Oh The Frustration

  • danielxx88

    Posts: 13

    Dec 20, 2007 4:33 AM GMT
    So here's the skinny: I'm 19 and an ex-fat kid. I grew up the chubby guy who spent the lunch period in the bathroom because nobody wanted to sit with him - but times have changed and I'm rather thin now- and that's the issue. I can't go from my new thin body to muscular. For the LONGEST time I ate under 20 carbs a day, and I now allow myself all the carbs I want as long as they don't come from refined sugars.

    I've been working out for a few weeks now and I still don't have the six pack or the bulging biceps I want. Any advice on working out or maybe adjusting my diet? A big question I have is what should I do to increase upper body strength, I try to do push ups to when I "max out" but sadly, I hit that point at about 20 push ups. I honestly think I have the upper body strength of a tomato.

    ANY advice on how to go from thin to defined would be much appreciated!!!! <3

    Here is a pic just for reference:

    l_6c6fc6e59d647476166f8b9b553428f4.jpg
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Dec 20, 2007 5:18 AM GMT
    Well, the good news is that there's no sign you were ever a fat kid.

    So, are you just working out at home or a gym as well? One suggestion is that every few weeks you should alter the exercises you're doing. Your muscles get acclimated to exercises after a while and stop growing. By altering exercises you're giving them more of a challenge.

    Cool tat by the way.
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    Dec 20, 2007 6:05 AM GMT
    Also remember that crash dieting (especially of a starvation kind) is very unhealthy for you.
    When your body is being starved, it goes looking for energy sources. The quickest burning energy is stored in your muscles, so that's where your body looks first. This means that your muscles will in fact atrophy before your fat stores are used. You need to feed your muscles. Exercising via cardio is the correct way to ensure that it is your fat stores that are supplying the energy your body needs and not your muscles.

    When you are engaging your muscles in exercise, your body will look to its fat stores for energy, thus you lose weight correctly.
    You should aim to eat 6 healthy small meals per day. Continue avoiding high processed carbs, getting your nutrition from slow burning carbohydrate fuels and plenty of protein.

    As for your muscle development, it will take you longer than a few weeks to see progress. Usually, if you are hitting the gym regularly and pushing your muscles with weight, you will start to see results in about 8 weeks. But you need to work hard - mix up the exercises and the weights so your body doesn't get used to the load. Your body is very clever and will try to adapt to whatever you hit it with. You need to keep upping the workload to keep it on its toes.

    If it's the holy grail 6 pack you are after, you need to have low body fat. This is achieved through healthy eating and more cardio.

    PM me for more advice if you want, or even better read through a heap of the forums and aarticles on this site. There's plenty of great information here.

    good luck mate
    xxp
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Dec 20, 2007 6:39 AM GMT
    Alas, tomatoes have radial symmetry and do not have much of an upper body (though the tomato plant has some strength to keep the tomatoes off the ground) icon_wink.gif

    You mention that you have been working out for a few weeks, which I will read literally (that you have worked out something less than two months); achieving those bulging biceps requires several or many months (if not years, depending on your goals and intensity) of working out.

    Their development depends on an interplay of your workouts (their intensity in terms of weight, repetitions, other factors), your rest period (which is required for muscle development and growth), and your nutritional in-take.

    Also keep in mind that your biceps aesthetic is partly defined by your triceps.

    Granted, my "knowledge" of this field depends on my dabbling in the theoretical; you will find others on this site with far greater theoretical understanding and far greater real experience in terms of body sculpting and development.
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    Dec 20, 2007 7:31 AM GMT
    join a gym, find a workout you can stick to (there are plenty of good ones on this site) and be patient. Congrats on becoming thin!
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    Jan 01, 2008 1:45 PM GMT
    At least you're no longer fat, and stayed that way, which is good. I was really skinny too when I was your age and in college.

    I had a friend who was nice and great and helped me train and let me join him at the gym, though I was struggling with doing the basic exercises, feeling like a fool, and he had to spot me for every rep and every exercise.

    We trained every other day, so needless to say, it wasn't easy, and of course eat tons, clean and healthily of course -protein, carbs, veg, fruit. You may choose to take a protein shake/meal replacement after training for an additional boost.

    But give yourself 3 months of doing that, and you should see major changes. You've managed to lose all that fat, which is a huge feat, I am sure you can do this too.

    The thing with building muscle/working out is, its a lifestyle and a lifelong thing trying to maintain what you've got or wanting to get to the next level.

    hope this helps
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    Jan 01, 2008 3:39 PM GMT
    20 grams of carbs a day, at your age? DUMB, DUMB, DUMMER, AND REAL DUMB. You need at least 80 grams of crams for your brain to work right, amongst other things. Who on earth is feeding you full of this crap? You're 19 years old for crying out loud! EAT! If you're eating more carbs, that's very good! At 5'9, and 125, you are SERIOUSLY UNDERWEIGHT. You likely should see a mental health professional about how you view food.

    You have your body major messed up now. Even in contest mode, I'll never go below 100 grams per days at carbs, and even in contest mode I'll often hit 400 grams. In non-contest mode, I'll often do close to 1000 grams of carbs per day.

    You don't have endurance because your muscles don't have any fuel! The gas tank is empty and you're running on fumes! You're starving yourself. STOP IT. You've hosed your metabolic rate all up with such a FUBARED food intake.

    First thing, start eating like a normal human, then, get your body out of famine mode, then, it will lean up, and you'll see improved performance across the board.

    Once you quit eating like you live in a desert, you need to meet with a personal trainer who is over 30 and experienced. Someone your own age simply isn't going to have the experience level, nor confidence, to guide you in the direction you need to go for success.

    If you aren't eating enough no amount of training will make you lean / defined (meaning low body fat), nor muscular (muscular meaning an abundance of muscle).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2008 4:35 PM GMT
    danielxx88 said
    I've been working out for a few weeks now and I still don't have the six pack or the bulging biceps I want. Any advice on working out or maybe adjusting my diet? A big question I have is what should I do to increase upper body strength, I try to do push ups to when I "max out" but sadly, I hit that point at about 20 push ups. I honestly think I have the upper body strength of a tomato.


    I agree with the advice to eat more, but I don't see any evidence one way or the other on if you need to see a metal health professional or a trainer. I think the fatc that you realize that you are slim and want to gain bulk is a good sign (as opposed to still thinking you are fat, which would be a bad sign). A trainer would certainly help, but don't let it stop you if you can't afford one.

    I was a bit like you a few years ago, and found inspiration from the hardgainer web site www.hardgainer.com You might want to check it out and see if you feel that you are a person genetically disposed to have more trouble gaining muscle, and if you are, review their advice.

    The most important thing for you to remember is that it takes time. Your tendons, ligaments and bones have to get stronger along with your muscles, and your body has to change modes, as Chucky mentions, from dieting to adding bulk. Try adding small amounts, in the range of 5-10%, each week. For example, if you can do 20 pushups, try adding 10%-- 2, and force yourself to do 22. After a week, 24, etc. And don't work out the same muscles every day, make them sore, then give them 2-3 days to get better before you work them again.

    Since you are starting, a gym is a good place to go because they will usually give you a few training sessions for free if you join, and their machines will help you work with safe form until you become experienced enough to do free weights.

    And since Chucky didn't thank you for posting a picture, I will. It makes it a lot easier for fellow members to see what you are talking about, and it will be nice to see a photo later on after you have been working out longer.
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    Jan 01, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    Bless you heart. The model of eloquence today.
  • danielxx88

    Posts: 13

    Feb 12, 2008 10:26 PM GMT
    chuckystud said20 grams of carbs a day, at your age? DUMB, DUMB, DUMMER, AND REAL DUMB.


    As much as being told psychological help is necessary - that was quite a few years ago to lose the weight, at the suggestion of my high school counselor who told me about this "amazing atkins diet!"
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    Feb 20, 2008 1:04 PM GMT
    Here's a nice circuit to try. When I was in high school the skinny freshmen did it during football conditioning. Go from the first excercise to the next with only 30-60seconds rest at the most in between, then rest for 2-5 minutes before starting again. Do the circuit 2-5 times with 15-30lb dumbells.

    20-50 pushups
    10 lunges
    10 tricep curls from above to behind the head
    10 bicep curls
    10 shoulder presses
    10 calf raises
    10 dumbell raises to the front of you
    10 back squats with a bar and some weight
    10 dumbell raises to the side of you
    25-50 crunches

    Do this three times a week. If you do cardio, do sprints on a steep hill, hill training on the stationery bike, or 500m sprints on the rowing machine. Since you've never really lifted weights before, it will take much longer than a few weeks to see noticeable results.

    What does your diet currently consist of? You'll definitely have to start eating more than 20g of carbs everyday. I wouldn't go so far as to drinking protein shakes or weight gainer unless you physically can't eat much before your stomach becomes overly full. I've seen that people doing this circuit three times a week with little rest between exercises will usually increase their metabolism so much that they're always hungry and start stuffing their face at every opportunity. Be carefull to stay eating healthy or you'll start to get fat again.