T Nation

Everything Right But No Progress


I've read this site and almost every article on it for five months.(I actually went to the trouble of making an account later.)

Last summer (of 2005) I was 105 lbs.
Now (Jan 2006), I'm 15, and still only 135 lbs.

I take in about 160 grams of protein a day from turkey, chicken, milk, Grow! Shakes, and Metabolic Drive Bars. I also supplement with 6 grams of fish oil per day as well as about 2 grams of flax oil. I take 1 serving of Surge after my workouts.

I vary my training from basic 5x8 to 10x3 to 10x10 monthly, changing the loads accordingly. I train every other day of the week, but take weekends off. I perform the concentric portion of the lift as fast as possible while maintaining good form.

I scared myself when I looked at this thread, because these pictures look so much like me......only difference is that I'm 135 lbs and he's 180.


The reason I'm posting this is to get feedback on my current stuff and hopefully make some changes. I haven't gained a pound in about 3 weeks.



eat more.


Approximately how many total Calories per day are you taking in?



So what? Have you gained strength? Are you doing more volume with the same weight? You've gained 30lbs, that's very good.

You have to be more specific for someone to help you out. Here are some things:

-Diet- It's not just protein, it's the amount of carbs and fats as well. How much food in general are you getting each and every day? Is it different on different days or is the amount the same throughout the week?

-Training- Changing to a completely new training regimen every month is too much change. Stick with one program for a few months and just switch up grip or exercises. What's your current routine like?


30 lbs in 6 months...what were you expecting?


I'm taking in almost 2700 cals/day, however, I don't keep a religious food log (that would probably help), so that may not be very accurate. I do feel that I have made significant changes to my lifestyle that allow me to eat a ton more than I used to.

I forgot to add that I'm training the main compound lifts (Bench, Chins, Deads, Squats, etc.)


I truly believe the majority of the lifters on this site make this way too complicated. The simple fact that a 15 year old has micromanaged their diet to the point that they are stuck as far as progress should speak volumes to that fact. You're 15. What happened to keeping it simple? I am nearly twice your age (nearly 3 times your body weight) and the ONLY time I come close to breaking down my diet to that degree is when DIETING.

As far as your training, while change sometimes is good, you are switching things up too often in my opinion. There is no way for you to even track progress if you don't even stick with a routine long enough to judge if you are getting stronger.

There is no way I would have a 15 year old (especially one who is close to 130lbs) eat like a dieting bodybuilder. Your food choices aren't wrong, however, there is the high chance you are eating too clean to the point that you have cleaned any possible gains away. How much milk are you drinking? How much chicken in one meal? Where's the beef?


He was 100lbs. Unless this kid is about 5'4", he was underweight. That makes the weight gain less contributable to an actual gain in muscle mass or more directly related to an increase in food intake.


Thanks for the fast and relatively tame response, prof.

Lets see if I can answer all of this:

I didn't really think that my diet was that extreme, I saw another teen on here with chicken and brown rice three times per day, cottage cheese and granola for his other meals.

My diet isn't strictly controlled to that group of foods, I was just giving some examples of protein sources I use. I almost always mix up something different for dinner, sometimes involving some beef.

Typically I will just eat a whole chicken breast for one meal, along with some rice and veggies. I'll eat a Grow! shake or some cottage cheese before bed and have oatmeal mixed with Grow! for my first meal in the morning.

On average I'd say I drink about 4-6 glasses (8oz) of milk per day.


eat 3500 and youll get bigger


So what I've gathered so far:

  • Eat more (hmm...somehow I knew I'd get that)

  • Don't be a freak about my diet

  • Don't change programs every month (I'll stick with one for a longer period of time)

  • The weight gain was likely a byproduct of increased food intake

Any more ideas?


If that weight gain was the result of increased food intake and not muscle mass, where did the weight go? Visually I'd say I look a lot more muscular than I used to (being a walking skeleton at 105 lbs..)

EDIT: (Now I'm a walking skeleton at 135 lbs) :slightly_smiling:


Beef is a good way to get your calories up. I don't even understand someone (outside of vegetarians) not making beef a huge regular in their daily food intake when gaining. The main point I am making, is that at 15, you can get away with eating shit that most older trainers couldn't simply because of the hormones your body is releasing and the increased growth rate you are experiencing. This is not the time to try to impress anyone with how strict you can be to a "bodybuilding diet" unless that diet has the basic understanding that you need food in larger quanities, including everything from more fat, protein and carbs, to see much greater progress.

I think it is great that you have put forth the effort to learn that much about your food intake. There are people in their 60's who still don't understand what you've picked up on...but in the process of focusing so intently on the smaller details, I think you are missing the larger picture.

Your training is being switched up too much. You need to focus on forcing more food down. EAT BEEF, whole eggs, whole milk. Your basic concept isn't wrong, you just put your focus into the wrong areas for the stage of growth you are in. You are 15. There isn't a thing wrong with the occasional pizza and hamburger, especially if you are training regular.

One other thing is the comment you made about lifting fast and letting the weight down slow. This is GOOD. This concept is missed by millions (especially those taking up space doing super slow reps for no reason)...however, it makes me wonder if you are actually pushing yourself with the weight used.


As was told to another poster, to someone extremely under weight, some of that weight (possibly a great deal depending on how much muscle you actually did gain) was organ weight, increased "good" body fat stores and possibly even calcification of some bone in your body. Your body is growing right now, spending many calories a day just making new skin cells, hair, bone, and tissue cells. Much of that caloric intake is even released as body heat. In someone etremely below the weight they should "healthily" be at, the weight goes into making sure your body is running optimally first. Chances are, it wasn't before you started eating better.

How tall are you? Do your parents cook all of your meals?


Thanks for the help, professor.

I'll add more beef to my diet and be less strict.

I try to push myself as hard as I can with the weights without doing some serious damage......an RPE of about 8.5 in my book.


Thanks again for the helpful reply, professor.

Im 5'8", and after taking a cooking class, and my mom showing me how to grill chicken and cook rice, I do about half of my own cooking (if cooking the oatmeal in the morning counts too).



You sound like a really smart kid. Keep us posted on your progress.


You are 15 years old. You are not even halfway through puberty yet.

Dude - you are trying to rush something that won't be rushed. Keep eating, but just realize that you have the rest of your life to add mass. Learn how to lift smart, and practice perfect form. Stop obsessing over the scale weight. The gains will come - when your DNA says so.


Very true. This is a life time pursuit, not something you do overnight. The majority of the truly developed guys you see in the mags have been training seriously for over 10 years. Most of the truly impressive bodybuilders have been at it for over 20 years.


Late to this threrad but just wanted to agree with the advioce you are getting. you are over thinking this thing. You need to just relax a bit and have fun with this, eat, learn to enjoy it plenty of time later to diet down and get anal if needed for now just lift and pack on the lbs.

All that analysis etc just has yopu over stressing, doing way to much thinking about this stuff and not just doing it and enjoying it. I swear it sdeems more people now a days make lifting and eat more WORK then fun. Sure it should be HARD but have a great time doing it.

Like was said you seem like a smart kid Keep up the hard work, with the bar and the fork,

Let us know how it goes.