T Nation

Making Mass Gains Isnt Work

Hey guys, I’ve been trying to put on some mass, recently in the past 3 weeks, which may not be enough time to tell but… but my roomies say i look smaller.

I’ve been doing split routine back/bicep, chest/tricep, shoulder/abs. I usually do abs on the other days too. But I also do 30 minutes of fat burning cycling everytime i workout, HR fluctuating from 140-170 during the 30 minutes. I usually do back/bicep, chest/tricep then give a days break until i continue my routine. 4 sets, 8 reps.

Age: 21
Height: 5’ 9"
Weight: 185 lbs

My typical diet includes:
Breakfast: 2 eggs fried in a teaspoon of olive oil, sunny side up. A handful of deli garlic roasted turkey meat, a slice of whole wheat bread.

Snack between meals: A fruit

Lunch (around 2pm): A regular size sandwich with turkey/tuna on whole wheat, no condiments/cheese, just bunch of veggies,

Ill go workout and drink 2 scoops of my costco whey protein with like 12 ounces of skim milk.

Dinner: 10 oz chicken breast grilled or one side of a breast rotisserie chicken accompanied by cup of rice and some veggies.

Not too sure on exact details and it flucuates a little but I try to keep it along those lines. What are your typical diets like? Am i lacking in something that maybe making me “shrink”?

Thanks,
Mike

Damn, boy! Go eat a burger! No wonder you’re not growing. You have to eat to grow, man.

And do some damn leg work. Squats and deads. I won’t tell you to focus on those things at the expense of other lifts, but they are quite crucial and you won’t gain much without them.

You need more food, especially breakfast. Also more fat in general.

I would say first off you are lacking in calories it seems if you are trying to gain size. Look at Vroom’s beginner thread at the top of the section and take a look at some of the diet articles and pick a training one as well. Do what it says and don’t ask questions for a few months, just read and apply.

Also, train your legs man.

Eat WAY, WAY more.

i would do legs but i have a bad bad lower back, the thing i can do most is just those seated leg presses minimally, not even a high exertion. I just want to gain some mass and not gain body fat. I was hoping the protein i was taking in i wouldn’t be breaking down any from my existing.

But i will check out that thread thanks

Sounds like a great cutting diet. I used to do the same thing back in university - hit the gym hard and get smaller. It was good times.

Here’s some simple advice which I guarantee will work: everything you listed on your intake, DOUBLE IT. Two eggs? You can do four! Etc… Try that for 3 weeks and see what happens. Then we can work on making it a bit more rounded i.e. more fats etc.

I am reading the massive eating caloric intake.

It says the equation for RMR is…
Resting Metabolic Rate for Athletes (in calories per day) = 500 + 22 x fat free mass (in kilograms).

What if im not that athletic with 5% body fat? lets say 16-20% im not sure im going to get tested soon. That way I can keep track of things too. Will the equation be the same?

Thanks

[quote]Nguyenm wrote:
Am i lacking in something that maybe making me “shrink”?
[/quote]

Other than food?

yeah, I definently don’t want to be losing muscle. I can’t tell if its just fat or muscle. If its just fat then fine by me.

Is there an inexpensive way to measure body fat? My school charges 35 dollars!

5’9 185 lbs. is a pretty good size. It looks like you would be better off doing body recomposition than a bulk.

If your friends say you look smaller then you are probably dropping fat. Your face may even look leaner, etc. This is a good thing. I see your diet and it is clean, this is how it should be.

Don’t bother trying to get your BF% measured, because there are very few accurate measuring devices. If you want, throw up a pic that shows your midsection, and I will give you a good estimation.

You need to use the mirror to track your progress, not any kind of scale. This is harder than looking at a number but also more rewarding. Numbers lie, photos of yourself don’t.

Your diet now is very nice and clean, don’t sacrifice that for the sake of adding tons of calories. Just make sure you are getting a decent amount. With your stats, I would assume you need 3,000 for a smooth body recomposition. Keep it up and you will find yourself burning fat and simultaneously replacing it with new muscle. This is the ideal bodybuilding environment.

[quote]Nguyenm wrote:
Hey guys, I’ve been trying to put on some mass, recently in the past 3 weeks, [/quote]

Hey Mike,

First of all: 3 weeks is no time when trying to make mass gains. It takes patience to put on muscle. Are you gaining or losing weight? Start by measuring that so you don’t have to guess.

Like many others have pointed out you are not eating enough. I’d add a whole bunch of carbs after your workout. You’re only drinking protein and milk- addoats, maltodextrin, bread, pasta, whatever… eat the carbs when you need them most.

Since you are both lifting and doing cardio why not add another drink that you sip during exercise too (but why focus on “fat-burning” cardio when you want to gain??).

Add some nuts and a protein shake to that piece of fruit. Add an evening meal. Just generally bump up the calories until you are increasing in weight, if that’s your goal.

In addition to eating more, some professional trainers and writers on this website recommend delaying your cardio workout for at least 6 hours after your resistance training. Their bottom line is running right afterwards will stunt your anabolic response to resistance stimuli.

Here’s an idea. Stop winging , downoad some good ol Pantera or somethin else that is gonna get you goin and hit those squats and deadlifts!.
To hell with what alot of ppl say deadlift at least once a week and squat till u cant squat no more.

This might hurt.But we all hurt mate some of us just have the balls to fight through it!

Good luck!

[quote]Nguyenm wrote:
i would do legs but i have a bad bad lower back, the thing i can do most is just those seated leg presses minimally, not even a high exertion. I just want to gain some mass and not gain body fat. I was hoping the protein i was taking in i wouldn’t be breaking down any from my existing.

But i will check out that thread thanks[/quote]

You have a weak back because you don’t work your legs. Look at where your back ends…legs.

I guarentee you work your legs your back will feel better.

Start light, but work your legs.

And eat man.

[quote]Nguyenm wrote:
Is there an inexpensive way to measure body fat? My school charges 35 dollars![/quote]

Post a picture of yourself here, shirt off and holding a shoe. The members will be able to tell you your bodyfat to 4 decimal places for free.

If you have back pain, go to a doctor and see what the root cause of it is. If you are broken, get fixed. If you’re fine, then stop making excuses.

Most of all I want to lose body fat, and gain muscle if there is room, not lose muscle. I’ll post up a picture real soon.

My back was from a bad car accident last year and I didn’t go see a chiropractor until 6 months after the accident cause i didn’t see any signs or symptoms. So stuff all just kicked in after my days of basketball and we have been dealing with it for awhile. The muscle’s i think somewhere in the glutes don’t work properly. So squats or anything is definently out of the question.

Let’s say my new goal is to just lose body fat. My lack of calories is making me lose both fat and muscle? Will the chicken, eggs, protein supplement for that muscle loss? if i increase the protein will it supplment for muscle loss?

I’m trying to learn as much as I can and there’s alot of questions i have within an article that keeps me from learning but I am trying. Currently reading the massive eating I and II.

Thanks I apprecate every comment,

Mike

[quote]Nguyenm wrote:
Most of all I want to lose body fat, and gain muscle if there is room, not lose muscle. I’ll post up a picture real soon.

My back was from a bad car accident last year and I didn’t go see a chiropractor until 6 months after the accident cause i didn’t see any signs or symptoms. So stuff all just kicked in after my days of basketball and we have been dealing with it for awhile. The muscle’s i think somewhere in the glutes don’t work properly. So squats or anything is definently out of the question.

Let’s say my new goal is to just lose body fat. My lack of calories is making me lose both fat and muscle? Will the chicken, eggs, protein supplement for that muscle loss? if i increase the protein will it supplment for muscle loss?

I’m trying to learn as much as I can and there’s alot of questions i have within an article that keeps me from learning but I am trying. Currently reading the massive eating I and II.

Thanks I apprecate every comment,

Mike[/quote]

A car accident injury is very understanadable.

It’s funny how when people start exercising and making progress how these underlying issue appear.

Don’t worry though there are pleny of leg excises you can do besides squats if your unable to bare a load on your back yet. But you go to work them and they will in turn help your back.

Lower back pain is actually linked many times to weak and/or tight Hamstrings, so you may need to actually inpprove your flexibility as well. Both should help you improve, I used to have lower back pain too, but lifing and stretching cleared it up.

Definatly go to a chiro before you start any anything. Who knows it could be as simple as needing an adjustment to as complicated as having a bulging disc.

As to your diet, if you are not eating enough calories you will shed muscle, even if your eating all protein.

If you need 3000kcal just to sustain and your eating only 2000kcal and its all protein, you will still shed muscle, just not as quickly. This is an extreme example.

I suggest you read the following nutrional article and all the article embedded within.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459429

If you are getting stronger then you are gaining muscle. Simple as that. Maybe if you ate more you would gain muscle faster, or maybe you would gain more fat. If you look in the mirror and don’t see a six pack, and if you are not already very strong, then you should be gaining muscle without eating more. If not, then consider whether you are working hard enough.

And yes, you can gain muscle without squats or deadlifts even though they might help you gain it faster. As reviled as it is, you can even gain muscle on your quads by using the leg extension.