Female weight gain

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The_stray_cat
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Female weight gain

Post by The_stray_cat »

Hi! I'm a female athlete, 5'2, 103lbs, and coach wants me to gain weight for rowing. However I am finding it extremely hard to gain weight. A calorie calculator says I need to eat about 3,500 calories a day. I lift weights in the gym and was wondering if it would be possible to gain 17lbs in 2 months. They say muscle weighs more than fat?

Help?
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Boss Man
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Re: Female weight gain

Post by Boss Man »

Hi Stray cat, it's good to talk to you.

Firstly I'd like to tell you how proud of you I am, for giving yourself the care and attention you have been worth since the day you were born. It shows me you are probably someone with a good heart and inner beauty and I appreciate training for rowing is going to be hard, but I get the impression you have the right stuff to be as good as your natural ability will permit :).

As for the muscle fat argument, that's just some psychobabble people use I think. Yes there is a theory that says muscle weighs more than fat, but in reality a 1lb of one thing is exactly the same as 1lb of something else, whereas obviously 1lb of something is not the same as 1.1lb of something else or 09.lb of something else.

There is no way you'd gain 17lbs of muscle in 2 months, as even steroid users could probably get 2-4lb in 2 months, so as a female I reckon you'd be looking at really as a natural gainer, which you should be, a best case scenario of 1lb a month and it could be as long as 6-8 weeks per lb depending on your bodies physiology, even with good natural supplements like a quality protein powder, or BCAA's and maybe a bit of creatine.

However you will almost certainly gain a little fat with your muscle too, even though 1lb of added muscle can burn an extra 45-50 calories per day, which wouldn't be too bad if the fat gain was very limited. I would estimate if you could gain an amount of fat that peaked at around 0.3lb for every 1lb of muscle gained, you won't have a big issue, if that was possible, certainly in terms of the effect on power to weight ratio, but if you were looking to monitor that, you'd need more precise analysis than what I'm giving you, like a bod pod analysis or something similar.

In relation to how you currently eat what times do you eat at and what foods do you eat at those times?

Also what does the strength training equate to in terms of frequency per week, exercises used and set and rep numbers? I assume you'll be probably doing a 3x a week TBT system not a split system, where you work the body all over, seeing as you're fitting in a lot of rowing training as well.

Any help myself or others can be, we will try what we think is best, but I want to wish you GOOD LUCK for the future and be proud of yourself for everything you're doing because you should be and I can tell by the way you choose to live and the way you express yourself, that you're a terrific person and I'm sure a true Lady in how you conduct and comport yourself, so chin up, keep believing and anything else we can do even if you just need more motivation let us know,m or if you have any sensitive or personal issues please feel free to PM me anytime, as I'm here for members to talk to on a discreet one to one basis, as you may be a strong willed athlete, but you're human too and we try to help people with their mental and emotional facets not just the physical ones :).

Hopefully the answers to questions will help us assist you further :).

Also if you're not aware, you could improve your stamina by avoiding caffeinated drinks, as caffeine constricts blood vessels and blocks iron intake, which could affect the speed and amount of circulating oxygen in the blood and the amount of storage in the muscles, potentially reducing VO2 max, so abstinence from caffeine could be a big boost to performance, as could abstinence of tea, as tannic acid can affect iron uptake, whereas vit C and capsicum can boost iron, so a vit C supplement could help you and you could, if you don't already, try 0.5-1g in the morning and also at night and if it feels a bit harsh consider using buffered C.

:thumb:
The_stray_cat
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Re: Female weight gain

Post by The_stray_cat »

Thank you for the response!

On average I eat about 1500 calories a day. Im either really busy or never hungry. Im a picky eater so that could be a problem, I now weigh 101lbs.

I go to the gym everyday. I never do cardio. warm up is a 20 minute walk to the gym.

For me it's arms, shoulders, and back monday and thursday, abs tuesday and friday, glutes and legs wednesday and friday.
I curl 17.5lb each arm, shoulder press and lunge 30, squat 55/65 lbs.

Idk how I am going to get more calories because I plan to go to the gym, then work, then crew practice
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Boss Man
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Re: Female weight gain

Post by Boss Man »

Hey there. Thanks for your response and try not to worry too much, as I've no doubt we can help you to step up more and do well.

I think you're doing too much Gym work, to be honest. You could do glutes with a Leg workout as some exercises like squats and lunges will target the glutes anyway and as abs can be indirectly targeted with things like squats, deadlifts, cleans, potentially good mornings etc, then one killer abs day isn't necessary although some do do it, particularly some bodybuilding and fitness men and women, though some direct stuff could be included in 2-3 workouts like roman chairs, leg lifts, v-ups a.k.a bananas etc.

You could keep some of the structure of it by having 2 workouts both done twice a week.

So it could work like this.

Monday: chest, back, arms, shoulders

Tuesday: legs, glutes + abs

Thursday: chest, back, arms, shoulders + abs

Saturday: legs, glutes + abs

I set it up like this, so you wouldn't do abs two days in a row. You'd only need 1-2 direct exercises.

Your lifts are quite good, however should you be going more for the 15 rep range, I'd add about 1.5-2kg on small muscle lifts and 4kg-5kg on big muscle lifts and aim for 8-10 reps, as you'll get more muscle building potential that way, but if you're going 8-10 reps on everything then stick to what you're currently lifting, until you're good for another 2-3 reps, then add a bit more.

Also don't be tempted to go to failure all the time. Wasting energy struggling out that last rep on everything is a bit pointless, you should be able to lift as if you feel good for about 1 maybe 2 more, as that way you'll be a bit fresher when you're finished.

As for the diet I'll give suggestions with that as well.
The_stray_cat wrote:
On average I eat about 1500 calories a day. Im either really busy or never hungry. Im a picky eater so that could be a problem, I now weigh 101lbs.

Idk how I am going to get more calories because I plan to go to the gym, then work, then crew practice
Do not worry because there are quick and simple things you can use to improve the diet.

You can have things like microwave baked beans, soup and rice, peanuts, low fat cheese, nuts, oat granolas, fruits including tomato and cucumber, vegetables including pineapple, raw carrot and celery sticks, bread, low sugar yoghurt, ham, turkey, chicken and ham from a packet, pre-cooked chicken breasts, pre-boiled eggs, sandwiches and flax seeds.

Some of these things make up partial snacks and some make up full snacks.

So you should be able to find a way to get 5 maybe 6 meals in per day.

I'd recommend you get a good protein powder. Just get one with 5-6 ingredients, not the flashy ones and make sure it's got a good carb content. Whey concentrate is decent, but isolate and hydrolysate are better, but they will increase the cost per lb a bit more.

If you have trouble with the taste experiment with things like honey, ground ginger, vanilla essence, mocha powder, ground ginger etc, or you could buy a carb free powder and add crushed oats to it, but a good one will have increased levels of BCAA's and glutamine.

You may benefit from a good creatine as well, but with females the benefit could be a lot more limited, as a female with your level of build, probably won't benefit as much as a lifter who is 170+lbs in weight, but it might be a consideration, but you might want to green light any supplements with the coach first, but neither suggestion should have any adverse risk of you failing any tests as creatine is an accepted thing for athletes to use.

In regard to the amount of calories. You need another 1,000 at least, but the change to the lifting schedule will reduce taxation on you and should keep you a bit fresher all week, so I'd suggest with the way you plan the food to use some of these macronutrient options.

Protein / carbs / fat, 40/30/30, 33/33/33, 35/30/35.

These should give you ways to think things out better, if you're struggling a little bit.

Hopefully that all makes sense, however if there is anything else you would like to ask, please feel free anytime and if you need more motivation then just ask and please do keep us updated, as I'd really like to know how things are progressing and be proud of yourself and keep believing. You're doing well with what you lift and I am certain you will progress well and I wish you luck again, because wherever your rowing career takes you, we as a community will be here to give you as much support as we reasonably can as often as you would like us to, so please don't be a stranger and remember that you ARE worth it :).

:thumb: :thumb:
The_stray_cat
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Re: Female weight gain

Post by The_stray_cat »

Hi! Thank you so much for your response and i will try the workout plan starting tomorrow. I will message you if i have any more questions.
I really appreciate the help:)
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Boss Man
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Re: Female weight gain

Post by Boss Man »

No worries. Anything general you want to ask I'm around on the forums quite often, anything more personal you'd like a one to one with, please do PM me and we'll work together to help you cope with any troubles or life concerns better :).

Take care and keep believing in yourself, because you ARE worth it :).
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