T Nation

help for 20 year old

I’m 20 yrs old and I’ve been lifting for a little over four yrs now. I’m 6 ft, 170 lbs. I’m very frustrated because I feel like I never get results. I believe I was stronger overall two yrs ago than I am now. A year ago I was at 11% bodyfat. After my first semester at college it went up to 16%. I want to gain 10-15 lbs of muscle and get very chiseled. It seems like most the supplements I try don’t work.

I’ve been tempted to use steroids. If they were as easy to get a hold of as weed I probably would have used it by now. I am somewhat afraid of them f*cking me up though. A couple of kids I went to highschool with have been using them for the past year and have gotten pretty big. I’m not friends with them so I’m not going to go ask them to hook me up. I’m just informing you of my situation and asking for advice on where to go from here. I’ve thought of going to a personal trainer that a friend of mine was very impressed with. However, I may begin working 50 hrs a week in the near future and will have to lift at night and that would not be feasible for the trainer. Thanks for your help guys.

You haven’t seen any results. Post your recent training programs as an example. Also tell us your diet details, how much protein and carbs are you taking in. If you can’t provide us this then that’s your first clue.

Regarding the roids, if you don’t know how to train and diet they’ll do nothing for you, additionally if you don’t know how to use them you’ll f yourself up even further and just an fyi I’d guess that 80% of people using have no clue what they’re doing especially those that have been using since High School! Bad choice man.

Give us some details on your diet and training and we’ll get you your results.

you need to read Steve Berardi’s articles on how to get it done while in College. You may also want to evaluate your hierarchy of needs (search for that article title) and stop wastin your money on supplements when what it sounds like you need is to devote some time to finding a GOOD workout plan and start eating right. As for steroids, you’ve got to be kidding. You are no where near your genetic limits, amass enough training knowledge through experience first. There are countless people on T-nation who can vouch for the amazing things that eating right, and bustin your ass in the gym can do for ANYONE. It’s going to take some time to read through the thousands of articles on the site, so check out the FAQ page and find some stuff that pertains to you. Read it, and get to it.

Get that diet in order! If you’re not keeping track of what you eat, complete with macronutrient ratios, you can’t say a supplement isn’t working, or even begin to think about steroids! That being said, I used Mag-10 as inspiration to get my diet in gear, so they can help in a roundabout way. I’m 23 now, been lifting steady for 3 years, on and off for 6, and haven’t seen the results I thought I deserved either. My routines in the gym varied from good to shitty, but I always worked out with intensity. Unfortunately it took me until this past march to find T-mag and realize how craptacular my diet was. I was eating terribly, AND undereating, a bad bad combination. Since keeping a food log, and using the articles here as my training basis, I’ve put on at least 20 lbs since April 1st and isn’t all fat by any stretch, though it is time to trim down… : ) My strength is way up too, as I was chronically underlifting as well as undereating! So dial in that diet and watch the result come sliding in…I’m still working on mine, have some foods I need to eliminate, and some to add, but it’s infinitely better than before, and my body is taking notice. PM me if you want to check out the Excel spreadsheets I use to keep track of stuff. And www.nutritiondata.com has a list of most foods if you need it. Good luck!

Alright I don’t have lots of time but I’m going to try to give you some concise points for you to take to heart.

1. Diet is first and foremost in getting results
Even shitty training programs will give you results providing you are eating ENOUGH. Now when I say enough, I’m referring to enough protein, enough carbs, enough fats, but even more important, the SUM of all these; ie, TOTAL CALORIES.

I would recommend keeping a food log. Its not that big of a pain in the ass. Just stop whining and making excuses and just do it. A log will allow you to fine tune your dietary needs so you CAN GET RESULTS and thats what this is all about!!

2. Read Testosterone Magazine!
There is a HUGE wealth of information on this very site! Don’t just come to the message boards hoping one of the forum members will lay things out for you, this entire process of bodybuilding/strength training/etc etc (pick your poison) is not some short term stint to get in shape. Soak up all the information you can get, and use that to further your results. We’re all learning here and becoming better and better each day.

Some articles on this site I would recommend:

Massive Eating I,II and Reloaded I and II

Don’t Diet Diet

T-Dawg 2.0

Frequently Asked Questions <—this will outline some general questions and what articles are recommended for each

3. Don’t Touch Steroids!

Realize that the people you know, and the 80% of people that was mentioned who are haphazardly taking steroids are ruining their health in the long run for gratification in the VERY SHORT TERM.

Also realize that steroids have their place for those who wish to use them, but these people should have trained and eaten intelligently for years to reap the gains that ARE ATTAINABLE NATURALLY IF YOU APPLY THE KNOWLEDGE.

Using roids as a shortcut won’t work if you don’t train and eat right either. You can make EXCELLENT progress once you apply what it takes!

Well, hope this helps, you should do lots of reading and take in as much info as possible and get back to us with your diet and training info.


I was in a similar situation to yours not too long ago. I’m 25 years old, 6’1’’, 205#'s, 11% bodyfat, and when I was 18 I only weighed 150#'s. I’ve put on alot of quality mass without steroids (I have used Mag-10 and 4-ad, which rocks, in the past 2 years) and so can you. I’m not anti-steroids, they just don’t fit your situation at all. Maybe, but I don’t think it’s needed, start out with Biotest’s Alpha Male, it’ll help you gain size even if you’re making a few mistakes while you learn the weight-gaining lifestyle.

If you can stick to one of the nutrition programs mentioned by the others, like Massive Eating, you’ll gain weight for sure. I’m currently on "Westside for Skinny Bastards’ workout program and I love it, so much varitey, Max Effort work, and you work most muscles twice a week. Read articles from Christian Thibadeau, Chad Waterbury, Joe DeFranco, and Coach John Davies to get you started.

You also may want to concentrate on gaining as much weight as possible for awhile and then do a cutting phase to lose excess fat. It’s alot easier than doing both at once. And ask for advice because we all like to help. And please hold off on the steroids for awhile and give all the advice you’ll find here a shot first.

New Damage pretty much tossed up a triple 20, there really needs to be no more said. However, I will say this. Train your legs too! Train every body part. If have a lagging body part your body will not allow your other body parts to grow. Your body wants to stay somewhat proportionate, so just look at your weaknesses and turn them into strengths and you’ll grow like a weed.

I’ll still put money on it that you are not eating enough. Man, I have recently figured out that I have to eat 5,200 calories a day JUST TO MAINTAIN. If you’re not chewing, you’re not growing!

If you’ve read every article in here, there is no way in hell that you can’t put on weight. No excuses… Excuses are like @$$holes, everybody has em and they all stink.

Good luck brotha! Now go set yourself on fire and I wanna see some before and after pictures in exactly 4 months, so you have a lot of work to do!

glock,welcome to the forum ! You are young so my first advice is: be patient ! “Rome was not built in a day”. Plan to slowly raise your bodyweight up to 200 lbs in 2 years or more. Remember that no bulking routine will work unless you eat properly. Therefore carefully read T mag papers concerning a proper bulking diet. You may also use some effective supplements as suggested in the same papers. Do not use steroids. Choose a simple and effective training problem such as ABBH.
Hope that helps !

Thanks for the advice. I’m thinking that I will start keeping a food log, but I’ve never done that before. I don’t eat a lot compared to most guys. A few years back I used a protein shake that contained about 1,000 calories per serving, but I didn’t really get any results with it. I think one of my problems in the past has been that I get stuck in a routine and don’t mix it up enough. To add another dimension to this, I believe I have muscle dysmorphia. I also suffered from overtraining a year ago.

lol I may be way off, but I bet a lot of us who are finally getting on the right track after too many years of having our heads up our asses have a little bit of muscle dysmorphia. It can be a decent motivating factor, but don’t let it take over your perception of yourself. I find that if I compare myself to the big guys in the gym, it’s a toss up as to whether it’s motivating or disheartening. What helps me a lot is to remember if I’m out in the general population, all of a sudden I’m the big guy. Just eat big, hit those weights hard, and let nature take it’s course. Don’t forget to get pics of yourself, so you can get a true impression of your improvements!

It’s your diet stupid!
-My favorite Chris Shugart quote.

i am 21 5’9 1\2 and 170lbs

been lifting for 5 years
getting stronger these days, but not gainig any more weight.

eating like a pig 6 meals a day

dont know what else to do other than 1ad \4ad stack and up calories.

what you guys think 4 week cycle?

I think everyone will want you to define ‘eating like a pig’: Total kcal? P, F & C numbers in grams? What kind of training program are you following? etc…

[quote]mister wrote:
i am 21 5’9 1\2 and 170lbs[/quote]
This isn’t anywhere near your genetic potential. You’ve got lots of growing to do. Get up to, say, 190lbs. Of course if your bodyfat is extremely low, I could be off base.

[quote]been lifting for 5 years
getting stronger these days, but not gainig any more weight.

eating like a pig 6 meals a day
Like Bob said, what does “eating like a pig” mean??!?! Give us total calories, carbs, proteins, and fats. Everyone’s got their number of cals to hit to gain weight, we just gotta find yours.

dont know what else to do other than 1ad \4ad stack and up calories.

what you guys think 4 week cycle?[/quote]

You can do that if you like, but realize this; prohormones/steroids can’t do their job nearly as well if you ain’t got the raw materials (AKA food) to be used to build muscle. In other words, you gotta know how much and what to eat to make em do the trick.

Why don’t you post a new thread detailing your goals and giving us your diet specifics so we can help you out further?

The toughest lesson is, “LESS IS MORE . .” when it comes to training.

My greatest results came from 3 heavy basics, 3x/week at 5x5

Push / Pull / Leg

eg. Bench / Row/ Full Dead
Military / Chin / Squat

Dip / High Pulls / Leg Press

Get in and get out

Eat enough, esp protein, sleep alot, drink tons of water

Basic supps: Whey, multi, EFA’s, Greens concentrate and a good Post wkt shake

Listen to the seasoned one here- after 20 yrs . .from 6’ 165 to 6’ 240 . .and another 20 more to look forward to :wink:

I know I need to get a book that says how many nutrients are in certain foods. I thought I’d post what I ate yesterday and today. I’ve been sleeping in lately, so instead of having breakfast and lunch I usually eat something light and then go to work.

Yesterday I had 2 peanut butter sandwiches, and a few cheetos. I had two poptarts for an afternoon snack. I had a plate full of spagetti, salad, and two pieces of garlic bread for dinner. I had a slice of cake and a double serving of my protein shake at night. I get 44 g of protein from that.

Today I had four slices of cinnamin toast. For lunch I had two double cheeseburgers from McDonalds, and small fries. For dinner I had an oriental chicken salad from Applebees.

Here’s the general outline of my workout: Mon- back Tue- chest Wed- legs Thurs- shoulders Fri- biceps and triceps.

I’ve been pretty concered lately about the muscle dysmorphia. I’m very self conscious about my body. I pretty much have this mentality that I have to have the body of the guy on the cover of Men’s Health or I wont be good enough.

The dude on the cover of Men’s Health doesn’t eat cheetos and McD’s everyday!

You seriously need to take the advice of the aformentioned and read the articles on this site. Go to the SEARCH at the top of the screen and type Massive Eating. Then look up Foods that Make You Look Good Nekid.

Keep researching and for gods sake, learn more about proper nutrition. You gotta be shitting me. Four slices of cinimon toast? Do your homework. You will laugh at yourself later on down the road for questioning why you never gained eating the way you do.

Okay, NO MORE PROTEIN POWDER TILL YOU GET YOUR DIET UNDER CONTROL! You cant eat junk food all day, drink a protein drink and expect gains, unless you want a pudgy waste and empty wallet. I made the same mistake when I first started out. I didnt know anything about diet, but I sure as hell never missed my daily protein drink :slight_smile: I think back to the hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars I spent on supplements while I was still eating like a child, and…DAMN! Yeah, your gonna kick yourself man!

Listen to these guys, they’ve been there before, they know what works and what doesnt.

Right now Im keeping a food log and though it was a pain in the ass for the first week, its easy as pie now. I know how much protein, carbs, fats and most of all CALORIES Im getting each day. Its easy to manipulate my diet to suit my goals. Dont question it, just DO it!

Here’s what I consider a good bulking diet. This is my journal: http://www.fitday.com/WebFit/PublicJournals.html?Owner=renty14

I am 17 years old and 5’10 at 165 lbs. My goal is 175 before school starts back up. I hope this helps you get your diet in order. BTW the damn Chinese food kinda screwed me up for today, so try to limit your fast food and crap like that. Read up and good luck.

vhcougar, thanks for the link. I set up an account and found it to be very helpful.

Just for the record, I don’t eat fast food that often. I read the massive eating reloaded article. I punched in my info on the calculator. I should be eating about 4,800 cals a day. I’m probably at about 2,500-3,000. I’ll try to take your advice and start monitoring my food intake and reading more articles here. Thanks and feel free to offer anymore advice.