Do some people just not improve with exercise?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 1:03 PM GMT
    Going to the gym is now engrained as part of my weekly routine. I mix up cardio and weight training and am careful about my diet, but I look at pictures of myself from 3, 4, 5+ years ago and don't notice any difference in my body. I'm 45 yrs old, 5' 11" tall and weigh a shade over 13 stone (186 lbs). My trouser waist gets tighter or looser slightly depending on diets, but dieting doesn't improve defintion, nor taking protein plus heavy weights improve my size. Is it me? Am I the ultimate 'hard gainer' or just genetically inferior. I've given up trying to be big, but would settle on toned and defined.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 1:15 PM GMT
    Get a personal trainer. You are doing something wrong.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Mar 23, 2010 1:42 PM GMT
    This happens with a lot of guys. I work at a gym and over the years we have some die-hard visitors that show up to the gym 4-5 times a week. They look like they're working out, but year after year they don't make any improvements.

    The weight increases you're referring to must not be much weight at all. If you started at lifting 10 lbs and now your up to 20...you might as well be at home sleeping on the couch. How much weight are you benching? 200, 250, 300? Or did you start out at 60 and are now at 100?

    Regarding cardio, are you still doing a half hour a visit, at level 3? Or are you doing an hour of cardio at level 11 and then go to the cardio fit group class?

    How many exercises per body part do you routinely do? Three perhaps? Or do you have a list of 18 exercises per body part so you can mix it up every time you go to the gym?

    How many times do you leave the gym and think "I can barely move. I'm going to pay for this come morning.". "My hands and arms are shaking, can I even drive home?"

    Make goals for yourself in terms of weight, intensity, duration, etc so you can strive while your at the gym, instead of just going to the gym out of routine.

    *shakes head*
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 2:04 PM GMT
    Actually you never said how long you've been going only that it's now engrained as part of your weekly routine. So how long have you been going,, two weeks, two months, two years

    I don't believe in any such thing as a "hard gainer". It's hard for everyone and "no gainers" are that way because they aren't really working out hard if at all. Some just think they are but they're not. That would be about 90% of the guys at the gym I go to who haven't gained and inch or changed one iota in the past 8 months.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 2:05 PM GMT
    Add more intensity to your workouts, and what is your diet like? What's your routine? Email me.
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    Mar 23, 2010 2:28 PM GMT
    Caslon14000 saidGet a personal trainer. You are doing something wrong.


    I agree...I had a similar issue. As soon as I got a trainer and got my workouts and nutrition dialed the results came quickly...
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    Mar 23, 2010 2:40 PM GMT
    As suggested earlier, a personal trainer is the solution. I was in the same boat. I have started working out with a trainer for a month now and I have seen major improvements, in just a month. Very very intense and thorough workout on a daily basis. It is a lot of fun too!! You must push yourself to do more, otherwise you are wasting your time. A personal trainer will do you a lot of good. They are a bit expensive; roughly $30-50 per session. Your gym shall have someone too. Probably there is a 3-month package you can get for cheaper than the $30-50 per session if you pay in whole. It is money very well spent! Health first.
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    Mar 23, 2010 2:56 PM GMT
    Ok..so i decided to voice my dilema.

    Gym: 5-6 days a week
    Weights: 45 min- 1 hour depending on the day 3 sets of 3-5 exercises per body
    part...1 part per day
    Cardio: 20-30 min alternating btwn elliptical and running with a target
    maintained HR of at least 160-170

    Weight: 195lbs
    Bench: 230 but going up
    Bicep Curls: 35-40 lb dumbells each arm..seems to be going up

    I pay attention to form and have no issues decreasing the weight if the form is suffering

    Diet: Not the best but everything in moderation (i adhere to the serving sizes)

    I've been doing this for about 10 years...i can lift more and can run about twice as much as i used to and can do it twice as fast as i can. I feel pretty good but..... I FRIGGIN LOOK THE SAME!!!!!!! One would think i'd be huge and built by now but i've had the same proportions and measurements since 2003 when i lifted ALOT less than i do now.

    Even the trainer is like WTF!?!?!?!?!?!

    Explain...oh..and i keep trying variations on everything every few weeks as well.
  • thatonedude21

    Posts: 223

    Mar 23, 2010 3:06 PM GMT
    Doesn't body type also factor into how you gain muscle mass, weight etc?
    Ectomorphic, Mesomorphic and,Endomorphic right?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 3:14 PM GMT
    Of course there are hardgainers and easy gainers.

    Some people have, genetically, high or low testosterone, high or low thyroid, high or low insulin sensitivity, etc., etc. These will amount to big differences in metabolism and anabolism responses to the same stimuli.

    People will not respond the same to the same amount of exercise and the same diet.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Mar 23, 2010 3:15 PM GMT
    nysexy saidOk..so i decided to voice my dilema.

    Gym: 5-6 days a week
    Weights: 45 min- 1 hour depending on the day 3 sets of 3-5 exercises per body
    part...1 part per day
    Cardio: 20-30 min alternating btwn elliptical and running with a target
    maintained HR of at least 160-170

    Weight: 195lbs
    Bench: 230 but going up
    Bicep Curls: 35-40 lb dumbells each arm..seems to be going up

    I pay attention to form and have no issues decreasing the weight if the form is suffering

    Diet: Not the best but everything in moderation (i adhere to the serving sizes)

    I've been doing this for about 10 years...i can lift more and can run about twice as much as i used to and can do it twice as fast as i can. I feel pretty good but..... I FRIGGIN LOOK THE SAME!!!!!!! One would think i'd be huge and built by now but i've had the same proportions and measurements since 2003 when i lifted ALOT less than i do now.

    Even the trainer is like WTF!?!?!?!?!?!

    Explain...oh..and i keep trying variations on everything every few weeks as well.



    You will not be quote: "huge and built" on this current plan. Your workout schedule is solid, and honestly you look like you're pretty beefy with some good muscle mass. I can't believe you looked like that before without ever working out. Maybe since it has happened over a period of ten years you never noticed the actual changes.

    So you have some good muscle but it sounds like you want a better BMI. You will only get this when you manipulate your diet. Increase protein and decrease everything else. Supplement your diet with protein, it works! If you lost bodyfat and kept your current muscle don't you think you will look pretty good in terms of muscularity?

    Also, I would increase the cardio time to at least an hour a day.....no breaks between that hour.

    Last but not least..... INTENSITY in the weight room. You don't want to feel like your gonna puke every time after a workout, but a couple of times a week you should feel like you're gonna pass out if you don't stop working out.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Mar 23, 2010 3:58 PM GMT
    How often do you work out and for how long? How often do you change your routines? How many reps/sets are you doing?

    I was in decent shape before I moved to New York. I did not work out the three years I lived there, but I kept eating well. I didn't gain weight, but lost muscle mass. When I came back and started working out again, it only took a handful of months to return to -- and exceed -- where I was before I left. And I work out just three times a week at about an hour each.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 4:05 PM GMT
    EricLA saidHow often do you work out and for how long? How often do you change your routines? How many reps/sets are you doing?

    I was in decent shape before I moved to New York. I did not work out the three years I lived there, but I kept eating well. I didn't gain weight, but lost muscle mass. When I came back and started working out again, it only took a handful of months to return to -- and exceed -- where I was before I left. And I work out just three times a week at about an hour each.


    EricLA.. you gotta update your main profile pic, you definitely exceeded where you left off in 08.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 23, 2010 11:59 PM GMT
    I started working out 2-3 years ago, but didn't see any results for sometime, then last mid - year got a trainer for 15 sessions and he taught me the right way to workout and good diet. Now I workout by myself but use the correct pose and follow a schedule and it has shown some good results. Doubled up my weights and can do almost the double amount of push-ups and pull-ups. Am still lean but lost the excess weight around my waist and gained lean muscle mass and have body fat ration of 7.7%.
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    Mar 30, 2010 7:30 AM GMT
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  • MrPeanut

    Posts: 11

    Mar 30, 2010 9:11 AM GMT
    nysexy saidOk..so i decided to voice my dilema.

    Gym: 5-6 days a week
    Weights: 45 min- 1 hour depending on the day 3 sets of 3-5 exercises per body
    part...1 part per day
    Cardio: 20-30 min alternating btwn elliptical and running with a target
    maintained HR of at least 160-170

    Weight: 195lbs
    Bench: 230 but going up
    Bicep Curls: 35-40 lb dumbells each arm..seems to be going up

    I pay attention to form and have no issues decreasing the weight if the form is suffering

    Diet: Not the best but everything in moderation (i adhere to the serving sizes)

    I've been doing this for about 10 years...i can lift more and can run about twice as much as i used to and can do it twice as fast as i can. I feel pretty good but..... I FRIGGIN LOOK THE SAME!!!!!!! One would think i'd be huge and built by now but i've had the same proportions and measurements since 2003 when i lifted ALOT less than i do now.

    Even the trainer is like WTF!?!?!?!?!?!

    Explain...oh..and i keep trying variations on everything every few weeks as well.


    I don't know what your goal is but increased strength and increased size does not go hand in hand. While it is true that increased muscle size will bring about increased strength it is not true the other way around.

    Many people will tell you to life weights that will cause you to reach fatigue in x amount of reps (common numbers I hear are 3-5 or 8-10) but gaining real muscle mass is not about exhausting yourself.

    The problem is that many people exhaust themselves before the message gets sent to the cell to cause growth.

    What I would recommend is to maintain tension on the muscle you are looking to build for 30-60 seconds. If this requires you to lower your weights so you can do more reps then do it.

    Also if your only cardio is running and an elliptical and you want to drop your body fat then you will need to pick it up a notch. Add excersises to your routine that workout multiple muscles and joints (squats, lunges, presses or better yet do them together - link below for example).

    http://www.realjock.com/article/628/

    My final tip is that if you use workout machines then ditch them for free weights. Machines tend to stabalize your body so those all important stabilizing muscles are left out of the mix.

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Mar 30, 2010 10:22 AM GMT
    Do some people just not improve with exercise?

    Yes, example:
    Genes Help Explain Who Gets Fit
    "When you put in hours at the gym, you expect to get fitter. It turns out, that assumption doesn't hold true for everyone. A new study suggests specific genes may determine, at least in part, how much we really benefit from exercise."