I've seen a lot of people on the site say how great weight training is and I know that it does wonders for your figure/toning/strengthening. So I picked up a couple sets of dumbbells, and researched dumbbell exercises for a whole body workout three times a week, with some level of variety between the three workouts.
The only thing is, I've seen so many posts with people saying that all of a sudden they stopped losing weight or even gained when they started weight training. I've been losing at a fairly steady rate, and the fear of not having those regular losses to motivate me makes me nervous, and has been a bit of a deterrent for me in starting lifting. I'm afraid that if I'm not seeing losses it will be harder to stay on track. So I think the best way to combat this is to know exactly what I can expect in terms of how long weight loss will stall, when I might start to see some results from lifting, etc, so I know that what I'm experiencing is somewhat "normal".
I stalled BUT I started losing inches like crazy. Then my weight loss started up again after about 6 weeks (there were some other medical reasons possibly for that so it might not be 100% from the weight lifting, though). For some reason, my body doesn't like to lose a lot of inches AND pounds at the same time. This past month I've lost a number of inches but the scale has stayed the same, go figure?
That being said, lifting has made a HUGE difference in what size I wear. I'm 172lbs and can wear size 8's and, well, my 8's are actually getting big on me. So really, I can't complain.
What you need to be aware of, though, when you lift weight you tear your muscles. They then retain water for the next 1-2 days as the muscles repair. That's a GOOD thing because you're actually burning extra calories while this is happening. However, your muscles might appear bigger and there's a good chance you'll see a spike on the scale the next day (ditto for measurements). If it freaks you out just don't weigh the day after lifting. What I would suggest is checking your measurements regularly too if you're worried the scale might do funny things.
A lot of this depends on your body, though. I tend to retain water pretty easily so it's not really surprising that I stalled when I started lifting. If you've been losing steadily this whole time it might not be an issue for you.
As a regular lifter of heavy weights, the tape measure has been my best friend. THAT is where you really measure your results and like runningfromfat, I've lost inches without losing weight.
Even when I haven't seen changes on the scale, sometimes I'll just feel like I lost inches. I'll measure myself and usually find that that's the case.
I just recently fit into two pairs of size 2 pants (although I really do think they were off, but who knows, right?) and generally wear a 4 at 140 pounds and occasionally a 6. I don't think most women my size can usually wear those sizes at this weight, but I really attribute it to weight lifting and strength training.
Plus I really freaking love how my arms look right now. The fat and extra skin is almost gone and I can see the muscle definition I've been working so hard for!
Thank you all!! I really appreciate your responses. I've done weight training before, but the last time I only really used machines (which I'm not doing this time) and I really wasn't on track with my diet or anything so I don't have an idea of how it was affecting the scale or inches or anything like that. And the time before that was in grade 11, when I was skinny and didn't have a clue about struggles with weight (although I thought I was huge... at 140 pounds...) All this to say, I'm really nervous about starting with the weights this time and kind of feel like a bumbling fool about the whole thing. So any bit of guidance is appreciated
I stalled too. I started 2 months ago (end of Sept) and my month of Oct I lost 5lbs, but lost TONS of inches. The scale wasn't moving so I think it had something to do with building up muscle, repairing and replacing the fat. Now that my strength has picked up, it really has in the last 2-3 weeks, things I couldn't do before or even finish before I'm doing it (SUCH AN AMAZING FEELING) I'm noticing the scale moving more now. 2.6lbs loss this week alone, I didn't lose that at all when I started back in Sept, that's what I was losing when I was just doing cardio (but then I hit a plateau with my cardio). Now I do both, but strength training 3 days a week and cardio twice a week. If you look at my siggy you can see the difference in my arms, chest and tummy just from October to November! Give it time the muscles have to build up
ETA: Take pics of yourself and measure yourself! When the scale doesn't move you'll have other ways to measure your success. The scale can't show your inches lost That really helped m when I started out cause I was getting so frustrated trying to break 200....but in that time I went down a pant size so inches were coming off. Just keep reminding yourself if the scale doesn't move it's ok, your just building up muscle to eat away that fat!
And it's true what Sontaikle said, you will get leaner and fit into sizes when you may just weigh more than most other people. I'm in a 12 at 197lbs (very loose 12's and in the next while I think I can get into my 10's, they fit just a little tight on the thighs) I owe it all to my strength training.
Just remember: Muscle weighs more than fat. Avoiding the scale is a good idea. Go by how your clothes fit or what a tape mesaure says. You could gain weight on the scale but fit into smaller jeans.
I disagree with the muscle weighs more than fat. A pound of fat weighs a pound, a pound of muscle weighs a pound. The difference is muscle is denser and takes up less space, and burns more calories than fat. So, the more muscle to fat ratio you have, you might weigh a bit more, but your body will be smaller, because the muscle takes up less space. Also, the more muscle the more calories your body burns to maintain the muscle. Another big benefit to weight lifting.
I love lifting, and feeling strong. A big confidence builder each time you can up the weight you're lifting. Never got that feeling from cardio.
3+ year maintainer.
The human body is capable of amazing things! But without the mind, it is nothing. Get your mind in gear and the body will follow!
Be selfish about caring for yourself, you deserve it!
Weight Watcher leader! But always a Member first!