T Nation

Weights Gains but No Size Gains


Greetings my fellow wise men,

For starter, I'm pretty new at being a real man, aka, i have always trained with 60% load, in the 8-10 range, with too many isolation exercises, never trained the big compounds and lower body workout was something close to mythology. In other words, i was an average gym fag.

But this was until i discovered TNation and started growing a pair.

I have now been training for a little bit more than 2 months, 3 to 4 times a week, heavy loads, in the 5 to 6 reps range.
My workout are mainly: Squats (the deep ones, below parallel), deadlifts, power clean, dumbell snatches, bench press (flat+inclined), military press, rows, weighted dips and pull ups.

Now the "strange" thing is: I feel i'm getting stronger, and the increasing weights i use confirm the feeling. i keep gaining weight (about 8lbs now) but size doest not seem to change... it even looks like i m getting thinner.. or maybe leaner ?

Nutrition wise, i eat clean and nutritious food, with regular protein intake.

So my question is basically, Am i doing something wrong? Did anybody have a similar experience (gaining weight but no size)?

I'm 6"2 and currently around 208-210lbs.


^ there you go right there 2 months ! just keep at it


I dont get it. Youve gotten stronger. Youve gained weight. You look leaner. Yet this concerns you?


You've never trained your legs before. That's where your weight is probably going and why when you look at your mirror muscles, you probably aren't any bigger.


Thanks guys for the quick replies. Wise words, once a again !

I guess what got me "concerned" is that i weight 210 and yet look like someone who's 190-195... But yeah, good point with the legs jskrabac (and awesome gif by the way :)).


Your tall. Im 6'3, its even worse for me. When i was 225 i looked 200. Now im 260 and look under 240.

That is also my opinion though, and we are usually our own toughest critic, so be aware of this.


i don't get that you "look" under 240. what does 260 look like compared to under 240. you are what you are. right. if you weigh 260, you are 260. People always under guess my weight all the time. but its hard to guess someones weight, especially when they work out.

if your big everywhere and don't have any bodyparts that really stick out, people might under guess your weight. its tough to know for sure. since im short, i think people think im always about 30lbs less than i am. at my gym one time, this guy swore up and down i didn't weigh more than a certain amount. to his dismay, i was 30lbs over what he thought.


Agree. I was 6'2" 195 a few months ago. I thought I wanted to get up to 215. I got there, and it wasn't even close to what I thought it would be haha. Now I'm at 222-224 and I know now that I don't want to put a number on the scale. The scale is important, but so is the mirror. If I'll be satisfied at 230, 240..., who knows.


stick with it - the important thing is you've woken up so to spk. Also like the guys said the weight is probably going to your legs. One thing i would say is if your training for size then your rep ranges arent right. Hypertophy (in most cases) occurs around the 8-20 rep range. The rep ranges your training in are much better suited to strength gains.


if your gaining weight, and its not all going to your waist, your getting bigger. you can't always tell by looking in the mirror.


Use a tape measure? Then you know if you are gaining size or not and how much.

It can be hard to see your own progress because you look at yourself every day and its usually slower than you expect/want lol. That's why photos can be helpful also


That only applies if you're advanced, and even then it's a tossup. Look at Thib's I, Bodybuilder program - most sets are 3-5 reps. He gets results...

Point is, as a noob your only focus should be to get stronger so you can effectively stimulate the muscle. Gains are gonna stop pretty fast if you can't squat more than your bodyweight.


Why are we treating strength and hypertrophy as mutually exclusive? You will limit your progress if you think this way and put the emphasis solely on rep ranges.


You just said people think you weigh less than you really do all the time. Not understanding what you're trying to get at.

Bodybuilding is all about looks. No shit im 260 if thats what the scales say, regardless what people estimate me at. However, im very tall with long arms and legs and so when i stand next to someone else who is a few inches shorter and 260, you'd swear i weighed less. This is not a difficult concept to follow.

My arms are 18". I see guys 8 inches shorter than me with 16" arms that LOOK just as big because of shorter muscle bellies/good genetics. Get it yet?


Do not listen to this guy. His avatar shows just how awesomely huge his muscles have gotten in using those rep ranges.


OP, you are a tall guy too, just like this guy and myself. 5-10 lbs on you may not really be noticeable in a mirror at all. Gain 25 lbs and then see what kind of difference that has made before you start questioning your progress.

And i did the same thing as you MT, started at 6'3, 170, had this long term goal of 225 and thought id be an absolute monster. When i finally got there i thought "holy shit im still a skinny bastard." I dont feel like i really started to look "big" until i hit around 240-245. Even now at 260 im not as NEARLY as big as i imagined when i first started.


Heh, I can relate too...I'm 6'8" so it takes some serious weight gain/loss before results are visible. I've put on 15lbs in the last 2 months, my wife says I don't look much different. I can tell, but it's not a huge difference. Most important is to keep progressing, it'll show eventually.




I was 180 @ 6' when I started trying to gain weight.

I took me hitting, and maintaining 240 before my wife noticed.

Once I hit 250 and broke the seat in her car, the spring in the bed, and a toilet seat, she won't let me forget it.


Dude fuck, breaking toilet seats is the fucking story of my life. Youre sitting there minding your own and you shift around just a little to get more comfortable and the damn thing is popping off the hinges.