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Muscle gain anecdotes

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  • Muscle gain anecdotes

    I would love to hear anecdotes from those of you who gained muscle weight when starting heavy weight training and PB.

    Specifically, how much muscle weight and how fast.

    Thank you so much!

  • #2
    Muscle weight?

    Are you trying to gain mass or are you afraid of gaining "scale weight" due to weight training? I'm only asking because you're a girl and I've too often heard girls I know say "I don't lift weights because they make you gain weight" ...

    I'm not sure how to answer your question because I've been strength training forever but have been on PB since Feb of this year, however, I've actually been losing weight and body fat. I look learner but definitely not muscle bound despite the fact that I'm lifting heavier weights consistently. I should clarify though that I haven't lifted in the conventional way in a very long time, by this I mean I do dips/pull ups and squats with weight on my back (on a bookbag until I get a weight vest) but have not done any lifting with barbells, plates or dumbells in months. I'm not opposed to it, but I don't have a gym membership and have not gotten around to buying a set for myself yet.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


    • #3
      I am not afraid of lifting heavy weights - have been doing stronglifts and a lot of other body weight, etc. stuff for probably 5 months now. I have been getting much stronger and believe I am looking much better. I had a personal best the other day (after doing barbell squats for some time now) got on the squat/press machine and was able to press 200 lb!! I felt like a maniac! It's awsome!

      Anywho, part of my deal was giving up the chronic cardio (I was a marathoner) and flip/flopping my exercise focus into weight lifting. I have gained 5 pounds - my clothes are fitting the same, my body fat % is just beginning to go down. I am not getting obsessed about the weight gain cause I feel like I am doing so, so, so well! And....I have a feeling I needed to gain the muscle weight.

      I was just interested to hear if anyone else has some positive anecdotes.

      Thanks so much!


      • #4
        Iniquity, you stopped barbells completely? How has that affected your strength/body composition?

        Jade, it depends a lot on where you started... For instance, a vegetarian that ate very little protein would probably find MASS improvements after switching to PB because of an increase in animal proteins and less processed food. :-)
        On a mission to help others master movement, build unbreakable strength, & eat MORE food (can't beat that.) Weekly fitness, health & nutrition articles at


        • #5
          Originally posted by primal_jessjane View Post
          Iniquity, you stopped barbells completely? How has that affected your strength/body composition?
          My story with strength training is a bit all over the place. I didn't stop barbell training because I wanted to be a bodyweight purist or anything like that, but rather because I graduated college and didn't have access to their gym anymore. I then became (and still am) obsessed with "hitting the bars" or working out on pull-up bars ala Bar-Barians (youtube them) and also with anything balance driven, I headed over to and read through all his tutorials and started incorporating those to my training. Gymnastic style training and such, but in a way smaller scale due to not having the proper equipment.

          I'm definitely stronger, but it's hard to measure how much due to not having access to barbells, I have no idea how much I can lift. I do pull ups and chins with 50lbs added weight in a 5x5 scheme and sometimes in an inverted pyramid scheme, one set for as many reps pre-failure as I can manage (with 50lbs which I just stared I can only do about 8 reps) then I go down to 30 for around 10-12 and lastly straight bodyweight for about 15-20lbs. To compare, when I was working out at my College I could only do about 10 regular chins with bodyweight only, I was too weak to do any added weight.

          As far as body composition goes, I'm leaner for sure, but I was rather irresponsible with my eating habits. My drug habit (which I'm still trying to put to bed) made me... or rather, allowed me an excuse for, eating complete and absolute garbage which no doubt has affected my body composition and certainly my training.

          I believe you can do TONS with bodyweight training as long as you get a little creative, I would personally be more impressed with myself if I achieve a planche and planche push-up than if I were able to bench twice my bodyweight or something. Basically I'm not number driven when it comes to my training, I don't care how much I can squat or over head press, not saying nobody should, we're all different and I think following your numbers is a great way to measure progress but I've been more interested in being able to DO things with my body and my strength.

          My dream/goal is to be able to perform a routine including handstands, different presses, holds and make THAT my training, as it's immensely fun.
          I hope I was able to answer your question somewhat.

          EDIT: I would like to include a short list of bodyweight feats I'm still working towards achieving, you can you-tube these if they aren't clear.

          - Muscle-up: I can't get one yet but I think I'm getting really close finally. I'd like to get my first and then continue to work on it.
          - planche / planche push-up: I'm working on hip push ups and other progressive steps towards being able to at least hold a planche, I'll work on push ups once I can hold a planche for over 10 seconds. This takes a big toll on your shoulders, I'm currently working on tuck planche holds on parallel bars.
          - pistol or single leg squat: Despite rarely training legs I'm pretty close to this, I have the strength to get myself up from the bottom position but struggle to hold the position unassisted.
          - v-sit: My L-sits are pretty strong, but I'm still working on holding the position for longer than 20 secs. I try the V-sit sometimes but it's hell on my triceps so I can't really hold it for even 5 seconds. It's still a nice goal to work towards. I don't think I'll ever be flexible enough for a Manna, so just a V-sit would make me a happy dude.
          - Handstand: !!!!!! I want this so badly! Even a headstand is challenging right now. My shoulders need to get stronger before I can do this. I can hold a handstand against the wall and can slowly push away and hold it for a second or so but getting really good at this skill will require a lot more practice.
          - One arm chin / pull up: I practice using a towel and such, but I think before I can do this I need to be able to chin with 100lbs added weight or something, so still a ways away.

          That's the short list, as the longer list entails having some of these down before being able to move on.
          Last edited by iniQuity; 10-03-2010, 10:30 AM.
          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


          • #6
            Yes, I was a vegan for about a year before going primal. Developed a mild case of candida from it. Totally got that under control and then I changed my exercise focus. But I didn't start gaining the muscle weight until after about 3 months of starting the heavy lifting.

            Would still love to hear some anecdotes.....


            • #7
              I started doing PB and PBF about 2 months ago. With the exercises, and a general boost to calorie intake, I went up from 132 to 140 now. I can see my arms are bigger, my back muscles are bigger, and everything is more defined. So I've been very happy with muscle gain!


              • #8
                JWheelz - awsome - that's just the kind of thing I'm looking for! 8 pounds muscle gain in two months! Awesome!

                Thank you!


                • #9
                  While on PB I did the Body by Science approach for about 2 months - lifting (almost to failure for me) once a week and I gained 5 lbs, of which mostly muscle, mostly visible in my quads, shoulders and upper back (I'm female, btw). I tend to gain muscle in my legs quite easily though, anyway. I am now on the minimalist bodyweight PBF and keeping my calories below maintenance (most days) since my ultimate goal is further fat loss and the scale has now been dialed down back by 3lbs but the muscle I gained while on Body by Science is still there.


                  • #10
                    hmm i started primal pretty underweight and from feb-oct this year i have put on 20-25lbs and a LOT of muscle. it was almost like magical i swear haha. but i started with a 10lb kettlebell and body weight stuff until i felt my bones/core/lower back were strongenough to take on 'lifting' and i moved up to a 20lb kettlebell and a variety of yoga stuff. i dont have a gym membership but would love to know what my max is on lifts(ho hum )

                    *my dream is to get to a muscle up....use to do them allllllthe time in gymnastics and now i cant get it....yet

                    but yeah, 8 months 20-25 lbs(needed weight) now i hang around the same weight give or take actviity/water/poo-poo and stuff and i still only do 'activity/lifting' twice a week....and eat sweet taters like they goin outta style
                    Get on my Level


                    • #11
                      unchantenfrance - thank you for your story! So as I see it, you are trying to take off more body fat through diet rather than exercise. Just wondering, as I thought that the body fat might just come off while continuing a weight program (increasing muscle?). I am rather curious.....

                      MalPaz - That is totally fab! 20 - 25 pounds of muscle in 8 months! Wow - I thought that only men could do that without steroids - but if you needed the weight..... I have a feeling my body wants the muscle weight, too. I am actually getting muscles for the first time in my life!!!!!

                      Thank you for your stories!! I appreciate the motivation you are giving me!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jadebb1 View Post
                        unchantenfrance - thank you for your story! So as I see it, you are trying to take off more body fat through diet rather than exercise. Just wondering, as I thought that the body fat might just come off while continuing a weight program (increasing muscle?). I am rather curious.....
                        Yes, adding muscle would accelerate in the loss of fat but I am already quite muscular (5'7, 158 lbs with bodyfat % in low 20s) so I really don't want to gain any more muscle. (I tend to gain most muscle in my thighs and butt which are sufficiently large anyway!) Plus once you're already fairly lean, losing that extra little bit really does boil down to diet and caloric balance more than anything else. I am still doing weight-bearing exercises (the big 5 from Mark's program twice a week) but aiming for maintenance of musculature and strength as opposed to an increase.

                        What are your goals? To gain a significant amount of muscle? Shed fat? Both?


                        • #13
                          My goals right now are:

                          1. Get stronger! (and so far so good - I have some personal bests of 32 pushups in a row!, 5 pull ups, and I have, as of today, machine squatted 205 pounds!! (my barbell squat right now is around 90lb, but I have a feeling that is more mental than anything else).

                          2. To look fab! (right now I walk around making people feel my muscles, and when people say "you don't want to get too big" (mostly women) I say "yes I do!". My whole life I have never been able to put on muscle, especially with ALL THE RUNNING I was doing - now, with the PB fitness style, I am FINALLY doing it!

                          3. To drop a little body fat: I figure that will come with my continued healthy eating and with my heavy lifting/muscle building. It has to, right? Anyway, my four pack is starting to show.....(I always thought the only six pack I would ever see was one with poptabs, lol, now I have hope!)

                          So far I have put on about 3 - 5 pounds of muscle (in about 5 months (?)and am looking and feeling so much better!

                          I am really enjoying hearing how others have done, as well.

                          Thank you, again for your input!


                          • #14
                            to add: i have a feeling bone density accompanies muscle gain...just 'feels' like it in my experience
                            Get on my Level