Female, 15, 110 pound, 5'3" Goal: smaller figure and toned body

I've started weight training about a week now. I start with a very light weight 1kg for arms. The next day it became very sore and after 3 days the soreness was gone but to only end up with big arms. It increases at least half of an inch bigger. I trained my legs and now they're sore and massive. What to do? Continue or stop? Is it true that u become bigger before u become smaller?

  • 4
    Assuming no preexisting medical condition, it's doubtful your body parts are growing at that fast a rate.
    – rrirower
    Jun 13, 2016 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


Your muscles haven't gotten any bigger, they are slightly swollen (or "pumped") after your workout, because of inflammation. This is a standard response of your body to this new challenge you are throwing at it. If you keep training, at some point this effect will last only few hours after working out, if at all. Because your body would have adapted and gotten used to handling your workouts.

As a female, you likely will not be able to gain any significant amount of muscle, no matter how heavy you train. And even if your goal is to gain some muscle - it won't happen overnight. It is a slow process that takes lots of time and you are in complete control of it. Building some muscle will help you have well defined "toned" figure. Only gaining fat can drive you away from your goals - and weight training is helping you to go in the other direction.

So bottomline is - keep training most importantly - keep challenging yourself. If something feels easy, it in fact is too easy and most likely doesn't help you make progress.


To insinuate that after such a short time doing weights with very minor resistance that your are now "big" could be construed as insulting to people who would hack off a limb to put a inch on our arms/legs/chest/back within that timeframe.

As correctly pointed out, you have a "pump". This happens in a major way during exercise and lasts afterwards to some extent as you repair your muscles and build more. The only way to track progress is with a measuring tape and you are unlikely to see any major change in your body shape while working out as the change is so minor. It is worth noting that psychology plays a big part in self-perception here, always get a second, third and forth opinion (reddit's r/progresspics can give you some indication/help).

Thank you for setting your targets clearly. Those goals are achievable but you need to understand what the 'real world' implications of those goals are.

Goal 1: Smaller Figure

How to achieve: Monitor your calorie (and macronutrient) intake and simply eat less than you use up. Websites like IIFYM.com can help you set your target calories and apps like myfitnesspal help you track daily.

Goal 2: Toned body

How to achieve: This is achieved with increasing muscle size and decreasing body fat. Tone is a myth, it simply doesn't exist, you only have fat and muscles. To achieve the "toned" look you need to have a balanced program of lifting weights and cardiovascular exercise (Ask here for a program if you want!). Pair that with a diet to reduce your body fat percentage and you will get the "toned look".

Side Note: Soreness

This is called DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscular Strain). Basically, you did something your body isn't used to and your body is working overtime to repair itself, it is not a injury; if you go for a 5 minute run you may notice that the ache vanishes as blood pumps round your system. Keep training, warm up and cool down properly and they will pass with time.

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