I started a support group when I became a coach a year ago, and I have had so many women get discouraged because they either don’t lose any weight or gain weight during the first few weeks of their exercise program. Little do they know how common this really is. It’s so hard for us to not concentrate on the scale when we are trying to lose weight, but I am going to explain here why it may be a good idea to hide it or chuck it, especially in those first few weeks.
Gaining weight when starting a new exercise program is more common that you would think. This is especially common with those intense strength training programs like P90X or Chalene Extreme. These programs and many others can cause an immediate and TEMPORARY increase on the scale. Those people who workout at home don’t know this so often times they quit the program, and unfortunately their desire to get fit.
So, what’s the deal with the temporary weight gain?
One of the first signs when you start a new program is muscle soreness. Some experience this feeling and some may not. The more intense and unfamiliar your body is with the exercises, the more intense the soreness is. Within 24-48 hours after each workout you may notice this soreness. During the first few weeks of a program the body reacts to this soreness by protecting the effected muscle tissue. Exercise Psychologists call this delayed on-set muscle soreness, or DOMS.
We get this soreness because of the breaking down of tissue or tiny tears in the muscle tissue. When this happens the muscle becomes inflamed and swollen with fluid retention. Although this retention is temporary, it can result in a 3-4 lb weight gain within a few weeks of starting a new program. Unfortunately those who crave immediate results to motivate them in those first few weeks, get discouraged and quit! P90X and Chalene Extreme have a few different phases, and when you start each phase your body will be in shock again so don’t be surprised if you experience a little gain in the first week of each phase.
I myself experienced this weight gain during my first few weeks of Les Mills Pump. My body was extremely sore and I ended up gaining 4 lbs, which was uncommon for me because I had been the same weight for months. I’m happy to report after 4 weeks of Pump, I am back to my usual weight. Even though I know the cause of this weight gain, it’s still a bummer and I can understand anyone getting discouraged by this. I am blogging about this in hopes to help you all stick with your program despite that weight gain and to explain to you why it’s common. Hard work means results, but our bodies are amazing machines and will protect us from hurting ourselves. The most important thing to take from this is that it is NORMAL and TEMPORARY so keep doing what your doing and those results will come!