T Nation

Not Growing

Hey guys,

I recently got back into lifting, eating right, and generally trying to live a healthier life. I lost about 50 pounds in three months. My current weight is about 202 pounds. I’m 5’9 in height. I’m 28 years old. My weight loss has stalled drastically. I’m still carrying a little flab around the gut, but it isn’t really noticeable to anyone but me. My body fat percentage is right at 14-15 percent.

My measurements:

Chest 45in
Biceps 16in
Waist 35in

I’m not going to put my legs because they need more work and I definitely realize that. I do concentrate on them frequently.

My lifts:

Bench 360
Deadlift 455
Squat 335

Anyways, I’m not growing in gains or size like I want to be. I do 5x5 for y heavy lifts followed by 4-5 accessory exercises of the same body part.

I take the recommend dosage of protein (at least 1 gram per body weight), along with creatine, glutamine, multivitamins, etc. I eat leans meats, like chicken and fish mostly. I eat beef occasionally when I can afford it. I eat a ton of broccoli and spinach leaves, along with sweet potatoes and rice. Usually oatmeal and eggs in the morning.

Honestly, when the results stalled it became much harder to keep this regiment up. I find myself very discouraged lately. I was hoping for some constructive criticisms, advice and direction if any of you are willing to. My measurements have been the same for the past few months which is also discouraging. Plus, I’d like to eliminate the last bit of fat on my body where I can. Every time I start concentrating on this I feel like I look smaller and less full in the morning. It’s like a lose/lose.

My lifting history includes a chapter very similar to your current situation. I lost about 50lbs, and then everything stalled. First off, I think you should be congratulated on making it this far. You are already doing better than 90+% of the people with a similar goal.

Second, if you are stalling, it is time to change something. There are a few options.

  1. Add in some additional calorie burn, like NEPA or some HIIT sessions to crank up your metabolism. If your legs are underdeveloped, I’d start there - swings, free squat complexes, etc.

  2. Let the PR/size gains take a backseat and tighten up your diet (like <50g carbs 4-5days per week, with 200g carbs on heavy training days, most of those carbs peri-workout).

  3. Try to “reverse diet” by adding calories slowly to see if your body responds with increased energy, stronger lifts, and physique gains.

  4. Add a high-quality supplement like some of the stuff sold here.

In the long run, #3 is the path that will produce the best results, but it is also the hardest to figure out. I am still experimenting with my reverse diet 3 years later.

There are plenty of people here that would say keep dieting, because they will suggest you aren’t really able to gain clean muscle until you are under 11-12% BF. If that’s the case, pick 1, 2, or 4 and do that for 2 weeks. When that stops working, then add the one of the others. Once that stops working, you can add a third. Then go until you are either sub 12% or everything stalls again, or your energy level is in the crapper. Then, start the reverse diet.

One bit of wisdom from my own failures here: It doesn’t matter what strategy you pick if

  • you aren’t getting enough sleep
  • you have a bunch of stress in your life
  • you try to lose weight and gain weight at the same time (getting leaner and bigger)

Good luck.

Thank you!