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Progress Pic Made Me Paranoid. What Am I Doing Wrong?

Hello guys i’m 31, been working out since 2/2018. I workout in my basement, i have all i need, power rack with pulley and lat attachment, vertical leg press, and of course barbell, bench, dumbells ecc.

I made new progress pics this week and theres not much difference from the pictures i took in 2018, so i started to think that either diet or programme is wrong, or maybe i dont push hard enough i dont know.

I eat 2500 kcal at maintenence, because i’m skinnyfat with insulin resistence ecc and i dont want to eat in a surplus until i recomp.

This is my programme

A) chest
Bench press 4*10 (sets*reps) to this day i can bench 2*10@110lbs and then i have to decrease weight, cant bench 4*10@110lbs yet…i can bench a single @176lbs, not more

-chest dumbell fly 4*10@33lbs (last two sets are very difficult)

-chest press dumbell 3*10@28lbs + push up one set to failure, usualy 20 or 30 reps, + abs

-EZ barbell curl 4*10@33lbs

-Tricep push down 3*12@19lbs + 1 set with 11 lbs to faliure (almost 12 reps)

-Dumbell curl 3*10@24lbs

-Tricep EZ bar skull crushb 3*10@17lbs

C) Shoulder

Barbell shoulder press 4*10@46lbs

-dumbell shoulder press 3*10@17lbs + 1 set @11lbs to failure (ended up 20 reps)

-shoulder fly 3*12@4lbs

D) Back

-pull ups 4*10@ body weight with medium resistance band (cant do this much without band, when i started i couldnt do 1 pull up without band, i never tried without band since, i tried today and i did 5 pull ups without band, it was difficult and felt different after months with band only)

-lat pull down 3*10@88lbs

-pulley 3*10@66lbs

E) I dont have a real leg day, because i have hyperlordosis, and i have to do the exercises the chiropratic gave me every other day

  • reverse hyper ( one day at bodyweight, other day with a plate) 4*10

-barbell hip thrut 4*10@88lbs

i have a pear shaped body small shoulder and large hips like females, so it was ok for me to work the upper body and do the corrective exercise the doctor gave me to activate the glutes everyday, when my posture is fixed, i will add squats and deadlifts, but now it would work against my posture.

Because i’m quads dominat, i need to work on my posture for maybe 3 or 6 months before adding squat and deadlift, and for me its ok because my lower body is already larger and stronger and i look like a women for that, so i want to make my upper body larger and at least as strong, and its not the case, i cant squat 242 lbs below parallel, but i cant bench 4*10@10 lbs

diet example

60 g whey + 1 mango + 30 g almonds

150g rice + 300g chiken breast + salad lettuce + 2 spoons extra virgin oil

spinach and ricotta sandwich (an italian sandwich) + 120 g avocado + fruit + 60 g whey

2600 calories @170 g protein

progress pic


p.s i also did bloodwork to be safe: Testosterone 14.53 nmol/L, Free Testosterone 16.68 pg/mL

I see some progress. I don’t think you are pushing the weights hard enough. And you will need to do cardio to burn some of that fat.

You’re correct, there is not a lot of difference here after a year of working out.

In my opinion, this is the cause of your lack of progress. You’re NOT FAT, you have a pooch but not fat by any measure.

My guess is that with your program, you are burning way more calories than you think. You need to focus on compound lifts (using more than one joint, ie squats) and you need eat more than what you are currently eating. If 2500 cal is keeping you at this weight, then bump it up to 3000 or more as needed. Also you probably need more rest days to recover and more rest between sets.

Eat eggs, butter, whole grain breads, red meat, potatoes, green vegetables, fruit until you feel like you will burst. Do this every day.

My assessment is you need to focus on progressive overload. You are allowed to do sets of less than 10.

I just don’t think you are moving enough weight to get much bigger. Focus on getting your weights up, and the muscle will follow.

Could you do belt squats? How about goblet squats. You are going to leave size behind if all you are doing is upper body.

Physique wise, overhead work to build shoulders. Pull ups and rows can give you width in the back, which will make you look wider from the front if it is pronounced enough.

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Ok, i will force myself more to increase weight, but i wikk keep sets of 10 reps, the reason is, i dont want to deduct reps to be able to increase weight, if i do it i wont know if i got stronger

i’m stuck at 110 pounds with my bench, the reason is, i want to increase weight everytime i’m able to do 3 sets with 1 minute rest with that weight…but after trying many times i still can’t!

I cant bench 2s x10r at 110pounds, i’m never able to complete the third series with same weight, never, its been weekes!

i bench like:…

2s x 10r @Pounds
the third is always like 6 or 7 reps or even 9 one time, but never 10!|
do you think i sould change rule?
maybe add weight everytime i’m able to complete 2 series with 10 reps with that weight, and add weight, even if i’m not able to do 3 series of 10 with that certain weight

i will raise calorie at 3000 kcal and see iif the pooch increases too much and see what happens!

yes i’m eating all that stuff, but never wheat as car source, and all the other stuff, 5 whole eggs every morning, whey, rice, potato, i often eat half whole chiken, i eat it whole with skin, because i have access to gras fed chiken with no hormones or antibiots so i eat the skin too, like today


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Great! I was going off your daily intake you showed.

i still think you need to drop all the ancillary lifts and focus on the big three lifts with rest and calories in between.


5 …to the 3 1


LOL sorry dude, but what progress?

Good call on your new idea to increase calories to 3200 - I think you should also look into 5/3/1 BBB

Don’t worry so much about “getting fat”. You can always lose weight later

Edit - just glossed over your post again to see your program… do you workout at home or something? If you don’t have access to bigger weights, you’d probably benefit from more reps/sets. Also might want to find a new chiropractor/PT for your hyperlordosis - You don’t have to do big squats to train legs, but you’re missing out on a lot of progress by not working legs

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If I were you, I would do sets of 5 for a while. Build your strength up. You are spinning your wheels, because your training is to much of the same thing every day.

Others have said do 531, that is a good suggestion, starting strength would also be good.

Many focus on high reps, because many pros do it, but you and I are not pros. I know plenty of people who got big and strong by doing 90% of their work in the 1-5 rep range. There is a place for 8-12 reps too, but it would serve most beginners well to get strong before trying to do pump work.

What’s so magical about sets of 10?

nothing magic, i just wanted to do a normal split routine

yes i workout at home! the two biggest equipment i have are these
of course i also have barbell dumbell cables bench ecc etc

What do you define as a normal split?

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The only type of “normal split” there is is one that includes legs. Yours doesn’t. You’re running an abnormal split. And not strengthening your glutes/hamstrings/posterior chain, etc. is not helping your posture and imbalances.

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this is the original split i modified for myself based on my equipments

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Chest

Incline barbell bench press: (use either free weight barbell, or smith machine, or dumbbells). 4 sets of 12 reps

Do a fly movement: (doesn’t matter if it’s flat dumbbell flyes, or standing cable flyes, or a fly machine, just do a fly to stretch the chest out) 4 sets of 12 reps.

Hammer strength Chest press machine: (if it’s not free, do flat dumbbell press or flat smith machine barbell press) 4 sets of 12 reps.

Do a different fly movement: (doesn’t matter if it’s flat dumbbell flyes, or standing cable flyes, or a fly machine, just do a fly to stretch the chest out) 4 sets of 12 reps.

Pushups: Burnout with as many pushups as you can do until failure for 1 set

Wednesday: Back

Lat pull down machine: 4 sets of 12

Body weight Pullups: 4 sets of as many as you can do. Use assisted pullups if needed.

Lat pullovers: 4 sets of 15 (focus on contraction)

Some sort of row: (t-bar row or cable row or dumbbell chainsaw rows are all sufficient) 4 sets of 12-15

Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10-12

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Shoulders + Traps

Shoulder press: (use a smith machine, or dumbbells, or barbell or a hammer strength machine) 4 sets of 12

Dumbbell lateral raises: (this is how I built my delts) 4 sets of 15. Rest for 10 seconds after the 4th set and do a fifth drop set where right after your 4th set you grab half the weight you just used (or 1/3 if you can’t do half) and go to complete failure again.

Rear delt flyes: (you can do bent over reverse dumbbell flyes, or you can face the pec deck machine and do reverse flyes, or you can go grab a cable machine and pull the cables across and do rear delts with that too) 4 sets of 15

Traps: barbell shrugs or dumbbell shrugs 4 sets of 30

Satuday: Legs

Squats: 3 sets of 12

Leg press: 3 sets of 20

Leg extensions: 3 sets of 20

Leg curls: 3 sets of 20

Lunges: 3 sets of 12 (start with bodyweight, but once you can do it easily start holding dumbbells or doing it with a barbell on your back and increase the weight as your strength progresses)

Calf raises: Use a machine so you can load weight on easily. Standing calf raises with bodyweight won’t do shit. 3 sets of 25

Sunday: Arms

Tricep pushdowns: Use triangle attachment or a straight bar 3 sets of 12. Do a 4th drop set after resting 10 seconds after your 3rd set to drive blood into the tris to get them pumped for the rest of the workout.

Straight bar Barbell curl: 3 sets of 12. Do a 4th drop set after resting 10 seconds after your 3rd set to drive blood into the bis to get them pumped for the rest of the workout.

Skull crushers with an EZ bar: 3 sets of 12

Dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 12

Dumbbell Seated Overhead Tricep Extension: 3 sets of 12

Preacher curls: 3 sets of 12. Use dumbbells or use a preset EZ bar

Tricep Rope Pushdowns: Use a rope so you can flare/twist your tricep out at the end of each rep to hit the other head of it. 3 sets of 12.

Reverse grip ez bar curls:

3 sets of 12. Hits the brachialis. Don’t ever train arms without doing one hammer movement like reverse grip curls or dumbbell hammer curls. I prefer reverse grip ez bar curls.

some pump, because i have no meat on me yet to lift heavy using semi powelifting programmes, i’m out of shape, i wanted to add some meat with some pump, increaing strength but in the 8/12 rep range

i tried to squat heavy, made me feel super tired and unconfortable, but not tired in the muscle, more like tired in my breath and in my nervous system, so i tried a soplit routine

You’ve just identified your real issue.
#1 - You’re not progressing because you’re holding yourself back and staying in your comfort zone.
#2 - You have a very low work capacity as a result.
Embrace the phrase, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable” and use any of the of the already suggested programs. 531 BBB or Krypteia (if you push it as intended) would be a game changer for you.
Educate yourself with Brian Alsruhe (Alpha in these parts) and the great content he puts out on YT. Specifically for you on building work capacity and pushing yourself harder:
Work Capacity

Build this in to your program and you will be very happy with the results. Expect more from yourself in the gym and get after it!


Ok, you just have the wrong idea altogether. You have to eat big to get big. You have to lift big to get big. You have to lounge big to get big.

Search for Dan John’s Big 5 of Getting Big on this site and follow it.

You haven’t given your body a reason to grow. That’s why you are one year and very little growth although there is a little difference, you should be much further along.

Best advice I can give you - burgers and fries with heavy 5s brings about strength and size.

I had a friend who was sitting at 170lbs and wanted to grow. He was training but getting nowhere. He was 20 at the time. I told him to eat 4 McDonalds cheeseburgers every time before training. All his lifts went up(squat, bench and dealift), he got bigger and more muscular without getting fat. Now sitting around 190lbs in less than 4 months.

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Ok guys thank you for the advices, i will do this

  • al LEAST 3000kcal, but no fires and stuff, healthy nutrient packed food, all i need is add some nuts avocado extra virgin oil and i can easly reach 3000 cal or more without refined stuff and junk

  • i will do a normal PPL split routine, keep doing the corrective stretches adn drills the chiropratic gave me but do a normal split instead of waiting for my posture to improve

  • i’m not so sure about the 5/3/1, i know every circle of people has they preferred program and methods, and of course here the popular ones and this semi powerlifting programmes, we are on the nation.
    But with no offence i will do a normal push pull legs, i still think 5/3/1 might be more for strengths, doing a normal ppl will make me more comfortable, because skinnyfat guys on reddit says they escaped skinnyfat with that.

Of course i think 5/3/1 is a super tested and good program, i just feel safer doing a real split, after non progressing with the last( badly modified by me ) split

thank you again to you all

ps. what do you think if i create a log here guys? I would like to recieve some advices, so i dont make mistakes again for 6 or 12 months, but maybe here its more about powerlifting so i dont know, let me know, thank you again