I have been seriously lifting now since my freshman year of college (I'm a junior now). I have made decent gains, but I am a weak presser and I am unhappy with the way my physique has developed. I feel as though my arms are too small and the fat above my core will never go away, but I look very skinny when I cut down.
I have done everything from high rep/volume hypertrophy training, JTS Juggernaut Method, and Greg O'Gallagher's Kinobody program, and currently doing total body workouts... but I feel stuck in between bulking and cutting, and I am not nearly as "big" as I want to be.
I am 20 years old, 5'11" and 162lbs. My biceps and calves are 14.5 inches and my waist 32 inches. I ballpark my BF to be around 10-12%
My current program is three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Monday: Ab Work and Dumbbell Snatch
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets of 6-8 Dumbbell Goblet Squat 4 sets of 6-8 1/2 Kneeling shoulder press 4 sets of 6-8 Romanian Deadlift 4 sets of 6-8 reps Bicep Curls 4 sets of 8-10 rest pause
Wednesday Core Work and Plyometrics
Incline Dumbbell Flyes 4 sets of 6-8 Bulgarian Split Squat 4 sets of 6-8 Bent over Flye or Rear Delt Machine 4 sets of 6-8 Kettlebell Swings until failure Over head Tricep press 4 sets of 8-10
Friday Powerclean from hang/front squat/split Jerk 4 sets of 3
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets of 6-8 Lateral Lunge 4 sets of 6-8 Pull ups (weighted) 4 sets to failure Single Leg RDL 4 sets of 6-8
I end my workouts with some medium intensity conditioning. I recently added a fourth set because 3 had begun to feel like it was not enough work.
Do you have any thoughts or workouts I should try? Thoughts on my progress?
I think you've got 2 problems in my opinion. 1 is that you probably aren't eating enough. I had this problem at your age for a little while. You've got to just make the effort to really add some body weight by eating a lot more. You'll get softer, but you literally cannot worry about that right now if you want to add some serious size. You look like you are in pretty good shape in terms of bodyfat level, but you can't kid yourself and pretend you can maintain that if you want to really add some muscle. You are nearly 6ft and barely over 150lbs. You've just got to take a while, probably over a year and just really start adding calories and protein.
Second your lifting could use some work:
Monday: Ab Work and Dumbbell Snatch
*drop the dumbbell snatch, it isn't worth your time right now. No need to do much in the area of ab work besides work on the standing abwheel rollout. Don't spend the time and energy on it.
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets of 6-8 *All good, but switch to the barbell. It'll allow you add smaller increments in weight and ultimate use more weight. For naturals strength generally equals size. Work on building up the weight in the rep range.
Dumbbell Goblet Squat 4 sets of 6-8 *Drop the goblet squat, it isn't worth your time. You need to put a barbell on your back and hoist some weight. Do 1 set of 20 and add weight every time you hit 20. You should work up to 300x20
1/2 Kneeling shoulder press 4 sets of 6-8 *Stop with the fancy stuff. Stand up and press with a barbell. Get some fractional plates and add 2.5lbs per week.
Romanian Deadlift 4 sets of 6-8 reps *No issues but add weight.
Bicep Curls 4 sets of 8-10 rest pause *Fine, but you are missing work for your lats, the largest muscles of the upper back. Start doing weighted pullups. I prefer lowish reps (less than 5) but the focus has to be on adding weight.
Wednesday Core Work and Plyometrics *Drop this stuff, you don't need it right now. save your time.
Incline Dumbbell Flyes 4 sets of 6-8 *Flys aren't worth your time right now. Just do incline dumbbell benches. Pick a weight you can do 8-15 reps. Do three sets max reps with 1 minute of rest between sets. Add weight when you hit 15 reps on the first set.
Bulgarian Split Squat 4 sets of 6-8 *if you are barbell squatting, this is fine.
Bent over Flye or Rear Delt Machine 4 sets of 6-8 *Not worth your time right now. Switch to dumbbell rows. work to a heavy weight. You should be able to do over 100lbs for multiple reps.
Kettlebell Swings until failure *No reason to do them. Drop it. Save your time and energy.
Over head Tricep press 4 sets of 8-10 *fine
Friday Powerclean from hang/front squat/split Jerk 4 sets of 3 *drop the fancy stuff,it's not worth your time if you want to gain weight. Save your energy.
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets of 6-8 *I switched this to Wednesday, it doesn't really matter, but replace one of them with dumbbell presses instead. You can do them seated. Like I wrote before, pick a weight that allows 8-15 reps and do 3 sets of max reps with 1 minute of rest between sets. Add weight when you hit 15 reps. Lateral Lunge 4 sets of 6-8 *No reason to do this, get rid of it.
Pull ups (weighted) 4 sets to failure *Awesome.
Single Leg RDL 4 sets of 6-8 *Simplify this and just deadlift. I prefer to keep the reps lowish. 5x3 will serve you well. Start with something relatively easy. Add 5lbs every week.
What I just did here is a rough change I ran through real quick. This will give you relatively high frequency on each lift with some variation, which I've found works well. I got rid of some of the fluff. Save your time, when you are working on gaining simpler tends to be better. Give this a shot and EAT. A LOT. FREQENTLY.
How is your strength? Do you worry about losing your abs if you eat more to put on weight to get as big as you want?
I think your programming is off because there aren't a whole lot of movements that would force the body to grow. Movements like heavy block pulls, back squats, weighted dips, and weighted pull ups would help you a lot.
I don't think there is a lot of value in movements, for size and/or strength, that are simply not meant to use lots of weight with, like DB snatches and Goblet squats and single leg RDLs. I think your body will have a much better stimulus for muscle growth from something like 4 inch block pulls with 455lb+80lbs of chains than 65lb goblet squats.
Any decent training program will take time to really pack on appreciable size. I commend the efforts you've put in, but also advise you to be patient. Also, I'm not sure how you devised your training split, but it's got me scratching my head.
In terms of losing size when cutting, two things come to mind: 1- Poor nutritionally thought out plan. A smart cut will do its best to preserve muscle, even if it takes a little longer to accomplish. 2- You may not have as much "muscle" as you think you do, and when you drop weight, you see what's what.
Look at the big picture. Focus on putting in your time building size, but hopefully not falling prey to the school of thinking you must become a fatass to build muscle.
Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition (to echo a couple other guys here). You need to shoot for something in the neighborhood of 2800 - 3000cals per day. You can lift your brains out, do all kinds of splits, but if you aren't giving your body adequate nutrition, you'll look exactly the same year to year. I'll give the same advice I gave another guy. Set up a diet with something like 3000 cals spread over 6 meals or so. Shoot for around 275g pro, 325g carb 70g fat.
Breakfast - 1 cup oatmeal, 1.5 cups egg whites, 1/2 cup berries or fruit.
Then have three meals spread throughout the day of 5 oz. lean protein 1 cup brown rice/6 oz sweet potato and 2 cups veggies.
Before bed 1.5 scoops Biotest Metabolic Drive plus a couple tbsp peanut butter.
Then add in a post workout shake like Surge on the days you lift right after you work out (or do the cheap version - chocolate milk)
. . . and make one of those three meals 1 hr before you train, and another one 1 hr after your PWO shake. You need to take advantage of the periworkout time period...
Do that for two weeks and reassess. If you are getting stronger and fatter, shave some carbs (as in maybe 50 or 100 calls). If stronger and leaner or just stronger but no fatter, great keep going. If neither stronger nor fatter (or even losing weight) add 100 cals of carbs and reassess after two more weeks. Bottom line is that you have to know what you're taking in and see what results before you can make the right adjustments.
You are young and look to have decent potential for growth (from looking at the pics), but you have to make good nutrition a priority. Even if you don't go all bodybuilder extreme with the diet like the one above, you need to at least get sufficient protein and carbs to fuel hard training.
. . . and as far as training, I agree with the others on here - the split makes no sense. Do either a basic push, pull legs split like Rockscar suggested or a body part split based on big compound lifts with some pump training thrown in. Progress in the compounds, work on the MMC and pump with the single-joint stuff and you should see some size gains.