T Nation

Strength Gain While Gaining Little Weight

Hi i have been lurking for quite some time now. i train regularly since feb this year.

stats when i started:
age 18
height 174cm
bw 59kg
squat 5x40kg
bench 5x40kg
deadlift 5x50kg
press 5x25kg

now they are
age 19
height 174cm
wrist 17cm (no measurements when i started)
bw 71kg
squat 5x105kg (low bar wide stance)
squat 1x105kg (high bar atg)
bench 4x80kg
deadlift 5x130kg
press 4x55kg

so first of all i would like a general impression as in “good progress”, “lagging bench” or whatever.

my second question is that i would like to remain getting stronger without having to gain (a lot more) weight and eat so damn much. now you could all flame me because “shut the hell up and just fucking eat” but i was seriously wondering how people in lower weight classes in pl and wl achieve such levels of strength while not being huge (disregarding drugs and hormones).

oh yeah my goals:

  1. get stronger (especially squat and press!)
  2. stay my size or get slightly bigger (i think anything above 80kg is not what i had in mind)
  3. not be fat

thanks for the help!

Eat a little over maintenance, enough to gain stength/muscle but not fat. Obvioulsy knowing wich is the exact amount you need to eat will take you some time of trial/error, that’s why its easier to overdo and just get stronger than undereat, get bored because you are not getting anywhere and leave the sport.

Ok yeah thanks i was thinking something along thoselines. So the main variable inctreasing will be Time? Any thoughts on progress?

so yeah i would appreciate some sort of replies guys. help me out here

How is this for strong and not very big? That was raw, drug-free and 3.96 x’s body weight.

Your lifts have all more than doubled in a year so that’s progress, right?

What exactly are you eating? I’ll be more specific since the money question around here is tell me exactly what you ate yesterday.

[quote]Xanes wrote:
so first of all i would like a general impression as in “good progress”, “lagging bench” or whatever.[/quote]
Good work. Like Jackie said, you’ve gained oodles of strength (okay, she said doubled, I said oodles. Same diff). And your bodyweight went up pretty solid too. You were kinda underweight to start, huh? If anything, I’d just say don’t start to settle.

The biggest factor, training wise, is total volume. When size isn’t the goal (or is counter to the goal) I generally like to see the main lift worked with 10-15 total reps, tops. So, say, 2-6 sets of 1-5 (big range, yeah, but it’s ballpark. “Sets x reps = total volume” is the key to monitor). Also, very limited volume on the accessory work.

See above.

Monitor nutrition. Plenty of quality protein and healthy fats, and enough-but-not-too-much carbs. Calories tweaked whether you’re trying to “stay my size” or “get slightly bigger”. Those are two different scenarios, you know.

Also, Jackie already swooped in with the question of the day. A bit I admittedly stole from Dan John whenever weight gain (or fat loss) is part of a question… what exactly did you eat yesterday?

Is it actually an issue right now (are you getting fat?) or is this a “just in case” kind of question? Either way, relatively easily addressed with cardio/conditioning. Give these a read:


[quote]Jackie_Jacked wrote:
What exactly are you eating? I’ll be more specific since the money question around here is tell me exactly what you ate yesterday. [/quote]

to start off i do not write a nutrition log nor do i count calories (any more).

breakfast: about 180-220g whole bread with nutella, 1Litre whole milk
lunch: university cantine. was a 150g or so pork steak with like 90g or so rice plus desert. another litre of whole milk.
in between another few slices of bread with cheese and ham. maybe 150 or 200g
dinner: frozen processed stuff. call em ground meat rolls or whatever. about 300g of those and potato chips. can’t tell you how many that was, but it took me a while.
pre-sleep: half a litre whole milk with banana and 100g peanut butter

but i don’t get why you asked that question because i do not want to gain or lose weight but rather stay in this region. or gain weight very slowly. i have gained 6kg in 4 months and 4kg in 3 weeks i got the jist of fast and slow weight gain :slight_smile:

thanks a lot for the answers!

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Monitor nutrition. Plenty of quality protein and healthy fats, and enough-but-not-too-much carbs. Calories tweaked whether you’re trying to “stay my size” or “get slightly bigger”. Those are two different scenarios, you know.
[/quote]

staying a certain size or getting slightly bigger comes from the fact that i want to weigh between 70-80kg. though if it becomes too much of an impairement to my strength, i might be reasoned with to gain another 5kg or so :wink:

i also disliked gaining weight real fast. it was ok, because now i know it can be done, but i did not enjoy it that much. my lifts did not go up nearly as fast as i expected, which disappointed me a little.

ok so question mostly answered (thanks!), last question(s):

should i expect to gain strength much more slowly if i am aiming to stay in a certain bodyweight range?

does this “prevent” me from efficiently doing linear progression programs like madcow or even starting strength? (i like to think i am through with the latter) because those require a much higher calorie intake than the odd 500-1000kcal surplus

bumpity

[quote]Xanes wrote:
bumpity[/quote]
Slow it down, Bumpy McBumpface. Two thread bumps in under a week after you’ve already gotten good advice? Not cool.

I was trying to point out that you should be decisive about whether or not you want to gain that weight. Saying you want to “stay the same weight or maybe get bigger” is like saying I want to travel to Europe or maybe stay home. Choose one and work towards it.

Not at all. You’re not at a level where your strength should plateau any significant amount, as long as your training is on point and you’re still getting quality nutrition.

You’e a hair over bodyweight for a few reps on the bench press and not at 2xBW for deads. You’ve got plenty of room to grow, strength-wise.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Slow it down, Bumpy McBumpface. Two thread bumps in under a week after you’ve already gotten good advice? Not cool.[/quote]

sorry i guess i’m used to faster paced forums. didn’t mean to be rude.

ok thats nice to hear.

on a side note i got 9x72,5kg(slightly more than bw) on bench and pulled 145kg for a single yesterday. yay. but yeah i realize thats a fraction of what could be done.

thanks for the words, i hope i won’t be asking any more questions soon.

Quit eating like crap, and move towards a healthier diet; you’ll maintain weight a lot better that way. Dump the bread, nutella, boat loads of milk, processed crap, potato chips, peanut butter.

Milk is used a mass-gainer by most strength athletes and bodybuilders. It is very insulinogenic and you will gain weight with a continued high intake of it. Use it after a workout for better growth response. Dump the legume butter(peanut butter) and eat real nut butter(cashew, walnut, almond, brazil nut, etc.). Eat quinoa instead of crappy processed wheat.

I could go on and on and on. But your diet it really going to make a big difference on your weight, and your body composition. The sooner you can learn to eat healthy, whole natural foods, the sooner you’ll see better progress. Easiest way to do it is to eat single ingredient foods; skip all the processed pre-made crap.

[quote]ImaMonsta wrote:
Quit eating like crap, and move towards a healthier diet; you’ll maintain weight a lot better that way. Dump the bread, nutella, boat loads of milk, processed crap, potato chips, peanut butter.

Milk is used a mass-gainer by most strength athletes and bodybuilders. It is very insulinogenic and you will gain weight with a continued high intake of it. Use it after a workout for better growth response. Dump the legume butter(peanut butter) and eat real nut butter(cashew, walnut, almond, brazil nut, etc.). Eat quinoa instead of crappy processed wheat.

I could go on and on and on. But your diet it really going to make a big difference on your weight, and your body composition. The sooner you can learn to eat healthy, whole natural foods, the sooner you’ll see better progress. Easiest way to do it is to eat single ingredient foods; skip all the processed pre-made crap.
[/quote]

why would you say bread is bad?

I’m not sure the relevance to who I am? Is the quality of my information sub-par for you? If so… I’ll gladly remove my comment and move on. I was simply trying to help you out, as you clearly haven’t a clue about dieting.

edit: I guess you changed your mind on my information. I appreciate you considering what I’ve got to say.

Because a majority of bread is garbage. The only bread I eat is made from sprouted grains. If you have a certain amount of calories you’re aiming for, why not eat the best possible options for said calories? Why would I drink 120 calories of juice, when I could just eat a fresh apple and get all the micro-nutrients as well as the fiber. Same train of thought applies to bread - why eat bread, when could you could eat a better complex carbohydrate that has more fiber, micro-nutrients, and is slower digesting than bread? I’m simply trying to push you in a better direction. Your nutrition is everything, and there is a lot to know(I don’t know anything in the wide scope of things).

If you don’t believe me that bread is crap, you should read more. Processed grains(and refined sugar) are becoming a big part of why there are are so many obese, sick people on the planet.

I eat bread and bagels and pastas and I’m not obese hell I have actually lots a crazy amount of weight in the past eating whole grain bread although I’m not arguing that the OP diet is way off but none the less we disagree to a point.

the relevance of who you are goes very far in how the advice you give is accepted and understood espeacially to beginners in this particular field. Why would they want to take a advice from some one who is not more advanced than their selves. Then you run into the whole Blind leading the Blind subject again.

Now I’m not saying you don’t know what your talking about because I don’t know you (even though I don’t agree with what your saying) different things work for different people and without you telling us who you are or atleast your accomplishments how are people able to take your advice seriously when for all they know your just regurgitating what you read in this months issue of what ever magazine. Its the whole You want to know who your doctor was before you let him open your brain kind of thing.

[quote]Reed wrote:
I eat bread and bagels and pastas and I’m not obese hell I have actually lost a crazy amount of weight in the past eating whole grain bread although I’m not arguing that the OP diet is way off but none the less we disagree to a point.

the relevance of who you are goes very far in how the advice you give is accepted and understood espeacially to beginners in this particular field. Why would they want to take a advice from some one who is not more advanced than their selves. Then you run into the whole Blind leading the Blind subject again.

Now I’m not saying you don’t know what your talking about because I don’t know you (even though I don’t agree with what your saying) different things work for different people and without you telling us who you are or atleast your accomplishments how are people able to take your advice seriously when for all they know your just regurgitating what you read in this months issue of what ever magazine. Its the whole You want to know who your doctor was before you let him open your brain kind of thing.[/quote]

[quote]ImaMonsta wrote:
edit: I guess you changed your mind on my information. I appreciate you considering what I’ve got to say. [/quote]
yeah sorry for being gay at first, but what the other guy said… i thought i have no reference that you are any more advanced than i am.

but your thoughts are quite interesting

[quote]Reed wrote:
I eat bread and bagels and pastas and I’m not obese hell I have actually lots a crazy amount of weight in the past eating whole grain bread although I’m not arguing that the OP diet is way off but none the less we disagree to a point.
[/quote]

in that case i would like to have pointed out what exactly is “way off” in my nutrition. i have been told over and over again to gain weight through any means possible(note the nutella for example) and i think that will be a habit backfiring on me.

I’ve done well with eating bread and bagels, too. I’m just simply stating on a health factor, they’re crap. They hold little to no nutrients in them. I guess if you’re only concerned about macros, then go for it! :slight_smile:

I wish I could tell you’ve I’ve got some awesome degree, or that I’ve been training individuals for years; unfortunately, that’s just not the case. I do however feel as though my 6 years of training and learning dieting has given some idea of what’s going on. I don’t feel as though I gave any ignorant information that holds no value. You may disagree with me on terms of grains, which I’m fine with. But I have a hard time believing that you completely disagree with me in relation to what he’s said he’s eaten in the last day, and it being a majority of crap. Am I mistaken with my milk comment? Will putting something as sugary as Nutella all over bread really help him maintain his current body weight? What about potato chips? Starch and hydrogenated oils? Right… I didn’t see a single vegetable listed in his daily intake, nor eggs, any lean meat, or even something with some real fiber.

I’m neglecting to see where I’m wrong in saying he should reassess his diet, and consider a healthier alternative if he wants to maintain his current weight and become stronger.