T Nation

Newb Plateau... Help!

Hi,

I’m a newb “bodybuilder”. I’m 5’7" @ 145 and ~14% bodyfat (Per my Tanita scale… that thing changes it’s mind more than my girlfriend…) I started getting serious about this about a month ago. So far I’ve gained about 15 pounds and am up from 12.5% bodyfat.

I’m lost… This post is a request for advice and information as to what I’m doing correctly and what I need to change. I haven’t gained any weight in 2 weeks – and actually lost about 2 pounds. Also, I haven’t seen any improvement in my strength. The first month I probably doubled in strength in all my exercises. For example, Went from barely being able to curl 25 to being able to do 75 with ease. But now I’m stuck!

I apologize for the length as I’m going to outline my entire regimen and my current maxes.

Diet:

I take a serving of CytoGainer in the morning with lots of water, and possibly some food if I have time.

10ish Snack – Banana and orange and a scoop of GNC whey protein w/ 5 grams of Creatine, 500mg Vitamin C, 400iu Vitamin E and 2g CLA.

12 Lunch – Possibly some ramen + whey, tuna sandwhich, or baked potato and whey etc. Something easy. More vitamin C and E and CLA.

2ish Snack again. Same as above.

5ish – Half a serving of CytoGainer, then I head to the Gym.

6:30ish – Full serving of CytoGainer as soon as I get back. Try to eat some solid high-fiber foods to keep my bowels moving. ( Most like Black beans w/ Brown rice and Feta. )

Gym Routine –
30 minutes of High intensity cardio.
30 Minutes of weight lifting, Upper body, lower body depending on the day.

For weights I am using the various Nautilus machines around as I do not have a partner to spot me. Please excuse any terminology difficulties :slight_smile:

I typically do 3 sets of 8 of the following with progression up to these values at plate increments, typically 15 or 10 lbs depending on exercise.

–Upper
75 lbs Bicep Curls
70 lbs Overhead Tricep Extension
100 lbs Shoulder – Seated Lateral Raise
100 lbs Pec Deck Flyes
90 lbs Ab Crunches

–Lower
400 lbs Standing Calf Raise
385 lbs Horizontal Leg Press.
250 lbs Hip Adduction
200 lbs Hip Abduction

After reading and attempting to understand some of the articles around here I believe part of the problem is that none of these are “complex” exercises and my secondary muscles are not strong enough for me to do any more weight at this point. I’m not sure how to fix this without losing ability on these exercises.

Another weird thing is I read a lot about “one rep max” but It seems I can either do around 8-10 of an exercise or I can’t do it at all. What’s with that?

Thanks for your time!

I’ll tell you whats wrong. I don’t see bench press, pull-ups, squats, or deadlifts in your program.
Those are the exercises that will give you uber gains

#1 is simple your trying to gain weight strength and size yet lost 2 lbs EAT MORE!!! plain and simple.

#2 your training SUCKS!!! there is nothing wrong with isolation work but its not the ONLY thing you should be doing you need to do REAL work first

Your more body building focused Id take a look at some of CT’s programs like HSS-100 etc. start eating more and gain bro,

Phill

If your main goal is top add size and strenght as well drop that cardio and devote more time to the resistance training and if you must do the cardio after.

Protein powders are easy and good but damn bro you need more real food, also your eating seems to stop at 5 you need to eat after training etc

Phil

[quote]nargoth16 wrote:
Hi,

I’m a newb “bodybuilder”. I’m 5’7" @ 145 and ~14% bodyfat (Per my Tanita scale… that thing changes it’s mind more than my girlfriend…) I started getting serious about this about a month ago. So far I’ve gained about 15 pounds and am up from 12.5% bodyfat.

I’m lost… This post is a request for advice and information as to what I’m doing correctly and what I need to change. I haven’t gained any weight in 2 weeks – and actually lost about 2 pounds. Also, I haven’t seen any improvement in my strength. The first month I probably doubled in strength in all my exercises. For example, Went from barely being able to curl 25 to being able to do 75 with ease. But now I’m stuck!

I apologize for the length as I’m going to outline my entire regimen and my current maxes.

Diet:

I take a serving of CytoGainer in the morning with lots of water, and possibly some food if I have time.

10ish Snack – Banana and orange and a scoop of GNC whey protein w/ 5 grams of Creatine, 500mg Vitamin C, 400iu Vitamin E and 2g CLA.

12 Lunch – Possibly some ramen + whey, tuna sandwhich, or baked potato and whey etc. Something easy. More vitamin C and E and CLA.

2ish Snack again. Same as above.

5ish – Half a serving of CytoGainer, then I head to the Gym.

6:30ish – Full serving of CytoGainer as soon as I get back. Try to eat some solid high-fiber foods to keep my bowels moving. ( Most like Black beans w/ Brown rice and Feta. )

Gym Routine –
30 minutes of High intensity cardio.
30 Minutes of weight lifting, Upper body, lower body depending on the day.

For weights I am using the various Nautilus machines around as I do not have a partner to spot me. Please excuse any terminology difficulties :slight_smile:

I typically do 3 sets of 8 of the following with progression up to these values at plate increments, typically 15 or 10 lbs depending on exercise.

–Upper
75 lbs Bicep Curls
70 lbs Overhead Tricep Extension
100 lbs Shoulder – Seated Lateral Raise
100 lbs Pec Deck Flyes
90 lbs Ab Crunches

–Lower
400 lbs Standing Calf Raise
385 lbs Horizontal Leg Press.
250 lbs Hip Adduction
200 lbs Hip Abduction

After reading and attempting to understand some of the articles around here I believe part of the problem is that none of these are “complex” exercises and my secondary muscles are not strong enough for me to do any more weight at this point. I’m not sure how to fix this without losing ability on these exercises.

Another weird thing is I read a lot about “one rep max” but It seems I can either do around 8-10 of an exercise or I can’t do it at all. What’s with that?

Thanks for your time![/quote]

your training sux BALLS dude. if your a newb that means you don’t know much enough to make your own program so stick to something here. and your assumption about the secondary muscles is pretty much right. stick to the big three and some assistance exercises. try ABBH or something like that. also for all you know you are gaining muscle but losing fat at the same time. you are a newb so this can happen quite easily. as you stated the Tanita scale isn’t accurate so you don’t know if you are losing fat and gaining muscle which is evening out the balance. Find a TBT program here like one of Chad’s. That should work alright.

Just read some articles around here and you will find your solution. Best of luck to you.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
your training sux BALLS dude. if your a newb that means you don’t know much enough to make your own program so stick to something here. and your assumption about the secondary muscles is pretty much right. stick to the big three and some assistance exercises. try ABBH or something like that. also for all you know you are gaining muscle but losing fat at the same time. you are a newb so this can happen quite easily. as you stated the Tanita scale isn’t accurate so you don’t know if you are losing fat and gaining muscle which is evening out the balance. Find a TBT program here like one of Chad’s. That should work alright.[/quote]

Hi! Thanks for your responses. You too Phil and C-Bonics.

You guys are absolutely right about the program. I don’t really have a program; I’m just doing what machines are available at the gym. I need to fix that.

Can you explain what those acronyms please? My newbishness precludes me from knowing them =/ Where do I find programs on this site?

Is there any comments on the supplements besides that I’m not eating enough? I thought I was doing pretty good. =/ It’s upwards of 4000 calories. CytoGainer not just whey. It’s a mass supplement 75g Carbs / 50 grams Protein and some fats 989 calories a serving.

Are there any other supplements I should be taking that aren’t $80 a bottle for a month supply? :slight_smile:

[quote]nargoth16 wrote:

Hi! Thanks for your responses. You too Phil and C-Bonics.

You guys are absolutely right about the program. I don’t really have a program; I’m just doing what machines are available at the gym. I need to fix that.

Can you explain what those acronyms please? My newbishness precludes me from knowing them =/ Where do I find programs on this site?

Is there any comments on the supplements besides that I’m not eating enough? I thought I was doing pretty good. =/ It’s upwards of 4000 calories. CytoGainer not just whey. It’s a mass supplement 75g Carbs / 50 grams Protein and some fats 989 calories a serving.

Are there any other supplements I should be taking that aren’t $80 a bottle for a month supply? :)[/quote]

CytoGainer IMO is Junk it an OK protein (not great) loaded with cheap sugars thats it Id go for Something Like Metabolic Drive and real food thats me.

which acronyms?

Training programs?? Millions of them bro for just training articles obver to the left under articles hit training.

For the HSS-100 program I suggested by CT you could do an author search over on the left under Christian Thibaudeau.

Phill

You should read the newbie thread pinned at the top of this forum as well and all the links in it.

Phill

[quote]nargoth16 wrote:
After reading and attempting to understand some of the articles around here I believe part of the problem is that none of these are “complex” exercises and my secondary muscles are not strong enough for me to do any more weight at this point. I’m not sure how to fix this without losing ability on these exercises.

Another weird thing is I read a lot about “one rep max” but It seems I can either do around 8-10 of an exercise or I can’t do it at all. What’s with that?

Thanks for your time![/quote]

If you were to drop pretty much every exercise you are doing and replace them with compound movements for a couple of months, you would be significantly stronger on all the machines you are doing today.

When you train a compound free weight movement, you involve so many more muscles than you train with an isolation movement on a machine.

You will hit a lot more muscles with a lot more stress in the same amount of time it takes you to do your current routine.

The basics that everyone should include (unless you have a note from your doctor):

Squats
Deadlifts
Bench Press
Pullups
Dips
Rows

Also, a single leg compound would be beneficial, such as a weighted lunge, step up or bulgarian split squat, and some weighted abdominal work. Then if you have time, throw in a biceps exercise and maybe some delt work (if you need them) and you’ll have the foundation of a program.

Definitely read the first two articles at the top of the beginner’s section, they have a ton of useful links. Read everything you can, and then make an educated decision.

TBT= total body training
i think that is the only one i used…i don’t know and have been wanting to ask what Phill means when he says IMO…but im too shy lol.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
TBT= total body training
i think that is the only one i used…i don’t know and have been wanting to ask what Phill means when he says IMO…but im too shy lol.[/quote]

IMO == In My Opinion :slight_smile:
IMHO == In my humble opinion.

I can’t agree with him though. CytoGainer tastes excellent and has helped me gain 15 pounds so far. I’ve tried lots of different stuff and this by far tastes the best. I even bought a couple packets of MyoPlex Deluxe and this is better tasting.

[quote]Modi wrote:
If you were to drop pretty much every exercise you are doing and replace them with compound movements for a couple of months, you would be significantly stronger on all the machines you are doing today.

When you train a compound free weight movement, you involve so many more muscles than you train with an isolation movement on a machine.

You will hit a lot more muscles with a lot more stress in the same amount of time it takes you to do your current routine.

The basics that everyone should include (unless you have a note from your doctor):

Squats
Deadlifts
Bench Press
Pullups
Dips
Rows

Also, a single leg compound would be beneficial, such as a weighted lunge, step up or bulgarian split squat, and some weighted abdominal work. Then if you have time, throw in a biceps exercise and maybe some delt work (if you need them) and you’ll have the foundation of a program.

Definitely read the first two articles at the top of the beginner’s section, they have a ton of useful links. Read everything you can, and then make an educated decision.[/quote]

I did what you said and did some Bumbell bicep curls today, and some Deadlifts. I’ll try some box squats tomorrow. I don’t know what dips and rows are? Do you mean what I think you mean with pullups?

Do any of those work out your abs and obliques? I’d like to get a 6 pack while I’m doing all this work >:)

Everyone here is pretty much right on the money. As far as acronyms go, ABBH = anti-bodybuilding hypertrophy program

CT = Christian Thibaudeau
CW = Chad Waterbury
JB = John Berardi

All of which you should be reading up on…The newbie stickie at the top of this forum would be a good place to start. Or, you can do an author search by using the sidebar on the left, or you can use the search tap up at the top.

By the way, I would pick either ABBH or the actual CW program TBT to start with, find them in the archives.

[quote]

Do any of those work out your abs and obliques? I’d like to get a 6 pack while I’m doing all this work >:)[/quote]

To get a six pack you have to have muscle first. Won’t matter how low your bodyfat is if you have the body of a 5 year old underneath that fat. Gain about 40lb more muscle, then you might have enough to get a six pack. If you don’t turn into a blob of fat by eating crap (CytoGainer) while bulking, you shouldn’t have to cut that much weight back.

CytoGain is a short term solution only. The amount of hidden sugars it has in there will turn you into a fatty if you stay on it for long lengths of time.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
To get a six pack you have to have muscle first. Won’t matter how low your bodyfat is if you have the body of a 5 year old underneath that fat. Gain about 40lb more muscle, then you might have enough to get a six pack. If you don’t turn into a blob of fat by eating crap (CytoGainer) while bulking, you shouldn’t have to cut that much weight back.

CytoGain is a short term solution only. The amount of hidden sugars it has in there will turn you into a fatty if you stay on it for long lengths of time.[/quote]

Most definitely. That’s why I was asking if any of those exercises listen exercise those abductor muscles and obliques! :wink:

If CytoGainer is not good, what is a recommended gainer? Is MuscleMilk, from the same company, any good? The information about the “LeanLipids” looked intriguing.

  1. training sucks bigtime… No compound eercises there which you need to be doing
  2. eat like there’s no tomorrow and eat every 3 hours

[quote]nargoth16 wrote:
Aragorn wrote:
To get a six pack you have to have muscle first. Won’t matter how low your bodyfat is if you have the body of a 5 year old underneath that fat. Gain about 40lb more muscle, then you might have enough to get a six pack. If you don’t turn into a blob of fat by eating crap (CytoGainer) while bulking, you shouldn’t have to cut that much weight back.

CytoGain is a short term solution only. The amount of hidden sugars it has in there will turn you into a fatty if you stay on it for long lengths of time.

Most definitely. That’s why I was asking if any of those exercises listen exercise those abductor muscles and obliques! :wink:

If CytoGainer is not good, what is a recommended gainer? Is MuscleMilk, from the same company, any good? The information about the “LeanLipids” looked intriguing.

[/quote]

Most of the main compound exercises work your abs as they keep you stable. Try Front Squats and you’ll soon find out what I’m talking about.

As for the Cytogainer, I have no idea what it is but I can still say with full confidence that it is inferior to real food.

You would do well to look at some of John Beradi’s articles to point you in the right direction. Eating a decent breakfast would be a good start.

[quote]nargoth16 wrote:
Modi wrote:
If you were to drop pretty much every exercise you are doing and replace them with compound movements for a couple of months, you would be significantly stronger on all the machines you are doing today.

When you train a compound free weight movement, you involve so many more muscles than you train with an isolation movement on a machine.

You will hit a lot more muscles with a lot more stress in the same amount of time it takes you to do your current routine.

The basics that everyone should include (unless you have a note from your doctor):

Squats
Deadlifts
Bench Press
Pullups
Dips
Rows

Also, a single leg compound would be beneficial, such as a weighted lunge, step up or bulgarian split squat, and some [/quote]weighted abdominal work[quote]. Then if you have time, throw in a biceps exercise and maybe some delt work (if you need them) and you’ll have the foundation of a program.

Definitely read the first two articles at the top of the beginner’s section, they have a ton of useful links. Read everything you can, and then make an educated decision.

I did what you said and did some Bumbell bicep curls today, and some Deadlifts. I’ll try some box squats tomorrow. I don’t know what dips and rows are? Do you mean what I think you mean with pullups?

Do any of those work out your abs and obliques? I’d like to get a 6 pack while I’m doing all this work >:)[/quote]

Rather than Cytogainer, go for Metabolic Drive Complete or take regular Metabolic Drive with oats in it.

You could also try mixing up oats, yoghurt and protein powder. I have this every morning for breakfast = 725kCal.

Follow everyone else’s advice and follow one of CT or CWs programs. I can personally vouch for TBT and HSS100 although the latter is going to be too advanced for you right now.

Make sure that at least 2/3 of the exercises you do in each workout are compound movements:

Bench - Squat - Deadlift - Dip - Chinup - Pullup - Military Press

If you don’t know what a certain exercise is, you can look it up here:

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

Good luck!