Training for Mass without Proper Nutrition

Hello, I will be turning 40 next week, resistance training in the last two years, after martial arts and endurance training for over a decade.
Due to my work I don’t get enough sleep or proper nutrition (yes, I know how important these things are for my gains, but I honestly can not control them).
I train 3 times a week, full body each time, using classic bodybuilding Rep schemes (3 sets of 8-12 reps for the most part).
Do you think I should change the way I train, assuming it is unlikely that I will gain mass because of the lack of nutrition and sleep?
I love training this way, even though I don’t see results for obvious reasons, but I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting my time. Is there a different way to train with weights that would be more beneficial for me?
Thank you for your time

Current height and weight? How much mass are you wanting? What prevents you from proper sleep and eating properly?

Thanks for the reply
I’m 5.7, 142 lbs. I want to gain between 15-20 lbs.
Since I work in shifts I sometimes sleep no more than 4 hours. Regarding nutrition, It’s the same reasons. Often times my shifts are longer than 12 hours and I can only this bring do much food with me

Sandwiches and milk.

Easy to make, pack and eat.

It’s possible to make three 600-calorie sandwiches and drink a quart or more of milk in a day.

That can be 2100+ calories right there.

And then there’s dinner.

I went from 165 to 190 in a short amount of time doing that just recently, and I’m 6’. Some of it is rebound from weighing 195 a few years ago, but 3000 calories a day at your size should make a difference.

I will add in … consider only doing a full body twice a week.


Why do you feel you don’t have control over your nutrition?

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You can control them.

If your schedule makes it hard to eat I honestly would do the following:

Eat a shit ton every time you eat. For the most part of the past few years I’ve eaten 75% of the time 2 meals a day. But they were HUGE. I can easily put down 1000-2000 calories of QUALITY food in a sitting.

You can EASILY get to 3000 calories in giant meals a day. Technically you could even do that with one meal a day.

Where there is a will there is a way. You just have to adapt to your circumstance.

I wouldn’t suggest this guy’s strategy, but he eats one meal a day.

I regularly go 12 hours without solid food. I can still get 3000+ calories a day in like that if needed. I could probably do 4000 if it was required.

What does your full sleep schedule look like? You say sometimes you only get 4 hours sleep (join the club), how often is this? Most nights? Every other night? Once a week? Is there any opportunity for naps? What does your sleep look like other times?

First of all, thank you all for the replies.
I will increase the calories per sitting, I haven’t done that yet because I thought the body will not absorb so much. I will also pack more sandwiches. Can’t go wrong with peanut butter and jelly…
bulldog 9899, do you think training twice a week would be better than three times per week? Is that enough stimulus?

Nuts and salad cheese.

Cashews are 500+ cals and 18g of protein per 100 grams, are really healthy and can be taken anywhere.
Salad cheese can be added into a diet pretty easily. 200g is 450 cals and 26 grams of protein.
If I’m lacking calories I find these two really help me.

If you enjoy your training, no need to change. You will make good strength gains if your BW increases.
Are you able to make increases in your lifts now ? Adding weights to the bar every few workouts?
The other way to think of planning your lifts are to expand your week. This will work if you divide into body parts or lifts . You may need a 8 or 10 day week before you go back to your training session #1 of your week.
Good luck and welcome.

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Only if your not recovering from a 3 times a week full body approach. Considering your age along with your current diet and sleep situation. I consider it a valid option .


First and foremost thank you all for giving me the motivation to keep trying, but also for the information and your suggestions. I am going to implement your ideas and keep training.
Thanks again

they do make high calorie bars some in the 1000 calorie range. they don’t taste very good and are dry but I used to throw a few in my back pack when I would go hunting solo and they worked.

Thanks, I will look into it. 1000 calories is quite impressive