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Gaining muscle/gaining fat - HELP


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Okay... a very general question here that will give away how very much a beginner I am, but beginners start at the beginning, right? 

I completed my weight loss last summer and have been maintaining my weight since then. I decided that all that cardio was great, made me thinner and healthier -- awesome... and then I started to look downright scrawny, so I decided that in the interest of hotness I should gain some muscle. 

My scale numbers have been going up, as they are supposed to if one is gaining muscle. HOWEVER, I am also gaining some FAT. My scale is up about three pounds. I am still fitting into my clothes, but I'm afraid that if I keep lifting weights and eating extra I will just gain and gain and turn to yuck. Since yuck and hotness don't go together very well, I am looking for advice on how to gain some muscle and leave the fat behind. 

Any experienced, strong hotties out there who can help me out?

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Well I am not a strong hottie by any stretch of the imagination, but normally while building muscle you are going to gain fat in the process.  You just need to make sure you are challenging yourself in the weights, lifting heavy and eating to support the new muscles.

I have a 3-5 lb weekly range I will weigh each day.  After a heavy lifting session I will usually weigh 3 lbs more then next morning.  As long as I am looking firmer and feeling stronger things are good.

I actually hadn't lost any significant weight in a long time, but managed to drop a pant size.  I have arms I will be happy to show off in tank tops this summer.  I have definition to my legs.  I have a rear that is shaping up especially well.

I still have quite a bit of weight to lose however, I am much happier with the shape things are taking due to the added muscles.

Sometimes people will build up the muscle and then do a fat burn workout to lose the fat that naturally comes on during a building phase. 

Ignore the scale for now, just lift eat right and if your clothes start to get tight then you will probably need to cut on the extra calories and go back to a fat loss lifting program, but I wouldn't think this will happen for at least a few months if at all.

well, I don't know if I qualify as a "hottie", but the simple answer is to lift heavy and run a surplus. 

Here is a little inspiration.

So...  You're not REALLY worried about 3 pounds are you?  and exactly how are you determining your body fat percentage?

Inquiring minds wanna know....

A young woman can gain about a pound of muscle a month if they have a really good schedule. So, you could consider that an upper bound and gain weight at that rate or just a bit faster.

If you gain faster than that, you'll probably end up having to cycle your weight a bit. Nothing wrong with that, and it often happens naturally rather than by some strict intentional gain and loss. My wife cycles about 5 pounds, unintentionally, and each time she gets back to a previous weight, she has more muscle and less fat (we use skinfold calipers, and I weigh her underwater, so there really isn't any way to cheat or rationalize). Every day, she does 30 minutes of cardio, lunges, bosu, and other core work. Less often, she does weights. Our rural chores use a lot of upper body strength as well, so she needs less upper body work in her workouts than other women.  She is definitely a "strong hottie" IMO. She can do chinups and real pushups etc.

This is pretty much necessary - it's physiologically improbable to gain muscle without also gaining some fat. Best ratio you can hope for is 80% muscle, 20% fat - at least, without being naughty with the injectables.

 Not a problem really, you just do a Layne Nortonesque build-and-burn strategy where you run a slight calorie surplus (300-600 kcal/d, somewhat gender-dependent) for 6-8 weeks, and gain 5-6 lbs, diet for 2 weeks or so and drop the 2lbs of fat you gained, repeat. Though you should probably halve the numbers for being of the female persuasion.

 The more you try to completely avoid fat gain in the process, the more inefficient the muscle gain process becomes and the less progress you'll be making. On the other hand you'll do a little less weight cycling during the process so if you're being paid to look a certain way and can't afford to take a few weeks off your modeling job whenever your abs disappear the more conservative body recomposition approach with much shorter gain cycles (some as short as 3 days) will at least let you move in a vaguely beneficial direction although at a glacial pace compared to the build/burn route or the traditional bulk/cut of body building.

Original Post by wesmckean:

well, I don't know if I qualify as a "hottie", but the simple answer is to lift heavy and run a surplus. 

Here is a little inspiration.

So...  You're not REALLY worried about 3 pounds are you?  and exactly how are you determining your body fat percentage?

Inquiring minds wanna know....

hhehe i was going to post this too but I forgot who originally posted it and what thread it was in!

That was very inspiring!  I'm not planning to start eating Paleo, but it definitely made me want to go lift some heavy things.

Okay, so my body fat percentage is being determined by a scale that supposedly sends little tiny shock waves through my body. :) Have no idea as to its accuracy. But it's currently reading me at 20.9% body fat. I HAD been at 19.8%. It is what it is... I have no idea if it's at all accurate or not. The fat I'm noticing is around my mid section because that's the first place I gain. I just find it very unappealing and would hate to continue moving in that general direction. 

Thanks so much for all the input!! 

I am pretty sure  those scales are not very accurate they give you a ball park number so you shouldn't worry about a 1.1% percentage difference. You'd have to do a caliper test to really get an accurate reading.
I find taking measurements is a better determining factor of how your body is doing. For example lately the scale has been fluctuating 2-5 lbs in a week for me but my measurements are the same so I don't get too upset when I see a swing in numbers. If my measurements were going up I would probably fix my diet well unless I was measuring my biceps or an area where I wanted to gain bulk in.
I know when my diet is bang on when it's crap so don't pay too much attention to numbers.

BIA scales are not accurate. If you keep the calorie deficit surplus small, and you are getting consistently stronger in the major lifts, then you are most likely on the right track. I think you'd be better off tracking your waist measurement along with your strength progress.

Edit: I meant surplus not deficit.

 

Original Post by wesmckean:

well, I don't know if I qualify as a "hottie", but the simple answer is to lift heavy and run a surplus. 

Here is a little inspiration.

So...  You're not REALLY worried about 3 pounds are you?  and exactly how are you determining your body fat percentage?

Inquiring minds wanna know....

Very inspiring. But I wish that there were more stories (like Amber's), who don't eat meat. Coming from a carnivore to semi-vegetarian I personally have been having a hard time finding a diet that is right for me.

Okay, I am properly inspired as well. That's amazing -- I would LOVE to look like Staci!! And I have a husband who would totally support my efforts, I know... so what am I waiting for? I'd better get busy -- start eating Paleo (really?? okay... I'll try it), and start lifting heavier with fewer reps. 

I will also follow the multiple advice posts saying that my scale is not accurate and I should try a different method. Being the beginner I said I am, I will confess to having no idea what a caliper test is -- but waist measurement is definitely something I can figure out. :)

Paleo is just a metaphor for "eat less factory-produced junk food". At least when approached with a rational frame of mind.

 Unfortunately, so many people who want to be "rebel diet gurus" approach it as if it's bloody magic and literally true instead of an extended metaphor for paying attention to everything you eat and considering whether that bag of Doritos is compatible with your diet goals.

Original Post by melkor:

Paleo is just a metaphor ... paying attention to everything you eat and considering whether that bag of Doritos is compatible with your diet goals.

And that is why I can't do Paleo.  I will frequently come up with "Yes" in answer to the Doritos question.  ;)

Okay, gross... I don't do Doritos. Or Cheetos. My kids do, and so they're here -- but never am I even remotely close to tempted by them. CHEESECAKE, however, is a completely different story. I'm pretty sure that cheesecake wouldn't qualify as Paleo - no matter how you're qualifying it. But really, if I truly believed it possible for me to look as incredible as Staci, I could give up cheesecake. Not sure about the wine... might need to hang on to that. I do have three kids, after all...

Original Post by jjbrc:

Okay, gross... I don't do Doritos. Or Cheetos. My kids do, and so they're here -- but never am I even remotely close to tempted by them. CHEESECAKE, however, is a completely different story. I'm pretty sure that cheesecake wouldn't qualify as Paleo - no matter how you're qualifying it. But really, if I truly believed it possible for me to look as incredible as Staci, I could give up cheesecake. Not sure about the wine... might need to hang on to that. I do have three kids, after all...

Paleo man loved himself some fermented beverages...

Original Post by jjbrc:

Okay, gross... I don't do Doritos. Or Cheetos. My kids do, and so they're here -- but never am I even remotely close to tempted by them. CHEESECAKE, however, is a completely different story. I'm pretty sure that cheesecake wouldn't qualify as Paleo - no matter how you're qualifying it. But really, if I truly believed it possible for me to look as incredible as Staci, I could give up cheesecake. Not sure about the wine... might need to hang on to that. I do have three kids, after all...

You can have both cheesecake and abs, you just can't have cheesecake and delusions about following a paleolithic diet ;)

Melkor, I like your description of Paleo... "eat less factory-produced junk food." A rational frame of mind is essential. After looking into an actual "Paleo diet," I don't think I could do quite that... I love me my potatoes. And your link about having both cheesecake and abs -- you've become my dream come true. :) I suppose the key is in having a PIECE of cheesecake and keeping my abs, just not having A CHEESECAKE and keeping my abs. 

So no delusions of actually following a paleolithic diet. I'm keeping my wine - and possibly even the occasional piece of cheesecake. But I am going to work harder on eating natural foods, stay away from the factory produced junk, and challenge myself to some heavier lifting. I'm going to have to learn to use that damn machine properly...

There's a VAST difference between "Paleolithic diet" and "Paleo" (the abbreviation with the capital "P").

The former is indeed "less processed food."  However, considering that the Paleolithic era lasted for milennia, there is no singular "eat this, not that" list.  Various peoples ate various things, depending on their climate, environment, and even the actual period in which they lived (the Paleolithic period covered a human prehistory of about 2.4 million years, so there's a lot of room for variation!).

And when you think about the fact that our modern diets of factory-processed foods have been around for essentially less than 100 years.... (when the post-WW2 industrial boom of the '50s led to "convenience foods" for the homemaker in the idyllic suburban space-age lifestyle, and really gained traction in the go-go-go of the '80s and '90s)

The latter is just another diet fad bordering on a cult mentality, in which even the participants can get "more Paleo than thou."  It's like Atkins for the new century.

Seriously.  Some of these people can get downright frightening with how much they start preaching from the Paleo pulpit, and judging all other diet & nutrition plans, as if their plan is the only one that works and the only one anybody should be eating (and if you don't follow their lead, you're destined to be fat forever).

And gods help you if you dare to offer any criticism for what they're doing, because they're prepared with all the pamphlets and materials to not only counter what you say, but will unleash additional salvos to beat you down.

 

 

Original Post by weirdfish:

And gods help you if you dare to offer any criticism for what they're doing, because they're prepared with all the pamphlets and materials to not only counter what you say, but will unleash additional salvos to beat you down.

well the other side of that is blowing off THEIR ideas for being healthy with trite euphemisms and arrogant cliches.

The most important thing is finding something that works for you.  I actually prefer the diet recommended by Drs. Ben and Jerry.

Seriously.  Some of these people can get downright frightening with how much they start preaching from the Paleo pulpit, and judging all other diet & nutrition plans, as if their plan is the only one that works and the only one anybody should be eating (and if you don't follow their lead, you're destined to be fat forever).

 

AMEN to that!!! A guy at  my work his daughter is a "personal trainer" and he was telling me how I was eating wrong because his daughter told him that everyone should be eating "paleo" and I'm like HUH what? I'm eating wrong? Thank you but unlike your "personal trainer" daughter I'm actually in shape and have muscles. I told him to tell her to stop reading so many books....she actually believes the wheat belly bull crap as well which makes me livid as it was written by a man who knows ZERO about agriculture and plant breeding...idiots

Anywhoo that's my unrelated rant/vent

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