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Big Guys...Help Me Out?

For the past 2-3 years, I have walked around between 205 and 215 lbs. for most of the year. I haven’t put a ton of emphasis on rapid weight gain. In that time I’ve probably put on 5 or 10 pounds of lbm. Around the end of the summer I decided one of the things that was holding me back from making the kind of gains in the powerlifts that I wanted was the fact that I was undermuscled (I’m 5’10). Since that time, I’ve gained a lot of LBM and weighed in at 235 today. My strength is way up, my BF hasn’t gone up too much, and I’m happy with it overall.

But, I have a problem. I am having some problems breathing, like I have to suck for air a lot of the time. I feel exhausted and like complete shit when I wake up in the morning, and I’m not sleeping very well, i.e. I wake up a bunch of times during the night and have a hard time getting to sleep. I think I’m developing sleep apnea. I just don’t feel that great generally. I understand that this is to be expected to a degree, and I don’t have a family history of heart attacks as far as I know. But the sleep thing is bugging me.

How have you guys who’ve put on a lot of size dealt with stuff like this, if it came up at all? Much obliged for any insight.

Go see your doctor before taking any other advice.

Do you have a zinc deficiency? Do you take ZMA?

[quote]wfifer wrote:
Do you have a zinc deficiency? Do you take ZMA? [/quote]

According to some people, every athlete under the sun has a zinc deficiency. I’ve taken ZMA, although I haven’t used it consistently for the past few months. One of the things that has helped me gain weight is milkshakes w/ protein powder, and I usually have one pretty close to bedtime. Not sure it’s worth it to take the ZMA shortly after an assload of calcium.

In any event, I don’t think my zinc status is worse now than it was before…who knows. I have some ZMA sitting around though; probly ought to take it.

I agree with onewall. You should definitely go see a doctor.

Personally, large amounts of sugar make me really fatigued. Also, at least anecdotally, sweets before bed lead to sleeping problems.

Maybe your milshake before bed could have something to do with it? Consider having a low carb meal before bed for a few nights. You could throw your protein in with some olive oil, and maybe some fruit.

Well, I can’t say don’t go see a doctor but I know what he’s gonna say…that’s right, lose some weight! If you’ve put on the weight pretty quickly it will take some adjusting to. You’re stomach might be constantly bloated as well from eating a lot and for me that makes my whole midsection tight. The best you can do would be to keep a very strict routine for a while and change little bits at a time to see how it affects you.

[quote]Ramo wrote:
wfifer wrote:
Do you have a zinc deficiency? Do you take ZMA?

According to some people, every athlete under the sun has a zinc deficiency. I’ve taken ZMA, although I haven’t used it consistently for the past few months. One of the things that has helped me gain weight is milkshakes w/ protein powder, and I usually have one pretty close to bedtime. Not sure it’s worth it to take the ZMA shortly after an assload of calcium.

In any event, I don’t think my zinc status is worse now than it was before…who knows. I have some ZMA sitting around though; probly ought to take it. [/quote]
I just remember the last time I ran out of ZMA, I had fits of chest cramping and trouble breathing. And of course zinc deficiency is connected to trouble sleeping. I just took a stab at it. I’m very far from a certified diagnostician.

I bet it’s your blood pressure. Often it rises with your bodyweight. Get it checked out.

[quote]Ramo wrote:
…I understand that this is to be expected to a degree…[/quote]

Maybe some of the really “big guys” can can help me out, but I don’t understand this statement. What is leading you to believe that gaining muscle brings with it what you’re experiencing? The very first thing that pops into my head is questions about your diet.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Ramo wrote:
…I understand that this is to be expected to a degree…

Maybe some of the really “big guys” can can help me out, but I don’t understand this statement. What is leading you to believe that gaining muscle brings with it what you’re experiencing? The very first thing that pops into my head is questions about your diet.[/quote]

Well…I’ve put on about 25 lbs in the last 4 months or so. Obviously my mobility is affected; I don’t think there’s any way around that in the short term. Also, I’m running out of breath easier. Again, gaining size at that rate, hard to avoid. Those are the kinds of things I meant.

But what concerns me, (and what I didn’t necessarily expect), is shortness of breath when at rest (having to suck for air) and shitty sleep. These in particular I could do without.

[quote]Ramo wrote:

But, I have a problem. I am having some problems breathing, like I have to suck for air a lot of the time.

[/quote]

Don’t shoot me on this one, but do some aerobic exercise once a week.
I eat very healthy, and at my heaviest I was 228 @ 5’8, and had constantly had to take a deep breath when I wanted to speak loudly or for a long time. I was in awesome shape, and count sprint or do any other exercise, but I never really did any(nor do I do now)true aerobic exercise, like running for long distances of swimming.(I did and still do a lot of anaerobic exercise, like sprinting and 400 meters and all)
It might be counterintuitive, but I felt I needed aerobic exercise more when I was heavier, just to have my heart cope with it in a different manner.
I always felt awesome after I did it, and once a week never affected my gains at all.

[quote]Ramo wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
Ramo wrote:
…I understand that this is to be expected to a degree…

Maybe some of the really “big guys” can can help me out, but I don’t understand this statement. What is leading you to believe that gaining muscle brings with it what you’re experiencing? The very first thing that pops into my head is questions about your diet.

Well…I’ve put on about 25 lbs in the last 4 months or so. Obviously my mobility is affected; I don’t think there’s any way around that in the short term. Also, I’m running out of breath easier. Again, gaining size at that rate, hard to avoid. Those are the kinds of things I meant.

But what concerns me, (and what I didn’t necessarily expect), is shortness of breath when at rest (having to suck for air) and shitty sleep. These in particular I could do without.
[/quote]

Well I’m not a big guy, but I did go from 155lbs to 180lbs in under 3 months (5’6") so I understand the shortness of breath (although I didn’t have any problem sleeping). I’d recommend you maintain the weight for a while and let your body adjust. Also I found adding in some strongman work like farmer’s walks helped with some endurance while basically avoiding traditional cardio.

Good luck, and it’s not a bad idea to get checked out to make sure it’s nothing more serious.

I wonder what your actual bodyfat percentage is. If what you gained was mostly LBM, I doubt you would feel so bad. I speak from experience. I had once gained quite a bit of weight thinking it was muscle and felt much like you did. In the last year I have gone from about 230 recently down to 210 and I am starting to climb back up now (215) but doing it with a much cleaner diet and supplementation regimen and feeling and looking much better.

D

[quote]Leeuwer wrote:
Ramo wrote:

But, I have a problem. I am having some problems breathing, like I have to suck for air a lot of the time.

Don’t shoot me on this one, but do some aerobic exercise once a week.
I eat very healthy, and at my heaviest I was 228 @ 5’8, and had constantly had to take a deep breath when I wanted to speak loudly or for a long time. I was in awesome shape, and count sprint or do any other exercise, but I never really did any(nor do I do now)true aerobic exercise, like running for long distances of swimming.(I did and still do a lot of anaerobic exercise, like sprinting and 400 meters and all)
It might be counterintuitive, but I felt I needed aerobic exercise more when I was heavier, just to have my heart cope with it in a different manner.
I always felt awesome after I did it, and once a week never affected my gains at all.
[/quote]

I feel you w/r/t feeling the need for aerobic exercise. I’ve obviously steered clear of it, but with my weight close to where I want it, I’m willing to accept slower gains if it means not dropping dead.

[quote]apayne wrote:
Well, I can’t say don’t go see a doctor but I know what he’s gonna say…that’s right, lose some weight! If you’ve put on the weight pretty quickly it will take some adjusting to. You’re stomach might be constantly bloated as well from eating a lot and for me that makes my whole midsection tight. The best you can do would be to keep a very strict routine for a while and change little bits at a time to see how it affects you.[/quote]

You’re right man, a lot of it does seem to be from being full all the time, like my stomach is pushing up into my chest and making it hard to breathe.

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
I wonder what your actual bodyfat percentage is. If what you gained was mostly LBM, I doubt you would feel so bad. I speak from experience. I had once gained quite a bit of weight thinking it was muscle and felt much like you did. In the last year I have gone from about 230 recently down to 210 and I am starting to climb back up now (215) but doing it with a much cleaner diet and supplementation regimen and feeling and looking much better.

D[/quote]

I haven’t tracked BF%…I’m sure it’s higher now than it was before. Of the 25 or so pounds I put on, I’m sure a lot of it is fluid, and some of it is surely fat. At the outset, I would have been satisfied with a 1:1 lean/fat gain ratio, and I think I’ve done better than that. But as I don’t measure BF% who knows.

Are you on the juice? These are some common side effects.

[quote]Ramo wrote:
Well…I’ve put on about 25 lbs in the last 4 months or so. Obviously my mobility is affected; I don’t think there’s any way around that in the short term. Also, I’m running out of breath easier. Again, gaining size at that rate, hard to avoid. Those are the kinds of things I meant.

But what concerns me, (and what I didn’t necessarily expect), is shortness of breath when at rest (having to suck for air) and shitty sleep. These in particular I could do without.
[/quote]

Don’t take this the wrong way, but 25lbs in four months isn’t an astronomical gain. Like 6 1/4lbs a month or roughly 1 1/2 a week. It’s significant, but I am unconvinced that this by itself is the explanation for shortness of breath and a general lack of feeling well. Maybe an initial impact on sleep to some degree.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming any eminently qualified point of view here and maybe in your case for reasons none of us knows it is indeed the cause, but I’ve known who people who gained that much in half the time and never felt better in their lives.

With nothing else to go on I’m just saying it seems odd that a normally healthy change in body composition would bring such seemingly unhealty results.

[quote]confusion wrote:
Are you on the juice? These are some common side effects.[/quote]

No juice. I am getting killer lower back pumps too though, like a lot of guys report when they’re on. But I’ve had that before when gaining weight and it’s not that big a deal.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Ramo wrote:
Well…I’ve put on about 25 lbs in the last 4 months or so. Obviously my mobility is affected; I don’t think there’s any way around that in the short term. Also, I’m running out of breath easier. Again, gaining size at that rate, hard to avoid. Those are the kinds of things I meant.

But what concerns me, (and what I didn’t necessarily expect), is shortness of breath when at rest (having to suck for air) and shitty sleep. These in particular I could do without.

Don’t take this the wrong way, but 25lbs in four months isn’t an astronomical gain. Like 6 1/4lbs a month or roughly 1 1/2 a week. It’s significant, but I am unconvinced that this by itself is the explanation for shortness of breath and a general lack of feeling well. Maybe an initial impact on sleep to some degree.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming any eminently qualified point of view here and maybe in your case for reasons none of us knows it is indeed the cause, but I’ve known who people who gained that much in half the time and never felt better in their lives.

With nothing else to go on I’m just saying it seems odd that a normally healthy change in body composition would bring such seemingly unhealty results.[/quote]

I don’t know that I’d call what I’m going through a ‘healthy change in body composition’…My gains haven’t been astronomical, but I am pushing 240 at 5’10, and that’s bigger than I’ve ever been before. I didn’t get into powerlifting to be healthier, and I’d never argue that having less bodyfat wouldn’t be healthier. It would.

But I know some bigger lifters have dealt with issues like mine and I’m hoping for some insight from them.