6'3 18 years old 176lbs

Here’s my log so you can see exactly what I’ve down for about 2 or 3 weeks. I don’t really implement rest times just go by how I feel and what my plan is for the day. And I’m pretty consistent with using 3x8-12 for auxiliary lifts.

As for food, it’s been pretty touch and go recently, for a while we had a ton of really good foods so it was easy to eat 4000 calories of good foods at my house, and that period was when I had gained most of my weight. But we’ve kind of switched to a lot of low calorie foods and fruits because both my parents are dieting. So most of the high protein and calorie foods that I would need, I would have to buy for myself and the problem with that is I have 3 younger brothers, two of which work out as well and so they eat anything that I’d buy for myself and it gets super expensive. So some days I won’t eat much more then eggs or a couple muffins with orange juice in the morning with a protein shake, a burrito with chicken and cheese for lunch with some oranges or a banana, some kind of meat or a couple sandwhichs with another shake after work, and then I’ll eat a pasta with some other kind of fruit or vegetable for dinner and have a protein shake and a small snack after I workout.

Right now I weigh anywhere from 183-189 depending on the time of day and I’ve stayed around that weight for about a month, but my lifts have still been increasing pretty regularly. I was originally running with a 5 day split Legs, Back, Chest/abs, shoulders, arms, and then after about 6 months or so I switched it to Push, Pull, Legs and I’ve been doing that for about 3 months. My goal at the moment is to reach 200lbs without gaining much fat, so any advice or even a complete overhaul of what I’m doing if it’s necessary. I am pretty confused of whether I should focus on certain body parts and lifts, or if I should only worry about improving every part of my body and all of my lifts in general.

Your log looks decent. Some lifts you are fairly strong on and then others not so much. You do a shit ton of pressing sometimes. I would caution you on that. Shoulder health is one of those things that once you eff it up it is hard to fix. IMO, you don’t need to have 3-4 chest exercises and then 2-3 shoulder PRESSING exercises. You may want to back that down or move shoulders to another day.

You dead lift every back day. Is it because you think you have to or you just like to? Do you feel it is doing anything for you? Reason I ask is because many a thick back has been built without them. If you want to keep doing them then you really need to make sure that form is spot on and focus on strengthening all the accessory muscles. The biggest issue I see with younger lifters is the desire to dead lift heavier and heavier weight at the expense of form. While you may be strong enough to pull 300 lbs, are you really using the muscles in your back properly? Are you locked in (traps, shoulders, and lats pulled down) or does the weight pull you shoulders forward and cause you back to arch?

Look at this video. At the :28 he gets tired and can’t lock in. This causes his shoulders to pull forward and his back to round. At this point the muscles in his back have all but been removed from the exercise. It is pointless to continue.

I filmed this one the end on last week. I do this every once in a while to make sure that my form is good. While it was only 1 rep, look at how the shoulders and lats gets locked down right before the pull. Those muscles are activated and working the whole time.

DB rows seem very light compared to your dead lift number. I would switch that up too. Alternate between the Db and the BB rows. Keep cranking out those pullups. If you can keep the reps where they are now, or even increase them, this will payoff in dividends as you get heavier.

I still want to see what you are eating. You said what you used to eat and what you eat now and gave a calorie number but that doesn’t tell us anything. Do you track you food? If so, tell me what you ate, EXACTLY, on a random day a few months ago and then tell me what you ate, EXACTLY, yesterday.

The reason I tend to press so much is because my bench has always been kind of weak, and my shoulders have always been even weaker, my shoulders are probably my weakest body part. If I shouldn’t press so much what are some movements you would recommend that wouldn’t have as much wear and tear on my shoulders?

I started deadlifting fairly recently because I had always neglected it for Power Cleans instead. So since I decided to start hitting deadlifts hard, and I found that I really like doing it.

As for form, I could try to post a video of me doing a variety of weights and see how it looks. From how it feels, I can feel my back rounding at times if I get tired (for instance when I did 300x5 yesterday the last two felt like my form got really bad). But otherwise I feel the tension in my lats when I do the lift and I can really feel it in my back.

I found out recently that I can do DB rows for 10 reps with a 65lb weight fairly easily, but unfortunately that is the biggest dumbbell that I own. And I’ve never liked doing the barbell rows, but I’ll suck it up and start doing them again.

As for food, I never logged it on paper. Just before I would eat for a few weeks I would count and guesstimate (I always rounded down, to help with any error) the calories I was eating and if I saw my weight go up then I didn’t worry about it so much. If my weight wasn’t going up I would just make sure I ate a bit more, and that seemed to fix the problem. I know I haven’t been as strict and organized on my diet as I should. Should I keep an actual food log? What should I be eating exactly?

Just as an example, this morning before work I had a whey protein shake (2 scoops at 180 calories each) with 16 ounces of milk (2 servings of 120 calories?) 5 eggs at 70 each (350), and a banana (100ish calories?), so if I add that right it’s around 1000 calories. That’s a pretty normal breakfast for me.

First off, i just caught the part where you are 6’ 3". Missed that when I first read your OP. That, along with your age and apparent metabolism will be a huge factor. Simply put, you are trying to spread muscle across a larger area than that of a person that is 5’ 11".

If both shoulders and chest are weak (your words) then I would split them up. And even then, you have to be careful of constantly trashing them. Look at this link. Shoulder Training: The Mountain Dog Way
JM does very little pressing for shoulders and relies on several different variations of lateral raises and swings. I don’t post this as a template for you to use or suggest you should use it, just as a reference with some ideas. Most of my shoulder growth came from benching (I am delt dominant) and variations of lateral raises. Most of my chest growth came from incline BB and very low incline DB presses (one setting above flat). I am reluctant to post other options as you have stated that you lift at home and probably have just the basics in terms of equipment.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you are pulling more than you are pressing. If your back is weak, your chest is weak. The PC is a great movement and will help greatly with back development, if done properly. I would also do Snatch Grip High Pulls if you know how. There are plenty of instructional videos from CT on here and youtube. If your DB’s aren’t heavy enough for rows then stop using them. Grab your barbell, throw one end in the corner, and load weight on the other. You can do T-Bar rows and Meadows Rows Meadows rows version 2.MPG - YouTube with heavier weight.

Be careful switching up your routine too often. I agree that using different rep ranges and # of sets every few weeks is a good idea. Just don’t go from 5/3/1 to Max-OT to DC to etc. etc. every other week. Swap a movement, add a movement, low volume, high volume. Small changes so you can try and assess what you respond to best.

As far as diet goes, you are going to have to continue to play with it. TRACK YOUR FOOD. The only reason I say that is because you can’t really tell what you are taking in unless you are tracking it. You can guesstimate and round all you want but you will fin that you are way off sometimes. Tracking gives you options down the road too. You may find that you are taking in too much fat, or carbs, or not enough of either. You may find that your diet is pretty good and you just need to add more food. Sometimes this can be difficult because 4,000+ calories of clean food is a shit ton of food. You may want to throw in a dirtier meal every other day or so. There is nothing wrong with hitting up Five Guys for a burger a few times a week, especially if your metabolism is that fast. Just watch the mirror. While the scale is an indicator of weight, the mirror is an indicator of direction. i.e. you are heading in the right direction or the wrong one…

I’ve been told that at my height it’s difficult to build mass, but I’ve seen guys taller then me who are huge so I know it’s possible if you do it right.

I do have a gym membership, but it’s mostly just a fitness center and doesn’t provide much more then what I already have. My home gym isn’t anything special, but it can definitely get the job done and I’m constantly adding to it.

I’ll take everything you’ve said into consideration for sure, and I really appreciate the advice. Like I said I’d rather do things right from the get-go. I think I’ll try to keep my routine focused around 5x5 and 5-4-3-2-1 for now, and see how that goes. I’ll add more dumbbell raises and try to cut the pressing down to just a few movements.

And I think that I’ll really start cracking down on the diet too, since I think that’s probably what is holding me back. I’ll start a food log and track how much I’m eating to be sure.

I appreciate you taking time out and helping me.

[quote]Leonard2580 wrote:
I’ve been told that at my height it’s difficult to build mass, but I’ve seen guys taller then me who are huge so I know it’s possible if you do it right.


It’s not even necessarily more difficult. Look at all the linemen, defensive ends, tight ends, linebackers, strong safeties, and even most quarterbacks in the NFL. Most of those guys are at least 6’3. The average lineman is about 6’5. Even these positions at the college level yield a ton of huge dudes. And that’s just one sport. It seems strange to consider the notion that it’s anything other than possible. Hard work and food, that’s all you need. If you’re not getting bigger, one of these categories is lacking, without fail.

Well that just did a great job of motivating me!

didn’t read the whole thread, but stick with it and you’ll be a monster one day.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
didn’t read the whole thread, but stick with it and you’ll be a monster one day. [/quote]

That’s the plan, I would like this to be a lifestyle and not just some hobby. Thanks for the encouragement.

I took a video of my deadlifting form, is my back tensed up and being used the way it’s supposed to be? I feel the tension in my lats really well.

I did 285 lbs for 4 reps in case you were wondering.

Also, diet-wise. I decided I would try DEAD (Dozen eggs a day), along with having a whey protein shake with every meal. So that would be a total of 840 calories and 108 grams from eggs, and 16 ounces of milk (240 calories) with two scoops of whey (190 calories and 30 grams of protein each scoop). So 840 calories from eggs, plus 620 calories from each shake (factoring in that I have 3 shakes a day) would equal 2700 calories from just those items in a day. And my protein intake would over 200 grams a day from them alone. Is this a good change to help me continue to gain weight?

It’s giving me trouble with posting the video

on the deadlift, get your shoulders behind the bar. In the video it looks like they’re in front of it. You basically just need to shift your weight more towards your heels to accomplish this. If you ever miss a deadlift, you should essentially fall backwards, not lose it forwards. Other than that, I think your form looks fine, better than a lot of what I’ve seen on here.

As for your diet, I think those are pretty good choices. As tall as you are, it may very well take that much food to get you moving in the right direction. I’m assuming you’re gonna get at least 1000 more calories from food outside of the shakes, eggs, and milk. If at any point you feel like you’re putting on too much fat following this diet, I would remove milk first, and then consider cutting back the why. You may not ever need to do this though. Keep the eggs almost no matter what. A dozen eggs a day should be tremendously beneficial for adding lean mass.

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
on the deadlift, get your shoulders behind the bar. [/quote]

I’m glad I’m not doing too bad on form then. I’ll take care of this.

Recently I think I’ve put on some fat, my abs aren’t quite as visible as they were several months ago, but I just attributed that to the fat coming along with muscle. Looking back, it may have been more because my diet wasn’t as good as it could have been. These few simple guidelines should help me out tremendously in that area.

Really appreciate the help, I think I’ll update this every several months or so.

After I go on a week vacation in a couple weeks (there will be a good gym available so I’m not taking it easy lifting-wise), I’d like to switch to a four day split, Chest, shoulders, back, and legs. Mainly because after I deadlift or Power clean on back days my lower back seems fatigued for legs the next day on my current split. And like Mateus said I press too much on one day so shoulders could use their own day.

So in any of your opinions do you think I should mix it up like:

Day 1-Chest
Day 2-Back
Day 3-Shoulders
Day 4-Legs
Day 5-Off

Going along with what flip said, your knees are too far forward/shins angled too much, you need to push the hips BACK more. You also extend the knees almost completely before you extend the hips. Your set up makes this necessary, but even if you fix that, the pattern has been practiced now and will take some time to fix. Try thinking of setting up BACK and then pulling the bar BACK.

In my opinion you are doing way too much for someone at your level and strength. Take an ESTABLISHED program focusing on the main lifts and get stronger. If you absolutely have to do some little shit, give yourself 15-20 min MAX free time to fuck around - abs, arms, calves or whatever else won’t matter much.

For the deadlift, I think my main issue is that I’m going off my toes instead of my heels, so if I get used to pulling back from my heels it should fix the rest of my problems. So I’ll just go down in weight and focus on that there.

And I’m about to switch up my routine in about 2 weeks after vacation, hence why I asked about a new split. Are there any routines that you would personally recommend then? Like I’ve stated before I would rather do things correctly and not get ahead of my self. If your opinion is a correct one then I may need to check my ego and stop going in the direction I am.

I’m going to give you the standard “just do 5/3/1” answer. While you could do any assistance template, I think you would be well served by doing something like boring but big 5x5, 5x3, and then 5x1 for 6 week blocks with alternating main/assistance work. (Like main bench/press 5x5, main squat/dead 5x5) This would help you tremendously to get away from the mindset of so much time and energy spent on things that don’t return much and let you practice each main lift twice a week.

Just do 3 lifts a day - Main for strength, alternate main for volume and one ab or arm thing. (or skip the ab/arm thing altogether) This gives you 18 weeks to FOCUS on getting stronger while slowly gaining weight. After this you should be in a good spot to pick whatever assistance strikes you, as long as you stick to the principles and don’t let the little stuff take away from the big return movements.

If you want to start a more bodybuilding style program after you have built a good base of size and strength (probably at least a year) you will have set yourself up to be successful. My $.02

Very nice of you to lend all that (good) advice, Mateus. Don’t see that around here very much anymore.

[quote]Waylon wrote:
I’m going to give you the standard “just do 5/3/1” answer. [/quote]

I’ve been reading up on that and I think that is what I may end up doing. After thinking about where I am, I think I need to do an ego check and remind myself I am not as far along as I like to think I am. So starting back at just the basics and building a good base like what you said is probably best. Since I probably haven’t built one like I think that I have.

That is what I would like to do, mainly because I enjoy working out that way. A lot of volume is more exciting and I like doing it.

My current goal is too be able to reach a lean 200, while being as strong as I can.