T Nation

Some Questions After 3 Years of Little Results


Ok, so I wouldn't exactly call myself a beginner, but I still look like one and I have a couple questions so I figured the beginner section is where this belongs.

I've been lifting weights for almost 3 years now and in that time I've seen little to no result. Now, for the first 2 years or so I didn't really understand much and I didn't exactly go looking for places like this. So I'd say for a year max I've been a little more than half aware of what needs to be done. I didn't really have a training program up until about 6 months ago when I started Nate Green's Build For Show program.

That being said, I still have some difficulty presented to myself. I'll say this up front and won't deny it: I suck at nutrition. I mean, I know what's good and what's not, but even when I eat only that I don't seem to lose fat or gain much muscle. I have disgusting love handles, fat on my ass, droopy pecs (they actually seem smaller to me lately), and a nasty looking abdominal region. I've pretty much looked this way since I grew a few inches and dropped most of my fat from being a smaller kid.

I don't know if my nutrition sucks because I'm still eating too much even when foods are good or if it's that I'm not eating frequently enough and drinking enough water, or whatever. All I know is that I'm sick of looking decent (although nothing impressive and still kinda small looking) with clothes on but a sight for sore eyes without.

I certainly don't stray from bad stuff though. I eat a lot of carbs (which is bad, I know. But when you work outside year round with only cold/uncooked food being your main option you kind of limit yourself on what you take for lunch after a while.) and don't keep track of calories.

It's obvious I need an overhaul, I just don't know where to start and certainly don't have the money to pay someone to help me. I'm beginning to ramble because of frustration and a lack of rest this week thanks to the assholes who call themselves my bosses, so I think I might end my post here. Maybe after I get to sleep again in a day or so I'll be a little less jittery and maybe, just maybe able to provide some useful info to anyone who responds.

Oh and the picture is me about 2 months ago or so. Not anything to get excited about if you ask me. lol


Hey guys I've been lifting for 3 years now but have had awful results because I've never done a sensible bodybuilding program, and I eat like complete and utter crap even though I'm supposedly aware of proper nutrition.





but seriously, read the stickies to start and then post a specific question if you dont understand something. we'll point you in the right direction, you just have to take the steps yourself.


It's funny how most people will answer their own questions if they talk (or type) long enough.

I could have a field day with these three paragraphs. I'm not going to take time to pick it all apart, but I will tell you this: Your problem is that you don't understand nutrition. You have no idea what's good or bad or how to use food to your advantage. You've been brainwashed by the fitness industry and you need to purge and start over.

So to point you in the right direction, I'll give you a few points of truth:
1. Carbs are your friends if you use them correctly. Stay away from anything prepackaged, but there is nothing wrong with rice, potatoes (all kinds), beans and the like.

  1. Fat does not make you fat. Eating more overall calories than you burn makes you fat. As a matter of fact, not eating enough fat will hamper your gains.

  2. To get big, you're gonna have to get fat for a little while. Deal with it or stay small.

  3. Nobody ever got big by eating only chicken breasts and fish. Plenty (almost all) of huge guys got there by eating fried chicken, BBQ, tons of carbs (I typically eat 400-500g of carbs a day when bulking), steak, burgers and a lot of the other foods that you've been led to believe are bad.

  4. You need to eat enough protein to repair and build muscle, enough fat to carry your fat-soluble vitamins and minerals and synthesize the necessary hormones (yes, fats are a necessity for that), and enough carbs to fuel it all.

If you encounter anybody that disagrees with the statements above, ignore them. People with their mindset are the ones who misled you in the first place.


x2 with what's already been said. You know why you're not making progress, so are you looking for others to help you setup a meal plan and routine?


I don't need routine help, I just need food help. My main problem is bread. I have to eat the shit every fucking day because most of what I take to work is in the form of a sandwich. Not only do I hate sandwiches, but I especially hate eating the same nasty ones everyday with the only other option being shit food from the closest gas station.

When I said I eat a lot of carbs, what I meant was I eat a lot of processed carbs. Prepackaged shit that'll stay in your stomach until long after you're dead. Lack of clarification on my part.

I have a hard time eating multiple times a day because I work for a company of unhealthy hardasses who'll piss and moan if you even take a break to get a freaking water. So stopping to quickly down some decent food is going to be hard, if at all possible.

I typically get one good (quality-wise) meal a day, and that's at dinner. The reason being because I still live with my folks and my mother is good about making meals that are good for you, instead of doing the fast food thing. It's mainly my eating habits during the day from when I wake up until I get off work that are the problem. Quick and easy so the little worker bee can get back to work and make the fat bastards more money. That and lack of access to a microwave to warm food in. Frozen leftovers isn't an easy thing to do when you're working outside during Vermont winters.

I don't have a problem getting fat while putting on muscle. At least that'll actually show some change. I have a problem with busting my ass for no return. It makes me feel like a fool.


Eggs are just about the cheapest food you can eat in the morning (my local store has 36-packs for $2.00), and they are super easy to cook. Olive oil, 4 large eggs and few ounces of cheese all thrown together and stirred in a saute pan for 10 minutes. Easy, good tasting scrambled eggs. Add a few pieces of bacon/sausage (or protein shake with whole milk, if you're in a rush) and you got an easy 1000 calories right there.

And don't tell me you don't have 10 minutes to spare. You can find the 10 minutes somewhere if you really care about your physique--and thus your diet.

EDIT: My point in this post was to show that it isn't very hard to make a nutritious AND quick meal during the day. You could easily make up some other simple receipes to eat for other parts of the day. You said you eat sandwiches a lot... the first idea that comes to my mind is 2 cans of tuna, about a tablespoon of relish, tablespoon of olive oil or mayo (your preference, although olive oil is far superior), salt and pepper to taste and a bunch of hot sauce! Mix it up in a container, throw it on a piece of bread and you got a decent, protein-rich sandwich you can eat for lunch with about 700 calories. Just get creative with it. Food prep is only as hard as you make it.


Jesus you sound like a miserable guy.


nate is right ya know. its not that hard. backpack. chicken, pasta, olive oil. cooler pack. eat it cold. if you have time for a water break, you have time for a protein shake (make this your new motto).

quit making excuses. it wont help in the long run. the rest of us go to school, have jobs, etc etc. get some ready to drinks and some protein bars. fruit. veggies. its simple and cheap.

heres the truth, quick and dirty. you just dont want it enough. if you did, you would find a way.

sorry to lay that bomb on ya.


Take a 1/4 or 1/2 a gallon of whole milk and a large pack of Trail Mix nuts to work. That's my lunch and snack when I am in college (if I guy a 1/2 gallon, it lasts me until 8pm).

Yes people will stare and talk. All you do is smile back and chug some milk, then smile again.

Also.. its is not just nutrition.

How many times are u lifting a week?
What type of exercises are you doing?
How heavy, how many sets, how many reps?
What is your bed-time meal?


Raw eggs. Become friends with them. Chug 10 in the morning. Chug 10 before bed.

Arent there some sort of rules about not getting a break after a certain amount of time on a shift. Milk, protein powder and ground oats with olive oil is a complete meal in liquid form.


Sounds like you know what you need to do just you keep making excuses for why you can't do it.

If you want to do it then suck it up and do it. That is the only way.

May sounds like I'm an ass but afraid that's the long and short of it.

We can all tell you to eat this and eat that, to do this or do that but it is up to you if you really want it. There is no easy ride I'm afraid.

Protein powder, oats, peanut butter first thing when you wake. Can't get much simpler than that if you don't want to chug raw eggs.


So even with the excuses for not eating a decent lunch whats the excuse for not eating a good breakfast?


Heres a tip to make raw eggs palatable. 4oz of milk per 4-5 eggs with half scoop of protein powder or crystal light powder for flavor. Shake it up real good so the yolks get smooth


There's no excuse aside from laziness about not eating a proper breakfast.

Seriously dude, my kids that are 3 and 7 eat better than you do by a country mile. Sure I cook it all up for them, but it only takes me 15 mins to whip up a dozen eggs, saussages, slice a whole cuccumber, some cheese a glass of whole milk, get them dressed and ready for their day and out the door.

That's just our breakfast...

Hell they go literally NUTS when they hear me breaking out the blender to whip up some protein shakes... They usually get a shake, some cheese and almonds for a snack when they get home from school...

Dinner is much the same with meats, veggies, dairy...

If it's a weekend and the kids have sports, they get a lot more carbs...

I hate to say it, but you have no excuse...

  1. Get a good night's sleep
  2. Get up early and get a good breakfast
  3. Pack a protein shake for your snack along with sliced veggies (cuccumbers, celery, etc.)
  4. Eat lunch
  5. Shake and veggies and nuts for snack
  6. Dinner
  7. Shake before bed
  8. Stop the boozing and hanging out with loosers that are killing your goals

Looking at your pic, you need to EAT and I mean some calorie dense foods... Slamming back some burgers at lunch with the boys is a win-win, but make sure you work your ass off in the gym... Lets be real here - I've said it enough times, but if you can do a set and have more in the tank, or can chat up the local honey, you've done shit in the gym and you'll be posting here in a year with no results...


I'm following Nate Green's book. Right now I'm going 3 times a week, I do everything listed for me to do (sometimes a tad more). I lift as heavy as I can with good form. If I feel like my form is shitty I'll knock off some weight and start over. The sets and reps are set up by NG.

I've never done a bedtime "meal." I used to drink low carb Metabolic Drive but I ran out and haven't gotten around to ordering more yet. I know, I know, I need to get on it.


There are rules and state laws and whatnot, but we kind of bend them ourselves, so if we complain to the higher ups, they just back us into a corner, so we don't really complain. And being a plumber, you don't really have a regulated shift period. Yeah, you can put in your 8 and go home, but sometimes no one leaves until the work's done, and sometimes it's mandatory.

One problem is that our crews always just take our paid break and skip lunch so we can get out earlier. Break's only supposed to be 15 minutes, but we stretch it to half an hour.


The negative comments and whatnot doesn't really bother me, so feel free to keep them coming. It's good motivation. I've already done away with the sandwiches and I've been taking leftover veggies, potatoes, chicken (or whatever meat was for dinner the night before) and eating it cold if need be.

I'm sick of being skinny-fat and busting my ass for no result. This place is going to put me on a better track though, I think. Just be sure to knock me around a bit if I start to slack off or bitch and moan.


I think this is your problem, man. No one can do this but you. YOU have to knock yourself around a bit if you start bitching or moaning. Shit ain't on us. All the guys here can do is point you in the right direction. The rest is on you.