Group: Beginners to Exercise

Created: 2012/01/01, Members: 905, Photos: 1, Messages: 18890

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How to tell if I'm gaining muscle or fat
  • 2004/03/10, 10:46 AM
    I've been working out with weights about six months now and dropped 40 lbs. In the last few weeks, though, I've been focusing on getting enough calories and protein to build muscle instead of just losing weight. How do I know, though, if I am gaining muscle or fat?

    I generally eat a very low fat diet, but do have a lot of sugar in my diet, which I believe turns to fat, right? If I count calories, I really never hit the number of calories suggested in my fitness profile here for gaining muscle. I come close some days.

    In the past two weeks since I started eating more and including a lot more protein, I've put on about five pounds. I'd be thrilled if this were muscle, but how can I tell? How fast should I expect to gain weight if I am putting on muscle and not fat? I guess I'll be able to tell about ten more pounds down the road, but I'd rather not have to put on 15 pounds to discover what it is I'm putting on!


  • 2004/03/10, 11:12 AM
    The only accurate way to tell is with a body fat measurement like calipers . You can get a good assessment with your tape measure. If you are getting smaller in the right places and larger in most other places, you are gaining muscle.

    The greatest mystery of life is who we truly are.

  • 2004/03/10, 12:00 PM
    Is there a usual rate per pound that people gain muscle? Does the fact that I've put on five pounds in two weeks mean that some of it is fat?

    Thanks for your help, charlie!
  • 2004/03/10, 12:10 PM
    Its hard to gain muscle without a little fat. Try not to worry about it. You said you dropped 40 lbs. Give yourself a big high five. :big_smile::dumbbell::big_smile: If you are near the size you want to be keep on eating right and lifting heavy.

    Do a fit buddy search on asimmer. She posted some stats a while back along the lines of your question. I think she said that around 25 lbs per year was close to the max muscle weight gain.

    Going up or down, about 2 lbs per week is a safe healthy amount as far as weight goes.

    The greatest mystery of life is who we truly are.

  • 2004/03/10, 08:45 PM
    If it jiggles it's fat! Muscle takes up less space then fat, but weighs more. How do your clothes feel? Like Charlie said...measure yourself with calipers, or a tape measure.

    \"A will finds a way, failure is not an option\"
    Montreal Canada
  • 2004/03/11, 10:46 AM
    gain a pound of muscle and you probably gain 2 in fat. But the fat becomes easier to burn off. Train in cycles of cardio/fat burn routines/diet for 8 weeks then 8 weeks of muscle gaining routines. get a routine off this site each time, look for variety...

    Measure everything, weight, chest, bicep the lot- photograph with your shirt off too... Retake photo and measure yourself in 3 months time... You'll see your fat loss/muscle gain in a photo and in the statistics you produce... plus it's an incentive
  • 2004/03/11, 12:10 PM
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Regarding neiltilley's suggestion -- do others agree with this kind of routine? I think if you don't do muscle gaining routines for 8 weeks, you'll lose a lot of muscle in that time. My current plan was just to keep the gaining muscle routine, eat a low fat (especially saturated fat) diet, and do cardio three times a week for a short period (20-30 min). But is it better to do what neiltilley suggests?
  • 2004/03/11, 12:17 PM
    The main thing is to change it up. Neil is right on. Everybody's body is different so pay attention to what yours tells you and do it.

    The greatest mystery of life is who we truly are.

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