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One Month Had Passed... Well?

Hey all,

It’s been one month to my first bulking (and training…) ever. My progress until now:

[I’m 24, 5.6 ft. and want to gain as much size as I can, and will do 'till I get to the 190 lbs. area, even if it will take me forever…]

Weight: 166 lbs. => 174 lbs.
Chest: 36.6" => 37.6"
Waist (just under the navel): 33" => 34.2"
Biceps: 12.2" => 12.5" (relaxed) || 12.5" => 13.1" (flexed)
Legs: 20.5" => 22.2"

From fat % point of view (I’m aware of the inaccuracy of the caliper, but it helps me get an idea of fat increases, more or less):

Chest: 11 => 9
Belly: 20 => 20
Leg: 20 => 13

From training point of view, as I said in my first post, I’m doing Rippetoe’s Starting Strength program, and here are the figures:

squat 3x5x110 lbs. => 148 lbs.
bench press 3x5x88 lbs. =>105 lbs.
deadlift 1x5x121 lbs. =>144 lbs.
standing military press 3x5x55 lbs. =>83 lbs.
pendlay rows 3x5x55 lbs. => 83 lbs.

What interest me are two main things:

  1. Are these gains reasonable from size aspects? I mean, is the fact that the largest increase is in the waist area suggest that most of my gains are “fatty gains”?
  2. I know that it’s a common symptom for n00bs, but will larger training stimulus be appropriate? I’m NOT interested in curls, but in dips and pull-ups. would it hurt to add them if I’m still progressing and adding weight to the bar each training session?

What is ur diet like???

  1. Worry about ur gains when you are not adding weight to the bar.

Since ur putting weight on the bar ur doing good.

2.Dips and pull-ups are awesome. And I would argue that pull-ups is for ur upper body what a squat is for your lower body. Go a ahead and add them.

What do u mean by “larger training stimulus”? Give us a specific example.

p.s since ur asking for something to worry about… How deep are u going on ur squats???

My diet is the following:

2.5 glass of skim milk
2 cups of broccoli
2 medium tomatoes
2 medium cucumbers
2.5 pices of whole bread
1 orange/apple

[Workout]

Meal 2
125 g. of tuna
3 cups of broccoli
3 medium yams
300 g. of pasta

Meal 3
100 g. chikcen breast
1 cup of broccoli
2 cucumbers
100 g. of pasta

Meal 4
250 g. of tuna
1 cup of Brokoly
2 cucambers
100 g. of pasta

Meal 5
150 g. of Chiken breast
1 cup of broccoli
50 g. of walnuts

Meal 6
250 g. of tuna
1 cup of broccoli
50 g. of walnuts

  1. By “larger training stimulus” I mean that even tough i’m adding 5-10 lbs. each time to any given exercise in any given training session, I don’t really know if I train “hard enough”. I’m leaving the weight room quite fresh, and it bothers me. Also, I know and feel that the squats and dead-lifts “takes care” my lower body, but not sure that rows, military press and bench do the same to my upper body - I don’t feel the same amount of effort. And i’m referring to a certin “burn”, but to a much more vague feeling of self-investment. I wonder if I can load more on my body without damaging my recovery. Hope I’m being clear enough…

Regarding the p.s - I’m doing ATG, and following exactly (if I may be so bold) Rippetoe’s guidelines. It’s a wonderful exercise, both physically and mentally. Just feel an accomplishment by doing it right :slight_smile: (never thought that I will be so poetic on a thing such as Squatting…)

Congrats on doing Rippetoe. Very good program.

It’s possible that you’re underestimating how much you should increase. If after the 3 sets you easily get all the reps, then you undershot how much to increase. If you struggle on the last couple of reps on the last set, or even two sets, then that is about right. Remember, you will eventually stall in your increases. You should try to prolong a stall for as long as possible.

As far as your bulk is concerned, you want an excess in calories to feed your body. You also don’t want such an excess that you are getting grossly fat. I gain in the gut first and lose the gut last. Is that the look you want for the next 6 months?

Definitely add dips and pull-ups or chin-ups.

You should be adding 15 lbs to every exercise every two weeks, and 30 for the squat. You have not quite done this. You should be adding weight EVERY workout, if you make all the reps. Are you not making all the reps?

You also might be gaining weight a bit too much. Cut that down to one pound a week, not two.

The accessory exercises are there to help drive increases in weight on the main lifts. If those lifts are increasing as planned, I would say not to bother. They may help. That’s something that you have to determine though.

Thank you TheDudeAbides and goochadamg for the advices regurding the body eight gain. I think I will lower my diet to 250 cal. less and see what happens. I’m just a little bit confused from other opinions that suggest that I should be ready mentally to gain fat, but doesn’t really point out HOW much fat would be considered “normal”.

goochadamg, from what I read (except for the squat and the dead-lift) I should add 5-10 lbs. every subsequent time i’m doing a certain exercise. I knowingly lowered the amount of weight added each time to the squat, but this is due to the fact that in the first two week I found out that I need smaller poundage increase in this exercise - I couldn’t finish sets with the “regular” amount. Nowdays I finish all sets. Please correct me if i’m wrong or misunderstood something in the program.

Thank you TheDudeAbides and goochadamg for the advices regurding the body weight gain. I think I will lower my diet to 250 cal. less and see what happens. I’m just a little bit confused from other opinions that suggest that I should be ready mentally to gain fat, but doesn’t really point out HOW much fat would be considered “normal”.

goochadamg, from what I read (except for the squat and the dead-lift) I should add 5-10 lbs. every subsequent time i’m doing a certain exercise. I knowingly lowered the amount of weight added each time to the squat, but this is due to the fact that in the first two week I found out that I need smaller poundage increase in this exercise - I couldn’t finish sets with the “regular” amount. Nowadays I finish all sets. Please correct me if i’m wrong or misunderstood something in the program.

Yeah, you shoul add weight each workout. I would do 5 lbs each time with the squat, and maybe 10-15 for the deadlift. Really push yourself. Are you actually FAILING reps, or did you just say “I can’t do one more” so didnt do it?

Your squat and deadlift should improve faster than the other exercises. What’s with the low increase on the deadlift?

Get a spotter for benching, too. Push yourself. I just ask a random guy in the gym, who looks like he’s in between a set.

All in all, you’ve made good progress. You’re a lot stronger than you where. If you continue to make this progress for the next 3 months, you’ll be very strong. :slight_smile:

I haven’t really failed a set yet, except with the squats in the first two weeks. Regarding the deadlift, i’m just trying to maintain the best form I can, and this is the average progress I found that i’m able to maintain without going to bad form.

Maybe my biggest problem is that I don’t really try to push myself more, and that’s why I think I need more exercise. The linear progress is both good and bad from this point of view - I know that eventually I will stall, but as long as I don’t, I use this kind of rationalization to avoid from aspiring and going out of my limits. “no hurry, I will get there” kind of thought. Maybe I should start checking my limits…

eat somethign else other than chicken and tuna. you need fat from meat/fish too.

eat burgers, steak, etc. as long as they are clean and not from mc donalds you are fine. plus you’ll feel much stronger if you eat 5 beef burgers rather than chicken.

generally, eat any meat/fish you come across thats not too processed. though even processed isnt so bad for you right now, but always clean is preferred if you get the protein/calories that you need.

[quote]MacGuil wrote:
I haven’t really failed a set yet, except with the squats in the first two weeks. Regarding the deadlift, i’m just trying to maintain the best form I can, and this is the average progress I found that i’m able to maintain without going to bad form.

Maybe my biggest problem is that I don’t really try to push myself more, and that’s why I think I need more exercise. The linear progress is both good and bad from this point of view - I know that eventually I will stall, but as long as I don’t, I use this kind of rationalization to avoid from aspiring and going out of my limits. “no hurry, I will get there” kind of thought. Maybe I should start checking my limits…[/quote]

No, in the long run you are NOT going to make better progress by going to failure with bad form on exercises like deadlifts. Your progress will reverse while you spend all your time with doctors and PTs.

Especially with deadlifts, failure should be when you cannot perform another rep with PERFECT form. Also, you should not find out by attempting perfect form and failing. You can always do a few more with lousy form, but in the long run nothing is WORSE for gaining mass than injuring your back.

Training to failure once or 2X a week is not going to kill you.

And btw what I mean by failure is “can’t finish the last rep of the last set”

good progress, maybe cut down on the cals a bit though