Fit Knowledge

Does Weightlifting Make You Gain Weight? 

Does weightlifting make you gain weight? Let’s find out why the number on the scales is going up. 

For many women who’ve start exercising, you might be surprised or even disheartened to see the number on the scales go up instead of down when you start lifting weights. Don’t be!! 

The number on the scales is definitely not a reflection of your health, fitness and progress in your weightlifting workouts, so don’t be disheartened! 

Instead, let’s take a look at why you might see weight gain from strength training. 

Does Weightlifting Make you Gain Weight: Reasons Why You May Have Gained Weight

There are some key reasons you may find you may have gained wait since you’ve started your weightlifting training. We’ve rounded them all up below. Check it out:

Muscle gain

If you’ve been consistently weight training for a few weeks, it may be that your weight has increased. So does weightlifting make you gain weight?

On some occasions, it can make you gain weight. But don’t let it put you off weight lifting! 

Rather than gaining fat, it’s very likely you’ll be gaining muscle mass from the workouts, which are specifically designed to do just that. 

At the exact same time, it’s entirely possible that your fat levels are dropping, while your muscles are getting stronger. And, because muscle mass is more dense than fat, this means you may notice fat loss, but still put weight on when it comes  to the scales. 

So, as we said, don’t let this put you off weight lifting or make you think you’re not doing something right. Changes in body composition and improved health and fitness levels are about more than what’s on the scales. 

Instead, look in the mirror and you’ll see the difference to your body. It’s entirely possible to lose fat, fit into a smaller pair of jeans and weigh slightly more! If you see a healthier, more toned woman looking back at you from the mirror then that’s an amazing thing, and really, you should get rid of those scales! Because the numbers really don’t matter. 

[Related Article: Muscle Gain for Women – 6 Game-Changing Things to Try]


If you’re working out more, you may be feeling hungrier, giving yourself permission to have a treat because you did a training session and even snacking more between meals. While it is important to ensure you’re fueling your body when you’re expending more calories, it’s important you do it correctly.

With that in mind, make sure you’re eating a balanced, healthy diet that supports what you’re doing in the gym in the best possible way. 

We’ve written up an article on how to calculate how many calories you should be consuming, along with how much carbohydrate, protein and fats you should be including too check it out here. Get your diet right, and you should be able to promote lean muscle development, and help drop the fat, just as we said above! 

Bear in mind though, if you are promoting muscle, you may see a weight gain, but as this is supporting a healthy lifestyle and comes as a result of boosting your fitness levels, it’s a really positive thing. 

As we said above, don’t rely on the scales! Look in the mirror and you’ll see positive change. 

[Related Article: The Best Way to Tone Up Your Body]

Water Weight

The amount of water your body retains can really fluctuate depending on a range of things you’ve done in that day. If you’ve had a salty meal, your body will hold more water. Whereas if you’ve avoided salty food and drank plenty, you’ll find that you won’t hold as much. 

This can impact your weight at different times and could be one of the reasons you can gain weight from strength training. 

Your water weight can even be impacted by stress. The stress hormone cortisol can often lead to water retention which could also cause your weight to fluctuate slightly. 

Of course, water retention and water weight varies depending on a range of factors. While it can cause small changes, it wouldn’t make you gain large amounts of weight, so it’s worth being aware of that too. 

We’d definitely avoid weighing yourself after a cheat meal, because you may in fact have gained a little through water retention, but it’s highly unlikely it would’ve derailed your progress, so don’t worry about it! 

[Related Article: Is it Harder for Women to Gain Muscle Size?]

The Weight Loss and Strength Training – What are the Benefits? 

While we’ve said below, it is possible that you could gain muscle weight from weightlifting as your body composition changes when you lose fat and gain muscle. 

However, in reality, weightlifting is actually one of the best long term solutions to losing weight and keeping it off. 

Because muscle is quite dense, it requires more energy (calories) to fuel it in your day to day life. That means that, while your workouts help you burn more calories, just having that extra muscle will mean you burn more calories day-to-day too. 

This makes it one of the best ways to tone up and drop fat. 

Furthermore, there are a huge range of health benefits to having more muscle on your body. Whether that’s increased bone strength due to better support from the muscles or even less back pain and better posture,the value of having muscle on your body for your health is immense. It can even improve your hear health and circulation! 

[Related Article: Fitness Motivation for Females: Our Top 10 Tips!]

So, Does Weightlifting Make You Gain Weight? 

Well, it can. If your body is changing and you’re dropping fat and gaining muscle, you may see the number on the scales go up a little. 

So what? 

Take a look in the mirror and if you see a healthy person, who’s fitness levels are improving and you’re fitting into those new jeans you bought, then the number on the scale really doesn’t matter. 

And, as we’ve discussed, weightlifting could actually be your most effective solution to weight loss in the long term! 

So, we certainly wouldn’t write off weightlifting if you’ve seen a slight increase in your weight. Check your diet, check what you see in the mirror and if you’re happy with your progress, you’ll find things are changing for the better! 

Ready to try some workouts?? Check out these guides to get you started!

Or, you can head to the workouts section of our website and take your pick of the free workouts available to you. Furthermore, we’ve written up some plans, so you can have a huge range of workouts, specifically designed to help you achieve certain goals, right at your fingertips. Visit our store to find out more. 


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button