“I didn’t lose any weight last week but I’ve been lifting weights for 4 weeks now so I’ll have put some muscle on and muscle weighs more than fat…won’t I…doesn’t it?”
I hear this all the time, mainly from females, so let me clear up a few points.
1, How much does a female with a LOT of muscle and fairly low body fat weigh? Let’s look at two of the biggest female Crossfit athletes:
Sam Briggs: 5ft 6 | 9 stone 12 62kg
5ft 6: 150lbs | 10 stone 10 68kg
So, do you have muscles like Sam or Lyndsey? If the answer is no, then chances are that your extra weight is fat.
2, Unless you’re on steroids, you’re unlikely to put on significant muscle weight in 4 weeks. If you’re new to lifting and you train hard for 12 months, 4-5 days a week and eat properly 7 days a week, then you might make “newbie gains” of around 7lbs in that year…if you’re lucky and have very good genetics. So, if you’ve not lost weight or have put on weight then it’s unlikely to be down to muscle gain.
So, what can you do if you’re not losing weight? Well, you could start by asking yourself these questions.
A, How much do people who look like I want to look weigh?
It depends on what you want to look like. Here are some examples:
Jennifer Anniston: 5 foot 4 | 7.5 to 8 stones
Emily Skye: 5 foot 7 | 8.5 stones
B, Am I within 5-10% of my target weight (see question A)?
If the answer is yes then it might be better to forget weight as a measure of progress and use bodyfat, body measurements and progress pictures to track your progress. If you’re outside 10% of your ideal weight then weight is a good way to measure progress because, no matter what people say about not focusing on the scales, if you weigh 100kg then you are going to lose weight as you move towards your goal!
So, let’s get real. If you have weight to lose then set a realistic goal and keep working at it until you’ve reached it. Then set another goal!