T Nation

Getting Big with Minimal Fat Gain


I'm a 145 pound guy, at a height of 5'5". Due to reasons I won't explain, I'm only able to train once a week with a workout of all the big exercises:deadlifts, pull ups, dips etc.
Since I only train once a week, I assume I don't need as much food to recover.I would like to be as big and strong as possible, but keep fat gains to a minimum. My diet is as follows:
3 eggs
~150 grams of ham
1 cup of milk

2 sandwichs made of:~150 grams of ham
1 apple
1 banana

After School Snack
Plate of rice
1 avacodo
1 can of tuna
I glass of milk

Plate of rice
2 8oz steaks
half a head of lettuce+cesear dressing
1 glass of milk

What do you guys suggest I add or change to my diet? Thanks in advance.


You're not gonna gain muscle with one workout a week. I'm sorry. I've never seen it happen.


look man i know you think you cant train more than once a week mabe even jst wake up extra early and go to the gym. if you really want to gain size youll be committed enough to get there more than once a week


Nope. You're gonna have to make more time than that. Something is better than nothing, but don't expect much at all out of a one-day-a-week schedule. I'm on two days of heavy lifting per week and barely holding on to the strength gains I've made over the past year and two months.


Well, in theory, I'd say to get a bunch of carbs and some proteing before your workout, post-workout shake after, then your "post-workout" window would last about 48 hours, where you eat more protein first day, and somewhat less the second day.

The rest of the week you'd just eat a normal diet, adjusted for no workouts.

I don't think it will work either though.


i go to the gym 3-5 times a week...i see a kid that goes about once a week...we started at the same size...about 155 lbs...my weight gain is kind of slow...maybe 1 lb a week on a good week...up to my current 172...but his seems non existent...he looks exactly the same and its been about 3 months since started...

i dunno, i'm no expert, just giving you an example i see...


Thanks for all the replies guys, I guess now I'm upping it to 3x a week!


also remember a gym isnt neccessary, just resistance. so bodyweight stuff, carrying shit, etc all counts as a workout


I'll keep that in mind.


If you're really squeezed for time (and i mean really fucking squeezed, like a god damn lemon at some kids lemonade stand) then do pushups all day long. Atleast it's something


For reasons you won't explain?


Now we're talking! Now you have to decide what kind of program to do. Push/pull/legs? Three day split? Starting Strength? Beginner's powerlifting program?

You said 'get as big and strong as possible'. Be more specific. Give a target body weight and target strength (not necessarily a final goal, but something attainable in a year or two). That will begin to define what kind of program you should do.


I'm slowpoking a bit here, but I was recently reading the OTS Big Beyond Belief e-book, and they mention that muscle atrophy happens after 72 hours. Of course, this might just be a piece of research they're throwing at us to try to sell their program, but you can find research for anything I hear. Anyways, any sort of gains you'd make would be lost. 2x a week is a million times better than 1x. When I discovered squatting, I could only hit the gym 2x a week, and I made great gains (more due to squatting than anything else). But yeah. /slowpoke

Are you still within range for your newbie gains? If you are, I think you'd probably be able to lose some fat while gaining muscle (so I'm told). And if you're only training 3x a week, would a powerlifting type program perhaps be more helpful? AFAIK, more powerlifting programs work with 3x a week than traditional bodybuilding (4-5+ if I were to generalize), additionally, someone in some fairly recent article mentioned something about having beginners work a day for each of the big three a week. But still, at this stage in the game I'm going to assume (depends on who you ask, really) that you'll be gaining muscle on a powerlifting type program, either way, if Thibs is to be trusted, you'll satisfy your strength goals, and set yourself up for big size gains in the future.

Just my 2 cents (or maybe more)


you will do just fine at 3x a week. there are, however, ways to shorten each workout. you don't need to be in the gym an hour each day if you are REALLY short on time.


Haha, no I'll explain this one. The closest gym to my area is a 15 minute drive-and I'm not even old enough to get my N. My parents don't get home until an hour after gym closing hours, so I was only able to train Saturday morning. I wanted to train on sundays as well, but was just so tired from the other workout. The other day I just found out that a friend of mine works out at the same gym, with his mom driving him. SO now I can get more workouts AND a trianing partner!


I am going to be starting WS4SB. since I'm a bit soft, I'm also going to be using the T-Dawg diet V.2. As for my strength goal, by christmas time I would like to have a 405 deadlift, 180 weighted dip, 135 weighted chin up, and 155 standing military press.
I don't really have a target weight, since strength is my priority right now, however 170lbs is what I'm shooting for.

Current Stats(1RM unless stated otherwise)
Weighted dip:BW+45lb 3RM
Weighted chin up(curl grip):BW+72lb 3RM
Standing military press:90 lb
I don't squat or bench because my gym sucks doesn't have that equipment!(squat rack, bench stand/rack)

P.S. A Ninny mouse, as you can tell from my lifts, I am very much a noob.