Weight and Resistance Training - Started 3 weeks ago..

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03-20-2012, 08:30 AM
HI all! :carrot:

I started weight lifting about 3 weeks ago. I lift about 4 days a week and do cardio on 2 of those days and one day just cardio alone. I eat 5 clean small meals a day and drink plenty of water. I watch my sugar intake as well. However, I have not lost weight OR inches. I know muscle weighs more than fat so I am no that hung up on the scale; if the inches were going down. But they aren't. So I have a few questions for all you weight lifters..

1. When first starting weight lifting, is it possible to temporarily get "bigger" from building new muscle but not losing the fat? WHy wouldnt the fat be coming off though..

2. Most my workouts I am sore the next few days. However, some times that is not the case. Are you not working the muscle hard enough if you aren't sore the next day?

That is all. THank you in advance!

03-20-2012, 12:14 PM
Hi there. Tricky. To answer your direct questions:

1. You might have added a little bit of muscle (just a little) but you are very likely to be holding onto water. Muscles retain water while they are adjusting to a new workout regimen. I don't know why the fat wouldn't be coming off though.

2. No, there's no connection between soreness (DOMS) and the sufficiency of your workout. Lack of soreness just means that your body is adapting to the exercise. It's fine.

It could be that your body is still adapting to the new regime, and this is why you haven't lost any fat. It could be that you are eating too much or too little. It could just be water. you are quite little: your body might resist the change at first. Give it some time and enjoy the exercise.

03-20-2012, 12:46 PM
HI all! :carrot:

I lift about 4 days a week VAGUE
I eat 5 clean small meals a day and drink plenty of water. VAGUEI watch my sugar intake as well. VAGUE

What type of lifting? Full body? splits? Upper/Lower? Push/Pull? Supersets? Straight sets?

None of that really matters as much the diet though.

Youre goal is to lose fat? Nad you ARENT losing fat?
Than youa rent in a caloric deficit. Plain, simple, easy.
Youre eating too much. What does "5 small meals" mean? what does "clean" mean? (i hate that term, personally ;) )
Are you measuring your food? with a SCALE? how many calories are you eating?

You may *think* youre in a deficit....... but youre already small, and youve been dieting for a long time, at least on and off. My point is that your maintenance cals are probably not what you think they are.
At this point for you to see any real progress you are going to have to be very very precise about tracking your food intake.

Not to mention 3 weeks is hardly enough time to gauge success.

But once again it goes back to--> if you arent losing, and you arent gaining, then you are maintaining. End of story. Whether its due to errors in food counting/tracking, or due to metabolic adaptation (meaning your maintenance is lower than you think it is/should be)

People focus SO MUCH on the workout. Fat loss is about your diet.
ALong those lines though, for certain people, especially smaller chronically dieting females, the WRONG type of workout can work against your goals....

But to answer one of your questions, retaining water could ABSOLUTELY mask inches/pounds lost. water takes up space and has weight, just like muscle and just like fat

I realize im making assumptions about your history, but just based on reading other posts and you having been around for a while.....

03-20-2012, 05:04 PM
Thanks ladies for your responses!

MKROKER - No need to apologize for the assumptions. I, myself would do the same. However, I say the word "clean" because I know what clean is. I used to hate the term too because so few know what clean is. I basically have been eating the majority of my diet with unprocessed foods. Eggs, egg whites, plain oatmeal with NOTHING added to it (I read ingredients, not nutrition facts; the fewer the better), whole grain ezekiel bread, fruits, vegetables and I only cook with olive oil and herbs. I have been keeping a food journal and during the week I keep my calories around 1250-1400 and on the weekends closer to 1800 (to keep my metabolism from being slashed with the calorie deficit during the week). So I feel my diet is pretty much under control. Which is why I thought it might be the weight lifting..

With that being said, I would do back and bi's one day, then tris and chest on another, legs on another and shoulders and tris on another day. Then 3 days cardio (only 30 minutes - I dont want to do excessive cardio).

The reason I am wanting to weight train is to keep from losing muscle while losing fat. Not necessarily build muscle. Which brings me to my next question..

What causes you to lose muscle mass? Can I maintain my muscle without exercising as long as I am eating enough protein (been eating around 130g). I have always been told you lose muscle mass and metabolism when you eat on a calorie deficit. Is this true? I dont want to hurt my metabolism but I do want to lose fat. There are just so many conflicting ideas out there!

03-21-2012, 07:23 AM
Agree with DietVet 110%

For about an entire month when I started lifting and changing my diet I noticed my clothes feeling TIGHTER! With the advice of the ladies in this area I stuck it out. Around week 6 I noticed my body starting to tighten up and the swollen look going down. I am not weighing, but taking my measurements. I can say that I have lost 1 inch of both tights, waist, and my hips.

You have to give the process time. You also really need to make sure you are getting enough protein. This also caused me to bloat in the beginning because it was a pretty big change in my diet. It is still a struggle for me to get enough protein. IF you are HEAVY lifting you should be eating at maintainence cals. I would STRONGLY suggest reading New Rules of Lifting for Women.....

03-21-2012, 07:57 AM
Lindz! Thanks so much. Thats what I Was hopin was going on. It's hard not to lose motivation when you don't see results. Afterall, it's science! It has to work. That's why I was second guessing the process. So thank you.

I have read new rules. It was really interesting and I loved the book. But I am not trying to build muscle right noe. I jay wan to work on maintaing what I do have and concentrate on losing the fat. The weekends are pretty much at maitenanve caloriea. It's just my week days that create a calorie deficit. Is 130g enough protein in your opinion?

03-21-2012, 09:38 AM
You lose muscle as you age but also muscle burns calories so if you are in a calorie deficit, your body wants to preserve its fat stores so it will also get rid of muscle.

One thing great about woman is we can build muscle without building bulk. If you do heavy lifting for many, many months and you lose enough fat, you might notice things like your shoulders are broader than the average woman. that is usually the only thing I've known woman who lift and are near their goal weight have told me. I never really noticed until they told me that though.. It generally means their waist looks smaller though.

03-21-2012, 10:36 AM
Dianne- 130g sounds great to me!

03-25-2012, 08:40 AM
Hi mkroyer,

What did you mean by "for small, chronically dieting females the wrong exercise can hurt your goals"....

Can u be more specific? Are u just referring to too much cardio?

03-25-2012, 01:09 PM
Okay, 21 days is a relatively small amount of time to see any real changes. You've got to give it a chance like 6-8 weeks. I've been lifting for nearly eight months and it's taken me that long to see real body composition changes and visible progress. It's not going to happen overnight. Just keep challenging yourself and you'll see results. Promise. :)

Also, diet is 80 percent of the equation when it comes down to it. Unless your diet is on-point, all the workouts in the world won't make a difference.