T Nation

Realistic Weight Gain, Need to Spice of Up Training


#1

Question regarding realistic weight gain due to strength training.

I am overweight to begin with, I know this. When I got hired for my job in April I was about 240-245lbs. I was a 40" waist at 5'9". I was also not new to strength training.

It is late September now. I am about a 38" waist, but I am almost 265! Recently I made some really good PRs on the bench, and deadlift and most recently I hit a PR on the clean and press (having not cleaned and pressed in 6 years) of 195lbs. My training has shifted towards strongman in the last month or so.

I am just really surprised I could gain that much weight in muscle in such a short time without the use of steroids. It doesn't seem "normal"...

Come to think of it, after training consistently but slowly for a year and a half (with a 2 month break and 3 week break due to big moves from NC to NY then Ct) I am still getting PRs (mostly in terms of reps or sets) every week. Im actually getting a little bored of lifting in general because of this. But, the results dont lie...

Is this kind of weight gain without a waist size inrease normal? This might be a too broad question, but does anyone have good ideas to spice up training?


#2

I find the best spice is hitting PRs while losing fat.


#3

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
I find the best spice is hitting PRs while losing fat.[/quote]

Strongly agree with this statement. You know you’re overfat and your strength levels are still in their infancy. Take advantage of this time and keep gaining strength while you lose fat.


#4

Getting bored as you are making consistent progress. Sounds like a nice problem to have really. I mean what kind of variety are you doing? There are so many good options for so many lifts. If you are bored, not sure what could help. How about a partner with similar strength levels as you? Competition could keep you interested.


#5

Pick out a meet to do and pay your entry fees. For me once I have a clear goal and possible monetary loss (bombing a meet) I train much harder and focused.


#6

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Question regarding realistic weight gain due to strength training.

I am overweight to begin with, I know this. When I got hired for my job in April I was about 240-245lbs. I was a 40" waist at 5’9". I was also not new to strength training.

It is late September now. I am about a 38" waist, but I am almost 265! Recently I made some really good PRs on the bench, and deadlift and most recently I hit a PR on the clean and press (having not cleaned and pressed in 6 years) of 195lbs. My training has shifted towards strongman in the last month or so.

I am just really surprised I could gain that much weight in muscle in such a short time without the use of steroids. It doesn’t seem “normal”…
[/quote]

It’s not “normal” because “normal” people typically don’t train hard enough to see such results, or they have a self defeating mentality because of pre-conceived notions of being a hardgainer or you can’t gain more than 0.5lbs a week and not get fat.

Of course, genetics and other factors come into play as well.

Let your results dictate your actions.


#7

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
When I got hired for my job in April I was about 240-245lbs. I was a 40" waist at 5’9".

It is late September now. I am about a 38" waist, but I am almost 265![/quote]
March 2, 2014:
“I am 5’9” about 235lbs 36 inch waste."

April 10, 2014:
"I really need to lose some weight. I put on tons of muscle, but I went up a few inches on my waste too."


I think you need to re-check your previous and current stats and realistically/objectively/honestly examine your progress.

Also, it seems like you’ve had several threads in the last six months or so talking about wanting to drop fat/lose weight, but your weight seems to go up every time you mention it. Unless your clothes are fitting drastically differently and you look tremendously different, I’d suggest that you might be seeing what you want to see and justifying your strength gains. You’ve also said you were on medication known for causing weight gain. That could be a factor, but shouldn’t be an excuse, especially if you’ve stopped it.

“My dick is so big that I step on it every morning and my wallet is so full of cash it doesn’t fit in my pocket. Such a bummer!” This is not the first thread where you’ve said something along these lines.

Results don’t, but how one self-interprets them can.

Take a picture today wearing just a pair of shorts like you’d go to the beach in. Don’t hit a bodybuilding pose, just stand there with your arms at your sides. Take a pic from the front, from one side/profile, and from the back.

Train and eat however you think is best for the next 60 days, and then take another set of pictures in the same shorts and same positions. Then post both sets in a thread for an honest critique. A deadline for public accountability should “spice up” your training.


#8

When you are fat water-weight swings can be extreme. I know this from personal experience. When I was 5"10 and 250ish and focused solely on powerlifting numbers my weight would occasionally swing 10-15 pounds in the same week depending on carb, salt, and water load without even actively trying to manipulate water.


#9

Chris, good idea with the picture. I think that will give me a concrete goal to work towards. Dont expect me to post a picture. While people are helpful on this site there are many who get off putting others down. I have enough going in my life where I dont need to deal with internet thugs.

As far as my progress in concerned (From Feb to Now not taking into account breaks)

Squat: 275 with bad form (not going low enough) to 315+
Deadlift: had not done a deadlift since Christmas (injury) and did not start doing them again until this month. Using the trap bar I got 415lbs.
Bench: 205-215 using the regular bar to 245 with the thick bar. (not sure how the thick bar affects weight)
Overhead: 135lbs to 155lbs. This was bad, but I did clean and press for the first time in 6 years and pressed 195lbs straight over my head. I also changed my grip to neutral from standard.
Farmers Walk: Working weight of 115lb dumbbells to 190lbs in each hand for 100-150 feet
Body weight: Not documented by my waist size has gone down about an inch or so (from size 40" pants to 38"), but my weight increased by about 20-25lbs somehow.

My diet has improved dramatically in the last month. I eat a lot more veggies (especially beats, beans, rice, salads). Cut back on sugar. Still have red meat once in awhile, but it makes me sick easily.


#10

How much does your thick bar weigh?


#11

It is hollowed out and only 35lbs. It also is smooth too with only a small ring in the center.


#12

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Chris, good idea with the picture. I think that will give me a concrete goal to work towards. Dont expect me to post a picture. While people are helpful on this site there are many who get off putting others down. I have enough going in my life where I dont need to deal with internet thugs. [/quote]
Fair enough. Maybe at least consider dropping a pic in the February Check-In Thread when it rolls around in a few months. Those threads have been pretty consistently positive.

If you’re only basing your waist measurement on your pant size, just be sure you’re not wearing them lower/under the belly and getting a false impression from that. Using a tape measure would be more accurate of course.

Also, comparing back to your stats in March, you’re still up two inches at the waist and about 30 pounds. So there’s some progress from where you were in April, but still a ways away from where you were before that.

Figure out your number one goal. If it’s fat loss, then your bodyweight should be dropping each week, measurements should be changing regularly, and “I weigh more but I’m stronger” shouldn’t be a valid excuse unless there are significant visual changes taking place.

Um, beans and rice are not vegetables. Eating “a lot more” of them is probably not the best idea.

Other than that, sounds like you’re getting your diet in line. But be conscious to get enough quality protein (nothing at all wrong with avoiding red meat) and watch total calories. It’s possible to eat “too many” clean/healthy foods and still not have an on-track diet.


#13

A simpler “trick” than the tape measure is to just get a piece of string, tie it around the waist and cut it. If you can cut more next time, you’re losing fat. If it doesn’t touch you’re gaining.

Learned that from corporate wellness.


#14

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
A simpler “trick” than the tape measure is to just get a piece of string, tie it around the waist and cut it. If you can cut more next time, you’re losing fat. If it doesn’t touch you’re gaining.

Learned that from corporate wellness.[/quote]
This is such a brilliantly simple idea, I’m surprised Dan John hasn’t suggested it. (And I mean that as a compliment). Very cool.


#15

FYI - at that weight and those strength levels… I am assuming 40" waisted pants… probably closer to a 50"+ waist…

For reference, I am at 200lbs, conservatively hitting 245/405 (no wraps)/495 (no belt) - don’t really train for strength, and I am very small/definitely overweight as well (would consider myself a rank beginner).

No offense, I’d say you are becoming complacent with very poor results…

Edit: Oh, I am also 5’9"…


#16

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
A simpler “trick” than the tape measure is to just get a piece of string, tie it around the waist and cut it. If you can cut more next time, you’re losing fat. If it doesn’t touch you’re gaining.

Learned that from corporate wellness.[/quote]
This is such a brilliantly simple idea, I’m surprised Dan John hasn’t suggested it. (And I mean that as a compliment). Very cool.[/quote]

+1 Gonna use this one