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strtnout
05-13-2006, 05:55 PM
Hey guys!

Tonight I finally decided to post so I could actually feel like a participant on this board, considering I've been lurking on it for about a year now! Before I go on and rant about myself, I just wanted to say thanks for the advice and inspiration that was given to be indirectly by everyone who posts here.

Okay, well I'm 23 5'9 and anywhere from 155 to 160lbs. I started working out about a year ago 3-4 times a week with a personal trainer and went from 120lbs to 150lbs in only a few months (started eating right, and finally got my hyperthyrodism under control). Things got too expensive, so I pretty much self taught myself everything from then on and worked out on my own 3 days a week. Obviously, I was able to gain 5-10lbs doing my own thing but now I'm hitting some serious plateaus and it's aggrevating and recently starting to question if I know what I'm doing or not.

I know eating is MOST important for someone like me who is not only an ectomorph, a hardgainer, and someone medically challenged. Therefore, I try and eat like 4 meals a day and several snacks here and there. Oatmeal, Chicken, and Milk are my best friends - trust me! I get well over 3000 calories a day, sometimes though it comes from not so good stuff though but I'm cautious of how much I allow myself to snack on junk vs. stick to your bones kinda food. I usually have a protien shake in the morning and after a workout or before bed. I've also been waking up in the middle of night to have another shake just to fit in more calories but don't let it compromise my 8 hours sleep. I also take a multivitamin. As far as suplements, I've cycled creatine (mono and ethyl)many times and really I've only gained water weight and little strength and shortly lose it. NO products help with my energy & pumps but nothing crazy that I can't workout w/o it. My goal is to get up to 180lbs, cut and then try to maintain 190. So sick of people telling me I look dead or that I could blow away.

As far as my workouts go, I've been having a problem trying to stick to anything cuz I'm not getting strength or size gains like I said. For the past couple of weeks or so, I've pretty much been sticking to a routine similar to this one:
Mon: Chest/Tri's
Incline Dumbell Press
Flat Press
Machine Flys

Dips
Skull Crushers
Extensions (varied)

Wed: Back/Bi's
Chin-ups/Lat Pulldowns
Dumbell Bent-over Rows
Seated Rows

Preacher Curls
Reverse Curls
Hammer Curls

Fri: Legs/Shldrs
Squats*
Leg Extensions
Leg Curls
Calf Raises*

Shoulder Press
Front Raises
Shrugs

For all exercises, I usually stick to a warm-up plus a set of 10, 8, and 6 or until burnout. Squats and calfs I do more like 4 sets of 12-15. And I usually use a mix of machine and free-weights but try to stick mostly to free-weights. As for abs, I don't believe they exist (at 110lbs they weren't visible). On a semi-permanent bulk, I stick to doing abs on off days incorporating med balls most days.

Okay, just realized I'm not writing a novel here, but I appreciate anyone reading past the first sentance, haha!

I'm up for any and all suggestions, advice, or whatever! Attached are some really bad pictures (guess you cant take good pics till you have a good body, funny how that works). First are my July pics that were only a couple months into training, the rest are pics now (which I think look worse, but whatever).

Alright, well you'll be hearing from me more now - ttyl!

strtnout
05-13-2006, 05:57 PM
Now I know why they are always in groups...

MM
05-13-2006, 07:14 PM
Your arms obviously got bigger, but there doesn't appear to be much of a change between the two sets; I'm assuming that's just slightly misleading.

What are your PRs? Perhaps you should consider a four or five day split, if you aren't making gains on the three day one. Incorporating deadlifts might also shock your body into some growth.

Good luck.

Built
05-13-2006, 07:41 PM
Hi there
Okay, you need to eat more - you're at maintenance right now at 3000 a day.

Up your fats - it's the easiest way to increase your cals.

Your lifting - hmmm... how many days a week do you do this? Do you squat? Deadlift?

TOBART
05-13-2006, 08:20 PM
Were you actually diagnosed with hyperthyrodism? I'm just asking because I had this checked a year ago and I was fine. However, I'm 5'7" 155 and it took ~5000 cals a day for the last 2 years to make it to that point from 110.

I wish I could help you out but I've basically got the same problem, after 145lbs weight just started coming on really, really slow.

Just keep eating HUGE and doing compound lifts. I have found that changing up the rep range, speed, rest time every month seems to help me grow lately. The only real guaranteed way to gain weight is to track your diet on something like fitday.com. If you dont gain weight in 2 weeks, up calories by 500 a day. Basic knowledge but its a lot of work so most people don't do it.

strtnout
05-13-2006, 08:53 PM
OMG - I wrote another novel in response to MM and Built and I got logged off so it never posted.... grrr. Now I can't bring myself to type it all over. So quickly

MM - I think I'll consider up-ing it to 4 days a week, but I was just worried considering how hard it is for me to gain weight and possibly losing more calories that way. Deadlifts I've never done considering my trainer never had me do them so I never felt confident enough to do them on my own. Definatley will have to start now that I've specifically been told... I'm very encouragable. BTW - my arms have been stuck at 13 1/2 for like 6 months now and were 13 in the Jul05 pics. There isn't much difference between them because there's only like 10lbs diff. between the pics as I took them once I gained all my newbie gains.... yeah, I could be even more skinny, so I never stepped in front of a camera prior to it (well no pic I have at least).

Built - Thanks for the kick in the butt for telling me I need to eat more, I can always eat more, but I do eat far more than the 3000 cals I said earlier. I don't usually pay much attention to my liquid calories, I feel like that is cheating because I'm constantly drinking milk, or ensures, or cytogainer which is packed with a normal persons cal. needs itself. I have however stepped it up this week by adding a bagel w/pb&j as a mid morning snack. As far as fats, I eat a lot of junk food, not sweets but unhealthy nontheless. I also drink 2tbs of olive oil either in the morn or at night, whenever i can tolerate it.

TOBART - Yes I was diagnosed with Hyperthyrodism. It took 3 bloodtests for it to show up though. Before then they blamed my mother (who's anorexic) for it just being genetic that I was skinny even when the rest of my family was normal wieght. However, they figured things out and I went to the endocrynologist and was put on meds. I thought that would be the end all be all and I would gain wieght normally and all my symptoms would go away but that wasn't the case. My endo dr had me keep a food journal (which I was doing anyways for my pt) and is still shocked to see that I'm not heavy for the amt I eat. Even with medication, I still have a resting pulse of 100+ and fatigue really easily, and can't put on wieght(but he doesn't care now that I'm avg. wieght for my height). All my bloodtests come back fine though so they are still trying to figure out what the heck it is... until then though I'm screwed. I wish I could put more mass on my chest above anything because I'm also blessed with pectus escavatum which makes me look like I weigh even less than I do. Thanks for all your advice and I do have fitday account although I prefer my book simply cuz its easier to show the doc.... I'll start to do both now I think. Thanks for sharing in my struggle... definatley happy someone relates. Gluck w/ your battle as well!

Built
05-13-2006, 09:08 PM
Regarding the calories - just track on fitday - no one food is magical; it just has to get in you.

2 tablespoons of olive oil is good, but there ARE other fats - snack on peanuts, eat avocados, butter everything you eat, smear natural peanut butter on everything.

Relentless
05-15-2006, 06:09 AM
MM - I think I'll consider up-ing it to 4 days a week, but I was just worried considering how hard it is for me to gain weight and possibly losing more calories that way. Deadlifts I've never done considering my trainer never had me do them so I never felt confident enough to do them on my own.

If you're that worried about extra calories being burned, just consume more calories.

If you can afford it, protein powder is an incredibly easy way to get extra quality calories. You may also want to scroll back through BCC's journal and check out the times he was consuming 5-6000 cals/day, including like a gallon of milk and a pound of natty PB per day...

I can also almost guarantee that there is a powerlifting union/club/group somewhere near to your home. Find them and they will probably teach you how to deadlift, properly, for FREE. ;)

strtnout
05-15-2006, 11:12 AM
Thanks Callahan for the tips! I have been using ON whey for a long while now. Not only am I concerned about the extra calories burned, I was a little but weary because in most of my books and such, it says that for the hard-gainer, less is more... so less time in the gym, but more compound movements, more food, and more sleep. Obviously thoughl, what I have been doing hasn't been working! So time to mix things up a bit and throw out what I know and start over again concentrating on what works for me!

I'll def. take a look at BCC's journal. Major props to him already for being able to consume all of that! My doctor has me eating past "fullness" to help expand my stomach in order not to lose any wieght (due to my high HR mostly) now that I've actually gained some... I think several months though it just stopped expanding. I hate to eat to begin with and when I really force it, I end up just getting sick (no point in that).

Though my first post, and the few replies I've recieved has helped encourage me to try even harder! I did my first deadlifts last night just to try them out. Bascially like a squat with the bar in front of you and letting the bar hit the floor each time for a full ROM. Fortunately the gym was pretty empty so no-one saw me look like an idiot if I did.

Thanks again!