Weight gain from strength: realistic fat/muscle proportions?

I’ve taken up weight training this off-season, for the first time in my life. After 5 weeks and 10 sessions, I weighed myself and found that I’d added 2kg. My Withings scale tells me that 1.2kg of that is lean mass and 0.8kg is fat.

Allowing for the potential for inaccuracy, are those reasonable proportions for weight gain? Could I be gaining that muscle without adding as much fat?

(I have no issue with adding weight in general, my BMI has gone from 19 to 19.5 so I’m still very lean - just hoping that the extra muscle mass will increase my top-end power and core strength in next year’s racing.)

You can actually expect to make quite a bit of newbie gains in the first few weeks alongside neuromascular adaption.
I can’t tell you whether it’s all muscle. Only a Dexa scan could and even those are often not accurate enough to let you read too much into a 2kg weight gain.

To be clear, I’m asking what is the biggest realistic proportion of weight gain to come from muscle mass.

My scales say my weight gain is 60/40 muscle/fat - could I be gaining weight more “efficiently”?

Is this an average over this period or just two times of weighing? If it’s just two data points (before and after) I wouldn’t trust those numbers anyway.

As for your actual questing, I don’t really know the awnser. But I guess if your body fat % is let’s say 13%, you wouldn’t want to gain more then 13% in fat compared to what you gain in muscle.

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Yes, it’s just two data points. You’re right, I’ll have a clearer picture after a few more days of measuring.

Water. You’ve probably accumulated mostly water. Realistic muscle gains would be in the vicinity of about 7-8kg/year. As far as I’ve read online people tend to land at about 7-8kg/6 months of bodybuilding. But that all depends on how hard you’re training and more specifically how you’re training. 10 sessions isn’t very much though so I’d say you’ve probably added less than half a pound on these weeks. But no one knows except if you do a DEXA. :man_shrugging:

Is that weight gain through water a by-product of the training, or are we talking about the natural fluctuations of water levels?

I always weigh myself first thing in the morning when I tend to be less hydrated.

Yes is’t caused by training. You’re now exposing yourself and your body to new type of stress and water retention is a natural part of the body’s defensive mechanism. I’ve always experienced gained weight when I start weight training and even more when I target hypertrophy instead of strength gains.


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Thanks for the info. I’ll keep going with it and see where I am after another 10 sessions, and another 10, etc etc.

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Yeah I know the process and it’s long. However if you’re in good shape you’ll be able to see your body change within two months so it’s a really motivating type of training.

Here are my stats for 1 year of weight training:

Oct ‘18 - 167 lbs (76kg) 12.7% BF on the Dexa
Oct ‘19 - 185 lbs (84kg) 13.5% BF on the Dexa

So fat mass increased by 3.8 lbs and muscle mass increased by 14.2 lbs.

My watts to kg has gone up about .5 k/kg over the same time period. That’s a bit sad because my raw watts at FTP are up a bunch (70).

I’m a much more powerful rider but I can definitely feel the extra weight up the climbs. Given all that I know today I don’t think I would change anything in terms of adding weight training and muscle weight to my frame. Definitely looks better on me than I was expecting.