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 Post subject: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:35 am 
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Rabbit

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am
Posts: 79
Hi everyone,

I'm new here and looking for advice. I'd like to get stronger and bigger but I've had minimal luck in my brief efforts in the past. Although I'm only a 32 year old male, I've got some factors working against me, including:

A) a relatively low testosterone level. Last time I was tested, I was not at an unhealthy low level but in the lower end of the normal range. (I think the number they said was like 320.)
B) I'm a vegan and I've read creatine levels are lower among vegans.
C) I've tried two forms so far of micronized creatine monohydrate and both gave me lots of gas. Are there any brands of Creatine mono that might work for me? I drink a lot of water - 12 to 15 cups a day - but that didn't help.
D) I've got knee tendinitis and some cartilage damage and can't do certain exercises (especially squatting).

I'm a bit discouraged and I wanted feedback. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:20 am
Posts: 87
Location: Queensland, Australia
Welcome:)

I'm not a guy, so I don't really have much personal experience to give...But from what I've read on here, in order to get big and muscly you have to do 2 basic things.

Eat lots and lift heavy.

The whole vegan thing should not inhibit your muscle building potential anyway. I mean check out the people on here! They're living proof that being vegan doesn't stop you from being fit, buff and healthy.

I'm not too sure about the whole testosterone thing. But I do know that women have a much lower level than men (right?). And there are many women who continue to grow big muscles and can lift astonishing weights...

I don't know if that was any help to you. But you have come to the right place. Check out different threads. There's is pretty much one already created for anything you can think of on here.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:31 am 
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Elephant
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:53 am
Posts: 1481
Location: Scotland
emma1488 wrote:
Eat lots and lift heavy.
That's all there is to it man, forget about your test levels and creatine.

In regards to your knee, what lower body exercises do you currently do?

_________________
My training log brushteeth


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:02 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am
Posts: 79
chewybaws wrote:
emma1488 wrote:
Eat lots and lift heavy.
That's all there is to it man, forget about your test levels and creatine.

In regards to your knee, what lower body exercises do you currently do?

It depends on how my knee is feeling on any given day. The problem stems from how I walk. I just today got a new pair of custom-made orthotics and I'm really hoping they'll help. I had a pair made for me a couple of months ago but they weren't helping. So my podiatrist examined me and recommended having them altered. They just arrived about an hour ago and I'm not crazy about how they feel but we'll see.

Lower body:
If my knee is sore on a lower body workout day, I may do only one exercise for my quads: weighted quad leg raises (not really sure the name - it basically involves lying on my back with one leg bent perpendicularly and raising the other leg in the air and holding it). If my knee is up to it, I'll also do quad leg extensions. I know those aren't great mass building exercises but I don't think there is anything I can do.
I'm fine with hamstring exercises. So I deadlift, do hip raises, and curls. I would like to find more leg exercises I can do though. Lunges and squats aggravate the knee too much. The area I have tendinitis in is right below the knee cap - where the doctor hits to test your reflexes. It's developing in my other knee too, although it's not as bad.

I do also do some rowing on my concept 2. Depending on how the knee is, I may not do the full range of motion for the legs though.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:59 am
Posts: 60
Regarding your knee; so you can't do plyometrics, or even sprints? An elliptical trainer does strengthen your quads with minimal stress on your knees but that's usually only for cardio. If you're really trying to build muscle mass for your quads you'll be needing to put a lot of weight and stress on them, and that will naturally affect your knee too. You could try the leg press at the gym with a lighter weight but that's also more or less the same movement as a squat. Just try what quad exercises you can do without pain. Hope your knee gets better :)

As for creatine, it's an amino acid so technically you can get it from vegetables too. Mainly nuts and seeds(the usual high amino acid stuff), so eat more of those and your levels should improve. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am
Posts: 79
Kira wrote:
Regarding your knee; so you can't do plyometrics, or even sprints? An elliptical trainer does strengthen your quads with minimal stress on your knees but that's usually only for cardio. If you're really trying to build muscle mass for your quads you'll be needing to put a lot of weight and stress on them, and that will naturally affect your knee too. You could try the leg press at the gym with a lighter weight but that's also more or less the same movement as a squat. Just try what quad exercises you can do without pain. Hope your knee gets better :)

As for creatine, it's an amino acid so technically you can get it from vegetables too. Mainly nuts and seeds(the usual high amino acid stuff), so eat more of those and your levels should improve. Good luck!


Thanks for your reply. I'm not exactly sure what plyometrics are. I looked at some pictures and written descriptions just now and I think that would be too much for my knee. Sprints? Maybe, I could give it a try. I just moved to a new area and I'm seeing an orthopedist on Friday (seven days from today). I saw one in my old area about 3 months ago but the knee has gotten worse since then. I'm going to try to find a podiatrist to see if we can get orthotics that actually work for me.

Thanks for the info. about creatine!


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:17 am 
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Rabbit

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:59 am
Posts: 60
No prob ;) And yeah, I think plyometrics would be too much for your knee, its basically a form of exercise that mainly athletes like basketball players do help them strengthen their quads and hip muscles so that they can jump higher.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:14 am 
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Rabbit

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am
Posts: 79
Kira wrote:
No prob ;) And yeah, I think plyometrics would be too much for your knee, its basically a form of exercise that mainly athletes like basketball players do help them strengthen their quads and hip muscles so that they can jump higher.

Yeah, that's what I thought it was. I played basketball regularly until about a year ago when I started having minor knee problems at the time and I entered "semi-retirement" about 3 months ago. (I say semi-retirement because I still have a little hope that someday I'll be able to play again.) I was using very old, garbage orthotics for about 5 years (I stupidly didn't think it would be important to get new ones) including using those while I played bball, and I think that's how I did some cartilage damage.

I should add though that I have been doing one-legged squats for my left leg, which is still good enough to handle that. Normally I know you're not supposed to exercise only one side of the body but I'm right handed and heavily right-sided. (My right arm, leg, chest, traps, etc. are all visibly bigger and stronger than the left.) So I figured I could still work the left side and maybe it would catch up. Being heavily right sided while having poor walking posture is probably part of the reason why I have right knee problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:53 am 
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Rabbit

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:59 am
Posts: 60
I'm guessing your knee problem may have been caused by knee hyper-extension when walking? I suffer from ligamentous laxity so I used to have a poor walking posture too until my doc advised me to fix it. You should try see a physiotherapist for your knee if you can, because when your ligaments get damaged, even after they heal they will never be the same(more injury prone), so the best you can do then is strengthen the surrounding muscle to take some of the stress off it; knees are probably the most pissing(happened to me before) cause it's really hard to strengthen the surrounding muscle, in this case your quads, without aggravating your injury. If you can see a specialist maybe he can help you with that. Yeah, so muscles aren't just for functional value and for show, they help support your joints, ligaments etc. That's partly why I'm trying to build muscle; because of my condition.
Hope you can get your knee sorted out soon =)


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am
Posts: 79
Well my upper body lifts have gone up a lot in the past 4 weeks (when I returned to lifting seriously) although I don't see a visible difference yet. I'm amazed at how much my shoulder press has gone up but other exercises have gone up too.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am
Posts: 79
Well here's my current point. I want to get bigger in general (I'm only 5'5" 130) but I think my lats, chest, and abs are well behind my arms, delts, and traps.

Image

On edit: I guess if you take a picture of yourself in a mirror, it flips the sides around. The side with the camera is my right.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am
Posts: 79
Most of my lifts have gone up about 20%. I also went from being able to do 9 to 15 push-ups. I still don't see a difference when I look in the mirror, which is a little disappointing because I know some people get a nice visible difference after about a month of intense working out. I'm hoping that if I give it a full year of intense working out, the results will be visible.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am
Posts: 79
A little update:
1 - My lifts have gone up although I was hoping to see more of a visible difference by now.

2 - I've decided that I should start eating cruciferous vegetables. I feel like an idiot for neglecting them but I've never loved how they tasted. I did eat a lot of green beans and corn but rarely got cruciferous vegetables. I'm going to eat broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts daily.

3 - I went to a store and got arch supports and seem much better balanced. I've just started wearing them and I really hope they help with my knees. The store salesperson showed me by gently pushing me that I am much better balanced with than without the arch supports. I have a very mild arch support that I wear 24/7 and a bigger one that I'm gradually wearing more and more of in order to get used to it. I know some argue that arch supports weaken your foot muscles. But these are highly flexible arch supports that are supposed to still make your feet work while you walk rather than doing the work for your feet. I'm going to do some arch exercises too, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Finch

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Norfolk, Va.
Not sure If any of this was mentioned:

Supplements:
- T-Bomb II (it is a natural test booster the serving size can be split or taken normally).
- glucosamine chondroitin is a great supplement for help joints.
- CGT made by ON (can be found in Vitamin Shopee) is a great creatine.

Foods:
- Adding garlic to your diet is very beneficial to GH production.
- Eating a butt ton (don't eat a button) of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.) They have something called DIM (Diindolylmethane) which helps vanquish evil types of estrogen (this is good).

Equipment/etc.:
- Try knee wraps for squats, because squats are a huge muscle building movement.
- Get a lifting partner who can spot you and is reliable (or a trainer).
- If squats don't work try leg press.

Bottom line:
- Consistency. If you don't pound away at your task, then you'll never improve. So, keep pressing and doing your best, even on bad days do what you can.
- This is just a quick start of things you can do to help yourself. Do some research on your own and figure out what works best for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I gain muscle?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:14 am
Posts: 79
RipVanWinkle wrote:
Not sure If any of this was mentioned:

Supplements:
- T-Bomb II (it is a natural test booster the serving size can be split or taken normally).
- glucosamine chondroitin is a great supplement for help joints.
- CGT made by ON (can be found in Vitamin Shopee) is a great creatine.

Foods:
- Adding garlic to your diet is very beneficial to GH production.
- Eating a butt ton (don't eat a button) of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.) They have something called DIM (Diindolylmethane) which helps vanquish evil types of estrogen (this is good).

Equipment/etc.:
- Try knee wraps for squats, because squats are a huge muscle building movement.
- Get a lifting partner who can spot you and is reliable (or a trainer).
- If squats don't work try leg press.

Bottom line:
- Consistency. If you don't pound away at your task, then you'll never improve. So, keep pressing and doing your best, even on bad days do what you can.
- This is just a quick start of things you can do to help yourself. Do some research on your own and figure out what works best for you.

Thanks; these are great tips. Do you know what percentage of the creatine in CGT is monohydrate? Monohydrate seems to have by far the most research support as a muscle builder but it's also the form that gives me bloating.


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