I hear this all the time, “I have been lifting weights for a while now and the scale hasn’t budged…”
In order for us to understand why this happens I want to share this with you:
A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. But the body fat is more "fluffy" and the muscle is more "dense and compact." Muscles take up less space in your body, so body weight may go up as you add compact, tight muscle mass.
When we start lifting weights we are building muscle and losing fat. So while the scale may not move we will start to feel our pants loosen and we will experience other changes as well.
Do you see these pictures here? I weigh about the same in both pictures.
Time to throw your scale away, right?
The scale is not a good measure of our progress when we are trying to build muscle and get lean. But if you are not ready to give up the number on the scale then you might as well just forget about building muscle. If you are only focused on seeing that number drop and not ready to see and experience the other changes that are being made then you are missing out. You need to decide for yourself if the number on the scale is more important than the way you feel.
When we decide to lift heavy weights and change our bodies we start to see progress through a different lens:
- Lifting weights changes our shape adding the “toned” curves that are so attractive.
- We start to see that definition as we build muscle and lose fat.
- Our clothes start to fit better.
- We have more energy and we are stronger!
- We feel empowered and confident.
So does lifting weights make you gain weight?
No. Lifting will actually help us lose fat and build muscle. The number on the scale may not reflect a result that you desire if you are basing your progress solely on the scale number. We know now that we must measure our progress using other ways. Try a measuring tape, progress photos, or the many other NSV we should be aware of. Read about the NSV we should be celebrating here!
To really experience the full benefit of lifting weights ditch the scale and add strength training into your workout routine. It can be so simple and enjoyable! The plan that I use for myself and with all my clients who are ready to start using weights in their workouts is my easy to follow strength training program Simply Stronger. You can learn more HERE!