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Not making any gains!

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  • 18-01-2012 12:30pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 87 ✭✭


    Hi Guys

    Ive been in the gym trying to bulk up for the last 3 and half months. When I joined I got an assesment and a training plan which Ive been following and increasing the weights as the sets got easier to complete. My problem is that Im not actually seeing and gain in mass. I had another assesment done just after before the holidays and I had actually lost weight but apparently my body fat percentage went from 19% to 12%. Im not too sure that its acurate as the first measurement was with a calipers and the second was with a handheld digital thing. I certainly dont look/feel like I lost that much and Im fairly skinny as it is. I thought that at the start I would see big gains quickly and then it would start to tail off but Im barely seeing any gains. Should I stick with the program and tough it out as it looks like a decent program or is it my diet thats the issue?

    Anyway my diet and training go like this…

    Breakfast Weetabix or alpen
    Snack – fruit
    Lunch – pasta, lasagne or left over form dinner.
    Snack – more fruit or some pistachio nuts
    Dinner – chicken pasta or meat (chicken, pork or steak) and 2 veg

    Since Ive started Ive increased the amount that Im eating to the point the my girlfriend is giving out to me about how much its costing us. Im considering starting to use protein shakes. I thought I was getting enough from my diet already but clearly somethign is missing



    Monday – Cardio
    5 a side for an hour


    Tuesday Chest and Back
    Chess Press Flat 4 x 4
    Supine Fly 4 x 4
    Chest Press Incline 4 x 4
    Press Up Swiss Ball 3 x 15
    Seated Row 3 x 15
    Bent over Row 3 x 15
    Pull Over 3 x 15
    Chin Ups 3 x 7


    Thursday Shoulder and Arms
    Shoulder Press 3 x 8
    Lateral Raise 3 x 8
    Upward Row 3 x 8
    Bicep Curl 3 x 8
    Tricep Extension 3 x 8
    Hammer Curl 3 x 8
    Wrist Extension 3 x 8

    Friday Legs
    Squat 3 x 15
    Lunge 45 3 x 15
    Dead Lift 3 x 15
    Calf Raises 3 x 15

    Tuesday, thurday and Friday Abs
    Ab Curl 3 x 10
    Oblique Cross Over 3 x 10
    Back Extension 3 x 10
    Russian Twist 3 x 10
    Reverse Curl 3 x 10



    Im 5'7 72KG if that makes any difference


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭TheStickyBandit


    The key to gaining weight is eating and it will always be the key! Most 'skinny' guys as you put it can't consume that much food in order to put on extra weight.
    Are you using protein/weight gainer shakes? If not I'd recommend that you start as they help your muscles recover after the gym along with adding calories to your diet.

    Also if you're 'working to a programme', that was created by a gym instructor, they will design it so as you will lose weight rather than gain weight.
    Try changing your workouts, train a large muscle group with a smaller muscle after, i.e chest and biceps, back and triceps, train legs on their own as your're giving your upper body a break!


  • Registered Users Posts: 87 ✭✭blindasfcuk


    Hi Bandit the program Im on was put together with weight gain as my main goal. I work Tuesday Chest and Back,Thursday Shoulder and Arms, Friday Legs and I do ab and core workout on each of those days. Most of the exercises are in the 6-8 rep range as well which a lot of sites recommend for muscle growth.

    Ive actually just ordered a tub of whey protein online so I should be starting with that this week. Do supplements really offer all that much? I would have thought that my diet was enough to at least see some growth?


  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭TheStickyBandit


    Hi Bandit the program Im on was put together with weight gain as my main goal. I work Tuesday Chest and Back,Thursday Shoulder and Arms, Friday Legs and I do ab and core workout on each of those days. Most of the exercises are in the 6-8 rep range as well which a lot of sites recommend for muscle growth.

    Ive actually just ordered a tub of whey protein online so I should be starting with that this week. Do supplements really offer all that much? I would have thought that my diet was enough to at least see some growth?

    Personally, I'd never train chest and back together as I wouldn't have enough energy to lift heavy for both! If you're looking to gain weight you'll have to split that up in order to be able to make gains! That means going to the gym more or creating a cyclical routine or something!

    Suppliments do work, rather than eating a steak or chicken you just gulp down a shake and it contains the same ammount of protein/carbs. Just watch out for high sugar content in some of the cheaper ones!

    Also if you're trying hard to gain weight and its not working on you current relatively healthy diet, you should be eating all around you! Mc'Donnalds, KFC the whole nine yards, increase your portion sizes too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,770 ✭✭✭Bottle_of_Smoke


    not eating enough i'd say. F*ck all protein in your diet until you get to dinner

    I'd have eggs for breakfast. Make sure there's plenty of meat in your lunch too.

    I don't eat any cereals but what i used to do was special K with a protein powder shake for the milk (shake made with full fat milk)

    Drinking 2L of milk on top of your diet is a cheap way to add about 65g of protein and 1200 calories


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,660 ✭✭✭G86


    I don't know what your GF is talking about to be honest, you're not eating that much at all. Log your diet there into fitday.com and see what stats you come up with, I very much doubt your protein/kcal count is that high at all. What about swapping the weetabix for eggs in the morning - say an omlette or something?

    Your prog is a bit all over the shop too. Why are you doing 15 rep squat and dls? What kind of weight are you moving? And what's the story with the 4x4 reps ranges?

    and.....wrist extensions?! Do you know why you're doing these?

    You really need a prog overhaul if you're going to get anywhere. Maybe one of the guys in the strength sports forum could help you out if you don't get the advice you need here.


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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,301 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    Where did you get that program? It's all over the shop.

    If you're not gaining you need to eat more and lift heavier.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,877 ✭✭✭Burkatron


    You're 5'7 72kg 19% body fat according to calipers but your skinny?? That makes no sense!!?? :confused: I'm 5'6 70kg not sure of my body fat (12-14% range) & I'm not skinny! When I was up at 18-19% (recently enough :() after a bulk gone wrong due to a shoulder injury (that's my excuse) I definitely wasn't skinny!

    Anyway, you need to overhaul your programme! Focus on learning compound lifts (Squat,rows, dead lifts, Millitary presses, Bench, chin ups & dips to start with). Figure out & eat above your maintenance calories.

    Look up actual strength training programmes aimed for beginners that incorporate (most of if not all) the excercises above such as Starting strength,WS4SB,5/3/1 or any of the other strength training templates out there! They'll be better then what you're doing now!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 87 ✭✭blindasfcuk


    I think its amount in each portion shes on about I usually have 2-3 chicken fillets in my pasta and the same for dinner 2-3 chops or pieces of steak. I do drink at least a litre of milk a day already so ill try and up that to 2L.

    For the heavier lifing I am at the limit of what I can lift everytime if I think I usually keep going on my last set until I cant lift anymore and I'll increase the weight the next time if I'm able to complete the full rep so Im not sure how I can lift heavier weights unless I drop the amount of reps per set.

    Ill drop a post in the strength forum to see what I can do differently on my program.


  • Registered Users Posts: 87 ✭✭blindasfcuk


    The wrist extensions are there because I complained about a lack of strength in my wrists that I felt was holding me back on certain exercises particularly the push ups where I can feel the pressure on my wrists getting sore before I get tired from the set. I also want to build up more muscle in my forearms


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,660 ✭✭✭G86


    For the heavier lifing I am at the limit of what I can lift everytime if I think I usually keep going on my last set until I cant lift anymore and I'll increase the weight the next time if I'm able to complete the full rep so Im not sure how I can lift heavier weights unless I drop the amount of reps per set.

    Ill drop a post in the strength forum to see what I can do differently on my program.

    That's kind of the point, you should drop the reps and up the weight. I don't really get why you're doing 15reps.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 87 ✭✭blindasfcuk


    Cool Ill put everything at 3x8 except for chin ups and push ups as I can do f*ck all of the former but about 100 of the later


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,877 ✭✭✭Burkatron


    The wrist extensions are there because I complained about a lack of strength in my wrists that I felt was holding me back on certain exercises particularly the push ups where I can feel the pressure on my wrists getting sore before I get tired from the set. I also want to build up more muscle in my forearms

    Lift heavy & this will sort itself!


  • Registered Users Posts: 87 ✭✭blindasfcuk


    Even if it hasnt sorted itself out after 3 months? It cant hurt to do the wrist extensions as well


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,877 ✭✭✭Burkatron


    Even if it hasnt sorted itself out after 3 months? It cant hurt to do the wrist extensions as well
    Tuesday Chest and Back
    Chess Press Flat 4 x 4
    Supine Fly 4 x 4
    Chest Press Incline 4 x 4
    Press Up Swiss Ball 3 x 15
    Seated Row 3 x 15
    Bent over Row 3 x 15
    Pull Over 3 x 15
    Chin Ups 3 x 7



    Thursday Shoulder and Arms
    Shoulder Press 3 x 8
    Lateral Raise 3 x 8
    Upward Row 3 x 8
    Bicep Curl 3 x 8
    Tricep Extension 3 x 8
    Hammer Curl 3 x 8
    Wrist Extension 3 x 8


    Friday Legs
    Squat 3 x 15
    Lunge 45 3 x 15 are these weighted? if so they should be red!
    Dead Lift 3 x 15
    Calf Raises 3 x 15 see lunge

    Tuesday, thurday and Friday Abs
    Ab Curl 3 x 10
    Oblique Cross Over 3 x 10
    Back Extension 3 x 10
    Russian Twist 3 x 10
    Reverse Curl 3 x 10

    Everything highlighted in red you're gripping or applying pressure to your wrists! The wrist extensions haven't solved the problem & IMO they're adding to it.

    I should've worded my last answer better. Change your programme, drop the volume & lift heavy, the wrists/forearms will get stronger & should sort themselves.

    EDIT:I forgot to say it here,G86 did on the next post! You need to suck it up!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,660 ✭✭✭G86


    Even if it hasnt sorted itself out after 3 months? It cant hurt to do the wrist extensions as well

    You haven't really been doing anything productive for 3 months though. I moaned for ages about front squats giving me sore wrists, but sure after a few months they weren't half as bad, and tbh you just learn to suck it up. I don't think wrist exts are going to make a whole lot of difference, but sure stick 'em in if you want - there's no harm.

    As for switching to 3x8 on everything you've listed...that's not really the way to go either. I mean, everyone bashes people who say 'do starting strength', but the reason it works for beginners is because it's so simple - and it doesn't let you get bogged down with a ton of extras that you really don't need. Deadlift 5x5, Squat 5x5, Bench 5x5, add in supplementry work and that's it. It really doesn't have to be that complicated. You can tailor it more after a while if you want, but it's a pretty good base to start from.

    I mean there's nothing you've listed that's totally useless, it's just you could be using your time far more productively and getting alot more from your sessions than you are right now. It's kind of just like he picked a few exercises and wrote them down without actually thinking about an actual structure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 87 ✭✭blindasfcuk


    Cheers for the feedback lads. Ill drop my reps so. I dont want to just drop to dead lift, squats and bench though as I actually enjoy the slog of having to get through the various sets in each day. Also is it not better to be varying what I do each day instead of going in and hitting the same exercises everyday?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,660 ✭✭✭G86


    Also is it not better to be varying what I do each day instead of going in and hitting the same exercises everyday?

    In a word? No. I mean it's all about getting bang for your buck. Half of what you're doing at the moment is doing feck all for you. So why do it?

    As for the reps, if you up the weight then you definitely won't lose the 'slog' aspect of getting through the sets. I really just don't see the point in your 3x15s.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,877 ✭✭✭Burkatron


    Cheers for the feedback lads. Ill drop my reps so. I dont want to just drop to dead lift, squats and bench though as I actually enjoy the slog of having to get through the various sets in each day. Also is it not better to be varying what I do each day instead of going in and hitting the same exercises everyday?

    I think we could keep saying things to you over & over but you're just going to stick to your programme, you'll eventually come around!

    Try a heavy 5x5 week & then come back & tell me which is more of a slog!

    You need to build a foundation of strength first before you start changing excercises everyday! Your body hasn't even begun to make gains, worry about other excercises later on.

    As an example, if you look at crossfit which vary's day to day, one of the biggest problems (one of many) with the system is that people new to it just aren't strong enough for it yet! They've had to develop the Crossfit strength bias & CFFB (to an extent) to try & counter this.You'd still be far better off building a strength base first then attempt varying in other excercises. The guys who thrive in it are already absolute beasts. (I'm not telling you to go off & do crossfit btw, just an example)

    Edit: I'm also not saying don't do Crossfit,I'd be a hypocrite if I did as I'm gay for Crossfit Football (CFFB) as I believe it has a balance of what I want/need!


  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭Turbo_diesel


    Have a look at Dan John's mass made simple program. It's essentially high rep back squatting with some benching & pressing. You only train twice a week & if you follow it to the letter along with his nutritional advice you will find it easy to add mass. Don't expect the workouts to be easy though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭kevpants


    G86 wrote: »
    As for switching to 3x8 on everything you've listed...that's not really the way to go either. I mean, everyone bashes people who say 'do starting strength', but the reason it works for beginners is because it's so simple - and it doesn't let you get bogged down with a ton of extras that you really don't need. Deadlift 5x5, Squat 5x5, Bench 5x5, add in supplementry work and that's it. It really doesn't have to be that complicated. You can tailor it more after a while if you want, but it's a pretty good base to start from.

    This.

    It's a cliche but seriously, buy Starting Strength and do it. Report back in 12 months.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Dhoff


    I am pretty similar to your situation. For the last year or so, I have been trying to put on and keep about 2 stone. I was travelling for 2 years and went from 88kg down to 69kg. My prob was foreign foods and the heat so, my diet was all over the place.

    When I came home I started straight away back in the gym to gain these kg's back. Your exercises seem ok but maybe you should punish yourself and superset inbetween each set with dips,pushups,etc.

    Breakfast:
    Orange Juice/Milk
    2/3 whole grain toast no butter
    Scrabbled eggs x3/4

    Snack:
    Protein shake with banana and nuts

    Lunch:
    Chicken fillet + Salad + milk

    Snack:
    Half tin of Chick peas/normal peas with small tin of tuna mixed in

    Dinner:
    whole grain pasta/rice and Lean beef or turkey

    Before bed and after gym:
    Protein shake and Wholegrain bread with peanut butter

    I know a lot of people will disagree with my diet plan but it worked for me. I think if you punish your chest the most the results are more noticeable quicker..your biceps and back muscles will develope with your chest.

    One trick I do is, bench-press first everytime you go to the gym. Even if it is your day for legs or cardio..

    Anyway if you want any other advice on foods that worked for me that you buy in tesco give me a reply...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,762 ✭✭✭jive


    If your GF is whinging already and you want to start getting more calories the consider these foods

    olive oil, it's more calorie dense than....well, anything. 100ml of olive oil = ~900 calories. take 50ml a day and that's an extra meal (entirely of fat, but w/e. you're not eating it for protein.) i think you can get litre bottles for a 5'r or something. thats 9000 calories for a 5r, daylight robbery.

    oats. eat them raw, blitz them with whey powder, doesn't matter. they're like €2 per/kg.

    whey powder. find it cheap online, get a good deal, but it in bulk. do what you gotta do. it's a quick and easy way of getting in protein.

    chicken. buy it in bulk off a butcher, find one that will do you a deal. mine gives me 1 large breast for €1, you could probably do even better. freeze them, boil them, fry them, oven the **** out of them. again it doesn't matter just get them inside of your body

    pasta. cheap as ****, you can get 3kg bags for a few euro.

    couscous. cheap as ****, cooks in under a minute just pour in boiling water and eat the stuff.

    eggs. again hit up your local butcher, they'll do you a deal. cheap as ****. doesn't matter how you eat them either, if you want to eat them raw then do. or just cook them any which way you desire.

    other foods which are good and cheap = potatoes, bread, pork chops, cheese, milk

    progress in weight gain and you'll progress in the gym. get enough protein and calories and you'll be laughing.

    red=fat,lime=carb,purpley=protein (milk good source of all 3, cheese fat/protein - just purpled them all cause im lazy)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,358 ✭✭✭cmyk


    Have a look at Dan John's mass made simple program. It's essentially high rep back squatting with some benching & pressing. You only train twice a week & if you follow it to the letter along with his nutritional advice you will find it easy to add mass. Don't expect the workouts to be easy though.

    I'll second this over starting strength. Go get the book or the pdf, think the pdf works out at about 7e or so. It does what it says on the tin and walks you through a decent programme, answering pretty much any question you have including cheap bulking foods and weekly tweaks.

    It also has a 6 week 'learn to squat properly' lead in period to nail your technique. I've no idea what your technique is like but it's pretty important to injury prevention and progress.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,917 ✭✭✭Barry.Oglesby


    kevpants wrote: »
    This.

    It's a cliche but seriously, buy Starting Strength and do it. Report back in 12 months.
    You've changed man. You used to be cool.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,301 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    kevpants wrote: »
    This.

    It's a cliche but seriously, buy Starting Strength and do it. Report back in 12 months.
    You've changed man. You used to be cool.

    Nah man, kevpants is still cool. It's just that cool changed and left you behind.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 16,397 ✭✭✭✭Degsy


    OP you need more weight,more food,less volume and more time..you wont make much in the way of gains in 3 months..it all depends on your genetics but i would say give it 12 before you'll see a big difference.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,917 ✭✭✭Barry.Oglesby


    Degsy wrote: »
    OP you need more weight,more food,less volume and more time..
    Agree
    you wont make much in the way of gains in 3 months..it all depends on your genetics but i would say give it 12 before you'll see a big difference.
    And disagree. At novice (where he's at) level given good food and good programming I've seen good gains in shorter time frames.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 16,397 ✭✭✭✭Degsy


    Agree
    And disagree. At novice (where he's at) level given good food and good programming I've seen good gains in shorter time frames.

    Yep but he has neither...And there's the influence of genetics..some people can pack muscle on very easily and others struggle to add any mass at all.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,917 ✭✭✭Barry.Oglesby


    Degsy wrote: »
    Yep but he has neither...And there's the influence of genetics..some people can pack muscle on very easily and others struggle to add any mass at all.
    For sure. But the genetic thing doesn't kick in until much later, as in as you approach genetic limitation.


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