T Nation

Rate of Progression

Hi Everyone

I can remember guys from highschool who seemed to just pump up in very little time. You know that type right? You go all summer long without seeing one another and then September rolls around and poof he’s suddenly all muscular? That got me thinking about the rate of progression. Here’s what it has been for me:

Every week I seem to increase on all my lifts in ways which range from a small increase in weight (usually 5 lbs) over the same number of sets and reps down to something as little as being able to perform the same exercise in the same manner as previously but with less time spent resting in between sets. Other times I may be somewhere inbetween in that, I can lift the ssme weight for maybe 1 or 2 extra reps on the final set. As the weeks and months pass, I have noticed my body shape improve somewhat but my weight hasn;t surpassed 210lbs yet. It always fluctuates in between 204 and 209.

This is a far cry from the guys I used to know!

So I guess my question is, is this normal? Is the rate of progression that I am experiencing about right? Is this how it should be?

For what it matters, I am 6’3 age 35. I struggle to get the 4900 Calories per day that I read I should be getting. In fact, I am much closer to the 3500-4000 range on a daily basis. When I have been comsuming the higher end of this range, THAT is when I have noticed my belly fat increase but my progression remains at the same rate. So my ideal caloric intake would appear to be much lower than 4900.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks

Hank

Sounds perfectly normal to me,

but out of interest-
where are you lifts at?
how long have you been lifting weights for?

It seems to me your major concern is getting your weight to over 210lbs-
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but whether you struggle to get your required calories in or not, that’s just what you have to do.
It seems that maybe you are concered about excess fat gain- I’m sorry but if you want quicker progress, then that’s the price you pay. Either focus on getting your BF% down now, then eat like crazy, or eat like crazy now and worry about getting your BF% down later. It’s really your call. I’m guessing that when you say “…belly fat increase(s) but progression remains the same” you mean progression in strength, not in body weight?

The other option is, of course, is to do some research, fiddle around with your diet/macro’s/calories until you can find a solution that gives you progression on the scales, with minimal fat gain, but this progress will be much, much slower.

I hope this helps?

I didn’t know anyone in high school that blew up over the summer. But I understand that it’s possible. We’re talking about those guys who, when they’re sixteen, first get introduced to weightlifting. They’ve been running for the past five years on school teams, and they finally caught the football bug. Here’s what’s happening.

  1. Puberty does all kinds of exciting things. To recreate this, do a mild cycle of test, become a fan of whatever music is playing on the radio, base your self esteem on what your friends think of you and move in with your parents.
  2. The sprinting has primed their nervous system, so once they start moving weight, they get good at it fast.
  3. The sprinting has reduced their bodyfat so that every pound of muscle they gain is visible.
  4. They’re newbs. Everyone gets newbie gains.

You had your shot at all this, and you blew it. Crying over how these other guys blew up so fast and you didn’t is like crying over Rio de Janiero got the Olympics or how rich kids all drive Lexi. Some people are just lucky.

Also, when you eat close to 5k kcal, sometimes your bodyfat isn’t going up, your waist just bulges out because it’s got 5k kcal of food in it. Thats why calipers (to measure BF) are usually more reliable than tape measure (to measure waist circumference). But at some point you probably are going to need to put on some fat to put on some muscle.

TTKD had it right. You can either eat big now and cut down later, never eat big and never grow, or play all kinds of excitement until you figure out [quote]your diet/macro’s/calories until you find a solution that gives you progression on the scales, with minimal fat gain, but this progress will be much, much slower.[/quote]

[quote]tassietaekwon wrote:
Sounds perfectly normal to me,

but out of interest-
where are you lifts at?

I’ve been in and out of the gym for years. My best progress has been over the past 8 months but only when my eating habits were better. My 1RM lifts are presently: DL 335lbs, Bench Press 220, Squats 310, Clean and press 175.

Yes you’re right. MY big concern is the ever enlargening waist line. But I LOVE the extra strength I am getting! So I’ll keep at what I’m doing now since the progress is coming along at the normal pace, then worry about slimming down.

[quote]Otep wrote:
I didn’t know anyone in high school that blew up over the summer. But I understand that it’s possible. We’re talking about those guys who, when they’re sixteen, first get introduced to weightlifting. They’ve been running for the past five years on school teams, and they finally caught the football bug. Here’s what’s happening.

  1. Puberty does all kinds of exciting things. To recreate this, do a mild cycle of test, become a fan of whatever music is playing on the radio, base your self esteem on what your friends think of you and move in with your parents.
  2. The sprinting has primed their nervous system, so once they start moving weight, they get good at it fast.
  3. The sprinting has reduced their bodyfat so that every pound of muscle they gain is visible.
  4. They’re newbs. Everyone gets newbie gains.

You had your shot at all this, and you blew it. Crying over how these other guys blew up so fast and you didn’t is like crying over Rio de Janiero got the Olympics or how rich kids all drive Lexi. Some people are just lucky.

Also, when you eat close to 5k kcal, sometimes your bodyfat isn’t going up, your waist just bulges out because it’s got 5k kcal of food in it. Thats why calipers (to measure BF) are usually more reliable than tape measure (to measure waist circumference). But at some point you probably are going to need to put on some fat to put on some muscle.

TTKD had it right. You can either eat big now and cut down later, never eat big and never grow, or play all kinds of excitement until you figure out your diet/macro’s/calories until you find a solution that gives you progression on the scales, with minimal fat gain, but this progress will be much, much slower.

[/quote]

I damn near pissed myself reading this :slight_smile: And points 2 through 4 were very insightful. Those buggers were quite lean and regularly played basketball.

Thanks for your input :slight_smile: I’m gong to set some defined performance goals in my major lifts and then once they are attained, make the effort to cut weight.

Beginner gains still happen at an older age. I’m 31 and am making rapid progress in strength and muscle mass. After nearly 3 years out of the gym I started working out consistently again about 3 months ago. My working weight pretty much matches yours, except for squat. You have me beat by squat by quite a bit.

Since you’re concerned about how your body is responding, get yourself fat tested frequently. I find that I’m always making gains, but sometimes I can’t see it in the mirror. Seeing the results on paper keeps me motivated to keep going. I know eventually I’ll look in the mirror and be very pleased with what I see.

[quote]Otep wrote:
Also, when you eat close to 5k kcal, sometimes your bodyfat isn’t going up, your waist just bulges out because it’s got 5k kcal of food in it. Thats why calipers (to measure BF) are usually more reliable than tape measure (to measure waist circumference). But at some point you probably are going to need to put on some fat to put on some muscle.
[/quote]

I agree with this entirely. It takes a while to notice BF increases just like it takes a while to notice muscle increases. OP, have you really done this consistently? Or did you follow eating 5k calories for 2 weeks, gain some water weight & feel bloated from being full of food, and stop?

And I actually question if you’re really eating 5k calories. Let’s be honest, here. You’re just guessing on this number, aren’t you? Did you actually consistently measure out & count calories for weeks?

Anyway, specific calorie counts don’t matter. If you ain’t gaining weight, you ain’t eating enough.

Here’s my advice, OP. Take what you’re eating now, and add two 50 gram protein shakes with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in it every day. Buy Surge from this site, and ingest it after your workouts. If after a month you have not gained weight (3 to 5 lbs), add in a tuna sandwhich (whole can, with cheese, light mayo. Wheat bread.) Follow starting strength or stronglifts program (search the web.) Don’t miss meals (or shakes, or that extra tuna sandwhich). Don’t miss workouts. Come back in 4-6 months; don’t post again for help until then.

[quote]goochadamg wrote:
Otep wrote:
Also, when you eat close to 5k kcal, sometimes your bodyfat isn’t going up, your waist just bulges out because it’s got 5k kcal of food in it. Thats why calipers (to measure BF) are usually more reliable than tape measure (to measure waist circumference). But at some point you probably are going to need to put on some fat to put on some muscle.

I agree with this entirely. It takes a while to notice BF increases just like it takes a while to notice muscle increases. OP, have you really done this consistently? Or did you follow eating 5k calories for 2 weeks, gain some water weight & feel bloated from being full of food, and stop?

And I actually question if you’re really eating 5k calories. Let’s be honest, here. You’re just guessing on this number, aren’t you? Did you actually consistently measure out & count calories for weeks?

Anyway, specific calorie counts don’t matter. If you ain’t gaining weight, you ain’t eating enough.

Here’s my advice, OP. Take what you’re eating now, and add two 50 gram protein shakes with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in it every day. Buy Surge from this site, and ingest it after your workouts. If after a month you have not gained weight (3 to 5 lbs), add in a tuna sandwhich (whole can, with cheese, light mayo. Wheat bread.) Follow starting strength or stronglifts program (search the web.) Don’t miss meals (or shakes, or that extra tuna sandwhich). Don’t miss workouts. Come back in 4-6 months; don’t post again for help until then.[/quote]

I think I said in a message earlier in this thread that I have been within the 3500-4000C range, and at this intake of food, I have been expriencing gains. So no, I haven’t been close t 5000 yet!

I can see why you think I guessed at my count of 5000C. No really, I did the number work as laid out in the “Are you a beginner 2” thread and that’s what came up. It is VERY hard though to get that muhc food into me. Presently, the best I’ve done is close to 4500 but as I stated, when I consume close to 4000C, I am experiencing the gains aforementioned. Today for example was my first heavy leg day in a week and compared to last week, I am up another 10lbs and did slightly more reps too. Also on the scales I was shocked to see my body weight up three lbs to 212! So clearly, this calorie count / meal plan works for me.

I have resigned myself to the fact that my belly will go on growing, but later on, once I’ve hit my target goals then I’ll try to cut. For now, yeah, while a lot of my belt loosening is related to the sheer quantity of food going in me, the fat that I can grasp is also going up sigh It’ll be worth it in the end :slight_smile: Thanks for you tips!

Cheers