T Nation

When Does the Mass Come?


#1

I can squat and deadlift over 220lbs for 1RM or over 180lbs for my 5RM. Bench is only 130 for 5 or 135 for 1RM.
Weak back/shoulders (arms are the common denominator) though. Can't do handstand or a chin up. Overhead press is only 95lbs for 5RM .

Over the past 3 years I could only do weights for 3-4 months due to University and kickboxing (2010-2011)/judo (2011-2012)/wrestling (2012) taking priority.

I have been training for a while now but i've only found good programs (Rippetoes and 5x5) in 2010. Before that I was doing crappy split and full body workouts that were 3-5 sets of 6-12.

Didn't help that my first gym was full of machines, dumbbells went up to 80lbs each but barbell had no squat rack and it only went up to 110lbs. Only got loadable bar in 2010 and even then it was in my last 3 months at that gym.


#2

How tall are you and how much do you weigh?

You have to eat properly and lift with intensity for size.

You need to eat properly in order to give the body fuel to grow, and you need to lift/exercise with intensity to stimulate the muscles to grow and to not get fat.

Machines and DBs can get you plenty big. It is not a necessity for you to be using heavy barbell exercises. Heck, you can become a very strong individual with just DBs ranging from 50-90lb and calisthenics.


#3

[quote]magick wrote:
How tall are you and how much do you weigh?

You have to eat properly and lift with intensity for size.

You need to eat properly in order to give the body fuel to grow, and you need to lift/exercise with intensity to stimulate the muscles to grow and to not get fat.

Machines and DBs can get you plenty big. It is not a necessity for you to be using heavy barbell exercises. Heck, you can become a very strong individual with just DBs ranging from 50-90lb and calisthenics.[/quote]

I’ve tried using machines and dumbbells and to no avail. I’ve added no more than 2 inches to arms/chest/thighs over 2 years and that’s also included waist. I tried bulking with them for 2 years. During that time I couldn’t even do a handstand or chin up, I still can’t now but at least I can squat and deadlift my bodyweight. With only 2 months of heavy barbell training I added muscle to my arms and shoulders.

How did they manage to get big in the old days/before squat racks existed because my best gains have come from barbells and 3-5 x 5

It seems squat-free workouts are a load of BS (even deadlifts won’t make your legs big to the extent of squats as you’re not fulling bending the knees). I swear by them. I don’t know how those with knee problems/in a wheelchair can gain mass

But my arms are still weak as I can’t chin or dip or do a handstand.

So yeah, dips are lacking too. I can do 30 push ups and over 20 behind the back dips but not proper dips.

Assume you gain momentum once you hit bodyweight? Or is it the opposite, you gain momentum and slow down once you hit bodyweight?


#4

when I started lifting I worked up to a final work set of 220 lbs in dead lift.

a 105 lb female walks in the gym and says not to remove the weights. she proceeds to deadlift my work set and she didnt even warm up. puts to me shame

you are weak no offense, for someone with 3 years experience. aint no way you gonna gain mass unless you eat and get stronger.


#5

How often do you train? Do you get sore? Are you sore all the time?


#6

[quote]rephore wrote:
when I started lifting I worked up to a final work set of 220 lbs in dead lift.

a 105 lb female walks in the gym and says not to remove the weights. she proceeds to deadlift my work set and she didnt even warm up. puts to me shame

you are weak no offense, for someone with 3 years experience. aint no way you gonna gain mass unless you eat and get stronger.[/quote]

As I said, I had trouble balancing everything. During term time I focus on the sports and my studies. But now studies are over and I get a job, I can continue to train weights.

Are best gains before/after you hit bodyweight?


#7

[quote]confusion wrote:
How often do you train? Do you get sore? Are you sore all the time?[/quote]

this forum didn’t title my thread properly/ it’s not changing.

I want to know whether the best gains come before or after you can chin/dip/handstand. I can only do push ups/squats with my bodyweight. Surprised I can do 20 fist push ups or 30 normal ones but not even 1 dip between bars and it’s the same muscles used


#8

Before squat racks? When do you think squat racks were invented, the 70s? Mass comes with getting stronger and eating more. You’re worried about getting big but you’re not strong. These big guys you’re talking about lifted huge amounts of weight. Think 6-700lbs deadlifts. 500lbs squats. And the shorter, lighter guys were squatting in the mid 400s. You should probably worry about getting a lot stronger than you are first


#9

[quote]nkklllll wrote:
Before squat racks? When do you think squat racks were invented, the 70s? Mass comes with getting stronger and eating more. You’re worried about getting big but you’re not strong. These big guys you’re talking about lifted huge amounts of weight. Think 6-700lbs deadlifts. 500lbs squats. And the shorter, lighter guys were squatting in the mid 400s. You should probably worry about getting a lot stronger than you are first[/quote]

Did I put any names down yet?

Squat racks are a new invention aren’t they? Or power cages are? I mean they didn’t exist before the 1940s (Reg Park,Steve Reeves et al) did they?

I guess the likes of Eugen Sandow and Arthur Saxon did Hack Squats?

It’s just my first gym sucked so badly for bodybuilding and even when I trained with heavy dumbbells and mediocre barbells, other people my age grew with curls/smith machine/levers.


#10

then you need to eat more. And again: get stronger.

You are seriously overthinking these things. You seem worried about how big you are. You can’t get big without being at least mildly strong. You just can’t. Ronnie Coleman squatted and deadlifted 800lbs. Arnold was a junior powerlifting champion before he became a bodybuilder. Reg Park and Steve Reeves were both crazy strong. Get strong first.


#11

Actually as soon as you get a 2x bodyweight squat for the first time you gain 6 inches on your arms. Instantly. Or maybe just eat some food and lift some weight. Besides everyone knows nobody did squats of any type before the 3x3 power cage was invented.


#12

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
How did they manage to get big in the old days/before squat racks existed because my best gains have come from barbells and 3-5 x 5[/quote]

By actually trying.

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
It seems squat-free workouts are a load of BS (even deadlifts won’t make your legs big to the extent of squats as you’re not fulling bending the knees). I swear by them. I don’t know how those with knee problems/in a wheelchair can gain mass[/quote]

What?

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
But my arms are still weak as I can’t chin or dip or do a handstand.[/quote]

Your arms are not involved in a chin or a handstand. The handstand is more balance and core, the chin is mainly back. The dip is the only exercise that requires a good bit of arm strength.

There are an enormous amount of resources online teaching you how to do a chin-up for the first time. I suggest you go read them.

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
Assume you gain momentum once you hit bodyweight? Or is it the opposite, you gain momentum and slow down once you hit bodyweight?
[/quote]

Neither. I have no idea how you came to anything close to this reasoning.

Most people who actually try can get to squatting 250-300 or so within the first couple months of training. Gains will slow down quite a bit after that.


#13

[quote]magick wrote:

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
How did they manage to get big in the old days/before squat racks existed because my best gains have come from barbells and 3-5 x 5[/quote]

By actually trying.

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
It seems squat-free workouts are a load of BS (even deadlifts won’t make your legs big to the extent of squats as you’re not fulling bending the knees). I swear by them. I don’t know how those with knee problems/in a wheelchair can gain mass[/quote]

What?

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
But my arms are still weak as I can’t chin or dip or do a handstand.[/quote]

Your arms are not involved in a chin or a handstand. The handstand is more balance and core, the chin is mainly back. The dip is the only exercise that requires a good bit of arm strength.

There are an enormous amount of resources online teaching you how to do a chin-up for the first time. I suggest you go read them.

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
Assume you gain momentum once you hit bodyweight? Or is it the opposite, you gain momentum and slow down once you hit bodyweight?
[/quote]

Neither. I have no idea how you came to anything close to this reasoning.

Most people who actually try can get to squatting 250-300 or so within the first couple months of training. Gains will slow down quite a bit after that.[/quote]

Chin ups use the biceps to bend the arm and handstands involve the triceps to keep them locked out

and with the last point, I assume that those peoples’ legs got much bigger. Did the majority of those gains come before or after the squatted bodyweight?


#14

[quote]johngalt191 wrote:
Actually as soon as you get a 2x bodyweight squat for the first time you gain 6 inches on your arms. Instantly. Or maybe just eat some food and lift some weight. Besides everyone knows nobody did squats of any type before the 3x3 power cage was invented. [/quote]

When were squat racks actually invented? Because i’ve been to several gyms without them as ‘they’re not bodybuilder gyms’. Sure there were hack squats and dumbbell squats but did the early 1900s strongmen build legs with only those? Because if they did, why don’t most programs recommend them?


#15

[quote]ronki23 wrote:

[quote]magick wrote:

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
How did they manage to get big in the old days/before squat racks existed because my best gains have come from barbells and 3-5 x 5[/quote]

By actually trying.

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
It seems squat-free workouts are a load of BS (even deadlifts won’t make your legs big to the extent of squats as you’re not fulling bending the knees). I swear by them. I don’t know how those with knee problems/in a wheelchair can gain mass[/quote]

What?

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
But my arms are still weak as I can’t chin or dip or do a handstand.[/quote]

Your arms are not involved in a chin or a handstand. The handstand is more balance and core, the chin is mainly back. The dip is the only exercise that requires a good bit of arm strength.

There are an enormous amount of resources online teaching you how to do a chin-up for the first time. I suggest you go read them.

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
Assume you gain momentum once you hit bodyweight? Or is it the opposite, you gain momentum and slow down once you hit bodyweight?
[/quote]

Neither. I have no idea how you came to anything close to this reasoning.

Most people who actually try can get to squatting 250-300 or so within the first couple months of training. Gains will slow down quite a bit after that.[/quote]

Chin ups use the biceps to bend the arm and handstands involve the triceps to keep them locked out

and with the last point, I assume that those peoples’ legs got much bigger. Did the majority of those gains come before or after the squatted bodyweight?[/quote]

You really are missing the point. Squat, deadlift, eat, sleep. Your legs will get bigger. There is no magic set point of your weight that you gain more mass. Once you learn your own body you can really see results. To do so go train hard and eat hard for a year. Take some before and after pictures for yourself. If you did anything right in that time you will gained some mass.


#16

[quote]nkklllll wrote:
then you need to eat more. And again: get stronger.

You are seriously overthinking these things. You seem worried about how big you are. You can’t get big without being at least mildly strong. You just can’t. Ronnie Coleman squatted and deadlifted 800lbs. Arnold was a junior powerlifting champion before he became a bodybuilder. Reg Park and Steve Reeves were both crazy strong. Get strong first. [/quote]

I am aiming for strength.
Looking to bench / overhead press bodyweight and do dips/chins.
I can also squat and deadlift more than my bodyweight.
Strength is my primary focus, only when I get strong enough e.g. 1.5x on both upper and lower, will I consider cutting. Or just cut the junk


#17

[quote]ronki23 wrote:

[quote]johngalt191 wrote:
Actually as soon as you get a 2x bodyweight squat for the first time you gain 6 inches on your arms. Instantly. Or maybe just eat some food and lift some weight. Besides everyone knows nobody did squats of any type before the 3x3 power cage was invented. [/quote]

When were squat racks actually invented? Because i’ve been to several gyms without them as ‘they’re not bodybuilder gyms’. Sure there were hack squats and dumbbell squats but did the early 1900s strongmen build legs with only those? Because if they did, why don’t most programs recommend them?[/quote]

You can build legs with anything that you can progressively add weight to and do without injury. Some things work better than others for different people. The gym itself maybe even feels like they won’t get sued or attract the wrong crowd without barbells. It doesn’t matter that much in the long run.


#18

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
Chin ups use the biceps to bend the arm and handstands involve the triceps to keep them locked out[/quote]

And their involvement is rather quite minimal…

If you fail to do a chin-up, it is because your back is weak. Not your arms.

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
and with the last point, I assume that those peoples’ legs got much bigger. Did the majority of those gains come before or after the squatted bodyweight?[/quote]

When they lifted heavier weight than they did a month ago.

Dude, stop overthinking things. Just get stronger.


#19

[quote]ronki23 wrote:

[quote]nkklllll wrote:
then you need to eat more. And again: get stronger.

You are seriously overthinking these things. You seem worried about how big you are. You can’t get big without being at least mildly strong. You just can’t. Ronnie Coleman squatted and deadlifted 800lbs. Arnold was a junior powerlifting champion before he became a bodybuilder. Reg Park and Steve Reeves were both crazy strong. Get strong first. [/quote]

I am aiming for strength.
Looking to bench / overhead press bodyweight and do dips/chins.
I can also squat and deadlift more than my bodyweight.
Strength is my primary focus, only when I get strong enough e.g. 1.5x on both upper and lower, will I consider cutting. Or just cut the junk[/quote]

These are pathetic goals – at least for your expectations.

If you expect to look strong, then you will have to be strong.

And by the way, it’s probably fifty times easier to bench body weight for reps than it is to even get one strict press at bodyweight.

Stop focusing on your expectations and enjoy the process more.


#20

[quote]ronki23 wrote:
this forum didn’t title my thread properly/ it’s not changing.

I want to know whether the best gains come before or after you can chin/dip/handstand. I can only do push ups/squats with my bodyweight. Surprised I can do 20 fist push ups or 30 normal ones but not even 1 dip between bars and it’s the same muscles used[/quote]

After. All of these are great exercises and not being able to do them means you’re weak. Sorry.

Please post your height, weight, and training routine.