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Can muscle soreness cause a stall in weight loss?

I am a 37 yr female who loves lifting and strength training. I have encountered this problem in the past and cannot find a true answer to this question...

I have just started the 4HB this week (monday) and have lost 2lbs so far. Let me also add that I am in my "weight range" and only need to lose around 10lbs or so. I have not only did a 360 on my diet but I have also changed my workout routine. As to be expected, I am VERY sore. This morning I noticed no change on the scale. I am also the most sore I have been all week. Does anyone know if muscle soreness causes an increase of fluid retention? And if so, would that should up as a temporary stall on the scale?


The Best Answer

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First of all, *high five* fellow weight lifting loving female!

I am assuming it was some weight training that caused this soreness? I am finishing up The New Rules of Lifting for Women program and in the book they warn against weighing yourself much when you start lifting (or start doing something new) because it can cause serious water retention in your muscles. I have experienced this personally, the area is sore and somewhat "tight" feeling and it may even seem like your muscles grew overnight but it's just water!

Lastly, don't weigh yourself everyday!! It will make you insane, especially for those of us who don't have much to lose because the noise is going to drown out any daily losses anyway. I know it's hard but RESIST. Weigh yourself the morning of cheat day under the same conditions every week (ex: after waking and peeing but before drinking water). If you must, you can take a couple weights in the day or two before cheat day and use the average.

  • jsgitnalong commented Feb 10th 2012:

    Yes! Wieght lifting rocks! I started with golds gym about 2 years ago in the "body pump" and did that for about 1 1/2 years. I really bulit some nice muscle tone! I moved on to working it on my own, and WOW there is so much stuff out there. I have done good considering... I have increased my lifting weight up significantly, but I am still in the "lower weight, multi rep" frame of mind. I would love any suggestions if you got'em!

  • Seriously commented Feb 10th 2012:

    I would highly recommend the New Rules of Lifting for Women as an introduction into heavy lifting and free weights. It's a seven stage program based on moves that use your whole body: squats, deadlifts, chin ups, push-ups and so on. It really helped me get over my fear of the weight room and made me realize that women can lift like men, be strong and look awesome. I am about to finish up the program and will probably move onto another program now that I am more comfortable with lifting but would definitely do this one again!

    See if they have it at your library (most have it) and look it over!

All Answers


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Lifting weights can lead to water retention in the muscles. Drink more water, try Epsom salt balths and consider limiting your weight routine to 2x's a week.

  • Seriously commented Feb 9th 2012:

    Epsom salt baths are AMAZING.

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