T Nation

Help Gaining Muscle

Hi, I’m posting this thread to get some advice from all you guys and girls out there. I’m a real hard gainer looking to put on 20 pounds of clean muscle mass. Here’s a rundown of my history, current workout and nutrition.

Profile:
5’10
165 pounds
7% body fat

History:
I’ve been lifting properly for the past two years, and before that, two years on and off, during football season. In that time I’ve gained only 20 pounds and have barely increased my bench, squat and deadlift.

Workout:
Day 1: Quadriceps, 1 x failure Leg Extensions, 5x5 Squats.
Day 2: Hamstrings, 3x5 Stiff Legged Deadlifts, 5 x failure Walking Lunge.
Day 3: Chest, 5x5 Bench Press.
Day 4: Back, 3x5 Cable Row, 5x5 Lat Pulldown, 4x5 Barbell Row, 4x5 Deadlifts.
Day 5: Triceps, 5x5 Skull Crushers.
Day 6: Biceps, 5x5 Close Grip Curls.
Day 7: Delts & Traps, 4x5 Dumbbell Shrugs, 4x5 Lateral Raise, 4x5 Posterior Raise, 3x5 Barbell Row.

I focus more on ‘pulling’ exercises as my early years of training were imbalanced, predominantly ‘pushing’ to simulate football and build ego, and I’ve now been left with a stronger anterior but weak posterior - my left shoulder has had stabilization surgery and the right is just waiting. My workouts last no longer than 30mins - to preserve calories - and I’m pretty pumped afterwards. I always pyramid the weights and my form is impeccable.

Nutrition:
Protein: 150g - 180g, depending on if I have time to cook as I’m a full time student.
High GI Carbs: 50g, split at breakfast and post workout to replenish glycogen stores.
Low GI Carbs: 140g - 160g.
Fats: 100g - 150g.
Supplements: Multivitamins and Fish Oil (not included in the fats figure).
Liquids: 1 gallon of water daily.

My protein sources come from red meat, whole eggs, whey, dairy, fish and tuna.

My carbs come in the form of white sugar, bread, white rice and I get my fats from peanut butter, dairy and meat.

I eat 6 - 7 meals a day and usually have a cheat meal once a day as junk is the only thing served at my university, but that’s a blessing in disguise as it usually pushes up my calorie intake for the day.

So that’s it. If you guys have any advice, see anything wrong with what I’m doing or something I can tinker with please reply.

Just a side note, I’ve tried increasing my low GI carb intake in the past to gain, and the increases were 30% muscle to 70% fat.

You need more food and a better workout plan along with some hard work.

The volume appears too low, even if you are busting your ass with 5x5. You don’t really have your workout plan set up properly for a 5x5 program.

I suggest you find a program on T-Nation and follow it as written. Find a good one from Chad Waterbury like Total Body Training, ABBH or the Strength-Focused Mesocycle. There are some other good options as well like Westside for Skinny Bastards and even EDT for hypertrophy.

Ya you need some more volume. Lifting once a week is not gonna bring very big gains. Also at that weight and BF % you should definately be doing pullups instead of focusing on bicep curls or at least doing close and wide grip to hit the two heads equally.

Also bend your legs and try to keep more of a straight back on deadlifts. Straigth lift deadlifts just bring problems and honestly you will be able to lift more if you activate the posterior chain maximally, which is not done straight legging.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=818555

Check that out when you get the chance and save it so that if and when you want to address your shoulder you have a good solid program to get it back into shape.

Try…

  • Pullups, variations, and weighted- pullups :smiley:
  • Dips and weighted dips. Though if your shoulders are hurt you won’t be able to really do either. Avoid weighted dips if they haven’t recovered.

Whats the situation on your shoulders? Healed ?

Thanks for the reply guys.

My left shoulder was operated on six months ago and I’ve completed the rehabilitation program. The doc thinks it’ll be completely stable in another six months with proper weight training.

(Focusing on each head equally, doing individual shoulder raises using a barbell, keeping the biceps tendon warm to lubricate the shoulders etc)

My right shoulder is weak and he wants me to undergo rehabilitation first to see if it can improve before he’ll operate.

About the volume, i think i’ll add more exercises (hit at different angles). Do you guys think that’s better than more reps?

Also because i have such a fast metabolism, do you guys reckon my muscles reach the catabolic state faster than say a mesomorph? If so, how wold that affect my training volume?

Thanks again for the replies, im gonna take home that i gotta EAT more, do pull ups and dips and increase volume.

[quote]Skrussian wrote:
Ya you need some more volume. Lifting once a week is not gonna bring very big gains. Also at that weight and BF % you should definately be doing pullups instead of focusing on bicep curls or at least doing close and wide grip to hit the two heads equally.

Also bend your legs and try to keep more of a straight back on deadlifts. Straigth lift deadlifts just bring problems and honestly you will be able to lift more if you activate the posterior chain maximally, which is not done straight legging.[/quote]

Why can’t working out a bodypart once a week work? That is just plain ignorant. With more volume, or enough intensity it will work.

[quote]willz wrote:
Hi, I’m posting this thread to get some advice from all you guys and girls out there. I’m a real hard gainer looking to put on 20 pounds of clean muscle mass. Here’s a rundown of my history, current workout and nutrition.

Profile:
5’10
165 pounds
7% body fat

History:
I’ve been lifting properly for the past two years, and before that, two years on and off, during football season. In that time I’ve gained only 20 pounds and have barely increased my bench, squat and deadlift.

Workout:
Day 1: Quadriceps, 1 x failure Leg Extensions, 5x5 Squats.
Day 2: Hamstrings, 3x5 Stiff Legged Deadlifts, 5 x failure Walking Lunge.
Day 3: Chest, 5x5 Bench Press.
Day 4: Back, 3x5 Cable Row, 5x5 Lat Pulldown, 4x5 Barbell Row, 4x5 Deadlifts.
Day 5: Triceps, 5x5 Skull Crushers.
Day 6: Biceps, 5x5 Close Grip Curls.
Day 7: Delts & Traps, 4x5 Dumbbell Shrugs, 4x5 Lateral Raise, 4x5 Posterior Raise, 3x5 Barbell Row.

I focus more on ‘pulling’ exercises as my early years of training were imbalanced, predominantly ‘pushing’ to simulate football and build ego, and I’ve now been left with a stronger anterior but weak posterior - my left shoulder has had stabilization surgery and the right is just waiting. My workouts last no longer than 30mins - to preserve calories - and I’m pretty pumped afterwards. I always pyramid the weights and my form is impeccable.

Nutrition:
Protein: 150g - 180g, depending on if I have time to cook as I’m a full time student.
High GI Carbs: 50g, split at breakfast and post workout to replenish glycogen stores.
Low GI Carbs: 140g - 160g.
Fats: 100g - 150g.
Supplements: Multivitamins and Fish Oil (not included in the fats figure).
Liquids: 1 gallon of water daily.

My protein sources come from red meat, whole eggs, whey, dairy, fish and tuna.

My carbs come in the form of white sugar, bread, white rice and I get my fats from peanut butter, dairy and meat.

I eat 6 - 7 meals a day and usually have a cheat meal once a day as junk is the only thing served at my university, but that’s a blessing in disguise as it usually pushes up my calorie intake for the day.

So that’s it. If you guys have any advice, see anything wrong with what I’m doing or something I can tinker with please reply.

Just a side note, I’ve tried increasing my low GI carb intake in the past to gain, and the increases were 30% muscle to 70% fat.
[/quote]

FYI shortening your workouts won’t preserve calories. Burning calories is a function of how much work you do. You will do the same work if you do that workout in 30 mins or 2 hours. Work=ForcexDistance Force=MassxAcceleration. Doing less volume preserves calories, not doing the same amount in less time.

[quote]willz wrote:
Thanks for the reply guys.

My left shoulder was operated on six months ago and I’ve completed the rehabilitation program. The doc thinks it’ll be completely stable in another six months with proper weight training.

(Focusing on each head equally, doing individual shoulder raises using a barbell, keeping the biceps tendon warm to lubricate the shoulders etc)

My right shoulder is weak and he wants me to undergo rehabilitation first to see if it can improve before he’ll operate.

About the volume, i think i’ll add more exercises (hit at different angles). Do you guys think that’s better than more reps?

Also because i have such a fast metabolism, do you guys reckon my muscles reach the catabolic state faster than say a mesomorph? If so, how wold that affect my training volume?

Thanks again for the replies, im gonna take home that i gotta EAT more, do pull ups and dips and increase volume.

[/quote]

If you add more volume I would personally do it by adding additional exercises rather than increasing reps.

Also you must remember that you aren’t eating very much and as such what you assume is a fast metabolism could well be insufficient calories.

You could also try to make some better choices for your carbs, whole grain bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta, potatoes, oats etc.

While training a body part once a week CAN work, I misrepresented my opinion, achieving the same volume in one workout per week for a muscle as opposed to two is almost impossible.

Also with his plan he’s in the gym every day. If he compacts those days into broader split routine, upper/lower maybe he can do two or even three workouts for each muscle a week depending on if he still wants to lift on weekends. That’s what I was trying to say.