Debunking the Myth: Does Weightlifting Actually Make You Gain Weight?

Weightlifting is a great way to achieve your desired muscle mass. But does weightlifting make you gain weight? The short answer is yes. However, it’s not as simple as just packing on pounds.

When you lift weights, you’re breaking down muscle tissue, which then repairs and grows back stronger. This process requires energy, and your body will burn calories to fuel it. If you’re eating enough to support your workouts and muscle growth, you may see the number on the scale go up. However, this weight gain is likely due to an increase in muscle mass, not fat.

Weightlifting and Weight Gain

So how do the two correlate? Doesn’t burning calories lead to weight loss instead? Read our elaboration on the following points:

How Weightlifting Affects Your Body

When you lift weights, your body undergoes a series of changes. Weightlifting stimulates the growth of muscle tissue, which can increase your overall body weight. Additionally, weightlifting can increase bone density, which can also contribute to weight gain.

Muscle vs. Fat

Muscle simply weighs more than fat, so it is possible to gain weight while losing fat through weightlifting. Don’t be surprised when you see that you gain more weight, instead. As you build muscle, your body composition will shift, and you may notice that you look leaner and more toned, even if your overall weight remains the same.

Calories Burned During Weightlifting

Weightlifting burns calories, but not as many as cardio exercises like running or cycling. However, weightlifting can increase your metabolism, which means that you will continue to burn calories even after your workout is over.

Factors That Affect Weight Gain

Several factors can influence whether weightlifting leads to weight gain. For example, your diet plays a significant role in determining whether you gain weight or lose weight. Should you consume more calories than you burn, you will naturally gain weight, regardless of whether you lift weights or not. Additionally, genetics, age, and hormone levels can all affect how your body responds to weightlifting.

Benefits of Weightlifting

If you lift weights, you are entitled to the following benefits:

Increased Muscle Mass

When you lift weights, your muscles are put under stress, which causes tiny tears in the muscle fibers. As your body repairs these tears, your muscles become stronger and larger. This means more muscle mass, which can help you burn more calories at rest and improve your overall physique.

Improved Metabolism

Weightlifting can also help improve your metabolism. As you build more muscle mass, your body requires more energy to maintain that muscle. This means that your body will be burning more calories at rest, even when you’re not exercising.

Additionally, weightlifting can help increase your insulin sensitivity, which can help regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

In addition to improving your metabolism, weightlifting can also help reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Studies have shown that weightlifting can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and improve your bone density.


Additionally, weightlifting can help improve your balance and coordination, which can help reduce your risk of falls and other injuries as you age.

Psychological Benefits

Weightlifting can also have a number of psychological benefits. For one, it can help boost your self-confidence and self-esteem as you see improvements in your strength and physique.

Additionally, weightlifting can be a great stress reliever, helping you to feel more relaxed and calm after a workout. Finally, weightlifting can help improve your overall mood and mental health, as exercise has been shown to release endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in the brain.

Overall, weightlifting can be an incredibly beneficial form of exercise, helping you to build muscle mass, improve your metabolism, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and boost your psychological well-being.

How to Incorporate Weightlifting into Your Routine

If you’re looking to begin weightlifting, look no further than the following points below!

Creating a Weightlifting Plan

To incorporate weightlifting into your routine, you need to create a plan that works for you. Start by determining how many days per week you can commit to weightlifting. Schedule to do it at least two days per week to see results.

Then, decide on the muscle groups you want to target and choose exercises that work those muscles. It’s essential to include compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses in your plan, as they work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

Next, choose the number of sets and reps for each exercise. Beginners should only start with just one to two sets of twelve to fifteen reps per exercise. As you grow stronger than ever, you can increase the number of sets and reps. Rest between sets is also crucial.

Aim for thirty to ninety seconds of rest between sets to allow your muscles to recover.

Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to weightlifting, it’s essential to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Begin with lighter weights and focus on proper form and technique. Incorrect form can lead to injuries, so it’s crucial to learn the correct technique from the beginning.

It’s also essential to warm up before each workout. A proper warm-up can help prevent injuries and prepare your muscles for the workout ahead. Begin with ten minutes of cardio, followed by dynamic stretching exercises that target the muscles you’ll be working.

Finally, don’t forget to cool down after your workout. This can include static stretching exercises that help reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility. Remember to know your limits and adjust your plan as needed. Consistency is key, so stick with your weightlifting plan to see results.


In conclusion, weightlifting can help you gain weight, but not necessarily body fat. By increasing muscle mass, weightlifting can lead to an increase in overall weight, but this weight gain is usually a positive change.

Keep in mind that weightlifting alone may not be enough to cause significant weight gain. Proper nutrition and rest are also essential components of muscle growth.

If your goal is to gain weight, incorporating weightlifting into your fitness routine can be an effective strategy. However, if you’re concerned about gaining too much body fat, it’s important to monitor your calorie intake and focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods.

Overall, weightlifting can be a valuable tool for achieving your weight gain goals, but it’s important to approach it with a balanced and informed perspective.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about weightlifting and weight gain:

Will weightlifting make you gain weight?

Weightlifting can cause weight gain due to muscle growth, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will gain weight. When you lift weights, your muscles experience micro-tears, which then repair themselves and grow stronger.

This process requires energy, and if you consume more calories than you burn, you may gain weight. However, weightlifting can also increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories and potentially lose weight.

Can weightlifting make you bulky?

Weightlifting can make you bulky if that is your goal and you consume enough calories to support muscle growth. However, most people won’t become bulky without specifically training for it and consuming a calorie surplus. Additionally, genetics play a role in muscle growth, so some people may have a harder time gaining muscle mass than others.

Should you do cardio or weightlifting for weight loss?

Both cardio and weightlifting can be effective for weight loss, but weightlifting can have additional benefits. Weightlifting can increase muscle mass, which can increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising.

Additionally, weightlifting can help you maintain muscle mass while losing weight, which can help prevent a decrease in metabolism.

How often should you lift weights?

The frequency of weightlifting depends on your goals and experience level. Beginners may benefit from lifting weights two to three times a week, while more experienced lifters may lift four to six times a week.

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