This age-old question is one that we hear so very often, and wanted to address here in our blog.

Short answer? It depends.

Can resistance training be the catalyst for muscle gain? Of course it can. However, caloric intake determines bodyweight. If the weights are lifted at high intensity, close to your max, and pushing for those last extra reps then yes you will most likely add muscle mass IF that resistance training routine is coupled with a high protein, carb rich diet. You also have to eat in a calorie surplus.

On the flip side. If you lift weights and do sets where you are not pushing hard for those last couple reps, eat in a caloric deficit, and watch your carb and protein intake it would be very very very hard (read: should be impossible) to add muscle mass.

Uhhh, English please?

Lift heavy weights for lots of reps, eat a lot = muscle gain. Over a long period of time. Adding muscle mass is something that most people have to try very hard to accomplish and it does not happen overnight.

Lift lighter weights for easier reps, eat less than you burn = no muscle gain.

Digging a little deeper here, let’s ask ourselves why we wouldn’t want muscle mass? Muscle mass increases metabolism (you can eat more), helps to keep us stable and safe as we age, and correlates directly with increased bone density. You can have increased muscle mass without looking bulky, and you’ll get all of the same health benefits.

Now let’s get out there and lift some weights


-Chase Tolleson


CF Weightlifting

USAW Sports Performance Coach

OPEX CCP in journey