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  1. #1
    gibster70 is offline In Orientation
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    weight training for 1 month - weight gain to be expected?

    hi all,

    new to the forums, have posted in the intro section but have a quick query already.

    im 40yrs old, 5'7 and 135lb, always between about 12-13% body fat.

    have been quite heavily into cardio for the past 2 years so have a good general level of fitness and a healthy diet.

    started free weights alongside this 1 month ago mainly to try and develop some muscle alongside my cardio fitness.

    its all going well and ive already managed to increase the loads on a lot of the exercises. i know its too early to notice much physical change, but despite my diet im concerned that my weight has been increasing by between 1/2lb and 1lb per week (currently heading towards 140lb). is this kind of gain to be expected when starting and doing a weights programme and if so is it ongoing?

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  3. #2
    espenner1 is offline In Orientation
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    For weight training, without steroids, 1/2 lb.-1 lb. per week is normal. However, as with any type of training, you will see plateaus in weight gain. This can be attributed to over training or an indicator that you need to switch up your workout routine. You will also see plateaus because of your body's need to be in a homeostatic state. When you gain weight, or lose weight, your body tries to equalize itself because it thinks that something is wrong. The key is to not get frustrated, continue with good eating habits, and to allow yourself time for recovery. Hopefully this helps.

  4. #3
    gibster70 is offline In Orientation
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    yes thanks very much for the reply, its good to know that this kind of gain can be expected.

    does this mean that when weight training, a measure such as BMI will cease to be relevant? at the moment im slap bang in the middle of the 'healthy' range but now my BMI is going to increase week by week.

  5. #4
    PLBFitness is offline Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by espenner1 View Post
    For weight training, without steroids, 1/2 lb.-1 lb. per week is normal. However, as with any type of training, you will see plateaus in weight gain. This can be attributed to over training or an indicator that you need to switch up your workout routine. You will also see plateaus because of your body's need to be in a homeostatic state. When you gain weight, or lose weight, your body tries to equalize itself because it thinks that something is wrong. The key is to not get frustrated, continue with good eating habits, and to allow yourself time for recovery. Hopefully this helps.
    I'd have to say that that much gain in mass for a beginner sounds extreme.... if it were that easy, everyone who worked out in a fitness facility would look like a bodybuilder. For at least the first 6-8 weeks of starting a weight lifting program, the gains in strength are mostly neuromuscular... meaning you're probably not even at the point where you can lift enough weight for enough reps to gain a significant amount of muscle mass.

    If you're gaining weight, I would take a look at your diet to see if you are taking in more calories than you were before. Even an extra 100-200 calories per day adds up really fast. Have you started taking any supplements recently? Do you drink 'sports' drinks like gatorade while working out? I would ask yourself these questions before assuming that it's muscle mass that you're gaining.

  6. #5
    gibster70 is offline In Orientation
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    my appetite has increased a lot, i am eating more but i think not more than the extra calories expended on the training. perhaps im wrong?

    i have two contrasting viewpoints now so will have to monitor over the next couple of weeks and see what happens i guess.

  7. #6
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by gibster70 View Post
    yes thanks very much for the reply, its good to know that this kind of gain can be expected.

    does this mean that when weight training, a measure such as BMI will cease to be relevant? at the moment im slap bang in the middle of the 'healthy' range but now my BMI is going to increase week by week.
    Pretty much, yeah. Technically I'm overweight (just barely), according to BMI. I've got a little extra fat on me, but my bodyfat% is still most likely in a healthy range (although I haven't tested it in a long time, I think I'd kow if I was a big old fatty). The validity of BMI as a measure of health and body composition is inversely proportionate to your lean body mass. As your muscle mass increases, the relevance/validity of your BMI decreases.
    Ryan - D.Fitness. SQ 2x150kg - BP 95kg - DL 190kg - OHP 60kg

  8. #7
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLBFitness View Post
    I'd have to say that that much gain in mass for a beginner sounds extreme.... if it were that easy, everyone who worked out in a fitness facility would look like a bodybuilder. For at least the first 6-8 weeks of starting a weight lifting program, the gains in strength are mostly neuromuscular... meaning you're probably not even at the point where you can lift enough weight for enough reps to gain a significant amount of muscle mass.

    If you're gaining weight, I would take a look at your diet to see if you are taking in more calories than you were before. Even an extra 100-200 calories per day adds up really fast. Have you started taking any supplements recently? Do you drink 'sports' drinks like gatorade while working out? I would ask yourself these questions before assuming that it's muscle mass that you're gaining.
    While it's true that most of the strength gains you make in the first 2 months of training are based on learning how to lift the weight efficiently, muscular adaptations will occur, and quite rapidly for a beginner. The body doesn't try to exhaust neuromuscular development before resorting to hypertrophy in response to strength training. It's just that there are lots of neuromuscular adaptations to be made up front, whereas after a few months there aren't as many neuromuscular adaptations to make, thus the proportion of development from hypertrophy increases.
    Ryan - D.Fitness. SQ 2x150kg - BP 95kg - DL 190kg - OHP 60kg

  9. #8
    gibster70 is offline In Orientation
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    thank you for the comments.

    so on a more general point, with my stats of 140lbs and 5'6 should i be eating loads more with the intention of gaining weight as muscle mass, or would this just end up as fat? id hate to not gain anything because of not eating enough

    couple of friends at the gym are saying i should be eating way way more with the deliberate intention of bulking up by 30lbs or so, which sounds insane for my height and weight?

  10. #9
    gibster70 is offline In Orientation
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    ...or should i go the other route and instead run a calorie deficit for a few months in order to get my bf% down a lot before trying to start adding weight?

  11. #10
    Goldfish is offline Request Title Change from Admin
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    If you're gaining 0.5-1lb/week as is, just keep on doing what you're already doing. More weight gain after that point probably is fat. 170lb with a moderate-to-low bodyfat% (say 8-15%) at 5'06" really isn't that big. I'm about 5'07" and 165lb at the moment, and you can tell I've got some muscle on me (in that I'm not completely skinny), but I'm still fairly normal sized. The only people who say I'm buff have either seen me back when I was your size (or smaller - the first time I walked into a gym I was about 100lb and my current height) and know how unbuff I was, or are trying to sell me something. There will certainly be visible changes if you add 30lb onto your frame, but it won't make you huge.

    If you want to cut down and lose some bodyfat, that's up to you. If your bodyfat% is above 15%, it wouldn't be a bad idea to run a calorie deficit while strength training - pretty much the best way to cut. If your bodyfat% is below 15%, bulk away.
    Ryan - D.Fitness. SQ 2x150kg - BP 95kg - DL 190kg - OHP 60kg

  12. #11
    gibster70 is offline In Orientation
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfish View Post
    If you're gaining 0.5-1lb/week as is, just keep on doing what you're already doing. More weight gain after that point probably is fat. 170lb with a moderate-to-low bodyfat% (say 8-15%) at 5'06" really isn't that big. I'm about 5'07" and 165lb at the moment, and you can tell I've got some muscle on me (in that I'm not completely skinny), but I'm still fairly normal sized. The only people who say I'm buff have either seen me back when I was your size (or smaller - the first time I walked into a gym I was about 100lb and my current height) and know how unbuff I was, or are trying to sell me something. There will certainly be visible changes if you add 30lb onto your frame, but it won't make you huge.

    If you want to cut down and lose some bodyfat, that's up to you. If your bodyfat% is above 15%, it wouldn't be a bad idea to run a calorie deficit while strength training - pretty much the best way to cut. If your bodyfat% is below 15%, bulk away.

    great, thanks very much for the advice

  13. #12
    mfpd is offline In Orientation
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    If you are trying to determine if the gain is muscle or fat, just have your bodyfat levels checked on a routine basis. Any gym should have the equipment to be able to do this. Then, you can tell if you are gaining lean mass or fat mass.

    And, BMI does fail as lean mass increases. I am 5'10 and 213 lbs. That is obese (or right at the border) for BMI. However, I keep my bodyfat around 12-15%. I don't have the shredded 6 pack right now, but abs are definitely visible. I am still trying to bulk up about another 7 lbs before I cut down again.

  14. #13
    Typhon is offline Chicken Plucker
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    You don't gain weight from training, you gain weight from your diet, you'll only add significant muscle with good weight training and a calorie surplus.

    1lb a week is pretty good going, it might slow after a while as it'll be harder to keep upping your calories as you get heavier though.

    And yeah, BMI is useless, I think I'm classed as obese right now but all my blood test readings and blood pressure and stuff are very good and healthy

  15. #14
    Big_Idiot is offline 45h45h5hfghfghnsnfg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    And yeah, BMI is useless, I think I'm classed as obese right now but all my blood test readings and blood pressure and stuff are very good and healthy
    Really? LOL

  16. #15
    Typhon is offline Chicken Plucker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Idiot View Post
    Really? LOL
    LMAO, yeah seriously, couldn't quite believe that myself given my lifestyle

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