T Nation

Disproportionate Development


#1

For some strange reason I am losing some mass on my delts, pecs and arms despite regular pressing and pulling.
However I am holding on well to my back and leg mass.
No major tweaks in calorie intake. About 2000-2200 a day.

In the interest of time and the fact I'm in mid 40s, my training volume, loading progession and frequency has been scaled back over the years on the back of a busier work and family schedule and injury overuse over the years.
Currently lifting 3-4x a week with each session consisting of a push, pull and a squat or deadlift variant. No isolation work. Set and rep schemes are usually 5 sets max between 3-8 reps @ 70-90% of 1 rep max.
I weight 170lb at 1.73m. Body fat at about 20%.

What should I do differently? Bump up the calories. Change training program or increase the volume?


#2

2000 calories is pretty low for anyone that is reasonably active.

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#3

[quote]theBird wrote:
2000 calories is pretty low for anyone that is reasonably active.

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Agreed with this…especially the tweet. My girlfriend is 125 and eats around 2500 every day.


#4

I weigh @ 170lb and have kept calories at about maintenance levels due to my rather high body fat levels. Not looking for huge mass gains.
Have been fine up till only recently where certain parts of my body has shrunk.


#5

[quote]RSHK wrote:
I weigh @ 170lb and have kept calories at about maintenance levels due to my rather high body fat levels. Not looking for huge mass gains.
Have been fine up till only recently where certain parts of my body has shrunk.[/quote]
2200 kcal doesn’t seem like maintenance levels for a 170lb male who works out 3-4 times per week. Do you just sleep the remaining time?

You could try to change up your routine a little since you are convinced that you are eating the right amount of calories.


#6

If I bump up clean calories, will it to more fat gain?


#7

I’m 42 and I maintain on 2300 cals a day. I weigh 205 and am trying to shed some weight so I currently eat 1800 on non-training days, 2200 on training days.

If you’re worried about fat gain and you want to bump up cals, add a protein shake. Ime, stay away from adding carbs to your diet unless you’re markedly increasing your activity levels.

To address your areas of concern specifically, can you add in another day? Or add exercises at the end of your current workouts? My arms/delts/chest will never grow simply doing a single push and pull. No reason you can’t do your push/pull/sq/DL then hit lateral raises one day, superset bis and tris the next, and flys the third workout of the week.


#8

[quote]RSHK wrote:
For some strange reason I am losing some mass on my delts, pecs and arms despite regular pressing and pulling.
However I am holding on well to my back and leg mass.

Currently lifting 3-4x a week with each session consisting of a push, pull and a squat or deadlift variant. No isolation work. Set and rep schemes are usually 5 sets max between 3-8 reps @ 70-90% of 1 rep max.[/quote]
Okay so, you’re using only compound exercises, and you’re working them fairly heavy with relatively low volume/relatively high frequency, and you’re wondering why bodyparts that respond well to direct isolation exercises aren’t growing adequately even though the bodyparts that respond well to big compound lifts are doing okay. Yep, definitely “some strange reason” at work here.

Working with only compound exercises can be fine for most people for a while, but you’ll absolutely eventually reach a point where avoiding isolation exercises becomes a detriment to your physique. And that’s where you are now.

EDIT: Um, okay dude, what the hell? Six weeks ago, you were complaining of small arms and you literally said, "I guess I will add in more direct arm work and pile on more clean calories and take it from there."


So, did you not change your program after all? You’re up a couple pound in bodyweight, which is a good sign. But if you still haven’t started training arms or whatever, then you’re wasting our time here because you’ve ignore the good advice from your last thread.


#9

Yes I’ve added some isolation as accessory work at the end of my workouts but it’s my whole upper body including my pecs and shoulders that has receded in size despite doing military and bench presses.


#10

I think you are just getting fatter, thus giving the illusion that your upper body has shrunk. You were already around 20%@163lbs at the time of your previous post. That’s a 7lb gain in 6 weeks.

And since you prioritize aesthetics so much, why does it seem like you are embarassed about doing isolation exercises? I suggest you stop thinking of them as “assistance work” but rather “stuff that gets me proportionately swole work”.


#11

I have been advised not to fear carbs. Am consuming it most during post work out and dinner.
Despite taking indigo and plazma pre workout it’s led to fat gains.


#12

[quote]RSHK wrote:
I have been advised not to fear carbs. Am consuming it most during post work out and dinner.
Despite taking indigo and plazma pre workout it’s led to fat gains.[/quote]

I suggest that you post a pic. This entire thread and the last show that you are unable to objectively assess your bodycomp.


#13

[quote]RSHK wrote:
I have been advised not to fear carbs. Am consuming it most during post work out and dinner.
Despite taking indigo and plazma pre workout it’s led to fat gains.[/quote]
Taking in too many calories will lead to fat gains.

Doesn’t matter if it’s too much protein, too much fat, too much carbs. Doesn’t matter if it’s high quality protein or junk food.

You may be taking in more calories than you think.


#14

[quote]LoRez wrote:

Taking in too many calories will lead to fat gains.

Doesn’t matter if it’s too much protein, too much fat, too much carbs. Doesn’t matter if it’s high quality protein or junk food.

[/quote]
Equal calories from different sources will lead to different body composition. 2200 kcal should not be too much for a 170 lb man who works out 3-4 days per week. 2200 kcal of carbs would be too much.


#15

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

Taking in too many calories will lead to fat gains.

Doesn’t matter if it’s too much protein, too much fat, too much carbs. Doesn’t matter if it’s high quality protein or junk food.

[/quote]
Equal calories from different sources will lead to different body composition. 2200 kcal should not be too much for a 170 lb man who works out 3-4 days per week. 2200 kcal of carbs would be too much. [/quote]

I agree. But right now it’s sounding like there may be some unaccounted-for calories in there. Possibly the “my meal plan has me eating 2200 calories a day”… while also drinking an 800 calorie starbucks drink here and there and snacking on nuts while watching football in the evening.

I’m not saying that’s what’s happening, but suggesting the possibility of not being completely honest with the numbers (knowingly or not).

EDIT: if that’s not the case, it may very well be related to where those calories are coming from, or even medication, water retention, stress levels, etc.


#16

[quote]RSHK wrote:
I have been advised not to fear carbs. Am consuming it most during post work out and dinner.
Despite taking Indigo and Plazma pre workout it’s led to fat gains.[/quote]
What is your macro breakdown for your 2200 kcal? Just one serving of Plazma has 38g carbs.


#17

[quote]RSHK wrote:
Currently lifting 3-4x a week with each session consisting of a push, pull and a squat or deadlift variant. No isolation work.

Yes I’ve added some isolation as accessory work at the end of my workouts[/quote]
Okay good. For a second there, I thought you were only training the way you said you were training. Silly me. I’m glad you’re not training the way you literally said you were, because that’s a good thing and should help sort things out.

About your diet, I’d just remember that there’s a big difference between “not being afraid of carbs” and “eating a crapload of carbs”. Did you remove wheat from your diet while focusing on rice and potatoes like you were also previously advised?


#18

[quote]RSHK wrote:
I have been advised not to fear carbs. Am consuming it most during post work out and dinner.
Despite taking indigo and plazma pre workout it’s led to fat gains.[/quote]

Stop deflecting. It’s you, not the supplements.

A little honesty would be good.


#19

[quote]RSHK wrote:
I have been advised not to fear carbs. Am consuming it most during post work out and dinner.
Despite taking indigo and plazma pre workout it’s led to fat gains.[/quote]

Yep; it’s the supplements at fault, for sure. Can’t be anything else.


#20

I am not blaming the supplements, don’t get me wrong.
I have been carb phobic for loo long as I put on visceral fat very easily. For better gains and hormonal health, I have added carbs during peri and post workout and during dinner. In the past it was just a low carb protein shake, post workout and low carb for 3-4 meals.

My macros are 40/40/20 of protein, carbs and fats on workout days and 40/20/40 on off days.
Carbs during workout are from supplements, Dinner would be 2 sweet potatoes or a bowl of mash or a bowl of white rice.
Small amount carbs in the morning when I will throw in some half a bowl of berries in to my blender