Hey this is my first post here and I'm coming here asking for advice on what I should do next.
I think I have shit genetics. I've always been very weak, and whenever I gain weight it all goes right to my gut. Used to be skinnyfat. Now my body is pretty normal looking I suppose. Not built, but not skinnyfat either.
I started out doing stronglifts on and off about 2 years ago until last summer. Made some very basic strength gains, practiced my form in all the compound lifts and accessory workouts. Since last summer I've tried various new programs as the suggestion of my gym partner. Most of them were the advertised programs on Bodybuilding (this won't go over well here I'm sure).
From day one I was skeptical of those programs and figured they were a front to sell supplements. But my gym partner made the point that just because they're trying to sell supplements doesn't mean they're bad. The one I'm doing now is the Arnold Blueprint to Mass program, but it simply seems far too exhausting for me (6 days a week, 2 hours a day).
I have been working my ass off since last summer, but I still haven't seen any major strength gains. My gym partner/friend, who is much more experienced, has gained a lot more strength than I have. I've constantly read that beginners (especially naturally weak people) can make massive strength/aesthetic gains when they start out. I had no such luck. I've been getting enough sleep, taking supplements, high protein diet. Chicken breast and lentils make up most of my meals.
I have some base strength and I know all the compound lifts fairly well. But at this point I only care about aesthetics. But I'm sick of working my ass off and seeing very little results. Every workout program I do either exhausts me to the point of constant fatigue, or doesn't challenge me enough. And my body just looks very plain. Low fat, but still very soft and almost no definition at all.
I'm thinking of trying the Texas Method, Madcow, or GVT. Is this a good idea? Remember I'm only looking for aesthetics at this point. That's why I tried the Arnold Program. I do want strength gains, of course, but
I'd prefer to stop looking like a skinny weakling.
For context, here are some of my 5/3/1 rep ranges.
Squat 5/3/1: - 265, 275, 285
Deadlift 5/3/1: 245, 255, 265
Bench Press: 150, 165, 180
Overhead/Incline Press: ~ 105, 115, 125 (never tested this, i'm approximating)
And here's my diet
My diet is pretty simple. This is 99% of what I eat, roughly in order of how often. In the past 8 months since being srs about lifting, I've gained 15 lbs. I don't calorie count or check macros, but I roughly eat about 3500 calories a day.
Chicken breast sandwiches (mayo, cheese, dijon/avocado)
Beef/chicken burritos (with eggs, refried beans, cheese, avocado)
Cheerios (whole milk)
Whole fat plain greek yogurt with sliced fruit
Tuna sandwiches (mayo + cheese)
Salmon fillets soaked in butter
Spaghetti with lots of cheese, butter, and meatballs
Steel cut oats/flapjacks with coconut oil