T Nation

A New Beginning

G’Day All,

This is my 1st time posting so no haters plz :slight_smile:

Just so u dont read to far only to find out ive mislead u, this post is going to be about getting advice about a new approach to my lifts this yr i.e calories, ratios and general basics as i have a nagging feelin i may be a hardgainer, not putting on any weight and infact loosing a kilo in the past 3 months but am also open to the criticism of naiveity re: calorie intake.

Ok so here goes;

This year im starting uni and want to knuckle down and take bb’ing srsly. I’ve just turned 18 this yr but have been training half heartedly for a couple of yrs now. Before that i was quite an overweight kid which lead to eating disorders etc etc but thats not relevant. Here is the usual speel; (ill convert to lbs so its easier 4 u guys ;P)

Height; 6’1’’
Weight; 167lbs
BF%; ~6.44

  1. Just how many calories should i be consuming per day to make max ‘clean’ gains?. Im getting a bit frustrated and frankly my mood fluctuates from motivated and pumped to being damn near desperate fat feeling on a weekly basis…Ive used calcs which give figures around 3700kcals, advice from supp store ops of around 3000 and just dont know who to believe

2.After much chopping and changing ive decided to give a downloaded program from bb.com a try which is a 3-day FBW per week. Is a FBW program best suited to a relative novice who just wants to see a result? (dont remind me that patience is the key!! :P)

  1. I think my problem is that i cant bring myself to eat shit, and subsequently eat alot of healthy foods and struggle to stomach it all. What r some good ways to sneak in cals? i.e i recently bought powdered oats to sneak into my shakes…although when uni starts ill probs just buy a mass gainer.

4.Lastly, or at least the only other thing i can think of atm is that im struggling to activate my chest in my routines, i can just never achieve the burn or DOMS that i can get with my legs and tris from some reason. Although i am aware that this could again come down to cals. Its just that in the past 3 months ive only added 5-7kg’s to my bench which = 11-15lbs.

Any mentoring advice would be warmly welcomed :))) I do a lil bit of modeling and really want to bring my physique up to par with ma head haha if that doesnt sound too up myself :S

I do all the stuff like aminos, creatine and 6 meals per day…trying to acheive a ratio of 2:1 carbs to pro.

[quote]TheRevaKnight wrote:
i have a nagging feelin i may be a hardgainer[/quote]
No such thing. Forget you ever heard the term.

[quote]not putting on any weight and infact loosing a kilo in the past 3 months

Ive used calcs which give figures around 3700kcals, advice from supp store ops of around 3000[/quote]
If you’ve been losing weight, then it’s not a matter of what the calculations or advice say. It’s a matter of “I simply have to eat more calories than I have been.”

Speaking of which… what, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

Um, dude, that’s actually very relevant. Gaining size can be tough, mentally. Gaining size when you used to be overweight and currently have well-defined abs can be very, very challenging. The psychological part of gaining size/“getting bigger” can be just as legit a hurdle as eating big meal after big meal or squatting heavy.

You’re ripped and underweight, which means overfocusing on “clean gains” instead of “gains” will lead to slow, if any, progress. I know it’s hard to wrap your head around, but you’re going to have to deal with the abs getting blurry and fading gently away (to a certain extent) if you want to make significant progress.
Give these a read:


If it’s well-designed, there’s nothing wrong with full body workouts. What does the training look like - days, exercises, sets, and reps?

There have been a ton of threads about this issue. (Search box, top right) You will feel full, because you’re eating more than you’d otherwise want to. That’s par for the course when trying to grow. Just keep your eyes on the mid-to-long term goal.

A - This is small beans compared to the rest of your issue, like stubbing your toe while running out of a building fire.

B - Could be tweaked for improvement depending on how your workout is structured. With full body workouts, one of the “compromises” is that it’s difficult to target “weak” bodyparts. However, at your current level, you don’t have weak points.

Wow thanks for the assist dude;

Although im far from being ripped (cant even see abs) if i had abs i wouldnt even be trying to do this but strangely im becoming more and more interested in just the goals and improving strength side if bb’ing anyway so even if i did hav abs that wouldnt hinder me.

1.Just to avoid the tediousness of listing what i ate i calced that it was around 3200kcal :confused: which now that i look at it in hindsight seems rather pathetic despite it just being a rest day where i just sat on my ass all.

2.Yeah i guess ill just hav to forget all i know about the cal content of food, in other words i think knowing too much can actually hold me back in gettin those cals.

EDIT:

simplistically it goes
MON-5 sets of five reps for every exercise
WED; 4 sets of 10 reps
FRI; 3 sets of 15
MON; 2 sets of 20 then repeat

that is the routine that im trying out, im just gonna weigh back in at the end of the month and then review…speaking of which how much weight should i be lookin to gain in a month?

Its really nice to see others sharing their wisdom and passion to help novices like me out :)))

[quote]TheRevaKnight wrote:
Wow thanks for the assist dude;

Although im far from being ripped (cant even see abs) if i had abs i wouldnt even be trying to do this but strangely im becoming more and more interested in just the goals and improving strength side if bb’ing anyway so even if i did hav abs that wouldnt hinder me.

1.Just to avoid the tediousness of listing what i ate i calced that it was around 3200kcal :confused: which now that i look at it in hindsight seems rather pathetic despite it just being a rest day where i just sat on my ass all.

2.Yeah i guess ill just hav to forget all i know about the cal content of food, in other words i think knowing too much can actually hold me back in gettin those cals.

EDIT:

simplistically it goes
MON-5 sets of five reps for every exercise
WED; 4 sets of 10 reps
FRI; 3 sets of 15
MON; 2 sets of 20 then repeat

that is the routine that im trying out, im just gonna weigh back in at the end of the month and then review…speaking of which how much weight should i be lookin to gain in a month?

Its really nice to see others sharing their wisdom and passion to help novices like me out :)))
[/quote]

First off, forget that BF% you thought you had. 6-7% BF is not just abs, it’s ripped to shit. There aren’t really any good ways to measure BF that are cheap and easy to access for most, so I think the mirror, scale, and tape measure are better friends for tracking progress.

Please do list what you ate. Colucci asked for that specifically because everybody tends to overestimate their intake (or underestimate if they’re dieting).

One thing I found helpful was just focusing on the eating first, and the nutrition second. It isn’t easy to eat the amount you have to, and I frequently ate until I felt like vomiting (and I actually have). Once you get to a good amount, then you can worry about tweaking your diet in terms of eating cleaner. It’s easy to get messed up with the myriad of details, so don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.

Listing just the set/rep scheme unfortunately isn’t very helpful. We would want to see the specific exercises, order, and anything else related to the exercises (intensity, supersets, etc.) that the workout included that might be relevant.

Colucci’s advice about forgetting you ever heard the word “hardgainer” is also very good. Just like every guy starts his workouts focused on some bench press variation and bro-cep curls (and not enough legs), every guy thinks they’re a hardgainer if they aren’t making mad gainzzz quickly (guilty of both right here). Lack of progress doesn’t mean you’re a hardgainer for 99.9% of the population. It means your protocol is lacking and must be fixed. The sooner you learn to avoid these pitfalls, the closer you are to making solid progress.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]TheRevaKnight wrote:
i have a nagging feelin i may be a hardgainer[/quote]
No such thing. Forget you ever heard the term.

Give these a read:


[/quote]

Just saying… :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]TheRevaKnight wrote:
i have a nagging feelin i may be a hardgainer[/quote]
No such thing. Forget you ever heard the term.

Give these a read:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/diet_planning_for_the_hardgainer [/quote]
Just saying… :P[/quote]
I saw this coming, smart aleck. :wink: The term itself is overused and misapplied. The content of the article is what matters.

[quote]TheRevaKnight wrote:
Although im far from being ripped (cant even see abs)[/quote]
Like Apoklyps said, at the bodyfat you stated, you would be ripped. Generally, anything South of 10% starts showing some definition. 6.44%, which is a curiously/suspiciously accurate reading, is getting into fitness model territory.

Yep, that’s pretty much why I asked for exactly what you ate. It almost always ends up being less than the person “should’ve.” Definitely something to pay attention to.

[quote]MON-5 sets of five reps for every exercise
WED; 4 sets of 10 reps
FRI; 3 sets of 15
MON; 2 sets of 20 then repeat

that is the routine that im trying out[/quote]
Again, that’s not a routine, that’s a group of sets and reps that don’t actually tell us what you’re doing. I don’t see the point of the 2x20 day, but from the super-limited information, changing the volume (sets and reps) each training day is a decent way of arranging a full body plan. Still plenty of ways to screw it up though, mostly with exercise selection.

I’d weigh in once a week, once every two weeks at the longest. It’ll give you a better idea of what’s going on so you can make any necessary tweaks as you go. Waiting a full month could end up giving you an unpleasant and unnecessary surprise. Also, at your current size, your body is totally primed for growth. With the right training and eating, it wouldn’t be crazy to see 10-15 pounds in a month. Once you get to a “less underweight-weight”, you shouldn’t expect the same drastic gains.

But the most important thing is to make sure your strength in the gym is going up pretty much every workout while you gain bodyweight. That’s a general rule of thumb that tells us we’re building a fair amount of muscle along the way.