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  1. #1
    Registered User TrineBulks's Avatar
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    Is it possible to lose muscle while being able to lift heavier?

    I am not entirely sure if I have placed this in the correct forum - i apoligize in advance, if I should have posted it somewhere ells. Anyhow, here it goes. I am 173 cm and weigh around 52 kilos. I have a very low fat percentage - i would estimate it to be around 10. The body scanner in my fitness center calculates it to be around six and has done so for the past year, but i think that sounds unrealistically low. I usually lift three days in a row split between legs, arms and abs and then i have a rest day. I have cut all cardio, but i still ride my bike and go for quite long walks almost every day. As i am underweight i am trying to gain weight and have been for a while. I would prefer to put on both muscle and fat. So far it is going it is going slow, but steady. Last week I was suprised, though. I am weighing myself every 10 days to track my progress and for this i use the bodyscanner. According to the bodyscanner i had lost muscle - about 700 grams. I had not lost any actual bodyweight, only muscle, so according to the machine my weight had transformed from muscle to fat i guess. I have been training exactly like i usually do and been eaten as i always to - a vegan diet that consits of about 2500 kcal with a heavy focus on protein and fat. The thing that makes me confused is, that by my results I can see, I am getting stronger - i am beating my own squat record quite often and I just hit a new goal in leg press. Does it make any sense that i would have lost muscle mass? my husband thinks that my body simply managed to build som fat and just did if, when the opportunity arrised. I dont know - what should I be aware of? More rest days? Eat more?
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  2. #2
    Gaintaining Mrpb's Avatar
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    The machine you're using (BIA) is very inaccurate. It can only make a wild guess as to how much muscle you have. I suggest completely ignoring it, also for your body fat %.

    If you're trying to gain weight with relatively little fat you should be gaining 0.5 to 1 kg per month.
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    The machine you're using (BIA) is very inaccurate. It can only make a wild guess as to how much muscle you have. I suggest completely ignoring it, also for your body fat %.

    If you're trying to gain weight with relatively little fat you should be gaining 0.5 to 1 kg per month.
    Agreed, also weigh yourself at least once per week on actual scales rather than the scanner
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    Stop the cardio and eat more carbs if you want to bulk up.
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    Registered User TrineBulks's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies

    Yep, already cut out cardio a couple of months ago as it slowed down my bulk as ****. You are right about those carbs, though (and that should be easu as a vegan, lol). I tried to post a reply before - forgive me if this question is posted double, but I can not find my own reply (i just joined the forum today, so I am still kind of a noob). Is growth in strenght = growth in muscle mass? As in: when I know for a fact I can lift more kilos than i could in the past, will that translaste to that I have more muscle mass now?
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    Here's an indication for muscle growth: getting stronger in the ~6-10 rep range across multiple sets.

    For example: say you can now do 5 body weight pull ups on your first set, then 5 and 4. Three months later you can do 9 reps, 8, 8. This is an indication that you gained muscle.
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    Chihuahua in the rain Corbets's Avatar
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    The answer to your question is: usually.

    Generally, if you’re TRULY getting stronger (and not just more adept at pushing yourself), then yes, you’re gaining muscle.

    However, particularly at the beginning of a weightlifting career, you get neuromuscular adaptations which can translate into your nervous system more effectively activating the muscle you have. That means you can get stronger without actually building muscle. But that’s really only relevant in your first year or so of real training.
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    Registered User TheUnderdog83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Corbets View Post
    The answer to your question is: usually.

    Generally, if you’re TRULY getting stronger (and not just more adept at pushing yourself), then yes, you’re gaining muscle.

    However, particularly at the beginning of a weightlifting career, you get neuromuscular adaptations which can translate into your nervous system more effectively activating the muscle you have. That means you can get stronger without actually building muscle. But that’s really only relevant in your first year or so of real training.
    This is true, however in your first year of lifting your muscle is also growing at the fastest rate, so typically those happen simultaneously. What you’re saying is true though. It is possible to lift more without gaining muscle, working on form does that, also you’ll get good gains when you start new lifts simply from central nervous system adaptions. However, one of the best factors to determine muscle growth is the ability to lift more.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by Corbets View Post
    Generally, if you’re TRULY getting stronger (and not just more adept at pushing yourself), then yes, you’re gaining muscle.
    Doesn't apply to 1rm lifts. And doesn't necessarily apply when the strength gains are only on one set.

    Getting stronger in the medium rep ranges across multiple sets is a better indication of muscle growth.
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    Yes it's possible. Much of strength and power is due to neural efficiency and not just muscle mass.
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