T Nation

Don't Know Why I'm Writing This...

Unfortunately I don’t know where this would go. But I’m in a horrible rut.

Here’s the problem guys.

I’m 155lbs at 5’9. I’m 18yrs old.

Before you start screaming tips at me. Realize that I keep a food log and document everything. I’m pretty damn well versed in exerscise science and the such. I’m a sophmore kinesiology major at USC… I started lifting religiously at about 17… i had always read Muscle & Fiction, but I didn’t get motivated till I started reading T-mag. I started weight training WITH T-Nation, my first program was the Limping Series. I’ve read every issue at least 4x… this is my damn homepage.

I’m like the T-Nation poster child…
Ripped like a thrift store sweater.

Unlike most common gym goers, my muscle imbalance is that my back is stronger than my chest.

I can bench 250, squat 350, deadlift 400… weighted pullup with 90lbs attached to a dipping belt. I can dip with 95lbs attached and I’m working up to body weight on both.

When I ran track I ran the 40yd in 4.31
I could run the 100m in 10.8 (10.79 to be exact)

I can do dragon flags, handstand pushups…I can OH Squat bodyweight 15x in a row… I can push press 200+ lbs (i haven’t maxed that yet)

Hell I can do a one handed handstand pushup (only 1 on my right hand… but the fact is I’ve accomplished it).

I’ve been so influenced by training that I changed my major from Computer Science and Physics to Kinesiology.

When I want to grow up (:-P) I want to be a cross between John Berardi, Chad Waterbury, and Christian Thibadeau.

But twice as handsome.

problem that I constantly run into is that I’m small… I"m just naturally tiny. I keep a fuckin religious food log… I train hardcore…

Hell I train 2x a day…at one point I was hitting the weights 3x a day. trying to illicit some sort of gains.

My CNS is all super-wired… I was able to run track, hit the gym 2x a day running westside for skinny bastards and Quattro Dynamo, AND go to jujutsu 3x a week and only feel DOMS on the endurance day of QD.

It’s not like I’m weak. Please believe I’m not weak, I crush 98% of people in my college weight room. Put me up against most people in almost any sport and I’ll run circles around you.

It’s not like I’m foolish about my nutrition.

It’s not like I have low T (i’m a fuckin walkin boner)…

I just didn’t know what it is… why can’t I get bigger!!!

I came to the point where I was fully convinced that I was going to get some steroids and start cycling… Yes at this age. I re-read all the steroid manifesto articles and the such. I found a distributor, a mule… everything.

I don’t know what triggered the change though…

I have a stack of training notes, just schedules I’ve made up, MMA related training stuff, notes, article clippings, printed T-mag stuff, old food log notebooks that is probably 4-4.5 feet tall.

I realized that all that work, all the time I’ve put into this hasn’t been a total waste. I am strong. I’m bigger than my dad was at my age.

Maybe I’ve fufilled my genetic potential.

Then I snapped… I got really angry at myself and started throwing things.

As long as I am still alive, my potential has NOT been realized. There is no end till THE end. Till you stick me 6ft under I’m still here.

The money that I was going to spend on steroids…I’m going to spend on weight gainer and food.

I’m going to take all the knowledge I’ve accumulated… all the time that I’ve spent… and make a one last ditch effort.

I’ll take my current food intake of 5000 calories a day and increase that by 2000+ calories with some weight gainer. I already have 2gm of protein/lb of bw.

And weight gainer is MUCH cheaper than steroids… :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m going to transform myself. This is just the beginning. I’m going to take one solid year.

I’ve turned from stick to stone…

Now I’ll turn from stone to steel.

So thank you T-Nation for the information and the motivation that caused me to make the right decision and not totally fuck up my body by taking it on a a hormonal roller coaster at this age.


Xen Nova, a few years ago, before T-Nation, I used to read a magazine dedicated to hardgainers. Total body routines, ONLY 2 WORKOUTS/WEEK, were suggested. Training time approximatively 45 minutes, only compound exercises, proper nutrition,no steroids, proper recovery and training periodization. To gain mass, I would sensibly reduce sports and aerobics. Coming to T-Nation, Chad Waterbury suggests short and infrequent workouts. For hypertrophy he suggested to perform the following programs in a row: ABBH, ABBH2, TTT, Total Body Training, Quattro Dinamo, Single’s Club.
Hope that helps !

Check the easy-hard gainer articles. I’d suggest against ‘weight gainers’ - nothing worse then a 33/33/33 mix of fat/carbs/protein (if your lucky) loaded with insulin jacking sugars (in the present of what i’ve seen often saturated fat)… at least get proper MRP’s :stuck_out_tongue:

Remember that your not going to pack on pounds as fast as at the start, after a year of training your prob used to making gains every day; however, this virgin-growth doesn’t last. If you really want to try some fast gains, apply the easy-hard gainer tips and perhaps try the growth-surge project.

By the sounds of it your expecting to grow as rapidly as i presume you have to now. If only we could add 10-20kg/year year after year :slight_smile:

I am not saying this to be mean to you but I am going to give you the slap in the face that you need. So you have reached your genetic potential huh? Ok go ahead and take that mindset, where do you think you will end up? Thats right still skinny and not stronger.

First of all stop analyzing everything because I personally think it makes you sound negative. This may not be what you want to hear but when I hear stuff like this I think to myself no wonder they don’t go anywhere. I think you should toss the food log personally. And that may go against everything everybody thinks around here but that is my opinion.

When I kept a food log and counted out all my calories, and broke down the % protein, carb, and fat contribution I was lean as hell but did not grow. I did not grow until I tossed the food log and just ate. Now I did keep myself under control on the foods I ate but no calorie restrictions. I just ate until I felt I ate enough. Of course this method requires some restraint but come on you are 18 years old and weight train, train jiu jitsu, and who knows what else.

You don’t have to do exactly what I say obviously so you have two choices: Either ignore me entirely or atleast learn something from it but one way or the other JUST FUCKING EAT! and train heavy too. Sorry not yelling just emphasizing. Thats my opinion.

It’s very difficult to build size with energy systems work on the side. Strength, yes. Size, no.

At 18, you’re at least two years short of your first metabolism drop. Until that point, for an ectomorph, it will be nearly impossible to eat too much. Add an honest 500 calories beyond your current maintenance each and every day, and you will grow.

Finally, I wonder if perhaps your lifts are biased toward low-volume strength work. Consider spending some time with a 4-5 set, 15-18 rep program for compound movements, just for a change of pace.

That said… you’re more athletic than any 499 of 500 people. Be proud of it.


You seem to fit the easy-hard gainer type ; small but strong, good CNS efficiency and low work tolerance…+ I would suggest you to read this article (you probably read it already). These are just my two cents, hope I can help.

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:

Hell I train 2x a day…at one point I was hitting the weights 3x a day. trying to illicit some sort of gains.

My CNS is all super-wired… I was able to run track, hit the gym 2x a day running westside for skinny bastards and Quattro Dynamo, AND go to jujutsu 3x a week and only feel DOMS on the endurance day of QD.


Holy Crap. No wonder you’re not groing, man. You don’t sound like a hardgainer, you sound like a guy who’s hitting the weights twice a day and running track at the same time. It’s no surprise you need 5000 cals/day. You’re burning them like crazy. There’s absolutely no reason to hit the weights that hard. In fact, it’s counter productive. If you want to grow, you have to calm down. Stick to one program at a time. Use that hyped-up CNS to you’re advantage. Try one of CW or CT’s workouts, but only one at a time.

If you keep up what you’ve been doing, not only will you not grow, you’ll be headed for some injuries.

I used to make the same mistakes… if I wasn’t growing, I needed to lift more, I thought. The more you workout, the more calories you burn. The more you burn, the less you have to build from.

And finally, here comes the big one… Stimulate, don’t Annihilate!(that’s for the old-schoolers)

Good Luck

Well you sound pretty strong for 155lb, stronger than me… but I am 6’174lb ripped, and feel too small so I know how you must be thinking…

Hit the gym less often

I just turned 21 so I know where you’re coming from. Take it easy.

I’m not going to preach to you, as I know that you’re pretty up on things here, but we both know that gaining weight is a simple matter of input vs. output. You aren’t gaining on 5000 cals? Eat more. Do less. You know the drill.

Try high-calorie foods. Heavy Cream. Coconut Milk. Mix them in with your shakes. Drink a shot of oil (flax, safflower) with every P+F meal.

Plan your meals ahead of time, and eat like clockwork.

If you haven’t tried a nocturnal meal, now is the time to do it. It’s a little less of a risk than steroids.

1c 4% cottage cheese, 1.5 scoop LC Grow!, 1-2 tbsp peanut butter, milk or water.

If that’s too much, try 1/2 c cottage cheese with the Grow! shake, without the peanut butter.

You have two choices, either drink ± 1 liter of water before bed so it wakes you 3-4 hrs later (experiment with the amount of water) or set a (preferrably) gentle alarm.

Hope that helps.

RIT Jared

Relax you hyperactive SOB!

Perspective: I’m seven years older than you, about the same height and weigh 15 more pounds (bf around 11%). I’ve gained 30 pounds in the year since I started lifting. My goal is to be able to lift what you can. And you’re fast, too. Size will come - be patient. You need to rest more. Cut way back on the work if you want to gain size. Try and eat real food instead of MRPs.

I’d take strength over size any day - we should make a Freaky Friday movie where we switch.

You seem like a smart kid, just relax and realize things take time. Our society is an instantaneous, throw-away society, but your body is different.

I agree with some of the others that you sound overtrained. You grow when you’re resting! When I was your age I played every sport under the sun and still probably do too much for maximal growth. You just have to decide what’s your priority. If growing big is No1, just lift for a few months. 3 x a week. No sports if you can bear it.

I printed up the Ian King “The Bulking Workout” article and I’m gonna live by that for the next 3months or so… I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

Few things I’m doing different is preparing 2 shakes a day… 150gm of protien and around 2000 calories in each.

(protein powder, olive oil, peanut butter, ice cream, and milk)

I’m having that in addition to around 3000 calories in 4-5 p+f and lean p+c meals.

Also I’m going to mainin my two a day workouts… (cause I can…and I’m used to it…I’ll feel like a bum if I don’t.) But I’m going to follow Chad Waterbury’s advice and use different protocals. The bulking plan is obviously hypertrophy based… my 2nd workout of the day is going to be gymnastic training (keeping pretty far away from failure) in an effort to maintain (maybe even better yet IMPROVE) my strength.

I’m certain I’ll be strong again a few months after I bulk up but again I’ll let you guys know how it goes… as soon as I find a hot chick with a digital camera that’s willing to take pictures of me I’ll post some.

Now i’m off too find some HTML knowledgable little asian girl.

Thanks for the support guys.

Sounds like you would be perfect for this, go look at the Forum:


Posted by John Berardi

Ok Think Tank -

I posted this over on the “building a better body” forum.

Who’s in?
Over in the Think Tank the experts are going to design a slow-twitch type training program for the first punk that steps up to the plate that meets a few criterion.

  1. Has to have a classic slow twitch phenotyle (tall, thin, small wrists/joints - tends to be better at endurance stuff yet loves to weight train).

  2. Can post the results of the following:

Bench Press
Overhead Press

Vert Jump

  1. The results have to be reported as 1RM - 85% 1RM - Number of Reps at 85%1RM (for the lifts, duh, we only need height for vert).

Now I know not all of you have those data readily accessible. But if you want in, reply to this thread and let us know you’ll be collecting it this week.

The first person who meets the above criterion will get a program designed by - not 1, but several - of the think tank.


Xen Nova, IK’s B.B.workout is an optimal choice. The key exercise here is the 20 reps squat. Concerning this fundamental exercise I suggest you to read: Super Squats by Randall Strossen and Keys to Progress by John Mc Callum.
Load the bar with a load you would use for 10 reps and do 20 reps. Breathe a few times before each last rep (from 15th to 20th - the last 5 reps are tough). After the Squat immediately go to a bench and perform a set of straight arm pullover with a light db (15 - 20 lbs). The purpose here is to properly stretch the rib cage. At each subsequent workout try to add 5% more load to the Squat. This 20 reps Squat developes the legs and the whole body.
Have a good time !

Road Warrior initially I was going to try that. But I think I"m an easy hard gainer. Besides I’m not tall… Don’t think I’d fit for the program :stuck_out_tongue: Everything else I match except that I gain strength easily, and I cannot lift close to my max for hi reps. I usually cut out at about 3reps near my max and thats end of discussion.

On another note, I’ve decided against having that 2nd workout session a day. I have the parallettes so I’ll fuck around on them whenever I got some free time. But I’m not going to make it a big deal till after I gain some weight. I can train specifically for that strength a bit later.

I’d rather spend that time eating.


That’s good to hear, man. You can’t do everything at once. If you’re doing one of IK or CW’s workouts, you’ll get stronger while growing, don’t worry.

Good Luck