T Nation

Misc. Bulking up question -young athlete

Hey everyone, a couple of quick questions:

I’ve been working out for about two years now, and I’ve gained about 10 pounds. Unfortunately, I’m still only 140 lbs at almost 6 feet tall.

My bench is at 210 though, and I can curl 90 pounds. I do have pretty good strength. However, I’m having a hard time putting on the mass. My routine is as follows:

Tuesdays: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders (8sets each)
Wed: Biceps, Legs, Back (8sets each)
Sat: Chest Triceps Shoulders
Sun: Biceps, Legs Back

Each workout lasts me about an hour, plus 15 minutes of abs each day. I take protein shakes, but really don't have the time with work, etc. to take 7 meals a day. My protein intake is probably .8 gram per pound of bodywieght. I average 7 hours of sleep a day.

I’ll cycle creatine in a 6 weeks on 6 weeks off program. Never tried ZMA or other supplements. I DO NOT want to even mess with stacking hormonal supplements. I simply want to know, based on this, what can you all advice if I want to put on another 20 pounds and how long you think it will take me to do so. I would like to add that I’m vegetarian.

Thanks for your help

Problem 1 = “I take protein shakes, but really don’t have the time with work, etc. to take 7 meals a day. My protein intake is probably .8 gram per pound of bodywieght” you cant grow unless you have excess calories. try for at least 6 meals a day and up the protein intake to AT LEAST 1g/lb.

Problem 2 = “I would like to add that I’m vegetarian” um, why??? i guess try consuming more mrps. i would suspect it would be rather hard to get in a lot of calories and protein w/o meat. also might want to try some flax seed oil or udo’s choice.

Problem 3 = “My routine is as follows: Tuesdays: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders (8sets each) Wed: Biceps, Legs, Back (8sets each) Sat: Chest Triceps Shoulders Sun: Biceps, Legs Back” if this is your CURRENT program than i suppose it is allright, but if this is and has been your routine the last 2 years definately change it up. maybe try some of the ian king workouts on this site. also make sure you read the FAQ section of T-mag. it should help you a lot. good luck

Read some of the articles for hypertrophy/neural like 12 weeks of pain. At least eat fish and dairy products.

Eat more.

Stay away from soy, and eat mad dairy products. I would start buying cases of Cottage Cheese And Eat Atleast a cupful for breakfast (30g of protein) in addition to whatever else you eat for breakfast. Get plain old whey at protein Factory or a 5lb container from anyone, and have about 50g in your post workout shake (maybe more). Thats already 80g out of the other 140g. Next i would drink a cup or 2 of milk with every meal. Thats about 15- 20g protein added to every meal. If you eat often enough then you will easily get 140g a day. Next item, I know its a bitch to find the time to eat the meals when you’re working, but you got to work at it, try for atleast 5 meals a day (remember the last one right before bed too). Since you’re a veggie, on days you work, maybe pack a Pure Pro shake (by American BB) and an apple or two for a snack. If you still can’t gain mass simply up the calories you take in… and if you still can’t gain size or eat enough, you simply aren’t trying enough or you may need to change your liftestyle…

Poor vegetarians! That must be horrible.  It's almost as bad as the guy who wants to get bigger by only using the "total gym" or "bowflex".

From your 15 min ab sessions per day, my guess is that you probably like your lean abs a little too much to cover them up with a bit of fat for a while to gain some muscle. I used to have the same problem. I got to be a compulsive belly pincher. If I felt like I was pinching a bit too much fat, then I’d eat less and lower GI carbs. It was a mild eating disorder. Since I have embraced body fat as a good thing, at the very least in the short term, to gain some muscle, I have done quite a bit better. I feel heck of a lot better with more body fat, and actually, if or when I reach my target muscle mass, I’m not sure that I want to go back to ultralean. I think you are on the right track with the protein shakes. I would just bump up the frequency and make sure to down one before bed too. Also, I think your volume and your frequency may be too high. Like Ian King says, it is not what you are capable of doing in the gym, but what is optimal. It took me a very long time to understand this concept. When I was younger, I still made gains though I was overtraining. No longer the case. I’ve been following King’s advice of no more than 12 total sets per workout and I work each muscle only once per week. With good eating in between, I’ve seen some great gains. Again, I feel so much better than when I used to just kill myself in the gym 6 days a week. If working out is not improving the quality of life by making you feel good, then what’s the use? Good luck to you. I hope what I had to say had some value to you.

If you are a vegetarian then there are plenty of foods you can use to get protien from. My mother recently ( 10 minutes ago) gave me Leslie Kentons book called the new ageless ageing. Everyone wants me to eat 25-50 grams of proiien per day which will destroy my progress. However this book does mention vegetables that will give you protien. Personally I tried giving up meat for a year and dropped to around 150 lbs. I’m now 185 lbs and pretty lean. Much happier. Couldn’t do it without good ol meat.

well in my eyes first id change my workout to a reasonable blood flow like keep arms together put chest and back together push pull movement.
stick always to the muscle building supplement glutimine i didnt read you took that. try a liqud creatine asorbs faster and you normally dont have to load it.
now i respect you being a vegatarian but as u know meat is essintial but try grilled fish or tuna. i am a firm believer in tuna i eat 2 cans every day. but your salad is important5 too lots of viatmin k.
plus give it time i mean you cant get big over night if so golfers and every other blow joe would be weightlifting.
i hope i helped and i know my typing sucks.

I think that Hyok said it very well. I just wanted to add that it is certainly NOT essential to eat meat. It is easier but not essential. I was a vegetarian for 7 years and was very active and very healthy. I was also really skinny but went from 5’10" 148lbs to 182lbs while eating a strictly vegetarian diet. The only things that I added were lots of eggs, mrp’s and creatine. I currently eat meat (started about 9 months ago) but I think that a vegetarian diet is very respectful and healthy, if you choose to eat animals it’s up to you but it sucks to think of it as being done purely for vanity.

Go talk to Poliquin about the effects of being a vegetarian!

Secondly, train to increase the compound lifts, powerclean, deadlift, snatch, squat, chins. 210bench , Which arm?

U sound like you suffer from the muscle and fitness workout, welcome to the real world, those shitty programs only work for the pros

Dude you are overtrainning. Do yourself a favor and buy Ian King’s book Get Buffed!

Hi John,

It is possible to gain weight as a vegetartian (the great Bill Pearl is an octo-lacto-vegatarian), but obviously you have to be more choosy when it come to your nutrients.

If you are a strict vegan, gaining any real muscle mass will be next to impossible. Your only halfway decent protein source will be soy, and the isoflavones that are present will possibly mess around with your testosterone levels.

At least be open to consuming milk-based protein drinks to aid in your muscle gains.

Secondly, if you don’t want to eat seven meals a day, you will need to eat a lot at the meals that you do eat. Eeat high fat products like peanut butter, avocadoes and good oils for the extra calories.

I would also limit your activities to nothing but lifting, and lift no more then 45 minutes per session. Concentrate on the Big three of squats, deadlifts, and Bench. Stop doing direct arm work until you gain another 25 lbs.

Speaking of good oil’s, one trick that has worked well for me is to give myself Udo’s oil enemas (no shit) on lifting days.

Mix up 1/4 cup of oil per 1 quart of water in an enema bag, and give it a go. Try to hold the water for 15 minutes to allow the large intestines to absorb the nutrients.

If you follow this plan religioulsy, you can expect to gain 3-5 lbs of lean muscle mass every 8-12 weeks (I have gained almost 25 lbs since January of 2000).

Good luck…


Vegetarianism and bodybuilding do not go well together. I guess some have pulled it off, they’re the ones that grow pecs by watching somebody do push ups. It sounds pretty damn clear to me that you’re not one of them, So unless you’re ready to stick some red meat, tuna and eggs in you, you can kiss muscles good bye.

try to get more protein and fat. they re the key. Bill pearl was a massive looking vegeterian.An addition of 20 pounds is very much possible at your level. even as a vegetarian. now, what kind of a vegeterian are you? do you allow yourself to eat eggs? what about milk? your protein intake would make even a housemouse starve to death. Get some soy-protein. It s still better than nothing.