Help with diet/workout. I CAN'T SEEM TO GAIN! Plenty of background info included.

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    Help with diet/workout. I CAN'T SEEM TO GAIN! Plenty of background info included.


    I wanted to avoid making a thread like this, but I need help. Instead of saying “WHY CAN’T I GAIN?!?!?” and give you no info, I’m going to give you as much as I can, so yeah, get ready to read…sorry:

    Well, I’ve been reading these forums for a while now and I would consider myself to be fairly strict/serious when it comes to training and dieting. I push it hard in the gym and I never eat junk food. I even try to watch out for things such as high fructose corn syrup and things of that sort. For the longest time I would go to the gym 2-2.5 hours a day (I know I know I have no life) and get no gains. I quickly found this forum (about 1.5 years ago) and make an actual program up which consists of:

    General Stats:

    Age: 21
    Height: 5’10 ish
    Weight: I fluctuate around 180
    Years lifting: 4 (Seriously: 1.5)

    Monday (Chest/Bis/Abs):

    -Flat Bench: 2 warm up sets + 3 x 6-8
    -Incline DB: 3-4 x 6-8
    -Machine Flys: 3 x 6-8
    - BB Curls: 3 x 6-8
    - Seated Incline DB Curl: 3 x 6-8
    - Captains Chair (no added weight) 3 x 20
    - Weighted (heavy) decline crunches 3 x 12-15

    - Cardio: 15 min Elliptical machine

    Tuesday (Legs*/Lower Back):

    *Both of my knees are really messed up at the moment (have been for the past 6 months) and I’m in the process of talking with athletic trainers (I’m not an athlete, just a athletic dept. computer guy who has access to them) and trying to fix things, so I’m restricted to the leverage squat machine. I used to full squat and leg press both 3 x 6-8,

    -Leverage Machine Full Squats: 2 warm up + 3 x 6-8
    -Dead Lift: 1 warm up + 3 x 6-8
    SLDL (light weight): 3 x 6-8
    -Just started back on Leg press last week, not sure if I’m ready to do them heavy enough to make them worth it
    -Standing calf raises: 3 x 6-8

    Weds. (Cardio/Abs)

    - Captains Chair (no added weight) 3 x 20
    -Weighted (heavy) decline crunches 3 x 12-15
    -Cardio: 15 min Elliptical machine

    Thursday: (Delts/Tris)

    -BB Shoulder Press (no back support): 1 warm up + 3 x 6-8
    -DB Front Raise: 3 x 6-8
    -DB Lateral Raise: 3 x 6-8
    -DB Seated Rear Lateral Raise: 3 x 6-8
    -Behind the back BB Shrugs: 3 x 6-8
    -Skull Crushes (down behind my head, not sure what it’s called: 3 x 6-8
    -Weighted Dips: 3 x 6-8
    -Tricep Pulldowns: 3 x 6-8

    Friday: (Back/Forearms):

    -Weighted Wide-Grip Pullups: 3 x 10
    -Bent over BB Rows: 1 warm up + 3 x 6-8
    -T-bar rows: 3 x 6-8
    -Front Lat Pulldown: 3 x 6-8
    -Seated Rows : 3 x 6-8
    -Behind the back BB wrist curls: 3 x 6-8
    - Farmer walks: 3 x 10 sec.

    Saturday: (Abs/Cardio)

    - Captains Chair (no added weight) 3 x 20
    -Weighted (heavy) decline crunches 3 x 12-15
    -Cardio: 15 min Elliptical machine

    Sunday: (REST!)

    Well, that’s the first part. As far as my daily meals go, it’s something like this:

    Meal 1:

    6 egg whites
    grits (plain, non instant)
    honey

    Meal 2: Weak Meal I know, but I’m on campus

    Natty PB sandwich (whole wheat)

    Meal 3: On Campus

    Tuna Sandwich (whole wheat)

    Workout
    -post workout whey Isolate

    Meal 4:

    Brown rice or Potatoes
    3 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts or Steak
    Broccoli

    Meal 5: Snack/Homemade Gainer of:

    Rolled oats
    Plain Yogurt
    Banana
    Natty PB
    Skim Milk
    All mixed in a bowl…yum

    Meal 6 (right before bed)

    1 cup of Muscle Milk in Skim Milk

    I calculated this all online today at fitday and got this:



    Not really sure how accurate it is, but I messed with it a bit.


    I do this pretty much everyday. All I take supplement wise is:

    Ergopharm GF Pro
    Cissus RX
    NOW ADAM Multi
    Scivation Xtend
    Controlled Labs Green MAGnitude (creatine)
    Muscle Milk
    Flax Oil

    I also just got my hands on 8 weeks worth of the NHA stack. This will be my first dive into natural anabolics (or anabolics of any type really).

    Anyway, I pretty much never cheat meal wise, I never drink, and I never smoke or do any drugs. Before I did the fitday thing I assumed I was just not eating enough, but that seems not to be the case. The only other thing I can think of is how much sleep I get. On the weekdays I get 4-6 hours a day. I know….school sucks.

    Soooooo, does anyone have any recommendations to how I could put on some mass. I put on a good amount when I first started getting serious about a year ago, but now I feel like I’ve been at this huge 180 lb. mark for like the past 4-5 months. My overall goal is to reach 220 (I'm in no rush) and then cut down to somewhere around 200-210. Again, sorry for the length, but too much info is better than none

    Hope the spelling/grammar isn’t too bad. It’s long and I need to lift, so I’ll be back in a long while. Thanks!

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    Does this thread stink or something?

    Anyone have any ideas????
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    Doesn't cardio interfere with bulking? Try getting more sleep?
    Are you still gaining in strength?
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    Yeah, strength increases slowly happen in most excersises. I don't do much cardio. I just feel like a slob if I don't do any at all.

    I should probably get more sleep...

    I was just hoping that it might be something else holding me back.

    edit: Be back in a hour. I have class...
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    I wish I could tell ya, after years of being in IT, I've bulked in the fat way
    I haven't tried to bulk up since I was 17, there wasn't many supps out back then like there are today. I would just eat a lot and used some weigh gain 3600 product. Just wait til someone who knows more chimes in.
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    How long have you been on that routine? You've probably hit a training plateau.

    I would really look into some sort of routine with periodization. The same split over and over again will inevitably lead to a wall. I would read up on HST if you want more mass or perhaps Bill Starr's 5x5. These programs both use deloading or deconditioning phases along with heavy compound lifts.

    I used to have a similar split like yours for a few months when I started and made great gains, but I walled off and couldn't get any stronger or bigger. I switched to HST and made good mass gains while leaning out. Now I'm doing 5x5 and my strength is higher than ever!
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    Thanks for the reply!

    I've been on this routine for about a year now, so you're probably right. I switch things up every so often, but I think changing my entire routine would really help like you said. Thanks again.
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    I hope that it goes well for you. Sometimes a drastic change will get you the motivation you need to break through walls.
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    When you say that you cant gain does that mean muscle or the reading on the scale wont go up at all?

    If it is the latter then you simply need to eat more. Calorie calculators are good for giving you a ballpark to start with but then you have to tweak your diet for your specific situation. You may have a high metabolism and/or you may underestimate your non-workout calorie expenditure.

    If you are healthy, you will gain weight (fat and/or muscle) if you consume sufficient calories. If you are steady at 180 lbs then you are basically eating maintenance calories. An extra 500 kcals/day should gain you about 1lb per week.
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    Yeah, I should eat more too, but getting in the 5-6 meals a day I usually get is hard enough as a student, so adding more would be crazy. My one big problem is that I don't count calories much. I'm definately going to start though thanks!
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    What is your current % BF? I'm guessing fairly low given your stats. If so, you don't need to be eating cleanly all the time.

    Agree that you need a routine with periodization. As previously mentioned, both HST and Starr's 5x5 would be good choices. (Although Starr's program involves a significant amount of squating so it may not be for you.) You may do better working out four days a week with greater intensity and allow you body to recover than your current six day protocol.

    As another poster mentioned, if you aren't gaining you need to up your carbs. How many cals do you burn outside of the gym? If you are involved in sports in addition to your gym time, it may not allow sufficient time for recovery and you may be burning more Kcals than you are currently getting.

    You may want to increase your flax oil intake from 2 to 3 TBSPs per day.

    Get as much sleep as possible. Hard for a college student, but you're body needs to recover.

    Your PRE-workout meal is insufficient. Change it to 16 oz FF milk with 2 scoops protein powder and a whole wheat bagel with some jam (no butter) ingested ~30 minutes pre-workout. Tuna sandwich won't cut it.

    Good luck!
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    your routine has too much volume in my opinion, maybe you are overtraining, that would explain not making progress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by t-bone2 View Post
    What is your current % BF? I'm guessing fairly low given your stats. If so, you don't need to be eating cleanly all the time.

    Agree that you need a routine with periodization. As previously mentioned, both HST and Starr's 5x5 would be good choices. (Although Starr's program involves a significant amount of squating so it may not be for you.) You may do better working out four days a week with greater intensity and allow you body to recover than your current six day protocol.

    As another poster mentioned, if you aren't gaining you need to up your carbs. How many cals do you burn outside of the gym? If you are involved in sports in addition to your gym time, it may not allow sufficient time for recovery and you may be burning more Kcals than you are currently getting.

    You may want to increase your flax oil intake from 2 to 3 TBSPs per day.

    Get as much sleep as possible. Hard for a college student, but you're body needs to recover.

    Your PRE-workout meal is insufficient. Change it to 16 oz FF milk with 2 scoops protein powder and a whole wheat bagel with some jam (no butter) ingested ~30 minutes pre-workout. Tuna sandwich won't cut it.

    Good luck!
    All great advice, thanks!

    I haven't really bothered checking out my BF%, but I think it's fairly low. At this point I think when classes calm down I'm going to spend a weekend really changing my routine and upping my calorie intake. Sounds easy enough, but I'm the type of person that has to read up on stuff to death, so making major routine changes takes time. Thanks again!

    Also, as far as the pre-workout meal is concerned. I've always heard that eating a bunch before your workout is not good, since too much blood is going to be busy working on digesting the food and not in your muscles like it should be. Then again, I could be pulling this out of my a**


    Quote Originally Posted by dnegel View Post
    your routine has too much volume in my opinion, maybe you are overtraining, that would explain not making progress.
    Hopefully, changing my routine may fix this or at least see if that was the problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moflika View Post
    Also, as far as the pre-workout meal is concerned. I've always heard that eating a bunch before your workout is not good, since too much blood is going to be busy working on digesting the food and not in your muscles like it should be. Then again, I could be pulling this out of my a**
    The basic idea of a bulking diet is to provide a steady surplus of energy to your body throughout the day to feed continuous growth. To maintain that surplus during periods of activity you need to eat more than during periods of inactivity. Yes it sounds simple but sometimes we forget it.

    The next step is to do what works for YOU to achieve this. It's not about dextrose, cold filtered whey isolate, or jam. If you don't like working out on a full stomach then make your pre-WO meal small or skip it and make sure your post-WO meal is decent. DO make sure that you are getting adequate, nutritional, calories throughout the day to meet your goals.
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    Echoing some of the other posts, I have made my best gains ever off Bill Starrs 5x5 program. Been using bodybuilding type routines for 15 years, and this one is MUCH better. Not only have I gotten stronger and bigger, but some shoulder and elbow tendinitis problems cleared up (I guess from lifting 3x per week instead of 6). I'm taking in about 4k cal a day also...Make sure you major in the most important lift...the forklift!

    Keep at it.
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    in all honesty your diet looks more like a crappy cut diet i dont even need to calculate the macros to see that diet is no good for bulking. unfortunatly i gotta leave real quick but when i get back well talk and get this diet redone
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    Hmmm, well you're the first person to comment on the diet itself, so I'd be interested to hear what you would have to say on that.
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    Ok First off, it sounds like you are training for WAY TOO LONG 2-2.5 hours long is a long training session for a bulker, seeing as after an hour or so you will start to release cortisol and you will become catabolic. Keep it around an hour to an hour an a half, trust me. And make it 5 sets of 4-6 reps. slow positives and negatives, every 3 weeks do ballistics with each of your compositions.


    Now your diet. Your school diet sucks!!! Your lunch should be as big as your dinner. I'd rather see you eat a chicken breast with rice at lunch and two chicken breasts at dinner instead of 3.

    And you have no preworkout meal (you need alot of carbs if you dont wanna break down during a workout). And I dont even know how you fit in meal 5, WTF dude! lol, no wonder you dont get any sleep. You should have a preworkout meal instead (more important) that will close that gap between dinner and bed time meals.

    Add in more bannanas!

    Hope you start gaining some weight, shorten your training sessions for **** sakes!!!
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    LOL, thanks for all the advice!

    I used to train 2-2.5 hours a day, for the past year and a half I've got it down to 1.5 hours a day so I got that covered. I'll definitely give the food advice a try. I'm just going to have to start bringing a cooler on campus with me with all my meals in them :/

    I've actually gained a bit of weight since I first made this thread. Instead of fluctuating around 180 lbs., I now fluctuate around 185-7. The thing that I found help me out the most is motivation. I met a couple of Olympic lifters that don't mess around and they always push me to push harder and add more weight. This alone has led to breaking through many plateaus that I've had for the last 6 months.
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    throw in some new overload techniques, dropsets, supersets, eccentrics, super eccentrics and partials can all be mixed around to keep your body guessing every few weeks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moflika View Post
    LOL, thanks for all the advice!

    I used to train 2-2.5 hours a day, for the past year and a half I've got it down to 1.5 hours a day so I got that covered. I'll definitely give the food advice a try. I'm just going to have to start bringing a cooler on campus with me with all my meals in them :/

    I've actually gained a bit of weight since I first made this thread. Instead of fluctuating around 180 lbs., I now fluctuate around 185-7. The thing that I found help me out the most is motivation. I met a couple of Olympic lifters that don't mess around and they always push me to push harder and add more weight. This alone has led to breaking through many plateaus that I've had for the last 6 months.
    I have a couple of ideas that I think you may want to keep in mind.

    1) Keep working out with people who push your limits. Training partners come and go but the gains stay if you stick to it.

    2) Never lift for anything more than 1 hour maybe 1 hour 10 minutes..... EVER!! I overtrained religiously as a younger lifter and my gains were greatly impaired. If you are really going 85% on some lifts, you wont be able to last too lng at that level of lifting.

    3) Experiment with different eating modules.Your brekfest looked good for a cutting program, I eat mine more like a mega healthy, fat boy buffet. By dinner, like a crack head needing a rock if you catch my drift, minimally. You may still need to pack in a low sugar, moderate carb, moderate fat, hgih protein meal as your last meal.

    And good luck.
    My The 1 LOG: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/steroids/254164-my-one-log.html
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    how is the intensity of your workouts, rest between sets, your bodytype. Very rarely do I see people who a ctually train hard including most pro's. I am a nationally ranked bodybuilder and am a physical therapist, if you really want help here is my personal email cubbyiguana@yahoo
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    Quote Originally Posted by motiv8er View Post
    I have a couple of ideas that I think you may want to keep in mind.

    1) Keep working out with people who push your limits. Training partners come and go but the gains stay if you stick to it.

    2) Never lift for anything more than 1 hour maybe 1 hour 10 minutes..... EVER!! I overtrained religiously as a younger lifter and my gains were greatly impaired. If you are really going 85% on some lifts, you wont be able to last too lng at that level of lifting.

    3) Experiment with different eating modules.Your brekfest looked good for a cutting program, I eat mine more like a mega healthy, fat boy buffet. By dinner, like a crack head needing a rock if you catch my drift, minimally. You may still need to pack in a low sugar, moderate carb, moderate fat, hgih protein meal as your last meal.

    And good luck.
    Thanks for the advice!

    1. That's what I'm planning to do

    2. I think my long workout time comes from taking breaks in-between sets that are too long. I definitely need to work on that.

    3. As you can see my mid day meals suffer due being a student running all over campus. I've been hearing a lot more lately that my diet looks like a cut diet. How do I change this? Is it just a matter of eating more of what I'm eating, or are there things that I'm not eating that are better for bulking up? I always assume I was keeping my diet clean.

    For example, breakfast, I can't really think of anything else to eat. Add yogurt maybe? Or do you mean just eat more of what I'm eating?

    Thanks
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    Instead of just egg whites, perhaps whole eggs?

    Here is another rule of thumb if you dont count your calories.

    Once you are full, eat half of what you just ate! Anymore and you might throw up, lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarterMalone View Post
    Once you are full, eat half of what you just ate! Anymore and you might throw up, lol.
    Hahahaha, I'll keep that in mind!

    Six yolks seems like a bit much. I'll look into it though. Thanks
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    Cut the cardio.
  

  
 

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