T Nation

1 Year Progress, Help

Started lifting seriously about a year ago. I have the worst genetics imaginable, wide hips, TINY narrow clavicle, was 135lb at 6’2 tall. Im currently at 187lb and i would estimate 14-15% BF. I seem to be different to the normal guy in that my upper body is frail and weak while my legs build pretty easily, i have read before how this is usual when one has wide hips and narrow shoulders.

Another example is i can only do 2 or 3 wide grip pullups yet much smaller and overall weaker guys can do sets of 10, because their muscle is biased to upper body. I suspect that i probably have low test levels, due to genetic lack of muscle, narrow shoulders, ring finger very short, lack of upper body hair, weak facial features etc etc.

But i’ve worked really hard and eaten plenty and this is where i am at so far. Im kind of depressed with my progress because i still look smaller than a beginner, even though i;ve gained so much weight. My lift improvements on 1RM are:

Bench 55 > 160
Squat 60 > 230
Deads 90 > 310

Squats could be a lot better but had hip problems which i seem to have resolved now, expect it to go up pretty fast now. Im training 2 days power, 2 days hypertrophy, upper and lower split. Making decent strength gains at the moment but still look like shit, and probably one of the smallest guys in the gym. I just want to look like a guy that lifts, but at almost 190lbs with 14 inch arms, it seems a long way off.

Dude, RELAX.

I’m at work so I read your post well before I could see the pics (they don’t show up unless I click on them), and I was expecting you to be a completely pathetic, skinny-fat POS. You are NOT. Your shoulders are not that narrow. Your hips are kinda wide but so fucking what? There are dudes walking around with hips that stick out farther than their arms. You aren’t one of them, so be glad for it. Also, you’re tall. Be happy about that too.

Jesus fucking Christ, you even have a natural V-taper, so go fuck yourself! (kidding)

I think that’s pretty damn decent progress in a year since you started at what, a buck-35? Not bad kid, not bad at all. That’s a pound a week without getting fat at all.

For reference:

It took me a solid 4 years of training before I looked like I lifted at all. It took me another 4 to actually look big in clothes. Then probably another 6 to look good with my shirt off. This is not easy for some of us. It takes time. It takes years of consistency with training and eating.

Keep at it, you’ll get there. You seem to be on the right track. And stop using your genetics as a limiting factor. They aren’t as bad as you think, and they’re better than a lot of people.

Congrats on the progress. That is one hell of an improvement for one year of lifting.

You are completely normal. Get rid of that mindset. Before I started lifting, I was 6’2" and 170 lbs. I was skinny as all hell and I looked like one of the people you would say has “bad genetics” or a “hard gainer” or as you put it “genetic lack of muscle”. These terms are absolute bullshit. You can, will, and are gaining muscle at an impressive rate. Yea you’re still skinny, but this stuff takes time. Don’t be discouraged.

For what it’s worth, I’m now ~230 lbs, even though gaining weight isn’t my “goal” and I spend a lot of time training for sports, not just lifting and eating. You will get there, it’s just going to take time.

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
I have the worst genetics imaginable, [/quote]

Yeah…we all did.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
I have the worst genetics imaginable, [/quote]

Yeah…we all did.[/quote]

Does this mean you’re actually a mutant?

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
I have the worst genetics imaginable, [/quote]

Yeah…we all did.[/quote]

Does this mean you’re actually a mutant?[/quote]

For life.

Thanks for the replies, i have been reading this forum for a while and it always seems more constructive which is why i decided to post this. My shoulders dont really look narrow in the pics, but when i stand next to an average 6’ plus guy its really noticeable. I only have a V-Taper from the waist up, im just a straight line up and down when viewed infront or behind.

My hips are same width as my shoulders, despite how it looks in these favourable pics. The gains are so slow now in the second year, im guessing thats the end of bulking up fast without getting fat.

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
Thanks for the replies, i have been reading this forum for a while and it always seems more constructive which is why i decided to post this. My shoulders dont really look narrow in the pics, but when i stand next to an average 6’ plus guy its really noticeable. I only have a V-Taper from the waist up, im just a straight line up and down when viewed infront or behind.

My hips are same width as my shoulders, despite how it looks in these favourable pics. The gains are so slow now in the second year, im guessing thats the end of bulking up fast without getting fat.[/quote]

Change your attitude and quit complaining. You won’t accomplish much until you do this.


No but for real though stop complaining and just keep working

I read somewhere that due to how our society has developed, American males below the age of about 30 have pretty much been set up to be the wimpiest and most pathetic of males to ever walk the earth.

Gotta just act like its 1950 or somethin and just be a man. Gotta be rough like gramps was.

Your head is your problem. Drop 15 pounds of lard your muscles will show.

You look fine. Don’t bring up genetics… since you are 6’2"! There are many of us under 6 ft that would love to be in that position.

Stressing about you genetics is, at best, a waste of time. Whatever they might be you cannot change them so you have only 2 choices:

a.) Give up.

b.) Continue doing what you have been doing and work your ass off to make the best of what you have.

Option a.) is for losers.

Regarding test levels: high level athletes show a significant drop in test levels after losing and a significant boost after winning. The only difference is in their mindset. If you go into each day with the losing mindset of “I’m skinny and weak and doomed to fail by my bad genes blah blah blah” do you think that will raise or lower whatever your baseline test level may be? Stop filling your head with garbage and negative self talk, unless you want to make sure you have lots of built in excuses for when you fail.

I don’t mean to be a dick, but your mindset is total crap. Seriously. You are setting yourself up for defeat. Either quit or keep working and if you’re going to keep working don’t be a bitch about it. I think you should keep working, you’ve made some respectable progress, but it’s up to you.

Hey i wont be giving up. Im bulking to 200lb as we speak. Just because my mindset is negative about my genetics, that doesnt affect the dedication. I use this as rage when i train to force improvements in my body and confidence, until i look like i lift. Im hoping that as i get heavier, my upper body will start to fill out a bit (lets face it my hips cant get any wider, but my shoulders can add some muscle)

Whoever suggested dropping 15lbs of fat…really? I have like literally no muscle mass. Until my arms are over 15" and my upper body looks somewhat proportional, i cant even consider cutting as an option.

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
Hey i wont be giving up. Im bulking to 200lb as we speak. Just because my mindset is negative about my genetics, that doesnt affect the dedication. I use this as rage when i train to force improvements in my body and confidence, until i look like i lift. Im hoping that as i get heavier, my upper body will start to fill out a bit (lets face it my hips cant get any wider, but my shoulders can add some muscle)

Whoever suggested dropping 15lbs of fat…really? I have like literally no muscle mass. Until my arms are over 15" and my upper body looks somewhat proportional, i cant even consider cutting as an option. [/quote]

He wasn’t recommending that you cut. He was saying that if you did, you would see how much you have changed.

Trust me, I feel your pain. I’m 6’1" and 6 years ago I was 160 and chubby. Now I’m 180 and lean, but you cant tell I lift unless I’m shirtless. My goal for this year is another 20lbs of muscle, but even though I know I will look considerably better, I wont look big. That’s the issue with tall people, proportions are more difficult to attain.

On the up side, women mostly prefer men in the 6’ - 6’ 3" range any way. Or so I’m told.

Perhaps that’s wishful thinking. :wink:

I think will have to be 220 and lean to be where I want, and that’s gonna take a while.

You look alot better, keep at it.

At 220lbs you would look massive, surely you cant get there natty. My goal was 195lbs at 8% BF naturally. Honestly i think that is a bit far fetched now, and think 190 at 10% is probably more realistic for my frame.

I wish I had stinger’s genetics. I’m 5’10, and my genetics landed me at 125 lbs before I started lifting.

Your body’s what you make of it.

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
At 220lbs you would look massive, surely you cant get there natty. My goal was 195lbs at 8% BF naturally. Honestly i think that is a bit far fetched now, and think 190 at 10% is probably more realistic for my frame. [/quote]

I think you underestimate how much muscle can fit on people with large frames.

You may be right about 220 being a bit much, but 210 is definitely doable for me, and I’m and inch shorter than you.

How about we just keep going, and now worry about what is theoretically possible. Those without knowledge (or refuse to acknowledge) of their supposed limitations regularly break them.

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
My lift improvements on 1RM are:

Bench 55 > 160
Squat 60 > 230
Deads 90 > 310

Im training 2 days power, 2 days hypertrophy, upper and lower split.[/quote]

How long have you been doing this routine? Your lifts have improved significantly from when you started. However I think your lifts would be higher if you had stuck with a routine such as stronglifts, starting strength, 5/3/1 or another 5x5 program, and worked those for all they’re worth.

You’ve obviously made some progress, and if you keep at it, you will keep making progress. I just wonder if changing training programs might help you get there faster.

I’m suggesting this because I didn’t really start training until June 2012 (weighing ~135), and I’m lifting roughly the same numbers (weighing ~152).

You’ve been eating enough to grow, and it sounds like you’ve been working hard in the gym. I’m assuming you’re also getting plenty of rest. So if you’re not seeing the gains you think you should be seeing, it could be because of what you’re actually doing in the gym, and it could be because of what you’re actually eating.

What is your current training routine? What is your current diet, roughly?

[quote]Bellmar wrote:

How about we just keep going, and not worry about what is theoretically possible. [/quote]

There it is