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Weight training & Weightloss: How fast do women first gain muscle?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 05, 2012 at 2:50 AM

Hi

I'm female, 5'6, around 139 pounds of skinny fat (initially?)... I have small wrists (apparently this means I have a small bone structure?)

I've been weight training and eating clean for 5 weeks now and have seen no change in my weight in regards to the scale (I actually gained 2 pounds)... I knowww, scales are bad, but I start to feel like a failure kind of.. I really like to see results.. Heck I got the biggest smile when I started seeing little calluses on my hands haha

Is it unrealistic for me to believe that I'm gaining muscle faster than losing fat?

I weight train 3 times a week with a coach and he pushes me to failure... chest - legs - arms/shoulders ...

My ultimate goal is to not be skinny fat, but toned.. Any suggestions?

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 05, 2012
at 03:04 AM

Well, I think of "pumped" as temporary. This was more like I had a very feminine body, but overly diesel arms.

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on July 05, 2012
at 02:56 AM

Do you mean like that "pumped " look?

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 05, 2012
at 02:52 AM

Calluses? Ahem...what are you doing exactly?? ;-)

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7 Answers

2
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on July 05, 2012
at 02:59 PM

Women gain muscle as fast as men. It turns out that the "lack of testosterone inhibits muscle growth" thing is wrong. In fact, neither testosterone nor growth hormone in physiological doses promote muscle growth:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/246637.php

http://jap.physiology.org/content/112/11/1805

http://www.springerlink.com/content/228h54586751g19l/?MUD=MP

http://www.springerlink.com/content/r866q8m835680400/

So, women don't get as big as men because, on average, they have smaller muscles to begin with, not because they lack testosterone.

Good news for bodybuilders, though. Pharmacological doses of growth-promoting hormones do promote muscular hypertrophy.

To answer your question, it's impossible to say for sure that your weight gain is all lean mass without measurement, but it's not unrealistic.

1
E5d0722c4b4af387287f9947eb96b800

(160)

on July 07, 2012
at 10:48 PM

take pictures regularly it will show you a visual progression, also i have only lost 15lbs since i started xfit/paleo but inches is a different story

1
78964c5cc470f86a5897db8e1ce8e6f9

on July 05, 2012
at 04:14 AM

If you're really concerned about it, have your coach break out the calipers. Measure your body fat now and then in another month or two.

2lbs of muscle is a lot for a woman to gain in 5 weeks, but water fluctuations, time of day you weigh yourself, etc. can exaggerate the scale. Go by how you feel, how your clothes fit, and objective measures of body fat (tape measure, calipers, etc.)

0
E3d94ade13110237db50b944f89e98bd

(245)

on July 07, 2012
at 12:14 PM

Go by body measurements in total inches rather than the scale. Add up the measurements from waist, hips, both biceps, and both thighs. Measure once a week. If its going down, no matter what the scale says, you're losing fat.

0
B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f

(1495)

on July 05, 2012
at 11:38 AM

It depends a little on body type (a mesomorph puts muscle on much easier than the other body types).

Also, how heavy are you lifting? The best results are gained by going pretty heavy (heavy enough that you can only do 6-8 reps...lighter days and assistance work is fine and helps also, but you will probably see most gain from throwing in some really heavy rounds).

Finally, give it a little time. 12 weeks is a good measurement period (it's a minimal amount of time if you consider how long your life is). Go out and get a good measurement - we use a bod pod around here...$25 or $30 to get your body fat tested and it's one of the more accurate methods of body fat testing. Many Universities offer DXA for pretty cheap too. Calipers are only as good as the person using them. Body fat scales are crap. Return to the same place after 12 weeks for a body fat re-test.

You should see noticeable results after 12 weeks...if not, get a new trainer.

0
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on July 05, 2012
at 03:05 AM

You will hate my answer but you may still have hope if it doesn't apply to you. I am fairly muscular to begin with but I lacked any upper-body strength and no abs. Just legs. I am not skinny. I'm large-framed but no longer fat. I have been doing core fitness exercises since January. Took me several months to see results. I could feel them before that, but seeing the muscle definition has taken a very long time and there's still a long way to go.

0
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 05, 2012
at 02:54 AM

How do your clothes fit? If you have trouble telling by looking in the mirror (cause you see yourself every day) have your trainer take pictures of you, so you can see if you are gaining muscle.

In my opinion, yes, you are gaining muscle. When I worked with a trainer, my arms gained muscle soooo fast, within a week, they were getting too buff!

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 05, 2012
at 03:04 AM

Well, I think of "pumped" as temporary. This was more like I had a very feminine body, but overly diesel arms.

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on July 05, 2012
at 02:56 AM

Do you mean like that "pumped " look?

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