T Nation

HELP!!!!

Listen…I need some help and preferably from someone who has had the same type of problem and has overcome it and someone who has reached his goals as far as physique is concerned. I’m tired of hearing people tell me that I need to:
1-lift heavy
2-eat right/ a lot/whatever
3-read from the pros

I’ve tried quite a bit…trust me.

I have goals and I don’t care how long it takes to reach them, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to stay on track when I’m not sure if all of my hard work is going towards no outcome at all.
I’m 5’10’’ and around 200lbs. I have a goal of eventually being a ripped 200-215 w/little BF. I do need to lose fat. No one looking at me would say that I am fat, but my abs aren’t showing either.
I have very muscular shoulders and especially arms(over 16’’). But my back and especially my chest are quite lagging. my arms and shoulders, according to me, look silly on my torso.
I’m not sure if my arms are just huge due to genetics or maybe they’re(triceps) naturally superior over my chest?
My chest and back do grow but not like they should.
I’ve contacted many “pros” and those who actually responded had some decent tips, but my problem has been sticking with a program b/c I’m afraid that I’ll work so hard, like I have for the past 5 years and have minimal results.
Anyway, I’m wondering what you would recomend and also if you could answer a few q’s for me.
What should I do about my probelm?
exersizes?
strategies?
Do I stop working my shoulders and arms to allow my chest to catch up?
Am I just F*&#ed?
What type of routine/split do you prefer while dieting/bulking?
rest?
failure?
tempo?
sets?
reps?
When’s the best time to do cardio? How much/often do you do it?
I truly do appreciate any response, even if you don’t have time to answer it all.
Thanks again

you’re gonna hate me for this…but go to the author tab. Read Waterbury. Pick one of his programs, do it, and stay with it exactly for however long he says. 5 or 6 weeks…

[quote]MJC wrote:
I’m tired of hearing people tell me that I need to:
1-lift heavy
2-eat right/ a lot/whatever
3-read from the pros

I’ve tried quite a bit…trust me.

[/quote]

Do! Or Do not! There is no try. -Yoda

Seriously, if you’re doing thos three things, you will make gains. I dont care how bad your genes are or how hard you tryed. You have all the information. Oh yeah, and #4 is rest. If you’re not recovering from the workout you’re making your mucles eat themselves. Rest.

The one thing that I found impacted my progress the most was keeping a food log. I had thought that I was eating more than enough food to grow, but once I started tracking it I was shocked at how much I was consistently undereating.

Basically, you can have a fantastic workout routine and if you don’t eat enough you’ll gain absolutely nothing from it.

Once I followed John Berardi’s Massive Eating plan I started to gain size without altering my routine at all. Here’s the calorie calculator for Massive Eating:

http://www.johnberardi.com/updates/july262002/na_masscalculator.htm

If you’re already maintaining a food journal and are consuming the appropriate level of calories (around 4000 for someone your size), then I would guess that insufficient rest may be the source of your lack of progress.

Without more information, such as your calorie intake, how many meals you split that intake into, what routine you’re following and what schedule, there’s really not much more advice that can be offered.

Good luck with your goals,

Soup

maybe im just lookin for some kind of secret here.
I do eat right
I do lift heavy/not heavy
I do read everything that all of the pros have to say
I do make gains…
It just seems that theyre all in my arms and shoulders

I don’t know…I have the feeling I’m not gonna get the magic answer with this one

[quote]MJC wrote:
maybe im just lookin for some kind of secret here.
I do eat right
I do lift heavy/not heavy
I do read everything that all of the pros have to say
I do make gains…
It just seems that theyre all in my arms and shoulders

I don’t know…I have the feeling I’m not gonna get the magic answer with this one[/quote]

At this point you have two choices…

  1. take spitz’s route and blame it on genetics

  2. realize that maybe-just-maybe one of your “I do’s” is an “I don’t really”

I suggest you do some careful research on the onslaught you shall recieve if thou shalt select number 1

hmm…

MJC,

Are you doing chins, deads, squats, rows, dips and benches?

Are you keeping a food log?

[quote]TriGWU wrote:

I’ve contacted many “pros” and those who actually responded had some decent tips, but my problem has been sticking with a program b/c I’m afraid that I’ll work so hard, like I have for the past 5 years and have minimal results.

hmm…[/quote]

Tri

My very first thought as well when I read the post.

If you aren’t sticking to the programs, don’t blame the programs or the pros.

Reset your mind to a positive outlook.
Assess your weak points
Devise a plan to bring up these weak points
Stick to the plan

Nobody knows what is going to work for them until they try it. There is even disagreement between T-Nation writers as to some aspects of training. You will see conflicting posts from people as to what has worked for them or not. You have to try these programs–as presented–to see if you will get results. No results, go to plan B–then C–ThenD…

Good luck

MJC-
what does your workout routine look like?
days, exercises, sets, reps…

[quote]Major Dan wrote:
MJC-
what does your workout routine look like?
days, exercises, sets, reps…[/quote]

Well, like I said my routine is all over the place…in constant change looking for what works best.
generally, i fall into a routine working the body twice in one week and hitting each part with about 100 working reps in a week. I do less for arms and shoulders b/c they’re freakish and i have no prob. putting size on them. I do have a lot of confusion when it comes to sets/reps per BP b/c I’ve had people e-mail me routines which resemble Arnold’s where he is working, for example, the chest twice a week for 200plus reps total! (And I only ask advise from people who claim to have made it naturally). On the other hand I have an easier time believing that I should stick to someone like Christian’s advice ad stick w/around 100reps/BP/wk.

Right now, my diet is around 2000cal/day as I am trying to diet down for the summer and before I will bulk. I have been on this diet for about 3 weeks and my weight has remained the same, but I believe it’s b/c I am gaining muscle in the process…pictures have lead me to believe this anyway.

I know that sticking to one thing for a longer period of time is half of my problem and I know that I need to do this, be patient and them keep trying if what I did did not work. It’s just a little tougher to do while discouraged and that is what I am after working as hard as I have for the last 5 yrs.
Thanks again for everyone’s help…

And guys, when I said “pros” I want to be clear that I was not talking about anyone who writes for this site.
Infact, every pro who I’ve contacted on this site responding within a couple of days and practically wrote me an essay filled with ideas on how to correct MY problem. True one person’s views may have contradicted the other’s, but they all attempted to help w/their personal opinions. This is why I think so highly of this site.

I just wanted to throw my situation out to everyone, and hopefully find someone who beat what I’m goin’ through.
Thanks again

Do I have to ask my question again? :stuck_out_tongue:

You say your training is all over the place!!

What would an average weeks’ training and diet look like?

Without more info it’s impossible for anyone here to really help you.

Maybe you try too hard?

Here are the things that trouble me…

Re-read what you write and you might solve a lot of your own issues…

Read up on muscular adaptations to strength training in relationship to time. I highly doubt you are giving yourself atleast 8 weeks on these programs.

Do you want to bulk or cut? You may look like you are gaining muscle in what might actually be you losing fat. If you are going to focus on numbers you need to understand what they mean. I would venture to say that any diet @ 2000 kcal is a diet established without sound reading. There is a difference between reading/hearing advice and actually comprehending it and applying it.

You have solved your problem now for the 2nd time. It sounds as if you are looking for someone to say, “its okay you can do it” but as you, i, and many other people on this site have said… we cannot garauntee results… you have to try it… thats the beauty of the human body…

Everyone on this site got to where they were by reading and listening but most of all experimenting. If it was so easy as to give you a one-size-fits-all program each article section would only contain 1 entry.

Don’t get greedy. Understand that while there may be 100 secrets out there you don’t need to use them all. Pick one author and stick with everything that he says… when you can do that successfully then start tweaking it from other material.

[quote]vroom wrote:
MJC,

Are you doing chins, deads, squats, rows, dips and benches?

Are you keeping a food log?[/quote]

Currently, I do DB presses in place of bench b/c I work out alone and they allow my to push to failure if necc.,(I don’t have/don’t really desire a training partner) in a gym withOUT a power(spotting) rack.

I do more str8 legged deads b/c I have a history of hurting myself with the others.

I have a prob. w/pulls b/c I can only do a few…my legs are like tree trunks and this is part of the reason. But i do do assisted pull-ups and pull downs. I do dips but the dipping station @ my gym blows…I feel like I need something with the bars further out so that I’m not hitting my tri’s.

As far as a food log is concerned, I keep one for the 1st couple meals of the day and then it fades off. I have been getting in my six meals a day. However, i know that I need to be more persistant/consistant when it comes to logging my actual and precise intake.

…and everyone please spare all of the get a better gym comments…I work there and my membership is free…cant afford it any other way

Tri…

As far as the 200k diet is concerned…I didn’t pull that out of my ass. I was advised through a member on this site who had succeeded in his goals to multiply my weight, now around 190, by 12 and decrease accordingly from there…using proper percentages and whatnot. I also work with a bodybuilder who is 210 and maintains his perfected physique with a 2000k diet, and my brother , on the other hand, is the same weight and needs 3000k. I realize that every individual is different and I need to find what works for me…as far as the diet thing is concerned.

But I want to thank you for the rest of your response, you’re right…I guess I just needed to hear it.

[quote]Mr. Moose wrote:
You say your training is all over the place!!

What would an average weeks’ training and diet look like?

Without more info it’s impossible for anyone here to really help you.

Maybe you try too hard?
[/quote]

Mon - Chest
Inc DB 55
Cable crossovers with timed squeeze 3
8-10
Abs

Tues - Back/shoulders
Bent rows 55
Assisted pull ups 3
8
Upright rows ss w/lat raises
28/28

Wed - Legs
Leg Press 38
Leg Ext 2
12
Leg Curl 212
Srt8 Leg deads 3
8
DB Lunges 2*8
Calf work

Thurs - Chest
Dec Db 55
Inc Cable flyes 3
8-10
Abs

Fri - Back
(Assisted) Pull-ups 55
1 arm rows 3
8-10
Bar Shrugs 3*8-10

Sat or Sun - Legs
Smith Squats 55
Lunges 2
8-10
Deads 3*6-8
Calf work

This is a routine that I just started…haven’t even made it through once yet. I’m not even sure those are the exc. I’ll use, except for on chest and back days. I realize that it’s 6 days a week, but I don’t feel as if it’s much work per day. Typically I would do the same amt. of work in an upper/ lower split training 4 days per wk. I didn’t include any arm work b/c I don’t need it right now. I incl. the cable flyes as they were CT’s idea, and I believe a good one b/c my inner and lower chest seem to lag most even though the whole thing sucks, and those seem to give it the best direct hit in those areas.

Not sure what I’ll do about cardio…I never do it to be honest with you. I’ve went for a slow jog /day the last few days but I’m going to start to do HIIT twice a week and 1-2 slow paced 30min sessions.

To touch on diet again…I stay away from sugar and sat. fats. I eat a lot of chicken, tuna, eggs, whole wheat bread, pretzels, lettuce, protein shakes…spread through 6 meals in a day.

2000cal i meant

Your diet sucks, your training sucks, and you don’t have the dedication, discipline or desire to keep a food log and stick to a program long enough for it to work.

You’re probably not eating enough (or not eating the right stuff), and you’re training may be “heavy” or “hard” but it seems illogical and poorly planned for your goals.

Start all over and stick with it. Consistency has its rewards.

Stick to basic exercises and a basic program (ABBH, SFM, TBT, etc.).

Keep a food log, and be sure to evaluate what you ate each day and see where you need to improve.

Most of all, give it time. Nothing happpens over night, and it could take months or years to reach your goals.