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Thread: Newbie to the forums but not lifting. Need advice.

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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member PumpYouUp's Avatar
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    Newbie to the forums but not lifting. Need advice.

    Hey all. This is my first post here. Just to give you a brief overview I started lifting about 2.5 years ago. I did it just to stay in shape and wasn't looking to make any huge gains. Compared to where I was back when I started my shape is much better and I am immensely stronger.

    I am 5'10, 150lbs. Yes, skinny I know. When I first started lifting I had trouble with 135lbs on the bench. Now I can do 8 reps of 225. Not bad. I'm strong, no doubt about that but I am not gaining weight.

    I don't lift religiously. In other words, all I have time for is about 3 days a week. I don't do cardio because I want to try and gain now whereas before I just wanted to get stronger. My goal is to gain about 20lbs within the next year. I think 5'10 and 170 is perfect for me.

    Since December I have started taking some of the more expensive whey protein I could find. I take 2 servings a day when I am not lifting and 4 servings a day when I am. In between I eat as well as I can. Fish, chicken, lean beef, etc to make sure I am taking in protein.

    My workout basically consist of:

    Sunday: Chest, triceps, stomach
    Tuesday: Legs, shoulders, stomach
    Friday: Back, biceps, stomach

    Hard to explain each workout but I am lifting to exhaustion on the second and third reps.

    I guess I need to get to my questions.

    1. Am I lifting often enough? I don't know that I could fit in another day due to my schedule.
    2. Am I eating enough to gain? I take in about 3000 calories a day give or take (counting the shakes). I want to gain without tons of stomach fat.
    3. Is 20 pounds reasonable to expect given than I am naturally skinny?
    4. Should I add in creatine to my workouts?
    5. I want to make the gains without steroids or anything else.

    Thanks in advance. If you need more info let me know.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mr. D's Avatar
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    Whats your macro breakdown? Aim to get 1g/lbm protein and 0.5/g lbm of fats. After that fill the rest of your cals with whatever you like. If you are not gaining at your current intake, thenadd 100-200 cals each week. I would suggest strongly to track your food on www.fitday.com. You may not actually be eating 3000 cals. You may actually be surprised at how low your intake is once you start tracking closely.

    20lbs is always reasonable. The hard part is minimizing fat while maximizing muscle gain.

    Once you get your diet in check fully, then you can add creatine. Supplements are not magic. They work in unison with your diet.

    I would say eat more, increase your activity (leads to better partitioning)

    Your split is ok, I would look into Bill Starr's 5x5. It would be perfect for you since you are an intermediate/experienced lifter.

    First things first, start tracking on fitday.

  3. #3
    WannabeStronger Scooter's Avatar
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    I hope when you say you are working out your stomach that means you are eating because that's what you need to do to gain 20lbs. You seem to be lifting enough, but you may want to up your calories cleanly (if possible). Also you're taking way too much whey protein. You should try to replace as many servings with real food as possible. Creatine would also help with your goal.

  4. #4
    Banned bjohnso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
    I hope when you say you are working out your stomach that means you are eating because that's what you need to do to gain 20lbs. You seem to be lifting enough, but you may want to up your calories cleanly (if possible). Also you're taking way too much whey protein. You should try to replace as many servings with real food as possible. Creatine would also help with your goal.
    4 servings of whey a day is too much? I agree that he needs to be eating more, but I don't think 4 servings a day of whey is unreasonable.

  5. #5
    WannabeStronger Scooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjohnso View Post
    4 servings of whey a day is too much? I agree that he needs to be eating more, but I don't think 4 servings a day of whey is unreasonable.
    I'm thinking 4 servings a day is 4 protein shakes a day. That's way too much IMO.

  6. #6
    PoutineEh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
    I'm thinking 4 servings a day is 4 protein shakes a day. That's way too much IMO.
    ... i do probably 6-8 servings a day (~24g). whats wrong with getting your protein from shakes? i wouldnt be able to get in my protein each day w/o it.

  7. #7
    Wannabebig Member PumpYouUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
    I'm thinking 4 servings a day is 4 protein shakes a day. That's way too much IMO.
    Well, one shake is like 25 grams of protein. I take 2 servings before going to bed. I haven't had DOMS since I started doing this.

    So you think taking 2 servings on off days and 4 servings on workout days is OK?

    I do make it a point to eat as much chicken/fish/lean beef as I can.

  8. #8
    Banned bjohnso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumpYouUp View Post
    Well, one shake is like 25 grams of protein. I take 2 servings before going to bed. I haven't had DOMS since I started doing this.

    So you think taking 2 servings on off days and 4 servings on workout days is OK?

    I do make it a point to eat as much chicken/fish/lean beef as I can.
    Continue with the whey, but eat more chicken, fish and beef. Like, a lot more.

    DOMS has absolutely nothing to do with muscle growth.

    You cannot spot reduce fat. Doing crunches will not burn off the fat on your stomach. If you want to lose fat on your stomach you need to lose it all over by means of a caloric defecit, which you do not want right now.

  9. #9
    Wannabebig Member PumpYouUp's Avatar
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    To answer both questions:

    a) I don't track my caloric intake. I will start with fitday ASAP.
    b) I work my stomach out every workout simply because I have some residual fat that I am trying to get rid of in that area and that area only. My BF index is 11*.
    c) Not sure what Macro breakdown is. I am an experienced lifter but all mostly on my own. I have not been to see a trainer or had an experienced workout partner. Lifting is not new but the terminology to me is.

    I am 5'10, 150lbs, 37 years old.

    My 20 year HS reunion is this June. I'd like to pack on as much muscle mass as I can before then but really the goal for me is to fill out.

    If it matters, I am naturally thin boned so I look even more skinny than I am.

  10. #10
    Banned bjohnso's Avatar
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    We need to see your routine. Also, if you're not gaining weight, then you're not eating enough to gain. Period. Eat more.

  11. #11
    Gunslinger bullethead74's Avatar
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    1. Yes, about 2x too many for stomach, train it the same as any other muscle. If your squatting heavy then this will help as well. Maybe move shoulders to Sunday with Chest/Triceps otherwise your hitting them twice a week for a small muscle.

    2. It depends on your maintenance calorie level, you need to be 200 or so above maintenance with a least 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass (LBM).

    3. 20lbs of muscle is not unrealistic, but dont expect overnight results, if you could put on 1lb every 1-2 months of combined muscle and fat then cut to reduce the fat then you will be doing very well.

    4. Lots of debate about the benefits of creatine, my personal view is the money is better spent on good protein as that will add true muscle, my understanding is that creatine does add size, but by holding more blood/fluid in the muscles.

    5. Thats down to personal choice.

    Bodybuilding takes time, effort, rest, good diet, commitment and patience with or without gear.
    Age 33
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    British by birth, English by the grace of God.

    That's not a picture of Scarlett Johansson.

  12. #12
    Wannabebig Member PumpYouUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullethead74 View Post
    1. Yes, about 2x too many for stomach, train it the same as any other muscle. If your squatting heavy then this will help as well. Maybe move shoulders to Sunday with Chest/Triceps otherwise your hitting them twice a week for a small muscle.
    My stomach routine is realtively easy. I use the crunch machine (3x reps) and then do leg lifts. The musle is there so I guess I am doing maintenance on that area to try and get some of the fat to go away. I have cut out all sodas and caffeine to help with this because I was told both contribute to fat retention.

    2. It depends on your maintenance calorie level, you need to be 200 or so above maintenance with a least 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass (LBM).
    So I need to be taking in 150grams of protein per day? That's why I need to use fitday I suppose. Would you recommend taking 4 servings of whey protein a day even on off days?

    3. 20lbs of muscle is not unrealistic, but dont expect overnight results, if you could put on 1lb every 1-2 months of combined muscle and fat then cut to reduce the fat then you will be doing very well.
    Since I have started taking the whey protein I have gained about 5 lbs. Not sure if it's all muscle or not though. I was at 145 in dec and I am at 150 now. I have tracked my BF index and it's still at 11%. The same as it was in Dec.

    4. Lots of debate about the benefits of creatine, my personal view is the money is better spent on good protein as that will add true muscle, my understanding is that creatine does add size, but by holding more blood/fluid in the muscles.
    I'd rather not use creatine if I don't have to. I know it can be very beneficial but I'd rather it be muscle I am gaining and not just water

    5. Thats down to personal choice.
    My concern with any steroid use is the long term damage it could cause. I know that if I really wanted to gain that would be the way to go.

    Bodybuilding takes time, effort, rest, good diet, commitment and patience with or without gear.
    I truly agree. I have been consistent with my workouts (hench the strength gains). I mean, going from not being able to do 10 reps of 135 to getting 8 reps of 225 (at my weight) is pretty good. Even the squats for my size is OK (In fact, I want to bump the weight up to 250-275 on squats but they tend to hurt my back if I have too much weight compressing my spine).

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mr. D's Avatar
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    LBM = Body weight - body fat. In your case 150lbs - 16.5lbs (11%) = 133.5LBM

    Unless you are eating in caloric deficit, you are not going to be burning fat on your stomach. Soda is crap, caffeine can be very helpful before lifting.

    You need to do a lot of searches on this board and learn as much info as possible.

    But lets say you can eat 3k cals, I would do a breakdown like this:

    200g of protein (split over 6 meals at 30-35g apiece)
    75g of fat (try to get equal sat,polyunsat,and monunsat)
    380g of carbs


    And creatine is beneficial. True you will add water weight, but you are able to increase your lifts.

  14. #14
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    wow...5 feet 10 and 150 pounds and you can rep 225 8 times...thats pretty darn good your strong man

  15. #15
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    As someone once said to me,

    "The only crunches you should be doing are the ones with your jaw"

    Just EAAAATTT!! 5ft10 at 150lb is REALLY REALLY skinny.

    The others have given you good diet advice - follow it. Eat more food in total, make high calorie shakes and put more protein in your diet. The gains will come.

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