1

votes

Add weight = add strength?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 06, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I am female and have been doing Crossfit for almost a year (3 to 4 times a week). It seems like I haven't made any significant strength gains in the last few months; I am stalled on a lot of the Olympic lifts, not getting better at some of the body weight exercises etc.

While some of that might have to do with technique and confidence (which I am working on), I am also thinking it could be because I am on the skinny end of normal (122 lbs, 5'9", bf around 22%). If I put on 5 lbs or 10 lbs would I notice a difference in strength?

I know that a lot of guys put on weight in order to increase strength, but has this worked for any of the women here?

I could just try and see what happens, but I've been at my current weight for a long time and am reluctant to mess with it unless I know it's worth it.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:42 PM

Really helpful advice! I'll go with that.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on January 07, 2013
at 02:05 PM

Agree with this, i have missed a few days or a week of training due to travel or holidays, which felt like a bad idea at the time, but the workouts when i got back have always been my best.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 07, 2013
at 12:46 PM

Thank you, that's something I haven't heard before & something I will look into. Macros are Fat 50%, Protein 20%, Carbs 30%

Ca22738a3c3efc400a35c426dfab47a3

(312)

on January 07, 2013
at 02:59 AM

I still say no..You will probably get stronger but proportionately to the amount of weight you gain if that makes sense and you may not be happy with where you gain the weight. Confidence has a lot to do with it. If you do gain weight and then break your plateaus…You won't actually know if it was just time or weight gain. I'd encourage you to keep working, use the fractional plates and take some risk with believing you can lift higher numbers than you can (i.e.. be sure your max is really your max by failing by going up in weight.) It will come.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 06, 2013
at 10:44 PM

Sorry, squat is 115 lbs, since November. Other people are hitting new PRs on a regular basis. Coaches say those are plateaus and I'll get over them if I keep at it, and also work on form/confidence issues, which I am. I take the occasional week off, most recently last week. Average of 8 hours of sleep a day. 1850 cals a day. I think genetics is part of this. But it still leaves me with the question, if I put on some weight will I get stronger?

Ca22738a3c3efc400a35c426dfab47a3

(312)

on January 06, 2013
at 08:46 PM

You don't mention squat so I'm thinking it's not a priority in your gym, your plateaus may also be the programming. Are other people continuing to make gains? Have you spoken to your coaches about this? Gaining strength has to do with nutrition (how much protein/calories are you eating daily?) Rest including sleep. Sometimes taking a week off is beneficial..and often it's genetics.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 06, 2013
at 05:42 PM

Thanks, I've heard of that, and I've been thinking of maybe also training at home. But I am already doing CF four times a week, so I am also a bit worried about overdoing it. Current PRs (don't laugh) deadlift 145 lbs - stuck since May, press 50 lbs - stuck since May, Clean & Jerk - 65 lbs - stuck since June, bench press 70 lbs - stuck since September. Those are pretty long plateaus, and I'm getting a bit discouraged.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 06, 2013
at 05:40 PM

Roth is very a curate about the egg yolks(cholesterol) increasing strength.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on January 06, 2013
at 04:38 PM

and milk, milk, milk if you do dairy and want to add muscle

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on January 06, 2013
at 04:18 PM

egg yolks, egg yolks, egg yolks

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6 Answers

best answer

0
Ca22738a3c3efc400a35c426dfab47a3

on January 06, 2013
at 05:08 PM

In Crossfit, you make major gains soon after you start and then there are levels of plateaus and gains. Sometimes the plateaus are for many months. I would not suggest you gain weight (speaking as a woman) but rather work on your technique and practice. If you get some great coaching on the lifts and practice them (outside of CF WODs) and practice the body weight movements you want to improve then in 3-4 months you can talk about gaining weight. One of the issues with CF is everyone wants continuous PRs…It doesn't happen that way.

What are your numbers now and your goals?

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 06, 2013
at 05:42 PM

Thanks, I've heard of that, and I've been thinking of maybe also training at home. But I am already doing CF four times a week, so I am also a bit worried about overdoing it. Current PRs (don't laugh) deadlift 145 lbs - stuck since May, press 50 lbs - stuck since May, Clean & Jerk - 65 lbs - stuck since June, bench press 70 lbs - stuck since September. Those are pretty long plateaus, and I'm getting a bit discouraged.

Ca22738a3c3efc400a35c426dfab47a3

(312)

on January 06, 2013
at 08:46 PM

You don't mention squat so I'm thinking it's not a priority in your gym, your plateaus may also be the programming. Are other people continuing to make gains? Have you spoken to your coaches about this? Gaining strength has to do with nutrition (how much protein/calories are you eating daily?) Rest including sleep. Sometimes taking a week off is beneficial..and often it's genetics.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 06, 2013
at 10:44 PM

Sorry, squat is 115 lbs, since November. Other people are hitting new PRs on a regular basis. Coaches say those are plateaus and I'll get over them if I keep at it, and also work on form/confidence issues, which I am. I take the occasional week off, most recently last week. Average of 8 hours of sleep a day. 1850 cals a day. I think genetics is part of this. But it still leaves me with the question, if I put on some weight will I get stronger?

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 08, 2013
at 01:42 PM

Really helpful advice! I'll go with that.

Ca22738a3c3efc400a35c426dfab47a3

(312)

on January 07, 2013
at 02:59 AM

I still say no..You will probably get stronger but proportionately to the amount of weight you gain if that makes sense and you may not be happy with where you gain the weight. Confidence has a lot to do with it. If you do gain weight and then break your plateaus…You won't actually know if it was just time or weight gain. I'd encourage you to keep working, use the fractional plates and take some risk with believing you can lift higher numbers than you can (i.e.. be sure your max is really your max by failing by going up in weight.) It will come.

2
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on January 07, 2013
at 05:23 AM

As thin as you are, yes, gaining pounds of muscle mass will improve performance.

I weigh 105 now and have been as low as 94 as an adult, those few pounds on my small frame make an ENORMOUS difference for me.

1
6dc767a3b94cb0133601caf6c39ea218

(330)

on March 01, 2013
at 08:29 PM

i seem to notice a trend at my box. you can tell the "new" girls because they are skinny. the strong ones are bigger- NOT in a manly, butch way, but just a bit thicker due to muscles. the skinny girls look great but don't have the muscles, hence don't have the strength. i think adding some more protein would help you with the strength. you need to eat it to gain muscle.

1
B91c43e1e186a224279cc8028514a138

on January 07, 2013
at 05:06 AM

May I ask what your current macronutrient levels are. As this may be a factor.

Also your muscular strength may be at a maximal point due to a lack in tendon and ligament strength. Perhaps scaling back and helping the tendons and ligaments to catch up will help in moving past this plateau.

Further many people push to make gains to quickly and this does not allow for proper CNS (Central Nervous System)adaptation.

All these things in combination are usually the main factors when one plateaus. As I have discovered.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 07, 2013
at 12:46 PM

Thank you, that's something I haven't heard before & something I will look into. Macros are Fat 50%, Protein 20%, Carbs 30%

1
B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

on January 06, 2013
at 06:35 PM

Another thing that may be affecting this is over-training... or rather under-recovery. Your muscle needs time to build back up after all the exercise.

Sometimes if you take a week off with just light activity such as walking to let your body recover, you can kickstart your body back into making gains.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on January 07, 2013
at 02:05 PM

Agree with this, i have missed a few days or a week of training due to travel or holidays, which felt like a bad idea at the time, but the workouts when i got back have always been my best.

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 06, 2013
at 03:36 PM

Muscle mass and strength aren't actually 1:1 correlative. Skeletal muscles can increase in strength and you can increase strength without increasing muscle mass. So strength !> muscle mass but muscle mass > strength as a general rule. Also weight !> necessarily go to muscle mass and muscle mass !> necessarily go to strength but your strength is limited to a degree by your muscle mass and your muscle mass is limited by your weight TF more weight doesn't necessarily mean more strength, but your strength will be limited by your weight; so it's probably a good idea to try to put on some weight if you want to increase strength.

I'd recommend red meat, egg yolks and tubers(some sort of potato).

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