T Nation

Want to Be Huge Again


Basically i stopped doing body part splits for a few years and did muai thai with 1 or 2 full body workouts a week. Dropped a lot of fat along with a lot of muscle. I started up again 2 months ago and my lifts have increased a lot, maybe by 40-50%, which i thought was strange.

I figured because i was getting stronger that my muscle memory would kick in and start putting muscle back on me. So realised i needed to eat more. im gradually increasing calories until i notice im gaining weight.

So i was wondering if its mostly my diet thats holding me back from gaining weight even while having muscle memory? I feel like i look bigger and stronger, but same weight..? Would like some advice on muscle memory and what routine would be good to get back some lost muscle. Thanks

edit: Decided on doing either 4 or 5 day split:



is there really much difference aslong as im progressing in weights that i lift?


What was your weight before and weight now? Any idea of BF% before/now?

I would say patience - it won't just happen overnight.

B) Why are you so worried about weight? You say you look bigger and stronger which means you are doing this right!

See what more experienced people say but that's what reasoned logic tells me.


I used to weigh around 225lbs at 22% bf now around 175 at around 12%. Maybe i just think im bigger? The mirror has lied to me in the past. I just assumed getting bigger and stronger means my weight would go up. My workouts tend to be done quick with short rest periods. Could this be an issue? Maybe take longer rest between sets?

And also looking at mike ohearn's powerbuilding program, anyone done this with good results? Say 3x5 with straight sets with bench, dead, squat and mil press, then 2 assis exercises ramping to set of 6-12 bodybuilding style?


Your thoughts seem to be all over the place and I am not really sure why.

What are your goals?

How tall are you? Unless you are pretty short, 225lbs at 22% bf is not 'big', so I would say you don't have the muscle memory you think.

Take photos.

Weight gain is controlled by food intake so if you want to put on scale weight keep adding calories gradually as you are doing - however if you are getting bigger and stronger as you are doing then I see no need to. Just be patient.

Short rest periods are not an issue (thinking hypertrophy) unless they're significantly hindering the weight you can handle on the next set.

You seem to be over analysing this - paralysis by analysis. You've made progress getting lean. Good Job. You are now getting bigger and stronger. Good Job. Where is the problem?

I would suggest you find KingBeefs thread on here 'do this routine instead of that dumb one' or something along those lines.


Im around 5 '8. My goals are to get stronger and bigger. First goal hypertrophy secong is strength, but using a program which can give me both would be awesome. Yeah ive read about that so ill go over to that now. Would a 4 day split make much difference to a 5 day for me? As in giving arms their own day?


Here is the thread NewAdventure referenced above:

Give it a read... Kingbeed is in pretty good shape, and there are a number of good posts.

Your goal requires time and effort, that is about all. A lean/cut muscle will always look better than pudge. So the "size" probably comes from better set shoulders, bigger arms, etc. The location of muscle and fat distributes differently which will give a different impression of size.

It is important to note that at 5'8" you will not be able to get back to 225 at a healthy bodyfat percentage, unless you choose to utilize AS - not a point of this conversation, just figured it was worth noting.

There are however some pretty impressive physiques around this forum at 5'8" that would stand for something to aspire to and are completely natural at a weight of around 205 off-season. Again, time and effort (and diet).

Good luck.

P.S. Yes, giving arms a separate day is often times something a bodybuilding/hypertrophy-focused program would do.


Yeah i dont want to get back to that bf percentage, worst bulk of my life, trying to do it the better way now and minimizing fat gains. Would the 4 or 5 day split make much of a difference? If i enjoy being in the gym would the 5 day split i outlined above be fine? While utilizing KingBeef's exercise selection?


My program is currently set up as follows:

Chest / Light Tri's / Abs
Back / Light Bi's / Calves
Shoulders / Abs
Legs / Calves

Pick what works best for you... a 5-day Split is fine. I would suggest running something with standard results. People vary across the board, kind of a all sizes fits most type of deal. For specifics definitely check out the thread, it might help you on how to better tweek your program.


Ok thanks, and are off days important? say if i ran the 5 day cycle then just started again? Or would off days be necessary


Off days are when the magic happens my friend :). 25% of what you do is inside the gym and under the bar, the other 75% is outside the gym, ie rest, diet, and sleep.

You always want to allow your body the opportunity to recover, usually 48 hours before working the muscle again, and 72 hours or so for legs (larger muscle takes longer to repair). So if you hit Chest Monday, don't hit Shoulders until Thursday or so to allow your body to heal and refresh (even though it wasn't your focus on Monday, you can be sure you worked your Shoulders, Triceps, and any related stabilizing muscles).

Feel free to start a log, there are a lot of helpful, friendly people here who will check in on your progress and offer assistance.

Good luck.


recovery is individualized, depending on diet and training volume.

just because you've had less than 48 hours to rest a muscle group doesn't necessarily mean that you can't work it again if you feel up to it.


As far as muscle memory, the calories still have to be there to build that muscle back. I didn't start gaining after my accident until I drastically raised the calories. That muscle came back relatively quickly but only after I started eating like I did to gain it in the first place.


That makes sense. Increasing calories gradually would be better then jumping straight into a higher calorie diet true? If so how many calories a week is safe to increase by without putting on unwanted weight?


i think i spaced out my body parts so that i get enough recovery between workouts


That is not necessarily true. I have seen too many guys benefit from a rebound effect after dieting to agree with that. It is what you want if you recently lost a lot of body fat because you don't want your body simply reverting back to the way it was. It may not be what you want if your goal is optimal muscle gains.

I have seen guys gain 40lbs in the 2-3 weeks after a contest and short of some water weight, most of it looked to be lean mass and some small amount of body fat.


You should eat carrots and do log rolls and sleep in an egg roll


Umm, I'm 5'8" and 200-205, and I certainly have a ways to go....please tell me you don't think it's impossible to get beyond my level at my height without drugs.




Alright ill give it a go, the main concern i have was geting back to a higher bf percentage, but also want to get the muscle i had back. So i think somewhere in the middle might be good. increasing my calories gradually but with large amounts


its possible if you use ELITE exercises