T Nation

Something Isn't Working

Basically since August when it hit me that I wanted to powerlift instead of play football my numbers slightly rebounded. I took a huge step back in my lifts idk how it happened. Now that they’re all on the rise ( except deadlift I’m still staying away from that for about a month because of my back ) I’ve realized that through this whole process of eating a lot so I can get my calorie needs, I developed a fat build.

I’ve heard people say barely do cardio when you want to get big but I’ve definitley gotten way to much chest, oblique, and lower stomach fat and it’s pissing me off. I was stronger at 220 then I am at 235. So what should be the way to approach this? More cardio, fat burner or what?

Also idk how much this affects it but recently I’ve been using Problic SR and Power Pak Pudding ( both MHP with soy protein isolate…estrogen ) I’ve noticed some moobs. I think I have too much estrogen and not enough test. Hopefully to fix that I eat twice as much broccli and squat 3x a week

Well, first off, if all your lifts are on the rise then something is going very well, so keep that up.

I don’t think the estrogen/test is an issue for you. You probably are eating more than you used to + burning a lot less calories because you don’t play football any more. Do you have a smartphone? It’s very easy to track your calories and hit consistent numbers if you do have one.

Check your intensity in the gym. You can tell us on this forum that you are busting your ass, but that doesnt count if it isnt true. It also doesnt count if you even think you are working hard, but aren’t. Don’t take this as me calling you a lazy slacker, just take a good honest look at your work ethic/intensity and decide yourself.

To supplement that with a story, I was a three sport athlete in high school, and worked my ass off for one of em (wrestling). I still have yet to approach that level of sheer intensity since. I’d be less of a fatass and just as strong if I did.

For those protein deals, I’m not gonna comment on what they do to your estrogen or any else more complex than this: keep in mind it’s very easy to get more calories than you need when you take stuff like that. If you care about your physique (I assume you do based on this thread) you could probly use more reading up on diet.

My intensity is pretty good I do as much weight as I can with good form for all my reps. I eat good like my friends and family don’t get how I don’t even take a bite out of anything because I don’t a scrap of something unhealthy in me. I haven’t had a birthday cake in 4 years lol. But yeah it’s steak or baked chicken every night, whey protein after workouts, nuts,fruits,veggies,oats, I don’t understand how for the past like year of me powerlifting I don’t put on a lot of muscle I just get more fat on my chest and stomach. I know powerlifting isn’t about physique but damn it would be nice to be strong as hell and not have chest fat. I got a ton of birthday money last week so I’ll keep buying food and revise my supplements.

Dude Chris C recommended you should drop a few pounds while healing your injury. Seems like you did the exact opposite. Don’t make the mistake i did and let BF get out of control.

I can squat completely fine now so maybe squatting twice a week will help. But I’m confused cause it’s rare to hear " drop weight" in powerlifting when with how much weight I wanna move is clearly for the heavyweights

I’m making an assumption here and I hate doing that but most of those heavy weights probably trained and ate their asses off for years and years to get to that size and strength level. You have only been at this for what, about 6 months? Give it time. Plateaus will come in both body weight and numbers. Your first order of business should be to get healed up. As soon as that is taken care of, you can start giving it 100% and then analyze your numbers. The best of luck to you

4 years no birthday cake? Powerlifting you’re doing it wrong.

But seriously you’ve reduced your level of activity significantly. I was the same way when I really got into powerlifting. I have you do a fair amount of cardio to be lean. But fat is where it’s at.

You can either add more conditioning that doesn’t detract from your lifts, redo your diet or get comfortable with being fat.

To add to what everyone else is saying, you also say you have gone from 220 to 235 in like 6 months. You are already a pretty big guy at 220, you don’t need to rush to put on weight. If I remember correctly, you’re a pretty young guy as well, aren’t you 16? If I am wrong correct me. But if you are 16, then don’t fall into the trap of thinking “I want to be really big and strong, and I’m going to achieve all of this stuff in a year.”

Take a step back, and realize you have tons of time to get where you want to be. If you just put on 5 lbs a year, by the time you turn 26 you’ll be a 275-er. I’m not saying there is no merit to eating plenty and lifting hard to build a solid base of strength in your first 2-3 years of serious lifting, but you need to look at the big picture.

You have a ton of time to get enormous and insanely strong, so take it easy. Make sure you are healed. If you feel like you’re gaining too much fat too fast, stop eating so much haha. Experiment with different ratios of fat/protein/carbs, experiment with adding in some conditioning a couple days a week. Experiment with calories. If you’re worried about the soy, cut it out and see if you notice a change.

A lot of the answers to the questions you have are going to come from trial and error, and time to figure out what works best for you. As useful as these forums can be, there are going to be some things you just need to try, and figure out for yourself how well they work.

Bottom line, you know what you need to reach your goals: heal up and stay healthy. Eat plenty, sleep plenty, lift heavy and often. If you do those things, you are going to improve. Just keep in mind that building strength and muscle takes a lot of time. Be patient, play with the variables to find what works for you, and in a few years you are going to be well on your way to the things you want to accomplish

I’m gonna try to reply to all these at once. First, I’ve been lifting year round since 7th grade but for different things. At one point I was trying to get big for football, then changed my mind and leaned up for basketball, then big for football again. I’m not new to lifting at all but I guess the “powerlifting life” is new to me 6 months in. Yes 4 years no birthday cake lol although this year I made a " B-Day Beefcake" oats,eggs,whey powder,melted peanut butter, and 4 chopped up Supreme Protein bars…killed that shit. But yeah I turned 17 a week ago and I’m pretty sure I’m 235lbs. I get that I need fat to be strong as hell but it seems like I’m doing it wrong. I’ve had the same build for a couple years. My chest stays the same size ( and looks fat because I was a giant fat ass all the way until 7th grade, excess skin makes it look awful. ) my triceps look the exact same, all my muscles get stronger but not all that big. In terms of the disc bs, I did 9 sets of squat on Monday and had 0 pain so there’s no question I’m hitting big numbers soon because honestly I missed squatting. Still no deadlifts though, fml. Supplement wise I’m still on Dark Matter then 2 scoops of whey with CytoCarb, peanut butter, and olive oil. Not too bad right?