Adding More Pounds While Working Out

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    Jul 17, 2007 5:44 PM GMT
    Hello everyone! My first post here! So I am 18 y/o, and I am about 120lbs...very underweight! I am looking to be about 160lbs-180lbs, but have great muscle definition...some people here call it: "packing the weight in". I feel like I am underweight, and it is slowly eating away at my confidence. I might also mention that I am a vegetarian (not to be confused with vegan, whom doesn't eat any animal products...I just don't eat any meat). I also take vitamin supplements every day along with my anti-depressant pills. Lately, I have been slacking off at going to the gym, but this past Sunday, I went to the gym again, and feel how much better I feel all over...yes, I'm sore, but to me, that feels good, knowing that my muscles are building. Anyways, I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction here...maybe an online excercise/meal plan program...

    I appreciate all help given!



  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2613

    Jul 17, 2007 6:58 PM GMT
    Hi there,Adam!Welcome to RealJock!If you take some time and browse through the site`s pages,there`s probably something for you within on exercising and nutrition.I`m relatively new and haven`t surveyed much yet.Best wishes.Hugs,John.
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    Jul 18, 2007 9:14 AM GMT
    lots and lots of small meals. AND DON'T SLACK!!!! It doesn't quite work if you only go once or twice a week or if you have no discipline. The site has a ton of good articles to help you get started.
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    Jul 18, 2007 12:37 PM GMT
    To pack on the weight you're going to have to figure out what your daily caloric requirements are and eat more than that.

    Multiple small meals are ideal (more efficient metabolism wise), but not strictly necessary.

    The biggest thing you need to do is figure out a routine that works for you. And by works, I mean as much that it's habit forming as that it builds muscle. Most routines can be tweaked to build more muscle, but *only* if you can make yourself go. If this is 5 days of 45 minutes, or 3 days of an hour and a half, etc, it doesn't matter. Get to the gym, build a habit. You can work from there.
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    Jul 19, 2007 5:57 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the help guys. I guess many smaller meals makes sense. Now with that, I also came across another idea...muscle building. Again, I am 18yo and 120lbs...underweight! I am looking to be about 168-180lbs, but not fat weight...muscle weight. Also, I am not looking for something to make me look like one of those "Hulk" guys you see on bodybuilding mags...just have great definition...I don't want my muscles to me buldging...just defined. Anyways, I thought maybe anabolic steroids may be the miracle answer...then reading posts here about side effects as well as from other sources, I am not sure if it is worth taking years off of my life from internal organ problems, and acne along with small testicles. Also, I am trying to stay ALL NATURAL for, body care, prescriptions, etc. So I was wondering a few things:

    +Are steroids all of what they are pumped up to be? Are the side effects worth it?

    +What about supplements like MuscleTech, MuscleMilk, or Creatine? Do they have positive muscle mass building qualitites, and little or no harmful qualities?

    +Are there any natural supplements I could be taking (most desired), like herbal extracts?

    Again, all help is appreciated! Sorry for all the questions, but I am completely new at fitness/nutrition.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 19, 2007 6:13 PM GMT
    Get a picture, you under confident mooch.

    EAT. See food and eat it.

    Ain't rocket science.

    Common sense 101.

    Unless you are ill, if you eat more calories than you consume, you will get bigger.
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    Jul 19, 2007 6:50 PM GMT
    Don't bother with supplements and crap until you can figure out what's doable without them.

    MuscleMilk isn't really a "supplement" just another form of food. Powdered food.

    Eat more, build more. You can do it.

    Oh, and ignore Chucky, he's on a retarded personal crusade that leaves him cranky and irritating.
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    Jul 19, 2007 6:54 PM GMT
    First off, Chuckystud.....GET A LIFE! Just because you're all built up and not afraid to show it off, doesn't mean everybody else is and everything about working out does not, magically by osmosis, sink in as soon as you walk through the gym door. For a beginner it can be intimidating and confusing. Especially when it comes to nutrition, supplements, steriods, etc. There is a lot of bogus information out there and a lot of people don't know what to believe with all the claims some people and companies make in the fitness industry. If you don't have anything constructive to offer. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!

    Now, princesszen...take a deep breath and relax. You'll get it, just do as Owl975 says, don't slack and be consistent. Eating more frequent small meals with a fat/protein/carb ratio of 20/40/40 is a good place to start. Eating fat (if it's the right kind) does not necessarily equate to gaining fat on your body. Your body needs some types of fat and in moderation, you should be find if you stick to the right kind (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). Saturated fat is the one that will get you though you can't TOTALLY avoid it ALL the time. The fact that you are a vegetarian is an advantage for you. Except for whole eggs and whole dairy products, saturated fat should be minimal for you unless you add it yourself.

    Eat more calories than you burn will put weight on but, you want good weight not fat weight so, yes finding out what your daily calorie requirements are is a good place to start in determining how much you should be eating. Then you can add more calories from there to support your weight training and development as needed.

    The big problem most vegetarians run into is getting enough protein. Protein from plant sources, though very clean in terms of nutrients and being healthy for you, tend to contain lower amounts than if you included chicken, turkey, fish or meat in your diet. But it's not impossible. Legumes and tofu are great sources for protein and fiber for the vegetarian body builder but you might want to go to your local health food store and find a vegetarian protein powder you can make shakes with to make sure you are getting enough along with your food.

    Packing on muscle for hard gainers is frustrating but you also have the advantage of being naturally lean, so any muscle you put on will be visible pretty quickly.

    Also, if you can afford it, I would look into working with a personal trainer for a while in your gym to get you moving in the right direction. They should be able to help you put together a workout that will meet your needs and make sure you know how to do all the exercise properly to prevent injury.

    Good luck buddy. Keep plugging away at it and don't feel self conscious. Everybody starts somewhere and we all have different goals as to where we want to go.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 20, 2007 3:19 PM GMT
    I really appreciate you guys' help! It has influenced my decision on how to properly provide the right nutrition and excercise. But just for clarification...


    Does this mean that cardio is not to be done a lot, as it burns calories fast? Should I eliminate or lessen the cardio out of my workout routine?

    Thanks again guys! A LOT of help!

    :) Adam :)
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    Jul 20, 2007 4:19 PM GMT
    Without knowing you or meeting you I can't say definitively yes it will or no it won't. Everybody's different and it sounds like you have a high metabolism so doing cardio may have more effect on your ability to gain muscle than someone who is not so prone to hard gains. But cardio is important not only to losing weight but to cardiovascular health as well. If you stop doing cardio to put on size, that's OK just don't do it forever and think you'll never have to do it again. You still need to exercise the most important muscle in your body.....your heart.
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    Jul 22, 2007 9:56 PM GMT
    Thanks shortnsexystud!

    Ok...well, I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I have been doing the machines since I started working out...well today, one of the staff members offered to show me the free weights...he said that free weights put on a LOT MORE anyways, I am taking his advice...

    What do ya'll think...are free weights better than machine weights?

    Thanks again!

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    Aug 19, 2007 4:16 PM GMT
    Free weights are much better then machine weights, as long as you use proper form. Don't feel bad if you can't lift much at first... just focus on proper form!
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    Aug 19, 2007 4:31 PM GMT
    At your age and weight, you most likely have a fast metabolism. That being said, you should have no need to do cardio. Most guys do cardio when they want to "cut up" or lose weight. If you want to build muscle you need to eat good quality protein, anywhere from .7 to 1, but no more than 1.5 grams per pound of your body-weight or target weight (but don't over do it, because too much protein can turn to fat). And with that you do need to be taking in more calories than you expend daily.

    Another key is that most studies indicate THE MOST important time to get quality protein is within 20 to 45 minutes AFTER you work out. That's a crucial time to give your "burnt" muscles quality protein and help you recover and promote gain.

    Real Jock has a lot of good info on this topic. Another site you can check out is They actually have a ton of "calculators" that help you determine how much protein to take in, how many calories, and much more, including workout plans and even descriptions of exercises similar to Real Jock.

    Hope that helps... ;)
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    Aug 19, 2007 4:59 PM GMT
    I'll disagree on the no need to do cardio front. With a high metabolism, your goal for cardio isn't losing weight at all. However, you still want the heart benefits of doing cardio; a lower resting pulse and better endurance are beneficial even if you're young and thin. It just means that you'd be doing a different form of cardio--shorter bursts of higher intensity to really push your aerobic capacity, rather than longer durations at lower intensity to burn the fat. You don't want to focus solely on the skeletal muscles, and forget the most important muscle: your heart.
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    Aug 19, 2007 10:12 PM GMT
    I do agree that cardio is important!

    No doubt about that, but perhaps I should be more clear with why I made the recommendations I did...

    I don't think you'll find many trainers or serious bodybuilders who will tell you to do a lot of cardio when your goal is to simply gain lean mass. There's a trade off in that which makes it counter productive to gaining mass. Can you do a lot of cardio AND gain mass? Yes, but it's much harder because you have to consume more calories and more protein to offset what you burn and your gains may take much longer to achieve. Talk to guys who do bodybuilding competitions and when they're trying to gain, most of them will tell you they limit their cardio in the gain stages.

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

    If your goal is to gain lean mass and especially if you're a hard gainer (like me), you should do fine to workout with weights 5x a week (remember more muscle burns more calories and in the process also impacts your metabolism). If you feel you should add cardio, then 2x a week should be sufficient and it should be limited to 20 to 45 minute sessions. Also, remember that whatever routine you choose, your body needs rest and recovery time.

    I do agree with MSUBioNerd that for individuals who want to gain lean mass, shorter bursts of cardio is the way to go. Here's a great way to do cardio on a treadmill if your goal is gaining lean mass: Try doing 2 minutes at a moderate pace, then 1 minute at a fast pace, 2 minutes at a moderate pace, then 1 minute at a faster pace, and continue to alternate for the total number of minutes you chose to run.

    But take everything with a grain of salt...

    You have to figure out what works for you! As we grow older, cardio becomes even more important, this is not to say that it's not important when you're young, it's just that our body does change as we get older. Also, to insinuate or assume that your body will not gain any health benefits if all you do is build muscle is inaccurate. Remember health is in it's most general terms about eating right and staying active... however that active part turns out for you.

    But this does lead me to one pet peeve of mine when it comes to weight training...

    It seems like a lot of guys will pick a muscle and just focus on that, like biceps, or pecs and neglect others. I see soo many guys who look like "hulk" up top, but have chicken legs. Or they have a huge chest, but no back muscles.

    Symmetry is the key word. It's important to develop your muscles in relationship to opposing muscle groups to avoid long term affects on your posture and on your joints and tendons.

    But finding out what works for you is part of the fun.

    So, good luck with whatever plan you choose. I know weight training can be daunting in the beginning. There is soo much info out there. Some of it is good, some of it is bad. And just because someone may be built like Arnold, doesn't mean they know the perfect routines.

    Just do your research and discover what works best for you. That way you'll appreciate your efforts even more. ;)