Exciting news for everyone today! I have the pleasure of welcoming a new guest writer to the site that I hope to have here more than once! Today’s article was written by the talented Ashleigh Hubbard, who’s had tremendous insight with weight gain and weight cuts. I will save a long intro for another post so be on the lookout for that! Please go and check out her own website to find more content by her!
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In today’s society, you rarely hear about people wanting or trying to gain weight. Most people are looking to be smaller or weigh less, especially if you’re a female (gender stereotype but mostly true). There are pros and cons that come with weight gain just like anything else, and the cons are mostly just psychological.
Despite social norms, there ARE benefits to weight gain especially in sports of strength such as Olympic Weightlifting or Powerlifting because mass moves mass. Even in the sport of Bodybuilding, gaining weight is essentially for putting on more muscle mass to improve your previous show’s physique.
– getting stronger with newly added muscle mass
– more energy (because you’re eating more)
– probably less irritable if you’re used to constant dieting
– higher hormone regulation
– faster recovery
– feeling heaver during bodyweight movements
– psychological stress of being “bigger”
There could probably be some more cons that some people would think of, but those are all issues in themselves rather than actual cons of healthy weight gain.
What is healthy weight gain?
Healthy weight gain to me is done slowly to prevent excess fat mass being added along with muscle mass and other tissue mass. When you gain weight, some of that tissue mass is going to be fat mass. It’s inevitable. If someone tells you they gained 5lbs of pure muscle, that’s scientifically incorrect. I’ve personally gained weight intentionally with the help of a coach, and it was my coach’s goal for me to be gaining .5-1b per week on average. This was slow enough for me to put on the amount that I needed to in a healthy way without gaining too quickly. A heavier male may want to do 1-1.5lb per week if he has more to gain. When I gained, it roughly 10lbs over a period of 4 months.
Struggles with weight gain:
I can’t finish this post without talking about the psychological struggles of intentional weight gain. If you’re familiar with any sort of dieting, the goal is to get smaller, weigh less, and lose body fat. Weight gain is literally the exact opposite of this. It is really hard, and it was for me personally as well, to see yourself getting bigger on a weekly basis. It’s hard to weigh in daily or 3x per week and see the scale go up. It’s hard feeling like you’re more “blubbery” or “fluffy”.
Having a purpose of why you’re gaining the weight will almost always bring you back down to more logistical thinking. When I was gaining weight, I was only doing olympic weightlifting, not CrossFit. I knew I needed to get stronger in certain areas and I knew this weight gain was enhancing my performance, therefore I learned to accept it and be okay with it. Plus, I was getting to eat a LOT of food.. lucky charms every night, woohoo! JK.. but seriously.
& lastly, no one really gives a rat’s tail about what your bodyweight is. Quite frankly, no one cares about your abs either… except you. I’m speaking to myself here, too, because I struggled with this! At the end of the day, if what you are doing is only enhancing your performance and life, why is it so bad?! Don’t be so hard on yourself. Most people don’t even notice a 5-10lb weight gain on someone else. What they WILL notice is how you treat people, your enhanced performance, your (probably) enhanced mood, and your character. 🙂