a pound of fat. The difference is the pound of fat will take up a much bigger space since muscle is more dense. There is a great picture on the Internet comparing the two--I am sure someone will post it.
So it is possible, over time, to become leaner while staying the same weight or even gaining a little. The clue would be losing inches, looking more toned and wearing a smaller clothing size. I am not sure how common that is for people with a fair amount to lose though, I imagine it might be more common when close to goal (not sure where you are, just saying...)
I don't think you gained 5 pounds of muscle in two weeks. I really don't think that is possible. Bodybuilders train hard on very focussed programs and eat carefully planned diets and do not gain muscle that quickly. I don't think your gain is fat though either (unless you are getting bigger). Most likely it is increased fluids retained in your body. There are a lot of different things that can cause increased scale weight from fluids so most day to day ups and downs are related to this. When I strength train, I typically weigh about 3 pounds more. If I start after several rest days I see an immediate gain that just appears and if I go long enough without strength training I see a similar loss just overnight (happens on vacation for me frequently--the first time I was confused how I lost weight on vacation when my diet wasn't great). This is one reason why it is also a good idea to take measurements as well as weighing yourself. The scale weight is made up of everything in your body even if just passing through. It can help to have a second method to track progress.
What is the theory behind the notion that when one increases their muscle they may gain weight? Two weeks ago I lost 4 lbs. I continued doing my normal workouts, increased weights a bit to change things. In two weeks I increased by 5 pounds. I sure am hoping it is in fact muscle. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your comments.
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