T Nation

Frustrated with Progress


I've trained for more years than I care to admit, and although the first years were primarily for fat loss as I was 110 kg at 14-15 years old I had alot of it to lose.

Got down to 78 kg at 180 cm, with very little muscle mass. After that I've gone up and down, going as low as 83 kg on occation but usually swinging between 85 and 95 kg.

The thing is, at this bodyweight, I have 37 cm arms, flexed. I just measured my father, and he's got a whopping 31 cm arm, fully flexed, at a height of 184 cm and weight of 90 kg. We're quite similar in that we have large, long upper bodies but with little muscle mass.

Whenever I attmept to gain size I eat squeaky clean, and do some cardio to ward off fat gains as I can easily gain 20 pounds of fat in a month from taking in 4000 clean calories. Being on the Anabolic Diet with only 1 or 0.5 refeed day has helped though.

I'm getting frustrated, looking back at the progress I've made the past three months.

I've eaten from 3500-4500 calories a day, and trained DC-style for the past month. Before that I used a fairly normal bodybuilding routine. I've gained about 20 pounds, but alot of it fat. I would guesstimate I sit at above 20% bodyfat, mostly in the abdominal area.

My best lifts are:
CGBP 100 kg for 7 reps
Front Squat 100 kg for 8 reps
Deadlift 150 kg for 10 reps
Squat 130 kg for 5 reps
Chinups 8 reps

It seems the advice 'Eat a horse and train your ass off' doesn't apply to me, as, although I'm young (23) I gain far too much fat compared to muscle.

I want size dammit!

So the question is, where the hell do I go from this mess?


what do you eat? be precise. what does your training look like? be precise. I would suggest sticking with training hard for more than a month before complaining about gains.

Read articles, nutrition books, physiology books, learn, apply that knowledge, profit!


What does your diet look like, exactly?
How fast have you been progressing in your lifts?



Pre Breakfast
40-50 g whey/casein
1tbsp cream
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp flax seeds
fish oil, cla, sesamine, b-vitamin complex, kelp

8 raw egg yolks
8 egg whites, scrambled
20 g olive oil
50 g flax seed bread

600 g fish
50-80 g olive oil
10-20 g butter
fish oil, cla, sesamine, b-vitamin complex, Calsium
50 g flax seed bread

same as breakfast

40-50 g whey/casein
10 g flax seeds
10 g olive oil
1 tbsp cream
fish oil, cla, sesamine, zinc, magnesium

Looking through my FitDay this gives me, from day to day:

Between 3900 and 4500 calories
290-350 g protein
30-40 g 'active' carbodhydrates
and 250-300 g fat

In my lifts I've gone from:

CGBP 86x6 in march to 102x7 now
DB Tri Extension from 12x10 in march to 15x10 now
Chins 6 in march, 8 now with 20 pounds of added BW
Front Squat 72x6 in march to 102x8 now
Deadlift 120x5 march to 150x10 now
OHP 50x6 in march 58x7 now
BBxcurl 30x8 march 32x8 now
Incline Bench 60 x12 to 72x15 in a month
Squat 80x22 may 92x20 now
For back thickness I've switched from T-bars to barbell rows and kroc rows, so no trackable progression there.

The program is:

Incline DBP
t-bar rows

Incline Benchpress
Rack Chins
Kroc Rows

Db benchpress
db tri ext

barbell curl
reverse curl
donkey calf raises
leg curl
front squats/ WM squats

dumbbell crusl
pinwheel curls
standing calf raises
GHR/Wojo back extension
lunges/ WM walking lunges


incline curls
hammer curls
donkey calf raises
good morning
squats/ WM hill sprints for 2-3 sets (random, I know :stuck_out_tongue: )

There it is! I appreciate you taking the time!


Oh, forgot the veggies since I don't count them. broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes or onions at every meal.

And pics coming when my girl gets home. They'll be gay enough without me taking them in the bathroom.

Here are some videos, though:


Here we go!


No offence, because you seem to have most things in check in terms of writing down and checking yourself, but the answer most likely is one or both options :

  1. Eat more. You might be eating clean, but if you're not growing at 4500 calories maybe you should try 5000-5500 calories.
  2. You're not training hard enough to gain size.

I'm pretty sure that it's one of these.

EDIT : Just saw your "train your ass off and eat like a horse" problem... But I still think it applies. Maybe you just need a shit-ton of cardio in order to keep the fat off.


Is it possible that you're not training as hard as you think you are? It's very easy to convince yourself that a weight is very difficult to lift, when it is in fact light.

Your youtube front squats looked easy to begin with, I'm wondering if your brain is telling you to struggle when your body doesn't need to be.


what the fuck?


Your progress on everything is pretty good, except for your BB curl, have you not been training this?

And btw DB Rows are awesome, i'd stick with those if I were you. I like to do 5-10 reps with them one session and 15+ on the other.

I'd just hit each of those lifts 1-2x a week as hard as I could and just keep eating. You could look into Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 training program (simple and easy to follow) which is pretty good too.


you've got all sorts of good fats i suppose maybe too much: cream, olive oil, and flax. I'd drop the cream perhaps all the fats are going to slow digestion, in the am you want your protein getting there quickly. I'd save the casein for nighttime.

Where is the beef? add more meats, eggs are great but...eat more meat. if your eating 16 yolks as you claim + all the other fats it's only fitting you muscle to BF ratio is as it is.

Chicken is great but i've added the most size by including two lean beef based meals daily to my diet.

if it's a matter of calories the meat will outshine cream all day and help w/ keeping calories high.


I'd guess that an avg of 4000 calories a day is too much, compared to your lifting.

Either that, or your lifting is too little for the caloric intake.

You are, however, making good progress on the lifts, keep at it.

How much cardio are you doing?


CGBP 86x6 in march to 102x7 now[/quote] = 225lbs*7

= 33lbs db's * 10 <- crappy exercise, little progress... My elbows don't like that kind of extension, but I did the 15 Kg bells on these when I started out with sub-12 inch arms... You can do better than that... Exercise-choice and weight-wise

= 225lbs*8

= 330lbs * 10

127lbs *7

70 lbs * 8 <- Post a vid, your technique is either horrible or I don't know what...


202.5lbs * 20

Ok... To be honest, while progress on some of your lifts was good theoretically, you're quite frankly very very weak. DC as a beginner is not a good idea.
You should have been able to get quite a bit stronger in the same time-frame on many of your lifts...

I'd suggest you do the BBB program (lots of volume by comparison, I guess it might help you some with the fat-gain and it gets you strong fast)... Or that Yates 3-way I posted with a few modifications...

Get your CGP to 300+ for reps, squats into the high 300's or even 400's for reps, Deadlifts into the high 400's for reps... And then keep going.

Overhead and bicep work seem to be your weakest areas... Overhead press is horrible, needs to get up to 70-80 kilos for reps at least, and fast. Curls... Well... Just like your DB extensions, terrible.
Post some vids of both or so... Let's see if it's just your form or something...

Buy yourself some Tommy Kono elbow and knee sleeves + some 24 inch wrist wraps (I like the black reapers) off APT and come visit Modok, DH and me in the BBB thread. Let's see if we can't get you gaining properly...


Amonero there's something majorly wrong with your program for 4 months progress there's little gain i'd be well freaked out to LOL.

For my 1st 3 weeks in the gym my lifts are:

OHP: 60g *6
BBxCurl: 25*8
Incline Bench:60*10

Maybe that program doesn't suit you or something the BBB program has gained quite a following lol and everyone has gained alot of strength and weight off it so maybe check it out ?

Add to it, if you do the 6 day week program its quite the Cardiovascular workout to along with the Anabolic Diet it should be almost impossible for you to gain alot of fat, that is if you can do the 6 day ?

You should rapidly gain alot of strength off BBB whatever program that is, is not doing it for you so come join us :stuck_out_tongue:

Thats the thread:

And this is the program won't even have to spend money :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: Woops see Cephalic beat me to it trying to convert you LOL


Ã?llright, I'm convinced. I'm going ot read the book now, keep my diet the same with protein slightly higher at around 350 g and since the weather is great here now take some long walks to keep fat at bay. Heading over to the thread...

NOW :smiley: