Does Muscle Gain Equal Weight Gain?

Bodybuilding magazines and supplement marketers will have you believe you can gain a significant amount of muscle mass that will cause your bodyweight to increase simply by working out and eating some special foods/supplements.

Big, Strong, FAT!

If you re-read that sentence the key point is the difference between gaining MUSCLE vs gaining WEIGHT.

Adding muscle to your body doesn’t necessarily mean adding a significant amount of weight.

If if were true that constantly working out with increasingly heavier weights caused you to gain bodyweight there would be no such thing as weight classes in power lifting or olympic lifting.

In other words, if everyone worked out enough and gained enough weight wouldn’t everyone be in the heavyweight category?

Or is the truth that the degree of muscle mass we can carry is limited by our height and somatotype and no matter how much we workout we’ll level off at a very predictable bodyweight for our given height.

To review, here are the weight classes for olympic weight lifting and power lifting. All classes have competitors of similar training experience and age…this is good proof that there are tight limits to the size any of us can get to.

Olympic lifting weight classes for men:

56 kg (123 lb), 62 kg (137 lb), 69 kg (152 lb), 77 kg (170 lb), 85 kg (187 lb), 94 kg (207 lb), 105 kg (231 lb), and over 105 kg;

Power lifting weight classes for men:

Men: 52kg, 56kg, 60kg, 67.5kg, 75kg, 82.5kg, 90kg, 100kg, 110kg, 125kg, 125kg +

The heavier competitors are typically taller and fatter than the lighter ones.

This is also why bodyweight is a rather useless indicator of muscle size.