T Nation

Can't Seem to Gain Mass

I’m a Hardgainer, I’ve been following what I thought would be a working program but I dont see much results >8(
So any help/advice would help, I’m getting pretty depressed and unmotivated here…been stuck on 155lb for months
I’m 24, 6’1" 155lb 6.6% BF

My Program:
(Alot of it I use from Anthony Ellis’s GAINING MASS! program)
I followed the program about 6years ago and was able to get from 135lb to about 150lb, but then i stopped after about 5months, started trying to going to the gym/ trying to gain weight about 4months ago
Currently on 4th month of raining and 3rd week of strict diet

Basics of the program is this:

[Gym] 3days a week
day1: chest/shoulders/triceps +abs
day2: back/biceps +abs
day3: legs +back
I warm up on a bike for 5mins, then fully stretch and do my sets
2warmup sets of 8reps, 4heavy lift sets: 6-8, 4-6, 2-4, 1-2(1/0/3 tempo), burnout set 8-12reps, target set(ex: pulldowns for the back)

I aim for using freeweights for all the workouts except for target set

so far, my workouts have been going well except for leg workouts, I’ve been having lower back problems because of not going to the gym for so long and my back has atrophied…I’ve been using machines for my legs, and just started doing squats and stiff deadlifts a week ago
also I dont seem to be very flexible in my shoulders, so I cant do barbell shoulder press too well, im using dumbells

Overall, my workouts seem to be working well, I’m not too sore the day after but that is probably due to supplement intake


[Diet]
The breakdown of the diet is this; my LBMx18 = 2600calories
30%protein 40%carbs 30%fat
~ 195g prot 260g carbs 86g fat per day
And It has to be divided into 6 small meals to be eaten no longer than every 3 hours
so 32.5g prot/43.3g carbs/14.3g fat +fiber

I cook once a day and break it into 4meals (1.5lb of chicken breast, 4cups of rice, 1/4 of broccoli bag ~.5cup per meal)
product Size(oz/grams) Size(approx) Prot Carbs Fat Cals
4oz chicken breast: 4oz/114g 3/4breast 32g 0g 4g 140
Brown Rice: ?oz/200g 1cupcooked 4g 45g 1g 220
Veggies: 2broccoli sprouts/ 5sm carrots 2g 5g 0g 28

tottal: 38g prot 50g carbs 5?g fat ~400

I’ve been pan frying the chicken in extra virgin olive oil (not deep frying) about 2-3tablespoons and one of my questions is: how much fat goes into chicken from that?!? I think that might be my problem is that i dont get enough fat in my diet

that is 4solid meals, and the other 2 I suppliment with whey powder 24g prot + 1cup of omega3 whole milk

I have only been following strict diet for about 16days, however i was expecting better gains
Recently I started eating 1tablespoon of natural pnut butter after each meal to supplement my lack of fat problem…however I’m not sure if that is doing anything


[Supplements] I take every day
I take 1teaspoon of Creatine Monohydrate/ day, any time on non gym days and 1/2hr b4 gym on gym days
1tablet multi vitamin(1a day men’s), 1capsule of flax seed oil(1000mg) 1capsule of fish oil(1200mg)

Alright So thats my program. I would like to keep it as simple as possible, and as cheap as possible (not rich/buisy life). But please tell me what you think, give me sugestions/pointers etc
After I started my diet I seem to have lost a bit of fat, went from 7.7% to 6.6%

I also smoke, like 3-5 cigs per day, I hear it speeds up metabolism and ppl gain weight after they quit…Maybe thats my biggest mass gaining slowdown…I’d like some comments on that, and if people actually gained mass after quitting

Thanks,
-Kaban

You need to eat more. The training is not the problem.

Increase your calories to 3000. Or add a couple hamburgers to your diet.

As for cigarettes, I hear they kill your appetite.

I am going to go out on a limb and say you need more than 2600 calories a day. Add anything to your diet. Absolutely anything edible. At six percent body fat you do not need to worry about getting fat.

I don’t think you have enough fat in your diet, but for that matter you don’t have enough food in your diet.

When I was 155 pounds I ate everything thatI could (especially post work out).

Read these articles;

http://www.T-Nation.com/...ic.do?id=460331

http://www.T-Nation.com/...ic.do?id=460327

You need more fuel (food). 2600 cals/day is not nearly enough for bulking. Also, up your daily dosage of fish oil to at least 12 caps throughout the day.

Good luck.

Agreed you need to eat more. Your body fat is fairly low aswell. Most find gaining muscle is much easier between 8% and 14% (still healthy limits for men).

Adding more fat to your diet and bringing the carbs down may also work well for you. Getting some grass fed beef into you more often should help.

Sorry but Im not sure how much volume you are using in this program. Might want to cut back a bit and see if you are recovering better.

I would pick a brand new set of exercises. Maybe keep some core lifts that you may like, squats, Deadlifts etc. The CNS will find ways to use less and less muscle fiber as you continue to perform the same exercises week in week out.

Finally quite smoking. Smoking, drinking, drugs is all a stress on the body and counter productive to your goals.

Good luck in defining your own physical culture.

Michael

Good lord. You guys are dumb for playing along. On the RMP everyone is quick to call troll, and when an actual troll walks in, everyone is eager to help out.

OP, don;t listen to any of these guys! I;ll give you some good advice.

Remember, too many carbs and you will go from 6% to 12% (obese) and eventually to 15% (morbidly obese) so don;t listen to any of these guys telling you to eat more.

Your diet needs to be perfectly clean and devoid of dairy (as it seems to be). ALso you need to be more accurate about your macros…its not jsut about food and calorie intake. YOu do nt; want to end up big and fat like most of the guys here.

Carb cycling is a must for anyone trying to “clean bulk” and will ensure you stay at 6% bodyfat while you add muscle mass (shoot for less than 5 pounds a year so that:

  1. you don;t get muscle bound
  2. you stay lean year-round)

Finally, bulking up will not give you a good physique. This is an honest truth that very few will share with you on this forum.

Good luck.

2600 calories?? And you’re wondering why you aren’t gaining!?

thx for all your advice, I redone my calculations just now and from looks of it i’m not even getting the 2600

I’ve used the nutrition charts off of actual products I use instead of the book which i used before
and based on that I get the following:

4meals that I cook; 4oz of chicken breast, 1 cup of brown rice, 1tbs of light butter, ~.5 cup of broccoli
Assuming I use 2-3tbs of xtra virgin olive oil and 1/4 of it is absorbed into chicken I get ~2g of fat per meal
Prot Carbs Fat | Cal (per meal)
37g 38g 12g 408g

2meals sup, 1scoop of whey protein + 1 cup of whole milk
Prot Carbs Fat | Cal (per meal)
34g 12g 8g 256g

Tottal comes to:
Prot Carbs Fat | Cal
182g 200g 56g 2144g <----- I thought I was getting 2600 at that point

Recently I added 1tablespoon of pnut butter after each meal( 6tottal)so that brings tottals to this:
Prot Carbs Fat | Cal
206g 218g 104g 2552g <-----still not 2600

It looks like I’m getting enough protein and fat, but lacking in carbs…What would be a good source of carbs for me?
I think switching from brown rice to white rice will do, it has a bit more carbs, or maybe eating pnutbutter with bread

p.s. Yeah I should probbly switch fish oil/flax oil from pill form to tablespoon form, I heard pills are not enough
p.s. the above links dont work for me for some reason

Fish oil caps (capsules) are fine, you just need more of them.

The links were for part I & II of “Massive Eating” by John Berardi. Do a search and read them. Based on the calculations in the article, I think you’ll find that you need around 4500-5000 calories/day for bulking.

I think you should simplify your diet at first, and then from having or not having progress make the decisions. In this case increase your calories, just increase the amount of food you eat; for your weight gaining needs it’s not that necessary to customize your diet to that extent. Besides, as you said, if you’re a hard-gainer that caloric approach may not fit you, you may need more calories.

Oh yeah I was forgetting, stop smoking as soon as you can.

Eat lots of lean ground beef and whole chickens. Eat salads too. Supplement with protein and creatine. Lots of water as well.

Change your workout program. Try a total body plan three times a week. Focus on the big lifts.

[quote]Noodle_Arms wrote:
Eat lots of lean ground beef and whole chickens. Eat salads too. Supplement with protein and creatine. Lots of water as well.

Change your workout program. Try a total body plan three times a week. Focus on the big lifts. [/quote]

Why would he need to change his workout if the problem doesn’t lie there?

It is his DIET that needs fixing. Not his training.

Have you tried…eating more?

Just a thought.

[quote]Der Candy wrote:
Noodle_Arms wrote:
Eat lots of lean ground beef and whole chickens. Eat salads too. Supplement with protein and creatine. Lots of water as well.

Change your workout program. Try a total body plan three times a week. Focus on the big lifts.

Why would he need to change his workout if the problem doesn’t lie there?

It is his DIET that needs fixing. Not his training.[/quote]

He’s using a split (and only going three times a week at that.) Someone with his size and his goals would be better served with something like Waterbury’s Total Body Workout or Starr’s 5X5.

Here’s a hint for some easy ‘hidden’ calories, that you won’t even know are there:

  • Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup Heavy cream to your shakes
  • Add 1 T. of flax, safflower, or olive oil to your shake
  • Add 1-3 T. EV Olive Oil to your veggies and rice.

Healthy fats and extra calories.

[quote]Kaban wrote:
I have only been following strict diet for about 16days, however i was expecting better gains

[/quote]

Use all of that time you’re wasting sitting around waiting on miracles to happen and eat something.

16 days?

[quote]Kaban wrote:
I’m a Hardgainer, I’ve been following what I thought would be a working program but I dont see much results >8(
So any help/advice would help, I’m getting pretty depressed and unmotivated here…been stuck on 155lb for months
I’m 24, 6’1" 155lb 6.6% BF

[/quote]

6.6%? What method was that accurate?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Kaban wrote:
I’m a Hardgainer, I’ve been following what I thought would be a working program but I dont see much results >8(
So any help/advice would help, I’m getting pretty depressed and unmotivated here…been stuck on 155lb for months
I’m 24, 6’1" 155lb 6.6% BF

6.6%? What method was that accurate?[/quote]

The Nike-Adidas static monomanipulative jackoffination sequencing.

Ahhhhhhhhgggggggg. How 'bout a trip through the drive-thru?

[quote]Kaban wrote:
I’m a Hardgainer, I’ve been following what I thought would be a working program but I dont see much results >8(
So any help/advice would help, I’m getting pretty depressed and unmotivated here…been stuck on 155lb for months
I’m 24, 6’1" 155lb 6.6% BF >>>[/quote]

I stopped reading right there and almost stopped reading after the first 3 words.

This guy should be T-Nation’s own Colorado experiment (sorta).

Have him stop training altogether for about a month and then put him on 5000 plus calories a day along with a brutal and basic program. I bet he gains 20 pounds of meat in the following few months though he won’t stay at 6.6% (whatever that exactly means)while doing it.

Look pal, everybody’s different, but the very first time I ever stepped foot in a gym I was an inch taller than you and 2 pounds heavier. I may not be the hugest or leanest the guy you ever saw, but I am at least 50 and probably more, lean pounds heavier today and I took 13 years off living the modern American sedentary nutritional nightmare.

Refusing to eat enough killed my motivation the first time around. learn the lessons now while you’re young.

  1. Food, AND LOTS OF IT, is required for your body to make itself bigger.

  2. Someone who even claims to know they’re at 6.6% body fat should probably not even go near another test for years.

  3. You will not stay anywhere near that lean if you plan on gaining anything at all.

  4. Write the word “HARGAINER” on a piece of paper and burn it while taking a solemn oath to never again let that infernal term fall from your lips.

Or you can do what most of the stick people do that show up here and continue worrying about fat, eating like a hamster and crying about not being able to get any bigger.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
Good lord. You guys are dumb for playing along. On the RMP everyone is quick to call troll, and when an actual troll walks in, everyone is eager to help out.

OP, don;t listen to any of these guys! I;ll give you some good advice.

Remember, too many carbs and you will go from 6% to 12% (obese) and eventually to 15% (morbidly obese) so don;t listen to any of these guys telling you to eat more.

Your diet needs to be perfectly clean and devoid of dairy (as it seems to be). ALso you need to be more accurate about your macros…its not jsut about food and calorie intake. YOu do nt; want to end up big and fat like most of the guys here.

Carb cycling is a must for anyone trying to “clean bulk” and will ensure you stay at 6% bodyfat while you add muscle mass (shoot for less than 5 pounds a year so that:

  1. you don;t get muscle bound
  2. you stay lean year-round)

Finally, bulking up will not give you a good physique. This is an honest truth that very few will share with you on this forum.

Good luck. [/quote]

Took me a minute to realize that was in jest. Thanks God it was.