Your Questions About Healthy Eating For Women In Their 20s

April 11, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Weight Loss Tips

Mary asks…

How much weight can be attributed to muscle gain in women who begin working out?

How much weight can be attributed to muscle gain when a woman begins a resistance training program?
I started a resistance training program about 3 months ago, but I am gaining weight. I am not sure if it is muscle, water retention or fat.

Power Health Tips answers:

It would depend on the age of the woman. A younger woman would heal faster and do more weight training sessions (like every other day) while an older woman would have to wait for DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) for a few days and could only resume weight training every five days, as soon as all the soreness is gone.
Usually, in your 20s, you’ll need a day or two of rest, in your 30s, you’ll need two or three days, in you 40s, you’ll need three or four days…in your 50s, you’ll need four or five days…and so on. Older people do not experience soreness longer, they just have to wait longer for the healing/repairing to start. It’s not even a problem to have to wait for DOMS, you can just do aerobics in the meantime. The most important part is that as soon as the soreness is gone…you have to go at it again. Your body got stronger to adapt to your need but if you don’t take advantage of it, your body will adapt again and get rid of it in a couple of days (use it or lose it).
I helped that guy once who could not progress because he did weight training once a week. A week was enough for him to push his muscles beyond their limit, damage the fiber, have to heal stronger, get sore, then lose it all since he would not use it fast enough. Very frustrating to get sore every week and not progress. I just had to tell him to use his muscles AS SOON AS they were not sore so he could maintain them by using them or improve them again by pushing them. Now, he’s doing weight training every 4 days and he’s progressing nicely, forgetting about the 7 days week calendar that usually gets in the way of your body clock.
Other people will not progress because they don’t even wait for DOMS and exercise too early and too much so their body can never have time to rest and heal stronger. You DO NOT get strong while exercising…you get strong by healing and repairing stronger.

I would depend if you push yourself hard or not so hard which would be based on the threshold of pain when experiencing soreness.

It would depend if you decide to get sore every time, building muscle mass every time and healing stronger every time or if you decide to be sore only one out of two times, so you do the same reps and weights and do not add reps or reduce reps and add weight one out of every two times, just to confirm that you healed strong enough so you don’t have to get sore this time and heal stronger again. I like this method because it’s a way to let your body know that sometimes, it’s enough and it’s doing a good job at healing stronger. Otherwise your body might burn up when it’s NEVER enough because you’re pushing ALL THE TIMES!

It would you depend if you’re doing weight training on all your muscles, including the calves, the hip adductors and the hip abductors or if you’re just working the main muscles. Also is you’re doing calisthenics, or adding free weights or using gym machines…

I can tell you that in my case, I did weight training for 3 months, every 5 days (18 whole body sessions, calisthenics and free weights + the Thigh Master and exercise tubing). My weight did not change (122.6lbs and still 122.6lbs three months later) but I lost 2% of body fat percentage so I got thinner and went down a dress size (I used the body measurements method).
I was not looking to lose weight, I just wanted to focus first on eating healthier (not a low calorie diet) and getting back in shape. My strength tripled on the small muscles (abs, triceps…) and quadrupled on the big muscles (quads, gluteus…)
During those 3 months, I also did aerobics (walking/jogging + bicycling + swimming) and I ate more to have enough energy to exercise. For all my exercising (both aerobics and anaerobics), I used 27,000 calories (a daily average of 300 calories expenditure) and since each pound of fat reserves is 3,500 calories, I would have gained 7.7lbs if I had not exercised (but of course, I would probably not have eaten so much, if I would not have needed all those calories to exercise).

It is logical to assume that if I lost 2% of body fat percentage and maintained my weight, then I probably gained 2% of muscle mass by losing fat reserves with aerobics and gaining muscle mass with aerobics and weight training. Plus, as you replace one with the other, you get obviously thinner, stronger and can actually see the muscle definition. At 122.6lbs, 2% would be almost 2 and a half pound of muscle mass gained in three months.
Again, if you’re younger, you’ll have to do weight training more often than every 5 days (as soon as you stop being sore, otherwise you lose your recent progress in a couple of days) so you could gain muscle mass faster.

I wish you the best.

I don’t care about my weight. If I get thinner, stronger and get 2 and a half pound of muscle mass, my metabolism will go higher. (35/50 calories/A DAY for each pound of added muscle mass),
So…I’m thinner, stronger AND I can eat more? I think that is well worth an hour of exercising daily.

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