Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give up

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Own-It
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Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give up

#1 Postby Own-It » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:02 pm

Hello all. Well I'll just start out by saying I'm grateful this board even exists. It's just about the only place I feel I can ask a questions to those who won't judge me. I've been working out for two straight years pretty steadily, and the issues are:

- my arms are not getting any bigger whatsoever. They've actually atrophied. 13.1'' currently.
- I've been stuck on 135 x 15 on the decline bench for forever now. how should I go up in weight?
- I actually do not know how to properly go up in weight on anything.
- Do I write down every single lift? Feel kind of weird doing it.. I don't see anyone else doing it.
- Is bodybuilding typically pretty hard to accomplish a vegetarian diet?

- I have gained on my legs. 1.8 inches in about 4 months. I do squats 2x/week
- I'm 29, 5'10'', 176, about 18% bf
- I'm pretty rarely in a deficit. Do I need to to go more above what Im taking on to build on a veg diet? Im about 2000-2200 a day

Lastly, I'll post my routine. If anyone has advice, I am absolutely more than willing to listen to it. here it is:
(also I tend to alternate between bodyparts... back/tri/back etc.)

Day 1 (back, triceps):
vbar row
pullover
tbar row
overhead db raise
tricep kickdown

Day 2 (legs, shoulders)
squat
mil press
leg extensions
db flies
incline rdf

Day 3 (legs, chest)
decline bp
squat
incline bp
leg exts
decline db fly
incline db fly

Day 4 (biceps, legs)
bb curl
deadlifts
body drag
pull ups
db curls

I typically do all of these in between 8 to 15 reps for about 3-4 sets.

I do feel I'm about to give up. Seems like everyone else is gaining except me. Idk, maybe theyre gaining more because they like to eat meat. I really want to be a bodybuilder but I'll never do it if it means I have to eat meat. any help is appreciated.

esqinchi
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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#2 Postby esqinchi » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:09 pm

The amount of weight you lift depends on the style of training you want to do. For example, if you want to do low reps then typically you utilize heavier weight. If you want to do high reps, then lower weight. As far as progression, I would suggest increasing the load by 5lbs on a weekly basis. It helps to temporarily lower your reps if you are increasing the weight. For example, on bench press, if I went from 165lbs for 15 reps, I'd probably try 175 for 12 or even 10 reps, and then work my way up to 15 reps from there. There might be a better way to do this, but that's what I've tried.

Regarding growth, you obviously get that you have to eat in order to grow. At 5'10" and 176lbs, and training four times per week, I'd say you are under-eating at 2000-2200 calories. My BMR (basal metabolic rate) is approx 2600 cals/day, and I'm only 5'7", 166lbs; also, I train 4 days per week. I used to limit calories to 1600 per day, and it took me forever to realize that I was just wasting time and muscle, and making no gains. Then, I started eating more, and over the course of six months or so I went from 152lbs to 166. I freaked out, because I had gained some fat - but that's just part of the trade-off. If you gain muscle, you'll also gain some fat. But, if you want to be shredded/ripped/whatever, it's about how you strip off that fat while simultaneously preserve the muscle you've gained. Make sense? With that comes the carb cycling, and all the other tricks of the trade, I suppose. Nothing I've tried.

Anyhow, I'd suggest that you increase your calories to at least 2200-2400/day, focus on whole food sources, make sure you keep your protein adequate, and get enough decent carbs (fruit, veggies) to get through your workouts. Eat your greens. Take a B12 supplement to help with energy, and mood. Get enough sleep. Drink enough water. Then, be patient. Enjoy the ride.

You have to remember, most of these guys who are huge either took a shot to make them huge (and shrink their balls, and for what it's worth, they are cheaters), or they did it naturally and it took them years. Sometimes even decades. Like you man, I've been killing it in the gym for over 2 years, and I just now feel like I'm making decent gains - mainly because I improved my eating.

Better/sufficient eating = lifting more weight/working out longer = gains.

It's pretty simple. Just get out of your head a bit.

HIT Rob
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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#3 Postby HIT Rob » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:35 pm

Hi Own-It,

I'd echo some of Chris's thoughts...

With regards to natural bodybuilding, its important you don't overtrain, i would recommend you use hypertrophy specific techniques such as zone training / J-Reps and 1 1/4 reps, these techniques allow for more contractions per unit of time (thus enabling you to reduce the volume of your workouts), which in turn produces a greater level of congestion within the muscles.

If its bodybuilding your training for, many will tell you that all you need to do is add more weight to the bar or machine (that's strength training), what these people have failed to understand or just don't realize, is that strength is finite. Moreover, just because we get stronger at certain movements, it does not mean that lifting extra weight will automatically translate into more muscle. Muscle is a metabolically expensive tissue, so rather than producing more muscle, the body learns cope and uses itself more proficiently.

For the most part, strength increases are more to do with improvement's in intramuscular coordination and neuromuscular adaptations. This is why for someone wanting to their optimize hypertrophy, they should regularly change their workouts, sets and reps, resistance, techniques used etc. Present the body with new challenges, have you ever notice when trying out a new exercise or technique for the first time for example, it feels great, you get a much greater pump, you sorer for longer etc, even though you may be using a light weight, and yet, the second or third time you perform it the same thing, it just doesn't seem to feel the same as it did the first time, even if this time you could will be using a heavier weight. See were am coming from?

After 23+ years of training, i can honestly say that the biggest growth spurts i ever had came as the result of changing something, whether that was switching from Volume training to HIT, new routine, new technique or a new exercise. Variation IS the mother of all innovation, of course most people don't like change, no one likes to be taking out of their comfort zone:)

Hope this helps
Best
Rob

esqinchi
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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#4 Postby esqinchi » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:51 pm

Hey Rob,

Great tips, and thanks for inspiring me to change up my game. Would you mind going a little deeper on zone training, and the types of reps you described? That would be swell, and much appreciated.

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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#5 Postby HIT Rob » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:54 pm

Hey Chris

No worries mate:)

Zone training (aka J-Reps, aka staged reps)...
The performance of this is a difficult one to explain, but this article explains it well...
http://www.trulyhuge.com/news/tips68y.html

Here is some videos...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oj7gXSJ5Ez0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lat7J6DJkmY

What makes this rep method superior for hypertrophy optimization, is that your achieving more contractions per unit of time, if you perform a squat in thirds for example, you'd get 3 times as many contractions as you would do if you were to perform the movement through a regular full ROM, this is turn creates a far greater level of congestion within the muscle, with less overall movement.

Also, its also been noted in recent years, that muscular contractions are somewhat more diverse than simply happening from origin to insertion, it seems there is a shifting of tension among the fibers, that is, when one "section" of fibers become fatigued, another set or section literately gets "tagged in" and takes over, so with that in mind, it would suggest zone training is a perfect tool for optimizing fiber recruitment and hypertrophy as it has you fatigue one set of fibers before moving onto the next set.

Another nice by-product of zone training, is that you only require 60-70% of the weight you would normally use with regular performed reps (meaning less load impinging upon the joints and connective tissues), and although there is less resistance being using, the tension is more targeted and specific.
With regards to performance, one can perform them in half's or thirds, you could preform one zone right after another, or you can take a 10 second rest pause between zones, or you could for example, preform 3 bottom 1/3 reps, 3 middle 1/3 reps and then 3 top 1/3 reps, then take a 10 second rest pause and go again (repeat 4-5 times over until failure).

Hope that explains it a wee bit:)
Rob

esqinchi
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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#6 Postby esqinchi » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:44 pm

Rob,

Thanks for the info and insight. Really interesting stuff! Makes you wonder why anyone would attempt isolated movements, over compound when overall functionality appears more sympathetic than distinct. I'll give zone training a shot here in the near future. Looks pretty tough from what those videos show - but that is the physique I'm going for indeed.

Cheers mate.

Own-It
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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#7 Postby Own-It » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:39 am

Tried this method today. Did 30 reps, then 15 x3 or 4 on several body parts. Too early to say anything about it's benefits (and who knows, they may be great), but I can vouch for the caloric burn. According to my HRM (Polar RS800CX), 5'10'' @ 177, 1020 Calories in 79 minutes (774/hour). Very impressed with that to say the least. Much thanks for the information sir.

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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#8 Postby HIT Rob » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:46 pm

esqinchi wrote:Rob,

Thanks for the info and insight. Really interesting stuff! Makes you wonder why anyone would attempt isolated movements, over compound when overall functionality appears more sympathetic than distinct. I'll give zone training a shot here in the near future. Looks pretty tough from what those videos show - but that is the physique I'm going for indeed.

Cheers mate.


No worries:)

I like a combination of both compound and isolation movements, for function reason's, compound movements don't provide the correct physics to thoroughly stimulate a each and every individual muscle group, so from the pov of someone wanting to optimize their hypertrophy and overall balance, it only stands to reason they would salt in some isolation movements.

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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#9 Postby HIT Rob » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:00 pm

Own-It wrote:Tried this method today. Did 30 reps, then 15 x3 or 4 on several body parts. Too early to say anything about it's benefits (and who knows, they may be great), but I can vouch for the caloric burn. According to my HRM (Polar RS800CX), 5'10'' @ 177, 1020 Calories in 79 minutes (774/hour). Very impressed with that to say the least. Much thanks for the information sir.


Hi Own-It,

No worries:)

I would recommend you don't focus so much on how many calories were burned as the result of a workout, its possible to significantly inroad and stimulate the body without burning all that many calories. I made my best gains keeping my workouts very intense and below 30 minutes, with a maximum of 2 workouts per workout. Results are proportional to the intensity of effort put forth, not the volume.

Best of luck
Rob

Own-It
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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#10 Postby Own-It » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:42 pm

I'm not focusing just on that. Thank you. I have bodyfat I absolutely have to lose. That is why I mentioned my calories burned.

HIT Rob
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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#11 Postby HIT Rob » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:54 pm

Pardon me all over the place, i thought you were asking for advice with regards to little being made in 2 years...

Whether your trying to lose bodyfat or gain muscle or both, its all the same. Activity in and off itself, is inefficient for losing bodyfat, as a single pound of fat can fuel the body for up to 10-12 hours of continuous steady state activity. I was able to lose 55lbs of fat and gained 8lbs of muscle in a six month period a few years ago, the only exercise i did, was a HIT workout once per week lasting mere 12-15 minutes. The number one factor in a fat loss program is the maintenance of muscle tissue, and excess activity will actually cause you to lose muscle (not to mention increased wear and tear on the body).

Own-It
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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#12 Postby Own-It » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:40 pm

Something is not coming across straight... it's just text so something is bound to be lost. If I could restate, what I mean is that the intensity of the workout, using this method, is greater than the intensity of the workout, using full ROM, for me, which then, at least in my mind, translates in to a greater caloric burn (& by inference, greater intensity?). Previously, I never had a calorie burn of 1000+ in an hour and fifteen using full ROM. So in being able to burn more calories, while still being able to be aerobic (not just anerobic the whole time which I believe would be BAD) the entire time, is a good thing, I believe. 1000 wasn't my goal, but it just happened. I still felt strong at that point.

So hush it it up HIT Rob .......

Totally kidding. Seriously, had you not responded & given this advice, I would have never (or for a while) known about this method. For that I truly do mean thanks.

HIT Rob
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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#13 Postby HIT Rob » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:18 pm

Hi Own-It,

I understood what your were saying, but from what your saying there's a few basic fundamental's you've not grasped yet.

There is a principle within exercise science referred to as the SAID - specific adaptation to imposed demands (you may will have heard of this), which means the body adapts in a specific fashion to specific demands. If your goal is to carry out large volumes of work, then you must train in a specific fashion, ie., with low to moderate intensity, employing large volumes of work / sets etc. If on the other hand your goal is to increase your muscular size and strength, then you must also train in a specific manner, ie., with high intensity and a low volume of work / sets.

The body does not have 100 units of adaptive resources available for adaptation for size and strength, and another 100 units of adaptive resources available for adaptation from endurance training, its has but 100 units period! As the former Mr Universe Mike Mentzer told me "training guided by mixed premises will NOT yield results of the same magnitude as adaptive specific training".

On a side note, zone training enables you to reduce the overall volume of work/sets considerable as it allows for more contractions per unit of time. A good thing for the natural trainee with a very limited recovery ability that wants to optimize hypertrophy.

Why is it bad to training anaerobically all the time?

Aerobic activity does not increase lean muscle mass (aerobic activity can actually cause you lose lean mass, this is why more and more bodybuilders are no longer partaking in aerobic pre-contest), improve flexibility, increase bone density, or ramp up your metabolism the way anaerobic training does. Aerobic activity is an efficient way of losing bodyfat, and contrary to popular belief, aerobics is not the best method for improving cardiovascular efficiency (this has been proven of the last several decades).

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Re: Feel lost. 2 years, little progress. Trying not to give

#14 Postby tylerpc73 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:39 pm

You just need to stick to basic compound exercises and try to go heavier. Maybe keeping a training log will help you push yourself further and further every time you go in. If this doesn't do it make sure you're getting enough protein and overall calories to make gains
Hey guys just here to get some good advice on vegan bodybuilding. Check out my fitness website here:http://www.ptpioneer.com/


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