Many people see leg day as an opportunity to stuff their faces with food.
But does leg day make you gain weight?
Here’s whether leg day makes you gain weight:
Leg day makes you gain weight as your legs are the biggest muscle group. So when you gain more leg muscle, you gain more weight. Also, many people eat a lot more food on leg day which results in more weight gain.
In this article, we cover reasons why leg day can lead to weight gain, reasons why leg day can make you lose weight, tips to gain weight on leg day, and much more!
Reasons Why Leg Day May Make You Gain Weight
Increased Calorie Consumption
To gain weight, you need to be in a calorie surplus.
At a simple level, this means that you consume more calories than you burn.
Well, many people eat a lot more calories on leg day as it helps improve performance, recovery, motivation, and muscle growth.
So by eating more calories, you’ll be in a bigger calorie surplus which will do wonders for helping you gain weight.
More Water Weight
Many people eat a lot more carbs on leg day.
Your body stores carbs in the form of glycogen, which is converted to glucose as a source of energy when you’re working out.
Now, for every gram of glycogen your body stores, it needs to hold an equivalent 3g of water. (Source)
So by increasing your carb intake, not only do you increase your glycogen stores, but you also gain a lot of water weight.
Increased Muscle Mass
When you train your legs, your muscle fibres experience micro tears.
Your muscles respond to these micro tears by repairing them and adding more muscle fibre in a process known as hypertrophy.
In simple terms, you get bigger muscles.
(Which is the aim of the game, right?)
Now, since the leg muscles are the largest muscle group, when you train your legs, you add even more muscle fibre compared to when you train other body parts.
As a result, you gain more weight on leg day.
Reasons Why Leg Day May Make You Lose Weight
Increased Calorie Burning
Generally speaking, leg day burns the most calories.
One reason is that leg day typically includes compound exercises like squats and box jumps.
Since compound exercises work out multiple muscles at a time, they burn a ton of calories.
Another reason is that the leg muscles are the largest muscle group.
As a result, they require the most energy (calories) during exercise.
You May Be Sick On Leg Day
Whether it’s because of eating a big meal before training, taking a massive dose of pre workout, or drinking too much water mid workout, many people feel sick on leg day.
And in some cases, this can lead you to actually being sick.
Without getting into the nitty gritty, sick has weight, and therefore if you are sick, you’re bound to lose weight.
4 Tips To Gaining Weight On Leg Day
Increase Your Carb Intake
As covered earlier, increasing your carb intake helps you gain weight for 2 reasons.
First, every gram of carbs has 4 calories, so by eating more carbs, you’ll be in a bigger calorie surplus.
Also, eating carbs results in glycogen storage which adds some water weight to your frame.
Do A Low Volume Workout
In order to create micro tears in your leg muscles so that they grow, you need to be working at a high intensity.
So every set you do should be a big challenge.
However, each set you do will burn more calories which could take you out of a calorie surplus.
So it makes sense to limit the amount of sets you do.
This way, you can still grow your leg muscles without burning too many calories.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Eating more protein helps you gain weight for a couple of reasons.
First, your muscles need protein to help repair the micro tears and grow.
So to maximize muscle growth, you need to be eating plenty of protein.
Also, each gram of protein has 4 calories, so by eating more protein, you’ll be in a bigger calorie surplus.
Drink Plenty Of Water
As mentioned earlier, each gram of glycogen requires 3 grams of water.
So by drinking plenty of water, you’ll allow your muscles to store glycogen without taking water from other vital bodily functions.
This way, you can gain water weight without risking dehydration.
Sample Leg Day Meal Plan
Bulking Meal Schedule
Meal 1: 175g steak, 30g cashew nuts, 100g green beans
Meal 2: 150g cod, 25g coconut oil, 100g spinach
Pre Workout: Black coffee with 10g coconut oil
Post Workout: 40g whey protein, 100g maltodextrin
Meal 3: 140g chicken breast, 100g broccoli, 110g basmati rice, 100g pineapple
Meal 4: 140g chicken breast, 100g kale, 110g jasmine rice
Meal 5: 140g turkey mince, 100g cauliflower, 50g cashew butter
Total carbs: 300g
Total protein: 230g
Total fats: 100g