T Nation

Need To Gain Strength and Size


Ok so here are my stats and diet, might be able to get some pictures later on. My goals are mainly to get bigger but do not want to put on fat. I would also like to gain strength but am more concerned with muscle mass at the moment.
Age- 17

Height- 6'2.5"

Weight- 190lbs

Diet- Varies each day but on an average day I eat-
Wake at 7:00
7:45- 2 whole eggs, 1 slice brown toast, 1 scoop whey protein
10:45- 1 tin tuna 3 slices brown bread, apple (started having another protein shake at this time as well on some days)
1:25- Chicken pasta, sometimes a 300g pot of cottage cheese(sometimes have fish and small chips if there are no chicken pasta salads at the shop)
4:00- Cottage cheese, almonds, banana
6:00- Chicken breast with roasted vegetables and jacket potato
8:00- If its a lifting day 2 scoops whey protein which I have whilst lifting (If its not a lifting day just 1 scoop of whey with 5g of creatine
9:30- If its a lifting day 1 scoop whey with 5g creatine
10:00- 200g cottage cheese
10:45- Bed

I am currently doing Curtis Dennis Jr power lifting program using the 17 week cycle www.bodybuilding.com/fun/dennis6.htm

I have had knee injuries so have only recently started training lower body 10 weeks ago at the beginning of this program but here is what I'm doing on this program at the moment

Squat- 85kg 3x4 (easy)
Bench- 90kg 3x4 which was easy so I did 6 reps on the last set
Deadlift- was doing 140kg but I found that my technique was off last week so I will put the weight down this friday and get the technique right

So my week goes like this-
Monday- Lifting
Tuesday- Off
Wednesday- Lifting
Thursday- Off
Friday- Lifting
Saturday- Off
Sunday- American Football practice or game

Anything else you need to know just ask


Anyone got any advice?


Whys your bench bigger than your Squat??

Anyways why dont you follow the 5x5 program its good for beginners like me


The "Starting Strength" program will get you where you want to be. Drink lots of milk.


Nobody ever gained a significant amount of muscle without gaining some fat too.

I know it's hard to get over, but if you honestly want to gain some serious size your going to have to deal with some fat gain.

Don't live off Wendy's and icecream, but don't be afraid of a burger and PB&J sandwich either.

Your gonna have to eat to gain, and eat enough to have some fat gain too.


My Bench is better than my squat because I have had alot of knee injuries so have only just started training lower body properly.

So do you suggest just doing 5x5 for my first main lift of the workout or for every exercise?

I was thinking about maybe going with something like doing 12 reps on the first set then put the weight up then do about 8, put the weight up do about 5 or 6, put the weight up again and do as many as I can but in the 2-4 rep range. Is this not a good idea?


I'd say try and train more and eat more. If you have not the time to train more than three days isn't too bad.... for now. You've got the right idea with focusing mainly on compound lifts but you state that you don't want to put on that much fat. I'd say make sure you are getting a variety of excercises to hit as many muscle fibers as possible. (Meaning switch up the rep schemes too.)As far as your diet goes,I think you have chosen some very healthy muscle building foods. Just make sure your getting a large quantity of them; and at the right time. (Carbs in morning and post-workout and fats at night.)

I used to struggle because I was so meticulous and wouldcount calories to the best of my abilities. I would not reccomend this. GO by feeling. Meaning don't go hungry. And make sure youspike your insulin right after you work out. If you have any questions feel free to PM me. I'll be taking my NASM certification test here in about 4 months. SO I'll be able to answer straight out of the textbook.


Thanks for the advice but what do you mean by spike your insulin right after you work out?

And thanks for letting me pm you for any questions

Good luck with your NASM test


Here is a more informative look on insulin www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa44.htm


He means you need a high G.I. carb post workout with your protein shake. I think cream of rice is the best but regular white rice, white bread, etc. will work as well. 1/3 cup (uncooked) cream of rice and 50g whey isolate will accelerate your gains 10 fold.

Unless you're waiting 10 minutes between sets you shouldn't have to increase your weight. Start at around 15 reps and wait 2 min. between sets. If you keep the same weight it should go something like this: set1 15 reps, 2. 12 reps, 3. 8 reps, 4. 5 reps, 5. 2 reps. This will cover the whole spectrum, edurance, size and strength. 5x5 won't give you much size.


Nah a 5x5 program is good it was designed to make strength and size gains and its mainly for beginners so this dude suits it but there are of course plenty of other programs to choose.

Dude just pick a workout you really like, stick with it for couple of weeks and eat fuck loads you will get bigger and stronger out of that.


Do 5x5 for your main lifts and something like 3x5 for your other compound lifts and lift heavy but make sure you can lift the weight for full reps and sets.

Heres a site http://bodybuilding.com/fun/index.html this will give your loads of info on what you want to know anyways the 5x5 is just a basic workout there are plenty of others to choose and experiment with and once you found it stay with it for a couple of weeks and eat loads.


Thanks I understand what you mean by spike your insulin now.

I'm going to finish the program I'm on first although I want to know what to do next.

Still not sure whether to do the 5x5. I checked the workouts on bodybuilding.com although its hard to know which ones are good as it seems like some of them are just designed by regular people. Thinking about doing the one that I have heard T-Nation are working on, not sure when it comes out though, anyone know?

Has anyone else done a really good split program for building muscle and strength thats no more than 4 days a week?



EDIT: www.defrancosgym.com

Program has worked wonders for many people and has a lot of room for customizing to keep it interesting. The testimonials speak for themselves.


WS4B is the first workout I ever did and what I have been doing before I went onto the program I am on now. Got good gains but needed a change, will use it again though just not for a while.


So next you should do a 4day split like you mentioned already and do something like this.

Monday- legs
Tuesday- Chest/Tris
Thursday- Delts/Traps

Dont do the 5x5 because you bin doing that curtis denis powerlifting training program and just go with pyramiding instead.


Sounds like a good idea so you would suggest something like this?

Monday- Squats- 4 sets with same weight but as many reps as I can on each set and put the weight up when i can do like 5 reps on the last set
Sissy squats- 4x12
Reverse Lunges- 4x6
Leg curls- 8x8
Calf raises- 3x15

Would that be good for the Monday workout?


Yeh thats good but what i was thinking on each exercise start on a moderate weight rep it out then increase the weight on the next set and then rep that out carry it on til you reach your 1rm this should give strength, endurance and size. You get me?


Well I could give you a little advice based on the info you gave.

a little more than 2 years ago I was at 205 lbs. body weight and my lifting stats were:

Dead lift = 225 lbs
Squat = 185 lbs
Bench = 135 lbs (shakily)

Pretty sad really. I had had a desk job for several years and had done little more than light yard work for years.

I've gotten my DL to 500lbs. and rising, my latest squat single was 385lbs. (2 nights ago) and my max bench still stands at 325lbs.

Those aren't blazing numbers, but considering where I came from, not exactly bad either. Now I weigh 235 lbs. so I've gianed some (mostly muscle) but it certainly wasn't all lean gain.

The cottage cheese ain't bad. If though you want to get big and strong you're gonna have to include things like peanut butter and milk. Stuff that has calories and protien. If you're afraid of doing that because you're scared of not being able to stay lean then you're going to have to pick an activity that allows you to burn calories without taxing you recuperative ability like walking.

If you can walk 4 miles in an hour on your off days it will go a long way towards expending extra calories without taxing recuperation for your lifting days.

Those are just a couple of practicle simple things you might be able to use.


Yeh I get what your saying but I just think it would be hard to know when to put the weight up cause say on bench I start out with 70kg max out with that rest 2 mins, do 80 kg max reps, 90kg max reps then my max how would I know when to put up all of the lifts before the max as the weight I do before my max will effect what my max actually is, if you know what i'm saying?

Plus I think that I would prefer to work up to like a 2-4 rep max instead of 1rm as doing that every workout could drain my CNS maybe?