I am 22 years old, weighing around 70 kg and 5ft 11 inches in height. I want to gain strength overall and i have some concerns on choosing weight lifting to achieve this.

I have started training MMA and i have reasonable speed and flexibility as of now and i expect to increase them with further training. Meanwhile I also want to increase strength without affecting the speed and flexibility. I am concerned that i will lose speed and flexibility if I do weight lifting to increase my strength. Will I gain more weight by weightlifting? How will it affect my speed and flexibility?

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    Why do you not want to gain muscle? Do you compete in a weight class restricted sport?
    – Dark Hippo
    Oct 25, 2017 at 10:03
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    You can only gain so much strength without gaining size/weight, this is a simple rule of nature. Your muscles will eventually get bigger when they get stronger. You can train ways in which you emphasize on getting strong so that you limit size gains, but you cannot rule it out completely.
    – MJB
    Oct 25, 2017 at 10:34
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    Go ahead, if you not using steroids (well, I beleive you not, those guys not asking such questions) it will took years to gain even 5 kilos of muscle mass, so, its okay Oct 25, 2017 at 10:50
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    It depends on how much and what you eat, see also here, and here. Oct 25, 2017 at 20:07
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    – Dark Hippo.I have started training MMA and I am concerned that i will lose speed and flexibility if i gain more weight. I have reasonable speed and flexibility now and hope to increase with further training. Meanwhile I also want to increase strength without affecting the speed and flexibility.
    – Ahmed
    Oct 26, 2017 at 12:41

2 Answers 2


Will I gain weight by doing weightlifting?

Yes and no. Doing weight lifting will set the stimulus your body needs to grow (gain muscle mass), but lifting alone will be of no use. Imagine that your caloric intake was 1000 kcal per day (extreme value, just to make the point) while lifting. If your caloric intake would not suffice to supply you basic functionality (movements, keeping temperature, etc.), how should you gain any mass?

How many calories should I eat then?

While I think that in former times way larger values have been promoted, state-of-the-art seems to be a caloric surplus of around 500 kcal on training days (depending on the source in the 300-600 kcal range).

Getting your macros right

Another important factor is the macros. If you are mostly eating fats and (especially) carbs/sugars you will have a hard time gaining muscle mass (you will most likely gain fat if you are on a surplus). You'll have to intake protein to a certain extent. There is much ado about the exact ratios of protein/fats/carbs and I will not make a recommendation here, but it won't be too hard to find ballpark figures online. Anyway, make sure to avoid unprocessed foods as far as possible. Don't be too dogmatic, but processed foods are (often) packed with minor quality nutrients that might be detrimental to your progress.

Strength ≠ Mass

I've talked about how to gain mass. Now let's see how to avoid it. First thing to note is that strength and muscles are not the same. You can get way stronger without bulking.

The effect of the reps

Besides what you eat, another important factor is the number of repetitions per set. To gain strength without gaining mass, you should stick to a lower rep count. Strength regimen is (depending on the exercise) around 4 to 6 repetitions, while classic mass regimen is around 8 to 12 repetitions.


It depends how you lift, for any kind of performance sport, stay away from bodybuilding type of training. It serves no purpose beyond esthetics and will hinder you in your sport.

I would focus on training to generate power, Olympic weightlifting for example.

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