Feedback on Workout/Diet

Thanks very much in the advance for the help with this. I’m new to building muscle (started 2 weeks ago) so your input will be very helpful to me. I apologize for the lack of knowledge regarding terminology.

About me:

– 28, fairly skinny but developed a small beer belly over the past year, not much muscle at all, pretty much zero muscles on chest

My goals:

– long time exercise, 5 or 6 times a week (for at least 1.5 years, probably 3 times a week after 1.5 years)
– increase energy levels
– sleep better (though I don’t have big problems with this before I started working out)
– build chest muscles
– just generally bulk up everywhere above my legs, but not get super huge

My diet right now:

– shake in the morning around 10am (with protein power, greek yog, nonfat milk, little peanut butter and a little chocolate, banana)
– eat a big meal at around 11:30am with some protein
– work out from 1pm to 2pm
– protein shake in car after work out
– not a huge meal for dinner
– i try to snack on nuts throughout the day and a drink a ton of milk

My workout routine

– 5 minutes stretching
– 20 minutes on elliptical. start at 12/20 resistance and move my way up to 20. I love this machine. It works my whole body and really gets me going. I feel like this will help my belly fat go away too.
– 25-35 minutes of weights
– usually the weighted rowing machines, 8 sets of 10 on 40lbs
– chest muscle machine, 6 sets of 10 on the lowest setting (the machine is set up so you lift your body…so at the zero setting it’s still a huge workout for me)
– 1 or 2 random other workout machines
– lift weights laying down on bench, I have a upside down V patter, where I have the weights come down low and wide and the push them up and have them almost touch

For each of these workouts, I take myself to the ABSOLUTE brink of what I can do right now. On these machines I am unable to do any more reps than I have currently doing. I’m always very tired after the workout and I sleep for 9-10 hours and feel great. I imagine that if I keep doing this I’ll start seeing results in 3 or so weeks.

Any and all criticism, feedback, input would be appreciate. What am I doing wrong and right?

Your posted diet regiment is too vague. Do you have any idea how many calories you are consuming at each meal, and what your macronutrient breakdown is on a daily basis, i.e., EXACTLY how many of those calories are coming from protein, fats and carbs? In the meantime, while it sounds like you might lean towards the “skinny fat” end of the spectrum, I’d be aiming to get 80-90% of my calories on a weekly basis from a variety of fresh, unprocessed meats, along with minimally processed, whole food staples (e.g., fruits, veggies, legumes, grains and dairy) that you can tolerate, enjoy eating and are not sensitive to.

If not, you need to track this for a day or two, logging everything, so that we can get a better handle on what constitutes a “big meal” or what’s in a “shake.”

Also, if I were you, I would be eyeing a proven program on here designed specifically for mass gain if you are committed to bulking up in general - find something that you would enjoy and stick with it, don’t start program hopping every 2-3 months. There are a number of posted routines that are effective if you stick with them, and they generally focus on having you complete the core lifts on a regular basis.

Why no interest in leg work?

Do you have access to free weights? Machine only routines are something I expect from men in their 70s to be using. You are 28, not young but far from an old man. Choose a simple program that has you benching, squatting, and deadlifting.

As far as diet goes I would keep it simple and not worry about counting macros just yet. Track calories and protein if anything. Eat veggies 2-3 times a day, protein at every meal, and avoid processed food as much as possible.

I agree with the german and JR249. In addition, ditch the 20min eliptical in the beginning of your workout. It’s ok to do cardio, but do it seperate from your weight training like in the a.m. or after your work out. You want to have the most energy during your biggest lifts (bench,squat,deadlift,OHP) so you can put 110% into them. Search for a good beginner program that surround those lifts. Find one you like that best suits you and your gym and stick to it to a T. There are plenty of them on here.

Trust me you, want to hit your legs man. Neglecting them will only make you regret doing so once you see gains in your upper body and still have skinny little bird legs.