How fast do you gain muscle weight?


  • Apr 24, 2009 3:24 PM GMT
    Or really what I'm asking is how fast am *I* gaining muscle weight? I've only been doing serious weight training for about 6 weeks and am starting to notice actual muscles peeking out.

    I'm also trying to lose that last 10-15 lbs of winter "spare tire" (I'm 6'3"), so when I get on the scale I get freaked out when I see that I'm not shedding pounds the way I used to when I was just doing cardio. But I know that that may be due to me gaining muscle weight.

    Anyone have experience with this? Should I not expect to see dramatic reductions on the scale as long as I keep up a rigorous weight training routine?
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    Apr 24, 2009 6:19 PM GMT
    Your body's gaining muscle mass, but from what you said you already basically knew that.

    I'm staying at about the same weight, but I'm getting bigger and leaning out in the right spots (not that I have much to lean out), so I've kinda given up on using a scale. I figure if I look good, and I know I'm not throwing on fat, what's it matter what my weight clocks in at?
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    Apr 24, 2009 6:39 PM GMT
    Santos, your scale is nearly holding steady.

    But what does the mirror say?

    Muscle is heavier than fat, so a guy could keep the same weight but change measurements quite a bit as body fat percentage goes down.

    You are in enviable circumstances judging by all the guys who ask "what to do first: build muscle first, or lose weight?"
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    Apr 24, 2009 7:09 PM GMT
    A few options:

    1) There are scales that measure both body fat and skeletal weight with an electric current. While not absolutely accurate, they are good for monitoring trends over time. I personally like the Omron HBF-500 for that.

    2) You can infer a gain in muscle if you track your workouts and see gains in weight amounts.

    3) Photographs taken at intervals are simple and very demonstrative.

    4) A body or fabric tape measure is super cheap and easy. You can measure some muscles directly, like your bicep, and some fat directly, like your waist or belly.

    5) Body fat calipers are cheap, but do require good technique to keep variability down in the readings.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 24, 2009 7:16 PM GMT
    It's incredibly variable from person to person. It took me somewhere around 6-8 months of lifting weights to see any visible muscle growth despite being extremely underweight at the start (6 foot tall an 135 pounds is not the greatest look), but I'm the one my friends joke about having the metabolism of a hummingbird. Most men gain muscle substantially faster than I do.

  • Apr 24, 2009 8:30 PM GMT
    Thanks guys... I guess I'm just frustrated at not being able to measure my progress externally. Though my clothes are fitting better and the ol' spare tire is slowly disappearing. Maybe I'll have to just remember that the numbers on the scale include muscles now...
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 24, 2009 8:38 PM GMT
    Incidentally, Santos, I hear you've got a bad credit rating. Something about a credit card bill you didn't feel like paying, and some repo men taking your dog back? I'd get that straightened out before your gym decides you're a credit risk and makes you pay for a year up front. ;)

  • Apr 24, 2009 8:46 PM GMT
    MSUBioNerd saidIncidentally, Santos, I hear you've got a bad credit rating. Something about a credit card bill you didn't feel like paying, and some repo men taking your dog back? I'd get that straightened out before your gym decides you're a credit risk and makes you pay for a year up front. ;)


    I just hope they don't find out I'm a homer sexual icon_wink.gif