T Nation

Realistic Expectations

Hi All.

Today marks 1 year of solid training. I haven’t missed a single session (5pw), always eat well. I want to know is the change depicted by the numbers below possible? I heard that you can expect at best to be gaining 12-15lb lean mass a year, and that’s assuming you have amazing genetics, I seem to have gone further. Is it possible or are the numbers accidentally inflated.

Last year stats:

Height: 5ft 9
Weight: 165lb
Body fat: 18%-20% as per clippers.
Lean Body Mass: 132lb

Bench: 88lb
Squat: 110lb
Deadlift: 110lb

yes these values suck ass, I know.

Current

Height: 5ft 9…still!
Weight: 178lb
Body fat: 12% as per clippers.
Lean Body Mass: 156lb

Bench: 193lb
Squat: 275lb
Deadlift: 396lb

My lean body mass has increased by 24lb, this is way, way over the “max what you can expect to put on” - is what I’ve heard wrong? Can 1st year newbs, with solid dedication to training and diet, expect such a change? Has anyone done even better, i’d love to hear how.

Summary of Trainig & Diet for those interested:

For the first 6 weeks, I was doing something called FTS7/FST7 can never remember which way round and I ate clean but everything, lots and lots of carbs. I stopped the plan prematurely because even though I inflated in size literally, and weight (put on 7kg), but I was gaining fat too.

The idea of putting on fat was so discomforting, that I went to much restricted diet. Not exactly sure what, but the carbs were definitely less. From here on I used 5/3/1 and did so for 6 months, making most of my strength gains. Shortly after the season started and I went into a lean cut i.e. my weight stalled at around 80, but my lift improved slightly with noticeable fat gain. That brings us to the end of the season and now i’m here.

I am now looking to lean up to 200 using, carb-backloading before I start any premature cut - good option?

[quote]TrapsLatsnHat wrote:
I heard that you can expect at best to be gaining 12-15lb lean mass a year, and that’s assuming you have amazing genetics, I seem to have gone further.[/quote]

I don’t know where you heard this. I’m glad you did better than that. You should have done better than that, and you did.

Sorry to hear you didn’t get any taller.

I do not have any advice for ya, but

Congrats on your progress. That is awesome.

Bryan

I forgot where I read this, was on some other forum, but it was something along the lines of halving your muscular gains each training year (i.e. 30lbs, 15lbs, 7.5lbs, 3.75lbs, etc. = 56.25lbs in 4 years, or something along those lines, though I think that the initial year’s gain, used as an example, was smaller and, therefore, the other numbers were smaller as a result - to re-iterate, those numbers, as well as my own, merely served as examples in order to illustrate a point).

Before anybody tells me that I’m limiting people, this forum just tends to have a much more impressive and experienced user base, as well as users who seem to have much more realistic expectations - at least as far as the issues of BB and holding onto muscle mass at extremely low BF%s are concerned.

Edit: Also, pictures of you at both ends of the spectrum might help, to ensure that your body fat measurements are accurate.

Beginner’s progress will always be faster.

Think of it on the other end. Take someone contending for the Mr. Olympia, they’re not going to gain anywhere near as fast as a newbie.

12-15 lbs would’ve been pretty week. 2-3 lbs per month is about right.

One of my best friends gained about 50 pounds in a year (from skinny 130 to normal 180, at 6’) with intense training and even more intense eating. I have no idea how much muscle he put on during the time but I’d think he put on at least 25 pounds of muscle. I really like the change in your lifts!

That’s good, but you don’t need amazing genes to gain that much weight. I have a horrible medical history and terrible genes and I gained about 15 pounds in lean muscle in about 3 months!

Thanks all, I really wanted to put up some pre and post pics, but I cannot for the life of me find my starting snapshots. All other pictures I have I seem to be clothed and sitting down. Otherwise I’d love to see myself the change in one year - I’ll keep digging there has to be something.

My aim (from reading other forums etc…) is to get to 200lb before I go for any professional cut. But I won’t be ‘dirty bulking’ as they say, eat around 250-500cals above maintenance.

I’m definitely taking pictures of this year and hopefully next year would be awesome. less errors too.


OK so I did what digging around I could and the only picture of me that helps show how skinny I was is this.

i’ll add some current pics now. Feel free to critique my posing - first time so I expect it.

Front 1


Front 2

Back 1

Back 2

And that is me for now. Obviously the aim is to get to 200lb. The pics show a desperate need of mass… lots of it.

[quote]TrapsLatsnHat wrote:
Back 2

And that is me for now. Obviously the aim is to get to 200lb. The pics show a desperate need of mass… lots of it.[/quote]

You’re doing fine. Keep going. Your legs need special attention, they look untrained (while you’re showing some results in your upper body). So maybe pay more attention there (calves, hamstrings and quads).

I gained 40 pounds my first year of training (I know because the high school nurse weighed me, and she told me I was up 40 pounds from the previous year). I was starting from an extreme deficit though (5’9" but 135 pounds to 175). From skinny twerp to normal/athletic.

I like your attitude. Solid progress. A new lifter couldn’t ask for better progress in their first year of training.

Thanks all.

I do train legs and at the end of each session I’m limping back to my car. The pics aren’t doing them justice but by no means are they complete. Thanks again and hopefully in 2013 I will show even better results.

[quote]TrapsLatsnHat wrote:
Thanks all.

I do train legs and at the end of each session I’m limping back to my car. The pics aren’t doing them justice but by no means are they complete. Thanks again and hopefully in 2013 I will show even better results.[/quote]

Don’t worry, you’re legs don’t look untrained…lol. Idk where people get off saying shit like that sometimes. Just to say something negative? Idk. They are keeping up just fine with your upperbody. Keep at it!

Vast majority of posters on this site do not have any photos of themselves to be found in their hubs, so it takes some balls to put yourself out there like that. You will continue to see progress for this reason because you are holding yourself accountable. I think if more guys actually took full body shots including wheels, they may just be shocked at how small their legs really are from a different vantage point.

I’m a beginner as well, but I don’t think your legs look particularly untrained. They’re not defined/ripped but they’re not small either. Legs have been a royal pain for me too (bench and squat are within 25-30 lbs of each other for example).

From the people that have posted pictures on this site, it seems like even people that train legs hard don’t tend to get as much definition in the thighs as they chest/arms without really trying for it. I don’t know why that is, and it’s entirely possible it’s a skewed sample. I’d be interested to know if other people have noticed this, or I’m just crazy…and if other people notice it, if there’s a reason for it?