T Nation

Can't gain muscle mass.

Okay, I’ve been training 1 year just for fun, and decided to get more serious into it. I train 4 times a week since 4-5 months, and I have gained like 0, or like 2 pounds of muscle. HEY, I have been training 4 times a week, 1 hour, for for months and haven’t gained any damn muscle mass? What’s wrong with me?

My work out is split into two days

day 1:
abs, arms, pecs, neck

day2:
abs, back, legs, shoulders

Ho well, maybe I don’t eat enough, I don’t know… I eat till I’m not hungry anymore. I’ve always been slim, and I’ve always eaten properly, having a dietetician mother.

I want to gain muscilar mass, I’ve done alot of efforts, no results =( help !

I’ll go ahead and tell you what Chris Shugart was (is) probably going to tell you anyway. You have access to a dietician mother so it should make your job a lot easier. Figure out exactly how many calories and grams of protein you’re eating per day. Once you have arrived at these numbers simply add 500 additional calories in the form of high quality protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats. Also make sure you’re taking in 1.5 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight…I know how most dieticians love low protein diets but despite what your mother says for a bodybuilder they just won’t cut it.

Let me save Mr. Shugart some time. Tell us how many grams of protein and how many calories you consume per day. I’ve heard ‘I eat till I’m full’ numerous times, and everytime time it’s from a beanpole.

Read Chris Shugart’s articles: The diet manifesto, and last week’s one on keeping a food log. Until you know how many calories and grams of protein you are consuming daily, its hard to give any recommendations. After that, check out John Berardi’s Massive Eating article. That should supply you with the ammunition to gain some mass. You spent so much time talking about training, but realize that if the diet isn’t in order, its almost all for naught. Lastly that bit about eating right because your mom is a dietician really cracked me up. Oh, you weren’t kidding, sorry. Seriously though, most dieticians have no idea how a bodybuilder, athlete, or even non-couch potato should eat. Classical training in dietetics deals with sedentary individuals or those in medical situations. Keep reading, keep learning, and keep eating!

it’s your diet stupid

dude… it has to be your diet… you need to eat more and more and more! till you puke! haha

Then maybe eating until your not hungry is just not enough. Exceed hunger limitations, and you shall grow. I can tell you that having a dietician mother won’t help, since most dieticians I know are scrawny twigs.

FootSoldier

I think Chris Shugart wants to answer this one. :slight_smile:

Do you squat? Do you deadlift? Do you use mostly free wieghts? Do you eat 1g of protein per pound of lean body wieght? Do you sleep 8 hours a day?
If you said no to any of these questions, then that’s the reason youv’e only gained two pounds.

Your diet is most likely your problem. You say your mother is a dietician? That’s got to be the root of the problem. She probably suggests tofu in order to meet your 15% of calories protein requirement, right? And you’re probably on a lovely low fat diet, scoffing down the carbs like they’re going out of fashion.

I know, I know... It is harsh of me to jump to such conclusions. There are a lot of well educated dieticians who will recommend some good advice suited to packing on muscle. However, there are twice as many traditionalist ones who wouldn't know how to help themselves.

Check out the following articles: “Massive Eating/Appetite for Construction”, “Diet Manifesto” and any of the “Dawg School” articles.

Good luck. At least you've come to the right place for help!

I would recomend asking your mother how to increase protein in the diet and perhaps overall calories too.
I guess it could go two ways she could be very helpful or take offence to the fact that you felt that what she was feeding you was innapropriate.
As for your training many articles have been written about how the first couple of months training is primarily neurological and after that you get the physiological hypertrophy etc
so I would stick with the weights
try to woek on your training split. I know that a split like that wouldnt work very well for me.
There are some great programs on this website and some even more helpfull training ideas that you can incorporate into your training.
Maybe you could try some ready made “cookie cutter” programmes till youve read and learned enough to write a personalized one for yourself

Read all back issues of T-mag. 2 easy mass gain diets are “Chanko” and “The Pound O’week Diet”. Start reading. outlaw.

first, i assume with the comment that you are lean, i take it you havent gained any weight, fat or muscle. Second, possible problem here is that your mom is a dietician. The problem is in nutrition there are lots of schools of thought. The traditional school says low fat low protein. I hope she’s not in that school. Finally, no its simple thermodynamics, you don’t eat properly. You say you have failed gaining weight. How to correct it? Eat more damnit.

Simple. First read Massive eating by John Berardi. If not, then eat 250-300g protein per day, train with great intensity and make sure you do effective muscle building movements. Such as Squats, Deadlifts, Chin ups, bench presses etc etc.

Give us some more details, especially on your diet. Your height, weight age, etc. How many calories are you eating per day split into how many meals? What is the protein/carb/fat breakdown of those calories? You have to EAT to get big. What type of lifts are you doing? Are they mostly isolation exercises, or are you putting in your work with the real mass builders? You need compound exercises like squat, deads, bench, etc.

You’re right. You don’t eat enough. Look at John Berardi’s (apologies to JB for any bad spelling) Massive Eating plan on this site. It’s a good place to start. Also try a routine off the site. That will help you make sure your volume and exercise selection are right.

Oh, and with due respect to your mum, dieticians typically don't recommend the best ways to gain weight.

J-F: There is a T-Mag ralling cry, so I might as well be the first to give it to you: “It’s Your Diet, Stupid!” (Don’t worry, J-F; that’s NOT a personal attack; that’s just what the rallying cry says!) You state that you’ve always been slim and that leads me to believe even more that it’s your diet. Also, eating “properly” is a VERY vague, and often ineffective concept, ESPECIALLY if you want to put on mass. So, what do you need to do?

Get on the search engine and read “Massive Eating” (I think that it has 2 or 3 parts). Then come back with whatever questions you may have. GOOD LUCK, and welcome to the site!

As Chris would say, “What’s the breakdown between grams of protein, fats, and carbs.” You should know this. If you don’t that could be your problem. I normally like 1.5 grams of protein per pund of weight. That’s 275 grams a day for me.
Also it would be useful to know total sets, reps, and strength level. One thing to remember, if you aren’t squatting or deadlifting, start.

Mmm, K, thanks. It must be about what I eat. No, my mom isn’t into tofu and stuff :wink: Lol.
I weight 117 pounds, i’m 5’7 (small bones).

It has to be what I eat, yeah. In fact this is for sure. I’ll work on that.

Just a question, what are deadlifts? Can someone tell me how to do em properly and stuff?

And so I should be eating 180 grams of proteins a day if I get it? What is it about in I dunno, meat, chicken, beans, cheese, stuff?

Thanks!

lets see, if you take in 2500 calories a day and you burn 2500 calories a day you can’t gain wt. I don’t know why you think you could (numbers just an ex) I’m sure you have a fast matabolism but the fact is you have to eat more calorie dense food. Now I won’t turn this into an HIT thing but under your conditions I’m sure most people would agree that you should stick to BASIC movements (YOU HAVE TO DO DEADS OR SQUATS) and because of your problem gaining wt. you should not workout 2 days in a row. split your body in half and workout 3x’s a week(ex. mon,wed,fri) and just alternate workouts, also train deltsw/chest and tri’s (they are all worked w/many of the same exercises) and legsw/back and bi’s (then you can include deads w/o the wory of overtraining. for you I would probably recomend 4or6sets per bodypart w/4-10reps per set. ggod luck, now go eat (start puffing if you don’t already, just kidding :wink: