T Nation

Too Low in Training Volume to Grow?


I used do go 6 times a week to the gym, and did like 30 to 35 sets, and had some results, now with this training i go 3 times a week, some times 4, and have been using for 2 months I have gained like 12 lbs, but now the results halted, does any of you could recommend a routine or specific diet for growing,. I used to be 120lbs 3 years ago im 190lbs now…

I gained a lot of weight just to look normal and im aiming to look 195 lbs with 7 % bf, and when should you start a cutting phase? because im getting some fat (mostly muscle, and the mas mostly in the transversal area, love handles)with this diet and training.

My body statics are

Age: 19
Weight : 189 lbs
Height: 6 ft
Body fat : 13 to 14 %
Years training: 2 and a half
Training: no cardio, exept warm-up (7 min on the treadmill) and the run home, (about 10 min, moderate pace) and lift very heavy (225lbs bench press 7 reps) weight routine done in 50 minutes.

Day 1 - Legs/Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Squats 3 5 - 9
Leg Press 3 5 - 9
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 3 5 - 9
Lying Leg Curls 2 5 - 9
Standing Machine Calf Raises 2 10 - 12
Seated Machine Calf Raises 2 5 - 9
Rope Crunches 2 10 - 12
Swiss Ball Crunches 2 10 - 12

Day 2 ? Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Flat Barbell Bench Press 3 5 - 9
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 5 - 9
Wide-Grip Dips 2 5 - 9
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press 2 5 - 9
Standing Side Laterals 3 10 - 12
Cable Pushdowns 2 5 - 9
EZ-Bar Skull Crushers 2 5 - 9

Day 3 ? Back/Biceps/Forearms
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts 3 5 - 9
Overhand Chin-Ups 3 5 - 9
Bent Over Barbell Rows 3 5 - 9
Barbell Shrugs 2 10 - 12
Barbell Curls 2 5 - 9
Seated Dumbbell Curls 3 5 - 9
Barbell Wrist Curls 1 10 - 12

When you stop gaining weight, the first thing to do is to up your calories.

The cutting question you can only answer yourself. If you really feel that you aren’t happy with the amount of fat you’ve gained and cannot stand how it looks, then you could cut.

From your picture it doesn’t look like you’ve gained enough fat to be worried about…but you’re the only one who can decide that in the end.

Maybe you could add in some regular cardio, not too much, just a couple times a week. It might help you curb the fat gain without having to stop bulking.

There are always lots of factors that will influence how much volume is too much.

Try to infer your fibre type distribution from a rep test with 80% of your max. 10 reps tends to indicate a fairly mixed distribution. Much less suggests fast twitch dominant, which will benefit from higher intensity, lower volume training. Conversely much higher indicates slow twitch characteristics and the opposite training is required.

Bear in mind though that some muscles/groups throughout the body differ in their proportion slow or fast twitch fibres based on their function e.g. hamstrings (phasic) benefit from low reps, traps (tonic) benefit from higher reps.

And also don’t forget that when you do want to cut, the volume has to be reduced. And volume is also dependent on the training block being conducted, where you are in the block, your general preparedness etc.

Alternatively disregard the above and SMASH FUCKING WEIGHTS.

Eat more.

Also, I would add another workout or two but that’s just me.

If you are not gaining weight, eat more food.

Just some quick thoughts:

Lower your carbs on non-lifting days.

Cut off carbs after 4-5pm.

Morning walks on an empty stomach.

If you maintain an OVERALL caloric surplus but implement those rules you can manage bodyfat (or get a bit leaner) while adding muscle imho.

I agree with adding in 1 more weight workout per week- I think the overall volume is a little much on a per workout basis though.

One other tip that someone very knowledgeable gave me- pair shoulders with back so you don’t do all your pushing on one day. I’ve noticed a huge difference in how my shoulders/elbows feel by not doing all my pushing in one day (and I can lift more for shoulders by not doing them last on a chest/tri day).

So:

Legs/Abs
Back/Shoulders
Chest/Bis/Tris (in that order).

You could do

Legs/Abs
Back/Shoulders
OFF
Chest/Bis/Tris
OFF
Repeat with Legs/Abs

This way you hit each muscle group 2x every 7 days. Shoot for 5-6 sets per muscle group over 2 different exercises per muscle group per session. This will get you the volume you need over a week’s time (10-12 good work sets) but provide greater frequency. I prefer that over the 1x per week do-it-all-in-one-session approach then wait around a week to do that bodypart again. If you don’t go to failure often it’s not a problem.

Every time you do Legs rotate between a squat focus and stiff leg deadlift focus each time so you aren’t doing one or the other hard more than 1x per week. Do calves each time.

The only reason I’m outlining this is because your plateau may mean that a new approach could be good for you.

You’re 190lbs at 13% bf (165 lbs muscle). You want to be 195 at 7% bf (181 lbs of muscle) . So I don’t think you have to worry about cutting at the moment. Think about it. Obviously your going to have to reach at least 210 before you start cutting to down to 195 at 7% bf. Maybe even more.

I’m pretty the same weight and height as you. 6ft , 200lbs 16% bodyfat. I noticed a big difference between 190 14% (3 months ago) and my current level of fat. So I think as long as you stay under 15% by the time you hit 210 you’ll be OK. For me 15-20% is starting to get to “fatty”.

thanks everyone for the posts, I really need the advice, and Im always willing to learn, also im switching to this routine:

Day 1 - Back/Calves/Forearms
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts 3 5 - 10
Bent Over Barbell Rows 3 5 - 10
Overhand Chin-Ups 3 5 - 710
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 10 - 12
Standing Machine Calf Raises 3 10 - 12
Seated Machine Calf Raises 3 5 - 10
Dumbbell Wrist Curls 1 10 - 12

Day 2 - Chest/Shoulders/Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 5 - 10
Wide-Grip Dips 3 5 - 10
Flat Barbell Bench Press 3 5 - 10
Standing Military Press 3 5 - 10
Standing Dumbbell Side Laterals 3 10 - 12
Weighted Decline Crunches 3 10 - 12
Weighted Leg Raises 3 10 - 12

Day 3 - Thighs/Biceps/Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Squats 3 5 - 10
Dumbbell Lunges 3 5 - 10
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 3 5 - 10
Lying Leg Curls 3 10-12
Barbell Curls 3 5 - 7
Cable Pushdowns 3 5 - 10
Standing Dumbbell Curls 3 5 - 10
Overhead Dumbbell Extensions 3 5 - 10

it has a little more volume, also, has anyone ever been trough this situation ??, where gained a shitload of weight just to look normal ? ( i used to be 120 lbs), and if you do, how did you overcame it, I mean, when i was 12 lbs smaller I looked more cut, now im in the point in between where im not that muscular, and im not that lean, my abs started to fade away, the lines of my shoulders also,and im not doing any cardio, maybe I should start my diet its about 3 600 kcals, maybe push it to 4000 for growing purposes, im nowhere near the weight and size needed for a cutting phase…but damn fat pisses me off

[quote]Itchy wrote:
If you are not gaining weight, eat more food. [/quote]

I keep reading this advice on the board. I wonder why…

Where the hell did that routine come from? Why do you insist on making up your own routine?

You’ve already ignored my advice once, but wtf, I will try to help you again.

Do this program

[quote]G87 wrote:
Eat more.

Also, I would add another workout or two but that’s just me.[/quote]

I tried, adding an other day, but I ended over training, because of the intensity of the workout… and besides my natural recovery time sucks, im not using any supplements, maybe you guys could recommend some…

[quote]trextacy wrote:
Where the hell did that routine come from? Why do you insist on making up your own routine?

You’ve already ignored my advice once, but wtf, I will try to help you again.

Do this program


[/quote]

I got this program from an other ex skinny bastard, Sean Nalewanyj, I got his book, and it helped,I didnt make up my own routine, even I know thats a dumb move

[quote]trextacy wrote:
Where the hell did that routine come from? Why do you insist on making up your own routine?

You’ve already ignored my advice once, but wtf, I will try to help you again.

Do this program


[/quote]

I didn’t ignore your advice man,i am going to follow it, I really appreciate it, im going to change the order of the one i posted, (the back and shoulders specially,) also, I’ll consider the westside for skinny bastards program, looks, pretty demanding, but guess its just what i need. thanks a lot

[quote]FenixRise wrote:
trextacy wrote:
Where the hell did that routine come from? Why do you insist on making up your own routine?

You’ve already ignored my advice once, but wtf, I will try to help you again.

Do this program

I didn’t ignore your advice man,i am going to follow it, I really appreciate it, im going to change the order of the one i posted, (the back and shoulders specially,) also, I’ll consider the westside for skinny bastards program, looks, pretty demanding, but guess its just what i need. thanks a lot [/quote]

I PMd you- no worries. Don’t feel like you have to do Westside for Skinny Bastards.

Read this article:
www.ironaddicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9940

It’s the best article (for any level) I’ve ever read as far as covering all of the bases.

you need to get serious with the lower body stuff, you look like your legs are very twiggy.

I can help you.

Coaching is 1000 bucks per month.

[quote]Itchy wrote:
If you are not gaining weight, eat more food. [/quote]

Seriously. What else do people expect to hear. “Take steroids bro!”

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
you need to get serious with the lower body stuff, you look like your legs are very twiggy.[/quote]

I DO need very serious work in my lower body, but my legs are not twiggy =D

[quote]FenixRise wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
you need to get serious with the lower body stuff, you look like your legs are very twiggy.

I DO need very serious work in my lower body, but my legs are not twiggy =D[/quote]

they looked much smaller in the top picture.

with that picture added, you look more balenced.

[quote]G87 wrote:
Itchy wrote:
If you are not gaining weight, eat more food.

Seriously. What else do people expect to hear. “Take steroids bro!”[/quote]

Thats all I keep hearing at the local gyms