It is difficult to say just how much weight you can gain from strength training because that will vary based on the program you are doing, what your body type is, what other exercises you are doing, and what your diet is like while you are strength training.
You also need to determine whether you even want to gain weight while strength training.
Strength training is designed to add bulk to the body.
Strength training and weight training are often confused with each other as being the same thing.
However, weight training is meant to help you lose body fat while strength training is meant to develop muscle mass. If you’re looking for a training program that’s flexible with a built-in community and access to expert trainers, sign up for our PRO Plan today!
Building Muscle Mass with Strength Training
If you are just interested in building muscle mass alone, then it is possible for you to gain quite a lot of weight while you are strength training.
Before we go any further, let’s debunk a myth. Muscle does not weigh more than fat. This is a concept that you need to throw out the window right now.
A pound of muscle is much smaller than a pound of fat, which is where this misconception comes from. Simply put, a pound is a pound; one pound cannot weigh more than another pound.
As you strength train, however, you are replacing your fat with muscle or burning off the fat.
You will look as if you are losing weight during this process, however, because it takes a smaller mass of muscle to equal a pound than it does for fat to equal a pound, (18% less to be precise), which means you will look smaller while still weighing the same or even gaining weight.
If you are interested in just building muscle mass, eventually you will get to a point where you are simply adding weight to your body, but only in terms of healthy weight.
Adding Strength Training to Your Exercise Routine
Cardio workouts alone are not sufficient for a well-balanced exercise routine; you need to include strength training as well.
When you add strength training to an existing routine, you probably won’t see more than a pound or two in weight gain.
Because cardiovascular exercises work towards burning off fat rather than converting them to muscle, you typically won’t gain any weight with a cardio routine.
In fact, most people do cardio to either lose weight or improve heart health.
Strength training benefits include:
- Endurance – Adding strength training to your routine will actually increase your endurance levels allowing you to exercise for longer periods of time if you want to.
- Maintain muscle mass – Adding strength training to your exercise routine can help you maintain your muscle mass longer. This isn’t just for men and women who are looking to bulk up, this is for anyone who wants to stay healthy as they get older.
- Increase in bone density – Weight training also increases bone density, which also contributes to a healthier body as you grow older. Osteoporosis is caused by reduced bone density and is found more commonly in women than in men.
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What to Use for Strength Training
Because strength training is about using resistance to build muscle, there are numerous ways for you to start a weight training program.
If you have no money to purchase weightlifting equipment, then you can use your own body for strength training; eventually, you will want to add other elements, but initially, you can start with this.
You can use your own body for strength training by doing:
- Leg squats
Using your body for strength training will only be effective for a certain period of time because eventually, you will be strong enough that you aren’t working out your muscles effectively.
In addition, if you lose weight, then you will actually be working out with less weight, which defeats the purpose if you want to increase your muscle mass.
Adding free weights and barbells are an inexpensive way for you to increase your strength-training intensity. You can purchase this type of strength training equipment at places like Wal-Mart or Target or you can visit a sports equipment store or shop online.
You can also join a gym for your strength training, but this is the most expensive option. Gyms charge monthly fees, new-member fees, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Should I weight train in the morning or evening?
Some studies have shown that lifting weights in the early evening is more beneficial because cortisol levels are lower. With that being said, the best time to weight train is when you feel the most energized and/or have the time to do so.
Are free weights better than machines?
Free weights are better for an overall workout than machines as they require the use of more stabilizer muscles; however, machines are a great addition to a well-rounded exercise routine.
When should I go up in weight?
If your last couple of reps can be done easily and quickly (with good form), then it’s time to increase the weight of your lifts.
Is a weightlifting belt necessary?
A weightlifting belt should only be worn when it’s absolutely necessary — like when you have a very heavy load on your back.
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