T Nation

Disappointed, Thoughts on My Training/Nutrition


Hi T-Nation!

I've been working out for years, latest 1,5 years with full focus. I am pretty disappointed with my development in every area. I wanted to ask you guys how my training/nutrition looks today. Any kind of advice is greatly accepted! I did HST for 3 months before, and I have been on this routine for 4 weeks now. I change the workout a little every day to mix things up a little, but keep the main movements the same and progressive. I've been on a bulk with steady gains in bw of 2-3lbs/month. I'm 180cm/89kg or 5ft11 / 200lbs.

  1. Training

Days 2-on-1-off

Day #1 - Legs & Biceps
Front squat - 4 sets of 10 with 90 seconds between.
Leg press - 4 sets of 20 with 90-120 seconds between.
Glutes isolation machine - 3 sets of 10-15 with 60-90 seconds between.
Preacher hammer curls - 3 sets of 6-8 with 45-60 seconds between + 2 sets of 8-10 (45-60s).
Barbell curls - 4 sets of 8-10 with 45-60 seconds between.

Day #2 - Chest, Triceps & Calves
Bench press - 3 sets of 6 with 90 seconds between.
Incline dumbbell bench press - 4 sets of 10 with 90 seconds between.
Cable standing fly - 3 sets of 10-12 with 60 seconds between
Rope pushdowns - 4 sets of 10 with 45-60 seconds between
Triceps extensions - 4 sets of 8-12 with 60 seconds between.
Calf raises - 5 sets of 20-50 with 60-90 seconds between.

Day #3 - Back & delts
Deadlift - 3 sets of 6 with 180 seconds between.
Bent-over row - 4 sets of 6-12 with 90 seconds between.
Pulldown - 4 sets of 8-12 with 60-90 seconds between.
Seated lateral raises - 4 sets of 15-20 with 60 seconds between.
Dumbell shoulder press - 4 sets of 10-15 with 60 seconds between.

My 1-rep-maxes for some lifts if it does matter: BP&FS 300lbs, DL 440lbs.

  1. Nutrition

Example (workout day)

After waking up: 250ml of apple juice, 5g creatine, 5g bcaa
Breakfast: Oatmeal & eggs
Pre-workout: Pre-workout drink (whey, some carbs, arginine, beta-alanine, milk)
Post-workout: Post-workout drink (whey, carbs, creatine, milk)
Dinner: Chicken/meat, pasta/rice, vegetables.
Snack: Bread, cheese, quark, fruit.
Supper: Casein, rape/olive oil, milk.

  • supplements like EPA/DHA, vitamins and minerals.

3200-3500 kcal, 220-250g of proteins.

I'd appreciate to have some tips for better gains of muscle. Thank you!


If you are having steady gains in body weight and your lifts are going up, what are you disappointed with? If you are gaining 2-3 lbs per month, that's 24-36 lbs per year. That's not bad at all.

You might need to take another look at your expectations.


This is not a race man.


Thanks for the reply dudes! To me it seems I've been mostly gaining fat. My weight has gone up 35-40 lbs during this 1,5 year period, but for example my chest has only grown 1-2 inches which could easily be just fat. Whilst my waist has grown enormous 6-7 inches.


Yeah, not sure what the problem is. A 300lb front squat and a 440lb deadlift are certainly beyond "beginner" level for many, where do you feel like you should be? Pictures?


Hmmm, MOST people usually gain 5-10lbs per extra inch on their waist, and yours was about 5lbs per inch which is at the "less lean" end but still about "normal". Don't forget your core thickens too (muscle) and due to eating more (stomach expansion).

Besides that, your next gain will likely be leaner since you'll have a better grip of things by then.

A current pic would be handy. What do you reckon your bodyfat % is?


atg410 I think my physique is behind my lifts. I have 15 inch arms, 24 inch legs, and 43 inch chest.


maybe throw in some prowler/sled work, or some high intensity intervals for an extra metabolic boost


Like others, I'm not sure what your complaint is. I'm sure you're wasting money on supps, though.

3g of creatine per day is sufficient. You can drop the arginine and bcaa's altogether and probably not notice a difference, and I never really noticed a difference with the beta-alanine, either. Use the extra money you're spending on this stuff and buy more food.

Try to get closer to 400g of protein per day. Easy, since you're leaving the protein out of two of your meals. Eat breakfast when you wake up, and add a snack where breakfast is (get some more protein right there), and include some protein with your snack before supper. This, along with adding a little more to each meal, and you'll hit 350-400 easy.

It's worth mentioning that every time you put food in your stomach (something substantial), it releases ghrelin, which triggers the release of growth hormone. That shot of GH is what pulls you out of starvation mode at breakfast. It's also the reason that splitting your food up into five to seven meals a day works so well - you get eight shots of GH during the day, including the one you get from training.


Thats a big gain...

Ah... there's your problem.

Way too much 'rape' oil. That shit'll not only widen your waist, but your asshole too. Choose something else to get your 'fat'.


Thanks again dudes.

@JayPierce, Yeah I might be wasting money for unnecessary supplements (I don't notice any difference either). I eat the breakfast like 20 minutes after the waking up, because I have really hard time swallowing the food instantly waking up. Though that shouldnt be big of a problem? 350-400 grams of protein sounds a lot to me, it'd be 50 percent of my calories coming from proteins?

@Rob, I'm only taking oil 18 grams which is 160 kcal. What kinda fat would you prefer?


extra virgin olive oil


If you only need 18g of fat, I'd go for 2 eggs (better fat profile & omega 3's), plus you get extra protein and decent concentration of nutrients


Just for shits and giggles, here are a few suggestions.

Currently 4 out of 7 meals you're eating are based around powders and sugar. Out of the remaining three, only two include meat or eggs. I would reverse that ratio.

Drop some of the protein shakes in favor of protein from whole foods. How many eggs do you eat at breakfast? If less than three, I would add more, 3-6 is probably a good start. Get some red meat and fatty fish in your diet (beef, lamb, salmon, mackeral). Your macros may be right, but I don't really like your food choices.

Drop the pre workout shake for a pre workout meal; oatmeal and eggs, chicken and brown rice(or sweet potatoes, quinoa etc. some kind of slow carb), something like that. Make your post workout shake a during workout shake (minus the milk) and get another real meal in after your workout.

As for your workouts, don't worry about "mixing things up". Just worry about intensity and progressive overload. A lot of fitness writers love talking about mixing things up, but it's just a trick to keep mediocre trainees entertained.

It sounds like you may have some concerns about body fat (waist outgrowing chest), so add some low intensity cardio post workout. Just make sure you account for it in your diet.

I would also consider dropping some of those fancy supplements in favor of a high quality vitamin D3 (oil base in a gel cap, NOT powdered tab) 2000-4000 iu daily; unless you spend a lot of time in the sun year round you are likely deficient. This is the only supplement that I have used that has had a noticeable impact on body composition.


@atg. Thanks for the reply. I could start eating more meat/fish instead of powders no problem, I'll do that. I'm eating usually 4, sometimes 5 eggs for breakfast. What I said about mixing things up, it basically means for me that I sometimes change some movements to substitutes.

I'm not having that huge waist as it may sound (I don't look fat), but I used to be very very lean from that area so it has widened a lot. I'm more concerned about the gains being more fat than muscle, even I think my bulking pace aint that fast. I've been taking 10000 IU of D3 3-times a week, as there's almost no sun at all here at winter.

One thing I've noticed lately that my sex drive is very bad, and I don't seem to get turned on even though my girlfriend is very attractive. I neither have morning erections, though my beard is growing normally. Could my testosterone levels be lower than they should be (I'm 22)?


ransack: Low test is possible, and if you're worried you can get lab work done...although actually getting the problem treated will be next to impossible unless it is very significantly low.

For the time being I would try my sugestions about modifying your diet (both food choices and workout nutrition) and adding a bit of cardio post workout.

All of the issues you seem to be dealing with can also be exacerbated by stress. How is your lifestyle? Are you sleeping well? Do you spend some amount of time during the day doing something quiet and devoid of technological interuption? Seriously, it sounds hokey but spending an hour a day reading a book, meditating or walking in the woods can do amazing things for your over all well being.

Try these things for awhile (weeks-months, not days), keep your workouts focused, intense and progressive and then see where you are. If building large amounts of muscle was easy you'd see a lot more meatheads than lard asses out there.


HAHAHAHAHA! The only one to get it!! Thanks Caveman!


I would echo the above.


Good insulin control is vital not only for keeping the midsection from blowing up, but also for sexual function. A high percentage of diabetics have sexual health problems...think about that. Diets high in refined sugar (even fruit juice) are a big no-no...especially on a high cal intake.

Many people are less inclined to listen to me when talking about fat loss, but I didn't just go from skinny to this. When I first bulked it was very sloppy and a high percentage of my food intake was carbs. I then experienced similar problems to you (except my midsection blew up by 9 inches!). I had terrible "love handles" (all signs of bad insulin control) and had sexual problems (getting it up and drive). The problems went away with time when I sorted out my diet.

Increasing dietary fat, and lowering carbs is a very good start. Get most of your fats/protein from things like beef/eggs/nuts. Adopt a kind of 'caveman' like diet (those foods will have a BIG difference on testosterone levels and sex drive). Have carbs at around the 100-200g mark and only around breakfast/workouts (so only when necessary and to get in nutrients). Avoid sugary drinks including fruit juice (just eat the whole fruit). Avoid eating high fat foods with high carb foods, but at the same time, don't eat carbs on their own (try to avoid major spikes in blood-sugar levels).

As regards training, lower the volume a little and increase the intensity (huge difference in testosterone-levels!). Just take about 2 sets to failure or near, and lower the rep range a little (closer to 6-10 reps on most exercises except lower body). This will not only increase your sex drive, but it will make your gains leaner.



If I tweaked my nutrition to look like this, would it be good?

Breakfast: 5 eggs, some oatmeal.
Snack: Quark
Pre-workout: 200g low-fat red meat, little pasta, vegetables.
After-workout: Post-workout drink
Lunch: 200g low-fat red meat, little pasta, vegetables.
Snack: 1dl of nuts
Supper: Casein+milk

~3300kcal, 300g of proteins, 230 of carbs, 130 of fats.


I like this much more than your original plan. I would say make sure that lunch meal is no more than an hour or so after the gym if possible. Give it a try for a few weeks and see how you feel.