Not gaining weight?

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Stuart510
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Not gaining weight?

Post by Stuart510 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:23 am

Hi, im new to the forums but I have been using the site for info on weight lifting etc.

At 18 I've been lifting weights for about 4 months now and although I was naturally built before (teenage life - pushups, phys ed, sport etc) I have made quite obvious improvements. Before starting I was at about 9.5% body fat and recently I am now about 9%. However I started out at about 70kg (@ 179cm or ~5'10") give or take a few kgs and I'm about 71kg now, give or take. (my biceps have gone from 34cm to 38cm - only thing I bothered to measure before starting). The weights I lift have also increased significantly, went from about 55kg (4 sets of 10 ) on bench press to 90kg (2 sets of 10, 2 of 6,7 or 8) and similar weight increases for other muscles.

My diet is quite healthy, no fizzy drinks, cordial, junk food of any kind, and I eat big meals eg 3 or 4 hamburgers for dinner for example.
Also I run 4kms about 3 or 4 times a week and afterwards sprint 100m as my routine. Anyone have any idea why I'm not noticing more of a body weight increase?

Thanks in advance.


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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:46 am

At age 18 you have a fast metabolism - the calories that you consume aren't just being used for basic bodily functions and physical activity, but also for growth. Don't worry - once you stop growing, your metabolism will slow.

Meanwhile, be patient with gaining weight. For most people, gaining more than a couple of kilos a month means that you're gaining more fat than muscle. Also, while running is good for your cardio system, it tends to slow muscle growth. You don't seem to be overdoing it (12-16 km a week isn't excessive), but you might want to cut it in half for a couple of weeks and see if it makes a difference.

As for diet, I'd go easy on the burgers and eat more fish, poultry and lean meats if possible. A good protein powder might be a good idea as well. And don't forget your veggies! ;-)

You don't list your workout, so it's hard to tell what you're doing that's either right or wrong.

Good luck, and happy training

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Post by daniel4738 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:16 am

You sound a very very similar physical make up to me. 5'11" 68-75kg.

I started doing some basic machine weights at the gym with the 'I want muscles so all the girls will want me'. While lack of knowledge both in training and in nutrition played their part in my lack of muscle gain, I beleive it was age, genetics and body type which was mainly to blame.

By the age of 21 I could bench my own weight, squatt 1.5x my own weight and had a reasonably 'toned' look. I still couldn't put on major amounts of muscle. I also did a lot of endurance style sports and kickboxing which also kept my weight down. Again, I didn't have a whole lot of knowledge as far as training/nutrition went.

Just after my 24th birthday I competed in an Adventure Race/Holiday in Florida, ate likea beast in restaurants funded by the race sponsors. I returned from there and 3 days later went for a 2 week holiday in Germany and ate like royalty again :D

Upon returning I weighed in at nearly 78kg, most of which was fat.

Previously I had been able to eat as much as I wanted, but at the age of 24, nature had caught up with me. What I am trying to say is that it is really frustrating at that age, it's hard to put on the muscle mass no matter how you eat (although everyone is different).

I would say enjoy this period, work on acheiving with regards to athleticism. At the moment functional strength will give you a great foundation to build upon for if you want to compete in some sport some time. Then, once you have the basic strength you can build on this to gain muscle once your metabolism slows down a little.

It's amusing, we spend the first 10 years of adult life trying to pile on the weight in the hope of bulking up, then you spend the next years trying to get rid of all the fat you thought you would never put on :)

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Post by Stuart510 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:19 am

DAMN. accidentally clicked the back button on my mouse lol. here is my program again!!

it is for convenience as i am a student that needs to spend a lot of time studying, and i have been using protein powder with the exception of recently due to a lack of money.

all exercises are begun with a warmup set

Day 1: Upper body

4 x 10 focus bench barbell bicep curl

4 x 10 tricep pulldown cable

4 x 10 bench press and incline press (sometimes 6-8 for last two sets)

4 x 10 shoulder press

4 x 10 lateral and rear lateral raise

Day 2: Abs, back and legs (note my legs are quite built as an ex state athlete and don't want to out proportion the rest of my body which is why i do some extensions)

occasionally work obliques doing dumbell side bends 4 x 10

4 x 10 ab machine similar to hanging leg curl

4 x 20 random body weight ab exercise for core endurance

4 x 10 standing calf raise and a sitting calf raise for tibialis

4 x 10 45 degree leg press

4 x 10 standing leg curl

4 x 10 leg extensions

4 x 8 15kg weighted pullups

4 x 10 seated row

thanks.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:06 am

With regard to your routine:

Day 1:

1 - You shoud do the bench press and shoulder press before the tricep pushdown, not after. The triceps are the weak link in upper body push movements. You don't want them fatigued at the start.

2 - The curl should also be moved back, after the shoulder raises.

Day 2:

1 - The leg and back exercises should be done before abs.

2 - The calf exercises should be done after legs and before back.


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Post by Matt Z » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:19 pm

How many days a week are you working out? Are you training on consecutive days or do you take a day off between workouts?

I don't really like your training split. You might be better off doing a legs/push/pull split. For example:

Workout A
Barbell Squat
Deadlift (Std or SL)
Calf Raise

Workout B
Bench Press
Incline Press
Push Press

Workout C
Barbell Row
Chin-up
Rear Delt Row

OR you could try a full-body program with 2 or 3 different workouts. For example:

Workout A
Barbell Squat
Bench Press
Barbell Row

Workout B
Deadlift (Std or SL)
Push Press
Chin-up

Of course you can add other exercises like calf raises and curls at the end of each workout, but you get the idea.

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Post by stuward » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:23 pm

daniel4738 wrote:It's amusing, we spend the first 10 years of adult life trying to pile on the weight in the hope of bulking up, then you spend the next years trying to get rid of all the fat you thought you would never put on :)
Boy, does this sound familier. Height 6'2" Age 16, 145#, Age 30 165#, Age 40, 205# peaked at 216# (my daughter told me I had a santa belly)now at age 50 205# and muscular (sort of) for the first time in my life.

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Post by Dave X » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:42 pm

You're losing fat... which would mean that you're not eating enough cals to gain significant weight.

2 or so years ago I was 15 and about 165... I would have to eat insane amounts of food to gain weight. I would eat whole pizzas at 2 AM in the morning (i'd go to bed at 3 or 4). And I didn't really gain fat...

While at 18 your metabolism probably isn't on the hyperspeed at it was at 15, its probably still pretty high. So in order to bulk up quicker you prob. need to eat more food than you currently do. Maybe try spacing it out a little more, eating 2 hamburgers each in 2 separate meals than 4 hamburgers in 1 meal...

This is just based on my experience really. I'm 5'8, 176 now (~80 kilos) with about 10% fat... if you eat like a monster you'll gain weight faster, both fat and muscle, but thats how it is. Your young enough that you'll probably burn off most of the extra rather than have it go to fat.

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Post by Matt Z » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:44 pm

Hmmm ..... I don't get it. Aren't the teenage years supposed to be the easiest time to pack on muscle mass (at least for guys)? They were for me. Between 9th and 12th grade I gained almost 100 lbs and only grew a few inches in height (and I was never a skinny kid). In fact, I look and weight virtually the same now at 25 as I did at 17 (although I'm much stronger today).

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Post by Matt Z » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:52 pm

Of course, I was eating like a horse, but I never had to force myself to eat. I was hungry all the time.

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Post by stuward » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:26 pm

I was always a skinny kid and then a skinny adult. Not everyone gains muscle the same way.

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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:21 pm

From age 13 to age 19 I grew from a dumpy 5'8" to a gangly 6'6". I never had to worry about what I ate in those days - all the growth was vertical, not horizontal! ;-)

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Post by hoosegow » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:03 pm

If you want mass, squat, squat and squat some more. Oh, don't forget to deadlift and squat. I'd also try going heavy with less reps and squat.

BTW, I hate all you hard gainers. 6'2 285.

Did I forget to mention to squat?

And in closing, squat, squat and squat, but remember to squat.

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Post by hoosegow » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:05 pm

Sorry, if I forgot to mention it in my previous post, you might want to squat some.

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Post by stuward » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:15 pm

But I've got a bad knee :)


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