6

votes

Gaining weight.. gaining muscle.. losing weight?!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 30, 2011 at 2:03 PM

I cycle. I CrossFit. I eat about $200 worth of groceries a week. Potatoes - sweet! regular! Any variety I can get my hands on! Eat berries. Nuts. Coconut. Banana. Loads of eggs. Incorporated dairy back in - not a ton but milk in coffee, cottage cheese, a hunk of cheese to snack on. Averaging about 3000 calories a day. I've gone from 115lb to a steady 122lb, goal is to try and achieve 130-->, and this morning saw I lost two even though my eating hasn't changed - I actually managed to eat more the last couple of days. My CF loads definitely adjust but haven't been that extreme this week. My measurements haven't shifted, there has been no girly bloat.. nothing. What the hell? I already know that I fall into that "hard gainer" category but it completely crushed me to see the weight down. I don't know how much more I can eat and I don't want to do supps.. I really really don't. I've been taking body measurements as well to keep track and my weight gain is definitely muscle. I want those two pounds back!

Has anyone experienced anything like this? I'm upping my CF next week to 4 x's and have got to figure this out..

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 08:32 PM

A good point was given that my cycling could be fighting against the weight/muscle goals and I did crank out two big cardio rides this week, not unusual, but could be the reason. Replenished accordingly but maybe my body was "uh uh not this time" hence the loss. Am going to play around with what I do on my non-CF days and see what changes occur. Paleo for 4-months, CF for almost 4-months, life long athlete.. I love all the learning and appreciate all the feedback. Like I've said before.. there's only so much the interwebs, books, manuals can do - people help the most. Thanks so very much!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 08:29 PM

A good point was given that all my cycling could fighting against my weight/muscle goals and I *did* crank out two big cardio rides in the last couple of days, not unusual, but could be the reason. Replenished accordingly but maybe my body was "uh uh not this time" hence the loss. Am going to play around with what I do on my non-CF days and see what changes occur. Paleo for 4-months, CF for almost 4-months.. I love the learning and appreciate all the feedback. Like I've said before.. there's only so much the interwebs, books, manuals can do - people help the most. Thanks so very much!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 07:51 PM

No scale in my home, never has. Always used what was available wherever I'm working out just as a gauge. Personally I have "now" goals + "future" goals - and no, nothing magical would happen at the 130 "future goal" point. If I hit it I hit it. If not? Reset. Continue to work on being better, faster, stronger. See what else I can do. The loss today really threw me, was something new. Never have I dropped at these levels of output. Now there are tips to try that I didn't have before - looking forward to putting them to use. Cheers!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 07:25 PM

Oh crap. I actually do both and it never occurred to me that cycling would be detrimental to muscle growth. More things to think about. Thanks for all the feedback and thoughts - books, manuals, scouring the web.. you can only get so much info back so this has been great.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 07:17 PM

@Tom - luckily I have the best coaches and emailed them about taking one of the three CF days and turning it into a strength day, the response? Whatever I needed they would help. So we'll see how it goes, I can always take a 2nd day and make that strength as well. Interesting things are afoot!

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 30, 2011
at 07:14 PM

The problem with K2 is that you really don't know how much your food has unless you literally raise the animals yourself and even then its somewhat of a guessing game. Like I said you really have no idea what you lost, unless you are less strong or visibly have less muscles I would highly doubt the 2 pounds you lost overnight is lean mass.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:40 PM

+1 specifically for the female hardgainer question. I don't understand down votes for similar questions. If a person needs a hack and you don't want to answer, don't answer. My only real input would be to question the addition of a CF workout when you are already struggling to gain. This would be counter productive to your goals. As mentioned below, consider adding in an extra strength day or two. I know since I've backed off from 5x CF a week to 3x with 2x strength only days, I have gotten stronger and put on more muscle. My endurance has not suffered for CF WODs either.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:22 PM

Oh cycling...that could be it. Are you doing quick fast rides (<1/2 our so) or are you out for 2+ hours grinding up the hills? That "chronic cardio" type exercise can easily kill the muscle growth. I went from a 200lb cyclist to a 160lb paleo crossfitter in 3 months (that means 40lbs of fat) and now i'm a 180lb paleo crossfitter (+20 lbs of muscle). I'm not saying that cycling is bad, but it does go against the goals you're looking for in your original question.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 04:01 PM

Thanks @Miked! I'm a huge nerd and keep track of everything I consume so I can see what worked, what didn't, gains, etc. Liquid didn't change but food went up. My schedule is two days CF, cycling, my own WOD's outside the box. Good thoughts offered!! I was a Ntl. level swimmer, plus Crew, so daily big workouts, swimming twice daily, was normal for me. I probably shouldn't have gone into CrossFit with the same mentality :) I have such fun working hard tho! Will slow down this next month, Monday/Tuesday/Thursday with a day of cycling and a day of active recovery, and re-evaulate.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 03:48 PM

@Cliff - Just read up on K2 and my intake should be sufficient for good K2 levels but apparently there doesn't seem to be any toxicity if additional is taken. Will def. check it out, thanks for the tip!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 02:57 PM

Thanks Meredith! Took me months to get these goddamn 7-lbs and to lose 2? Sucks and I literally screamed a "what the fuck" when I saw the scale. Good call, there has to be some women specific tips for gaining. In regards to food, I honestly don't know if I can shove any more into me.. so something has to be there to help.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 02:54 PM

This gain took me 4-months to achieve. I know the muscle will take time, I've been an athlete my whole life but it truly feels like a setback. I truly have never experienced something like this. Also, I eat about 1/2 a pound of liver a week, my sun exposure is cycling or via a park and when in the park have as little on as I possibly can. I'll look into the K2 - I meant supplements as those powders that I see people use - even Paleo peeps. Eep! :)

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 30, 2011
at 02:33 PM

Whoops - I didn't mean to erase my earlier comment - I upvoted you because much like the female fat loss question - I wonder if there are any gainer tips specifically for women. I have no tips myself.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on June 30, 2011
at 02:21 PM

Down vote for the hundredth hard gainer question since yesterday.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 30, 2011
at 02:13 PM

Up vote for a woman posting about being a "hard gainer".

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4 Answers

2
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on June 30, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Throw your scale in the trash and look to why you are doing what you are doing.

Does something magical happen upon reaching the 130 point? If not, stop trying to chase it. Work hard, eat right, and go by how you look and how you feel. Adjust accordingly.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 07:51 PM

No scale in my home, never has. Always used what was available wherever I'm working out just as a gauge. Personally I have "now" goals + "future" goals - and no, nothing magical would happen at the 130 "future goal" point. If I hit it I hit it. If not? Reset. Continue to work on being better, faster, stronger. See what else I can do. The loss today really threw me, was something new. Never have I dropped at these levels of output. Now there are tips to try that I didn't have before - looking forward to putting them to use. Cheers!

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 30, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Remember a pint of water is a pound, so it's easy to be +/- a couple pounds just depending on your level of hydration.

I don't think women bulk nearly as easily as men - and I think that's a good thing :).

My first guess here is that you're over training (and upping it more is a BAD idea), especially on metcons, especially if you're following the dumb mainsite workouts. Try some strength-based periodization in your workouts. A rough plan would be something like this:

week 1:

  • M: heavy, high volume: something like 5x5 at 85% squat, deadlift, press
  • T: metcon
  • W: heavy, low volume: something like 3x3 at 85% clean and jerk, snatch, front sqaut
  • Th: off
  • F: heavy, low volume: something like 1x3 at 90% squat, deadlift, press

week 2:

  • M: metcon
  • T: heavy, low volume
  • W: metcon
  • Th: off
  • F: heavy, low volume

Do that for 4-6 cycles. Even cut out the metcons completely if you really want to gain weight and get strong.

It's hard, metcons are fun and make you feel like you're working hard, and doing a quick day of 3x3s makes you feel like you can do more and that you "didn't leave it all in the gym", but you need to stimulate the growth hormones (the 5x5 day) and give it time for your body to react (the 2 week cycle). The rest is really just filler, and even worse, the metcons undo your strength building.

Initially people see huge gains in crossfit because they're starting from a place of low fitness, and that's why they think crossfit is the way to go. But once you start getting fit, you need to plan your workouts and actually have some programming (rather than "the unknown and unknowable").

Since the weather has been so nice, I've been doing lots of activities in addition to my crossfit, I basically have about the 8 workouts a week. This is WAY too much and both my weight and strength has gone down. I know why. It's just that I'm enjoying the summer and having fun. When the weather gets crappy again, I'll go back to lower volume and I know my weight and strength will come right back. So more is not better, in fact more is worse for your goals.

My schedule looks more like

strength - metcon - strength - rock climbing - strength - rock climbing, chipper - hike, mountain bike

Don't do that if you want to get strong and put on weight

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 04:01 PM

Thanks @Miked! I'm a huge nerd and keep track of everything I consume so I can see what worked, what didn't, gains, etc. Liquid didn't change but food went up. My schedule is two days CF, cycling, my own WOD's outside the box. Good thoughts offered!! I was a Ntl. level swimmer, plus Crew, so daily big workouts, swimming twice daily, was normal for me. I probably shouldn't have gone into CrossFit with the same mentality :) I have such fun working hard tho! Will slow down this next month, Monday/Tuesday/Thursday with a day of cycling and a day of active recovery, and re-evaulate.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:22 PM

Oh cycling...that could be it. Are you doing quick fast rides (<1/2 our so) or are you out for 2+ hours grinding up the hills? That "chronic cardio" type exercise can easily kill the muscle growth. I went from a 200lb cyclist to a 160lb paleo crossfitter in 3 months (that means 40lbs of fat) and now i'm a 180lb paleo crossfitter (+20 lbs of muscle). I'm not saying that cycling is bad, but it does go against the goals you're looking for in your original question.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 07:25 PM

Oh crap. I actually do both and it never occurred to me that cycling would be detrimental to muscle growth. More things to think about. Thanks for all the feedback and thoughts - books, manuals, scouring the web.. you can only get so much info back so this has been great.

2
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 30, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Losing 2 pounds doesn't mean anything, that could be water, fat, glycogen etc.

Your a girl so don't expect to put on massive amounts of muscle overnight.

I would ditch the anti supplement dogma and get some K2, D and A supplements (or you could eat a pound of liver a week and get 30min of mostly nude exposure a day for the D and A). These are very important nutrients for building muscle.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 03:48 PM

@Cliff - Just read up on K2 and my intake should be sufficient for good K2 levels but apparently there doesn't seem to be any toxicity if additional is taken. Will def. check it out, thanks for the tip!

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on June 30, 2011
at 07:14 PM

The problem with K2 is that you really don't know how much your food has unless you literally raise the animals yourself and even then its somewhat of a guessing game. Like I said you really have no idea what you lost, unless you are less strong or visibly have less muscles I would highly doubt the 2 pounds you lost overnight is lean mass.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 02:54 PM

This gain took me 4-months to achieve. I know the muscle will take time, I've been an athlete my whole life but it truly feels like a setback. I truly have never experienced something like this. Also, I eat about 1/2 a pound of liver a week, my sun exposure is cycling or via a park and when in the park have as little on as I possibly can. I'll look into the K2 - I meant supplements as those powders that I see people use - even Paleo peeps. Eep! :)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 08:29 PM

A good point was given that all my cycling could fighting against my weight/muscle goals and I *did* crank out two big cardio rides in the last couple of days, not unusual, but could be the reason. Replenished accordingly but maybe my body was "uh uh not this time" hence the loss. Am going to play around with what I do on my non-CF days and see what changes occur. Paleo for 4-months, CF for almost 4-months.. I love the learning and appreciate all the feedback. Like I've said before.. there's only so much the interwebs, books, manuals can do - people help the most. Thanks so very much!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on June 30, 2011
at 08:32 PM

A good point was given that my cycling could be fighting against the weight/muscle goals and I did crank out two big cardio rides this week, not unusual, but could be the reason. Replenished accordingly but maybe my body was "uh uh not this time" hence the loss. Am going to play around with what I do on my non-CF days and see what changes occur. Paleo for 4-months, CF for almost 4-months, life long athlete.. I love all the learning and appreciate all the feedback. Like I've said before.. there's only so much the interwebs, books, manuals can do - people help the most. Thanks so very much!

1
Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

on June 30, 2011
at 04:21 PM

I know when I don't consume enough calories, my body goes into saving fat mode and I gain weight. You might try cutting back on calories (I know it's counter intuitive) and see what happens. Of course I wish I had your problem but I know the grass is always greener...

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