T Nation

Slumped and Frustrated

I’ve been lifting on and off for 8 years now. In that time I have not seen the type of improvement I’d hoped to see. I am sure this type of thing has been posted a million times over. But I’m not here to whine, just looking for new ideas.

I have done strong lifts 5x5, Crossfit, calisthenics, trx, and kettlebell training over the past 8 years. I have tried eating over 3000 calories a day for months at a time.

I recently had to have parathyroid surgery on my neck, and am recovering from a lower leg injury that has had me on crutches for 2 weeks. So right now I’m honestly at my lowest point.

The reason I am creating this post is to try to get ideas on what direction to go with my training. My goal is to gain weight and muscle mass. I know I need to eat as much as possible, but the training that I have been trying hasn’t given me the results I’m looking for.

I don’t know anyone else that has as hard of a time gaining weight as me. I’ve had friends that do the exact same workouts I do get big , while I’m stuck at the same weight and strength.

I’m throwing myself at the mercy of the internet here. What can I do to gain size and strength? I currently weigh 150 lbs (my heaviest). I am 31 years old. My height is 5’10". Body fat percentage is very low. Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this and reply. I’m desperate.

With all of the training you’ve mentioned, nothing looks like anything anyone else has ever done to try to get bigger. Have you considered using a lifting plan where the goal is to gain hypertrophy?


This is geared towards growth. Also, I hate to say, if you’re not gaining weight, you’re not eating enough. It’s all trial and error with how much to eat but there are calculators and various people on here that can help you figure out a good starting point calorie wise. A big one for me too is tracking calories and actually measuring and weighing your food. For a while I was eating, what I thought was 4000 calories, when I actually weighed and measured my food, I was hitting 2500 calories a day. I would advise measuring and weighing to make sure you’re eating as much as you think you are.

Diet is what’s holding you back man (training factors are important too though but diet more so) going by your bw unless you got other stuff going on like illnesses.

Your body needs the raw materials to fuel training, recover and make gains from. If it doesn’t you go nowhere even if you train hard in different styles for years.

I think this a big part of this thread should be dedicated to facilitating you to eat better and more

A lot of skinny guys “hard gainers” or some bullshit reckon they eat loads but it’s either straight up being wrong or they aren’t consistent enough. Both get you minimal gains though

At the extreme like suggested above you can start counting to be done with all the guessing and know for sure how much you eat. If you dunno how you can get help here too

But pretty much you eat enough protein like 0.8-2g protein per lb bw and enough calories to be gaining weight on the scale slow and steady maybe like 1% BW per week give or take

Get a coach if you can’t do it yourself.


Fix your diet, choose a program and training style and stick with it. I do not think 150lbs at 5ft 10 for someone who has been consistently training for 8 years is normal.

If a lean 150 is your heaviest, what did you weigh 8 years ago?

What, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

It sucks that you’re on crutches right now, but it’s actually a positive in that the forced inactivity will (or “should”) make it easier to gain bodyweight. I’d attack the calories starting immediately and make the scale move.

Like Pwnisher said, your training wasn’t actually coordinated with your goals. CrossFit, bodyweight stuff, and a lot of KB work is more metabolic based and almost designed to burn a bunch of calories, so you weren’t making the best use of whatever you were eating.

Fix the calories ASAP and then get on a better training plan as soon as you’re cleared to lift again. This is a straight-forward plan.

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Thank you for the response. I have thought about it, but I’ve always read and heard that is pretty much to get definition. I’ve never heard of anyone using it to gain weight before.

Thank you for your response. I have used the my fitness pal app to help count calories and get a daily calorie target. How did you go about measuring your food? Did you get an actual scale or something? I will look deeper into the workout once I recovery. Thanks again.

Thank you for your response. It seems like the consensus is that my diet is the biggest problem. I was using the my fitness pal app for a long time to help me count calories and it did help me gain 4 to 5 pounds in a month. Then I slacked off and it went away.

I would love to get a coach so I don’t feel like I’m just playing the guessing game. But right now I cannot afford one. Thank you for your response.

Thank you for your response. I agree with you. I know part of my problem is my consistency. I think two years is the longest I trained without taking some kind of break. I am definitely always the smallest guy in the group, even though I work out.

What kind of improvement would you expect from lifting “on and off”?

Consistency is the name of the game


I hear ya. I just know it would be easier to stay consistent if I was able to see SOME improvement in my body composition.

You’re putting the cart before the horse, mate. The results come from the consistency, not the other way round.

I’m sure you already know what you need to do - eat better and lift more consistently. There’s no time like now! Go hit the gym right now and eat a steak and pototatoes after.

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Literally the only post @justskinnbones didn’t reply to. Ouch.


Your not special enough


Haha sorry I haven’t replied yet. I’m at work and yours will be the longest. I appreciate your response!

Ha. Story of my life, man.

Fair enough, no worries. That info should reveal some more context about the whole situation. Most times when I ask guys, they do just skip it because it’s too much work or they know they won’t like the answers. Definitely worth looking at though.


Who did you always read this from?