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jesslc323's avatar

Is it normal to gain weight when working out?

Asked by jesslc323 (117points) April 30th, 2011

I started working out 2 weeks ago mostly running, biking and the occasional weight lifting. I have weighed 110lbs for as long as i can remember and recently stepped on the scale and noticed i’m up to 117lbs. I’ve always been a healthy eater so i’m pretty positive that my diet is ok.
Is this normal? or am I doing something wrong?

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21 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

Yea, a lot of people put on muscle weight, especially when weight training is involved.

lonelydragon's avatar

If your clothes fit the same or are a bit looser, then you’ve probably gained muscle weight, and not fat. So keep up what you’re doing and don’t worry.

dxs's avatar

I’m working out to gain weight. It all depends on what you do to work out. Lifting weights makes you gain muscle weight, as @incendiary_dan said. When on a carido machine, going slower burns more fat while going faster works more toward your heart.

tedibear's avatar

As well, make sure that you’re eating enough. Two weeks isn’t long enough to have your body go into what is commonly called, “starvation mode,” you still need to make sure you’re eating enough to maintain your weight and account for workout fuel.

Brian1946's avatar

I’ve heard that muscle weighs about 7 times as much as fat, so for every cubic centimeter of fat that you lose that’s replaced with an equal volume of muscle, you gain about 0.86 grams of weight.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If you’ve been healthy and trim then yes, it’s normal to gain a little weight. If you’ve been heavy or obese though, you’ll lose pounds faster than the build up of muscle can reflect gain. Another thing to keep in mind (don’t know if you are male or female) but if you take Creatine supplement then some of the weight gain will be held water weight in the muscles.

AllAboutWaiting's avatar

There are a few possibilities for the weight. Water retention is one that fools people often, and can be responsible for daily fluctuations. If you have increased thirst because of a big jump in activity, you can store much more than you might think. Water weighs somewhere around 5 pounds per gallon, so it adds up. The loss of fat and increased muscle mass is an exchange that can be measured. Professionals measure it in a water tank for the most accurate fat percentage. Another place for weight that varies is the digestive tract. You were quick to say your appetite was good, so when you weigh yourself can change your total. Try a before and after to get an idea of the average deposit.

creative1's avatar

Muscle weighs more than fat so you may drop a size or more but gain actual pounds when weight training. Muscle also burns calories faster and better than fat so when you are at rest like sitting or sleeping your burning more calories than someone with more body fat does.

tedibear's avatar

Just a side note, muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle weighs one pound. A pound of fat weighs one pound. However, a pound of muscle takes up less volume/space than a pound of fat. This is why your clothes may become loose, or your body looks more defined/toned even though the scale does not indicate weight loss. There can be less of you in terms of how much space you take up, but not less in terms of weight.

WestRiverrat's avatar

A cubic liter of fat does weigh less than a cubic liter of muscle. So we can conclude that fat is lighter than muscle.

Just like a measured volume of aluminum weighs less than the same measured volume of lead.

creative1's avatar

Ok technically a pound is a pound however fat is a lot bulkier please see difference here

jrpowell's avatar

Unless you are 3 feet tall you shouldn’t really be worrying about weighing 117.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Omg, to the people saying “fat is lighter” and arguing over that silliness, easy fix: muscle is denser. There, done, no confusion. Jeeze.

And no, fat is not lighter. That makes no sense without a volume context. It is, however, less dense.

tedibear's avatar

@BhacSsylan – No one’s arguing, just talking about the difference between weight and volume. No biggie.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

How about making things simple by not worrying so much about poundage as flesh distribution. Does it really matter if 3 rolls of belly fat aren’t as dense as a firm belly if you’re working out in order to become healthier and/or better shaped?

BhacSsylan's avatar

Eh, ‘discussing vigorously’, whatever. There is still one group of people saying it’s lighter, and one saying it’s not. The discussion is useless, because the terms are wrong. I was just trying to correct that.

Pandora's avatar

Could it be possible you are nearing your cycle which can put up to 3 to 4 lbs of water weight.
The extra exercise could also be making you hungrier and you are mindlessly eating as well and actually eating more calories than you are burning off.
Also as @tedibear said, the opposite can be true and you are not eating enough and now your body is going into starvation mode.
Best thing to do is calculate how much you are eating and how much you are actually burning off.
So if you want to keep the same weight as before than figure out how many calories you ate before.
So if you ate 1800 calories a day 2 weeks ago than that is where you want to stay to maintain your weight.
So if you work out and burn 500 calories a day than you need to add it to the 1800 meaning you now need to eat 2300 calories a day.
Keep in mind as you build muscles you will burn more calories so you will eventually need to adjust your calorie intake.
If you ate 1800 before and now you are burning an extra 500 calories a day then you are starving your body.
Everybody needs a certain amount of calories to burn to function without exercise. You burn calories by breathing, sleeping, walking, eating, and even your heart pumping. Just standing still your body burns calories in normal functions. So make sure you eat enough and that your drinking enough.
You will start to retain water if you don’t drink enough water.
If you drink enough than you will retain it for a while but eventually you will start to pee more often and you will sweat more and stop retaining.
Keep in mind that your bodies organs and your muscles are working harder and need proper amount of nutrients and water to for them to function well.

AllAboutWaiting's avatar

@WestRiverrat – Is cubic liter a real measurement ? I’m tired today, so I just can’t seem to visualize that. Could you say a shaped liter ? Not trying to be a bother, but it’s just not registering with me.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@AllAboutWaiting I think they meant cubic meter. Cubic liter isn’t a unit of measurement, it’s either liter or cubic meter if you want to talk volume. (or ounces, if you want to get really confusing, what with it meaning either mass or volume, but still not both. God I hate engineering units.)

Still, density, people.

And I might as well add in my answer to the actual question: Yes, it’s normal, especially with weightlifting. As has been said, muscle is denser then fat, so weight training, which increases muscle mass (as well as biking, to a lesser extent), you’ll gain weight.

And considering you’re already were at 110, you probably don’t have much fat to lose. In which case you’re probably strictly putting on muscle which will mean larger gains. Not a bad thing, though, naturally.

Brian1946's avatar

@AllAboutWaiting

A liter is a real measurement of volume. 1 liter=1,000 cubic centimeters. In terms of volumetric (3-dimensional) measurement, it’s not necessary to describe a liter as being cubic, because it’s already defined as being a measurement of volume.
A shaped liter is conceivable, in that you can have any 3-dimensional shape, such as a cube, sphere, cone, an irregular solid, etc., that’s 1 liter in volume.

chiibii's avatar

Gaining muscle can put on weight, but if you’re weighing yourself every day, all you’re seeing is weight fluctuation, which is totally normal. Most “official” weight loss folks (i.e. Weight Watchers) advise against weighing yourself more than once a week because the weight fluctuations can be discouraging. ;)

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