gaining mass

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Al_Bundy, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. Al_Bundy

    Al_Bundy Valued Member

    I'm moving up from 75kg weight class, to 81 kg weight class (muay thai). My average weight in full training is 80 kg.

    What i need to do is gain 5-6 kg (muscle prefferably, but i'd settle for fat too). I'm doing all the weight gaining exercises right, nutrition is fine (quality and quantity), but i'm not moving from 81 kg. Been on this regime for 5 weeks now. Not taking any supplements.

    So whats my problem? I heard of casses when one's body gets so much adapted to aerobic training every day, that the mass gaining program doesn't have much effect on it. I'm trying to rule that out, coz i'm pretty slim and look like i could put a few pounds on easily. Oh yea, i don't do any aerobic training atm, only the weight gaining for the past 5 weeks.

    So, what to do now? Feels like i'm loosing time not doing my regural training, but increasing weight is a must. Going back to 75 is not an option.

    Throw me a bone here :D
  2. spirez

    spirez Valued Member

    Give us an idea of the program you're following and also your daily nutritional habits.

    People do adapt and eventually plateau with their results but you shouldn't be seeing this after 5 weeks really.
  3. Al_Bundy

    Al_Bundy Valued Member

    Program - 4 days in a week, gym only, bench press, squats, low reps, heavy weights, ect...Nutrition - 5 meals a day, doubled every meal when i started doing weights, eating to the limit really.

    Don't think i've plateaued my results coz i i'm relatively skinny, you can see i can put more weight on. I'm 20 so i'm not getting any more height, should all be weight.
  4. spirez

    spirez Valued Member

    Are they the only two exercise that you do?

    You should be throwing in others such as lunges, deadlifts, shoulder presses, upright rows, bent over rows, pull-ups etc etc Basically all the big compound exercises. Some isolation too if you want but i personally wouldn't bother.

    Can you be a bit more specific with the sets x reps?

    For gaining size you generally want to follow some basic rules:

    Weight - 67-85% of your 1 rep max
    Reps - 6 - 12
    Recovery - 1-2 mins between sets
    No. of sets - 3-6

    If you are doing less reps than that you are moving into strength training, which won't give you the weight gains you seek.

    It's worth bearing in mind that genetics play a role in this too. You say you are naturally skinny so could possibly be the ectomorph type that struggles to gain weight?

    Are you eating a good source of protein with each meal? Are you eating clean, whole foods?
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  5. Al_Bundy

    Al_Bundy Valued Member

    The program:
    Warmup: 3 rounds of shadow boxing with 5.5 kg weights.
    1. day: chest, biceps, neck
    2. day: chest, shoulders, triceps, neck
    3. day: legs, biceps, neck
    4. day: chest, abs, biceps, neck
    All exercises 6 series x 7 lifts (10-15 lifts on warmup lift - lower weight)
    Neck 2x3min
    Rest between series: 1min

    Eat home cooked food. Lunch example: chicken breast, rice/ boiled potatoes, cooked vegetables, some kind of salad, bread. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. No supplements. I'm not resorting to mass gainers.

    Not naturally skinny. Started competing at 18, been on a diet ever since. (usually it's 6-7 kg before tournaments, 10kg last time, when i said enough with the starving).
    I'm just right for the 81 kg class concerning my weight, but everyone's loosing 5-6 kg's before tounaments, so i'm up against guys with 5-6 kg more muscle mass. At long range im ok, but being shredded in the clinch pretty fast.

    What you make of all this?
  6. spirez

    spirez Valued Member

    Surprised to see no back training in there and i'd say you don't need to do that much chest.

    I mean, there are so many routines out there that there is a lot of trial and error to see what will work around your sport specific training.

    Example of a program i'm following at the moment

    Day 1 upper body

    DB Shoulder press
    BB Military press
    Upright row
    Lat pulldown

    Day 2 Legs hamstring dominant

    Stiff leg deadlift
    Leg curls on a stability ball

    Woodchops for obliques

    Day 3 upper body

    Bench Press
    Bent-over row (wide and narrow grip)
    cable cross-over
    single arm row

    Day 4 legs quad dominant

    Lunges in all planes of motion

    Woodchops for obliques

    It covers all major muscle groups and mainly focuses on compound exercises. I don't see the need for isolation exercises for my purposes but if you want to gain size then throwing in biceps/triceps work etc could help to add a little more mass. I'm sure you know this already by the sound of things but stay away from fixed path machines, they suck!

    Everyone please feel free to critique my plan, i'm always looking to improve!
  7. TheCount

    TheCount Happiness is a mindset

    My contribution here Al is simply you are not on the sort of program that will gain lots of muscle. You are on a conditioning program from the way it looks rather than a heavy mass gaining.

    Don't shadowbox with weights, you risk hyperextending the arm. Heavy bag only.

    Integrate some high intensity interval training and swimming into your routine too. Doing front crawl at high speed can be great for general conditioning.

    Simply you have too many exercises, not enough volume/intensity and there is no back work at all. Not training your back can limit your other lifts because you need the muscle to stabilize.

    What I would recommend as an idea:

    2 weeks of:

    Notice there is no set interval between days. Work when you are ready to put max effort in. Working to fatigue as well. Basically the last reps of the last sets of each exercise should be challenging you to the point you doubt you could do two more.

    Day 1
    Squats 1*20
    Strait Leg Deadlifts 5*5
    Calf Raises 4*20

    Day 2
    Squat 1*20
    Bench Press 5*5
    Shoulder Press/Military Press 5*5
    OPTIONAL - Front or Lateral Raises 3*8
    Skullcrushers/Paralel Bar Dips 5*5 or 3*F

    Day 3
    Nope, no squats today
    Situps 2*10 Weighted
    Russian Twists 2*10 Weighted
    Russian Swings 2*15 - Careful you keep the core tension going so you dont strain the back
    Shrugs 5*5

    Day 4
    Squat 1*20
    Any form of Row, Bent row etc 5*8
    OPTIONAL (but recommended) Zottman Curls 3*8

    Then move onto this for a bit more fun. Alternating between first and second exercise every 2 weeks

    Day 1
    Squat/Deadlift 5*8/5*5
    Bent over Barbell/Dumbell Row 5*8
    Hammer Curls/Under or Overgrasp Chins 3*8/3*F

    Day 2
    Bench Press /Weighted Dips 5*5/3*F
    Military Press 5*5
    Dumbell Kickbacks 3*8

    Day 3
    Powerclean/Russian Swings 5*3/2*15
    Clean and Jerk/Situps 3*3/4*10
    Snatch / Shrugs 3*3/3*8

    As you can see with the second plan in theory the power exercises cycle off with the Deads and major movements so you can hopefully recover easier. Thing to watch is to make sure the Core and Shoulder Girdle havefully recovered.

    In the end it is just an idea, but it should kickstart you training.
  8. spirez

    spirez Valued Member

    Do you think power movements are necessary for a hypertrophy stage?
  9. wazzabi

    wazzabi sushi eater

    i agree. he should be doing power movements AFTER he's reached his target weight.
  10. TheCount

    TheCount Happiness is a mindset

    Hmm, its debateable. My plans are basically to stimulate muscule growth, hence the 20 rep squat routine and then varying exercises/rep schemes to break the body out of its comfort zone.

    It is just my personal inclination... but I see no reason as such not to do power movements as such so long as they aren't effecting his gains and recovery. They can provide some variation to the workout regime.

    EDIT: other thing is the general full-body muscular training he will get from them. That little bit extra volume may add to his gains.
  11. spirez

    spirez Valued Member

    The power movements are admittedly great for their purpose but that is exactly what they are for, power. I wouldn't start to focus on those until the weight goals are met because muscle growth is not stimulated as much by performing strength exercises at speed. It's also worth noting Al, when you do start doing these make sure you get proper tuition first as technique has to be spot on. There should be someone there to check your form. That's if you aren't already familiar with them of course.

    With the squats, surely 20 reps is working muscular endurance? 1 set of 20 reps is going to do very little to add any size and there isn't really anything else in there that focuses on the quads.

    I'm all for variation and periodisation as it's needed to avoid plateauing but the hypertrophy should be cycled for at least 5-6 weeks imo, especially as that is the main goal.

    Intensive cardio such as HIIT is also going to be counter-productive at this stage.
  12. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Whenever somebody comes on and says "I'm eating right and training right but not getting results" I'm always suspicious. Those 2 factors are really the only aspects you can change, so what were you expecting from people here?

    If you aren't gaining weight (fat or muscle) then you aren't eating enough calories. Fact. Training aside, if there is no change at all going on then you need to eat more.
  13. Al_Bundy

    Al_Bundy Valued Member

    Thanks for all advices :)

    Ok, so ruled out nutrition, genetic predisposition and plateauing ofc.

    Which leaves me with the program. This program i'm on, i put together myself after doing some research. Thats obviously the problem as i learned the most basic stuff about weight work only a couple of months ago. This leaves me now with two options: go to a real gym and pay to have a program constructed by a licenced instructor; or do more research and make better program myself.

    What i'm gonna do is do the research myself (mainly coz i think it will be faster and alot cheaper).

    spirez and TheCount; those programs you posted really helped me. Now i know better what a proper program should look like and have a better idea of how mass gaining works. The program i called the "right" one, wasn't so right as it turns out.
    Although, as spirez mentions, 1*20 seems kinda pointless if i may say.

    I'm not a body builder, and cannot afford to waste a year doing nothing but weights so i better study this some more and find a solution that works.
  14. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    2 good tips when designing your own program:

    1. Balance your pushing and pulling volume.

    2. 24-50 is a good number of total reps to do in a session on a single body part, so long as there is a good level of intensity. Any less won't be as good a stimulus for growth and more is too much.
  15. wazzabi

    wazzabi sushi eater

    about the 20 rep squats, it's a special program that's existed forever, and has been proven to be optimal for gains. you actually squat at your 10RM for 20 reps, which is why you would only do 1 set. generally guys won't be able to walk for a bit after doing this set, and if it's his first time, would have trouble walking all week :D

    you could really use the 20 rep squat program in your routine Al, generally guys on this program would increase their squat weight by 5lbs every week.

    i know this is from a bodybuilding website, but try to keep an open mind :D
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  16. TheCount

    TheCount Happiness is a mindset

    My plan is one of these that seems completely counter intuitive but on paper it in fact works.

    The 20 rep squat is a very very common method for stimulating muscular growth and you can make some silly good strength gains on it. My program was just a suggestion, a basic layout. I forgot to mention you can do most of it on 4*6, 3*8, 3*10, 10*3, 5*5 etc etc.

    The two week variation is surprisingly effective I have found. Generally you work on say 3*8 for two weeks. You come to do 5*5... talk about burnage. It really can work you hard.

    The Interval training again, another suggestion. Swimming at a reasonable intensity for 200m - 800m or so is good GPP and fitness in itself. You tend to discover muscles you didn't quite know about. Also a surprising amount of this can translate into running.

    Just out of interest can you post your diet rather than saying its alright. Alright is pretty subjective, there may be something someone picks up on.
  17. spirez

    spirez Valued Member

    Well this is a new one on me. Sounds pretty damn intense though and not something that should be taken lightly! I wouldn't even want to attempt it without a power rack or a very trustworthy spotter
  18. TheCount

    TheCount Happiness is a mindset

    Or a bucket
  19. wazzabi

    wazzabi sushi eater

    ya a bucket would be nice. or u can just be nasty & use the floor ;)
    gyms have janitors for a reason right? :D

    definitely would never do it without safety pins on a squat rack. spotter would be better.
  20. Blake_AE

    Blake_AE Valued Member

    Adam made a very good point that if your weight is not going up, at all, it is for lack of calories. End of story. Then you said:

    But how did you rule out nutrition? Lets say you lifted no weights and did no training. You sat on your **** all day and did nothing but eat your face off and your weight still did not go up. Either you have a serious medical problem, or you need MORE calories to grow.

    Now you are adding intense resistance training and your weight is not increasing. Doesn't matter what you do for training, if you can't eat enough to increase weight, you wont grow. If you do 20-rep squats and you are not eating enough, your recover will suck and you will just beat yourself into the ground.

    I recommend adding a spoon or two of olive oil to all veggies and potatoes once they are on your plate for some easy extra calories. Drink full milk and not skim. Etc... if your training is good and you are getting enough protein, its ok for the extra calories to come from fat. They will get put to good use.

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