Is it possible to lose weight, just from lifting weights?

United States
March 27, 2007 8:20am CST
I've started lifting weights with my husband every week. We are on a schedule and have a work out plan printed out that we go by each day. It's a 10 week session and we work out 4 nights a week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. Over those 4 days we work out all of our body parts - legs, arms, chest, back, abs, buttocks. I'm just starting on week 4 and amazingly, I am loving it - which isn't like me. I have a bit of weight to lose and any type of exercise is a turn off for me. I WANT to like it, but I never do. This is the first time in my life that I'm actually excited for our work out time to start. The thing is, we aren't doing cardio or any type of running, walking, bike riding - YET. We hope to start that after these 10 weeks are up. We want to combine the two and get something good started. At this point, I'm going slow. Low weights with low reps (working towards more reps but the same weight). Can anyone tell me or does anyone have experience with losing weight just from lifting weights? I'm not changing my diet yet and I'm just curious to see if I will see any sort of change in my weight when these 10 weeks are over. I tend to expect too much too quickly and when I don't see results, I want to give up. This time I don't want to do that, but I'll admit it's hard. I'm looking every day to see if I notice anything. So what do you think? Is it possible?
6 people like this
22 responses
@Kythe42 (1412)
• United States
27 Mar 07
I don't have any personal experience with this, but I've read about it. When you gain muscle mass then your body needs to use more calories to maintain itself. So if you gain muscle and eat the same amount that you always have, it is logical that you would loose weight. It's also possible that if you gain a lot of muscle, that you will actually gain weight, but this is muscle weight which is good. Even though you might weight more, you'll probably look better. Instead of relying on the scale, try measureing different parts of your body that you are not happy with and keep a record of how it changes as you progress with your exercise program.
4 people like this
@GardenGerty (109909)
• United States
27 Mar 07
Using the tape measure is good advice. Years ago I had a health club membership, and we took lots of measurements, every week and tracked our progress.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 07
Thank you for the excellent advice, I'm going to start keeping track of my measurements and see if I notice any changes. :]
@Nan110 (469)
• United States
27 Mar 07
It's impossible to loose weight by just lifting weights. You have to exercise and eat right.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 07
You're right that I need to eat right and exercise, I guess I'm trying to avoid that big elephant in the room right now but sooner or later I'm going to need to face it. Thanks for your reply!
@mrfike (19)
• United States
28 Mar 07
Isn't lifting weights considered excercise?
• United States
28 Mar 07
I believe it is but I'm thinking maybe Nan meant cardio type exercising like walking, biking, running. I know many bodybuilders who believe lifting weights IS exercise and I admit, I agree. You break a sweat, you work your muscles and in my case - when I'm working my abs, I'm getting my heart rate up. Doing sit ups, crunches and reverse crunches isn't easy and if that isn't exercise then I do not know what is! :)
@mrfike (19)
• United States
28 Mar 07
Why not, muscle weighs less than fat, and by lifting weights, you'll be (slowly) converting fat to muscle.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 07
Thanks but I did want to point out that I believe muscle weighs more than fat which is why it is said that when you lift weights you are gaining muscle weight so you will most likely gain in that aspect at first.
@beaniegdi (1966)
27 Mar 07
Look on this as a lifestyle change, you are enjoying it so do it for the rest of your life, why stop?? You can lose weight from weight training but it depends on how hard you train and what your usual food intake is. If you continue to train and increase your program as you get stronger then what you will find is that muscle burns up far more calories than fat does, so as you build muscle your energy needs rise. If you already eat a healthy diet then you will soon notice this, if you eat an unhealthy diet then it may take longer for you. I hope that if you take an interest in your body and training that you will also look at the health benefits associated with improving your diet. Lots of body builders take supplements and vitamins to maxamise the results of their workout. If you ever look at what top body builders eat while in training you will see that they have to eat loads of food each day as their large muscles require so much energy. I hope you continue to enjoy weight training as it is a great way to keep young and supple. I watched a documentary recently on how loads of people ove 60 are taking this up and there was even women in their 80's who where working out and competing - wearing bikinis as well. They all looked fabulous and none of them had a weight problem. Have fun with your training.
• United States
28 Mar 07
You're completely right.. I need to look at this as a lifestyle change forever and not just for the moment. At this moment right now, I can't see myself stopping unless I physically can't do it any longer. I'm not old, only 36.. (that's still young right? *wink*) so I imagine I should be able to continue this for a very long time. If my husband has his way, we will be doing this forever. I appreciate your response - thank you so much for taking the time to type all of that for me!
@mzbubblie (3840)
• United States
27 Mar 07
Just what everyone is saying you are gaining muscle weight, if anything running walking, anything that will build up your cardio, you burn more calories that way. I started out with cardio, then once I got down to the size I wanted to be, I began weight training, light lifting alternating upper and lower, and not as much cardio as before.. Good job though lady, I can say I'm proud of you...
• United States
28 Mar 07
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, I appreciate it. I've seen you and you are gorgeous so you must be doing something right! I bet when I start the cardio I will notice changes in my body. *crossing fingers*
@GardenGerty (109909)
• United States
27 Mar 07
Do not freak out, you may actually gain weight, BUT lose fat, by lifting weights. So do not give up, or quit. You will build more muscle, and the muscle will burn more calories, and later you will begin to lose weight. If you can get a body fat analysis now, and later, you will be able to see it. One of my most successful fitness years I lost eight percent of my body fat in eight weeks. I felt great! Would love to do it again.
• United States
28 Mar 07
Wow! That's a huge inspiration. Thank you for telling me that. I know muscle weighs more than fat so I expect to gain in a way but I want to lose the weight and replace it with good muscle. If that makes sense. Anyhow, thank you so much for your response!!
@loved1 (5336)
• United States
27 Mar 07
You may actually see your weight increase. Don't be alarmed though! It is just because muscle weighs more than fat and lifting weights will build muscle. Eventually that muscle will burn off the fat but you will have much better luck if you add some cardio at the end of your weight lifting session. That is when you have maximum fat burning capability. Just keep it fun and don't worry about it too much.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 07
Thank you - we are planning on adding in the cardio once I get use to lifting weights. This might sound strange but I need to go slow so I don't get burnt out. My husband already lifts weights each night so he started asking me to join him. He doesn't want to scare me off so he is going really slow with how much more he adds into my routine. I think once we are done with this first 10 weeks, he's going to start adding in cardio for me to do each week as well. I'm actually looking forward to it. Thanks again for your response!
• Philippines
28 Mar 07
maybe not as effective as running. lifting weights will just develop muscles but running makes you burn more fats faster.
1 person likes this
@demo3424 (599)
• India
28 Mar 07
lifting weights is good cardio exercise.it keeps you healthy.i think i lost some weight doing weight lifting.
@ackars (1942)
• India
28 Mar 07
I think its possible..But along with it you need to do some other kinds of exercises and have to reduce the amount of food you take in a day.You can drastically reduce your weight in a healthy manner like that...
@bindishah (2062)
• India
28 Mar 07
You can lose a lot of inches off your body by doing weight lifting. i did it for a while and lost a lot. I guess so you'll lose weight too over a period of time. But to see that reduction on your weighing scale you need to alternate with cardio exercises. But do make sure you start out with lowerw eights and let your body get used to them. i remember the first time i did weight training i was in bed for a week coz I used too much and pulled a muscle.
• Mauritius
28 Mar 07
I don't think that by only lifting weights,you can lose weight.You may lose some but not what you will be expecting.For me,the best solution for losing weight is to do exercises and to have a healthy diet,eat low carb food..You can get some healthy recipes at http://www.imsickofbeingfat.com .I had to lose weight too,last year and wanted to take some diet pills,but I don't trust in these things.The exercises and the healthy diet may take some time,but your sure of getting a positive result with no second effect..
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
28 Mar 07
Lifting weights is for increasing muscle bulk, so you might even gain weight because muscle is heavier than fat. But if you do low weights with high repetition, it might burn some fat. If your primary goal is to lose weight then you need to do aerobic exercises such as jogging and cycling. I tend to eat heavily but I'm not really growing fatter because I jog once a week.
@cjthedog64 (1553)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I agree that you might gain pounds of muscle, but will probably lose some inches. If you keep eating as LC as possible, it'll help you out. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
28 Mar 07
It's definitely possible. I took a weight training course before, and a lot of people lost weight. I didn't, but I didn't have any to lose either. I just wanted to get in shape.
1 person likes this
• Portugal
28 Mar 07
I don't think it's possible to loose weight, just from lifting weights.It will only increase to muscle in your arms. Its necessary more then this to loose some weight. First thing to do is go to a doctor and ask for advice. He will give a good diet and exercise regime that will help in loosing weight.
• United States
28 Mar 07
I'm not just lifting weight with my arms. We do a full routine which includes everything that the member above you wrote. We work on arms, legs, back, chest, abs, butt.. everything. But you are correct that I can go to my doctor and talk to her. I plan on doing that when I go in for my next check up. Thanks for you reply!
• Sweden
2 Mar 08
WOW I know this is an old post but i just couldn't ignore some of the most uneducated deluded responses you recieved, some of them really suprised me what people choose to believe. I am a qualified fitness coach who would be happy to advise you should you require it!? Yes know this post is year old but that only means you have been going to the gym a while now and made awesome progress! Either way hop your still enjoying that training and heading steadily in you chosen direction. Healthy Regards
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
1 Apr 07
I was doing well at an exercise gym, geared just for women - it was mostly resistance training using hydrolics (pretty much a Curves set up if you are familiar) it was wonderful - I dropped 20 pounds before even starting to diet. Yes, you can lose weight by lifting and working weights - even though muscle weighs more than fat - it also burns more calories. So just by breathing you are burning off more calories than if you did not have the muscles built up - so you will lose weight by exerting in the lifting - but also just by having the muscles, your metabolism will increase. it is a win win
@MsTickle (25064)
• Australia
28 Mar 07
I'm no genius but I am overweight and I know that i eat too much and don't exercise much. That's the key to weight loss. you need to exercise and produce more energy than the amount you're eating. Eat less, exercise more. Eat a lot, exercise a big amount. Anything you do has to be a complete lifestyle change so if you plan on doing something for a while ....forget it. If you choose a course of action it has to be for the rest of your life. Otherwise when you stop the weight will pile back on. My problem is a huge appetite I cannot dispel and no energy, I'm so darn tired all the time - bone weary with lots of bodily aches and pains. I don't sleep well. I wish I had someone planning meals and cooking for me. There's this guy on another site I spend time on who drives me up the wall. He was a real slob and now he's lost weight. His wife did all the work. She figured out what he should have, she does the shopping, cooks it, serves cleans up and he just eats what's put in front of him and takes all the credit. Grrrr!
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
28 Mar 07
Heaven, Well YOu won't really be shedding a lot of weight when you lift weights, but don't be discouraged, because once you start to lose weight, from the change in diet and cardio, you'll have developed muscles underneath the fat. (SOrry, not trying to say you are fat) (; Alot of people (especially women) will focus only on the cardio, and forget that when they lose that weight, thier muscles underneath are not what they want them to be, because they've had children, or it's just been a long time since they were in great shape. It's best to combine the two, but yes you should start out slowly. Also, when you diet, don't go too strict. Many people think that if they limit what they eat, they will be more successful, but then they binge because they haven't had a soda in a month and they drink 3 two liters, and eat 5 candy bars. (; It's better to limit how much you consume, then it is to cut entire food groups out entirely. Good luck!