3 Weeks into Program, Need Guidance


i guess i will start by describing my body:
6’2" 182lbs
i am pretty weak and don’t have much muscle. my arms are thin, legs are thin but i do have a gut.

i’ve been eating i’d say 80% clean foods the past 2 months, and have been doing cardio for the past 4 months and lost 20lbs since october 2007.

i started weight tranining 3 weeks ago and i am using this 5-week beginner guide:

it is essentially a 3 day a week program, with squats all 3 days and other exercises mixed in. i currently do this on mon-wed-fri and follow it up with about 50-100 crunches and 10 minutes HIIT on a bicycle. i also do crunches and 10min HIIT on tues-thurs.

i have been using fitday to track my food intake, the image below shows how it breaks down daily. this includes 1 to 2 scoops of whey protein a day.

questions:

i’m assuming i need an extra 1,000 calories a day but i find it very hard to eat since i started easting mostly clean. my 1,900-2,000 cal’s a day are fine for me and i really never feel too hungry throughout the day. are there any supplements i can take that would allow me to stay at 2,000 cal’s a day?

is that beginner program on a waste of time? there’s only 2 weeks left. although, i do notice my muscle coordination and breathing got a lot better.

how is calorie intake breakdown looking? carbs scare me and i feel like i might be eating too much?

is creatine recommended? should i lose my gut before taking something like creatine? i really would like to take something that will accelerate my muscle/strength gains.

i’m sure i have more questions but i feel like this thread is long enough as it is right now :slight_smile:

any and all help is very appreciated and thank you for reading :smiley:

edit: here is a link to a larger version of the image above:

Stronglifts is a great program. I’m glad you doing it because it makes giving advice a lot easier for all.

So, the main goal is eating more. You may be comfortable eating 2000 calories a day. The side effects will be no muscle gain and obviously no weight gain. So your choice is to either keep eating the same amount which will give you the same results, or eat more and get the results you want.

Since you use fitday, post a normal day’s intake.

Stronglifts is an excellent program, based on Marc rippetoe’s “Starting Strength”. Stay with it as long as you can. I’m not sure why you say there are only 2 weeks left. Are you making progress with it? How are your strength levels? You should only stop when you have reset twice and are no longer making progress. Then you switch to this program: StrongLifts 5×5 workout: Get Stronger by Lifting 3x/Week

You do need to eat more and it should be carbs and protein. It will give you more energy and enough calories to build some muscle. Add 50 more grams of protein (1 scoop upon rising and 1 scoop before bed.) I assume you are taking some post workout. Eat another 50 grams of carbs. That’s not hard. Make it a high calorie veggie or whole grain.

Stu

[quote]how is calorie intake breakdown looking? carbs scare me and i feel like i might be eating too much?

is creatine recommended? should i lose my gut before taking something like creatine? [/quote]

You are on the high side of carb intake. But, if it is 90% good carbs, then I don’t see a problem with it.

Your gut will not interfere with the results of creatine. I personally haven’t had measurable success with it, but others have.

This would be food and continuing the program you’re on, beyond two more weeks.

You could probably benefit from using a quality protein powder to fill in your calorie gap. I’d also recommend fish oil supplements for healthy fats and joint health.

Eventually, you may reach a point where squatting 3x per week does not allow enough time for recovery. If you find yourself deloading frequently then you are probably there.

If you like the 5x5 3day/wk format there are other options available once you’ve outgrown your current routine.
This one is tried and true and can be quickly adapted to from your current routine once your ready.

It’s still working for me but YMMV.
Even if you don’t intend to use the program there is still a lot of good info on that site.

thanks for the input!

for some reason i thought it was a 5 week program, not sure why i thought that lol.

are there any good barbell/dumbbell exercises i can do to replace pull-ups and dips with?

here is a typical food day for me:

(boiled potato is usually broccoli)

Pull ups and dips are optional. Bench will largely cover the muscles worked by the dips. You can do decline bench for the chest and close grip bench press for the triceps if you want. Horizontal pulls will work the lats along with the upper back, just not as well. Barbell pullover would be the best barbell exercise for the lats.

Try this directory for exercise ideas.
www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

Stu

[quote]Joe313 wrote:

here is a typical food day for me:

(boiled potato is usually broccoli)[/quote]

Now that I’ve seen your diet, I can see that it is really deficient in veg and fruit.

You have lots of room to add calories.

If your goal is to add muscle, you really need to eat much more than you do. Eating until you are no longer hungry will not make you bigger. That’s how you lose weight and your whole diet looks like a weight loss diet.

Stu

[quote]stuward wrote:
Joe313 wrote:

here is a typical food day for me:

(boiled potato is usually broccoli)

Now that I’ve seen your diet, I can see that it is really deficient in veg and fruit.

You have lots of room to add calories.

If your goal is to add muscle, you really need to eat much more than you do. Eating until you are no longer hungry will not make you bigger. That’s how you lose weight and your whole diet looks like a weight loss diet.

Stu
[/quote]

AGREED

this diet is not a muscle building. . i’d nearly say double everything! well not quite. . what he said :slight_smile:

why do u not want to do dips and chins?! dont know if everyone will agree here but as far as im concerned they are the best upperbody exercises going! . .
weighted Dips and Chins supersets and squats are the mainstay in my programme. .

“is creatine recommended? should i lose my gut before taking something like creatine? i really would like to take something that will accelerate my muscle/strength gains”

i dont think creatine is appropriate at this stage . . diet and training can take ou where you wanna get to for now anyway
keep the calories up and train hard and the gut will look after itself. . calorie restriction defo not the way to go!
More muscle you add the more calories burned dont think you have to lose fat or gain muscle separately. . they can be done in unison

Add 700-1000+ calories and you’ll be reltively good for a while.

Yeah bryan, dips and chins are some of the best upper body exercise going. The problem is that most people, especially beginners, cannot handle their own bodyweight for more than a couple of reps.