Help me gain muscle! I've been trying for years!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 06, 2010 3:46 AM GMT
    Ok, so here be my stats:

    • Height: 6 feet, 1 and 5/8 inches (187 cm)
    • Weight: 215 pounds (97.5 kg)
    • Bicep curls: 6 reps at 25 pounds (~11 kg)
    • Hip abduction and adduction machine: the whole stack (a good twenty plates; can't remember the mass)



    Brief history:

    I used to be a hardcore swimmer. I broke my back, and had to stop swimming. My body went all funhouse mirror on me during this time, and being in school, the fit-to-fat transition killed my self-esteem. Never was fit again.

    By mid high school, I wasn't fat, but I wasn't built. Just week.
    One day in gym class, I told the teacher that I really wanted to get really well built, and he just laughed at me.

    I finally ended up trying to get big (and I mean huge — bigorexic, bodybuilder huge). I ended up following a strict diet and muscle building routine that I read on a youth bodybuilding website. Stuck to this for about 18 months, and I gained about 1.5 pounds of muscle, with little strength gains.

    I thought this was odd, so I consulted a personal trainer. Got me on another diet and another workout routine. Lasted another 12 months, with the exact same results.

    I ended up seeing two more personal trainers, and tried new plans for 12 months each. In total, I got about 2 pounds more muscle mass, and no noticeable strength gains.

    None of them had ever encountered such failure before, and couldn't explain it. I still have a pathetic upper body, but rather powerful legs.

    I got my testosterone tested, and it was "normal" (you know; somewhere in that huge range). I ended up doing a 7-week cycle of trenbolone. I DEFINITELY gained mass (about 20 pounds overall), but also an unfortunate amount of fat.


    Hopes:
    I'd really like to NOT drop another $2000 on professional advice that could be just as useless as before. SO:

    I beg to you, the buff and incredible men of RealJock, can you please give me workout advice on how to slim down the fat and get absolutely friggin' massive? I know it'll take a long time.

    In order to not waste effort:
    • I'm a chemist/physicist, and have a respectable background in biochemistry. Thus, I know what a carb is, so no need to explain dietary terms.
    • I don't need to hear the whole blathering about steroids. I know how to take them. I NMR and GC-MS them to verify their purity. I know trenbolone is strong. I'm undecided as to whether or not I'll go back on roids.
    • I'm happy to take most any advice, from just tiny tips coming from personal experience, to a whole diet and workout routine.


    My number one priority is that I'd like to lose the fat ASAP, then focus on muscle building. My current profile picture is rather recent.

    Thanking you in advance for changing my life,
    Shaun
  • KinesiologyMa...

    Posts: 123

    Dec 06, 2010 6:02 PM GMT
    Well I wouldn't recommend doing steroids again because, well they didn't work. Here is the real question are you telling the truth with diet and exercise. It is very hard to gain muscle and burn fat at the same time. If you want to lean out you should focus on loosing weight, then try and bulk.

    Diet:
    What exactly is your diet? Do you eat more processed or whole foods? How many times do you eat a day? Do you drink soda? Diet is the best way to help gain muscle and loose weight. have you taken a college level nutrition class? Do you cook your own food?

    Also Alcohol: all you alcoholics don't want to ever hear this, but alcohol is the only food that will cause you to gain weight around the belly or gut area. So alcohol prevents that six pack that you really want.

    Exercise: Weight loss is all about having more calories burned and less calories in. Make sure to make realistic goals. If you want to loose twenty pounds in a month you are being ridiculous

    Set Point Theory: This is what you are not going to like. This is the theory that the human body sets the amount of fat it likes to have on its body when a child moves into puberty. This means if you were overweight when you are younger that means your body might have set a higher percentage of fat that it likes to stay at. This means that you will have to work harder to keep the fat off like you might want to.

    Hope that helps a little. Ask me if you want a little more help
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 06, 2010 7:45 PM GMT
    1. Sounds like the diet is off. Document it; post it. You need the right calories, in the right amount, at the right time.
    2. Any excess of calories will make you gain fat. Any excess of insulin in relation to those calories will make you gain fat. It's not just alcohol. That's simply is NOT true. You can have too few calories, and still get fat, if those calories drive an insulin response. E.g., alcohol, fast sugars at the wrong times. Too few calories also causes the famine response, causing your body to become a fat storing machine.
    3. AAS work, and, in particular, TA. That's why they are used nearly in 100% of U.S. beef production (leaner, with less feed required). They work, and they work well. Pickup a magazine at your local supermarket to be assured.
    4. If you fail to eat calories, you won't make gains. If you over train, you won't make gains. If you under train, you won't make gains. If you don't get enough recovery you won't make gains.

    Without "juice" you should be able to drop or add about 1.5 pounds per week, safely, or even 2 pounds. With "juice" that can go faster, and leaner.

    You have to have HIIT to stay lean. You have to have adequate calories to stay lean. You have to have a few extra calories to stay lean. "Set point" is everything.

    I've had young men gain as much as 80 pounds of muscle in as little as 5 months, while getting leaner. You have a faulty plan if you are doing so poorly.

    EAT.

    Study up on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. If you are doing sets of 6...STOP. It's a waste of time if you're wanting to get bigger.
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    Dec 06, 2010 8:06 PM GMT
    So, my main advice is a mental thing. It sounds like you might...MIGHT be putting a lot of stress on yourself. The first thing I do with my clients is teach them how to quit beating themselves up for not having already accomplished their goals. This only stresses the body out and as a result only works against you. take some time to accept that your body is the way it is and that you understand that. Then work with your body to make the changes you want to see (being sensitive to your body). Hating on yourself is only making the problem worse. I know you have a unique case on your hands but thats all the more reason right? A slew of people hate the mental mumbo jumbo but it works. Ive seen it first hand many times.

    Beyond that the previously posted advice is all worth considering.
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    Dec 06, 2010 9:49 PM GMT
    Do you have any residual injury?
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    Dec 07, 2010 1:58 AM GMT
    People try to make it complicated. It is not. My guess is that what you think is heavy lifting is not really heavy lifting. You sound like an ectomorph. Lot's of ectomorphs have gained size. Outside of roids, which I do not recommend unless you want short-term gains, you just need to lift heavier. And pyramid the poundage. So many guys worry about everything they eat and not about how much they lift. Eat potatoe chips and drink soda, who cares? The body assimilates almost any food source.

    Not that I am saying eat poorly. But that is rarely the problem. I usually find guys that eat a strict diet and all, but when they hit the gym they do eight biceps movements and then 8 tricep movements then five chest movements and throw in a few shoulder, deltoid, movements. And they wonder why they never grow. They never do any of the above hard enough to grow. They just do the numbers. ie, six reps of this followed by 4 reps of this. Just workout by numbers.

    Do this: Bicep curls with a heavy weight till you can't do anymore. Then do some more with assistance from a buddy or with some body english ( doing a rep with a bit of cheating swinging body movement). But if you use cheating, lower the weights incredibly slow until your body is screaming.

    Do powerlifts: It is hard to cheat a deadlift or squat. Gay guys do not do squats or deadlifts. They do lunges or rack squats, anything to make it easier. Easier is the enemy. Throw away lunges and do real squats and deadlifts. Old school. I see gay guys all the time doing exercises that avoid hard work. They have every excuse in the world for not doing "old fashioned" exercises like deadlift and squat. "oh, it will hurt my back or it will not use my CORE muscles". Nothing works core muscles like squat and deadlift. If your core is not working when you have 300lbs on your back for a squat, then nothing will.

    That is my 2 cents. I was a skinny kid that put on some muscle doing basic powerlifting exercises. I went from 175 to 212. Doing basic powerlifting movements. At 5'11" and 186lbs I benched 300+ . When I hit 195lbs. I was benching 415lbs, squatted 600lbs. and deadlifted 500lbs. No roids, no special diet, no supplements. Just hard work and consistency. The body is amazing and can do way more than anyone thinks.
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    Dec 07, 2010 7:44 PM GMT
    Be sure to study up on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. You need to train for your goal. There's a saying, "You can look like the guy that lifts 600#, or be the guy that lifts 600#, but, you can't have both." Most folks are much better advised with medium to high reps, for a long list of reasons, including better sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, less chance of injury, and better overall results.

    If you get a chance, view "The Human Machine" from Discovery.

    Some old ideas are COMPLETELY wrong.

    Exercise scientists have dispelled many old school myths.

    To truly be successful, like any sport, you need to apply that known science in a plan to achieve your specific goals.
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    Dec 07, 2010 9:38 PM GMT
    Hey Shaun,
    Like some of the other guys here, I'm curious what kind of diets you've tried with trainers. How did each differ each 12 months? Sounds like you tried a lot that didn't work. It'd be more helpful for others if you posted specific details of that
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    Dec 08, 2010 2:50 AM GMT
    Eating is somewhere between half and most of the battle.

    What does your diet look like on a typical day? I need this information to give a full answer.
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    Dec 08, 2010 3:00 AM GMT
    I found that it is hard to have more than one goal at a time (lose fat and gain muscle). When I tried, I just pretty much spun in circles and saw no gains either way. I would do one first, then the other. So maybe bulk first then cut up and lose the fat.

    To bulk up:
    Get a good routine. There are many good ones online
    Eat a lot. About 3,000 or more calories a day. Also at least 250 grams of protein a day
    Rest a lot

    You don't need to talk to a professional about stuff like this. There are plenty of places online that will help you. Google will be a great help.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 08, 2010 3:31 AM GMT
    Its all about what you eat... if you're not fueling your body right... you're not gaining weight.
  • gltg

    Posts: 1

    Dec 09, 2010 2:27 AM GMT
    Try to get an e-book called "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" its the best bodybuilding nutrion book I have ever read...and I have read plenty...It will help you set goals and attain them...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2010 2:30 AM GMT
    smack_ saidOk, so here be my stats:

    • Height: 6 feet, 1 and 5/8 inches (187 cm)
    • Weight: 215 pounds (97.5 kg)
    • Bicep curls: 6 reps at 25 pounds (~11 kg)
    • Hip abduction and adduction machine: the whole stack (a good twenty plates; can't remember the mass)



    Brief history:

    I used to be a hardcore swimmer. I broke my back, and had to stop swimming. My body went all funhouse mirror on me during this time, and being in school, the fit-to-fat transition killed my self-esteem. Never was fit again.

    By mid high school, I wasn't fat, but I wasn't built. Just week.
    One day in gym class, I told the teacher that I really wanted to get really well built, and he just laughed at me.

    I finally ended up trying to get big (and I mean huge — bigorexic, bodybuilder huge). I ended up following a strict diet and muscle building routine that I read on a youth bodybuilding website. Stuck to this for about 18 months, and I gained about 1.5 pounds of muscle, with little strength gains.

    I thought this was odd, so I consulted a personal trainer. Got me on another diet and another workout routine. Lasted another 12 months, with the exact same results.

    I ended up seeing two more personal trainers, and tried new plans for 12 months each. In total, I got about 2 pounds more muscle mass, and no noticeable strength gains.

    None of them had ever encountered such failure before, and couldn't explain it. I still have a pathetic upper body, but rather powerful legs.

    I got my testosterone tested, and it was "normal" (you know; somewhere in that huge range). I ended up doing a 7-week cycle of trenbolone. I DEFINITELY gained mass (about 20 pounds overall), but also an unfortunate amount of fat.


    Hopes:
    I'd really like to NOT drop another $2000 on professional advice that could be just as useless as before. SO:

    I beg to you, the buff and incredible men of RealJock, can you please give me workout advice on how to slim down the fat and get absolutely friggin' massive? I know it'll take a long time.

    In order to not waste effort:
    • I'm a chemist/physicist, and have a respectable background in biochemistry. Thus, I know what a carb is, so no need to explain dietary terms.
    • I don't need to hear the whole blathering about steroids. I know how to take them. I NMR and GC-MS them to verify their purity. I know trenbolone is strong. I'm undecided as to whether or not I'll go back on roids.
    • I'm happy to take most any advice, from just tiny tips coming from personal experience, to a whole diet and workout routine.


    My number one priority is that I'd like to lose the fat ASAP, then focus on muscle building. My current profile picture is rather recent.

    Thanking you in advance for changing my life,
    Shaun



    I don't have a long enough attention span to read past the part about using 25 lbs for biceps, but I don't have to. If, like you said, you've been trying to gain muscle for years, you should definitely be using much more than 25 lbs. Doing fewer reps with more weight is how you build muscle. Consume a lot of protein and keep adding weight, and you'll see muscle growth. I'm sure other people will take time to read more of your long ass post and have more detailed advice, but that's basically what you need to do.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2010 2:31 AM GMT
    Or just get some steroids icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2010 5:40 AM GMT
    Man I had a similar 'problem' before. I've seen numerous dietitians and had bloodwork done multiple times, taken Anadrol, spent literally thousands of dollars on shakes and supplements but never could put on any weight.

    Used to tell people I'm a really hard gainer and they'd believe me. Until I met a bodybuilder who laughed in my face and said I either wasn't throwing enough iron around, or I wasn't eating enough. Turns out it was both, and I was actually enjoying the fact/excuse that I was a 'hard gainer'.

    I'm not buff by any means, my BMI is still borderline underweight/normal. But what I learnt was if you're serious about putting on muscle you need to be constantly monitoring your calories in/out and meeting your daily carb/protein/fat requirements. And every week adding more weight to your routine, even if its only a little, otherwise you're going nowhere.

    Now, I'm not putting on weight like I want to... but at least I know now it's because I'm not eating what I should and not lifting the weights I should.

    Daily I consumed: 3000 calories (150g Protein, 487g carbs, 50g fat), plus I took GABA and Kre-Alkalyn supplements. Gym 4 times a week.

    Also, if you want to lose fat, do that first. It's much more rewarding when you're gaining muscle mass if you can see it (ie. it's not covered in fat), so you'll be more likely to stick at it. That means lowering your calorie intake and trying to burn more calories than you're consuming.

    That's my story anyway icon_smile.gif Wish you the best
  • russellhustle

    Posts: 6

    Dec 09, 2010 7:05 AM GMT
    I have been able to gain some weight by using periodization in my workout and eating more (only whole foods and no crap, all whole wheat flower, brown rice, no sprayed on nutrients, lean meats, shakes with added carbs when i am working if i cant cook. etc, but also making sure I include the healthy fats. I always look better that way.) I also take Creatine, Cell mass, Daily Vitamins from GNC, Vitamin C three times a day and chromium after my workouts. I need to post some new pics cause I've gotten bigger but RJ for some reason is not letting me post. I will try again. Also the alcohol. I bartend so its hard for me not to drink, but I find when I don't the muscle weight packs on and the definition sets in....(I don't like the truth of it either lol) Good luck!!!!

    A Book i found helpful:

    Hardgainers Bodybuilding Handbook by Hugo Rivera
  • Deano963

    Posts: 55

    Dec 09, 2010 7:49 AM GMT
    First of all, 215lbs for a guy who is 6'1 is not exactly my definition of a hardgainer or an ectomorph (guys like me who are genetically predisposed to a lean body type and having a very hard time gaining weight, be it fat or muscle) at all, but if you are serious about gaining muscle mass the best piece of advice I or anyone else on here could possibly give you is to go to the bookstore right now and buy this book:

    "Scrawny to Brawny" by Michael Mejia and John Berardi

    I bought this book recently and it is obvious after reading just the first chapter that these guys know what the fuck they are talking about. It described me better than I could describe myself, and many, many others like me have used the program with great success. It's the frickin' Bible for hardgainers/ectomorphs. I have personally not started the program yet b/c I am having surgery in the next month or two which requires about 2 weeks of resting-at-home recovery, so I didn't want to start the intitial 4-month workout and diet regimen only to have to stop it.
  • edualc40

    Posts: 6

    Dec 09, 2010 9:43 AM GMT
    I practice body building 4X a week from 5 years now and i have very little muscles more like tendons than real muscles with big force I have always eating for ten men and very mush proteines because i love meat and i drink also 1 liter milk a day but more i workout more i louse weight I always be very thin from the day that i was born tot now and nobody eat as mush as i do i be always hungry I'm very discouraged and now i'm trying some steroides hopping that finaly i can be and have the body i dream to have but i think that my methabolism is to be very thin who can help me and give me advice thanks and kisse to all
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 10, 2010 6:18 AM GMT
    Wow, lots of good advice here. Are you confused yet? National Academy of Sports Medicine has this all figured out. I've been using their OPT program with my clients for almost 3 years and have seen a number of them get fanastic results. The ones who don't are to blame for their own failure. The OPT program's effectiveness is not in question. Find a trainer who truly understands and follows the OPT system and hire him/her. You'll be on your way to reaching your goals.
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    Dec 10, 2010 4:22 PM GMT
    JoeB1986 saidOr just get some steroids icon_smile.gif


    He said that he did and he gained 20 lbs on them.
    But if you can't do more than 6 reps of 25 lb dumbbells then I'm not really impressed by AAS I must say.


    Anyway, I did heaps of 12 reps, 3 sets etc. from my late teens to late twenties and it wasn't actually until I started to do crossfit that I actually got some nice muscle. I'm still not big but I am a lot stronger and I know my body a lot better.
    After 3 months you should see and feel a difference. First two weeks you will probably feel too wrecked to go more than twice a week but after that ramp it up to 3-4 times per week. You might still feel sore and tight from your previous workout but the warm-up will shake that out of you.

    Winnipeg has 3 crossfit gyms. http://www.crossfit.com/cf-affiliates/ (down on the left, under the menu point Canada - Crossfit Manitoba link doesn't go to anything crossfit). Crossfit Winnipeg, Crossfit [204], and Prairie Crossfit. As far as I can see Prairie Crossfit has free classes this Saturday and all of next week. Good way to get started. Get your ass in gear.

    If a gym/trainer isn't giving you results by 3 months then there's something wrong. My suggestion to you is to do crossfit for a year and then if you still want to be grotesquely big go do what chuckystud tells you to, 'roids and all. But you need to get your baseline up before you should even think about that.