Beginner/Intermediate frustration

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 28, 2017 1:23 PM GMT
    Hey guys I'm new to the site.

    I've been working out for about 18 months now. I don't know anybody in 'real life' who lifts, so I've had to do a lot of research myself and learn the ropes myself.
    I've made some progress, mostly on my chest and shoulders, and overall body shape. But it's slow going.

    There's a lot of conflicting information and opinions online. I've managed to wade my way through a lot of the quagmire (isolated, full body, 3 day split, 5 day split, lots of cardio, focus on power lifting, reps over weight, supplements, protein shakes, steroids, you can lose fat while bulking, you cant lose fat while bulking, free weights are best for beginners, machines are better for beginners) - it's hectic and confusing and I've been TRYING to find a site where I can talk to people (ANYONE) even if they're not in my area.

    Anyway: I was at the gym the other day and checked my phone between sets and saw the post below:
    http://imgur.com/a/8V0qk

    I think I shouted "HOW THE F**K" - this guy has gone from larger than I was at the start (bodyfat-wise) to some sort of big muscular hunk of a man, in 1 year.
    What am I doing wrong? I know that he had the support of some serious power lifters / bodybuilders, egging him on, giving him advice etc...

    I was doing a 5 day split called "No Bull Bulking" for a while, but moved to a Stronglifts 5x5 recently to change it up, but I've only been at the new routine 3 weeks and it already feels too simple/easy. But is that a good thing? Should bodybuilding be incredibly complicated?

    Any advice or thoughts from anyone are welcome. I'm just feeling a bit disheartened. Should I bite the bullet and pay for an online personal trainer? It's tough to know what you're doing is right by yourself.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4913

    Mar 28, 2017 4:50 PM GMT
    You are actually the one doing it the right way. That guy has loaded up on steroids, probably gone on an unhealthy diet, and hired a trainer who is more interested in "the look" than health. Establish a pattern of working out and eating healthy that you can live with forever, then give it time to work, then maintain or just keep up the progress. I don't have an issue with some steroid use but to transform in one year, that's unhealthy or at least he's got unusually receptive genes working in his favor. My guess is good genes and steroids. But remember, steroids won't get you results-- you still have to do the work to get muscle growth-- it just speeds up the process.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18263

    Mar 28, 2017 6:04 PM GMT
    This is the primary reason why I threw in the towel on a bodybuilding routine. No matter what I did it never worked. My physique is too stubborn and I am 56 so it is too late in life for me to get back into a bodybuilding routine. It just doesn't workicon_exclaim.gif Running and cycling are my athletic activities.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 28, 2017 7:10 PM GMT
    Dont give up and keep working out! You will see your body one day will start to change in the way yo want. It will take longer without steroids, but in a healthier way. Cardio is important for me whe if i want to lose fat, or remain lean. Diet too but i am really bad at following one, so my strategy is no bread no sweet but the rest is ok. Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 28, 2017 11:19 PM GMT
    Maybe you're doing alright but your expectations are too high.

    A lesson I learned as a towering skinny guy whose visual results were dreadfully slow is that the mirror is NOT your best indicator of progress.

    Track your body fat because the numbers will give you a sense of progress much sooner than the mirror does. There are several threads here on how to have your body fat measured. This measurement will tell you how much fat and how much lean muscle you're gaining or losing. The results, however small, will give you a sense that you're getting closer to your goal, even if the mirror is too slow to catch up.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 29, 2017 6:21 AM GMT
    OP's photo link:
    2a9bsi0.jpg
    "Angus" looks photoshopped, particularly his traps. Not even the same body, look at the nipple size. The body hair pattern is different too, it's spreading up towards his delts. (Okay, maybe he's on steroids/testosterone.)

    If it's NOT photoshop, it's gotta be muscle memory, a powerlifter who let himself go to seed. Look how much his arms grew, much less his traps.

    In real life, it's a process that takes, unless you're 20, YEARS. WAIT, you're only 29. Get cracking' - you'll get there!

    Btw, the similarly built but REAL noodlesandbeef guy is FABULOUSLY GAY, who started out skinny and then grew sumo-sized. BUT - interestingly - he was interviewed recently on some newsmagazine about body dysmorphia and isn't as big because he doesn't feel the need to be that big anymore, yet in his current photos he's huge again, a living breathing photoshop fantasy. Boy looks freakin' unreal.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18263

    Apr 05, 2017 11:23 PM GMT
    Romeolima saidDont give up and keep working out! You will see your body one day will start to change in the way yo want. It will take longer without steroids, but in a healthier way. Cardio is important for me whe if i want to lose fat, or remain lean. Diet too but i am really bad at following one, so my strategy is no bread no sweet but the rest is ok. Good luck!
    Nah, I am pretty much through with bodybuilding and the gym. It is a waste of time and money. Going to the gym is such a pain in the ass chore anymore. My physique is too damn stubborn to grow and I am 56 now so it is a bit too late for me. In addition, I am very impatient and do not want to spend all that time busting my ass in the gym and still have nothing to show for it!
  • Ross74H

    Posts: 18

    May 20, 2017 7:29 PM GMT
    First post, bit scared about what people might think!

    I have to say I have been avoiding the gym over the last 6 months or so after getting some very evil looks at the gym i go to from some of the (seriously massive) guys who go there.

    I'm guessing its because I'm fairly small build-wise and I never seen to be able to bulk up so the assumption from the big guys seems to be "huh he's tiny, he's only here to perve". When I first when I have to admit I did stare a bit but it was of the bloody hell that guy's massive, I'd love to get tips from him on how and where to start my working out.

    Seeing as I have pretty low self-confidence (my mum is the same so I guess I take after her!) being given "get lost" looks is a really intimidating and discouraging!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2017 12:08 AM GMT
    ^
    Interesting that you got those looks. If they were smart they would leverage your interest to sell you something like personal training or nutritional advice.
  • Steel8686

    Posts: 21

    May 22, 2017 1:46 AM GMT
    Machines are the WORSE and they are really for injured/recovery-rehab. It's OK to do one or two isolation exercises with the machines but at least 85% of your workout should be solely on free weights. You are working out many other supporting muscles with free weights. You really dont get that much stronger with machines, but they will tone and burn some calories. Try to add as much variety as you can, don't get used to doing the same exercises over and over, you will plateau very quickly. With some exercises you can do low rep heavy sets and others you can do light weights withmany reps.
    cubanglais saidHey guys I'm new to the site.

    I've been working out for about 18 months now. I don't know anybody in 'real life' who lifts, so I've had to do a lot of research myself and learn the ropes myself.
    I've made some progress, mostly on my chest and shoulders, and overall body shape. But it's slow going.

    There's a lot of conflicting information and opinions online. I've managed to wade my way through a lot of the quagmire (isolated, full body, 3 day split, 5 day split, lots of cardio, focus on power lifting, reps over weight, supplements, protein shakes, steroids, you can lose fat while bulking, you cant lose fat while bulking, free weights are best for beginners, machines are better for beginners) - it's hectic and confusing and I've been TRYING to find a site where I can talk to people (ANYONE) even if they're not in my area.

    Anyway: I was at the gym the other day and checked my phone between sets and saw the post below:
    http://imgur.com/a/8V0qk

    I think I shouted "HOW THE F**K" - this guy has gone from larger than I was at the start (bodyfat-wise) to some sort of big muscular hunk of a man, in 1 year.
    What am I doing wrong? I know that he had the support of some serious power lifters / bodybuilders, egging him on, giving him advice etc...

    I was doing a 5 day split called "No Bull Bulking" for a while, but moved to a Stronglifts 5x5 recently to change it up, but I've only been at the new routine 3 weeks and it already feels too simple/easy. But is that a good thing? Should bodybuilding be incredibly complicated?

    Any advice or thoughts from anyone are welcome. I'm just feeling a bit disheartened. Should I bite the bullet and pay for an online personal trainer? It's tough to know what you're doing is right by yourself.
  • Ross74H

    Posts: 18

    May 22, 2017 6:49 PM GMT
    bachian said^
    Interesting that you got those looks. If they were smart they would leverage your interest to sell you something like personal training or nutritional advice.


    Yeah probably doesn't help me much that I tend to think the worst and go a bit into panic mode so I find a place as far away as possible to hide. Not sure if the gym I go to has a personal trainer there full-time, I know the guy on the desk said they get a few come in to train clients. Have to say the idea of a PT is something I haven't considered much. I tend to get pissed off with the PT's I have seen who shout at their clients (the "one more" and "push harder" type) - that sort of thing I don't find encouraging, it winds me up the other way so I find even hearing it being directed at someone else makes me feel uncomfortable.

    In my case its definitely the upper body strength thats lacking, I used to run a lot and I walk the two miles into town and back every day to do shopping etc - don't see the point of driving over such a short distance and I haven't got a lock for my bike or a helmet yet (need one really given how lunatic some people drive around here!). So legs are ok(ish) and I can do heavier weights with them. Plus the car I drive is lightly modified so it tends to draw attention.

    I have difficulty getting my form right, not 100% sure why, guessing its a lack of knowledge and possibly a balance issue. I have ended up damaging my left shoulder about 3 months ago (not at the gym) so not really sure what exercises I can do to improve my overall strength without risking damaging the shoulder more.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 30, 2017 6:23 PM GMT
    This is my advice for the OP and anyone else who is just starting.

    If you want to put on muscle as fast as possible you'll need a programme that will train every muscle group twice a week, you'll have to keep up with the monster appetite that follows and be getting enough sleep!

    I've been weight training for 4 years and I'm long way off my goals (5+ years at least) because I want to get huge. So also understand it takes time to get big so you'll need to keep at it.

    I recommend a programme to follow, I've been using this one by Arnold Schwarzenegger:

    https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/arnold-schwarzenegger-blueprint-trainer-main.html

    This had helped me massively. If you are a total beginner I would avoid this exact one as you will need to have good form/technique for certain exercises.

    Paying for a PT if you're a total beginner is a good idea. You need to have someone to help with your form, just make sure you get a good personal trainer as there are lots of shitty ones out there.

    So find your self a good programme for your current level of bodybuilding - beginner/intermediate etc..

    Eat and rest properly, avoid drinking too much alcohol and find yourself a training partner or personal trainer.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 31, 2017 4:37 AM GMT
    My advice is to NEVER give up on something you want to do for yourself that makes you happy. I graduated high school at 120 lbs of pure skinny never playing sports, no self confidence, totally insecure. I still make mistakes in the gym and with my diet but i am thrilled with the progress that has come along over the years. Read and listen to the positive guys on this site many know their stuff and are a lot smarter than me. To the naysayers, just fuck em. And the only other advice i would give is nutrition is just as or more important than the gym, whether it's cutting out crap calories or putting on the pounds. Plenty of stuff on here and on the web on how to get your food in sync with your workouts. Have fun and keep us posted on your progress!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2017 2:14 AM GMT
    Ross74H said
    bachian said^
    Interesting that you got those looks. If they were smart they would leverage your interest to sell you something like personal training or nutritional advice.


    Yeah probably doesn't help me much that I tend to think the worst and go a bit into panic mode so I find a place as far away as possible to hide..

    I'm not understanding this.

    I started out FAT around 2010 (not to be confused when I got fat AGAIN around 2013 due to injury/prednisone weight). Fat in 2010, I joined the most hardcore bodybuilding gym on the East Coast since it was close to my house, Bev Francis Powerhouse. Every day I'd be surrounded by champion bodybuilders who were on magazine covers (Kai Greene seemed to be there daily). This was in New York. LONG ISLAND. Second only to the Jersey Shore in guido meatheads. I NEVER, EVER got psyched out or stared at, nor did I make a point of staying out of anyone's way.

    THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS: Unless you're cock blocking someone from equipment, no one is looking at YOU. They're too busy looking at THEMSELVES. Or the really jacked guys. If you're fat, thin or average you're INVISIBLE.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2017 11:08 AM GMT
    Many people have already said it, do it for your own sake. Read online about eating, sleeping and hitting the gym. Don't look much into jacked up dudes at the gym.
    Truth is you will never be like them until you juice up. Think in terms of your own health. I did start out with the same notion of getting big and muscled, but the reality soon came forward. That doesn't mean I don't push myself at the gym, but I have much more realistic goal and they are long term. I don't expect myself to look like a ripped 180 lbs guys in next 6 months or 2 years. Most probably, I will never be. I just try to be more consistent, eat healthy and sleep enough.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2017 3:05 AM GMT
    ^
    Actually, I don't look quite like the jacked up guys at the gym but I'm getting close. WITHOUT juicing. It's a process. Long term. Took a few to several years (had a few injuries/setbacks) to lose the dad bod. (Ok, so now it's muscle dad bod.) Mostly diet/lifestyle.

    Unless you're a Youtube teen wunderkind it's not likely to happen drug-free in 18 months.
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    Jun 06, 2017 5:59 PM GMT
    eagermuscle said^
    Actually, I don't look quite like the jacked up guys at the gym but I'm getting close. WITHOUT juicing. It's a process. Long term. Took a few to several years (had a few injuries/setbacks) to lose the dad bod. (Ok, so now it's muscle dad bod.) Mostly diet/lifestyle.

    Unless you're a Youtube teen wunderkind it's not likely to happen drug-free in 18 months.

    Yes, that's what I came to realize that it takes time. No amount of kilo of avocados or chicken breast is going to make you big in 18 months.
    Even if you work out few to several years, attaining the same level of size and definition as those of juiced up guys is not that easy.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18263

    Nov 05, 2017 5:36 PM GMT
    sunjbill saidMy advice is to NEVER give up on something you want to do for yourself that makes you happy. I graduated high school at 120 lbs of pure skinny never playing sports, no self confidence, totally insecure. I still make mistakes in the gym and with my diet but i am thrilled with the progress that has come along over the years. Read and listen to the positive guys on this site many know their stuff and are a lot smarter than me. To the naysayers, just fuck em. And the only other advice i would give is nutrition is just as or more important than the gym, whether it's cutting out crap calories or putting on the pounds. Plenty of stuff on here and on the web on how to get your food in sync with your workouts. Have fun and keep us posted on your progress!!!
    Nah it will never work for me. I am dealing with a stubborn physique and older age and on top of that poverty. I didnt care for LA Fitness it was all fluff and no stuff. Plus their gyms are very hostile to both pedestrians and bicyclists by placing the damned parking in front of the gym. Plus some of the members were inconsiderate of others around them. I dont like the draconian diets that are commonplace in bodybuilding. The human body is not designed to consume all the protein that these bodybuilders consume on a daily basis. Any athletic activity that requires such a ridiculously strict diet is just not worth the time, money, and effort. I am through with building up my physique. I wouldnt look all that great anyways.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2017 6:29 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    sunjbill said I dont like the draconian diets that are commonplace in bodybuilding. The human body is not designed to consume all the protein that these bodybuilders consume on a daily basis. Any athletic activity that requires such a ridiculously strict diet is just not worth the time, money, and effort. I am through with building up my physique. I wouldnt look all that great anyways.


    You're once again playing victim by projecting abnormality onto bodybuilders so that you can look normal.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18263

    Nov 06, 2017 12:17 AM GMT
    bachian said
    roadbikeRob said
    sunjbill said I dont like the draconian diets that are commonplace in bodybuilding. The human body is not designed to consume all the protein that these bodybuilders consume on a daily basis. Any athletic activity that requires such a ridiculously strict diet is just not worth the time, money, and effort. I am through with building up my physique. I wouldnt look all that great anyways.


    You're once again playing victim by projecting abnormality onto bodybuilders so that you can look normal.
    Well because it is abnormal to require all that protein in a diet. It is unrealistic and unhealthy. I just doubt that I would look decent being all bulked up. It appears very uncomfortable.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2017 1:01 AM GMT
    ^
    There's nothing normal about a diet full of simple carbs and sugars. If you had a diet using nothing but unprocessed foods you would be thinner and healthier, but I bet you wouldn't call such diet normal.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18263

    Nov 07, 2017 1:49 AM GMT
    bachian said^
    There's nothing normal about a diet full of simple carbs and sugars. If you had a diet using nothing but unprocessed foods you would be thinner and healthier, but I bet you wouldn't call such diet normal.
    A diet of simple carbs and sugars is a lot more normal than any of these idiotic bodybuilding diets of excessive protein and eating six or seven times a day. That is sheer idiocy!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2017 3:06 AM GMT
    ^
    No medical professional would ever call a diet full of simple carbs, sugars and processed foods normal. If your diet were normal you would be thinner.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 18263

    Nov 07, 2017 2:37 PM GMT
    bachian said^
    No medical professional would ever call a diet full of simple carbs, sugars and processed foods normal. If your diet were normal you would be thinner.
    I am not overweight in the first place. I dont smoke, drink, or do illegal substances. Plus I avoid foods that contain that highly toxic high fructose corn syrup so what more do you want from me?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2017 12:54 AM GMT
    ^
    For someone of your height anything above 177lbs is overweight, assuming you have minimal muscle mass.

    Try avoiding all processed foods and see what happens.