T Nation

Building Muscle

Hi guys,

So, bit about me. 24 years old, 170cm height, 63kg weight. Always had quite a skinny upper body, so skinny wrists and arms etc. Bit of abdominal bloating/ flabby skin in my abdomen area and cannot seem to build or keep muscle bulk or tone despite weight lifting and increasing my protein intake.

I have suffered with borderline low testosterone levels, 15mnol-17mnol, so appreciate that increasing these to a healthier range, along with dietary changes, might assist me in my goal of developing muscle bulk and definition in my upper arms and wrists. In terms of lifting, I lift a 20kg barbell and two 12kg dumbbells about three times a week. I try to do squats and do long walks as well. Unfortunately, I just cannot seem to develop a muscular/ ripped body.

Any guys on here who can give me nutrition and exercise advice so as to help me improve my chances? I do not want to look like a bodybuilder with bulging veins and massive muscles, but would definitely like to develop more upper body strength and tone, not just to appeal more to women, but to defend myself psychically and look fitter and healthier.

Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated!

Is that your only access to weights? If all you have is an empty bar and some kettlebells I don’t think being jacked is in your future.

Look up some high frequency body weight stuff (maybe the PLP or “button popping pecs” program on this site)… it might not yield amazing results, but with essentially no equipment or weight you’re going to have a hard time stressing the body

Try doing lower reps higher weights. Try increasing over time so you lift heavier. Switch it up to so your body doesn’t get bored.

Bored of what?

I don’t think my body has ever gotten bored… My mind sure has, tho.

lol muscles get “bored” just like we do. We have to switch things up a bit.

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First I heard of it.

Where did you see this gem of information?

How does one know when their muscles are bored?

You’ve got the right idea!

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When they need to be shocked but not so much that it confuses them.

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On a related note, at some point you gotta accept that this shit is simply boring.

You’re doing 10x3 EMOM for explosiveness instead of 3x10 for time under tension? You’re rest-pausing instead of supersetting? You programmed in Oly lifts or SSB squats? Quick, someone get me a pair of new underwear!

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good lord you say the stupidest things.


-5 Chill hahaha


I remember a lovely discussion of the term “muscle confusion” once on here.

When I’m trying to deadlift 600 pounds, I don’t want my muscles to be confused, I want them to know exactly what to do.


To add to the confusion;

Deadlifting to build muscle is a controversial strategy.

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You have to keep challenging your muscles! If you are doing the same thing over and over again

  1. You’re not challenging yourself
  2. You’re working out the same muscles over and over and not concentrating on working other muscles then only those muscles will build and you’ll forget about the 649 other muscles you have in your body.
  3. This forum is about support, saying stupid comments only make you look like an ass. Didn’t your mother ever teach you if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.

I’m trying to help others while you are just looking for a rude comment to post. Please be respectful.

I challenge them to fights all the time! Choked out my tibialis anterior yesterday.

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you’re trying to help others by saying things that aren’t true. Which is why it is necessary for me to correct you. Spreading bullshit in the beginner forums is a bad thing, no matter how positive your attitude is.

Yes you have to challenge yourself. No, muscle ‘confusion’ is not a real thing. It is necessary to work in multiple rep ranges because different rep ranges elicit different results regarding hypertrophy, generally. Intensity and volume do need to be manipulated. But not because muscles need to be confused, that’s nonsense.

I’m also not sure why you’re suggesting that if I do the same types of workouts week in and week out that I’m necessarily neglecting any particular muscle. If I deadlift, bench press, overhead press, row, squat, and carry, I’m hitting just about everything. And that’s only 6 lifts, I obviously do more. I don’t have to vary from the best basic lifts to get a ton of bang for my buck.


None of those will help with clavicles though!!!


First off, I never said anything about confusion. I told him to switch things up a bit because if you do the same thing over again and get the same result then it’s time to change it up. Secondly, I never suggested YOU do anything.

This forum is about opinions and helping people, not about looking for a fight which is clearly all you’re doing.