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Does Gaining Muscle Make You Gain Weight?

According to research, workouts reduce the risk of cardiac diseases and type 2 diabetes by 60% and 50%, respectively. However, most people want to lose weight and not gain it when they work out. Unfortunately, that does not happen every time. And a thought crosses your mind: Does gaining muscle make you gain weight? Of course, but this is not something to worry about.

If the pounds on the scale are not dropping, there are high chances that your workout practice is producing lean mass or dry mass and not fats. So you will still be able to see positive changes in your body even if you are gaining weight instead of losing it.

Alternatively, if you are working out to gain mass or muscles, you are on the right track. However, before you decide to change your exercise or diet, it would be best to consult a doctor or a nutritionist regardless of your goals.

Additionally, you can also solicit the help of an online calorie counter to monitor your daily diet and nutrition intake. Finally, did you know that more than 50% of smartphone users in the U.S. have downloaded at least one fitness application on their phones?

Naturally, your body undergoes several changes for the first 20 to 25 days when you start to work out. This is because a new exercise routine puts strain on your muscle strings that can source small diminutive tears, commonly known as diminutive trauma and some soreness. These conditions in the muscle strings are the sole reason for gaining weight after working out.

Why Does Gaining Muscle Make You Gain Weight?

Let’s say you have been working out hard at the fitness center and sticking to a healthy diet, and still, you see a higher number when you step up at the weighing scale. You don’t need to panic! Thousands of people have run into the mysterious problem of gaining weight after working out; it is quite common, and you are not alone.

You do not need to be concerned that you might not be practicing the exercises accurately, that the workout does not suit you, or maybe you are at the wrong place. You are not! To answer “does gaining muscle make you gain weight,” there are several factors to reflect on for weight loss. Let us look at those:

1. Water Retention

When physical activity increases, your body will experience natural and unordinary changes. Physical exercises will lead to swelling or small tears in your muscle strings as you build a muscular physique.

Small tears are exactly what they sound like – minor tears in your muscle strings. If your body is engaged in an exercise sequencer involving strength drills, mass training, or resistance training, you are tapping your muscle tissues under strain.

Each time you increase the weight and life a bit heavy or add an extra set, you stimulate your muscles and trigger them to tear. The additional weight you lift causes strain, leading to small tears reconstructed by your muscle cells.

The process of reconstruction helps you shape muscle, physique, and strength. Of course, muscle mass gain is a good thing, but your body will counter this tenderness by retaining water for the moment, which can cause the water weight in your body to increase. And that is perfectly fine to let your body reconcile.

It would be best to drink a sufficient amount of water, eat healthily, watch for your sodium intake and get sound sleep. Your water intake should see at least half of your body mass in ounces as a general guideline. For example, if your weight is 170 pounds, your water intake shall be 85 ounces per day.

However, you need to remember that the water weight is provisional and will go away with time. So you need to be patient and don’t over-stress yourself. Water weight is necessary to repair your body, and the composition will be back to normal as soon as the tissues are repaired.

2. Glycogen Conversion

Once you start regular exercise, your body supplies more glycogen to power the additional movement. This helps your body supply energy to your muscles by transforming the glycogen, or carbohydrates, into glucose—the glycogen then mixes with the water in your body to power the muscles.

Once the routine is set for additional exercises, your muscles will develop more efficiently, and they will need less glucose to preserve your energy. As a result, your muscles will hold less water, and the added weight will come off!

3. Hypercaloric Diets

A significant reason behind mysterious weight gain is overeating due to post-training starvation. However, you can’t exercise and lose weight with a poor diet. To lose some pounds, you must have a calorie shortage. Though it can be hard to monitor calories in every meal you eat, you need to log your meals at least twice a week to count the calorie intake.

If you are intaking more calories than you are losing while working out, that will cause your body to gain weight after a workout instead of losing it. However, this can put you in a complicated situation because you may starve on the days you perform the intense workout, depending on your exercise plan.

In that case, you do not need to curtail additional calories from your meals because this won’t help, and it is not healthy or sustainable. While fewer calories are significant to losing weight, appropriately power your body for the workout.

You can subtract additional calories from sweets and appetizers, but you need to keep track of the protein and energy requirements while focusing on eating healthy meals. A few minor modifications to your meal intake can make a huge transformation.

In addition, try exchanging red meat for extra protein, ice cream for fruits, and heavy fats for beneficial fats. Finally, it would be best to eat less processed meals like fast food and add more complete meals to smoothen your diet.

4. Time

Weight loss is a nonlinear action, and the results could be time-consuming and delayed irrespective of your efforts. You did not gain 25 pounds instantaneously, so you cannot think of losing it overnight.

A human body is an absurd machine. When one introduces it to a relatively new thing, such as workout or nutritional changes, their body requires calibration and making modifications. Depending on the body type, it can take weeks and sometimes even months to modify.

It would be best to let your body stabilize through water preservation, calorie consumption, breakdown rate, and exercise, and you will start to get outcomes towards your weight goal.

5. Other Health Issues

Causal health issues or medical circumstances can also trigger unpredicted or abrupt weight gain. Exercises require power and energy. While you might focus more on the protein you are taking, it can be a glycogen that instantly powers your muscles for a workout.

6. Muscle Gains

Muscle gain is heavier than fat gain, and you will certainly gain weight from even thinner muscle gains. So while the clothes you wear may feel loose, the weight scale may tell you otherwise. However, this shall be considered a win!

An ounce of lean muscle gain and an ounce of body fat tissue weighs similar but take up different amounts of space in the body. Take an example of a pound of feathers compared to a pound of marbles. One would take less space, and the other might take twice the space as the first.

So, while muscle mass and fat mass weigh the same on the weight scale, they will appear differently on your body. A pound of muscle mass will also burn more calories than a pound of fat mass, so muscle mass is certainly the gift that keeps on giving!

7. Supplement Use

Post-exercise diet or supplement use may also result in heavily gaining weight after working out. Prolonged endurance workouts like running or pedaling reduce the glucose levels in the body. It is very common for skilled sportspersons and athletes to intake supplement drinks that comprise several carbohydrates after the workout.

Though carbohydrates help to reestablish muscle glycogen, at least four grams of water is retained for each gram of glucose stored in the body. As a result, stored water increases and can cause water weight to rise following your exercise. Certainly, this post-exercise effect does not only apply to carbohydrate supplements.


Gaining weight is much more complex than it may look, and the weight scale does not always provide the correct information you require – particularly in the short term when swift weight increase can appear like an issue.

However, you should not get disheartened if you gain weight initially. It is more important to invest in your health, intake a healthy diet, and work out regularly, and the best way to monitor your results is how you feel. Instead of concentrating on the number of pounds you have gained or lost, you must ask yourself a few questions:

▪ Did you cut off junk food?

▪ Do you feel more positive energy?

▪ Do you have a sound sleep? Is lack of sleep not a problem for you anymore?

▪ Have you been stimulated beyond bodyweight exercises and started using weights?

If the answer to all the questions mentioned above is yes, you have taken the steps towards a healthy workout and the question “does gaining muscle make you gain weight” shall no more be an issue.

You will start losing weight as soon as your body absorbs the dietary intake and exercises. Alternatively, a muscle takes more space in your body than fat and is a gift when you are new to the workout.


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