advice for a little guy?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by cactus of doom, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Hi. I'm an extremely small 23 year old guy. I've never been able to
    gain weight. At all. At 6 feet tall, I spent the past 8 years stuck
    at 125 lbs., binge or purge. Eat more, gain nothing; eat less, lose
    nothing. Strange.

    I got my hands on some freeweights a couple weeks ago, and suddenly up
    I'm to 135. Still tiny, but a great stride for me. And I'm noticably
    stronger (though still quite weak).

    A bit of a problem I have, though, is that I don't really have any idea
    what I'm doing. I try googling training advice, but the advice I find
    is geared towards guys who can already lift appreciable weights. I
    don't know what my max is, as I have no one to spot for me, but suffice
    it to say that I couldn't bench 100 lbs if my life depended on it. For
    other exercises, I put 20 lbs on my dumbells, and that's about my limit
    as far as being able to make a smooth, stable motion right now. Other
    than that, I don't know how to utilize freeweights to work most of my
    body.

    My upper body is filling out remarkably well, I'd say, except I can't
    get my chest to do anything. I try bench presses and flies, but I
    exhaust my arms and shoulders -- especially the shoulders -- and feel
    nothing in my pecs. I got to use a friend's bowflex the other day, and
    my pecs were burning up, but I can't count on seeing that thing too
    often. I really need to fill out my chest, because right now it's
    little more than a thin lining of skin over some ribs. Not nice to
    look at.

    I don't know why, but it's really hard for me to get a fulfilling
    workout. I go until I can't go any more, but I almost never feel
    anything the next day (except after doing squats -- I definitely feel
    those). Is this bad? My current solution is to do a few "warm up"
    reps on off days, to keep the muscles stimulated, but not overtaxed.
    Good idea? Bad?

    Pathetic as it is, being up to 135 is miracle for me, and I'm thinking
    maybe I've finally found my way, so I want to maximize it. The sole
    aim of my diet is calories: beer, soda, milk, pasta, pizza, meat,
    burgers, taco bell, etc., and the disgustingly high fat content is not
    an issue as I have about as little body fat as a living person can
    have. My question is, given that my stomach space is extremely limited
    (it's a feat of endurance for me just to eat two substantial meals a
    day), should I look into some kind of powder? I have a friend who
    swears up and down that liquid calories aren't worth half of what solid
    calories are, and he managed to put on 30 pounds.

    Your input is appreciated!
     
    Tags:


  2. TBR

    TBR Guest

    On 12 Jan 2006 01:07:05 -0800, "cactus of doom" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >A bit of a problem I have, though, is that I don't really have any idea
    >what I'm doing.


    Then you're in the right NG, none of these knobs know what they're
    doing either, so listen to me.
    Get a standard weight program that comes with any $30 barbell set.
    Next follow it. You'll notice some exercises are very easy, others
    very hard. You want to focus on the ones that are hard, and do two
    sets of those that are hard while just doing the amount recommended on
    the easy ones. In a year you'll be a frickin' monster.
     
  3. David

    David Guest

    "TBR" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On 12 Jan 2006 01:07:05 -0800, "cactus of doom" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>A bit of a problem I have, though, is that I don't really have any idea
    >>what I'm doing.

    >
    > Then you're in the right NG, none of these knobs know what they're
    > doing either, so listen to me.
    > Get a standard weight program that comes with any $30 barbell set.
    > Next follow it. You'll notice some exercises are very easy, others
    > very hard. You want to focus on the ones that are hard, and do two
    > sets of those that are hard while just doing the amount recommended on
    > the easy ones. In a year you'll be a frickin' monster.


    Good advice. Plus eat like a pig
     
  4. Dr. Dickie

    Dr. Dickie Guest

    "cactus of doom" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hi. I'm an extremely small 23 year old guy. I've never been able to
    > gain weight. At all. At 6 feet tall, I spent the past 8 years stuck
    > at 125 lbs., binge or purge. Eat more, gain nothing; eat less, lose
    > nothing. Strange.
    >

    Fairly common

    > I got my hands on some freeweights a couple weeks ago, and suddenly up
    > I'm to 135. Still tiny, but a great stride for me. And I'm noticably
    > stronger (though still quite weak).
    >

    Ahh, you have discovered the anicent secret that everyone else forgot. Good.

    > A bit of a problem I have, though, is that I don't really have any idea
    > what I'm doing. I try googling training advice, but the advice I find
    > is geared towards guys who can already lift appreciable weights. I
    > don't know what my max is, as I have no one to spot for me, but suffice
    > it to say that I couldn't bench 100 lbs if my life depended on it. For
    > other exercises, I put 20 lbs on my dumbells, and that's about my limit
    > as far as being able to make a smooth, stable motion right now. Other
    > than that, I don't know how to utilize freeweights to work most of my
    > body.
    >
    > My upper body is filling out remarkably well, I'd say, except I can't
    > get my chest to do anything. I try bench presses and flies, but I
    > exhaust my arms and shoulders -- especially the shoulders -- and feel
    > nothing in my pecs. I got to use a friend's bowflex the other day, and
    > my pecs were burning up, but I can't count on seeing that thing too
    > often. I really need to fill out my chest, because right now it's
    > little more than a thin lining of skin over some ribs. Not nice to
    > look at.
    >
    > I don't know why, but it's really hard for me to get a fulfilling
    > workout. I go until I can't go any more, but I almost never feel
    > anything the next day (except after doing squats -- I definitely feel
    > those). Is this bad? My current solution is to do a few "warm up"
    > reps on off days, to keep the muscles stimulated, but not overtaxed.
    > Good idea? Bad?
    >
    > Pathetic as it is, being up to 135 is miracle for me, and I'm thinking
    > maybe I've finally found my way, so I want to maximize it. The sole
    > aim of my diet is calories: beer, soda, milk, pasta, pizza, meat,
    > burgers, taco bell, etc., and the disgustingly high fat content is not
    > an issue as I have about as little body fat as a living person can
    > have. My question is, given that my stomach space is extremely limited
    > (it's a feat of endurance for me just to eat two substantial meals a
    > day), should I look into some kind of powder? I have a friend who
    > swears up and down that liquid calories aren't worth half of what solid
    > calories are, and he managed to put on 30 pounds.
    >
    > Your input is appreciated!
    >


    Actually, you are in a good position to do great things (your age and size--
    I would kill for to start all over again).
    Go here:
    http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hst_artcls_stratdecon.html

    and here:

    http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/index.php

    This second URL is geared toward chix, but the advice is universal and rock
    solid.
    After you have read everything, tried most of it, and hit your first plateau
    (at about 200 Lbs) get back to us with specific questions.
    Good Luck

    --
    Dr. Dickie
    Skepticult member in good standing #394-00596-438
    Poking kooks with a pointy stick
     
  5. TBR

    TBR Guest

    On Thu, 12 Jan 2006 23:02:15 +1000, "David" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Good advice. Plus eat like a pig
    >


    Eating won't help him if it hasn't already.
     
  6. David

    David Guest

  7. JamesG

    JamesG Guest

    If you are wanting to add mass the exercises that I would specifically
    recommend are:
    deadlift, squat, bench press and incline press, pulldown and pullup.
    Learn and use proper form for the exercises, especially deadlift and
    squat since these can be dangerous if done wrong and carelessly.
    Deadlift and squat are the two best exercises for gaining mass and
    strength in my opinion and I noticed an all-around increase in my
    strength and mass when I really started focusing on these (even on
    seemingly unrelated lifts and muscles). I have read somewhere that
    these exercises really cause the body to release more growth hormones.
    Once you get stronger you could add in dips, they are a good exercise
    but I would wait until you have a stronger base of muscle to support
    your joints since these can be hard on the shoulders. Dumbell rows are
    a good exercise that you could also add in. Overhead presses are also
    good.
    If you are looking to get bigger I would leave out the isolation
    exercises such as curls, etc. You want to work as many muscles as
    possible and focus your gym time on the compound lifts. I have had
    good results with around three intense one-hour workouts a week. If
    you don't at least feel like you worked out the next day then you are
    not working hard enough.
    As far as nutrition, I would focus on nutrient rich food. Empty
    calories from beer, soda, etc would be better replaced with milk and/or
    soy milk, fruit juices, meat, chicken, rice, beans, vegetables, fruits,
    peanuts or other nuts. Eat a lot. Non-sugary trail mix is good for
    calories. Drink a lot of water, I have noticed that I feel a lot
    better and get better workouts since I made a conscious effort during
    the day to drink a lot of water. I fill up a quart jar with water
    several times a day in addition to my normal fluid intake. Muscle
    contains a lot of water. Making whey protein smoothies to drink after
    workouts can help in my opinion but also eat your normal healthy meal.
    Use protein powder, milk or soy milk, honey, fruit, bananas, and maybe
    sunflower seeds, I've posted what I use on another message.

    If you have any other questions just ask.

    James
     
  8. Jason Earl

    Jason Earl Guest

    "cactus of doom" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Hi. I'm an extremely small 23 year old guy. I've never been able
    > to gain weight. At all. At 6 feet tall, I spent the past 8 years
    > stuck at 125 lbs., binge or purge. Eat more, gain nothing; eat
    > less, lose nothing. Strange.
    >
    > I got my hands on some freeweights a couple weeks ago, and suddenly
    > up I'm to 135. Still tiny, but a great stride for me. And I'm
    > noticably stronger (though still quite weak).


    Well, there you go, do more of that :).

    > A bit of a problem I have, though, is that I don't really have any
    > idea what I'm doing. I try googling training advice, but the advice
    > I find is geared towards guys who can already lift appreciable
    > weights. I don't know what my max is, as I have no one to spot for
    > me, but suffice it to say that I couldn't bench 100 lbs if my life
    > depended on it. For other exercises, I put 20 lbs on my dumbells,
    > and that's about my limit as far as being able to make a smooth,
    > stable motion right now. Other than that, I don't know how to
    > utilize freeweights to work most of my body.


    Bench press, squats, deadlifts, bent over rows, and farmers walks hit
    most everything, and are easy to learn. Cleans and overhead squats
    are good too, but they are a little trickier. Pullups are good, as
    are dips.

    The real secret is that the body is one piece. You don't need to
    exercise each and every muscle individually. Simply choose compound
    exercises that work large portions of the body at one time.

    > My upper body is filling out remarkably well, I'd say, except I
    > can't get my chest to do anything. I try bench presses and flies,
    > but I exhaust my arms and shoulders -- especially the shoulders --
    > and feel nothing in my pecs. I got to use a friend's bowflex the
    > other day, and my pecs were burning up, but I can't count on seeing
    > that thing too often. I really need to fill out my chest, because
    > right now it's little more than a thin lining of skin over some
    > ribs. Not nice to look at.


    Keep benching, it will happen. Chances are good that right now your
    true weakness isn't your pecs but rather one of the other assisting
    muscles. Interestingly enough a "burn" is not particularly indicative
    of what is growing.

    > I don't know why, but it's really hard for me to get a fulfilling
    > workout. I go until I can't go any more, but I almost never feel
    > anything the next day (except after doing squats -- I definitely
    > feel those). Is this bad? My current solution is to do a few "warm
    > up" reps on off days, to keep the muscles stimulated, but not
    > overtaxed. Good idea? Bad?


    Soreness isn't the goal. Adding more weight to the bar is the goal.
    That's why it is critical that you write down exactly what you do
    (sets, reps, weight, rest periods, etc.). You need to be able to
    track your progress over time.

    > Pathetic as it is, being up to 135 is miracle for me, and I'm
    > thinking maybe I've finally found my way, so I want to maximize it.
    > The sole aim of my diet is calories: beer, soda, milk, pasta, pizza,
    > meat, burgers, taco bell, etc., and the disgustingly high fat
    > content is not an issue as I have about as little body fat as a
    > living person can have. My question is, given that my stomach space
    > is extremely limited (it's a feat of endurance for me just to eat
    > two substantial meals a day), should I look into some kind of
    > powder? I have a friend who swears up and down that liquid calories
    > aren't worth half of what solid calories are, and he managed to put
    > on 30 pounds.


    There is no question that it is easier to drink calories than eat
    them. However, that (to me) sounds a little extreme. Of course, I
    had the exact opposite problem when I started lifting. I was fat :).

    Why don't you try eating more times a day first and see what that
    does. You also might consider sharing what you are currently doing
    with us. If you don't have anyone helping you with your workout there
    are almost certainly things that you could do better.

    Jason
     
  9. TBR

    TBR Guest

    On Thu, 12 Jan 2006 23:45:41 +1000, "David" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >stick to running advice


    Look dumbass, he said he eats like a pig but doesn't gain. That means
    he's clearly A) one of those people who can eat all they want and not
    gain. Or B) Has a large tapeworm. So in either case eating won't
    change a thing.
     
  10. TBR

    TBR Guest

    On 12 Jan 2006 07:01:16 -0800, "JamesG" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >If you are wanting to add mass the exercises that I would specifically
    >recommend are:


    See what I mean? Here he's suggesting exercises that work for him.
    Listen to me, get the basic program and NOTE the ones that are very
    hard, and work on those. Work on YOUR weaknesses, not this guys.
    Nobody can tell what these are except you. This why you get just a
    basic program, and follow it concentrating on the ones you find hard.
     
  11. TBR wrote:
    > On Thu, 12 Jan 2006 23:02:15 +1000, "David" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Good advice. Plus eat like a pig
    > >

    >
    > Eating won't help him if it hasn't already.


    Exactly. But I'm trying anyway.
     
  12. David

    David Guest

    "TBR" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Thu, 12 Jan 2006 23:45:41 +1000, "David" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>stick to running advice

    >
    > Look dumbass, he said he eats like a pig but doesn't gain. That means
    > he's clearly A) one of those people who can eat all they want and not
    > gain. Or B) Has a large tapeworm. So in either case eating won't
    > change a thing.


    Try gaining muscle with a calorie deficit diet if you think eating doesn't
    matter - eating is everything (nearly)
     
  13. JamesG wrote:
    > If you are wanting to add mass the exercises that I would specifically
    > recommend are:
    > deadlift, squat, bench press and incline press, pulldown and pullup.
    > Learn and use proper form for the exercises, especially deadlift and
    > squat since these can be dangerous if done wrong and carelessly.
    > Deadlift and squat are the two best exercises for gaining mass and
    > strength in my opinion and I noticed an all-around increase in my
    > strength and mass when I really started focusing on these (even on
    > seemingly unrelated lifts and muscles).


    What exactly is the difference between the two? They seem to be
    basically the same thing to me -- pushing yourself up with your legs.
     
  14. David wrote:
    > "TBR" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > On Thu, 12 Jan 2006 23:45:41 +1000, "David" <[email protected]>
    > > wrote:
    > >
    > >>stick to running advice

    > >
    > > Look dumbass, he said he eats like a pig but doesn't gain. That means
    > > he's clearly A) one of those people who can eat all they want and not
    > > gain. Or B) Has a large tapeworm. So in either case eating won't
    > > change a thing.

    >
    > Try gaining muscle with a calorie deficit diet if you think eating doesn't
    > matter - eating is everything (nearly)


    I think the main point here is that eating, on its own, is worth
    nothing to me. Clearly, eating a lot combined with lifting has
    results.
     
  15. TBR

    TBR Guest

    On Fri, 13 Jan 2006 07:40:58 +1000, "David" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >Try gaining muscle with a calorie deficit diet if you think eating doesn't
    >matter - eating is everything (nearly)


    Where'd I say that idiot? He said "I eat like a pig", so no further
    comment on diet was required. You turned it into a stupid/stupider
    match. I clearly said "diet won't make a difference in this case" and
    in no way suggested a "calorie defecit diet".
    Get a grip, and try to sober up before you post next time.
     
  16. TBR

    TBR Guest

    On 12 Jan 2006 13:58:39 -0800, "cactus of doom" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >I think the main point here is that eating, on its own, is worth
    >nothing to me.


    Correct. Since you said you eat like a pig, I concluded diet isn't the
    issue.
     
  17. Jason Earl wrote:
    > "cactus of doom" <[email protected]> writes:



    > Bench press, squats, deadlifts, bent over rows, and farmers walks hit
    > most everything, and are easy to learn. Cleans and overhead squats
    > are good too, but they are a little trickier. Pullups are good, as
    > are dips.


    If only I had a pullup bar :(

    >
    > The real secret is that the body is one piece. You don't need to
    > exercise each and every muscle individually. Simply choose compound
    > exercises that work large portions of the body at one time.


    Makes sense.


    > Keep benching, it will happen. Chances are good that right now your
    > true weakness isn't your pecs but rather one of the other assisting
    > muscles. Interestingly enough a "burn" is not particularly indicative
    > of what is growing.


    I was wondering if that was the way to approach it: continuing the
    overall and let the weaknesses catch up rather than targettting the
    weaknesses. I guess that's more of a natural approach anyway.



    >
    > Soreness isn't the goal. Adding more weight to the bar is the goal.


    Should I be working on finding my absolute maximum and doing only a
    couple of reps? I'm sure my understanding of the body isn't perfect,
    but it just doesn't seem like lifting something once or twice is going
    to stimulate growth -- or else I would already be built from lugging
    around my 90 lb amplifier.


    > Why don't you try eating more times a day first and see what that
    > does. You also might consider sharing what you are currently doing
    > with us. If you don't have anyone helping you with your workout there
    > are almost certainly things that you could do better.


    I try to eat as often as possible, but for some reason my stomach acts
    like a really sensitive valve. As soon as I stop eating, sometimes
    even if just for a minute or two (say, engaging in conversation), my
    appetite fades. It's as if my stomach is saying, "hey, i've got some
    work to do now, would you leave me alone?" So my solution is to shove
    as much food down there as possible at a time, since no matter how much
    I eat, I won't be the least bit hungry again for a while.

    Right now I'm on a four day cycle:
    day 1: curls, 20 lbs., 6 reps, 3 sets
    shoulder press, 20 lbs., 15 reps, 2 sets
    triceps extension, 20 lbs, 10 reps, 3 set
    day 2: bench press, 40 lbs, 8 reps, 3 sets
    flies, but I can't really do them right anyway
    curls, 15 lbs, 10 reps
    extension, 15 lbs, 10 reps (the "warm ups" i mentioned
    earlier)
    day 3: squats, 40 pounds, 10 reps, 2 sets
    weighted curls, as many as i can do
    same "warm ups"
    day 4: rest

    I know the weights are really low, but any more and i can't do the
    moves properly (for right now; i'm increasing steadily). I go until my
    muscles are too tight to go any more, but apparently it's not enough to
    feel the next day (except the squats).

    However, I'm going to change this quite a bit, seeing as everyone
    recommends compound excersizes.
    Thanks!
     
  18. cactus of doom <[email protected]> wrote:

    > JamesG wrote:
    > > If you are wanting to add mass the exercises that I would specifically
    > > recommend are:
    > > deadlift, squat, bench press and incline press, pulldown and pullup.
    > > Learn and use proper form for the exercises, especially deadlift and
    > > squat since these can be dangerous if done wrong and carelessly.
    > > Deadlift and squat are the two best exercises for gaining mass and
    > > strength in my opinion and I noticed an all-around increase in my
    > > strength and mass when I really started focusing on these (even on
    > > seemingly unrelated lifts and muscles).

    >
    > What exactly is the difference between the two? They seem to be
    > basically the same thing to me -- pushing yourself up with your legs.


    Not even hardly. One's a push and one's a pull. Start learning:

    http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html

    http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/GluteusMaximus/BBDeadlift.html
     
  19. David

    David Guest

    of course diet matters in his case as in every case -
    diet is everything (nearly)

    "TBR" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Fri, 13 Jan 2006 07:40:58 +1000, "David" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>Try gaining muscle with a calorie deficit diet if you think eating doesn't
    >>matter - eating is everything (nearly)

    >
    > Where'd I say that idiot? He said "I eat like a pig", so no further
    > comment on diet was required. You turned it into a stupid/stupider
    > match. I clearly said "diet won't make a difference in this case" and
    > in no way suggested a "calorie defecit diet".
    > Get a grip, and try to sober up before you post next time.
     
  20. David

    David Guest

    "TBR" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On 12 Jan 2006 13:58:39 -0800, "cactus of doom" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>I think the main point here is that eating, on its own, is worth
    >>nothing to me.

    >
    > Correct. Since you said you eat like a pig, I concluded diet isn't the
    > issue.


    Let me 'splain something to you, genius. 'eating like a pig' is not a
    technical term that is measureable. He could *think* he is eating like a pig
    but still not consuming more calories than he burns. Get it? So he has to
    *know* he is not *only* eating like a pig, but eating enough calories over
    maintenance. Eating like a pig may only be giving him maintenance for all we
    know. Plus eating like a pig may not be giving him the nutrition he needs as
    he mentions soda, chips, fast food etc.
     
Loading...
Loading...