T Nation

Losing Progress Again

Ok so I was making some progress by upping my calories. I gained about 4lbs with another 4 lbs or so of fluctuating water weight. Now I’m starting to lose the solid 4 lbs after a week and a half.

My current diet is something like this:
6:30 am workout
8:30-9:30am (pwo): 12 oz 2% milk, 4 jumbo eggs, 2 pieces of 12 grain bread, 1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 tblspn brown sugar
11:50am - 1:30pm (at a leisurely pace): tuna fish sandwich with 1 tblspn mayo, 2 pieces of 12 grain bread, 1 cup organic yogurt, 1 cup 2% cottage cheese, 1 banana, 1 apple, 1 cup applesauce, 2 cups baby carrots
3:00pm: 1 cup walnuts
5:00pm: another apple, sometimes changed for a grapefruit
7:00pm 1/2 lb extra lean ground beef, 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice mixed with wild rice (about 1/3 wild 2/3 brown), and 2 cups frozen mixed veggies.

I usually enter it all on fitday.com and it says I’m totaling about 4200 calories and this is a typical day for me.

When I gained the weight, my training was like this:
Day 1:back press 3x10, upright row with DB 3x10, dips 3x10, tricep pushdown 3x10, supported d.b. row, 1 arm row, rear delt fly, b.o. row (all 3x10), planks, wood chop, and TYWUI’s 3x8

Day 2:back squat, Romanian Deadlift, calf raise, B.O. row, pullovers, ez bar curls (all 3x10) and TYWUI’s 3x8

Day 3: off

Day 4: same as day 1
Day 5: same as day 2
Days 6 and 7: off

I just switched to a different program which I’m thinking might be my problem but I want to keep at it for a little to see how it goes.
New one:

Day 1: Deadlifts, back squat, lunges, lat pulldown behind the neck, B.O. row, back extension, hammer curls, ez bar curls (all 3x10) (TYWUI’s 3x8)
Day 2: Off
Day 3: Feet elevated push up, pull overs, lateral raises, external rotations lying down, dips, tricep extension (lying down, knee chops, knee raises all (3x10) TYWUI’s (3x8)

I was wondering if my problem was with my diet or with my program. At only 150 I’m obviously trying to gain weight - can’t really afford much in the way of supplements/protein so I’ve been working to get it from food sources - hopefully this summer when I go back to work I can afford some protein to throw in.

Comments and criticisms appreciated.

First off, your diet looks almost like a cutting diet. Add more protein, especially to your 3 and 5pm meals. If you aren’t gaining weight, you aren’t eating enough, simple as that. If you can get more calories in while eating clean, great, but don’t be scared of pizza, hamburgers, etc every now and then.

I’m trying to do a clean bulk staying away from anything processed. What if I added more protein AND switched over to more simple carbs such as pastas or potatoes?

Sounds like a good first step. If you can eat enough while eating clean, more power to you.

Yea, some days I really have to force enough food down. How about the training? I had started a program earlier this year that I would love to continue (it would need some slight tweaking to get around a shoulder injury I’m fixing) but might be a little more conducive to gains?

Day 1:
Dead lifts with a double overhand grip -
Bent over rows - (3x10)
Lat pull down behind the neck- (3x10)
Lunges -(3x10)
Reverse Push ups-(3 x 10)
EX bar curls - (3x10)
TWYUI’s -(3x8)

Day 2: Off

Day 3:
TYWUI’s (3x8)
Core work with some cardio
Corner bar rotations
Russian Twists
Ab wheel
Hanging leg raises
Dragon Flags
All of those will be a 3x10
Then one of:
jump rope 6 minutes working towards 15 minutes without a break
Running for 15 minutes

Day 4: Off

Day 5:
Clean from a hang-
Front Squats -
Push Ups (feet elevated)- 3x10
External Rotations -(3x8)
Lateral Raises (3x10)
TWYUI’s -(3x8)

Day 6 and 7: Off

Or should I just stick with what I’m doing currently with the higher calories?

I’ve seen worse programs, but it could be better. Honestly, I’d pick any program from this site and run with it. You might like West Side for Skinny Bastards. Starting Strength is also good for building a foundation if you add some direct arm work to the end of the workout. At 150lbs, I’d recommend focusing on getting stronger with the big 3, squats, bench (shoulder permitting) and dead lifts. Make sure you eat enough, and you’ll grow all around.

The shoulder is why I have so little pressing movements involved. Originally I had Bench Press, a push press on the end of cleans, and pullups for lats but they all aggravate my weak supraspinatus so I would be VERY slowly reintroducing them. I was making some pretty good gains on it the first time though as I think my back is my particular weak point.

I’ll try checking some of those programs out. Thanks

A couple things…

Diet: as stated before, you need to eat more protein. (I would get rid of 2/3 of the carbs at breakfast and add a big ol’ slab of ham or sausages or bacon or something. Or maybe even all of the above.) In addition, you need to eat more protein before, during, and immediately after your workout. You’re burning a ton of energy working out and your body hasn’t been fed since the previous day so it’s going to tear into your muscles for the energy it needs. Not good, given your goals. This is the single biggest problem I see.

Program: If you want to get bigger, you need to get stronger. And that means 5x5, 8x3, 6x4, stuff like that. Your exercises look good (complex moves, etc.) but you need to work on strength gains before you start doing all of this volume-based hypertrophy stuff.

Also, as to this cardio stuff you have included. This is going to make it even more difficult for you to gain. You’ll just have to eat more and more to counteract the effects of the cardio.

I figured as much. Cressey wrote a very good article called shoulder savers, you might find it useful to rehabbing your shoulder.

Eat some of that cottage cheese before bed. The casein will help sustain your muscles overnight.

You say you can’t afford supplements… not even a simple tub of whey protein?

I make a big ass shake of milk (casein again), whey protein powder, nat pb, and cottage cheese before bed.

Should help out since you workout in the morning on an empty stomach.

Well I sucked it up and broke into my credit card which I hate doing and put 4 lbs of Grow! on the bill. I figure I can take a shake before/during my workout or when I know I wont be able to get much protein, and then I just bought 9lbs of ham to cook up that I can throw in for breakfast as well as upping it up to about a lb of extra lean beef at night. I think those tweaks should put me about where I need to be, right?

This is a reasonable response, certainly. I would just encourage you to keep monitoring your progress (or lack of it, depending!). Treat every week as an experiment. If you progressed, figure out why. If you didn’t, figure out why not and make a change. (And, FYI, you don’t have to worry so much about the “lean” meat stuff – a crap load of fat isn’t going to be a problem to you with your personal situation. But this is a minor issue that you can explore over time.)

Good luck!

Thanks. I’ll have to start playing around with some parts of my diet a bit I guess. Overall though I have had pretty good results with keeping lean through what I eat so I think if I just add more protein to the point where I’m gaining I should be in pretty decent shape… (no pun intended)