T Nation

Same Old Sob Story of Not Adding Muscle

Lol. Ok.

Looks like about as expensive as a steroid cycle with all those supplements. Guess it depends on how bad I want it? I like John’s approach a lot and have done his mountain dog workouts. Love the intensity of them. Thanks

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Yes, and I would bet he’s “majoring in the minors” and doing lots of accessories while remaining weak on big lifts that will carry over. I would run a 531 template like the triumverate or other 3 day a week program. You are spinning your wheels by eating low carb, doing high rep assistance (but feeling your workouts are intense because these can burn and exhaust you), and not putting your emphasis on what will change your physique: getting f’n stronger on big, compound lifts. You’re hurt because you are lifting too much, with too many reps, and aren’t resting and eating to recover. You need to mentally let go of everything you’re doing and try a completely different approach.

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Yeah that’s pretty written in there. I don’t begrudge Biotest that at all, just know that the program and nutrition are solid either way.

There’s also more economic options, if you want to try it (Surge Workout Fuel, for one, on this site) - even Gatorade.

Whether or not folks use intraworkout supps is pretty individualistic on this site. I notice the most benefit when I’m cutting, honestly.

Anyway - it’s a solid training plan and the calories suggestions are pretty good without the extras.

Yea you’re right on weak on the big lifts. It’s not that I’m doing accessory’s as much as I’m doing high reps on big lifts. But I don’t have big numbers as far as 1rm goes on the big lifts besides dips and pull ups. Surprise surprise. Appreciate all the feedback. Looks like focusing on getting stronger and getting back to the basics is where I’ll put my focus.

By my count, that’s a 6 day split.

In the 8 years between looking your best and now, how much have your lifts changed for upper body and lower body pushing and pulling? Doesn’t have to be in terms of 1RM or the barbell lifts.

If 5x5 burns you out then give 5/3/1 a try. Lower volume but you’re pushing harder. Antiquity’s recommendation of 5/3/1 Triumvirate is a great start. I would recommend buying the book, though, because there are concepts in it that will definitely help you get bigger and stronger.

If you are struggling with recovery even just one scoop of Mag 10 or hydrolysed whey straight after workout can make a big difference

Thank you for all the recommendations. Just wanted to make an update. So I followed through with my cut for about 6 weeks to get down to the level of leanness I wanted which is somewhere between 8-10%. I’m right at 150 29.5 inch waist. Well defined abs. Arms didn’t drop below 14.5. But per everyone’s suggestion, I focused solely on gaining strength and have been doing 3 day per week full body workouts. I have made consistent strength gains across the board despite being in a 500 calorie per day deficit.

Yesterday I started my “bulk” which is essentially going to be the same structure as my cut but adding an additional meal plus Plazma peri workout and Mag-10 post workout and before bed. This will take me to around 500 calorie surplus. Question… Would you recommend dropping closer to maintenance calories on off days to limit fat gain? Or keep the 500 calorie surplus? Thanks again.

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You’re increasing by 1000 calories?! I don’t think this is a good idea. I’d recommend bumping 100-200 at a time and reassessing week by week.


My maintenance right now according to TDEE calculators is around 2100 now that I’m down to 150. I went from 162-150 in 6 weeks with that approach. Minimal cardio besides a little extra walking. I’ve been doing 1700-1800 calories to cut. I was going to bump to around 2600 calories so that I’m 500 calories in a surplus. Do you think just 100-200 calories over maintenance is good or 100-200 calories over my deficit level?

He’s saying be in less of a hurry. You don’t really know what your maintenance is because you haven’t been at maintenance. Jump up by a small amount each week to find it vs. blowing right through it into fatty territory.

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Got it. Thanks! That’s what I’m trying to avoid.

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Exactly. Your body doesn’t care about some arbitrary number generated from an online calculator. It only knows what you ate yesterday and has adapted. You wouldn’t just bump all your training volume by 50% overnight, would you?


100-200 over your current level.

Got it. Thanks!

As others said yeah quite a big calorie jump. I would add one or the other at a time …extra meal or supps. personally would just add the supps first then evaluate

Good recommendations. I added only 100 calories back in for 3 days and already gained a pound back so you all are wise for recommending to take it slow. I will hold at 1900 calories for a bit and track progress. I know the math doesn’t compute with just 300 extra calories in 3 days. It’s probably just water weight and getting some glycogen back in the muscle but at the very least I’m no longer in a deficit and am probably right at maintenance. I just want to make sure I’m getting the most out of my workouts and want to put on some size and get out of this same territory I’ve been in for a decade. Again, like you all mentioned before, focusing on getting stronger is probably the ticket and that’s what I’ve been doing.