T Nation

Progress Some Areas Not Others

Main question first, background info to follow:
I have had significant progress with my back, but my arms and chest are still tiny. I have noticed a little progress with my triceps, but hardly any visual progress with biceps or pecs. Yet my back seems to be exploding. Is this normal? Will my arms and chest catch up?

About Me (since this is my first post):
Started working out seriously and eating healthier about two months ago.I used to work out in high school a little bit, but it was off and on, and I wasn’t eating right.

Anyway, I’m about 6’0", 156 lbs, and about 11-12% body fat. (Started at about 152ish and, this is an educated guess, about 14-15% body fat.) I’m on an upper body/lower body split, and I do mostly compound exercises, concentrating on bench press, pullups, seated cable rows, etc., although I do fit in a little bit of isolation work at the end usually. Anyway, my goal is to get to about 170, then reevaluate.

Thanks,

-Dan

Bro your 6’ 156 lbs Eat add weight and those other parts and all of you will grow.

Phill

you have gained 4lbs your back is not blowing up. Most people hold little body fat in the upper back so yes progress there will be more noticable. I think you have the right idea of getting to at least 170 before reevaluating anything, hell even go all the way up to 185-190.

I’m sure everyone will tell you to eat more. But tell us, around how many calories are you eating per day? Are you using weights that are heavy enough to stimulate your lagging parts? What’s your sets look like?
If you’re only doing barbell presses, I’d throw dumbbell presses in there too. It’ll work your arms a bit more than the bar does.
Plus, at 6’0", I wouldn’t stop to reevaluate until almost 200lb

[quote]JNeves wrote:
you have gained 4lbs your back is not blowing up.[/quote]

It’s all relative. Compared to how skinny and un-muscular I was, and compared to the progress (or somewhat of a lack thereof) on other areas, it is seemingly blowing up.

[quote]JNeves wrote:
Most people hold little body fat in the upper back so yes progress there will be more noticable.[/quote]

Hmm, interesting. Ok, well that pretty much answers my question. Thank you sir.

[quote]C-Bonics wrote:
I’m sure everyone will tell you to eat more. But tell us, around how many calories are you eating per day?[/quote]

To all those who said it, yes, I know I need to eat more. Unfortunately, I am a college student and live in the dorms. I have a meal plan that provides for 19 meals per week (which is almost 3 per day, for those who can’t count). It is an advantage in that I can eat as much as I want in those three meals, but the choices and hours are limited.

Also, getting high quality protein meals the rest of the day (outside of my 3 main meals) is difficult, considering my limited budget and the fact that I don’t have a car to get to the grocery store with.

This also makes calorie counting difficult. I never really counted calories, but I did try and count protein for a while. After adding some whey shakes to my diet (which I now know I needed anyway) I think I usually get to at least the standard “gram of protein for every pound of body weight.” Although I could probably use more. Like I said though, it’s difficult at times. I’m getting better at it though.

[quote]C-Bonics wrote:
Are you using weights that are heavy enough to stimulate your lagging parts? What’s your sets look like?
[/quote]

I think so. Usually my chest is more sore the next day than anything. I typically do about 5 sets…I change it up a little bit usally it looks something like: 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 12 reps. Or some variation of that, increasing the weight all the way down.

[quote]C-Bonics wrote:
If you’re only doing barbell presses, I’d throw dumbbell presses in there too. It’ll work your arms a bit more than the bar does.[/quote]

I do every once in a while, but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to switch it up a little bit more often. I’ll give it a try.

[quote]C-Bonics wrote:
Plus, at 6’0", I wouldn’t stop to reevaluate until almost 200lb[/quote]

Honestly, and I know this might be blasphemous to some around here, but I don’t think I want to get that big. Of course, I don’t really know what I’d look like at 200, which is why I’ve kind of set 170-175 as my target for now and then I’ll see where I want to go from there. I have no interest in getting 20" guns or anything close, I just want to look muscular and not scrawny.

[quote]Dan5290 wrote: Of course, I don’t really know what I’d look like at 200
[/quote]
how about ALIVE bro.

im the same hieght and was sickly thin when at 170 to the point of well being sickly thin I was stravving my bodiy seriously couldnt warm myself etc. that is LIGHT for 6 foot if you have any type of frame to you. 200 is average at best at 6’. Oh and dont worry you wont be HUGE at 200 and 6’

but yes by all means get to 175 first go now do it bro then reasses and hopefully keep going.

Just my 2cc

best of luck,
Phill

[quote]Phill wrote:
Dan5290 wrote: Of course, I don’t really know what I’d look like at 200

how about ALIVE bro.

im the same hieght and was sickly thin when at 170 to the point of well being sickly thin I was stravving my bodiy seriously couldnt warm myself etc. that is LIGHT for 6 foot if you have any type of frame to you. 200 is average at best at 6’.
[/quote]

Well we must have some kind of different body composition, because I am definitely not sickly thin. Skinny, yes, but not sickly thin.

Forty more lbs of lean body mass is a lot; me personally, I think I would look a lot bigger than “average at best” at 200lbs. You might be different, but I feel like I would be bigger than I want to be at that point.

But anyway, I appreciate the advice. Like I said, I’m gonna stick with 170-175 as my goal. I need something reachable in the relatively short term, otherwise it will seem impossible. It’s hard enough gaining 7 lbs, let alone 40.

It’s very possible that I might reach my goal and think, “Man, those guys were right, I still need to gain a lot more weight…” but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thanks again,

-Dan

Remember that you will always look bigger to yourself than others will see you. What to you looks amazingly huge is still skinny to others. It’s just that you look at yourself in the mirror with a finer eye than others.

At 170 lbs you will still look skinny to the average person. Be aware that going to 200 lbs of decent body comp will probably take you 2-3 years of constant hard lifting. Stopping at 170 will not even leave you filled out like a man, just an average thin guy.

If that is what you want, it should only take you about another year to get there. Good luck.

To your question… Keep lifting. Keep eating. Be patient. Some muscles are slower coming around than others, after six months evaluate your progress and your goals. Believe it or not, you won’t get huge overnight.

I agree with what Arms Fire said – I’m about 6’2" … and 200-205 lb, and I’ve had people tell me I’m rather slender – which I find really frustrating as I don’t feel slender, especially since I think I have about 15% bodyfat, with a lot of it residing on my gut :frowning:

But the point is, if you’re 200 lbs of pretty lean body mass at 6 feet, you’re not going to be hyoouge or anything, you’ll just look good :slight_smile:

I forgot to add there are things you can evaluate now. I mean you don’t need to re structure your workout to focus on persieved weaknesses but you can definatly reevaluate your program. Make sure it is balanced, I have never seen a newby start a program that wasnt heavy on chest/arm work but just make sure your working your whole body equally.

Second you should be keeping some kind of log, if you have stopped progressing on certain lifts change them. Any program will need slight changes along the wayt

[quote]Arms Afire wrote:

At 170 lbs you will still look skinny to the average person. Be aware that going to 200 lbs of decent body comp will probably take you 2-3 years of constant hard lifting. Stopping at 170 will not even leave you filled out like a man, just an average thin guy.

If that is what you want, it should only take you about another year to get there. Good luck.
[/quote]

UPDATE: Well, here I am, at 170; and you guys were right, I’m not satisfied at all. Still look skinny. Definitely look more muscular, but I’m still skinny. Next goal is 190 and that should put me closer to my target weight.

:slight_smile:

That’s good to hear! I weigh 170lb and I’m 5’10, and I’m nowhere near being muscular enough to be ‘decent.’ I’m bigger than a lot of people my age but there’s a lot of work needed.

Get cracking on breaking 200.

[quote]Dan5290 wrote:
Main question first, background info to follow:
I have had significant progress with my back, but my arms and chest are still tiny. I have noticed a little progress with my triceps, but hardly any visual progress with biceps or pecs. Yet my back seems to be exploding. Is this normal? Will my arms and chest catch up?

About Me (since this is my first post):
Started working out seriously and eating healthier about two months ago.I used to work out in high school a little bit, but it was off and on, and I wasn’t eating right.

Anyway, I’m about 6’0", 156 lbs, and about 11-12% body fat. (Started at about 152ish and, this is an educated guess, about 14-15% body fat.) I’m on an upper body/lower body split, and I do mostly compound exercises, concentrating on bench press, pullups, seated cable rows, etc., although I do fit in a little bit of isolation work at the end usually. Anyway, my goal is to get to about 170, then reevaluate.

Thanks,

-Dan[/quote]

This one seems fairly simple to me, if your arms and chest are small but in proportion to the rest of your body then don’t worry about it they will get bigger as you gain weight (assuming your training is balanced).

If your arms and chest are out of proportion with the rest of your body then target them in order to bring them in line with the rest of you. If you just continue to train in a balanced manner then you will get bigger but any imbalances will remain.

I am also assuming that your legs are in proportion as you haven’t mentioned them, if not then address that.

[quote]Dan5290 wrote:

To all those who said it, yes, I know I need to eat more. Unfortunately, I am a college student and live in the dorms. I have a meal plan that provides for 19 meals per week (which is almost 3 per day, for those who can’t count). It is an advantage in that I can eat as much as I want in those three meals, but the choices and hours are limited.

[/quote]

If you can eat as much as you want for the 3 meals, just take a microwave container with you, pile your plate up with twice what you can eat, and put the surplus in the microwave later. Voila, six meals a day!

[quote]sharetrader wrote:
Dan5290 wrote:

To all those who said it, yes, I know I need to eat more. Unfortunately, I am a college student and live in the dorms. I have a meal plan that provides for 19 meals per week (which is almost 3 per day, for those who can’t count). It is an advantage in that I can eat as much as I want in those three meals, but the choices and hours are limited.

If you can eat as much as you want for the 3 meals, just take a microwave container with you, pile your plate up with twice what you can eat, and put the surplus in the microwave later. Voila, six meals a day![/quote]

Why do people need to be told how to do this lately? My thoughts are that if you need to be informed how to sneak food out of the cafeteria so you can survive, you will probably just get caught.

That was how we got milk, bananas, cereal and everything else for the rest of the week. Waking up early on weekends to hit the cafeteria first before everyone else was like grocery shopping. I guess it helps to not grow up rich.

I dont think you need to worry TO much about eating spaced out 6 -7 meals a day anyways…
My step brother took a weight lifting class in school. He eats a TON of food, but it wasnt exactly at optimum intervals.

I mean… the guy barely ate shit for breakfast. What he ate was, one egg sandwich, consisting of two peice of shitty white bread, and one egg!!

Then at school he would eat an equally crappy sandwich, with a juice box, and a dessert. When he got home for the rest of the night he woudl pig out like crazy.

He got some very impressive strength gains.
Just go to the cafe, with some containers, and sneak food out.

[quote]DanErickson wrote:
I dont think you need to worry TO much about eating spaced out 6 -7 meals a day anyways…
My step brother took a weight lifting class in school. He eats a TON of food, but it wasnt exactly at optimum intervals.

I mean… the guy barely ate shit for breakfast. What he ate was, one egg sandwich, consisting of two peice of shitty white bread, and one egg!!

Then at school he would eat an equally crappy sandwich, with a juice box, and a dessert. When he got home for the rest of the night he woudl pig out like crazy.

He got some very impressive strength gains.
Just go to the cafe, with some containers, and sneak food out.[/quote]

Good point. You have people who expect to “high quality protein” meals every time they eat and they are struggling to make ends meet. When money is tight, you have to accept that all of your meals will NOT be gourmet creations all centered around your protein intake.

My diet was crap in college and I made great progress in terms of mass gains. I also didn’t have unreal expectations of maintaining a sub-6% body fat percentage while doing it so that may have had something to do with it.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
<<< My thoughts are that if you need to be informed how to sneak food out of the cafeteria so you can survive, you will probably just get caught. >>>[/quote]

ROFLMAO!!! Can you imagine this? He’d probably try n blame it on T-Nation.

[quote] OP says:
“But these guys online told me I had to do this to get big”[/quote]

My question was answered very quickly 3 months ago when I started the thread, so I got it under control. :wink: But seriously (no sarcasm) I appreciate the additional responses. I was merely topping the thread to update, just so that I wouldn’t seem like another newb who asks a question, lifts for two weeks, and then quits, never to be seen again.

Thanks again guys.

-Dan