T Nation

I Can't Gain Muscle


#1

Hello everyone, I have been exercising since last year.
My height is 182 and my weight was 67kg last summer. I believe Im the skinny type(except my belly). I think my body fat ratio was about 10%
Doing benchpress with even just a bar was difficult for me at that time.

Since last winter I ate a lot and exercised regularly, try to lift heavy weights.
After few months, my weight got up to 75kg. I can do bench press with bar+ 2 x 10kg.
deadlifts with bar+2x15kg and so on.(still low but big improvement for me)

But since two months ago I cant get any further improvements. My bodyfatratio is 19% right now, and my muscle mass has stayed as 34kg without any change. Basically my weight stayed as 75 kg for at least two months. No change in muscle or fat mass..

What do i lack.. Should i stop eating a lot and lose some fat first?
Or try to less weight, high repetition instead of high weight, small repetition?
Or eat even more than now? Im afraid i will get too fat.(Right now i dont look visually fat)

Please guide me!!!


#2

I would say you’ve added too much body fat.

GIven your strength levels, I wouldn’t make weight loss a focus. Just try not to add fat but focus on becoming stronger.

You’ll need to provide more info:

  • What do you eat? Is there structure to your eating?
  • What does your training look like?
  • What do you do away from the gym? Sleep, water & other recovery (a side from food)

#3

[quote]hoffnung8493 wrote:
Hello everyone, I have been exercising since last year.
My height is 182 and my weight was 67kg last summer. I believe Im the skinny type(except my belly). I think my body fat ratio was about 10%
Doing benchpress with even just a bar was difficult for me at that time.

Since last winter I ate a lot and exercised regularly, try to lift heavy weights.
After few months, my weight got up to 75kg. I can do bench press with bar+ 2 x 10kg.
deadlifts with bar+2x15kg and so on.(still low but big improvement for me)

But since two months ago I cant get any further improvements. My bodyfatratio is 19% right now, and my muscle mass has stayed as 34kg without any change. Basically my weight stayed as 75 kg for at least two months. No change in muscle or fat mass…

What do i lack… Should i stop eating a lot and lose some fat first?
Or try to less weight, high repetition instead of high weight, small repetition?
Or eat even more than now? Im afraid i will get too fat.(Right now i dont look visually fat)

Please guide me!!![/quote]
We need more specifics to answer your question, the following would be a good start:

a) Give us a typical week of workouts.
b) What, exactly, did you eat yesterday? Please include quantities.
c) What is your exact goal? “Looking good nekkid” is a perfectly acceptable goal, if you can give us an accurate idea of what you think that looks like ie. pictures.
d) What are you willing/able to do to reach those goals? Ie. what time, equipment, etc. do you have available?

EDIT: just read tsantos’s post so:
e) What is the rest of your lifestyle like?


#4

Need a lot more information on you man. A photo would be nice as well to see whats really going on.


#5

Get on a 5x5 program like Texas method and read pretty much any 10 articles on this site, especially a couple by Dan John


#6

5x5 is a good program. You can try Rippetoe’s Starting Strength, and start adding up calories for bulking. Whole milk is a decent choice for this, get near a gallon per day (couple of liters).

At your current weight (and height) you shouldn’t lose any more weight.


#7

blah blah blah Texas method this, Madcow that, 5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5…

doesn’t anybody want to train like a bodybuilder anymore?


#8

[quote]Yogi wrote:
blah blah blah Texas method this, Madcow that, 5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5…

doesn’t anybody want to train like a bodybuilder anymore?[/quote]

nope :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

[quote]Yogi wrote:
blah blah blah Texas method this, Madcow that, 5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5…

doesn’t anybody want to train like a bodybuilder anymore?[/quote]

They’re all on roids. Won’t work for me.

I would rather train like a powerlifter or oly lifter. Dan Green and Lu Xiaojun are natural!


#10

Are you working like you’re escaping a burning building? Do you cramp up during the week and walk funny after leg day? Do you obsess about deadlifting 315? I’m guessing you lack passion for lifting and need to find some serious motivation. All the diet, sleep, and routines in the world can’t fix that problem. Let’s see a video of you pushing to failure and kicking some ass.


#11

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
blah blah blah Texas method this, Madcow that, 5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5…

doesn’t anybody want to train like a bodybuilder anymore?[/quote]

They’re all on roids. Won’t work for me.

I would rather train like a powerlifter or oly lifter. Dan Green and Lu Xiaojun are natural![/quote]

intermittent fasting, 3x a week, bro


#12

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
blah blah blah Texas method this, Madcow that, 5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5…

doesn’t anybody want to train like a bodybuilder anymore?[/quote]

They’re all on roids. Won’t work for me.

I would rather train like a powerlifter or oly lifter. Dan Green and Lu Xiaojun are natural![/quote]

Well out of curiosity what kind of bodybuilding routine would you guys recommend for a beginner who bench presses 90 lbs?

The reason people recommend the 5x5 stuff is that the workouts are simple (only a few lifts, easy progression model), only 3 sessions per week (manageable for a beginner), and afford a lot of practice on the big lifts while hitting the whole body. I can’t really see how a 3-day split would be anywhere near as effective. And 5 or 6 day routines for a beginner is a lot.


#13

[quote]thegymismyshrink wrote:
Are you working like you’re escaping a burning building? Do you cramp up during the week and walk funny after leg day? Do you obsess about deadlifting 315? I’m guessing you lack passion for lifting and need to find some serious motivation. All the diet, sleep, and routines in the world can’t fix that problem. Let’s see a video of you pushing to failure and kicking some ass. [/quote]

I feel like this kind of bullshit advice keeps a lot of people from ever getting into lifting. Passion is good. Intensity is important. But telling a dude who is starting at what sounds like basically zero muscle that he needs to be walking funny, and pushing to failure, is the best way I can think of to ensure he doesn’t pursue lifting. Things things come later, when low/moderate intensity stop working.


#14

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
blah blah blah Texas method this, Madcow that, 5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5…

doesn’t anybody want to train like a bodybuilder anymore?[/quote]

They’re all on roids. Won’t work for me.

I would rather train like a powerlifter or oly lifter. Dan Green and Lu Xiaojun are natural![/quote]

Well out of curiosity what kind of bodybuilding routine would you guys recommend for a beginner who bench presses 90 lbs?

The reason people recommend the 5x5 stuff is that the workouts are simple (only a few lifts, easy progression model), only 3 sessions per week (manageable for a beginner), and afford a lot of practice on the big lifts while hitting the whole body. I can’t really see how a 3-day split would be anywhere near as effective. And 5 or 6 day routines for a beginner is a lot.

[/quote]

TADA!


#15

OP how old are you? do you train alone? where do you train? how often do you train?


#16

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]thegymismyshrink wrote:
Are you working like you’re escaping a burning building? Do you cramp up during the week and walk funny after leg day? Do you obsess about deadlifting 315? I’m guessing you lack passion for lifting and need to find some serious motivation. All the diet, sleep, and routines in the world can’t fix that problem. Let’s see a video of you pushing to failure and kicking some ass. [/quote]

I feel like this kind of bullshit advice keeps a lot of people from ever getting into lifting. Passion is good. Intensity is important. But telling a dude who is starting at what sounds like basically zero muscle that he needs to be walking funny, and pushing to failure, is the best way I can think of to ensure he doesn’t pursue lifting. Things things come later, when low/moderate intensity stop working.[/quote]

I agree.

I think you would be hard pressed to create a great deal of “intensity” when you are deadlifting 75lbs and I don’t think it would be productive to try.


#17

[quote]craze9 wrote:

Well out of curiosity what kind of bodybuilding routine would you guys recommend for a beginner who bench presses 90 lbs?
[/quote]

I wouldn’t even have them touch the weights at this point honestly. I feel like there wouldn’t be a lot of benefit. Instead, I’d have them spend a few months playing some sort of sport (something active, like football, basketball, hockey, soccer, wrestling, boxing, etc. Not so much golf, bowling, baseball, etc).

After developing some basic athleticism, coordination, and tenacity, I’d have the move on to bodyweight work for a few months. Dave Tate proposed the notion of not having a trainee touch the bench press until they could do 100 push ups, and I feel like it’s pretty sound advice honestly. Have some chins/inverted rows, sled dragging/lunges, ab work, etc thrown in to develop some foundational strength and body awareness.

The, after that, I’d have them move on to 5/3/1 and modify as needed for a while.

But that takes too long and no one wants to do it.


#18

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:

Well out of curiosity what kind of bodybuilding routine would you guys recommend for a beginner who bench presses 90 lbs?
[/quote]

I wouldn’t even have them touch the weights at this point honestly. I feel like there wouldn’t be a lot of benefit. Instead, I’d have them spend a few months playing some sort of sport (something active, like football, basketball, hockey, soccer, wrestling, boxing, etc. Not so much golf, bowling, baseball, etc).

After developing some basic athleticism, coordination, and tenacity, I’d have the move on to bodyweight work for a few months. Dave Tate proposed the notion of not having a trainee touch the bench press until they could do 100 push ups, and I feel like it’s pretty sound advice honestly. Have some chins/inverted rows, sled dragging/lunges, ab work, etc thrown in to develop some foundational strength and body awareness.

The, after that, I’d have them move on to 5/3/1 and modify as needed for a while.

But that takes too long and no one wants to do it.
[/quote]

That sounds pretty reasonable to me. The problem is the last part :slight_smile: No “client” focused on physique changes is going to want to spend months playing a sport before hitting the weights.

I’m “training” a friend of mine with minimal fitness or athletic background and had him do a bodyweight routine very close to the “Teach a Kid to Lift” stuff for a few weeks while he was out of town. Now he’s doing Starting Strength. His squat is going up very quickly but his upper body strength still sucks. I’m curious to see how things develop over the next couple months.


#19

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:

Well out of curiosity what kind of bodybuilding routine would you guys recommend for a beginner who bench presses 90 lbs?
[/quote]

I wouldn’t even have them touch the weights at this point honestly. I feel like there wouldn’t be a lot of benefit. Instead, I’d have them spend a few months playing some sort of sport (something active, like football, basketball, hockey, soccer, wrestling, boxing, etc. Not so much golf, bowling, baseball, etc).

After developing some basic athleticism, coordination, and tenacity, I’d have the move on to bodyweight work for a few months. Dave Tate proposed the notion of not having a trainee touch the bench press until they could do 100 push ups, and I feel like it’s pretty sound advice honestly. Have some chins/inverted rows, sled dragging/lunges, ab work, etc thrown in to develop some foundational strength and body awareness.

The, after that, I’d have them move on to 5/3/1 and modify as needed for a while.

But that takes too long and no one wants to do it.
[/quote]

That sounds pretty reasonable to me. The problem is the last part :slight_smile: No “client” focused on physique changes is going to want to spend months playing a sport before hitting the weights.

I’m “training” a friend of mine with minimal fitness or athletic background and had him do a bodyweight routine very close to the “Teach a Kid to Lift” stuff for a few weeks while he was out of town. Now he’s doing Starting Strength. His squat is going up very quickly but his upper body strength still sucks. I’m curious to see how things develop over the next couple months.
[/quote]

Starting Strength? Pft…

Talk to da bicep.


#20

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:

Well out of curiosity what kind of bodybuilding routine would you guys recommend for a beginner who bench presses 90 lbs?
[/quote]

I wouldn’t even have them touch the weights at this point honestly. I feel like there wouldn’t be a lot of benefit. Instead, I’d have them spend a few months playing some sort of sport (something active, like football, basketball, hockey, soccer, wrestling, boxing, etc. Not so much golf, bowling, baseball, etc).

After developing some basic athleticism, coordination, and tenacity, I’d have the move on to bodyweight work for a few months. Dave Tate proposed the notion of not having a trainee touch the bench press until they could do 100 push ups, and I feel like it’s pretty sound advice honestly. Have some chins/inverted rows, sled dragging/lunges, ab work, etc thrown in to develop some foundational strength and body awareness.

The, after that, I’d have them move on to 5/3/1 and modify as needed for a while.

But that takes too long and no one wants to do it.
[/quote]

That sounds pretty reasonable to me. The problem is the last part :slight_smile: No “client” focused on physique changes is going to want to spend months playing a sport before hitting the weights.

I’m “training” a friend of mine with minimal fitness or athletic background and had him do a bodyweight routine very close to the “Teach a Kid to Lift” stuff for a few weeks while he was out of town. Now he’s doing Starting Strength. His squat is going up very quickly but his upper body strength still sucks. I’m curious to see how things develop over the next couple months.
[/quote]

Starting Strength? Pft…

Talk to da bicep.[/quote]

I don’t remember him being as buff in A Fish Called Wanda…