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A Beginner Trying to Get Bigger

I don’t think my training/eating has been that bad, but fair enough. I’ll aim for the intermediate strength standards within the next few months. Press is novice, Bench and DL aren’t far away. The untrained ones for my starting weight are much lower than where I am now but I agree I’m still weak.

The idea was do a short cut (2 months) and then continue building up strength to hopefully the intermediate standards and figure it out from there, but I guess I’ll go for intermediate or more first.

A leg press and a squat are very different things, in the context of what you’re trying to do. For the purpose of working the quads, you can use either one.

However, in the context of your program, the purpose of the squat is: strengthening the back, hips, legs, calves; improving balance; improving your mental resilience. Among some other things. This is why the leg press is a poor substitute.

I wouldn’t consider a cut at all until you’re at least intermediate standards on those charts. And I probably wouldn’t even consider one then. You really need to be pushing your squat and/or deadlift numbers up. Both of those will make the biggest difference in strength and power, and have the most relevance to everything else in your life. While the press and bench will make you “look better” faster than the deadlift and squat will, the deadlift and squat will build the kind of strength that’s genuinely useful.

To answer one of your questions though, your lifts should not go down when you do any sort of cut. If your lifts are going down, you’re either cutting too quickly, or eating improperly. This is not just a thing for “beginner strength gains”; people 3-5x stronger than you, on this site, have been able to keeping get stronger while cutting weight.

All that said, you’re doing a good job keeping with it and getting better. You could be making faster progress than you are, but you’re making progress. Just keep at it.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
A leg press and a squat are very different things, in the context of what you’re trying to do. For the purpose of working the quads, you can use either one.

However, in the context of your program, the purpose of the squat is: strengthening the back, hips, legs, calves; improving balance; improving your mental resilience. Among some other things. This is why the leg press is a poor substitute.

I wouldn’t consider a cut at all until you’re at least intermediate standards on those charts. And I probably wouldn’t even consider one then. You really need to be pushing your squat and/or deadlift numbers up. Both of those will make the biggest difference in strength and power, and have the most relevance to everything else in your life. While the press and bench will make you “look better” faster than the deadlift and squat will, the deadlift and squat will build the kind of strength that’s genuinely useful.

To answer one of your questions though, your lifts should not go down when you do any sort of cut. If your lifts are going down, you’re either cutting too quickly, or eating improperly. This is not just a thing for “beginner strength gains”; people 3-5x stronger than you, on this site, have been able to keeping get stronger while cutting weight.

All that said, you’re doing a good job keeping with it and getting better. You could be making faster progress than you are, but you’re making progress. Just keep at it.[/quote]

Ahh okay, that’s really helpful. Will go back to Squats then, hopefully the fact my other leg lifts have gone up means I won’t have to deload for Squat.

Sure, I’ve been improving a lot on DL so it should continue, my grip is a limiting factor so I need to work on that (guess I’ll add Farmers walks in and hold at the top of the DL movement for longer).

Alright, I’ll bear that in mind when I eventually do a cut. Thanks for your help

My friend, you’ve been at this for a while but still haven’t gotten the results you’re capable of. Cutting should be the last thing on your mind. You want to get big and strong, right?

You honestly don’t look different at all to me judging from the pics. You have gained a bit of weight, which is good, but are still without any real noticeable muscular development. More importantly, you’re still weak, after many months lifting, which is not good. You need to get strong. This can be done while playing soccer 3x / week. If you add 50 lbs to your bench press while keeping your diet / weight gain up I promise your physique will change.

I suggest you do Madcow 5x5. This is a great routine, especially for someone playing sports – you lift 3 days per week, and only one of those is a truly “heavy” session. This allows for recovery and balancing with a sports schedule. Try to lift on days when you don’t play soccer.

I can’t post the link here but google “madcow wackyhq” and click the top link. Read everything on that page and on the pages it links.

The program will have you adding 5 lbs to your lifts per week, which will give well-needed structure to your training, and a simple goal to aim for every week. Success / failure is clear – in 3 months you’ve either added 30-60 lbs to all your lifts or you haven’t. If your bodyweight has gone up along with the lifts, I guarantee you’ll have built significant muscle.

I have to go on a cut, or at least get on a better diet. You, on the other hand, do not.

[quote]Flight1 wrote:
Currently how I look[/quote]
I took the liberty of throwing them together again. If you want it down, let me know.

You’re absolutely on track right now and look to be in good shape, definitely not in need of a cut. Like the guys have said, cutting now will set you back a ton. Let’s say you cut for a month or two and drop 10 pounds of fat. You’d basically end up back where you were 8 months ago. Not cool.

Not trying to compare you to anyone else, but check this kid’s thread for some hopeful motivation:


He put his nose down, worked hard, and ate steadily for nearly two years and saw some serious progress.

I just looked back to your Page 1 here and saw where you were 55kg almost 2 years ago, so you havecome a long way so far. The only issue is that you’ve still got a ways to go. It’s the grind and the long-long term that can be a bummer, but that’s also where so much potential lies

I forget, have you laid out any real specific goals lately? Maybe putting a concrete target on the horizon might help re-focus things a bit, whether it’s '“weigh X in Y months” or “deadlift X and press Y in Z months”.

Kinda sorta. It’s sometimes called the bodyweight set point or the metabolic set point, and it takes longer than a week to adjust.

Sometimes, but not always. If strength drops rapidly, odds are it’s from dropping calories too much/too quickly or from switching to a drastically different training plan.

Thanks for posting that Chris, I’m going to do what Craze9 suggested as a routine so my goals are going to be the intermediate lifting standards from Exrx for those lifts.

I’ll inevitably gain weight before I reach those so I’ll take the intermediate lifting standards at 82kg:

Bench: Current = 65kg, Goal = 90kg

Deadlift: Current = 100kg, Goal = 142.5kg

Press: Current = 45kg, Goal = 62.5kg

Squat: Current = 90kg, Goal = 122.5kg

The routine suggests adding 2.5% to the lifts each week, haven’t done the maths to figure out how long that’ll be roughly yet.

Edit:

Think it’s roughly 13 weeks for all but my math may be off

[quote]Flight1 wrote:
Thanks for posting that Chris, I’m going to do what Craze9 suggested as a routine so my goals are going to be the intermediate lifting standards from Exrx for those lifts.

I’ll inevitably gain weight before I reach those so I’ll take the intermediate lifting standards at 82kg:

Bench: Current = 65kg, Goal = 90kg

Deadlift: Current = 100kg, Goal = 142.5kg

Press: Current = 45kg, Goal = 62.5kg

Squat: Current = 90kg, Goal = 122.5kg

The routine suggests adding 2.5% to the lifts each week, haven’t done the maths to figure out how long that’ll be roughly yet.

Edit:

Think it’s roughly 13 weeks for all but my math may be off[/quote]

It will probably take longer than 13 weeks, don’t worry about the time frame, focus on doing the program correctly and making progress from week to week.

Also don’t forget to start light, the program calls for working up to your current 5RM such that you hit it on Week 4 and set a new PR on Week 5. So the first workout for you, using your numbers above, should be something very close to:

Squat (in kg)
37x5
46x5
56x5
65x5
74x5

Bench Press (in kg)
27x5
33x5
40x5
47x5
54x5

Pendlay Row (in kg) (I guessed at a 5RM for you, make sure it is light enough to be easy the first couple weeks)
25x5
31x5
37x5
43x5
49x5

[quote]craze9 wrote:

It will probably take longer than 13 weeks, don’t worry about the time frame, focus on doing the program correctly and making progress from week to week.

Also don’t forget to start light, the program calls for working up to your current 5RM such that you hit it on Week 4 and set a new PR on Week 5. So the first workout for you, using your numbers above, should be something very close to:

Squat (in kg)
37x5
46x5
56x5
65x5
74x5

Bench Press (in kg)
27x5
33x5
40x5
47x5
54x5

Pendlay Row (in kg) (I guessed at a 5RM for you, make sure it is light enough to be easy the first couple weeks)
25x5
31x5
37x5
43x5
49x5
[/quote]

Ahh shit misread it, today I actually did the workout and did

Bench:

40x5
45x5
50x5
57.5x5
61.25x5 (I actually did 6 reps but the last one I felt the spotter helped too much to count it)

Squat:

40x5
50x5
62.5x5
70x5
85x5 (last rep I needed a little help from a spotter who i asked to check if my depth was good enough)

Row:

20x5
30x5
40x5
50x5
55x5

Guess I did it too heavy then, little demoralising going down so much for the first few weeks but I trust it’s necessary

  1. Re-read the whole page, carefully this time, including the “Training Primer.”

  2. Going too heavy today is not a disaster, at least you got a sense of your current 5 rep maxes. Just adjust the Wednesday and Friday workouts(decrease the loads, as if you had done the workout today with correct weights), and continue as scheduled to start Week 2 next week.

  3. You should not need a spotter at all for at least the first 6 weeks, hopefully longer.

[quote]craze9 wrote:

  1. Re-read the whole page, carefully this time, including the “Training Primer.”

  2. Going too heavy today is not a disaster, at least you got a sense of your current 5 rep maxes. Just adjust the Wednesday and Friday workouts(decrease the loads, as if you had done the workout today with correct weights), and continue as scheduled to start Week 2 next week.

  3. You should not need a spotter at all for at least the first 6 weeks, hopefully longer.[/quote]

Cool just done that, will deload for tomorrow. I’ll continue eating at 4,500 cals a day, unsure if it’s necessary considering I’m deloading and doing a little less volume but I guess I’ll just see what happens to my body.

Keep eating, it’s really not much of a deload given that you’re dropping the weight just around 10% and increasing it every week.

I’m going to be brief! You need to add more calories from eating and weight gainer supplements. Lifting weights is the only way you going to get bigger instead of implying bodyweight training.

Yeah I’m eating around 4,500 cals a day including about 2 litres of milk a day.

I feel like I’ve injured my lower back a bit, it doesn’t hurt when squatting, and I’ve not reached deadlift day since but it doesn’t hurt when I replicate the movement. But it still has a little nagging pain, how should I go about treating this? Skip deadlifts for a week and see how I am after?

I’m looking at a lot of videos on deadlift/squat/row form to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, if anyone is available I can send a couple videos of my form for critique?

It doesn’t feel like DOMS, although I didn’t feel any injury when I was at the gym

So, if anyone has advice on what I should do I’d appreciate it.

Depends how bad it is. Sharp pain is what you should be wary of. Duller pain / soreness can usually be worked through. Especially if you didn’t feel anything during the actual lift.

Cool, skipped deadlifts this week for Bench to be on the safe side and it was painless for Squats so I think I’ll be back to normal next week. Thanks for all your help by the way, I’ll come back when I reach intermediate standards on Squat, OHP, Deadlift and Bench.

I wouldn’t worry about the “intermediate standards.” Just focus on doing the program correctly, increasing the weight on the bar each week, and eating/sleeping well. If you can stick with the program for 8-12 solid weeks before stalling that will be good progress. Good luck!

All my lifts are going up well and I’m making good progress so this is not another post about that, but I have a question in regards to eating…

Why can I only gain weight eating 4200+ calories a day whilst much bigger people like the kid linked in this thread earlier ( http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/2_years_progress_4 ) gain weight on much less? What’s causing this large difference? I’ve seen many people much larger than me being able to gain on much less.

Obviously I can’t be completely sure I’m hitting that many but I’ve been using MyFitnessPal and comparing it to others who eat 3500 cals etc and I’m definitely consuming more.

The reason I ask is that eating this many calories often leaves me feeling sick/bloated for large parts of the day no matter how much I space it out, and makes it harder to play sports like Soccer. So whilst my lifts are improving (2.5kg every week on Bench/Row/OHP and 5kg every week on Squats/Deadlifts) it’s causing me to feel full and sick.

(Edit)
Just posting current stats for future reference:
Height: 6ft
Weight: 79kg

1RMs:
Bench 75kg
Squat 102.5kg
Deadlift 117.5kg
OHP 47.5kg
Row 67.5kg

[quote]Flight1 wrote:
Why can I only gain weight eating 4200+ calories a day whilst much bigger people like the kid linked in this thread earlier ( http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/2_years_progress_4 ) gain weight on much less? What’s causing this large difference? I’ve seen many people much larger than me being able to gain on much less.

makes it harder to play sports like Soccer…[/quote]

Part of the answer is that you’re burning more energy than other people. Some of that being because of activity, some of it because of whatever else. Everyone burns energy differently.

The other major part is you might not be digesting the food you eat very well, given that it’s leaving you bloated. The food you eat needs to be broken down to be able to be absorbed by the bloodstream. If that process isn’t working well, you might take in 4000 calories, but only absorb 2000 of them, with the rest going to waste.

With solid foods, take some extra effort to spend more time chewing them. With dairy, make sure you’re not getting symptoms of lactose intolerance; if you are, Lactaid is a product that may help. Everyone’s threshold there is different. I can drink whole milk just fine, but if I also mix in powdered milk and whey protein, my body starts to have trouble with it.

Also, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.

But ultimately, if it takes you 4200+ calories to accomplish what you want to accomplish, then that’s what you do.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

Part of the answer is that you’re burning more energy than other people. Some of that being because of activity, some of it because of whatever else. Everyone burns energy differently.

The other major part is you might not be digesting the food you eat very well, given that it’s leaving you bloated. The food you eat needs to be broken down to be able to be absorbed by the bloodstream. If that process isn’t working well, you might take in 4000 calories, but only absorb 2000 of them, with the rest going to waste.

With solid foods, take some extra effort to spend more time chewing them. With dairy, make sure you’re not getting symptoms of lactose intolerance; if you are, Lactaid is a product that may help. Everyone’s threshold there is different. I can drink whole milk just fine, but if I also mix in powdered milk and whey protein, my body starts to have trouble with it.

Also, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.

But ultimately, if it takes you 4200+ calories to accomplish what you want to accomplish, then that’s what you do.[/quote]

Ah, that makes sense. I do eat really fast so I’ll take my time and hopefully that help. Thanks