136lbs and I've stopped gaining weight

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Alex
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136lbs and I've stopped gaining weight

Post by Alex » Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:31 am

I'm 18 5' 8" and I've been working out for about 8 months now, and I seem to hit a plateau. I started at the end of last year, but didn't really have the time to commit to it. This summer I had a lot more time and I started working out five to six days a week. I keep my workouts pretty short, an hour to an hour and a half, and I rotate between Arms & Shoulders, Chest and Back, and Legs. I do Abs everyother workout, independant of that cycle. I have about four exercises from which I choose two for each workout, in an effort to keep a variety of exercises going.

I do 3-5 sets of 6 reps. So 6 reps for as many sets as I can, and when I can't do that any more, I stop. When I reach 5 sets, I increase the weight next time.

Because I'm focusing on weight gain, I have done barely any cardiovascular except for my five minute warmups before listing.

In the first month of the summer I gained about five pounds, but since then my gains have slowed down dramatically, I gained only about a pound last month. I'm also increasing weights much more slowly than before. I sometimes not even increasing at all between workouts.

I've been trying to eat a lot, I have a shake with fruti, protien powder and soy milk after every workout. I try to eat as much as I can at other meals, but sometimes I feel nauseated and I can't eat any more (especially at breakfast).

I'm really frustated that I have stopped making gains. What can I do to start improving again?

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Post by Ryan A » Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:43 am

I would try fewer sets of higher reps, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps on your same exercise selection scheme and I would take a few days to rest in between each cycle of your workout
ABCXABCXXABC something like that.

Although a protein shake is good, if you arent getting enough calories from all sources, the shake and for that matter any supplement is going to be a waste of time.

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Post by Alex » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:44 pm

Thanks for the recomendation. Any reason in particular to go for more reps and fewer sets? Is that just for a change, or is that what is generally recomended for weight gain?

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Post by Ironman » Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:59 pm

Both. Mainly it is for weight gain.

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Post by Ryan A » Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:56 am

Yes, the mass gain. Lower reps develop strength without significant bulk muscle enlargement. Higher reps will develop this more. Once you gain some size you can switch to strength for a bit, then go back and get bigger. This is the general form of periodization for a bodybuilding type program.

If you are looking for sports performance, you would had a conversion to power phaase after the strength phase but that may not be of interest.

Once in a while it is good to take a break 1-2 weeks off or just skip lifting for a bit and do something new, a sport activity perhaps. As you come back it can be good to do a condition workout where you do circuit type stuff.

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Post by Alex » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:13 am

Oh, man. I thought I was developing mass with the 6 rep 3-5 sets. Well, I'll definitely try the 8-12 reps. Should I be doing 2 or three sets? I remember reading somewhere that gains of three sets over two generally isn't worth the extra time.

Thanks for your help.

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Post by Ryan A » Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:41 am

You should find what works for you. I said 3 because you have been doign 3-5 so some people find it hard to get high intensity on the first two sets after being used to do more sets. If you can go all out on 2 then tha tis probably easier on recovery and just about as good for your time.

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Post by Matt Z » Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:00 am

It depends partly on whether they're all working sets. 3 hard working sets of 8-12 reps may be a little much, but 2 warmup sets followed by 1 working set would be fine.

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Post by Matt Z » Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:06 am

For example, 135 lbs for 12 reps/185 lbs for 8 reps/225 lbs for 8 reps would be a lot less demanding than 3 sets of 8 reps with 225 lbs.

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Post by Matt Z » Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:08 am

I also depends on how many exercises you're doing per muscle group, how often your training that area, and other factors.

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Post by hoosegow » Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:10 pm

Eat and eat some more. Nausea will pass. Count your blessings for having a high metabolism. At 18, you may get frustrated, but you be glad from age 30 on.

You are not a vegetarian, are you? I ask because of the soy milk.

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Post by Alex » Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:12 pm

I am vegetarian, but I do the soy milk to complement the whey protien. I have actually thrown up from eating too much. When that has happened, I'm still hungry so I just go back to what I was eating. But puking generally isn't healthy.

Can someone make a recomendation as to what I should do in terms of warmups? I have been doing a general aerobic warmup - five minutes on the eliptical - before lifting. Is doing a lighter load for a set a better warmup? What percent of the final lift is this typically going to be?

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:05 am

Try eating 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the day, instead of 3 big meals. Or you can do 3 meals and 2 protien shakes. This should help with the vomitting. Also, there's a limit to how much protien the body can digest at any one time, so you'll get more nutritional benefit from spreading out your intake.

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Post by hoosegow » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:46 am

Being a vegetarian, you may have a hard time getting enough calories to gain the weight. Go to the diet and nutrition section of this site and do a caloric needs. Add 500 calories and this will give you the energy you need to grow. Good luck.

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