Too Much Reading - Losing Focus?

Hi all, ive been reading this forum for awhile and thought I would take the plunge and sign up and say hello.

About me: Im 6ft and weigh 12 stone. Im naturally very skinny and lightweight. Ive been working out for 2 years and when i started I was 10 stone. Ive really hit a platau recently and im not (visualy) happy with myself. There seems to be just too much fat around my mid section that ive gathered through eating which may be distoring any good mass ive gained up top, although I do feel bulker from the chest up.

A major sticking point is my shoulders which have no shape to them at all unless I flex them, but it looks like my arms go straight down. At the moment im working out twice a week (cut from 3 times which I was doing for 6 months and felt I wasn’t getting anywhere and was always tired). Now its Sundays and thursdays and i’ll have DOMs for 2 or 3 days after. My workout is only twice a week but I really hit everything hard when i go and eat as much as i can:

Sunday: Bench presses 4x10 (failing on the last couple of reps on the last 2 sets)
Chest cable flyes 4 X 10
Incline/decline (4 weeks alternate) dumbell presses 4 X 10

    Squats (20 reps or 4X10 - alternating)
    Bicep barbell curls (4X10)
    Hammer Curls

Thursdays: Behind neck machine shoulder presses (4X10)
Arndold presses 4X10
Side raises 4x10

      T-Barbell Rows - 4X10
      Deadlifts 20 reps
      Misc isolation tricep work

(its worth noting that this is my latest workout, not what ive been doing for ever) Each workout lasts about an hour and 15mins and I really put everything ive got into it. I will hurt after until nearly the next workout.

I would really like to add more mass, but from reading various sources I really am confused about how much is optimal training for hyperthrohy. I stick to around 12 sets per body part for everything and can hardly lift my hand to scratch my head after (well you get the idea). Ive read about overtraining and thats why I cut from 3 times a week where i showed no progress to this split where there has been some minimal gains. I need some help bringing my focus back and especially help with my shoulders which dont respond well to whatever i do rep/set wise!

Questions running round my head after a lot of reading are: Is DOMS a good sign of a good workout or not? Surely it must be if it indicates microtrauma to the muscle?

How the hell do you actually overtrain?

How many sets per bodypart is best for growth?

Is it just a case of me trying out various routines until i find something that produces results?

Are there any ‘swear by’ routines that can pack mass onto the skinniest of people?

Ive read too much for my own good and am a little confused and lacking in focus Does anyone else get like this?

Great website by the way. Makes great reading.

I have a feeling the conspicuous absence of any mention of food is a major issue.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
I have a feeling the conspicuous absence of any mention of food is a major issue.[/quote]

Right on, Trib. If you’ve been training regularly for 2 years, 2x/week shouldn’t be causing this much DOMS. Jack up your calories, focusing on good-quality protein intake, and then get back to us in a few months.

[quote]Benreturns wrote:
How the hell do you actually overtrain?
[/quote]
You use the same movement patterns too often, you have too much stress in your life, lifting too heavy too often, not sleeping right, not eating right. They can all contribute.

Depends on what works for you. Start with the basics - 3 or 4 sets of 8 -12. Change monthly, see what works for you.

Yes.

No, but Beyond Brawn might be a good read for you.

Maybe sometimes. You just have to accept that many different things work, so try everything that sounds good to you.

Dude, at the end of the day, you have to accept genetics. Its the single most important factor in getting in shape. I would say exercise is second and nutrition a very close third.

Personally I have too eat way too much to get my skinny 6 foot arse over 190Lbs.

The heaviest I ever got was 204lbs. I was eating constantly and reading Beyond Brawn. Problem was I ate the wrong foods, so I felt shit.

20 reps on the deadlift? that seems a little CNS intensive.

hi all, i seem to have duplicated this post by accident - so thanks to everyone whos replied to me. Its great to have fresh advice! I have taken everyones posts in and its feels like a new start. Sounds corny, but hey its better than hearsay and what everyone else in my gym does.

yeah 20 rep deadlift and 20 rep squats ive been trying after reading its a sure fire way to mass. Man they kill and it feels like I want to be sick and i dont half make some strange noises when im doing those last reps but they do feel great after. At least, after my breathing returns to normal. Im going to stick to big compound lifts. I have an excersize I found called a T-barbell row and that feels absolutely killer. I love it. My lats and lower back burn and it just feels so powerfull! Stick to these with benches, squats, deadlifts and military presses?

[quote]Benreturns wrote:
…Stick to these with benches, squats, deadlifts and military presses? [/quote]

Yes. See my post on your other thread.