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Struggling To Gain Mass at a low Bf %


Age: 19
Bf: 8%
Weight: 65 kg's (143 lbs)
Height: 1 m 70 (5'6)

Deadlift: 175 kgs (385 lbs) 1RM
Bench: 120 kgs (264 lbs) 1RM
Squat: 160 kgs x 3 (350 lbs)

I've been training relentlessly for about 2 years and in that time have made incredible gains in strength and gains that are ok in size, especially considering that i was absolutely tiny when i first started training. However over the past 6 months i have seen the most gains in my strength and have been practically religious with my training and have seen barely any gains in size, i just keep getting more cut regardless of how i train and seemingly how i eat.

Understandably I'm doing something wrong, as at my age especially i should be able to pack on some mass, especially considering that I am really light to begin with. I doubt its my training as I focus my training purely on mass gaining excersizes and do a lot of powerlifting excersizes (esp. deadlifts, bench and squats). I hardly do any cardio as i dont need considering the low Bf %.

Ruling bad training (which maybe i shouldnt be doing but will leave that till another post) out its obviously my diet that is costing me dearly. I'm in res at university at the moment so cant get my diet spot on due to the food we get in the dining halls, but I do use a blender to make shakes in my room and have other meals over and above my normal 3 meals from the dining hall.

Currently squeezing in about 3000 cals a day with my meals and shakes, 350g - 400g of carbs and about 200g of protein. Supplements im taking, Mass Gaining Protein Powders (Serious Mass), Creatine and Jack3d as a pre work out.

I would just like some suggestions as to how i can change my intake of calories and carbs to optimise my mass gains and how i can change my supplementation to also help with that. Also suggestions for high carb shake recipes will be more than welcome as well.. :slightly_smiling:

Thanks for the time!


1 Stop worrying about your abs and realize that your low body fat % will increase for you to gain an actual amount of mass

2 Having access to a school cafeteria should not be seen as a negative. At your age and level of development you can afford to get some high cal "junk" food in.

3 Post vids of those lifts. I know I'm not one to judge, but I'm skeptical as I'm sure others will be

4 The money you spend on Jack3d, invest it in some foods that you can keep in your room that won't go bad/can be refrigerated assuming you have a mini. You can buy a lot of tuna and milk for what you spend on Jack3d.


Eat more than 3000 calories a day.

Try to get an all you can eat meal plan.


I want to see a video not so much because I doubt you so much as because I just want to see someone who is 143lbs squat 350 3x--impressive stuff.


eat more



Sorry, but unless you're a marathon runner or have a tapeworm you're severely overestimating your daily caloric intake. Someone who is 143 lbs is not CONSISTENTLY eating 3,000 cals a day.


thats what i was thinking


I'll admit im not consistent with eating that exact same amount each day but a lot of it also comes from my protein shakes, haha and honestly sometime i think i do have a bloody tapeworm. But it almost seems the more i eat, the more i need to go take a dump each day, sometimes almost 4 a day! But I Guess the moral of the story here is just to go on a "See Food" diet, see food and eat it..

Just as a question, i dont know much about the science behind genetics but my father was an olympic long distance athlete, ran 5000M does anyone thinks genetics could also be a factor as to why i struggle to put on mass and have such a fast metabolism?


Your issue is with food. Eat consistently, eat a lot. It's really not that hard. Stop looking for reasons why you may not be putting on size and recognize the ONE reason that you are not putting on size is consistent caloric surplus.

Yes you're going to shit more the more you eat, that's a no brainer. I shit like 5 times a day.


Time to sack up and eat.


The more you eat the more you have to go to the bathroom? Who woulda thought?

Eat more food and do it EVERY SINGLE DAY if you want to get bigger.


The more you dump, the LESS your body's actually absorbing of what you eat. If it ends up in the toilet, it's not being used to help you grow. Time to look at WHAT you are eating. Quantity reigns supreme, but it's less than optimal without quality.


You should never bulk cause every 20lbs of fat you will gain, wou will "lose" some penis size. True story


Its true, however most people measure (and I believe the study published did so) in 10 lb increments.

Nonetheless, OP, if you want to gain muscle, you almost certainly have to eat more. More nutrients= more building blocks.

Stop spinning your wheels.

You can always get you abs back later on, and be happier with your physique than now.


Kid, you just answered your own question. You don't eat 3k a day consistently. I'd be surprised if you understand how much 3k worth of cals is. If you ate the same foods 90% of the time and the total added up to 3,000 cals you would be a shit ton bigger than 140-something pounds. It's really that simple. 50 grams of protein is only 200 cals. Think about that. I guarantee you're nowhere near 3,000 cals a day.


You NEED to be consistent with your eating. I sat for over a year at 200lbs with zero gains and assumed I was just near my max potential for the time. I was eating a lot, but not on a consistent basis. I'd eat 6 meals 4 days out of the week, but some days I'd be too lazy to cook the night before and only would eat 3. 4 days at 4.5-5k cals and 3 days at maybe 2.5k cals was not enough to grow.

I ended up hiring a trainer. I knew what I needed to do and how to do it, but lacked the drive to apply it. By hiring a trainer, I was putting out money that I did not want to go to waste and I also had someone to ridicule me if I wasn't sticking to the plan. I'm 218.7 by yesterday's weigh in with no increase in my BF%. That's 16lbs above where I started 10 weeks ago. I furthered my motivation by deciding to do a show in September. Between my trainer and wanting to place well at the show, my drive has completely changed my daily habits. Hell, I keep canned chicken and instant potatoes in my truck so I have no excuse to miss a meal.

Some people have it easy and can gain weight with a half ass diet and good training. If you're a hard-gainer, you need to have an excellent diet and good training. There's no excuses. If you're not growing, you are doing something wrong. We can grow just as big as the next guy, we just have to try a little harder.


Like has been said, you have to be honest with how much you are eating. If it's difficult to be consistent with whole foods, have more liquid meals (another advantage to liquid meals is lessor calories needed for the body to process them...which means that more overall calories are put towards mass gains).

Just for your information, I plugged your stats into a mass gaining calculator and came up with very high calorie intake. This calculator is a very accurate/brilliant one from John Barardi (have used it myself to get an educated "guestimate"/starting point):


On your training days (assuming workouts ~1 hour), at your "leaness" level you'd need around 3400 cals/day to make small/steady gains. And that's just at a MODERATE activity level. If you use the active activity/fast metabolism, the results are 4500 cals/day!

The results for me are around 5750 cals/day just to maintain my weight on training days! This is spot on because for the past year I've had to consistently eat around 6000 cals/day to make slow gains.

So DON'T underestimate calories if you have a fast metabolism/active lifestyle. It's a very simple law of energy balance. Some have a very high resting metabolic rate (e.g. myself) depending on how lean you are, activity level and metabolism.


You know how we know that you don't know how to eat?

If you did, you'd be cooking most of the time. If you cooked most of the time, you'd have an idea of the VOLUME of clean food required to hit 3,000 calories every day. It's a LOT of food.

So, because you clearly have no idea how much food that is, you clearly don't regularly cook for yourself OR have not cooked ENOUGH (read: often, consistently) to get an understanding of what a calorie is.

That was not condescension, either. The realization of how many calories a plate of clean food can be versus how many calories of energy are burned doing movement X is pretty sobering; that 250 calorie Snickers? Guess how much lifting would be required to burn it off? It's a good lesson, makes you appreciate food and the economics of energy expenditure.


With the other guys mate, increase your calories to accommodate your needs and accept a bit of fat gain. Once you hit the right amount of calories your fat gain should be minimal, take your time mate, patience will help.


Very simple way to add 2000 cal. per day is to snack on nuts and granola throughout the day. Get some trailmix and some almonds. Fats have 9 cal per gram, so they are your best bet for calories and thus mass.


Why would he want to add 2000 cal?

No one wants to eat 400g of almonds. Lol