T Nation

Understanding Progress/Weight Gain


In the last 6 weeks or so I've gained 12.5 lbs as a result of the diet and the program below. I look slightly healthier and have been increasing my lifts but I'm concerned I'm putting on a fair amount of fat too.

Age 22, Height 5'10.5", Weight 164.5lbs

Breakfast: ~1.5 cups high protein / high fiber cereal with 3/4 cup skim milk, 2 tbsp flax seed oil or 3*6*9, 2 small yogurt cups

Meal 2: 3 pieces of fruit, 1 30gp meal replacement bar

Meal 3: large salad with grilled chicken, cheese and 2 pieces of cheese (roughly 5gp each) or a yogurt on the side with 500ml of 2% milk

Meal 4: either a large chicken sandwich or a can of tuna with cottage cheese

Meal 5: 4 egg omelet with 3 pieces of no fat cheese and some veggies inside with flax oil and walnuts on top, 1 medium sized flax/wheat flat bread cracker

Meal 6-7: snack on chicken breast, cottage cheese, fruit and a protein shake (after workout on training days, before bed on off days)

I have about 3 cheat meals per week and they are never on the same day. Water intake is usually about 3 liters, multi-vitamin and fish oil supps every day.

Workout: (all sets ramp up, increasing the weight of each set by 10%-20%)

Monday: Bench 5x5; Row 5x5; Squat 5x5
Support: 3x8 curls; 3x8 overhead tricep extensions

Wednesday: Clean 4x5; Squat 4x5; Bench 4x5
Support: 3x8 weighted hypers, 3x8 weighted situps, 2x20 calf raises

Friday: Squat 4x5; 1x3; 1x8; Bench 4x5; 1x3; 1x8; Deadlift 4x5; 1x3; 1x8
Support: leg raises, dips, pulls ups

I've been doing this program for 6 weeks today and I plan on changing to TBT either this coming monday or next.

Am I on the right track? Should I be worried about the quick weight gain i.e. am I probably gaining alot of fat? Please give me your thoughts about any changes I should make.


3 cheat meals per week are not even cheat meals, its called not being able to maintain a clean diet

3 pieces of fruit and a bar is not a meal, "snacking" on something is not a meal

for your workout, try to incorporate some type of heavy row and some overhead pressing

If you are still gaining too much fat with this kind of diet either your workout intensity has to be complete crap or your 'cheat meals' have to be enormous, i would think that you are undereating

if your goal is fat loss, try to do some HIIT on non-lifting days



You're a great poster and give great advice. Please help me understand some of the following:

How am I up 12.5lbs in 6 weeks if I'm not eating enough?

I get about 2000-3000 cals a day usually like 2300 I think

3 pieces of fruit + bar = about 500 cals, 60+gc and 30+gp, this has got to be a meal.

snacking doesn't mean 1 bite size piece of chicken, it means 1 breast and half a cup of cottage cheese with 2 pieces of fruit. Also mealish IMO - correct me if I'm wrong.

my cheat meals are never huge, they might be things like having a beer and a few slices of pizza. (I have about 1-2 drinks a week - rarely binging 4-5 drinks in 1 night and then its red wine)

My workouts are about an hour and leave me DRAINED. My final rep of my fifth set I can barely finish.

I'm not sure I'm gaining too much fat, I'm wondering if 12.5lbs in a 6 weeks would imply too much fat.

My goal is to gain lots of muscle and looks good nekkid. BF scale says 16-17% bf, don't think I need to do anything special to lose bf, figure that will happen by diet and my program.


I think that most people are able to put on a maximum of about 2 pounds of muscle in a month. So you've probably gained 10 pounds of fat.


Let's not be too hasty and assume 10 lbs of fat gain, that would be pretty obvious. It's not good to get all your information only from what you've read. Someone in the beginning stages of training can gain muscle at a much more accelerated rate than most.


Hah! When you're 165 lbs, you can probably gain 2 solid pounds a WEEK.


So since I was 152 when I started and based on my program/diet is it likely that ~80% of the 12.5 lbs is muscle?

Should I be concerned about gaining weight this fast?


Take a look in the mirror. Do you see any loss of definition? If not, keep going. If you're getting pudgy, slow down.


Take a Picture now so as you go up and down in weight you can compare pictures. When you look in the mirror every day you see what you want to see. Since you don't have a 152 picture we have to go by the mirror anyway, when you look at your body do you look like you gained any fat? If not then it was probably majority muscle and musclenutrient weight you gained. You can also be a little bloated if you started eating ALOT more out of the blue.

Also how much stronger are you in your lifts? 12lbs of pure muscle will increase your lifts ALOT.

Honestly, your routine is not the best for purely building muscle. It will make your body store nutrients more to be able to lift heavy weight though. You may want to up the number of reps for muscle gain. So based off your routine I would say you haven't gained 12lbs of muscle, unless you tell me your squat went up 50lbs,deadlift 50lbs, bench 20lbs and pullups 5 reps or something.



Great way to size it up. Thanks.

Seems like I'm gaining some definition and getting bigger in back, chest and thighs.

My squat has gone up 30 lbs, and bench almost 20 lbs and over all load has gone up alot since my ramp up sets are now heavier too.

Good advice on increasing reps. Do you think TBT is a good way to move? or do you think I should do the same program and just up it to 6-8 reps?