HELP NEEDED! first bulk completed... now what?

  • mikey_101

    Posts: 250

    Mar 14, 2011 9:02 AM GMT
    I'm hoping for a little advise - I'm no expert in the gym, and have only realy been training properly for the last year.

    I started at around 57 kilos ( 8.9 stone or 125 pounds) one year ago - not great and at 6'1 tall very underweight.

    I have managed to increase muscle mass, gain weight and increase strength and flexability over this year - starting from spliting upperbody and lowerbody for the first few months, gradualy increasing weights and adding more exercises......

    for the last ten months I have been splitting the body parts: legs / chest / arms / core.... increasing intensity and weights wherever possible.

    I dont have a fancy gym membership - but free access to a gym with freeweights, cable machine, a few basic machines.... also treadmill, rower, bicycle and swimming pool.

    My diet is vegetarian, but I completely understand the amount of protein required to build muscle..... I have a massive intake of eggs, lentils, beans, hemp, milk, cheese, nuts and seeds.

    I have now plateaued at around 70.5 kilos (11.1 stone or 155 pounds) - unable to add anymore weight over the last month or so. I have even started eating (even) more and doing less cardio.

    So..... I now feel that I'm kindof more out of shape than when I started -

    Ok, so I look good in a tight sweater - I actualy have a shape to my body for the first time in my life having gone from 35 to 38inch chest.......
    but when I look in the mirror, shirt off, I feel that I'm going further out of shape in my core.

    Before I started training, I guess I had next to no body fat - my abs, obliques and core were toned and tight - obvious to a glance.

    Is it time for me to cut now?

    Any advise, perspectibve and experience appreciated.

  • mikey_101

    Posts: 250

    Mar 14, 2011 12:42 PM GMT
    Just been looking this over:

    Strong and Lean 12-Week Workout

    Has anyone completed it?How did it work for you?
  • AvadaKedavra

    Posts: 3554

    Mar 14, 2011 4:24 PM GMT
    155lbs at 6'1" is a little thin still no?

    I am 5'7" and 150lbs and I think thats small. I don't know what your goals are but if I were your height i would try to pack on 45 more pounds.
  • mikey_101

    Posts: 250

    Mar 15, 2011 10:39 AM GMT
    164 views and one response.....
    come on guys - there must have been a simmilar time in your life and development - let me know how you achieved your goals and offer me up your wisdom? ;)

    thanks avadakedavra.

    I'm kindof stuck at the moment.... you ask what my long term goals are?

    Idealy I would like to be 12-13stone, 168lb - 182 with lean muscle and very low body fat, strong and flexible.... toned, tight and muscles popping, but not massive.

    Short term my goal was to get to around 11.5 stones, 160lb bulking up, then cut back to 11 stones, 154 with low body fat.....
    then work my way back up to around 168-182lb.

    Unfortunatly I'm unable to reach the original goal of 11.5 - I have been just under or around 70 kilos....11stone or 154lb for almost 6 weeks.

    I'm putting 110% into my routine - lifting to failure and unable to increase the weights i'm lifting... eating like a horse and not gaining any weight is a little disconcerting - where is all the effort going to?

    I'm feeling bloated... and if I'm honest, look a little bloated around the gut!

    It is weird to have increased muscle and weight over the last year, be dramaticly fitter, way more flexible... yet look more out of shape then when I started!

    I started the Strong and Lean 12 week work out yesterday, and already feel a little sore.

    I hope that I can strip back the little body fat that I have, work on my core... and maybe see the muscles underneath by the end of the 12 weeks - see the benefit of the last years hard work I think would spur me on to achieve my long term goals.

    How should I approach my diet for the next 12 weeks is a question I'm unsure of.

  • bluecrow

    Posts: 166

    Mar 15, 2011 1:16 PM GMT
    Yes, I am experiencing the same problem like yours. After 6 weeks GYM training, I feel I am gaining more body fat than muscles. I am scared!icon_eek.gif
  • shawn06

    Posts: 337

    Mar 15, 2011 1:49 PM GMT
    Im no expert in this but I weigh 185 at 6'0 and have an athletic figure. Honestly eat more bro and work out a lot more than what your doing.

    Being prior military I started at 165 when first joining the Army, I ended at 190 and in the best shape of my life at that time. What we honestly did is eat lots and lots of carbs (including cake and desert) three times a day and did push ups, sit ups, flutter kicks, lunges, etc. literally all day. These are in house exercises which required absolutely no weights.

    That was a 9 week time span called basic training, now I don't expect you to do that however don't hesitate to eat more food to gain that weight. If it is turning into fat it simply means you are not working out enough or doing your workouts improperly. The thing about weights is it is very hard to workout your whole body everyday due to the amount of strain your gonna put on your muscles, maybe if you feel you really can't increase your workout because your to sore try mixing it up with in-home workouts. Push ups are so beneficial and sometimes underrated, do them early in the day if you have to and hit the weights later on after your arms have rested. Try to get out at least 250-300 push ups every day with your weights and see if things are better.

    Keep up with cardio. Probably should not do it to much as you don't want to lose weight but its necessary for tone and definition.
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    Mar 15, 2011 2:06 PM GMT

    IMO, you're right when you talk about diet. I'm curious how clean you're eating. Clean, meaning very low fat, very low sodium, very low sugar (especially, but not only, drink mixes and fruit juices), low or no alcohol. All of those will undermine your workouts, no matter how intense they are.

  • mikey_101

    Posts: 250

    Mar 15, 2011 2:15 PM GMT
    shawn -
    thanks for your input..... maybe I havnt been working hard enough?

    I had been doing 4 days weights,with cardio mixed in, and rest days in between.... having been told that its as important to rest to give muscles a chance to grow.

    I admit I've never done 250-300 push ups in a day though..... is that split over the day? Everyday?

    Surely that eats any gains up?

    I'm thinking the Strong and Lean 12 weeks is going to give my body something new to overcome, rather than just weight training all the time.

    And maybe when I return to weight training afterwards, I may well have the same initial growth spurt I achieved when I started all this a year ago?

  • Peteyboy583

    Posts: 32

    Mar 15, 2011 2:22 PM GMT
    Keep with the eating regimine, but if you've been doing the same workout for an extended period (3-4 months) it is time to change it up, even just altering the order if your exercises and workout days could help. You're at a plateau and the only way to break through it is to change up your routine and confuse your muscles again so they have to adapt and grow. So, you're instincts are correct on the new workout.

    Be mindful of the amount of fats you're taking in, and do your cardio after your weight routine so your body will be forced to burn fat since you will have used up your energy stores working muscle.

    Hope this helps.

    I'm 6'3" and for years I was stuck at 165lbs with a lean build. These days I'm hovering around 190 and I'm happy with my progress. I wouldn't be concerned with cutting for another few weeks since it isn't quite "shirt-off" weather yet.
  • mikey_101

    Posts: 250

    Mar 15, 2011 2:24 PM GMT
    DJdorchester said

    IMO, you're right when you talk about diet. I'm curious how clean you're eating. Clean, meaning very low fat, very low sodium, very low sugar (especially, but not only, drink mixes and fruit juices), low or no alcohol. All of those will undermine your workouts, no matter how intense they are.

    I am strict vegetarian, incorporating dairy and eggs.....

    Sodium is at a minimum - all food is cooked from raw ingredients and salt limited to natural sea salt...

    Wholemal flour, not bleached.

    Sugar, again everything from scratch... I use only unrefined brown sugar, manuk honey or black-strap mollasses... and natural sugars from fruits and veg.

    I hardly drink beer anymore... but have a glass of wine with evening meal, or a whiskey night-cap.

    I am pretty 'pure' when it comes to my diet.... eggs are from my own chickens, cook everything from scratch using the most natural ingredients I can.

    I try to eat a kilo of nuts and seeds a week - all in homemade flapjack.....

    one type with honey as a breakfast with hot milk,
    another with mollasses as a post workout protien hit.

    Not consuming meat means I should be less inclined to worry about fats..... so I do have full-fat milk, feta cheese, cheddar, mascapone, olives, avakados etc a lot.

    I hope this helps give an idea of my diet.
  • shawn06

    Posts: 337

    Mar 15, 2011 2:38 PM GMT
    Its split up, not all in one shot. Push ups are in no way cardio, do not assume you will lose weight from push ups as its a muscle builder. It will eat up energy, not burn fat. You may not be able to accomplish 250-300 in a day but try to work towards it if u decide to throw in some push ups, start with 40-50 at a time and a full 100 a day in the first week or two.

    Again push-ups, sit ups, flutter kicks, etc. will NOT make you lose more weight, they are not cardio it is all core leg and arm work outs. So I recommend trying to incorporate them if your not getting all the weight training you want. You can do them more extensively on those days you don't hit the weights. Its just one alternative to not being able to workout all of your intake with weights.

    Don't lose weight, eat more carbs as well as protein and calories for energy; if you work hard enough to turn it all into muscle you will achieve the weight your looking for. Just make sure you actually work it out and don't let in all go to waste.

    EDIT: Honestly with your diet I am not sure of a good way to gain the weight. Im just stating from what we ate in the military (which they obviously know how to get there soldiers in shape) and all mainly consisted of meat, eggs, potatoes, and even many foods that would often not be recommended by most such as cake. We often ate MRE's as well which had a calorie intake of over 1000 at least, mainly for energy though since we worked out all day. It was pretty much an all weight gain diet, however most skinny people gained the least of 15lbs, while most big guys lost lots of weight sometimes in excess of 30 lbs and lots of definition.