The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    hardgainers; Slow or fast metabolism???

    All reaserch that I've done seems to suggest that hardgainers have such a fast metabolism that all the calories they eat are burnt by their bodies. Is it possible to be a hardgainer with a very slow metabolism?

    The reason why I ask this is because I consider myself to be a hardgainer. I am 5'7", 145lbs. and have about 20% bodyfat or more. I used to be very fat in highschool. I weighed 185lbs. and I always knew that I've had a slow metabolism. I was the fat kid all my life. Once I dedicated myself to start jogging daily and eating cleaner I cut down to 125lbs and discovered that I had a very small frame and almost no musculature. Now, I know that If I stop all exercise that I will gain lots of fat just by eating a normal, even clean diet, but it seems so hard for me to gain mass even after tons of lifting and tons of eating. Aren't those two things a contradiction? If I gain fat easily, shouldn't I gain mass easily after working out with heavy weights? If I work out then eat as many calories and protein I can find, I just get fatter around my belly and love handles. After a year of home gym training and four months of a gold's gym membership I seem to be only making minimal gains. I feel like I should have ten more pounds of muscle than I have after all the work and eating I have done. My Uncle who is a bodybuilder tells me to cut down cardio and just eat like a beast. Is it possible to eat too many calories on the days that you lift weights heavily? I am a little paranoid about getting fat again, especially since my kickboxing depends on it and I don't need anymore fat weight on my body, I'll be put into a weight class with heavier people with more muscle than I. I have also been approached by multiple modeling agencies and as...pansie as it sounds, I'm actually considering maybe a try at it since there is money involved. So I can't have extra fat. Basically I just see myself as a hardgainer with a very slow metabolism. I need to gain more mass but I don't know how to do it without getting fatter and loosing my cutness. Anyone know what I'm doing wrong or have a similar experience?

    On days I lift should I just east as much calories and protein that I can without worrying about getting fatter?

    On days I lift, this is what I typically eat:

    2-3 scrambled eggs
    4-6 hardboiled egg whites
    oatmeal or cream of wheat
    cereal
    whole wheat bread
    pasta
    baked beans
    peanutbutter (spoonfulls)
    salads
    subs
    grilled chicken breast
    1-2 cans of Tuna
    (or) Salmon fillet
    whey protein shakes (mixed myself)
    whey protein bars
    a multivitamin or two

    Now, can anyone tell me if my assumptions about myself are correct? If so, or if not, what the hell am I doing wrong? Please help guys, thanks.
    Last edited by Brokensword; 08-30-2004 at 01:27 AM.
    "There is no I in Communism" - Ayn Rand

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  3. #2
    but growing daily!
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    I don't put muscle on easily either. My brother on the other hand has more muscle then me and he doesn't work out at all except maybe a few pushups once every few months. Hes very cut up too bleh.

    Eating excessively won't help you out I don't think. Eating just enough of the right foods will be perfect. There is lots of information in the nutritional section regarding formula's and so on.

    I think the most important thing for people like us is the have long term and short term plans to keep us motivated and on track.

    Long term should be something like 1 - 2 years or more. Be realistic. 2 years from now what do you want your body to be like?

    Short term should be 2 - 3 month stages. Be realistic. How much muscle, strength etc do you want to improve by in this time.

    Make your short term goals detailed. Your long term a little less so, it'll change as you go along and meet your short term goals.

    My long term is to be twice the size of my brother

    Zygote

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the advice and motivation Zygote. I know exactly how you feel. My younger brother is taller and much bigger than me and he barely works out. He likes to play lot os playstation, and eat lots of McDonalds and he seems to be so much more massive than I. It pisses me off, and that is definitely one of my motivating factors besides the competitive edge I'de get in my sport, Kickboxing.

    I guess I still don't know how hardgainers exactly relate to a speedy or slow metabolism. And I would still really love to know if it is possible to eat too many calories on a workout day. As in, if I eat more calories than my muscles need, will it go to my gut? That;s all.
    "There is no I in Communism" - Ayn Rand

  5. #4
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    There is no such thing as a hardgainer. Some people just have to eat more or less than others to meet their goals. You just need to find the right calorie balance for yourself. If you're not tracking your calories daily, then this is where you need to start.

  6. #5
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vido
    Some people just have to eat more or less than others to meet their goals.
    Well I thinks that's the definition of a hardgainer(eat more than others). Hard to gain weight because of the amount of calories they have to take in. I just can't imagine eating 4-5k calories a day (or more), as some people on this board do.

    In any case, vido is right about tracking calories. It's truly the best way to find the right amount of calories to consume for bulking or cutting.
    Burritos are the bomb for bulking!
    My Food Journal


    PB's&Goals

    Deadlift: PR 1@440, Goal 1@450
    Squat: PR 1@375, Goal 1@400
    Bench: PR 2@275, Goal 1@300

  7. #6
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    Thanks for the help guys. I'll take it and start counting my daily caloric intake. I've already started today. I'm about to go to the gym and I've eaten about 800 calories worth of Oatmeal, Fish filet, PB scoops, yogurt, and a whey protein shake. Am I off to a good start? I mean I realize that I should probably be eating 2300 calories a day to bulk up, but come evening time, that 800 number will balloon on Tuna, eggs, pasta, PB sandwiches, whatever I can find like that. But I'm still not sure if I should just go ALL OUT and just eat as many calories as I can fit into my body as I fear that this would not only help me build mass, but also add too much extra fat onto me. That's why I ask about the slow metabolism as it relates to hardgainers and such. That's all. Thanks.

    Last edited by Brokensword; 08-30-2004 at 03:05 PM.
    "There is no I in Communism" - Ayn Rand

  8. #7
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    I found some info on hardgainers you might be interested in. http://www.netsweat.com/FAQs/Hardgainer_FAQ.html

    Also, heres a program which will make it much easier to count your calories: http://www.crosstrainer.ca/download.htm as well as letting you set up, track and organize your weight training.

    To answer your question, can you eat too much on training days? Yes you can, its just like any other day except you burn X amount of calories working out + a raised metabolic rate for a time afterwards but won't excuse gluttony

    Zygote

  9. #8
    Banned SalahG's Avatar
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    Check with your doctor about your hormone levels. You might be a canidate for HRT. (Considering your history of high body fat levels, and a really small frame)

  10. #9
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    Hah. Funny you mention HRT. I was given three shots of testosterone when I was about 12 because I was extremely short for my age. I was the height of an average 8 year old. Now I'm 20 and I measure up to almost 5'7". Which I admit isn't extremely short, but it's not even average male height. So, you can imagine my frustration with height, size and weight my whole life. I had always thought that I was too old for HRT since I am past puberty, but if it is still an option for me, then that is definitely something I will be looking into.

    P.S. Did I mention that I have really thin wrists that sometimes prevent me from fully working my muscles at the gym? Sometimes I think I'll never get big because my wrists won't be able to support heavier weight training.
    Last edited by Brokensword; 08-30-2004 at 11:19 PM.
    "There is no I in Communism" - Ayn Rand

  11. #10
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    wait... you mean they GIVE you testosterone shots? Legally? Sign me up! :evillaugh

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brokensword
    P.S. Did I mention that I have really thin wrists that sometimes prevent me from fully working my muscles at the gym? Sometimes I think I'll never get big because my wrists won't be able to support heavier weight training.
    You just got to train hard and eat a lot (like you seem to be doing). You need to work on building your wrists. I sometimes have this problem too. It varies from day to day. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger had tiny wrists. You could almost touch your fingers together if you put them around his wrists.

    Just keep at it, and don't let your small wrists let you down. I usually find it discouraging when I add new weight to my bench press and my wrists start hurting. I just tough it out and push through the sets. And then my wrists don't hurt anymore. I think a lot of it is all in the mind. There are also some special gloves you can get that take the strain off your wrists and transfers the strength more in your forearms, which in turn, will give you stronger wrists. I'm thinking about getting some of these gloves myself, as I play piano and guitar and don't want callouses all over my palms and stuff.

    I'm not sure where you can find the gloves, I'll post a link if I do, but I know they're somewhere around 30 bucks. You can search the internet for wrist wraps if you want. They help a LOT.

    Anyway, I hope you get what you want from your training. Good luck...

    I dunno if this link will help you:
    http://www.dolfzine.com/page628.htm
    Last edited by EviscerationX; 08-30-2004 at 11:48 PM.
    "Hey skinny, I can see your ribs!" - Arnold Schwarzenegger

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EviscerationX
    Even Arnold Schwarzenegger had tiny wrists. You could almost touch your fingers together if you put them around his wrists.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the majority of people can touch their fingers together around their wrists.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brokensword
    I had always thought that I was too old for HRT since I am past puberty, but if it is still an option for me, then that is definitely something I will be looking into.
    Most people get HRT when they hit their late 30's, early 40's...you are certainly not too old for it.

  15. #14
    Frank Zane-ification
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vido
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the majority of people can touch their fingers together around their wrists.
    I meant that he said other people put their fingers around his wrists and could almost touch their fingers together. Not everyone can do this. I have extremely small wrists and I can somewhat overlap my fingers around my wrists...which is sh*tty. With my dad, there's like an inch and a half between the spaces of my fingers. Wrist sizes vary. I'm just unfortunate.
    Last edited by EviscerationX; 08-31-2004 at 12:19 AM.
    "Hey skinny, I can see your ribs!" - Arnold Schwarzenegger

  16. #15
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    Having thin wrists and a small frame, you'll never be a mass monster. The good news is that you don't need to put on as much muscle as someone with a larger bone structure in order to look good.

    Large muscles on a small frame, provided you are lean enough, look phenomenal. You might be significantly smaller than someone else, but look larger (provided you're not stood next to each other). Thin wrists and elbows make the arms appear more muscular; small hips and waist makes the body look more tapered; small knees and ankles make the legs look larger.

    As far as metabolism and all that goes, forget about lables like "slow / fast metabolism" or "hardgainer / easygainer". Everyone is different, and comparisons to anyone else are irrelevant. Forget what anyone else does, what they eat etc.; what matters is what works for you. Out of interest though, it's not uncommon for people to gain fat easily but struggle to gain muscle mass - so you're not alone.

    What you need to do is take a consistent approach. Get into a solid training program - focusing on big major exercises like squats, deadlifts, pulldowns, rows, bench presses, dips, overhead presses etc. Train hard and progressively (i.e. try to add a small amount of weight to the bar every workout or two), and train as frequently as works for you (that might be twice a week, three times a week or whatever). Perhaps most importantly, you need to take a consistent approach to your diet.

    Keep a food log for a week or two - write down everything you eat, work out how many calories you're averaging per day, as well as how much protein, carbs and fat you're getting. Once you know this, you can adjust sensibly. If you're not gaining muscle, add 200-300 calories per day for a week or two and see if you start to gain. If not, add a few more. Keep doing this until you start to gain muscle - it may take a while, but eventually you'll be eating enough to grow. Taking is slowly like this means you shouldn't gain much fat. It may be impossible to gain muscle without a little fat coming along, but you can certainly minimise it.

    Most of all, stick with it. It may take a lot of effort for you to gain the weight you want, but it'll be worth it. Keep asking questions here if you need to; start a training log and ask for advice there; keep a training and food log and use that to figure out what you need to do.

    Good luck!

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aspect
    Out of interest though, it's not uncommon for people to gain fat easily but struggle to gain muscle mass - so you're not alone.
    If this is the case, I see it as being a result of one of two things:

    1) low test levels...some people are definitely luckier than others in the hormone category...aside from HRT you can't do much about it

    2) poor diet

    You can't really help it if option #1 is the reason, but I think option #2 is usually the culprit.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpskin69
    wait... you mean they GIVE you testosterone shots? Legally? Sign me up! :evillaugh
    You need to have a deficiency, so if they give it to you, it's because you didn't have enough in the first place.
    Last edited by Brokensword; 08-31-2004 at 01:45 PM.
    "There is no I in Communism" - Ayn Rand

  19. #18
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    1) low test levels...some people are definitely luckier than others in the hormone category...aside from HRT you can't do much about it

    2) poor diet

    You can't really help it if option #1 is the reason, but I think option #2 is usually the culprit
    - Vido

    Well, I seem to have this problem, but I know that it's not option #2, especially not at this point in my life. Most people are shocked to hear just how disciplined I am with my diet. I don't touch fast food or most processed stuff (other than what is known to be good for weight training) and I don't even think about junk food, ever. And I definitely get my protein and good carbs in daily. So I think I'll be looking into the HRT thing.
    Last edited by Brokensword; 08-31-2004 at 01:44 PM.
    "There is no I in Communism" - Ayn Rand

  20. #19
    Simply Devious Rastaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aspect
    Having thin wrists and a small frame, you'll never be a mass monster. The good news is that you don't need to put on as much muscle as someone with a larger bone structure in order to look good.

    Large muscles on a small frame, provided you are lean enough, look phenomenal. You might be significantly smaller than someone else, but look larger (provided you're not stood next to each other). Thin wrists and elbows make the arms appear more muscular; small hips and waist makes the body look more tapered; small knees and ankles make the legs look larger.

    Exactly. I have tiny wrists, and a small frame, but I think I just look better now because of it. Don't give yourself too many excuses otherwise your failure to perform will just be a self-fullfilling prophecy.
    "The only sin which we never forgive in each other is difference of opinion."
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson


    Word.

  21. #20
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    that's a great way of looking at it and since I know my wrists will never get any thicker, at least skeletal-wise, I'll just do my best to work with what I have and see it as an advantage. Thanks alot peeps.
    Last edited by Brokensword; 08-31-2004 at 02:40 PM.
    "There is no I in Communism" - Ayn Rand

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