T Nation

New to Weight Lifting

I’m very new to the concept of building a bigger/better body at the age of 24. I have always been a very active guy for most of my life swimming, dance, runner & great athlete when I was in high school. But the one key thing I always fell short of was muscles and bigger body build.

I can easily loose 5 pounds just by not eating for a day or eating one meal in the day. I’ve always been very trim and naturally toned and lean. I could eat McDonalds for weeks on end and maybe only gain 5-7 pounds of solid fat, but keep my toned shape.

Which brings me to my question of where to start with betting bigger and seeing my body actually have muscles in my arms and stomach for once??? I’ve done supplements (shakes, bars, powders etc). But I only seen small results with about 1-hour of weights in the gym 3-4 times a week without cardio. I ask fellow T-Nation people “HOW ON EARTH DO I SEE RESULTS”, am I doing something wrong or just not dedicating myself enough to weights or is it just in my genes to stay lean, toned & trim just by being me???

Please let me know your thoughts and where on earth I may be going wrong with how I am approaching weight lifting and trying to bulk up and see results from my efforts???


saying that you spend an hour in the gym 3-4x a week doesn’t mean much.

are you adding weight or reps to your exercises over time, and/or are you improving the speed, quality and/or feel of your reps? that’s called progression. without some kind of progression, you’ll be hard pressed to achieve results.

what does your routine look like?

how hard are you pushing your sessions? in the beginning when I was on a large caloric surplus, I would try to progress with every set of every exercise if I could. when I started developing overuse injuries and going on a caloric deficit/less of a surplus, I got pickier with where I was going to progress… but I still made a point to progress wherever I could, every session. wherever I couldn’t progress or didn’t choose to, I made sure to do at least as well as I did the previous session if possible.

what, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

How do you get results? Go to the gym and push yourself, way harder then you think. If you’ve ever played sports at high school level or above and you had to do conditioning drills at the end of a hard 2 hour practice and you felt like you were going to die by the end, that’s how hard you have to work to really see results.

If you’ve never played sports, then find someone who knows how to push themselves to that level and watch them/talk to them. Thats the secret to seeing results: pushing yourself every time to do better. Just showing up doesn’t count.

[quote]jeffseven wrote:
I’ve done supplements (shakes, bars, powders etc). But I only seen small results with about 1-hour of weights in the gym 3-4 times a week without cardio. [/quote]
So the secret to big muscles is not bars, shakes and powders?

You need to push yourself with intensity and consistency in the gym and eat for a caloric surplus. Don’t just drink a protein shake and call it good. Figure out your requirements and eat more than that. Most small guys think they eat a ‘ton’ of food but when they record it for a week or two they average a deficit.

[quote]fr0IVIan wrote:
what, exactly, did you eat yesterday?[/quote]
What ^he^ said

OK, I will be nice here…with a few specifics ; )

Start by checking into the following programs: Wendlers 5/3/1, Chaosl+pain (if not easily offended)

Westside, Mountain Dog and Starting Strength. READ it all and see what makes the most sense for YOU

then stick with it for a YEAR solid without changing anything about the program !

Next, eat MEAT, FISH and more of it ! Also keep your ass away from the shit foods !

SLEEP deep so your body will recover and lastly…be PATIENT !

you will get there…but “there” has a definable GOAL, so set it and get after it…killerDIRK.