T Nation

Skinny to Big

Eat More and Lift Big.

When I began lifting, I was 6’1 and 145lbs. In 8 months, I was up to 210lbs with a lower body fat than I started.

I started off with a routine and diet very similar to what you listed. Lots of machines and iso exercises, and a very specific diet.
I saw little-to-no results.

Then I focused entirely on compound movements with freeweights. Deadlifts, Squats, Cleans, Jerks, Squats, Bench Press, Squats, Military Press, Squats, Squats.
For a diet… GOMAD made a world of difference for me(if your body can handle it. try Lactaid if you need to.)
I needed about 4,500-5,500 calories a day to see any changes. Sucks being an ectomorph.

Like some others have said… go find an existing beginner bulking routine and stick with it. They’re popular for a reason.
My suggestion: SL5X5. And don’t change a damn thing.

[quote]llostintheworld wrote:

[quote]fr0IVIan wrote:
imo you have to cut out the redundant stuff. for instance, why would you need two kinds of leg curls after RDL’s, or machine lunges after squat and leg press? also, how do you plan to progress in the weight room?

also if that is really 3600 kcal and it is actually what you’re going to eat, the only thing I can say about that is to never miss a meal, and to never miss a training session. your program could look like a monkey designed it, and your diet could look like a ten year old’s, but if you always put the work in and never miss a meal, you’ll see better results than some guy who eats grass-fed beef and organic veggies but habitually falls a meal or two short of his caloric needs for the day and misses training sessions for whatever reason. you might look softer in the end than someone who ate right, but getting your calories in is more important than where you’re getting them from if you don’t have a choice where they’re coming from.

you need a better program though.[/quote]

My progression is built into the reps. So on my last set ill to get 2 or 3 reps more than i did last week and ill add 5lb pounds next workout to my lift. As far as the leg press than what do you suggest? I got that idea from kingbeef . [/quote]

no, the leg press is fine if you do it right, especially if kingbeef recommended it because he’s much more developed than me.

I’m not sure I would do the progression on my all-out set like that, because some weeks you’ll get 2 more and some weeks more or less, there isn’t a hard line that you definitely have to cross before you progress.

[quote]fr0IVIan wrote:

[quote]llostintheworld wrote:

[quote]fr0IVIan wrote:
imo you have to cut out the redundant stuff. for instance, why would you need two kinds of leg curls after RDL’s, or machine lunges after squat and leg press? also, how do you plan to progress in the weight room?

also if that is really 3600 kcal and it is actually what you’re going to eat, the only thing I can say about that is to never miss a meal, and to never miss a training session. your program could look like a monkey designed it, and your diet could look like a ten year old’s, but if you always put the work in and never miss a meal, you’ll see better results than some guy who eats grass-fed beef and organic veggies but habitually falls a meal or two short of his caloric needs for the day and misses training sessions for whatever reason. you might look softer in the end than someone who ate right, but getting your calories in is more important than where you’re getting them from if you don’t have a choice where they’re coming from.

you need a better program though.[/quote]

My progression is built into the reps. So on my last set ill to get 2 or 3 reps more than i did last week and ill add 5lb pounds next workout to my lift. As far as the leg press than what do you suggest? I got that idea from kingbeef . [/quote]

no, the leg press is fine if you do it right, especially if kingbeef recommended it because he’s much more developed than me.

I’m not sure I would do the progression on my all-out set like that, because some weeks you’ll get 2 more and some weeks more or less, there isn’t a hard line that you definitely have to cross before you progress.[/quote]

then what do you suggest? I always try to hit the upper part of the rep range.

[quote]Danny1506 wrote:
Waaay too many exercises imo, keep it basic and heavy! Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, Overhead press and Bent-Over Row. No need for all these extra exercises, they do more harm than good when youre trying to put on weight, you are burning a ton of calories with that program.

You might even be overtraining, which would seriously hamper your progress - are you feeling lethargic, tired, not feeling like going to the gym etc.?[/quote]

Seriously listen to this man, he is correct. I THINK and its an OPINION only but the first 2-3 years of anyones lifting career should be NOTHING but the BASIC heavy compound movements. Squats, Deadlifts, bent over rows, dips, Bench, standing military press and maybe some standing barbell curls. Thats it, how fucking simple is that?. I WAS JUST LIKE YOU young in my career reading way to many FLEX magazine articles and trying to emulate the PRO’s routine. DONT ignore what we are saying. The SINGLE biggest mistake I ever made was doing what your doing early in my career. Thesed ays I do the basics and I have never been bigger or stronger than I am now. Im 34 now and could outlift the 23 yr old me any fucking day of the week.

whatever established program you follow will have clear rules for progression.

your own idea of when to progress sounded eerily like what I used to do, before I really started making progress.

[quote]LessTraveled wrote:

[quote]Danny1506 wrote:
Waaay too many exercises imo, keep it basic and heavy! Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, Overhead press and Bent-Over Row. No need for all these extra exercises, they do more harm than good when youre trying to put on weight, you are burning a ton of calories with that program.

You might even be overtraining, which would seriously hamper your progress - are you feeling lethargic, tired, not feeling like going to the gym etc.?[/quote]

Seriously listen to this man, he is correct. I THINK and its an OPINION only but the first 2-3 years of anyones lifting career should be NOTHING but the BASIC heavy compound movements. Squats, Deadlifts, bent over rows, dips, Bench, standing military press and maybe some standing barbell curls. Thats it, how fucking simple is that?. I WAS JUST LIKE YOU young in my career reading way to many FLEX magazine articles and trying to emulate the PRO’s routine. DONT ignore what we are saying. The SINGLE biggest mistake I ever made was doing what your doing early in my career. Thesed ays I do the basics and I have never been bigger or stronger than I am now. Im 34 now and could outlift the 23 yr old me any fucking day of the week.[/quote]

not sure I would agree with that. just because he’s a newb doesn’t mean he should ignore moves like face pulls, rear delt flyes or lateral raises to address or prevent weaknesses. everything should be trained from day one.

[quote]llostintheworld wrote:
My bad lol. I just quoted everything everything from my log book in my comp. That meant 10 reps of 20lb .
I shouldve wrote things a bit more organized. [/quote]

Look, my views are drastically different than some here who love to post specific routines. To me, they always miss the point…that youyr body is not like everyone else’s and more than anything, you need a basic outline to work from until you figure your body out.

I don’t even want to know what you’ve been doing…because it loos like it sucks. 20lbs dumbbells curls? Let’s get that to 35 as soon as freaking possible because those are girl weights.

Yes, I said GIRL WEIGHTS. That is what guys lift when they hope no one is watching.

That is what pushes us to do more quickly.

You are using 15lbs for overhead extensions? Dude, how much muscle do you think is going to be built that way?

No offense, but I used to weigh what you weigh at about 5’11". It comes across like you are not really pushing yourself but just going by the numbers.

This does not work that way.

This is NOT about doing some specific number of sets and reps. It is about using weights that cause muscle growth to even happen and doing enough volume to fascilitate it.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]llostintheworld wrote:
My bad lol. I just quoted everything everything from my log book in my comp. That meant 10 reps of 20lb .
I shouldve wrote things a bit more organized. [/quote]

Look, my views are drastically different than some here who love to post specific routines. To me, they always miss the point…that youyr body is not like everyone else’s and more than anything, you need a basic outline to work from until you figure your body out.

I don’t even want to know what you’ve been doing…because it loos like it sucks. 20lbs dumbbells curls? Let’s get that to 35 as soon as freaking possible because those are girl weights.

Yes, I said GIRL WEIGHTS. That is what guys lift when they hope no one is watching.

That is what pushes us to do more quickly.

You are using 15lbs for overhead extensions? Dude, how much muscle do you think is going to be built that way?

No offense, but I used to weigh what you weigh at about 5’11". It comes across like you are not really pushing yourself but just going by the numbers.

This does not work that way.

This is NOT about doing some specific number of sets and reps. It is about using weights that cause muscle growth to even happen and doing enough volume to fascilitate it.[/quote]

Actually im pretty weak… I may not know what im doing at the gym or how to design but what i do for certain is push myself and i try to use the most heaviest weight i can. Oh and the 15lb extesnions are unilateraly if that makes things any better…(lol i know im extremely weak).

Number one thing I can recommend for training purposes is Wendler’s 5/3/1. My lifting partner and I have been running this program for 16 weeks now and have been making incredible gains. The program focuses on the main lifts: Bench, Squat, Standing OH Press, and Deads… these compound movements will blow you up. Also chins are very important.

As far as the diet, jacob1310 is right on… drink milk… a ton of it… not skim or 1%, drink it right outta the cow’s teet. Eat more, eat till your full and then eat more, stop counting kcals and eat. I have no idea how many kcals are in a 16 oz porterhouse steak and plate full of mashed potatoes but i know that it is awesome for gaining weight.

you could also look into Westside for skinny bastards.

[quote]llostintheworld wrote:
Well i’ve been reading a lot lately on dieting and whatever and the articles on this website have kinda left me in space.
[/quote]

That’s your first mistake ^

I used to be in your shoes too. Worry less about the details, put your head down and enjoy getting weight added to the bar. Shoot for 5lbs+ each week; it shouldn’t take long to get past newbie stages.

As some have hinted at, doing nothing but the basics is one way of doing this…although it’s not the extreme abbreviation that makes the growth happen (with the exception of a true “hardgainer”), it’s focussing on progression and your own personal recovery that does it.

Don’t worry too much about what you eat (so long as it’s not all crap), but rather, eat lots of it, including enough protein (this will feel uncomfortable, and will include much force). If you can keep up a diet for long term, it’s a good one. Like said, inconsistency with a ‘perfect diet’ (i.e. healthy but not getting enough total calories) is not better than a crappy diet with enough total calories every week.

I can’t be bothered typing it all out again but check this thread out, hope it helps:

If you have the balls to do it, find someone at your gym who has the physique you want and go talk to them about what they are doing training and diet wise…

When they tell you what they did, DO NOT SAY “Yeah, but I heard…” - Instead, say “Yes sir” and do it.

[quote]LessTraveled wrote:

Seriously listen to this man, he is correct. I THINK and its an OPINION only but the first 2-3 years of anyones lifting career should be NOTHING but the BASIC heavy compound movements. Squats, Deadlifts, bent over rows, dips, Bench, standing military press and maybe some standing barbell curls. Thats it, how fucking simple is that?. I WAS JUST LIKE YOU young in my career reading way to many FLEX magazine articles and trying to emulate the PRO’s routine. DONT ignore what we are saying. The SINGLE biggest mistake I ever made was doing what your doing early in my career. Thesed ays I do the basics and I have never been bigger or stronger than I am now. [/quote]

^ This x1000. you want something to read? Read Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. he can easily put 60 pounds on you in 6 months. take me for instance, i started out a weak weak 160 lanky skinny bastard at 6’4 inches… after 4 months of starting strength i weigh 200 pounds.

Eat eggs, ground beef, chicken, mashed potatoes, MILK MILK MILK, Protein shakes, fruits and veggies. the rule of thumb is simple, if you cant pick it, grow it, or kill it, you shouldnt be eating it. good luck

Thanks for all the advice guys. I’ve decided to up my protein to a gallon a day so ill be intaking about 4200 calories a day.I’m also going to try to add another meal , but it’ll be hard since my time is EXTREMELY limited. Thanks again for all the advice.

[quote]LessTraveled wrote:

[quote]Danny1506 wrote:
Waaay too many exercises imo, keep it basic and heavy! Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, Overhead press and Bent-Over Row. No need for all these extra exercises, they do more harm than good when youre trying to put on weight, you are burning a ton of calories with that program.

You might even be overtraining, which would seriously hamper your progress - are you feeling lethargic, tired, not feeling like going to the gym etc.?[/quote]

Seriously listen to this man, he is correct. I THINK and its an OPINION only but the first 2-3 years of anyones lifting career should be NOTHING but the BASIC heavy compound movements. Squats, Deadlifts, bent over rows, dips, Bench, standing military press and maybe some standing barbell curls. Thats it, how fucking simple is that?. I WAS JUST LIKE YOU young in my career reading way to many FLEX magazine articles and trying to emulate the PRO’s routine. DONT ignore what we are saying. The SINGLE biggest mistake I ever made was doing what your doing early in my career. Thesed ays I do the basics and I have never been bigger or stronger than I am now. Im 34 now and could outlift the 23 yr old me any fucking day of the week.[/quote]

I can’t agree with this at all. I would have someone start out doing EVERYTHING. I wish whoever made this some rule would quit the campaign.

I saw nothing but benefit by figuring out how IT ALL fit together, not ONLY compound movements.

That ain’t bodybuilding and is why so many of those guys have huge imbalances.

[quote]LibertyPatriot wrote:

[quote]LessTraveled wrote:

Seriously listen to this man, he is correct. I THINK and its an OPINION only but the first 2-3 years of anyones lifting career should be NOTHING but the BASIC heavy compound movements. Squats, Deadlifts, bent over rows, dips, Bench, standing military press and maybe some standing barbell curls. Thats it, how fucking simple is that?. I WAS JUST LIKE YOU young in my career reading way to many FLEX magazine articles and trying to emulate the PRO’s routine. DONT ignore what we are saying. The SINGLE biggest mistake I ever made was doing what your doing early in my career. Thesed ays I do the basics and I have never been bigger or stronger than I am now. [/quote]

^ This x1000. you want something to read? Read Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. he can easily put 60 pounds on you in 6 months. take me for instance, i started out a weak weak 160 lanky skinny bastard at 6’4 inches… after 4 months of starting strength i weigh 200 pounds.

Eat eggs, ground beef, chicken, mashed potatoes, MILK MILK MILK, Protein shakes, fruits and veggies. the rule of thumb is simple, if you cant pick it, grow it, or kill it, you shouldnt be eating it. good luck
[/quote]

Dude, you’re 6’4". You SHOULD be 200lbs or more whether you lift or not.

Oh look it’s this thread again…where a bunch of posters with no pics in their avi or profile recommend ONLY doing compound lifts and drink a fuckin’ gallon of milk a day…while the very experienced posters WITH IMPRESSIVE pics in their avis post a more moderate well-rounded approach…

Who to listen to?

hmmmmmm…

Seriously, the most helpful posts in these types of threads are the reality check posts from more experienced members.

Speaking as a newcomer to the board, it’s VERY hard to wade through the BS when everyone speaks so authoritatively (new and old alike). I wish everyone didn’t seem to have the burning desire to be viewed as an expert.

i never meant to come across as an expert in the field by any means. just threw in my two cents and what worked for me guys

[quote]LibertyPatriot wrote:
i never meant to come across as an expert in the field by any means. just threw in my two cents and what worked for me guys [/quote]

…and the point is, it hasn’t worked for you. A beginner should be gaining no matter what they are doing as long as they eat enough and training regularly. Making gains to “normal weight for your height” does not mean some specific strategy “worked for you”.

It means you quit playing around and started eating enough like you should have been all along.

That is why pictures would help others know if you even understand what you are talking about.

This is not an insult…but holy crap, why do so many of you who just freaking started feel some need to tell everyone “what worked”?

If it worked, show us.