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Can Gaining Muscle Make You Gain Weight?

author image Lynne Sheldon
Lynne Sheldon has over 12 years of dance experience, both in studios and performance groups. She is an avid runner and has studied several types of yoga. Sheldon now works as a freelance writer, editor and book reviewer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and art history from Boston University and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University.
Can Gaining Muscle Make You Gain Weight?
Two women are lifting weights. Photo Credit fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

If you add a regular amount of exercise to your routine, you will build more lean muscle in your body. While this can help you lose pounds, it may also cause you to gain them. Depending on your current weight and fitness goals, gaining weight with muscle may or may not be what you are after. By making the necessary adjustments to your workout routine, you can get your body to the weight you desire.

Muscle and Fat

Muscle tissue weighs more than fat, and as you add more lean muscle to your body, you may notice the number on the scale going up. While your muscles will increase in size, your body will probably look more toned, and your clothes may even get a bit looser. It is important to keep in mind that your body fat percentage and composition play a larger role in your health than your total weight.

Exercise to Gain

Performing strength-training exercises is the best way to gain muscle and weight. If this is your goal, you should begin lifting weights and doing exercises that work major muscle groups, such as your chest, back, legs, arms and abdomen. This way, you will build muscle all over your body and get a more toned-looking physique, while also gaining pounds. Weight-lifting routines should include at least one exercise per muscle group in each session, if not two or three, and you should progress to doing two to three sets of four to eight repetitions of each exercise. After you can complete this amount, increase the number of sets and reps to continue gaining weight and muscle.

Exercise to Lose

It is possible to gain muscle without gaining weight as well. When you exercise regularly, you build lean muscle tissue and lose fat. This will rev up your metabolism, since muscle uses up more calories than fat does, even when you are not moving. The best way to drop pounds is to exercise at least 30 minutes a day and to perform a combination of aerobic and weight-training activities each week. A personal trainer can help you come up with a workout plan to both lose weight and gain muscle.

Additional Considerations

Check with your doctor before you begin any exercise regimen, and also discuss any concerns you have with her. Whether you are trying to gain, lose or maintain your weight, she can offer pointers on how to go about doing this through exercise. Also, remember that your diet plays a large role in your body weight. A nutritionist can help you come up with a meal plan that is in line with your health and fitness goals.

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