HV + Weight Gain

Over the past 2 months of lockdown, i’ve made some of the biggest fitness gains i ever have power wise. i’ve been training about 15-20 hours a week, generally following a HV plan plus filling the rest with Z2. I’ll be honest in that i basically have been eating whatever i want as i figure more fuel the better. I was shocked to weigh myself to find i’ve put on 20lbs! As a result what i thought were fitness gains put me below where i started in wkg. I find it hard to believe i could have been in a 1250 kcal surplus every day for 8 weeks.

Possible something else going on? Best solution from here in terms of macro guidelines? Ideally i’d keep my power gains, but i hear thats not always possible.


I’ve uppped my volume and also put on a bit of weight by doing the same thing that you’ve mentioned. What I’ve noticed is that other than my training, my daily activity level has dropped significantly. I’m now back to tracking my calories and I’ve included a 45 minute walk into my day just to get my away from my desk. I doubt there’s anything going on other than the fact you’re eating more calories than you’re burning. It’s easy to do.


Same here but mid volume. I’m having more casual beers in the evenings which clearly isn’t helping.

Could be an element of increased glycogen (and associated water) storage too…

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As someone said: Weight loss? it’s simple! Move more, eat less.
If you are moving more and putting weight like that, maybe the problem is indeed on the other side of the equation.
Do you have any idea about how your body composition evolved?
Maybe you gained some decent lean mass and an additional two to three pounds just by having your glycogen and water stores always topped off.

Would adapt slightly to “eat better” (i.e., reduce rubbish and focus on quality foods).

Since focusing on diet for the last couple of years, I’m eating more and losing weight. Previously by just eating less, but the same quality, I had struggled.


The caloric balance needs to be consistently negative. There is no way around it. Eating better just makes it healthier and more sustainable.
I am not saying eating “better” is not the way to go but the main aspect is indeed the caloric deficit.


Agreed - though it’s not quite as simplistic as cal in/cal out.

For example, not all calories from high quality foods are utilized by the body (either directly or indirectly by gut microbiota). Nuts being a good example - although calorific, not all cals are used by the body, with a reasonable % of cals being excreted in faeces. 100 cal of nuts is totally different from a 100 cal of white pasta (the later being extracted very easily).

So calculating the cal in/out of what goes in your mouth is pretty easy. Calculating the cal in/out metabolically is different. However, that really is looking at the trees rather than the wood and focusing on the simple cal in/out as you wrote is fine for most people.

Not even getting into the thermogensis of food…


I had a similar experience, to the point where I’m thinking it’s definitely the scale that’s broken. Does make me wonder about these guys that seem to be able to literally eat anything have no issue.

It’s not as simple as that. Your body doesn’t ignore the fact that it’s more active. It will always try to balance the equation. So if you do more exercise you will end up also eating more.

You’ll only eat more if you put more food in your mouth.

We all know that. Though your body does an terrific job to get you to eat.

Assuming you’re fairly lean, I think it makes sense that putting on some weight coincided with big power gains. I imagine if you lost 20 lbs from your old baseline, your power almost certainly would’ve gone down.

I’m only doing MV plus a little extra Z2 and I need to eat a ton while I’m doing this volume (around 550 TSS p/week). But the extra is mainly things like porridge, oatbran, healthy breakfast cereal, rice, pasta, noodles (low fat, high carb). I can eat this til I give myself “tummy trouble” and wouldn’t put on any weight.

Obviously an occasional treat is fine - I probably have a beer/wine/gin every couple of days and more indulgent food at the weekend. Just don’t hammer the really calorific food like crisps, ice cream all the time - I doubt it’s optimal for recovery either!

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It is amazing how much and how fast one can adjust the basal metabolism when in deficit.
This (and different utilisation rates for different foods with the same calories as mentioned above) just make the measurements of the real caloric balance more challenging.

So it is not that simple to improve body composition without spending sometime down deep on some kind of a misery pit.

Nutritionists need to earn their money (which, I should say, is very well deserved)

I’m doing the same thing. Upped my volume significantly. I gained a little weight and am in the process of trimming back down. Part of that is being a hoover vacuum around food early on, eating higher calorie dense foods than normal, and eating more than I was burning. Part of that is water retention. I drink a lot more coffee and tea during the day and especially notice bloating after a weekend of long rides.

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I have gained 12 lbs, appears the workouts have caused me to over fuel, or the lack of movement compared to normal life caused me to burn less. Either way better to start addressing the weight gain now.

So similar to me, regarding the weekend issues.

I lost some weight, then noticed when we did a hard session, which for me - 3min VO2 intervals - and then being sore as hell… that my inflamed muscles added on a kilo literally (of course with other factors but still) to my morning weight, then started going back down again.

I’m not convinced that we all are eating over our in/out and putting fat on, I think it is partially that, but also partially the above, and also perhaps muscle mass increase from monstering ourselves.

Are you sure your scales aren’t broken? Really struggling to see how you could put on that kind of weight while doing that kind of volume, nor how you could do so without even realising! That kind of gain would surely mean clothing and kit fitting differently. I’m easily aware of changes <10lbs, can’t imagine gaining 20 without realising.

If the scales aren’t broken, what’s your weight history? Do you gain very easily? And/or were you super lean before this block, so that your body is now compensating by building up a bit of buffer? When you say that you’ve been eating whatever you want have you really gone to town on calorific, sugary foods?

Seems unlikely there’s an underlying medical condition given that you’ve been coping with and gaining fitness from such high volume, though I’m not a doctor. No way you could gain that much muscle in that timeframe, even if you were doing training that promoted muscle hypertrophy, which high volumes of Z2 certainly doesn’t! Ramping up the volume could trigger a lot of inflammation and associated water retention but after 2 months your body would have adapted to the new load.

In terms of where to go from here the easiest thing is focusing a bit more on quality of nutrition and fuelling the workouts. If your diet is already fairly clean then I simply don’t know how you’ve made that gain!

I posted a similar thread a couple weeks ago. Had a 1500 TSS week (following a number of 800+ weeks), and ended up putting on 7lbs in a few days, and was basically 15lbs over race weight. I hadn’t been 195 in years.

That 7lb jump went away pretty quick, as I guess it was more fluid/inflammation retention. I’ve since tried to be a little more food conscious though in terms of taking a smaller portion for dinner, not snacking quite as much mid-afternoon, eating until feeling satisfied instead of full/stuffed, eating more voluminous foods…while still fueling pre/post workout. Down to 182 now, so 13lbs below that high and about 5-6 below where I consistently was all winter…and feeling better about my ability to go up hills again.

I’ve put in a lot of volume and gained a few pounds, which you could chalk up to plasma volume and glycogen storage.

20 lbs is either broken scale, or you aren’t being honest with yourself about how much you are eating.

Start keeping a food diary.

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