T Nation

Gaining Weight But Not Growing

I started my bulk 4 weeks ago Ive gained about 8 lbs.  I eat very clean and I limit fat but for some reason my "stats" havent changed.  I eat about 2-2500 calories in, protein shake 3-4 times a day and eat 3-4 good meals.  my arms a weak point and I measured them and they're exactly the same..my routine is each muscle hit  around 4-6 days.

does anyone know how (or why) Ive gained weight but not gained mass.

thanks for any help!!

p.s. Im thinking of changing my routine to this:


any suggestions?!


Are you adding weight to the bar, or doing more reps with the same weight each and every workout? If so, and assuming that you're not doing really low reps per set (which sometimes causes primarily neurological gains more so than structural gains) then you are building muscle. If not, then start.

You need to realize also that building muscle can be a slow process. You've gained 8 lbs, (which most likely is comprised of both muscle and fat) but that 8 lbs is most likely spread over your entire body. That's not going to equate to a noticeable size increase in your biceps for instance (unless perhaps you've only been doing biceps exercises).


Give it some more time, 4 weeks isn't enough to notice much of a change. Also, take pictures every week or so because they can make it much easier to see the change.


How someone would eat 6-8 times a day and only be putting down 2500 calories max is beyond me. If I was guessing, I'd say some of the weight is muscle, some fat, some glycogen storage, some water. If you go changing your routine after putting on 8 lbs in a month you are crazy, a lot of people would kill for 8 lbs in a month(raises hand).

Let's be honest here, are your arms a weak point or is your whole body weak? Most people have to gain 15-25 lbs of mass to put on an inch to their arms and I know that holds true for me. I would say tape your arms up every six months(if ever, who the hell cares if your arms are 16 or 16.5?) instead of every month, the progress will be there if your whole body is growing and you are training them hard and progressive.


4 weeks is too little time to notice a big change. try 6 months or a year


What does it matter how much mass you are gaining in a four week period?

Just work on building up your main lifts: Squat, deadlift, and bench press. As your strength increases, so will your size.

Then use other exercises to maintain balance...chin ups, rows, RDLs, unilateral exercises etc.


thanks for the advice guys. Ill probably stick to the routine but can someone comment on the TC hero routine? I posted about this earlier but im still curious.

thanks again


oh and to comment to sentoguy. my lifts are going up but not that much. Ill start focusing on that. heres a briefing of my routine if needed:

each week i hit a certain muscle every 4 days and the others i hit every 6.

for example for chest week

m-chest, triceps
t-back, biceps

next week example back week

m-back, biceps
th-chest, tris

and the next week would be shoulders etc. etc.

for each muscle Ill do about 3 or 4 exercises and around 5-6 sets. I usually just work until I feel like I recruited enough fibers. I dont count reps but lately Ive been doing around 6-8 and Im going to switch soon to 8-15ish. I do alot of big movements: bench, deads, presses, rows and Ill add isolation work when Im fatigued.

thanks for the help by the way.


Try this before the superhero workout...


To reiterate what others have said, 8lbs is barely anything when your just starting out (and theres no telling what that 8lbs really is). I found that my first 20lbs or so was just to fill out , and after that was when things really started to differentiate etc. Good Luck!


how about the workout i posted?


you posted your split and your set/rep scheme, not your total routine. I wouldnt use that split, not at your stage, but thats not really an issue. You are much better off at this point reading through the articles on this site and picking an established routine that you feel fits your current experience and goals.


in your opinion whats wrong with this split?


It sounds like you are a beginner and your body would not adapt well to this much volume in my opinion. If I were you I'd find a full body type routine that focuses on your strength. 5x5 and westside barbell for skinny bastards comes to my mind.....


I currently eat 2255 calories spread over six meals on a weekday, but I'm on a cut. (Weekend days are 2897 calories in order to reset my metabolism).

To the OP, if you're not measuring your bodyfat percentage regularly, you're missing out on valuable information that can help you gauge your progress.


Your work out split looks good. I've used the same one with lots of success. I had to take a week off here and there because I would get overtrained but other than that it worked great.

Here's a good one also. Works for me.

mon chest tris front delts (I throw in reverse curls)
wed legs abs
fri back bis rear and lateral delts.


I might do something like this:

upper-focus on strength and compounds
lower-focus on strength and compounds
chest/tris-more bb type workout focus on pump


My suggestion is to find ways to gain strength the quicker you can.
Strength for reps.
Maybe 5x5 for three days a week or organize your split in ways that you are no more than 4 days in the gym.

There are those who can lift for 5,6 days a week and gain strength at a good pace.
And there are those that progress best with less.
And try to arrange in ways that you can hit the bodyparts as often as possible.


I'd knock off most of the shakes and eat more solid food including swapping some of your carb calories for more fat of all kinds. I didn't look to see your stats if you have them in your profile, but 2000 - 2500 cals a day would have me disappearing fast.