T Nation

Four More Years!

Hey dudes. I’ve been seriously into training and nutrition for over 4 years now. Its my main hobby and interest. I’m also a biochemist so I’m horny for a lot more details than are neccessary.

I’ve managed to make barely any progress at all, in terms of strength or size. Some of the reasons I understand. The main continuing reason is a psychological one - a complete lack of self control when training. I train too hard, too much, and too ofton.

Well, I’m about 40lbs heavier than I was before I started training.

Basically all I’ve done for a few years now is deadlift, and some overhead pressing, chins. That’s about it.

Here are some fun photos:

here it is better sized

another

by the way, I do want to gain a good bit more muscle, and also make SOME kind of gains on my lifts. I’m nowhere near satisfied with where I am currently.

Read this:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1474118

and this:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=811783

Come back with questions.

[quote]kroby wrote:
Read this:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1474118

and this:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=811783

Come back with questions.[/quote]

Thanks for the links, dude, but its really just basic shit I’ve seen for years. I know I have an unimpressive physique and unimpressive lifts, but really I spend like ALL of my time reading and talking about these issues.

Such activities are a substitute for actual training, I guess (I can’t train as much as I’d like to). As I mentioned, too, I’m a biochemist and like M&M forums for detailed discussion.

I’ll probably get flamed for seeming arrogant or something. How can someone claim to know anything about training/nutrition when he hasn’t made it work for himself?

I’ve just never managed to acheive anything for myself. Some reasons why:

The first year I basically trained like shit.

I got quite fat in the first 6 months thanks to shit BB.com advice, and had to cut all that back off.

At the end of my first year I burnt out badly and since then have repeatedly burned out, rarely able to train for a careful and cycled few-months before I have to take weeks and weeks off.

So I very frequently overtrain (a lack of self-control with lifting)

For a time I underate constantly, finding it increasingly difficult to stay lean. I get fat very very easily.

I have various hormonal problems that make muscle gains extremely unlikely.

Things are slowly coming together, though, and I expect that within a year or two I might be able to start putting some permanent strength on my deadlift.

I’ve learnt more than most people do about this shit, maybe BECAUSE I always found it hard to progress. Someone who gains easily might not be so motivated to learn about how to do things.

I now know how to drop my bf% very quickly indeed. I also know how to avoid getting fat.

What I have not yet discovered how to do is gain muscle, or gain strength.

What I really need to do is take a year or five and do NO exercise at all. Then start again. I’ve worked my body and my mind into a really bad state and its a dead-end as far as I can see.

Well it sounds like you know what you need to do. In regards to the whole strength issue i’d check out the basic westside for skinny bastards program over on Joe DeFranco’s site. Between that and Berardi’s website you should be all set for a little while.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459321

[quote]fage wrote:

The main continuing reason is a psychological one - a complete lack of self control when training. I train too hard, too much, and too ofton.

[/quote]

Do you seriously believe that?

Paralysis by analysis buddy. You are overthinking the whole thing.

Your problem is that you are afraid of fat. Even from the shitty pictures you posted, I can count your ribs. You will not gain appreciable muscle or strength if your main concern is body fat content.

[quote]fage wrote:
kroby wrote:
Read this:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1474118

and this:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=811783

Come back with questions.

Thanks for the links, dude, but its really just basic shit I’ve seen for years. I know I have an unimpressive physique and unimpressive lifts, but really I spend like ALL of my time reading and talking about these issues.

Such activities are a substitute for actual training, I guess (I can’t train as much as I’d like to). As I mentioned, too, I’m a biochemist and like M&M forums for detailed discussion.

I’ll probably get flamed for seeming arrogant or something. How can someone claim to know anything about training/nutrition when he hasn’t made it work for himself?

I’ve just never managed to acheive anything for myself. Some reasons why:

The first year I basically trained like shit.

I got quite fat in the first 6 months thanks to shit BB.com advice, and had to cut all that back off.

At the end of my first year I burnt out badly and since then have repeatedly burned out, rarely able to train for a careful and cycled few-months before I have to take weeks and weeks off.

So I very frequently overtrain (a lack of self-control with lifting)

For a time I underate constantly, finding it increasingly difficult to stay lean. I get fat very very easily.

I have various hormonal problems that make muscle gains extremely unlikely.

Things are slowly coming together, though, and I expect that within a year or two I might be able to start putting some permanent strength on my deadlift.

I’ve learnt more than most people do about this shit, maybe BECAUSE I always found it hard to progress. Someone who gains easily might not be so motivated to learn about how to do things.

I now know how to drop my bf% very quickly indeed. I also know how to avoid getting fat.

What I have not yet discovered how to do is gain muscle, or gain strength.

What I really need to do is take a year or five and do NO exercise at all. Then start again. I’ve worked my body and my mind into a really bad state and its a dead-end as far as I can see.

[/quote]

What I’m reading above is, “The main continuing reason is a psychological one …” That you’ve just said yourself. The mind is a powerful motivator and is probably the reason why you’re not making anymore gains.

I say stick to a routine, keep track of your calories with emphasis on your goals and quit with the negative/whiny thoughts. Remember that newbie gains are not going to come anymore. At best, without juice, you will gain 5 to 10 pounds of muscle per year–and that’s a year of lifting heavy and eating well. Oh, stop with all the excuses.

Your main problem is a Stonehenge that is in danger of being trampled by dwarves is NOT very menacing.

are you Jesus?

[quote]baretta wrote:
fage wrote:

The main continuing reason is a psychological one - a complete lack of self control when training. I train too hard, too much, and too ofton.

Do you seriously believe that?[/quote]

if you’d prefer, I could say instead that I fail to recover sufficiently from the kind of training load I like to have.

I failed to mention my continuing insomnia (2 years now), 0-4 hours of restless sleep per night does NOT help recovery. My diet isn’t a problem, I eat 4-6000 cals/day now. I can avoid gaining fat if I eat carbs only after workouts, or in the evenings. I eat ~400g at such times. Spreading carbs through the day doesn’t help me recover any better, it just makes me fat quickly.

[quote]christine wrote:
Your problem is that you are afraid of fat. Even from the shitty pictures you posted, I can count your ribs. You will not gain appreciable muscle or strength if your main concern is body fat content.[/quote]

I have no concerns about my attitude towards to fat gains. If I thought I was gaining any muscle/strength while gaining weight, I’d happily continue even with a 50/50 fat/muscle gain. I know how to cut very fast so it wouldn’t be a problem. The trouble is, I have not managed yet to gain any muscle/strength even WITH fat gains.
Conciously moving my bodyweight up is no good - I can easily eat 7000 clean cals/day and would love to try 10,000. When I try to actually gain weight, I just gain fat. No strength or size gains come about.

Remember that during the last few years when my bodyweight hasn’t changed, my strength in major lifts hasn’t changed either. I am sure this isn’t just a coincidence. My focus is trying to put some strength on my deadlift, press, squat, etc… while not eating to lose weight. I’m sure that will see me gain some muscle.

[quote]Mr ian wrote:
are you Jesus? [/quote]

yea

Thanks for the replies, dudes. The troule with this business is that you don’t know if what you’re doing is working until a few months later. I can only try a handful of approaches each year, and a year goes quickly. I’ll be 21 soon and I finished puberty when I was about 13. My Testosterone is about 350ng/dl, and its only going to get worse, so I’m aware of the quite urgent need to start making progress really fucking soon.
If I still haven’t got any strength gains by about November, I will force a few kg of mass gains, regardless of how fat I get, then cut it back quickly and see if it left me with any more muscle.

–Joe

[quote]from looking at your pictures, it seems you have built some muscle onto your frame with all that overtraining you did. so that should be enough for you to give yourself a pat on the back and quite beating yourself up.

I find the best gains come when you don’t think about the technical shit.

You never outlined your lifting routine or diet.

your post was very analytical but vague at the same time in the sense that you left out the important parts so no one can offer any usefull information other than asking are you jesus.

if you are really serious about getting help you should post a video of your lifts and the technique. you should outline your diet and be more helpfull to us so we can help you.

you worry too much about bullshit. you say you havent increased on the deadlift? well theres a reason for that, its either stupid training, stupid recovery or stupid diet or all of the above.

be more specific

[/quote]

I have training logs online from the last 2 years, and on paper for the 2 years before that. But no one wants to trawl through those and then tell me what I already know.

I have tried many approaches to lifting. What I’m currently doing with overhead pressing, seems to be working - basically doing one-arm DB pressing (because I didn’t have a barbell at the time I started doing it). I started with a weight and over a month or so, worked up to doing 3 lots of (1,2,3,4,5) - that’s a set of 1, a set of 2, then 3,4,5. “Ladders”, many of you have probably heard of it. Between sets I took a minute of rest per rep just done.

I started out doing like (1,2)(1,2)(1,2) and got up to (1,2,3,4,5)(1,2,3,4,5)(1,2,3,4,5). Then I added 5kg, which was a stupidly-large jump in weight, so I got nowhere for a few weeks. I cut it down to +2.5kg and am working up again. Today I’ll do something like (1,2,3,4)(1,2,3,4)(1,2,3)(1,2,3).

When I get the target of (1,2,3,4,5)x3 I’ll go up a couple of kilos.

That’s just recently, anyway. The last couple of months, really. I’ll continue with that being the basis and target of my pressing, along with some other fun shit like BB pressing.

Deadlifting - I am about to start again (again, again, again, again) with those, so I have nothing to report yet. Hopefully in a few months I will be able to have something good to say about it. Basically I’m going to start at about 75% of my most recent best set of 5, and work up adding about 5kg per workout until I reach and then hopefully surpass for a few workouts, my previous recent best. Frequency of workouts will depend on how much I did in the last session. Days with extra volume tagged on the end will have more days off afterwards than very short workouts.

I’ll aim to meet my previous best after about 6-7 sessions, and then hopefully push past it for at least a few workouts after that. I should be able to stick 10kg on a set of 5 after a month or so. I’ve lifted more than that in the past.

I’ll also be practicing front squatting. I can only just get to parallel with a good back shape, so I’m squatting to a box which I hope to be able to gradually lower.

Chins will also be involved.

Maybe all that seems random and unplanned, but it really isn’t. I can see it all organised, and its just basically following a very standard idea of starting light and building up to your previous best then putting a bit of a gain on it, then starting it all over again.

My diet. I eat about 16 v. large eggs per day, with butter if I have any. Also usually a big meal of meat and veg, usually pork or beef. Fish too, whatever. Carbs (mostly oats, never wheat) come as neccessary, and only around workouts. Eating carbs for breakfast is the very best way for me to gain pointless fat.

I don’t have dairy (apart from butter) these days, although I always used to. Milk makes me very tired and weak. I feel tired and weak enough as it is, so I don’t like it being worse.

From your post - you suggested three reasons why I haven’t increased my lifts (deadlift, you actually said). Either stupid training, recovery, or diet. Well, my recovery is as good as its going to get for now. My lack of sleep has an enourmous impact on it, but I don’t know how to fix that - I’m working on it. My diet, likewise - I’ve no reason to think its holding me back.

My training is usually just too much and too hard. This year has been much better, I managed to stay fairly alright until April when I took a 1RM (an ugly 170kg) and re-injured by back, then basically burnt out. I stopped all lifting for a month, started running again. I felt SO much better. I’m naturally 140lbs/6ft and decent at distance running. Weight lifting is completely opposed to my body, and its only damaging to it. But, I love lifting and dislike running.

This quote from Pavel mentions my main suspected reason for not progressing:

“If hard work was all it took to get strong, there would be no such thing as sports science. No, pushing the pedal to the metal all the time will get you nowhere fast! And if your head can not take it and you can not help pushing your ever-so-stable limits every time you train, see a therapist.”

oh btw, I never really post on this forum, I just wanted to post these pics. I am mostly involved on dragondoor, Mind&Muscle , a bit of BB.com, sometimes FI and IA.

[quote]Mr ian wrote:
are you Jesus? [/quote]

LMAO EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING

Just eat and lift hard. Gains will come.

[quote]LCCHSathlete wrote:
Mr ian wrote:
are you Jesus?

LMAO EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING

Just eat and lift hard. Gains will come.[/quote]

what a load of shit. That kind of advice is disasterously ambiguous. It gives absolutely no information about how to train except that it should come to deserve the description “hard” by the trainee. Theres infinite ways of training that satisfy that requirement, most of whihc will provide no gains whatsoever.


I’ve had powerlifters give me advice when I relate to them how I havent gained in years, am injured, overtrained, etc… and they say like “man just keep training balls to the wall and eventually it will work.”

hahah.

[quote]fage wrote:
LCCHSathlete wrote:
Mr ian wrote:
are you Jesus?

LMAO EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING

Just eat and lift hard. Gains will come.

what a load of shit. That kind of advice is disasterously ambiguous. It gives absolutely no information about how to train except that it should come to deserve the description “hard” by the trainee. Theres infinite ways of training that satisfy that requirement, most of whihc will provide no gains whatsoever.


I’ve had powerlifters give me advice when I relate to them how I havent gained in years, am injured, overtrained, etc… and they say like “man just keep training balls to the wall and eventually it will work.”

hahah. [/quote]

You need to be more specific. What kinds of training have you tried? You mentioned powerlifters giving you advice - have you tried training like them? Have you tried any of the programs on this site?

While I understand your annoyance at such a vague answer, I think the previous poster has a point. Generally if you train very hard with all the main compound lifts (and allow time for progression), and eat like a horse, you should make gains.

How do you think guys in prison get big? No fancy equipment, not even good food, but just the basic lifts done hard and heavy and OVER TIME the body adapts to the stress.

I am not a terribly experienced lifter myself but seeing the replies on this thread so far I am trying to help.
Wish you the best.

Instead of only eating carbs in the evening, try eating them before 1 pm and post workout only. This will allow you to eat a greater amount of carbs and possible help with your recovery.

As for your sleep, all I can think of is maybe try ZMA.

If you are still wanting to train more than your program lays out, you are not training hard enough. Up the weights, shorten the rest times, whatever. You should be wiped out after a good workout. 20 rep squats is a guaranteed fit for the person who likes to workout too much. You wont want to breathe, let alone lift more after one of those workouts.