I am 43 years old and 192 cm tall

I have been working out (weight lifting) for more than a year

I see improvements in my muscles mass

and I see significant weight increase (from 95 kg to 112 kg)

beside the muscle mass increase I got bigger belly too :(

how can I know if my weight increase is muscles increase or fat increase?

4 Answers 4


You can estimate your bodyfat percentage at home with a few options.

  • First you have the classic option of Skin Calipers. Keep in mind that this is best done by a second person who is if nothing else, consistent.
  • Option number two would be Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (Scales and other devices that send a current through the body). While these are known to have a margin of error, they typically have a consistent margin of error (allowing you to accurately track progress).
  • Third, you simply compare pictures of before and after - abdominal definition along with vascularity can be visual markers for what your bodyfat percentage might be. This chart is useful as a reference. https://imgur.com/xAyq8D4
  • Knowing that you're probably not going to be able to add more than .5 kg of muscle to your frame each month (1 kg at the absolute most) helps to differentiate the type of weight gained too.
  • 2
    Skin calipers are very difficult to get an accurate reading by yourself, and many sites are not measurable by yourself. (Scapular, back triceps, etc).
    – JohnP
    Oct 15, 2018 at 15:55

The biggest indication to know whether you gained fat or not is the mirror. You can easily tell on many locations on your body if you've gained fat or not. If you're not doing any competitive bodybuilding, I personally don't see the point of know exactly what your bodyfat% is. You can however get more scientific and try various bodyfat% tests but many of them aren't waterproof.

If you do decide to take bodyfat% tests, make sure you take the same test everytime because numbers can vary between different test.

If you've gained, as you claim, a belly aswell as muscle, you're most likely too high on your caloric intake. You could do two things, either increase the amount of calories burned (adding cardio for instance) or decrease the amount of calories you take.


If you just want to know if you've gained fat and/or muscle, one method is using an impedance scale that measures body fat percentage.

They are incredibly inaccurate and you should not take their readings literally. Simply drinking water can have a big effect on the results. However, the readings are going to be fairly consistent if you take measurements at the same time every day (i.e. just as you wake up before eating or drinking anything).

If you track your weight and BF% on these scales, you can record them. Over time, you'll be able to see trend lines.

If your weight goes up and your average BF% goes up, then that means you're gaining fat at a faster rate than you're gaining muscle.

If your weight goes up and your average BF% stays the same, then that means you're gaining both muscle and fat at the same rate.

If your weight goes up and your BF% goes down, then that means you're gaining muscle at a faster rate than you're gaining fat. Or you've managed to hit that sweet spot of gaining muscle while losing fat.

If your weight goes down and your BF% goes up, then you're losing muscle.

If your weight goes down and BF% stays the same, then you're losing muscle and fat at the same rate.

If your weight goes down and your BF% goes down, then you're losing body fat at a faster rate than muscle.


I would second the comments on skinfat calipers (like acumeasure) but would advise to ignore the BIA equipment as often these are unreliable unless there is a significant investment in accurate/calibrated kit.

The calipers provide a rough approximation and that will do - particularly if you combine using the calipers with taking the measurements using a more advanced method, such as the Jackson/Pollock 3 caliper method (Google this)

Once you have your calipers take your weight in Kilos (112) and calculate your BF eg 25% or 0.25. Multiply your weight by the BF% eg 28kg subtract this from your weight 112-28 = 84kg, this is your lean body mass.

So, you will have your current weight (112kg), your BF% (25%) and lean body mass (84kg), and you could track how these change over the weeks to have a fuller understanding of how your training is going, if good, lean mass goes up and BF goes down. If overeating and training the same, then lean mass stays level and weight and BF go up etc.

I track all this in a spreadsheet, with a weekly weigh-in and BF calculation. BF is slow to change ~2-3 weeks using this measurement method, but over time, you can plot and understand the changes or impacts on your training.


  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JohnP
    Oct 18, 2018 at 13:16

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