T Nation

WFT I Can't Gain Any Weight!


I'm 55 and have been lifting 3 years. Have a shit load of joint issues that keep me from adding weight all the time. I did a 6 day split, four day split and am now on a 5 day split.

Monday - chest and tri's and abs
Tuesday - upper back and bi's and calves
Wednesday - off
Thursday - quads and forearms and abs
Friday - shoulders and traps and calves
Saturday - lower back and hams and abs
Sunday off

I do 4 exercises for major groups, and 3 for smaller groups.
I usually rep. in the 10 to 12 range. sometimes go 4 to 6 on my heaviest lift.

To give an example of the joint problems. When i started lifting i could only bench 60 lbs. because of my shoulders. I am now up to a 200 lb. bench.

I take lots of supplements. As of now.
Fish oil
Trigosamine thats a brand of Glucosamine, condrotin
Multi vitamin

I am 5' 9" tall and weigh 185 lbs.
My body composition has changed tremendously. I am a lot stronger than when i first started. Used to ride bicycles for hours a day. I don't do any cardio except a 10 minute bike warmup prior to liftin.

I presently weigh the same as when i first started. My metabolism is jacked tremendously. Im one hyper SOB.

Is it because of my age? Is it because i haven't continuously piled on the weight? With me it's small steps and steady as she goes. I eat 4 but usually 5 to 6 meals a day. Hit the protein 4 times a day.

Really would appreciate some good advice as after 3 years i feel i should be farther along. A lot farther.


Try at a photo


In the words of Professor X- "just fucking eat"

Whatever you're eating now, add 500 calories to it.


I would point to totally calories consumed. You look like you are doing everything right despite your limiters. Have you done the food diary thing yet?

It helped me get my weight down - I sure it can help you in the reverse direction.


"WHOLE MILK" !!!!!!!


most people don't really get enough protein. Try upping yours to 1.5g/pound of body weight, and do a cycle of training where you lift heavy poundages for 5 or less reps.
Old Lardass


Actually, you are making good, solid progress. If you keep it up imagine where you will be in three more years, benching 400, etc.

It isn't a race.


I've said it again and again on this board and no one listens!! It's not how much you eat it's how much your body ASSIMILATES!! If you are in the toilet all day the stuff is just going through you. On the other hand as the guys here rightly say if you are not eating enough then of course you do not gain. To gain you must go over your maintenance amount. Lots of articles about this on the site. To increase assimilations use enzymes, papain, bromelain etc.

I am only an old fart of 64 who has been training for nearly 50 years. I can alter my body wait anytime I feel like it. Good luck!


You've become stronger, your body fat has dropped, but your weight has stayed the same. It sounds like you have increased muscle mass to me.

Four exercises for major muscle groups, that's a lot for me. Personally I have found less is more.


Try lifting only three days per week and see if increased recovery and rest result in more muscle growth. Also, consider Alpha Male you can read up on it in the store on this site as well as Surge and BCAA's around training. I think addressing these two areas might yield some better results. You say you have a hyper metabolism and that might mean you need some down time for muscles to grow.

I like to hit heavy compound movements three times per week and rest, eat, and grow, the rest of the time at thirty eight years of age.



I agree with this poster that this seems like a lot of sets and reps. I see a lot of people failing to gain much on the common bodybuilding approach of bodypart splits, lots of sets, and reps in the 8-12 range.

5 days a week with lots of sets burns a huge amount of calories and energy for someone who is trying to gain weight

At age 60, I have had pretty good strength gains with variations of the following approach, and I have to watch my eating or I get too heavy.
I have been using a variety of splits, no more than 4 days a week.
3 full-body days a week -
2 upper, 2 lower days
2 full-body, 1 upper, 1 lower

I do mostly multi-joint compound exercises, low reps
Quality over quantity, 15-25 total reps, heavyish, per exercise

I often do as little as:
15 reps push i.e bench
15 reps pull rowing or chins
15 reps squat or deadlift

See the recent Chad Waterbury articles



I will search the 3 day split workout. Only thing i can see is that the low rep, heavy workout might be rough on my joints. So far i have had to go with volume work.


Well how does this sound? Gonna try this for 3 months and see where i get.

  • Monday -
    Row x 3
    Pullup x 3
    Deadlift x 3
    Shrugs x 4
    Skul krusher x 3
    Pushdown x 3
    Dips x 3

  • Wednesday -
    Step up x3
    Squat x 3
    Lunge x 3
    Stifflegged dead x 3
    Standing calf raises x 3
    Seated calf raises x 3
    Captain's chair x 3 till failure
    Ball tuck x 3 till failure

  • Friday -
    Incline bench x 3
    Flat bench x 3
    Pushup x 3
    Military press seated x3
    Side shoulder raise x 3
    Rear shoulder raises x 3
    Seated curl x 3
    Standing curl x 3
    Preacher curl x 3

This will be less days as i always did the 6,5,and 4 day routines. Also three exercises of three instead of four exercises of four sets. Also shooting for the 6 to 8 rep range instead of the 10 to 12 range. Damn, this will be a lot different. Will have to relearn.


On days when you're feeling too stretched, you might take a rep/recovery day in place of the regular training. Can only help in the long run if you're going for intensity on most days.