T Nation

Critique, What Am I Doing Wrong?

I’ve been training for just over a year and a half, although the first bit of that was done using the crap my high school teachers taught me. Once I found this site and doing some research I’ve changed my habits significantly. Anyway, I’m about 170 lbs currently and attempting to bulk.

I say attempting because I eat about 4k+ calories per day and can’t seem to gain weight, and am not seeing noticeable strength/size increases. My diet and training are outlined below, if you care to read through please let me know if you see anything that looks like it could use improvement.

Diet

Breakfast - 5 eggs with cheese and salsa, 2 pieces of whole grain toast with butter, glass of whole milk, apple.

am snack - Almonds/peanuts and raisins train mix kinda thing.

Lunch - Homeade burger (lean/extra lean ground beef patties), whole wheat bun, canned beans, glass of whole milk

pm snack - cottage cheese and carrots and dip.

dinner 1 - Shake(oats, pb, olive oil, cinnamon, 2 bananas, whole milk)

PWO shake(On workout days) - Water + scoop of whey

Dinner 2 - Chicken breast, broccoli, canned beans, whole milk

Pre bed shake - Whole milk + scoop of whey.

Training

Monday - Legs: squats 6 reps x 4 sets
weighted lunges 6 x 4
lying leg curls(hamstrings) 6 x 4
seated calf machine 6 x 4

Tuesday - Chest, tris, shoulders: BB/DD bench 6 x 4
BB standing military 6 x 4
tricep cable pressdowns 6 x 4

Thursday - Back, bis: Deadlift 6 x 4
t-bar rows 6 x 4
1 arm bent row 6 x 4
bb bicep curls 6 x 4
lat pulldowns 6 x 4

Abs: I do abs usually on Tuesday and Thursday following my regular routine by doing planks, medicine ball/plate swings, leg raises, crunches etc, usually whatever I feel like doing that day.

The diet you listed is solid. The workout you listed is solid.

What type of gains HAVE you been seeing?

How long have you been on the above regiment?

How closely are you following that diet and work effort?

You should be experiencing gains regardless of how slow they are.

Also, since you do core on Tuesday and Thursday, why not go for a 4-5 day volume program focusing more on one muscle group per week? Looks like you have the time.

how old are you…my roomate had the same problem in his teens, and many kids i know have similar problems…he would eat and eat and never get bigger, then all of a sudden round 18/19 he put on like 40 lbs in one year, then he started gaining weight at his pace…my brother and i had a similar problem where we lifted for high school football, but never got really strong, then all of a sudden after high school we blew up…my best in high school was a 275 lbs bench my junior year, and it went down my senior year…then as a freshman in college i was doing pyramids with 2 doubles with 275 as my topp weight…sometimes you just have to mature

another tip is 2 scoops of peanut butter and a giant glass of chocolate milk before bed

Squats 6 reps x 4 sets x ???lbs.

That might me the missing componenet. The other might be range of motion or rest btw sets.

TNT

Or have you been doing 6x4 for an entire year and a half? If so, I think thats your problem. Your body is no longer having to adapt and the workouts no longer have any, or very little, affect.

[quote]Dissonance wrote:
The diet you listed is solid. The workout you listed is solid.

What type of gains HAVE you been seeing?

How long have you been on the above regiment?

How closely are you following that diet and work effort?

You should be experiencing gains regardless of how slow they are.

Also, since you do core on Tuesday and Thursday, why not go for a 4-5 day volume program focusing more on one muscle group per week? Looks like you have the time.
[/quote]

Gains have been in the form of minimal weight added to bar, 5 lbs a week roughly per lift however each week instead of being able to lift that additional weight for the same number of reps and sets it might go down. For instance I might be able to do x lbs for 6 x 4 this week, then next week when I add 5 lbs I’ll only be able to go 6 x 3 then 4 x 1 for the last set. Unless I’m confused and this is just how it works.

I’ve been on this training routine for about 2 - 3 weeks now, before that I was doing a higher volume (12+ reps x 3 -4 sets) routine 5 days a week for about 5 or 6 weeks. I made the change after I noticed my bench went up like 20 lbs after missing one day of working out, so I figured I must have been not getting enough rest. My academic workload probably contributed to this as well so I figured it would be beneficial to my marks as well to go with a more time efficient routine.

The diet I’ve been on for approximately 8 - 9 weeks, I follow it quite rigorously rarely missing a meal.

[quote]LSUPOWERDC wrote:
how old are you…my roomate had the same problem in his teens, and many kids i know have similar problems…he would eat and eat and never get bigger, then all of a sudden round 18/19 he put on like 40 lbs in one year, then he started gaining weight at his pace…my brother and i had a similar problem where we lifted for high school football, but never got really strong, then all of a sudden after high school we blew up…my best in high school was a 275 lbs bench my junior year, and it went down my senior year…then as a freshman in college i was doing pyramids with 2 doubles with 275 as my topp weight…sometimes you just have to mature

another tip is 2 scoops of peanut butter and a giant glass of chocolate milk before bed[/quote]

I’m 19 in my first year at university, this is one of the reasons I’m confused. I read all over the board about how people my age are supposed to be “their own supplement” what with teenage hormones and such.

[quote]TNT-CDN wrote:
Squats 6 reps x 4 sets x ???lbs.

That might me the missing componenet. The other might be range of motion or rest btw sets.

TNT[/quote]

Range of motion on the squats is powerlifting depth (hip crease in line with knees). Because of my build that makes it just about a2g (I’m approximately 5’ 6").

[quote]Evolv wrote:
Or have you been doing 6x4 for an entire year and a half? If so, I think thats your problem. Your body is no longer having to adapt and the workouts no longer have any, or very little, affect.[/quote]

As you’ll see in my other post I’ve only been on this current routine for a few weeks, before that it was a higher volume approach, and the few months prior to that I had some time off due to a unique set of circumstances.

After reading everything, I am of the opinion that you are doing things right (basically). I mean, you’ve done more research than most beginners, and you have your diet and age WAY on your side.

When you leave the gym, how much fuel is left in the tank? How long are you in the gym per session?

What type of baseline strength are we talking about? 225lb deads? 350?

Regardless, I say just keep doing what you are doing, but increase the ferocity in the gym. Your diet and age will support some heavy, heavy sessions.

[quote]Dissonance wrote:
After reading everything, I am of the opinion that you are doing things right (basically). I mean, you’ve done more research than most beginners, and you have your diet and age WAY on your side.

When you leave the gym, how much fuel is left in the tank? How long are you in the gym per session?

What type of baseline strength are we talking about? 225lb deads? 350?

Regardless, I say just keep doing what you are doing, but increase the ferocity in the gym. Your diet and age will support some heavy, heavy sessions.[/quote]

At the moment, my baseline strength is shameful. My lifts last week were:

Bench 165 lbs 6 x 4
Squat 180 lbs 6 x 4
Dead 210 lbs 6 x 4