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How fast do you gain muscle?


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I've added a good bit more weights to my activities over the last few weeks. Kept in the cardio, but added in weight.

I've been GAINING weight. It's driving me up the wall. I was so happy to get below 150, to 148, now I'm back to 150 and it's REAL weight, it isn't fluctuation weight.

I don't THINK I *look* any fatter, my clothes aren't any tighter (then again, they are fairly loose summer clothes), but is it possible to gain a couple lbs of muscle in just a few weeks???? Or am I fooling myself - am I just getting fatter again?

I'm in an absolute panic over this. I'm working out harder than ever and the numbers are going UP :(
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 Most of that is water retention - your muscles will hold on to extra water to repair the damage resistance training inflicts, and your body will significantly increase your glycogen stores as well. There's some muscle mass in there as well, but it's not nearly as significant as the water weight:
Under the best possible circumstances (perfect diet, training, supplementation, and recovery strategies) the average male body can manufacture between 0.25 and 0.5 pounds of dry muscle tissue per week. That is the amount your natural body chemistry will allow you to build. So we're talking about around one or two pounds per month.
The Truth About Bulking by Christian Thibaudeau
  Now, dry muscle tissue does translate into a bit more weight gain than that given increased glycogen storage and whatnot, but you've already seen the majority of that effect, so your weight gain should level off about now or in a week or so, and then reverse itself as your body adjusts to the new conditions.

 Don't panic, and you're going to see your clothes fitting looser in a week or two ;)
*breathes deeply* Okay, I'll trust you on this. Guess I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

Anything I can do to stop the water retention? I try to eat some sugars and proteins immediately after working out - usually a Lemon Zest Luna bar, sometimes a bag of Soy Crisps and a banana, sometimes a turkey sandwich on multi-grain (depending how hungry I am). And drink a bottle of water (maybe a bit less than a full bottle, but I drink 700 ml DURING my workout). Anything more I should be doing?

I suppose it's probably all normal, it's just demoralizing as hell :-/
Original Post by paintedlady:

*breathes deeply* Okay, I'll trust you on this. Guess I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

Anything I can do to stop the water retention? I try to eat some sugars and proteins immediately after working out - usually a Lemon Zest Luna bar, sometimes a bag of Soy Crisps and a banana, sometimes a turkey sandwich on multi-grain (depending how hungry I am). And drink a bottle of water (maybe a bit less than a full bottle, but I drink 700 ml DURING my workout). Anything more I should be doing?

I suppose it's probably all normal, it's just demoralizing as hell :-/

Sounds like you need to be drinking more water. A LOT more. I think you should drink at least 64 ounces of water a day (that's what CC recommends) because the more water you drink, the more water you get rid of (and the less your body holds onto to or "retains"). Also, watch your sodium intake. It's probably high. All these things will make you retain water. I had this same problem when I first started exercising, then started to drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day. Now if I gain weight, its rarely water retention. But I think on days when I eat a lot of junk and drink beer the next day I STILL gain a bit from water retention (from all the sodium).

Honestly I can't give up the salt entirely and sometimes drinking too much water is difficult so I just go by my waist size :). I gained 10 lbs back this week (had lots of salty food this week, went out to eat with everyone and went to the bar twice... O-o) but lost an inch off of my waist and arms. Go figure. In fact I was speed walking my paper route this morning and my jeans were falling off of my but. It was almost an overnight change, and it surprised the hell out of me. Knew they were getting looser but damn.

I drink about 1.5 l of water a day - even more actually, but that's counting what I drink during my workout (during which I LOSE water, I understand). I'll try and get some more in there. And yeah, my sodium's probably higher than it ought to be, between the Soy Crisps and the turkey and all, but I can't really think of easy, viable alternatives to those . . . I guess I'll try and drink more water to balance it out.

Thanks for your help!

Pezzle, it's the strangest thing - whenever I go on a binge for a week (like a vacation or something), where I eat what I want and drink alcohol, I come back thinner. It's always puzzled me.  

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