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MV Owner

Weight gain question

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Dear All,

I am 45 years old and I have been weight training for 3 months now. 

During the 3 months I have been weight training 3 days a week using a full body workout and slowly but steadily increasing the total weight lifted during each session.

During the first month of weight training I was combining the weight training with a 7 mile run every 4 days.  However, following advice from a trusted forum user, during months 2 and 3 I have reduced the running to 4 miles every 7 days.  During months 2 and 3 I have been monitoring my calories per day which have been around 2300 a day with a 30% fat, 30% protein and 40% carbs breakdown.  Importantly, I believe the fat takes into account fat from nuts and from mackeral.  My protein intake has been around 1.2grames per lb of body weight.

Perhaps in error, I weigh myself most evenings before bed and my weight seems to vary quite wildly (presumably attached to whether I have gone to the toilet and or whether I have had a large evening meal) however in the last 2 months I appear to have gained around 1Kg in weight but today when slipping on a familiar pair of jeans they felt noticeably tight at the hip bone / 'love handles' area, thighs and slightly in the calfs. 

However, I seem to have put quite noticeable muscle (which seems to have resulted in more definition) onto the lower chest, shoulders and arms areas.

This may seem like a stupid question but I would appreciate thoughts on whether the weight in the hip bone / 'love handles' area is likely to be fat or am I just mistaking this for additional muscle?

Many thanks

 

 

 

MV 

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Sounds like you have gained both muscle and fat. You cannot gain muscle whilst eating in deficit (dieting)

The tricky part is keeping the muscle whilst dieting. 
 

Weighing yourself before bed is a waste of time. As you suggest, weight will vary depending on what’s gone in and what’s dropped out throughout the day. Do you have digital scales? Even the cheaper ones are pretty accurate. Avoid the ones with gimmicky features such as body fat measuring. These features don’t really work. Just digital scales will do. You will get varying results depending on the type of floor surface you put them on. You need to put them on a hard surface, ideally concrete and weigh yourself in the same place on the same day every week when you first get up. If this means putting them in a cold garage then so be it, you’ll have to man up whilst you are standing there in your pants freezing cold like I do.

Now the important bit. The first reading will be inaccurate. If the scales haven’t been moved since last week and there is only a marginal shift in your weight the scales will probably throw up last weeks reading. Stand on the scales holding something that weighs about 10kg. Then step off the scales, put the weight down and step on again and take this as the correct reading. This step is particularly important if the scales have been moved since the last time you used them.

@MV Owner

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thanks mate,

I will start to measure my weight using digital scales on a solid floor first thing in the morning.

I suppose the question I should have asked is is the hip bone / 'love handles' area, thighs and slightly in the calfs area the sort of place where fat comes on or may I have simply gained muscle in this area as after all my legs have been stimulated by a full body workout for the last 3 months.

I have certainly started looking more muscular in the top half of my body.  Definition around the underside of my chest has certainly remained

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MV, you’ve been training for three months, multiple that by four and really see how you’ll look and feel in twelve months.  

The above is in a  way similar to weighing yourself everyday, vs weighing yourself once a week. You’d get a much more accurate readings when you allow for some time to elapse, as opposed to pushing for what your head wants over how your body prefers to operate based on the law of homeostasis.

Coming to the fat or muscle issue now; it’s both, and here’s a formula that’ll put your mind at ease.

A slight surplus in caloric intake is going to see you gain some weight, and a slight deficit in caloric intake is going to see you drop some weight. Your visits to the gym and/or the effort you apply in challenging your muscles with resistance training, will play the role as the determining factor of how you’ll look, irrespective of weight gained or lost. In other words, the ratio of muscles to fat gains is determined by what you do in the gym. 
 

A state of caloric maintenance coupled with weight training over a time period, would shift the ratio of your body composition in favour of muscles over fat, leading to a faster metabolism as a result ... requiring an increase in caloric intake (for a new maintenance number now) to allow for some new energy for the muscles gained.

A caloric surplus (coupled with resistance training), is going to see you gain both muscles and fat, however due (and based on effort applied in said training), you’d gain a higher ratio of muscles to fat.

A caloric deficit (coupled with resistance training), would see you maintain your muscles (because you’re using them), whilst  dropping in fat mass. Here you’ll look sharper and more defined with muscle separation etc. 

All the above takes some time, hence I began by saying, please multiple your 3 months by 4, before you really get a true sense or a more honest picture of where you stand.

The kitchen determines whether your body weight goes up or down ... the gym determines how it goes up or down. Both are important elements in your quest for a better you.

All the best to you mate.

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15 hours ago, MV Owner said:

I suppose the question I should have asked is is the hip bone / 'love handles' area, thighs and slightly in the calfs area the sort of place where fat comes on or may I have simply gained muscle in this area as after all my legs have been stimulated by a full body workout for the last 3 months

In most the love handles area is where fat goes on after the stomach. The stomach is the last place where it comes off, like a puddle drying out. Men tend to carry fat as stated above but women less so.

Without seeing pics before and after it’s difficult to say where you have gained muscle/fat. You should ideally take some to track your own progression. 
 

Based on your post you’ve probably had good early results but remember that in this game you are either bulking or cutting. You cannot expect to continue to gain muscle whilst eating in a calorie deficit or not gain some fat whilst eating in surplus 

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OK Gents thanks for the effort and time taken to provide the above responses.

I believe the reason I wrote the above post yesterday is shock I suppose.  I hadn't worn the said jeans for around 3 weeks and for some reason they felt tight and I instantly thought I'd put on a load of blubber.

To summarise if I understand you correctly.

Don't make the mistake of taking too much short term weight measurements (ie every hour!) as (like stocks and shares) these can skew the view of the 'overall picture' which can cause you to act hastily (which I believe I did really by writing the above).  This also occurs with stocks and shares if you arent careful!  So perhaps compare on a bi-weekly / monthly basis.

When in a surplus (which I believe I am) expect some fat gain even if you are busting your balls in the gym but busting your balls will result in a higher chance of muscle being a higher percentage than fat.

I believe I am in this calorie surplus phase now so I assume my target mix of circa 20% fat, 35% Protein and 45% carbs is about right and I should look to just be in surplus to again ensure that weight gained isnt too fatty.

I assume my understanding is about correct.

 

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41 minutes ago, MV Owner said:

When in a surplus (which I believe I am) expect some fat gain even if you are busting your balls in the gym but busting your balls will result in a higher chance of muscle being a higher percentage than fat.

You’ll gain both.

Work out your tdee here https://tdeecalculator.net/ select lightly active if you don’t do a physical job. The results will give you calories for cutting, maintaining or bulking 

Downloaded MyFitnessPal to your phone and track what you eat.

Adjust cals if required.

Weight train 3 or 4 times a week for around 50 minutes. Emphasis on compound lifts. A minimum of 3 x 30 minute cardio sessions on top, either on weights day or in between.

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hi mv owner, some great answers to your post already. I would just like to add that being in a caloric surplus, or bulking as its also known, is as much a psychological battle as it is a physical one.  you seem concerned about the jeans situation, which is understandable. but you just have to trust in the process...and maybe buy bigger jeans.  as above, give it more time, build more muscle and worry about the fat later. and as a plus, as I understand it, more muscle means more calories burnt doing diddly squat, so much easier to cut in the long run

good luck

ps...in the bulk we trust

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