Problems with my Work Out?

  • PatrickD81

    Posts: 69

    Mar 29, 2010 1:54 PM GMT
    Hey guys, I have a problem. I've been working out since November at a local gym that opened not far from my house last year. I've been trying to eat right, get enough protein, take my vitamins and supplements, and yet, despite all of that, I haven't gained much muscle, and I haven't lost all the body fat I'm trying to get rid of.

    I've been trying to get advice from friends, but I've been getting contradictory information. So, now I'm confused as to what to do. Furthermore, it seems my work out is stalled. I'm not gaining much more weight on the machines I work out on. I really don't know what else to do!

    I want bigger muscles and a 6 pack. I could use some help, and a training partner! Not fun going to the gym alone all the time.

    So any advice or help for this novice?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 29, 2010 2:41 PM GMT
    Water.
    Drink LOTS of water.

    Assuming your picture is recent, that's only a little bit larger than I was when I started working out...in December '09.
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    Mar 29, 2010 3:23 PM GMT
    Different things work for different folks. What works for the skinny guy probably won't work for you.

    You have to view it as a science, and experiment, and study.

    In general, you need plenty of protein, water, rest, and some occasional stimulation. Then, you repeat.

  • Mar 29, 2010 3:39 PM GMT
    The more you can be moving throughout your workout the more calories you can burn.
    Taking a specific resistance training program, break it down into agonist and antagonist groups. Work out the agonist then jump right to the antagonist afterwards. Do a flip flop on this style for the same body parts with about 2-3 exercises. Continue with 3-4 sets of each exercise. I typically never have any of my clients past 24 sets of one specific body part.

    Example:
    Chest 1
    Back 1
    Chest 2
    Back 2
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    Mar 29, 2010 4:03 PM GMT
    I was the skinny kid trying to get bigger so i took in a lot of protein. I know a guy that was the reverse trying to get smaller. Fitness is a lifestyle for him. He takes protein, but he mixes it with water ( I use whole milk to gain). He also had cut out pretty much all fattening foods. To gain muscle it is better that you use freeweights from what i hear, and thats what worked for me. Also throw in some heavy cardio, perhaps a hard bike ride or a light run at the beginning of your work outs. Something i do that helps me stimulate my body is do two sets of something i can manage, and then go up in weight at half the reps until i can no longer go up anymore.

    Hope that helps
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    Mar 29, 2010 4:34 PM GMT
    This has been my routine since Dec. 30, 2009. I have lost 17 lbs and my strength has increased by about 20% (judging by the weights I can lift). Workout: three days on, one day off. Cardio (usually an elliptical) at least 30 minutes every day. Abs every day. Weights: Day 1: chest and tricepts; Day 2 back and bicepts; Day 3 shoulders. I will mix the weight routine up every once in a while. If anyone has any suggestions on this, those would be appreciated also. I eat well (vegetarian) and what I want, but I do out to eat at least twice a week.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Mar 29, 2010 4:58 PM GMT
    By supplements, are you taking in protein shakes, etc.? If your priority is to lose weight, I'd suggest skipping them. If you haven't seen a lot of weight loss, you're probably taking in more calories than you can burn. Perhaps you should cut down on your serving sizes. Don't worry about building muscle. Because, if you're doing your cardio and a good workout, they are developing underneath the fat. You might not see them, but they're there.
  • PatrickD81

    Posts: 69

    Mar 29, 2010 5:02 PM GMT
    hmmm...some really good advice. I've been doing something similar, working triceps/chest/abs one day, and Biceps, Back, Shoulders, and Legs on another day, with an hour of cardio on Saturday. I also work out 6 days a week (I rest on sundays).

    I also drink Muscle Milk and NO Xplode. I just think my problem is that I'm not consistent with my eating habits, and am taking in too much fat.

    I am considering buying protein bars, and a different kind of protein shake to see if I get improvements in my work out. Any suggestions?
  • PatrickD81

    Posts: 69

    Mar 29, 2010 5:04 PM GMT
    EricLA saidBy supplements, are you taking in protein shakes, etc.? If your priority is to lose weight, I'd suggest skipping them. If you haven't seen a lot of weight loss, you're probably taking in more calories than you can burn. Perhaps you should cut down on your serving sizes. Don't worry about building muscle. Because, if you're doing your cardio and a good workout, they are developing underneath the fat. You might not see them, but they're there.


    Then, I guess what I should do is primarily cardio until I've burned off what fat I have left on my abs. Which isn't much, all told. Maybe about 1 to 2" around my mid-section is what I'm trying to get rid of.
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    Mar 29, 2010 5:24 PM GMT
    Did I miss it? Tell us exactly what you do when you work out and what you eat...

    If you´ve stalled then you need to reboot, but we need more info to help you do it. Remember that rest is as important as lifting to get the body you want, and eating is more important than either...
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Mar 29, 2010 5:33 PM GMT
    PatrickD81 said
    EricLA saidBy supplements, are you taking in protein shakes, etc.? If your priority is to lose weight, I'd suggest skipping them. If you haven't seen a lot of weight loss, you're probably taking in more calories than you can burn. Perhaps you should cut down on your serving sizes. Don't worry about building muscle. Because, if you're doing your cardio and a good workout, they are developing underneath the fat. You might not see them, but they're there.


    Then, I guess what I should do is primarily cardio until I've burned off what fat I have left on my abs. Which isn't much, all told. Maybe about 1 to 2" around my mid-section is what I'm trying to get rid of.


    I wouldn't say primarily cardio, because if you tackle your workout at a brisk pace, trying to keep breaks between sets and exercises to a minimum, your workout also gives you a cardio benefit. But, to your other post, and without knowing your diet and exactly how much time/effort your spending in the gym (how many days/how much time on cardio and work out), I'd guess you're taking in too many calories if you're drinking all those shakes. I don't drink any protein shakes, nor do I take any supplements, and I think I have pretty good results.
  • PatrickD81

    Posts: 69

    Mar 30, 2010 2:17 PM GMT
    My Diet basically consists of Chicken and Turkey, used on sandwiches and salads.

    Sandwiches I don't put anything on it but Mustard. I don't use white bread or bagels if I can help it. I stick to multigrain breads. I might eat a few cheese slices with it - 5 pieces. And not from single-sliced cheese, I mean blocks of cheese that you have to cut yourself. I usually cut the slices to 1 to 2 cm thick.

    Salads, I use a vinigrette dressing, but only 2 Tablespoons, as that's the recommended serving size. I usually eat Salads at night.

    I should eat Breakfast, but I never get up before 9am most days, so it's difficult for me to eat breakfast.

    Otherwise, I eat 5 to 6 small meals a day, and usually every 2 to 3 hours.

    I rarely, if ever, eat snack foods or sweets. In fact, I may sweets like once or twice every few months.

    I drink Orange Juice, Water, and Unsweetened Tea

    Supplements I take:
    Fish Oil pills (1000mg) twice a day for Omega Fatty acids - I don't eat seafood

    Centrum Cardio twice a day - to help control my cholesterol, and to get what vitamins I normally don't take in.

    Mega-T Green Tea - To help with burning fat.

    Muscle Milk - Drink one of these every day after my work out.

    NO Xplode - 1.5 to 2 scoops of powder in 18oz. of water 30-45 mins before my work out.

    I'm 5'11, and my weight has stabilized at 208 lbs (last I checked, which was a couple of weeks ago).

    My work out schedule:
    Mon, Wed, Fri - Triceps, Chest, and Legs - I usually am in the gym for an hour to an hour and a half.
    Tues Thurs - Biceps, Back, Legs, and Shoulders - Same notation
    Sat - 1 hour of low-intensity fat-burn cardio
    Sun - No work out

    Anything else you guys need to know?
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    Mar 30, 2010 3:52 PM GMT
    PatrickD81 said I might eat a few cheese slices with it - 5 pieces. And not from single-sliced cheese, I mean blocks of cheese that you have to cut yourself. I usually cut the slices to 1 to 2 cm thick.
    ...

    I drink Orange Juice, Water, and Unsweetened Tea

    I don't eat seafood

    tonnes of supplements I´ve never heard of

    My work out schedule:
    Mon, Wed, Fri - Triceps, Chest, and Legs - I usually am in the gym for an hour to an hour and a half.
    Tues Thurs - Biceps, Back, Legs, and Shoulders - Same notation
    Sat - 1 hour of low-intensity fat-burn cardio
    Sun - No work out

    Anything else you guys need to know?


    OK. Some initial thoughts:

    (1) count your macro nutrients: that is to say, count how many grams of fat, protein and carbs you take in a day. It´s a pain for the first few days, but you get used to it and it´s very eye opening. I suspect your fat intake may be higher than you want

    (2) orange juice is sugar. Drink water normally, and OJ as a treat.

    3) no seafood why? Fish is a great source of lower fat protein.

    (4) You need to get your nutrients from food not 20 different bottles.

    (5) You are probably working out too long and not resting enough. Build in INTENSITY. Try supersets (two exercises in a row with no break...) I don´t like your splits... not saying they are useless, but I never saw the point of separating tris and bis, chest and back. They are nice superset pairs. Remeber: splits are meant to help you rest body parts while training more than 3 times a week... if you are not resting properly then the spilt is pointless. Working tris and bis different days means you work arms every time.

    You have 6 days of legs a week. Rest?

    I suspect you would be better off with 5 days 1 hour, intense work outs which incorporate supersets and circuits. You can even do supersets on an interval, which combines HIT and HIIT (google if you don´t know what they are).

    *check your diet (count grams for a week)
    *increase intensity of working out
    *rest more.
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    Mar 31, 2010 2:02 AM GMT
    I'd try a few weeks of full body work ..full body workouts can be amazing in terms of breaking through a plateau and getting 'stimulated' to grow..and as the above poster suggested 'Intensity' is your single greatest factor. How long are you resting between your sets..? Are you using proper techique slower on the negative portion[e.g. lowering] of your lifts?
    Have you considered hiring a Trainer?Think about it.
    Main thing is keep asking questions and asking 'why'
    and remember its all about the journey not the destination...
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    Mar 31, 2010 7:29 AM GMT
    PatrickD81 saidI might eat a few cheese slices with it - 5 pieces. And not from single-sliced cheese, I mean blocks of cheese that you have to cut yourself. I usually cut the slices to 1 to 2 cm thick.


    I love cheese! When I first started working out I was thrilled to learn that cheese counts as a meat. I kept it in as part of my diet... but didn't lose any weight. I was keeping a close eye on my servings. I figured that I was eating more calories in each serving than RJ's meal plans call for, so I checked.

    Bingo. Trouble is, most cheese is very fatty. The nutrition facts on the brick cheese I keep in the house talk about a serving being a 1-inch cube, with one serving being 110 calories. Only 36 of those are from protein, which is why we eat it at all. Seeing a problem? Each slice like you slice them is one serving at least.

    To compare, 2% shredded cheese has 90 calories, 36 from protein in each quarter-cup serving--that's a lot more than you'd think. I'll melt a quarter cup over veggies, or stuff a half a cup in a chile relleno. Since you're eating five servings at a time right now, that's 100 calories you wouldn't have to burn off on the treadmill.

    Whether you cut back on the supplements or not, switching to 2% cheese is definitely the way to go for weight loss.
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    Mar 31, 2010 1:46 PM GMT
    Overtime said
    PatrickD81 saidI might eat a few cheese slices with it - 5 pieces. And not from single-sliced cheese, I mean blocks of cheese that you have to cut yourself. I usually cut the slices to 1 to 2 cm thick.


    I love cheese! When I first started working out I was thrilled to learn that cheese counts as a meat. I kept it in as part of my diet... but didn't lose any weight. I was keeping a close eye on my servings. I figured that I was eating more calories in each serving than RJ's meal plans call for, so I checked.


    Cheese is a meat? WTF are they teaching you kids in the schools these days? Cheese is basically fat. Can be a special treat once or (at most) twice a week, but not a daily staple...
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Mar 31, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    First, you've been working out since November. November. That's 4 months. That's NOTHING in the world of fitness and bodybuilding.

    You need to fix your diet and keep working out. Be patient.
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    Mar 31, 2010 4:57 PM GMT
    You've gotten some good advice here, but ultimately, if this is something that is really important to you, prioritize paying for some assistance from a professional who can evaluate your individual/unique needs, and who can also help you to build an eating/exercise plan that is appropriate for your goals and your will to accomplish them.
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    Apr 01, 2010 5:36 AM GMT
    Lostboy said
    Overtime said
    PatrickD81 saidI might eat a few cheese slices with it - 5 pieces. And not from single-sliced cheese, I mean blocks of cheese that you have to cut yourself. I usually cut the slices to 1 to 2 cm thick.


    I love cheese! When I first started working out I was thrilled to learn that cheese counts as a meat. I kept it in as part of my diet... but didn't lose any weight. I was keeping a close eye on my servings. I figured that I was eating more calories in each serving than RJ's meal plans call for, so I checked.


    Cheese is a meat? WTF are they teaching you kids in the schools these days? Cheese is basically fat. Can be a special treat once or (at most) twice a week, but not a daily staple...


    Cheese-as-meat isn't from school or the government, it's from Manuel Villacorta's meal plans from right here on RealJock.

    You're right. Cheese IS basically fat... if it is made with full-fat milk. But just like saying "Outback Steakhouse's ribs have 2013 calories, so I should avoid all cuts of pork," avoiding all cheese products misses the point. If you're going to eat pork, it's better to have a tenderloin an a rack of ribs, and if you're going to eat cheese it's better to get the reduced-fat kind.

    **One important thing to note is that a "very lean meat" has less than 1 gram of fat per ounce, while the Kroger 2% cheese I have in front of me right no has 6 grams. Conveniently, 5 ounces is the size of a fat serving in my meal plan, so each serving of cheese is one protein AND one fat.
  • PatrickD81

    Posts: 69

    Apr 01, 2010 6:54 PM GMT
    Wow. Definitely some good advice. I've taken to counting the amount of fat I take in now. I also am working on getting breakfast in. So far I've tried eating Oat cereal (like Honey Nut Cheerios as an example), and a single, 8oz glass of OJ (only glass I drink of OJ in a day anyway).

    OJ has 22g of sugar in it, but what must people don't know is those are all natural sugars, especially if the ingredients on the package only read "Orange Juice".

    Fruits, like oranges, contain the sugar known as Fructose. It is a sugar that we humans are evolved to digest properly, and utilize nearly 100% of. Fructose, when broken down, creates 2 chains of glucose molecules, which are further broken down and converted into molecules that can be absorbed into cells. After that, the molecules are converted back into glucose, and utilized in metabolic processes, particularly in the mitochondria of cells.

    So, a single glass of OJ a day is actually good for you. Aside from the Vitamin C, you get sugars your body can actually use.

    The Cheese I eat usually because it's one of my few sources of calcium. Yogurt, Yogurt Smoothies, and Muscle Milk (soy milk variety) being my other sources. I don't drink full fat, skim, or 2% milk at all. Can't stand the taste of it, and I'm lactose intolerant to begin with.

    Also cut back on the amount of dressing I put on salads. The serving size says 2 Tblsps, and that's what I measure out, literally.

    In the last couple of days, as a result of some of the changes I've made to my diet, I've noticed the fat around my mid-section decreasing already. That, coupled with doing at least 30 mins of low-intensity cardio and supersets (I only take breaks long enough to up the weight on a machine, or to wipe down a machine and move onto the next one. I never break for more than 30s if I can help it) seems to be doing the trick.

    I would like to start the 12-week muscle building program found here on RealJock. I'm curious to know if anyone's gotten any good results from it?