Weight plateau?

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smak
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Weight plateau?

Post by smak » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:20 am

About myself: I am 22 year old Indian and I began weight training in October 08. For the first few weeks, I did not really follow a strict regimen. I discovered ExRx from a friend at the gym and since then I have been working on the 2 day split - push/pull workout (with just the basic exercises). I was 132 pounds when I began training and I have reached 144 now (I am 5' 11", thin build)). For the last few weeks, however, my weight has remained at or around 144 pounds. I have been eating tons of food, drinking a lot of milk and taking whey protein supplements with milk after workouts. And, I have consistently been increasing the weights I do.

I wanted suggestions on whether I should change my weight training program or if I should keep the same routine of 2 day split - Push/Pull but choose a different exercise for the same muscles or continue with the existing regimen.

If the suggestions are to not continue with the existing regimen, any help in choosing the right(?) regimen would be greatly appreciated. :smile:

Thanks,
Sandeep

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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:27 am

@Sandeep:

Gaining 12 pounds in under 4 months - assuming that it's mostly solid weight - is pretty good, actually. As you progress, the gains in weight will become slower.

You could help us help you if you list your workout schedule and your diet. And are you getting enough rest?

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Post by smak » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:32 pm

Stephen, Thanks for the reply..

My workout schedule is as follows: (Current weights)

Sunday, Wednesday - Push workout
Bench press - 95 pounds * 10 reps * 3 sets (assuming that the barbell weighs 45 pounds)
Inclined 45 degree leg press - 500 pounds * 15 * 3 (My legs, somehow are much stronger than my upper body)
Inclined Bench press (head lower than legs)- 95 pounds * 10 * 3
Standing calf raise (sled) - 80 pounds * 15 * 3
Deltoids (lever shoulder press) - 20 pounds (on each hand) * 15 *3
Weighted bench dip - 45 pounds * 15 * 3

Monday, Thursday - Pull Workout
Pull ups (non assisted) - 8 reps * 3 sets
Lever lying leg curl - 85 pounds * 10 * 3
Cable seated straight back row - 96 pounds * 10 * 3
Weighted incline sit up - 15 pounds * 15 * 3
Dumbbell curl - 20 pounds * 10 * 3 (left hand does not survive till the third set)
Upright row - 40 pounds * 15 * 3
Barbell shrug - 80 pounds * 15 * 3


As regards my diet -
Breakfast (around 9:00 am) - large bowl of honey bunches of oats cereal with vit. D milk, an apple/banana, 2 eggs
Lunch (around 1:00 pm) - Subway footlong chicken breast on wheat or chicken teriyaki on what bread.
Post workout (around 8pm) - A 20oz glass of milk with 1 scoop of whey protein.
Dinner - (around 9:30 pm) - Indian food - wheat pancakes/white rice, vegetables, lentils, 1 egg, yogurt. Huge servings.

Throughout the day, I keep having fruits, granola bars and fruit juices.

I usually sleep for around 6 hours a day. Sometimes more, and sometimes less - thanks to being in Grad school.. But on a weekly basis, I ensure I sleep for around 50 hours a week.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:49 pm

@Sandeep:

Leg exercises like squat and deadlift variations are conspicuously absent from your workout templates. Without lower body work, you're only doing half a workout.

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Post by smak » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:19 pm

@Stephen:

I was following the template from http://exrx.net/Workouts/Workout2PP.html


The only leg exercises it mentions are for Quadriceps, Calves, and Hamstrings. I am doing the 45 degree leg press, the standing raise and the lever lying leg curl respectively for them.

Where in this template would you suggest that I add squats and or or deadlifts?
Any other suggestions?

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Post by TimD » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:01 pm

Fromyour temple, it lists quadriceps twice in the push day, one of them being optional. Click on quadriceps and it brings up a menu, in which all types of squats are listed. I suggest you choose one, and if you need to, use the leg press as your optional. It lists Hamstrings on the pull day. Click on it and it brings up a lot of option, with Some form of DL as your best choice.
Tim

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Post by smak » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:49 pm

@Tim,

Thanks for that idea! I will implement it in my routine from this week.

However, my concern of my weight plateauing still exists.. My main motivation for taking to weight training was to increase my weight.. Any ideas regarding that?

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Post by pdellorto » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:43 pm

I'd deal with two things for your weight:

- eat more food. You say you're eating a lot, and you listed it, but I'm not really sure how many calories and how much protein that is. Use something like www.fitday.com or a similar site to track your food. Then add a little bit more each day until you start seeing some weight gain.

- add in squats and deadlifts like Tim suggested. Squats and deadlifts will work your body hard, and they'll probably result in more growth than doing leg presses.

Then see how it goes from there.

Peter

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Post by Gantz » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:51 pm

if your current routine is working for you and you are gaining muscle, then it's OK to stick with it. but when you stop progressing, you should change some things around. like maybe lower the rep range.

and i suggest switching your leg press and lever shoulder press with squats/deads and military press. free weights are always better than machines, imo.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:00 pm

smak wrote:Inclined 45 degree leg press - 500 pounds * 15 * 3 (My legs, somehow are much stronger than my upper body)
I have seen people who routinely leg press 500 pounds or more bomb out when squatting two plates (225 pounds). Most machines provide the lifter with a mechanical advantage over free weights, but the leg press takes that advantage to a new level.

There is a place for the leg press in your training, but it is NOT as a substitute for the squat.

And while leg curls should be used in training hamstrings, knee flexion is one of their two articulations - and the less important one at that. The primary articulation of the hamstrings is hip extension. Hip extension is trained by a deadlift variation.

I'm surprised that the template gives two options for training quads, but only one for hamstrings. It should be the other way around.

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Post by smak » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:07 pm

@ Peter:
Thanks for that website! I shall keep track of my food intake from now on and find out how many calories I am consuming. Till now, I had just ensured that the quantities that I ate increased - was not very observant of the Protein-Carbohydrate-Fat breakup of the food.

@All:
I tried Deadlifts today and my lower back is hurting! (I already had a weak lower back). I asked a regular at the gym to observe my action and tell me where I was going wrong. Apparently, I bent my back too much. I shall, however, persist with this exercise with the correct form.

@ Gantz:
I was doing the shoulder press using dumbbells for quite a while. However, my hands tend to fall back (instead of being in the plane of my body) after the second rep and that hurt my shoulder. So, I switched to a machine. Free weights sometimes scare me because I am not sure if my posture/form is alright always.

@ Stephen:
I will be trying the Squats on Sunday..! And, after checking out a few videos telling me how to do the squat, I am already pretty sure I can't do 225 pounds! You are right about the fact that the machines provides some sort of a mechanical advantage.. Thanks for the advice!

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Post by nygmen » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:31 pm

smak wrote: My main motivation for taking to weight training was to increase my weight.. Any ideas regarding that?
Yeah like Peter said, you have to EAT for size, and eating for size is much harder than lifting for size in my opinion.

I gained 17lbs since 9/01/08 and it is mostly lean. The weight seems to come in spurts. I'll gain 5 or 10 pounds in one or two weeks, and dance with joy. Then I'll go two plus weeks at the same weight no matter what I do.

Personally, if I were you, I would add in Squats & deads, structure my workouts around them. And lift as heavy as possible in the 5-8 rep range. and EAT more, EAT meat and a lot of it. (If you do eat beef, eat more, if not, chicken pork and fish are your friends.) Up your protein and Fat. God I've been taking 6oz shots of olive oil in the morning chased with my shake just to get my calories up. (Worst indigestion EVER.)

But honestly, food is the simplest answer.

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Post by Jungledoc » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:59 pm

smak--with both squat and DL you have to start very light, and focus on form. No one starts squatting at 225! Start with nothing, just body weight. When you have form down, start clutching a weight plate to your chest, then add an empty bar and go up on the weight.

With DL you can start with a little more weight, but again make it so light that you only need to focus on form.

With both exercises it's your abdominal and back muscles that are protecting your back from injury. Keep them tight.

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Post by smak » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:30 am

@Nygmen:
I don't eat beef or pork (sort of religious/traditional "banned" items). I do eat chicken.. lots of it. I have tried fish, but I did not really like it that much. But, liking is not really an important concern here, at least, not as much as upping my Proteins and calories in total. However, 2 questions for you:
1) You suggest that I increase my fat content too?
2) You had indigestion and hence you took Olive oil or you had indigestion because of Olive oil? Right now, I do have quite a bit of indigestion, mostly because of the Whey Protein that I take, post workout.

@JungleDoc:
Thanks for the tips! I shall keep them in mind when doing it this week.. I did DL with just an empty barbell first.. but because of height differences, I added a 10 pound plate on either side. My back seems fine now.. I shall try the DL again on Monday. I will be doing the squats on Sunday.. and I plan to start off with just an empty barbell!

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Post by nygmen » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:45 am

smak wrote:@Nygmen:

1) You suggest that I increase my fat content too?
2) You had indigestion and hence you took Olive oil or you had indigestion because of Olive oil? Right now, I do have quite a bit of indigestion, mostly because of the Whey Protein that I take, post workout.
1) Yes, eat more protein and Fat. Fat gives you major bank for your buck calorie wise, just try and eat healthy Fats.

2) Indigestion from the Olive Oil. It produces some nasty burps, but it went away after a week or two and my body got used to it.

The best thing I've found to help my body digest Protein in shake form is blend in some raw oats, and drink it. This takes a week or two to get used to also, but I drink between 500-800 calories for breakfast and then some days eat a bagle when I get to work an hour later. At first you feel super full and gross, but after a few weeks you start thinking about making two shakes in the morning, and drinking the second on the drive in.

And eat more chicken, and when you done, gag down more chicken.

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