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About the "I'm building muscle" thing - weight gain from exercise

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Old 03-11-2013, 03:22 PM   #1
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Default About the "I'm building muscle" thing - weight gain from exercise

Hi, I have a question

I've gone from 212 to 196 with Intuitive Eating, interspersed with a bit of calorie counting, and walking. I feel much better. I've hit a plateau at 196 which I think I'm just starting to break (haven't been above 200 in about 2 weeks, and I've been 196 consistently for 4 days, so I do think the only way is down). This weight is 14 stone on my analog scale, and that big black line next to 14 was a big mental block for me that I'm now getting over. I'm weighing daily to track trends, and my body's reactions to certain foods. The scale is freaking me out much less than it was, which was my objective with daily weighing.

However. I've just got 30DS and I want to start it I've heard LOADS of people saying they gained weight when they upped their exercise, while still on a low-calorie diet, but it's ok because they're "building muscle". As far as I was aware, if you're at a calorie deficit and not eating sufficient protein (I've heard about 1g per day per lb of lean mass) then it's physically not possible to build more muscle. I've also heard that you retain water because you're MAINTAINING your muscle mass, and the water helps your muscles repair themselves after exercise.

I'd really like to get down to 192 before I risk a regain, for my own peace of mind. That's only 4lbs away so just a few weeks or so. I was wondering if someone more fluent in the language of exercise could give me advice on the "it's ok, I'm building muscle" thing, whether the conditions I think you need to build muscle are right, and whether it's worth really getting stuck into a few weeks of losing weight and overtaking this plateau before I start ramping up the exercise?

(Edit: I'd be more than happy to hide the scale in a cupboard for a month while I do my first round of 30DS, but I'd only really feel good about that once I drop a few lbs first - like, up to 4lbs )

Thanks
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #2
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I lift free weights and haven't gained 'scale' weight. I continue to lose inches and pounds and fat, though! Occasionally a half pound up the day after a particularly heavy session. I credit that to my body retaining water so that my muscles can heal themselves. No biggie.

Personally, I don't think that you can actually gain a ton of muscle while lifting free weights in a caloric deficit. It's more likely to maintain the lean mass you have.
Lots of factors go into it, though - not just calories! Genetics, experience, gender, nutrition, type of weightlifting, etc., etc., etc.

But even if you don't build muscle - at least you have a better chance of keeping what you've already got - and muscle burns more calories at rest than fat!

Google "how much muscle can you gain in a year" and you will see that it's probably not as much as you think...or hope.

http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/research/fail.htm

http://www.builtlean.com/2011/08/04/...the-same-time/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fat_...gain_trick.htm

Good Luck! I say lift - and lift heavy!
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:00 PM   #3
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If your caloriea are too low adding exercise can make you gain. It takes a lot to actually put on a significant amount of muscle weight. The gain comes from either yoir body holding onto everything because youre not eating properly or water retention from DOMS. I would recommend taking measurements before starting because it is likely you will drop inches and not a ton weight. Typically you may gain the first week or so. If after the 30days you're st oll up I'd re evaluate your calories
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
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What is your activity level now? If you are routinely exercising and this is just a different flavor of that, maybe slightly more intense, you probably won't see too big of a difference on the scale. However, if you are not doing a lot of focused, higher intensity activity, then a slight bump up is not uncommon.

And of course, a lot of this is the mental game. If you will feel better getting to 192 and then hiding the scale, that's a reasonable option. Or you hide the scale now, get started and by the time you weigh again after 30 days, the scale may have adjusted by then, plus you may be so happy with your size and shape that you won't care as much what the scale says....
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:53 PM   #5
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Thanks, this has reassured me

I'm not overly active through the week and do bar work at weekends, so am more active then, but nothing major. That, and walking. So, I'd go from light general activity, to that plus what I believe is HIIT.

I'm going to see how I feel tomorrow, and I might just go for it and start! It's really the mental block of being at 196 that's bothering me, I can't see anything bad about changing up my exercise. In fact, this makes me think that just starting tomorrow might give me the push I need to get through my plateau
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:36 AM   #6
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Any exercise that's making you sore can have an associated water weight gain. And new stuff, raising the intensity, will make you sore. You have said you gain muscle easily. I do, too. I know for a fact that my arms and shoulder are bigger than they were a month ago although my waist and hips are smaller. (I don't mind the shoulders, but I already have disproportionately large arms from the fat. Sleeves hurt.)

If you think it's gonna make your head go funny, up your walking and wait til you hit 194 or something.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostMe View Post
Any exercise that's making you sore can have an associated water weight gain. And new stuff, raising the intensity, will make you sore. You have said you gain muscle easily. I do, too. I know for a fact that my arms and shoulder are bigger than they were a month ago although my waist and hips are smaller. (I don't mind the shoulders, but I already have disproportionately large arms from the fat. Sleeves hurt.)

If you think it's gonna make your head go funny, up your walking and wait til you hit 194 or something.
Is this from lifting weights? I've recently started lifting because I wanted 'toned' arms. My arms are fat. Will the muscles just add on to it and make it look bigger? I've heard too many different things.. Some tell me to lose the fat first and others tell me it won't make your arms bigger or whatever... I'm not scared of muscly arms, I just don't want it to look bigger, in terms of fat.
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