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weight vs physique

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Groken, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Groken

    Groken Active Member

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    I recently got access to a very nice gym via my university and started doing a large variety of different exercises in hopes of breaking through a strength and size plateau that plagued me for around a year and a half.

    Before I was around 160 pounds, now I weigh around 168. This was over the course of 4 months, without a noticeable gain in fat. I attribute it mostly to greatly intensified leg work. So all in all I'm happy, as that's a great gain.

    However, at 5'11 and 168 pounds, I look almost exactly the same as when I was 150 pounds. And my lifts have only improved marginally. So, 18 pounds later, and nothing much has changed. I have friends that are the same height and weight, yet their physique looks far more developed.

    Although I know I've come a long way (started out at 138 pounds post-puberty at the same height around 4.5 years ago), I can't help but feel cheated. Even after all these years of dedicated exercise and eating like a 280 pound man, I still get strange looks when I tell people that I'm into weightlifting. The only clue to my lifestyle are my slightly defined upper arms.

    /end rant.

    Anybody else have this problem or body type?
     
  2. Spartan88

    Spartan88 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a good photograph of yourself at 150 pounds? If not, it will be very difficult to judge the difference between then and now especially if you have grown in proportion. 18 pounds is 18 pounds so there must be a difference. 18 pounds of beer gut would be noticeable so the fact its not obvious may be a good thing.
     
  3. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Groken....how old are you?

    Yes...I've run into that at times......get stronger and stronger and still basically look the same.

    You don't have to lift for years to see results.


    All this tells you is:- whatever you are doing is not working in the way you want.

    So you need to revise the plan to accomplish your goals. You may also need to revise your diet.

    Post your current plan so we can see what you are doing in terms of workouts and diet etc.......:cool:


    Doing a "large variety" of different exercises does not guarantee anything.

    It just means you are doing a "large variety" of exercises.

    Some exercises are much better than others.........
     
  4. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    With virtually no information about anything you are doing.....:rolleyes:

    Answer these for yourself: (I am assuming you want to look "bigger" or more muscular...)

    - Are you eating enough?
    - Are you eating crap? (3000 cals of junk is still junk)
    - Are you doing big compound lifts that encourage growth? (Squats, Deads, Press, Row, Dips, Pullups, GHRs)
    - Are you doing max-effort sets of 3 to 5?

    Stuff like that....

    Eating a caloric deficit while doing 10 reps of isolation exercises on machines is not going to get you what you want.
     
    #4 digitalnebula, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  5. Groken

    Groken Active Member

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    @Spartan: I have pictures of myself over time...once I hit 150 pounds the differences become much less noticeable. I do know that some of those 18 pounds went to my upper legs/glutes.

    @digital/hevy: For the first four years (accounting for around 24 pounds of my total gain since noob-days) my workouts were predominantly done with dumbells, a bench, and a bar for pullups. Along with various homeade contraptions for doing leg presses and dips.

    More recently, w/ access to a full gym, I've been taking advantage of the new machines and barbells and have been doing less dumbell work. I switch up excercises often nowadays, since there's so much available to me. Some basic free-weight movements have always been in my routine however, and a notable addition to my plan has been the incorporation of barbell squats, deadlifts, and bent over rows. Here's my plan now:

    M: Chest and Tri's:
    3 sets flat bench, 165 pounds, 10/8/6 rep pyramid (weak!)
    3 sets incline bench: 135 pounds, 8/6/4 reps
    3 sets flat dumbell flys, 50 pounds, 10 reps each
    3 sets wide grip press machine, 10 reps each
    1 drop set on fly machine
    3 sets of 15 reps unweighted chest dips
    3 sets of 10 rep skullcrushers with 60 pound e-z curl
    3 sets of 10 cable tricep extension

    T: Legs
    3 sets regular squats, 175 pounds for 8 reps (weak, but only been at it for 3 months now)
    3 sets front squats, 135 pounds for 8 reps
    3 sets deadlifts (usually I do these on a machine called a ground based squat - same as a hex bar deadlift. Sometimes I'll do them sumo-style with a bar. 225 pounds for 6 reps.
    4 sets hip abductor/aductor machine, 8 reps each set
    3 sets machine hamstring curls, 8 reps
    6 sets of calf work using various machines

    W/Th off

    F: Back + Bi's
    3 sets unweighted chin-ups for 10 reps each
    3 sets wide grip lat pull downs, 8 reps
    3 sets bent over rows, 135 pounds for 6 reps
    3 sets lateral row machine, 9 reps
    3 sets back hyperextensions w/ 25 pound plate, 9 reps
    3 sets row machine (or dumbell row), 10 reps
    1 drop set on pull-down machine
    3 sets ez-bar curls w/ 70 pound bar.
    3 sets dumbell hammer curls

    Sat: Shoulders, Traps, Abs
    3 sets barbell military press, 125 pounds for 6 reps
    3 sets dumbell lateral raises, 25 pound dumbells for 8 reps
    1 drop set of machine reverse flys
    2 sets front raises, 25 pound dumbells, 8 reps
    4 sets barbell shrugs w/ 155 pounds, 8 reps
    3 sets hanging leg raises, 12 reps
    3 sets ab crunches machine, 10 reps
    3 sets seated spinal twist machine, 8 reps each side

    Sun: off

    As you can see, barbell and machine work has mostly replaced dumbells (after 4 years, I wanted to change it up).

    My diet is about as much as I can eat every day. At least 3000 a day, probably averaging 3300 w/ around 100 grams of protein. 6 meals a day, mostly lean meat, vegetables and complex carbs, although I do indulge in fast food twice a week, eat a lot of pasta, and drink a lot of juice. I have a glass of milk w/ ON whey protein isolate once a day, typically after exercise.
     
  6. Groken

    Groken Active Member

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    Here's a link to a pic of my current self, along with a feelsbadman head to accompany my whining.

    http://s16.postimg.org/a4g5dza11/feelsbadman.png

    I get the impression that my upper body is bottom heavy somehow. I'm not fat, I can always see my abdominals when flexed (probably around 10% bodyfat here?). My chest has always been the biggest weak point, which might be contributing to the effect.
     
  7. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    hmmmm......first off I would bump your protein intake up a tad to say 160 grams a day.

    In my opinion,just my two cents, you are doing a boatload of redundant exercises each session on each day.

    Monday:- I would go only:-

    Flat bench
    Drop set on Fly machine
    Tricep Pressdowns.
    Pushups off floor.

    You could alternate from week to week with Bench and Weighted Dips.


    Tuesday:-

    Squats
    Deads.
    Calf work
    Shrugs

    Friday:-

    Chins, palms facing, narrow grip, weighted if you can.
    Drop set on pulldown machine
    Bent-arm Pressdowns one week....
    One arm Dumbell rows off bench

    Sat:-

    One week Mil Press...One week Lat raises.....alternate.
    Cable One-arm Rear delt raises.
    machine reverse flies
    Front raises with medium challenging weight ...but not to failure....and rep range 12 to 15 per set on these.

    Ab work.

    That is my solution......cut the number of exercises down and instead focus on the form and mind/muscle connection.

    On most of my exercises I alternate from week to week between volume sets and power sets and pyramiding or just straight strength sets.

    My rep range goes from 2 to 10 on "big" muscle group exes like squats.
    On smaller muscle exes like Delts, I go from sets of 8 reps to 12 reps on Lat raises etc........and 5 to 8 reps on MIL Press.

    On squats I'll pyramid up to working weight.........starting from bodyweight squats, going reps of 8 or 10 for could be 8 to 10 sets.

    Finish off with a set of bodyweight squats in a set of 40.

    One week I might go for volume and the next week cut right down to less volume and shorter strength-rep sets .

    I would rather do 10 sets of barbell squat only than 3 sets of 8 different leg exercises on the same day.

    Ditto for bench day. Compounds are better for adding muscle generally than going all over the map with less effective exes.
     
  8. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    Okay none of those will win you a goal medal but if you're doing them with good form they aren't "weak". Don't get over worried about the guys who take the bar off the hooks and put it back on. Never moving it down at all :p

    No reason to avoid dumbbells. They have advantages at times.

    When you say muscular what exactly do you mean? If you want vascularity and definition you need to drop fat but you're small enough up top you'll just look boney.
     
  9. Groken

    Groken Active Member

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    @Hevy I've considered the two things you've recommended in the past - increased protein and less volume/exercises. Never liked using whey more than once a day, but I'll probably have to to get my protein consumption past 100g a day. As for the volume issue...the few times I've tried reducing exercises and volume, I never get DOM's or a pump, which is how I judge the effectiveness of a workout. Might have to distance myself from that idea :blank:

    @Rob I actually love dumbbells. I was just getting bored of them since my exercises were exclusively dumbbells for my first 4 years of working out.

    My goal is simply to put on more muscle while staying around the same BF%. I'd say my BF% is at a good level now, and I can lose weight very easily if I ever need to cut back on it. Can't help but feel like I could weigh 190 pounds and still look like I'm 150 haha
     
  10. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    You don't need supplements to get your protein. Especially if you're bulking. It's easier to use a supplement but food has worked forever.

    100 grams of hard cheese IIRC is between 25-30 grams of protein and 300 calories. Then of course various kinds of meat/fish. Beans .
     
  11. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Groken.....oftentimes "volume" works for many.....but...the same set of reps and volume for an extended period might set you back some.


    For example;- currently the most bodweight chins I can do in a row is 8. I can do repeated sets of these.

    I weigh 203 lbs.

    However....when I strap the weight belt on, I can currently add 35lbs and do repeated singles at this. So a set of 8 bodweight isn't really taxing me too much strength wise.

    It's the same story for Dips.....I can currently do one set of 8 Dips at bod weight. I can do repeated sets.
    However when I strap the weight belt on I can do repeated singles with added 60 lbs of weight.
    Ditto for other exes like Bench, Squats, Deads etc .etc.

    So I don't like to do the same 8 rep sets for too long regardless of the "pump" or DOMS. A pump is not a good way to measure your progress on anything. Neither is DOMS really.

    Doing 6 different exes for ,say, chest is redundant.
    You get the volume but not the intensity.

    I could go in my gym and fry my front delts, chest and triceps on Benchpress alone. If I leave enough gas in the tank to do 6 other chest exes as well then I'm probably not really doing any of them really effectively.
     
  12. Groken

    Groken Active Member

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    ^I usually incorporate high rep and low rep exercises into each workout, but I get what your saying. I'm going to simplify my workouts for a while and focus on maybe 2-3 exercises for each muscle group.

    Cheers
     

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