T Nation

Noticing Gains


is there an average kind of time to start noticing differences to my muscle mass?
im gaining strength but not muscle at the moment and i suspect its something to do with my diet.
i train using several sets of low reps usually around 3-6 per set,with 2 sets per exercise.
I currently do squats,o/h press, barbell rows and deadlifts.also going to add weighted dips to this too.

so need a little advice.is the best path to gradually increase calories until i start noticeably adding mass,or do i need to be patient and wait for the gains to start appearing?
this is the only thing thats confusing me,so i thought id come on here and ask your advice.
what was it like when you began your training?when did you begin to
see` results?

thanks for any help you can give me.

oh,and does my rep range seem ok?its hard to tell as im reading so many conflicting views and opinions on what some refer to as training for strength and training for size.
Enjoyed reading this article from this site though,so am 99% likely to change my current routine and aim toward this.


sorry for the novel,hope ive got my question across clearly,quite difficult to explain :slightly_smiling:


As long as you're lifting heavy enough you will gain mass - but it's your diet thats probably most important.

After 5 months (4 for dieting and getting into weights & 1 for letting the body get used to new weight) I've started bulking - 3 weeks ago.

I've already noticed gains in my lats/arms(mainly)/legs so I think you should see results in about 2-3 weeks. I've put on muscle but I've only gained about 2.5pounds, so I need to bump up my calories as well.

Hope this helps


I think it might be a combination of your diet and the amount of sleep you get.

The lifts that you listed are all good, you might want to add bench press in there as well.

You said you do fairly low reps 3-6? That is generally a good way to start. You might want to check out Chad Waterbury's methods on 10x3 and 4x6 hypertrophy.

Try eating 5-7 meals a day and getting 1500-2000+ calories a day. Also get 8+ hours of sleep each night for muscle recovery.

Some suggestions for foods to eat would be lean meats, chicken, tuna, 2% milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, natural peanut butter, OJ, and oatmeal.

I try to down 3-4 bowls of oatmeal a day and cram in 5-7 tbs of peanut butter too.

Hope this helps ya out!



The problem with eating loads of oatmeals and peanut butter is its filling and might stop you eating as much as you should per day if you see.

If you are eating lots of PB also check its not got hydrogenated palm oil or other hydrogenated oils in it, thats bad !

Why the lean meats and 2% milk ? Full fat milk and a bit of beef now an again is what you want !


Wll I just listed what I normally eat, there is nothing wrong with the suggestions you gave though.

I'm however 16, as long as I eat and eat alot (healthy stuff that is) I'll make gains, so far it has been great, I started noticing gains about 2 weeks into seriously lifting



ok so 2 to 3 weeks to see visual progress?is this an average time to notice mass gain?
if it is,then my diets clearly not giving me what i need to grow.
so it needs bumping up somewhere..
so as im gaining strength and increasing poundages in lifts,is my actual training on the right track?

i use a ratio system of 60/20/20 carbs,pro,fat and dont get 1g pro per lb bodyweight which ive just read is the suggested amount.
so it seems that a good intake is:
1g pro per lb BW and
0.5g fat per lb BW

so what amount of carbs would i then need?

and ill search for the Chad Waterbury stuff, sounds good.


I'm using Chad Waterbury's Quattro Dynamo as my program, but I've actually changed it a bit so I can lift 5 times a week because I haves LOADS of time on my hands at the moment so I'm giving high fequency a go.

Then for the diet I've used a non-strict version of CT's Carb Cycling Codex, just the principles. One that diet I was eating his recommended "bulking calories" for 3 weeks and barely put on 2.5lbs.

I think you could push your protein intake up to 1.3g~1.5g per pound bw.


u dont seem to have much of a workout schedule there.if those couple u listed are all u do u might want to add just a few more.well a lot more .strengh will obviously come first while ur muscles tighten then they will grow ur diet is most important to gain size.


Actually I've read that when you first begin strength training, the first 8 weeks are almost all neural adaptations before you body begins structural (new muscle) adaptations.