Unanswered Can’t gain!!!

Brain5ick

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So I’m on 400mg test and 200mg Deca, 3,600-4,000 calories a day depending on the working. I’m definitely getting much stronger but I’m stuck at 175lbs. I’m curling 50lbs dumbbells like nothing, good controlled reps. 225lbs bent over rows and 4plate tbar rows for reps. 650lbs on the leg press for reps too but I’m stuck on this weight thing. I can tell my arms are getting larger but I can’t get the scale to move. Doing 10 minutes of cardio on the stairs every day to start but I’ve started only doing it every other day and still can’t gain. Not sure what to do. Not trying to over eat and gain a bunch of fat.
 
TheMovement

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So I’m on 400mg test and 200mg Deca, 3,600-4,000 calories a day depending on the working. I’m definitely getting much stronger but I’m stuck at 175lbs. I’m curling 50lbs dumbbells like nothing, good controlled reps. 225lbs bent over rows and 4plate tbar rows for reps. 650lbs on the leg press for reps too but I’m stuck on this weight thing. I can tell my arms are getting larger but I can’t get the scale to move. Doing 10 minutes of cardio on the stairs every day to start but I’ve started only doing it every other day and still can’t gain. Not sure what to do. Not trying to over eat and gain a bunch of fat.
The cardio isnt an issue and Id recommend more only because your on cycle. The calories must be increased. You didn't mention fat gain anywhere but its surprising that with the Deca you arent gaining more as well. I know you dont want to get fat but that fine cross that bridge later. EAT! Calories in, keep BP in check and keep blood flow going, and enjoy the gains while you can. You've already spent the funds to do this, dont let simply being short on calories be the reason you missed above average to great gains.

Have you ran this cycle before with good results?
How long have you been on this cycle?
How long have you been eating between 3600-4000 calories?

Theres a 2800cal window here that needs to be fine tuned as well. Pick one, either 3600, 3800, or 4k for your caloric intake. Big difference between 25200 calories a week (3600) and 28,000 a week(4000).
 
AntM1564

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Are you tracking calories or is that an estimate? I know if I estimate, I end up undereating.
 

Brain5ick

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The cardio isnt an issue and Id recommend more only because your on cycle. The calories must be increased. You didn't mention fat gain anywhere but its surprising that with the Deca you arent gaining more as well. I know you dont want to get fat but that fine cross that bridge later. EAT! Calories in, keep BP in check and keep blood flow going, and enjoy the gains while you can. You've already spent the funds to do this, dont let simply being short on calories be the reason you missed above average to great gains.

Have you ran this cycle before with good results?
How long have you been on this cycle?
How long have you been eating between 3600-4000 calories?

Theres a 2800cal window here that needs to be fine tuned as well. Pick one, either 3600, 3800, or 4k for your caloric intake. Big difference between 25200 calories a week (3600) and 28,000 a week(4000).
I’ve been on the test since May 9th and now that I look at it I haven’t been on that long. Only about 6 weeks. Deca I’ve been on for 2 weeks and plan on using it for 10, test dose at 16 then cruise on 200mg for a couple months. Still odd that I can’t gain at 3,600cal but I am much stronger. Should I just shoot for 4,000cal?
 

Brain5ick

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I also would like to add that I work a fast paced delivery job 4 days out of the week and landscaping whenever I can.
 

CroLifter

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I would increase my carbs/protein until you start gaining desirable amount of weight per week. And honestly man, I try to adjust my goals towards yearly seasons. Now it is so hot around here that bulking is out of the question. So I am just maintaining (and therefore using the minimum test dose i think i can get away with) and waiting cooler weather to start growing again. There is no point, eating a lot is a torture in this weather i feel like passing out walking ouside in the sun.

Edit: Physical job in hot weather absolutely annihilates me. Kills my desire to train. Dehydration is also a problem. Having a physical job and not heing able to recover was the 2nd biggest reason i started aas, the 1st being test in 300s. Therefore, I plan my next growing season when i am done with this job and then i can fully dedicate myself to training. I mean there is no point in risking your health with aas if you are not able to commit 100% to your training and get max results out of it.

And if you are getting stronger, that means you are growing. Muscle size and strength are correlated and its not like you are using super androgenic compounds like tren or halo which jack up your strength through cns stimulation. It just means that you are recomping.
 
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Brain5ick

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I would increase my carbs/protein until you start gaining desirable amount of weight per week. And honestly man, I try to adjust my goals towards yearly seasons. Now it is so hot around here that bulking is out of the question. So I am just maintaining (and therefore using the minimum test dose i think i can get away with) and waiting cooler weather to start growing again. There is no point, eating a lot is a torture in this weather i feel like passing out walking ouside in the sun.
I have to eat a lot anyways because I produce too much GH and insulin, the **** tears my body up if I don’t eat constantly. Plus the way that I work I figure I need it to maintain anyhow. I literally just got done working for someone that had me walking up and down a 40 foot hill weed eating and it was pretty much straight up and down the way the incline was, then move brush and debris and a 300lbs log. Did that for four hours.
 
TheMovement

TheMovement

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Definitely shoot for the 4k calories. From what Im seeing yes it actually would seem early to see too much but that also tells me you arent truly eating enough. Bump up the calories and you can always adjust later own. Nothing is set in stone and the human body is different person to person.
 
Hyde

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Everyone in here is saying this and even you, deep down, know it’s the answer. If you aren’t gaining weight, everything else constant, you will need to take in more energy.

You can have anything you want in this world if you can pay the cost. Maybe I can bulk on 3,300 calories/day. Maybe you will need 4,200. Or 6,000, or even more, like a skinny teenager or someone with crazy hyperthyroidism. None of those scenarios is fair - it’s just reality. But if you will pay the cost you will gain the weight.

If not, you won’t. And that’s your choice. The only way to know you’re growing is to eat a little more than you need. Gaining weight means some amount of fat gain. The goal is to walk the line and minimize it so you don’t look like the Michelin Man in only 3 weeks lol.
 
DaveyCrockett

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For me, eating enough to bulk this last go around felt like force feeding. Truly uncomfortable at times. My last job was fairly active and i found that just to maintain weight took way more calories than what any website or textbook would recommend
 

Mathb33

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Like everyone said eat more. You and I are similar.. let me tell you you’ll need more food than you think to grow but once you get to the sweet spot you’ll start to grow. Also your doses aren’t super high so that’s another factor.. I would up that deca dose personally
 

Brain5ick

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Like everyone said eat more. You and I are similar.. let me tell you you’ll need more food than you think to grow but once you get to the sweet spot you’ll start to grow. Also your doses aren’t super high so that’s another factor.. I would up that deca dose personally
I respond very rapidly to androgens so lower doses work for the meantime. When I first got onto TRT at 200mg I gained 20 some pounds. Really just testing the waters but we will see.
 

Mathb33

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I respond very rapidly to androgens so lower doses work for the meantime. When I first got onto TRT at 200mg I gained 20 some pounds. Really just testing the waters but we will see.
Yeah I get that and I respect the lowish dose of test but IMO 200mg of deca is not gonna yield much gains. Anyways that’s just my opinion! About the food tho I would make sure to consistently eat 4K a day not like 4K one day and the other 3.6 or 3.7 I’d really go for 4K+ every day and see how it goes!
 
TheMovement

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I can attest to this. I was stuck in the 220s for months and after meeting with a Dietitian and Having some testing done (On a school campus) I found the answers I needed and I was able to keep growing. Now Im on my way down from 270 and Ive still never been stronger. Finding what works for you is a MUST. I was eating over 5000 cal a day. I had the help and I swear it helped me save money instead of binge eating, guessing, and leading to lost time.
 
Old Witch

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Definitely eat more. At very least eat more protein.

If you’re losing fat and getting bigger arms while the scale stays the same... see if you’re also getting a bigger chest and back.

The scale might be telling you you’re losing fat to fuel the body while the food you eat is being used to build muscle.
 

Brain5ick

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Yeah I get that and I respect the lowish dose of test but IMO 200mg of deca is not gonna yield much gains. Anyways that’s just my opinion! About the food tho I would make sure to consistently eat 4K a day not like 4K one day and the other 3.6 or 3.7 I’d really go for 4K+ every day and see how it goes!
The Deca is mainly for joint health, my shoulders have been awful lately. Tbh I wanted to try DHB or EQ but I got this from my pharma and they sent it dirt cheap so why not 🤷🏻‍♂️.

Definitely eat more. At very least eat more protein.

If you’re losing fat and getting bigger arms while the scale stays the same... see if you’re also getting a bigger chest and back.

The scale might be telling you you’re losing fat to fuel the body while the food you eat is being used to build muscle.
Not so sure I’m losing fat, back is definitely thicker and noticeably so. I accidentally tore the straps off of my tank at work today.... lats have become too big for my old champion shirts I wore at the same weight this past winter. Chest is so so. My girl thinks it’s gotten bigger but I can’t tell. Very strong though.
 

Brain5ick

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I have this theory that someone who stopped producing testosterone would basically have the most sensitive androgen receptors (as well as estrogen receptors but that’s another topic) so while only having 170ng/dL as far as test goes long term, once an average dose of an androgen is introduced it produces a much more intense effect on the muscle tissue as well as central nervous system. The receptors in theory should become saturated much more easily and quickly than usual which is why some guys on TRT change rather drastically.
 

Brain5ick

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So here’s my macros for the day guys. Eating big as usual. I just got done training, it was legs today but due to my job earlier today I didn’t get to hit it as hard (plus my wife and daughter came so I didn’t have a ton of time, which is fine). I went heavy and for as many reps as I could on each lift, 4-5 sets on everything.

Leg press was 4 sets of 15/15/12/12/10-225lbs/315lbs/405lbs/500lbs/600lbs.

Leg extensions 4 sets til failure, over 12 reps. 170/190/200/210.

RDLs 4 sets, 10/8/5/5 with 225/250/315/330

More leg extensions, didn’t count sets cause it was more like a drawn out drop set.

Seated calf extensions 3 sets of 30 with 160/180/200.

I didn’t focus on hamstrings because they’ve been cramping horribly all day from working on that hill. Pretty sure I’m a little dehydrated so that’s a factor.

This is a rather short and chill session for me though but I figured I’d post and show you guys what kind of routine I’m doing. Tomorrow is shoulders and it’s a pretty intense one. All my workouts are hellish, usually leave myself gasping for air by the end. Lots of drop sets and triple sets/super sets so the intensity is always there (so are the back pumps and they’re killing me). I did skip on cardio today though because of my limited time but running up and down the side of that hill really had my heart going.
I’ll keep posting my workouts and whatnot here as well as my macros so maybe I can get some extra help on this bulk.
 
TheMovement

TheMovement

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Shoot a shot of the actual foods. That’s closer to 4176 if I’m not mistaken. Late night brain I’m not making you promises!
 

Brain5ick

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Today was a little less than optimal as far as food sources go but I did what I had to to make it work. Used RPG (glucose disposal agent) with any meals that contained a lot of sugar, because I don’t normally do a lot of sugars.
 

MedRat

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Change your workout. How long have you been doing these same exercises. You talk about leg press but, I didn't see a thing about squats. Wheres your bench press and deadlift?

Im not a big fan of scales. I much prefer tape measures. If everything else is solid, increase the testosterone and add nolvadex or arimadex.

I know for me that I must beat myself half to death in the gym to get gains. You really do want to be the hardest worker in the gym any time you go in.
 

CroLifter

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I would also start a solid strength program (focused on big compounds) if you are already not doing it.
I know its tempting to do a bunch of isolations when you are on gear and admire the pump (i am guilty of it) you get but that is not what gets us the most results.
 
Old Witch

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And I’m the opposite. The harder I work beyond a certain point, the less I gain and the more I just hurt.

The idea for me is to knock a bunch of holes in the muscle so it can be repaired larger and stronger, but not so much that there isn’t enough putty to go around. And definitely not so much the whole house is knocked flat.
 
Hyde

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And I’m the opposite. The harder I work beyond a certain point, the less I gain and the more I just hurt.

The idea for me is to knock a bunch of holes in the muscle so it can be repaired larger and stronger, but not so much that there isn’t enough putty to go around. And definitely not so much the whole house is knocked flat.
I tend to agree here, as far as what works for me. You can consistently train as hard as you can recover from. At that threshold you must increase recovery somehow further or if unable to then acquire fatigue debt and begin to backslide until the debt is payed (deload, either chosen or forced via injury).

You gotta train hard, but you also need to train optimally. Maximally and minimally will ultimately waste your time to a degree. Finding the line is the key.
 
Renew1

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And I’m the opposite. The harder I work beyond a certain point, the less I gain and the more I just hurt.

The idea for me is to knock a bunch of holes in the muscle so it can be repaired larger and stronger, but not so much that there isn’t enough putty to go around. And definitely not so much the whole house is knocked flat.
Me too.
 

Brain5ick

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All solid advice, thanks! As far as squats, I only use a safety bar when I do them because of a back injury that tends to flare up pretty badly when I use a barbell.
Generally I don’t grow well if I don’t beat the absolute hell out of myself but I put on muscle quickly. I’m much larger than I was on vacation a month ago but not as lean, I looked at pics and can tell I’ve put on muscle but I’m holding a good bit of water from upping my carbs so hard.
 

Brain5ick

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So I can’t tell if I’ve put on much fat. Abs are obviously gone haha but I wasn’t the most shredded anyways. Shoulders have grown a good bit, I may be overdoing the calories if I continue at 4,000 a day but I’m not sure. I’ll check the scale for reference tomorrow. If I’ve put on more than a pound and a half in the past week I may cut them back a little bit.
 
Old Witch

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So I can’t tell if I’ve put on much fat. Abs are obviously gone haha but I wasn’t the most shredded anyways. Shoulders have grown a good bit, I may be overdoing the calories if I continue at 4,000 a day but I’m not sure. I’ll check the scale for reference tomorrow. If I’ve put on more than a pound and a half in the past week I may cut them back a little bit.
Sounds like overdoing the calories, yeah. You can cut back on either carbs or fats by a hundred calories and see...
 

Brain5ick

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Sounds like overdoing the calories, yeah. You can cut back on either carbs or fats by a hundred calories and see...
I’m still quite vascular expect I’m not noticing veins in my shoulders AS much but they’re still there for sure. The “V” shape I had in my stomach/midsection that my wife liked so much is going away sadly. Lifts are crazy though, I’m pretty sure the Deca hasn’t even kicked in yet , it’s only been 3 weeks or so but the pumps I’m getting are intense. I had back pumps so bad doing plate raises today I almost threw up. My joints feel nicer than usual but could be placebo, either way it’s a nice change. Also more aggressive, more confrontational than usual. Otherwise I’m strong as all hell, sleeping well now, usually pretty hungry too.
 

Joseph2288

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i was stuck at 170 for almost a year i kept my calories basically the same but upped my dosages to 1.5+ grams of gear plus GH and insulin a weak im at 192. I weighed 174 july of 2018.
 

Mathb33

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i was stuck at 170 for almost a year i kept my calories basically the same but upped my dosages to 1.5+ grams of gear plus GH and insulin a weak im at 192. I weighed 174 july of 2018.
At 170 lbs you needed to fix your diet not go on such amount of gear. This amount of gear should be used when you went wayyy above your genetic potential and you’re already huge. In my opinion that was a waste lol
 

Joseph2288

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lol yea i recommend people take it easy their first couple cycles but im 3 years into gear. I started of tiny like 5 9'127 pounds when i started lifting while most people always jump on food as to why people hit walls id say its one of three reasons food, the amount and type of gear your taking, or your training methods at 170 i isolated it to gear and boom now im at 192 almost 20 pounds in a year.
 
DaveyCrockett

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At 170 lbs you needed to fix your diet not go on such amount of gear. This amount of gear should be used when you went wayyy above your genetic potential and you’re already huge. In my opinion that was a waste lol
There is definitely a point of diminishing returns when it comes to large doses of gear, but even well below what I'd assume my genetic potential is, more gear always, ALWAYS equaled more gains, barring interference from sides. I definitely think "waste of gear" is a subjective term.

However, I have run so much tren that my appetite and sleep cycle went into the sh*tter (sure plenty of us have) and those sides did derail the gainz train lol
 
Old Witch

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At 170 lbs you needed to fix your diet not go on such amount of gear. This amount of gear should be used when you went wayyy above your genetic potential and you’re already huge. In my opinion that was a waste lol
He could be 5’7” or something...
 

Brain5ick

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So, here’s where I’m at. I tend to sit in the shower under super hot water for long periods of time, idk if it helps get some water off but I can always see a difference in a few areas. I think I’m 177lbs but will check tomorrow morning. Side note, I have some excess skin on my chest and have some leftover fat from when I was 340lbs I still haven’t burned off, I’ll probably need to get to sub 10% body fat to be rid of it because it’s pretty much the last thing to go for me. I hold more fat on the left side than the right apparently.
I can’t really get a good lay spread this way but I have it a shot.

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Mathb33

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There is definitely a point of diminishing returns when it comes to large doses of gear, but even well below what I'd assume my genetic potential is, more gear always, ALWAYS equaled more gains, barring interference from sides. I definitely think "waste of gear" is a subjective term.

However, I have run so much tren that my appetite and sleep cycle went into the sh*tter (sure plenty of us have) and those sides did derail the gainz train lol
I 100% agree with you that more is more there is no doubt I think this way too like someone wanting more gains that’s gonna go on more gear is logical but I just meant when someone who isn’t particularly huge doesn’t gain muscle or weight ends up thinking the only thing to fix it is more gear is not always right. Sure it will probably work but I meant other things could have worked too. But as old witch mentioned he’s 5’7 so it makes more sense!
 
Old Witch

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Well, the Deca definitely hasn’t kicked in yet, so that’s something to look forward to.
 

Brain5ick

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Well, the Deca definitely hasn’t kicked in yet, so that’s something to look forward to.
How long until you think I’ll notice? Also have some epistane and anavar, been thinking about throwing that in but I honestly think I’m going to keep it for my recomp and cut later on. My doc told me I could start to notice things happening around 4 weeks being the absolute earliest but 6-8 weeks being when most people see the more “drastic anabolic changes with joint comfort” he also said even though I’m on for 10 weeks I should continue to grow for a little even after coming off due to the long ester.
 
Old Witch

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How long until you think I’ll notice? Also have some epistane and anavar, been thinking about throwing that in but I honestly think I’m going to keep it for my recomp and cut later on. My doc told me I could start to notice things happening around 4 weeks being the absolute earliest but 6-8 weeks being when most people see the more “drastic anabolic changes with joint comfort” he also said even though I’m on for 10 weeks I should continue to grow for a little even after coming off due to the long ester.
That’s about right.
 
chemjr

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So I’m on 400mg test and 200mg Deca, 3,600-4,000 calories a day depending on the working. I’m definitely getting much stronger but I’m stuck at 175lbs. I’m curling 50lbs dumbbells like nothing, good controlled reps. 225lbs bent over rows and 4plate tbar rows for reps. 650lbs on the leg press for reps too but I’m stuck on this weight thing. I can tell my arms are getting larger but I can’t get the scale to move. Doing 10 minutes of cardio on the stairs every day to start but I’ve started only doing it every other day and still can’t gain. Not sure what to do. Not trying to over eat and gain a bunch of fat.
I found thyroid can be a serious isssue even if hypo so may want to get some bloods on that (like 60 bucks i think online) and see what's going on there. If all good then just eat like mad for 2 weeeks amd c what happens. Good luck brosef
 

CroLifter

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Also you are on deca watch out for elevated H&H, i remember you had problems with it while on test only.
 

Brain5ick

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So I’m 177.4lbs today. I’m definitely gaining on 4,000cal but a little too fast. Cutting back slightly.
 

Brain5ick

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So I’m 177.4lbs today. I’m definitely gaining on 4,000cal but a little too fast. Cutting back slightly.
 

Still0311

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A much younger me dealt with the same issue. I was strong, getting stronger and like yourself looked bigger than the scale chose to acknowledge. Was in the Marine Corps at the time and still 100% natty. Luckily some older bodybuilding grunts took me under their wing. The main thing they taught me was how to eat like a bodybuilder. Not how we see bodybuilders, but how the guys on stages are while they were coming up. In one year despite deployment after deployment I went from 165ish to 195ish with great definition obtained by cutting carbs in half less than one week before coming home. Yeah I got a little fat in the process. But that's what it took for me. Maybe the same approach could help you. I was taught to drop some of the clean bro foods for some burgers and steaks. I'd basically eat clean throughout the day, then after meal 3 (6 meals a day) I'd eat red meat, fries, burgers, fried chicken and all that other nasty ****. I used digestive supplements, and increased my fiber early in the day while still avoiding sugars. Protein powders and RTD's were frowned upon in favor of real food. Everything I've read here that you've shared looks good. Better than a lot of guys. I'd swap out some of your current foods for some good old calorie dense fat boy options
 

Brain5ick

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A much younger me dealt with the same issue. I was strong, getting stronger and like yourself looked bigger than the scale chose to acknowledge. Was in the Marine Corps at the time and still 100% natty. Luckily some older bodybuilding grunts took me under their wing. The main thing they taught me was how to eat like a bodybuilder. Not how we see bodybuilders, but how the guys on stages are while they were coming up. In one year despite deployment after deployment I went from 165ish to 195ish with great definition obtained by cutting carbs in half less than one week before coming home. Yeah I got a little fat in the process. But that's what it took for me. Maybe the same approach could help you. I was taught to drop some of the clean bro foods for some burgers and steaks. I'd basically eat clean throughout the day, then after meal 3 (6 meals a day) I'd eat red meat, fries, burgers, fried chicken and all that other nasty ****. I used digestive supplements, and increased my fiber early in the day while still avoiding sugars. Protein powders and RTD's were frowned upon in favor of real food. Everything I've read here that you've shared looks good. Better than a lot of guys. I'd swap out some of your current foods for some good old calorie dense fat boy options
I throw in a dirty meal here and there, a couple slices of pizza, maybe some baked chicken wings and veggies because I like them. Turkey burger with toppings and sweet potato fries, etc. dirty but not too dirty. It’s also mainly because I can easily digest this stuff. If it doesn’t get along with me it makes my next meal difficult.
 

CroLifter

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I throw in a dirty meal here and there, a couple slices of pizza, maybe some baked chicken wings and veggies because I like them. Turkey burger with toppings and sweet potato fries, etc. dirty but not too dirty. It’s also mainly because I can easily digest this stuff. If it doesn’t get along with me it makes my next meal difficult.
Exactly. No way in hell that we who do other stuff in our lives other than going to the gym and lift weights can bulk on "clean" foods only.
I could do it in my teens while in school because i was sitting all day.
Also, i was almost as strong and as big (a bit fatter) @18 years old naturally as now in my 20s coming off a testosterone blast.
Just shows you how much a physical job impacts recovery. I am dead at the end of the day. Cant wait for the day i quit that job (coming soon). Then some real gains will be made!

Edit: just realized those pics are from planet fitness 😀
 
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