T Nation

What am I Doing Wrong? Need Help!!

Well, I am a 19 year old male, and I’ve been training since pretty much before I was really even a teenager. Of course, with those years I spent training I’ve improved a lot, my diet and training have become more intense and complex and I’ve learned a vast amount. However, I feel that something is wrong, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Perhaps you folks with more knowledge and experience could help me.

I have a ridiculously high metabolism. I can eat 4000 calories in a day and somehow still have a hard time gaining an ounce. Right now I’m 5’9 1/2 and sitting at around 163 pounds and I feel quite small. I’ve been on a perma-bulk pretty much since I’ve been training. I try to eat 4-6 decent meals a day. It’s something like this:

Meal 1:

6-7 whole eggs
Oat meal
A few strawberries
Multivitamin

Meal 2:
A double portion of whatever is being served at the campus cafeteria

Meal 3:
Nachos with beef and cheese or two portions of spaghetti with meat sauce
A few apples

Meal 4:
Steak, salmon or chicken (depending on what’s available)
Some vegetable (whether it be green beans, broccoli, spinach)
some fruit (apples, strawberries)

Meal 5:
Oat meal or leftover meat if not both
Post-workout drink

If I’m hungry after that then I’ll eat another meal 2-4 hours later…

Hopefully that isn’t too terrible of a diet.

I’ve definitely made some gains, but I’ve noticed that I’m getting surprisingly fatter. My mom noticed that I’m starting to get a bit of a gut and I noticed it as well. As I’d said I have a very high metabolism, so it isn’t like I can just get fat from just looking at certain foods. Why exactly is that?

I have started to ramp up my ab workouts, but I’m not sure if that’s exactly the solution. Whatever I gain in muscle I also have started to gain in fat, and I’m still small as hell. Other guys my age (and even younger) that I know are doing much less but still end up gaining more lean mass and less fat. They’re all pretty much bigger than me. I don’t think this boils down to being simply genetics.

What exactly am I doing wrong here? Is it my training? Diet?
I could outline my training but this thing is already long enough…

If you’re not gaining weight you’re not eating enough, simple as that. Try more dairy products, milk, cheese, yogurt etc. Good luck!

I dont believe thats 4000. And if more calories is hard for you, drink them.

[quote] Maglinant Tyrant wrote:

I could outline my training

[/quote]

Do it. With how much weight you are lifting for compound exercises.

And post pics.

Try making protein shakes with half & half instead of water/milk. Easy calories, and tastes like a melted milkshake.

To clarify… the scale is not going up, but you and others have noticed fat gain?

[quote]MalignantTyrant wrote:

Well, I am a 19 year old male, and I’ve been training since pretty much before I was really even a teenager. Of course, with those years I spent training I’ve improved a lot, my diet and training have become more intense and complex and I’ve learned a vast amount. However, I feel that something is wrong, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Perhaps you folks with more knowledge and experience could help me.

I have a ridiculously high metabolism. I can eat 4000 calories in a day and somehow still have a hard time gaining an ounce. Right now I’m 5’9 1/2 and sitting at around 163 pounds and I feel quite small. I’ve been on a perma-bulk pretty much since I’ve been training. I try to eat 4-6 decent meals a day. It’s something like this:

Meal 1:

6-7 whole eggs
Oat meal
A few strawberries
Multivitamin

Meal 2:
A double portion of whatever is being served at the campus cafeteria

Meal 3:
Nachos with beef and cheese or two portions of spaghetti with meat sauce
A few apples

Meal 4:
Steak, salmon or chicken (depending on what’s available)
Some vegetable (whether it be green beans, broccoli, spinach)
some fruit (apples, strawberries)

Meal 5:
Oat meal or leftover meat if not both
Post-workout drink

If I’m hungry after that then I’ll eat another meal 2-4 hours later…

Hopefully that isn’t too terrible of a diet.

I’ve definitely made some gains, but I’ve noticed that I’m getting surprisingly fatter. My mom noticed that I’m starting to get a bit of a gut and I noticed it as well. As I’d said I have a very high metabolism, so it isn’t like I can just get fat from just looking at certain foods. Why exactly is that?

I have started to ramp up my ab workouts, but I’m not sure if that’s exactly the solution. Whatever I gain in muscle I also have started to gain in fat, and I’m still small as hell. Other guys my age (and even younger) that I know are doing much less but still end up gaining more lean mass and less fat. They’re all pretty much bigger than me. I don’t think this boils down to being simply genetics.

What exactly am I doing wrong here? Is it my training? Diet?
I could outline my training but this thing is already long enough…
[/quote]

It ain’t easy
There’s something horribly wrong here tho
Your metabolism is ridiculously high yet your getting fat but not able to gain muscle?
I think you are not being honest with yourself
Clean your diet up and start building your diet around clean foods first. If you need more calories first start by adding a higher complex carb ratio to your diet then add supplement drinks

[quote]Confinative wrote:
If you’re not gaining weight you’re not eating enough, simple as that. Try more dairy products, milk, cheese, yogurt etc. Good luck![/quote]
I could, but that would mean more money to buy more food lol. Being that I don’t have much money, I have to work with what’s available to me…

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
To clarify… the scale is not going up, but you and others have noticed fat gain?[/quote]
No, the scale is slowly but surely going up, but for some strange reason I am not gaining as much muscle. I’m still small as hell, but I’m getting somewhat fatter along with a bit of muscle gain.

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote] Maglinant Tyrant wrote:

I could outline my training

[/quote]

Do it. With how much weight you are lifting for compound exercises.

And post pics.
[/quote]
Can’t, my method of taking photos (phone) is cracked :-/
Ok, so here’s my training:

Day 1: Back/Biceps
Pulldowns: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (this is a warm-up exercise for me)
Either T-Bar Rows or Bent-over Barbell Rows: Once again, 4 sets of 8-12 reps (I usually do just enough weight where I am working hard but can still have good form, which is around two 45s.)
Cable Rows: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
PullUps: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(I also might occasionally throw in barbell shrugs)
Straight barbell or EZ bar curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Preacher Curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 2: Rest day

Day 3: Chest/Triceps
Hammer strength incline or Barbell incline: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (I usually throw on a 45 or a 25, a 10 and a 5)
Flat dumbbell flys: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Machine Chest Press: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Decline Bench press: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Tricep extensions: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Skullcrushers: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Bodyweight dips: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Standing dumbbell triceps extensions: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: Legs/Abs
Leg Extensions: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Squats: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (I usually throw on no more than 255 at one time so I can still have decent form when I lift, because, as everyone knows, anyone can sling around a lot of weight with bad form)
Leg Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Leg Curls: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Ab Bicycles: 1 set of like 25-30 reps
Leg Raises: 1 set of 15-20 reps

Day 6: Rest Day

Day 7: Shoulders/Triceps
Standing or seated military press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (My shoulders are ridiculously weak, I usually use a 25 at the most)
Cable or dumbbell front raises: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Machine or dumbbell lateral raises: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Upright Rows: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Reverse pec dec for rear delts: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Tricep extensions: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
superset with Overhead tricep extensions: same # of reps and sets

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Try making protein shakes with half & half instead of water/milk. Easy calories, and tastes like a melted milkshake.[/quote]
Thanks, once I get the money for some supps I’ll try it.

[quote]MalignantTyrant wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote] Maglinant Tyrant wrote:

I could outline my training

[/quote]

Do it. With how much weight you are lifting for compound exercises.

And post pics.
[/quote]
Can’t, my method of taking photos (phone) is cracked :-/
Ok, so here’s my training:

Day 1: Back/Biceps
Pulldowns: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (this is a warm-up exercise for me)
Either T-Bar Rows or Bent-over Barbell Rows: Once again, 4 sets of 8-12 reps (I usually do just enough weight where I am working hard but can still have good form, which is around two 45s.)
Cable Rows: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
PullUps: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(I also might occasionally throw in barbell shrugs)
Straight barbell or EZ bar curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Preacher Curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps[/quote]

You have 3 types of curls, and zero deadlift variations. More specifically, you’re not really training your spinal erectors, and barely training your lats.

I’m not going to comment on the other days. My gut reaction says “too many different movements”.

The lack of a deadlift or deadlift-like movement was the biggest hole I saw in the overall program.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]MalignantTyrant wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote] Maglinant Tyrant wrote:

I could outline my training

[/quote]

Do it. With how much weight you are lifting for compound exercises.

And post pics.
[/quote]
Can’t, my method of taking photos (phone) is cracked :-/
Ok, so here’s my training:

Day 1: Back/Biceps
Pulldowns: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (this is a warm-up exercise for me)
Either T-Bar Rows or Bent-over Barbell Rows: Once again, 4 sets of 8-12 reps (I usually do just enough weight where I am working hard but can still have good form, which is around two 45s.)
Cable Rows: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
PullUps: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
(I also might occasionally throw in barbell shrugs)
Straight barbell or EZ bar curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Preacher Curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps[/quote]

You have 3 types of curls, and zero deadlift variations. More specifically, you’re not really training your spinal erectors, and barely training your lats.

I’m not going to comment on the other days. My gut reaction says “too many different movements”.

The lack of a deadlift or deadlift-like movement was the biggest hole I saw in the overall program.[/quote]
Huh, interesting. I actually quit deadlifting about two years ago because I injured something in my lower back. I suppose I just never went back to doing it.
I still see results in my back, though, but I get what you’r saying.

If your gut is getting bigger but your muscles aren’t, then there really are three easy explanations.

  1. You’re not lifting with sufficient intensity.
  2. You do not have a high metabolism and you’re eating way too much.
  3. Your body is messed up.

Which one do you believe is your issue?

Seconding LoRez’s comment: you have about a jillion upper body movements for every lower body movement.

I never get why people think it’s necessary to have a whole day devoted to “biceps” or “triceps” and then devote one day to their “legs and abs” (which are an awful lot more of your body mass than your biceps).

OP, your program isn’t AWFUL, but I think LoRez is right: too many movements, too many machines, not much in the way of heavy compound lifts (as a percentage of overall volume). Simplify things. Get stronger on the big lifts. 12 sets of curls aren’t necessary when 6 will do. That could be part of the reason you’re struggling to gain weight: too much misdirected volume.

Also, TBH, I think your diet is subpar and that’s why you feel like you’re gaining some fat. Nachos? Extra pasta? I think we’ve found part of the problem. More meat. More CLEAN carbs. Less nachos.

[quote]magick wrote:
If your gut is getting bigger but your muscles aren’t, then there really there are three easy explanations.

  1. You’re not lifting with sufficient intensity.
  2. You do not have a high metabolism and you’re eating way too much.
  3. Your body is messed up.

Which one do you believe is your issue?[/quote]

As suspected. You are just weak. Get stronger.

get a blood test even though it’s probably not the problem. If that’s not the problem as suspected read my username.

I doubt that that’s the problem, tbh. Also, I do actually have a high metabolism, pretty much everyone in my family does.

Thanks, guys, I’ll take into account everything that was said and see what sort of improvements I can make…