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 Post subject: Hardgainer stuck at 160lb - Diet review/recommendations?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:15 am
Posts: 13
Location: Seattle, WA
Alo all!

Been steadily gaining weight for the last two months, up from 145 to 160/161lb, but seem to have hit the same old wall again. I really have a hard time getting past the 160 mark. I've been taking in 3000 calories, at 50%/25%/25% Carb/Protein/Fat spread across 6 meals, and it's been doing the job until now. I'm considering bumping the calories up to 3600 to see if I can jump-start the growth again.

I've posted an example sheet Here showing a daily breakdown. I follow it pretty closely, with only a few minor tweaks through the week.

Thoughts?

Thank you!

Don


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 Post subject: Re: Hardgainer stuck at 160lb - Diet review/recommendations?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Gorilla

Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:07 pm
Posts: 604
Location: West Florida, USA
Eat more food and lift heavier weights.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardgainer stuck at 160lb - Diet review/recommendations?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:32 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
Agreed on the eat more part, and it would be helpful to see how you've been training as well. If you're doing too much high-rep work, that could be slowing down progress. If you're doing too much cardio, that'd slow it as well. If you're just using a program that you've adapted to and haven't changed up in some time, that could be detrimental. If you're focusing on using machines and avoid free weights, that'd be a progress-stopper in due time. Lots of factors could play into this, so post more info on your training over the past season and we'll see if we can help!

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"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Hardgainer stuck at 160lb - Diet review/recommendations?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:44 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:15 am
Posts: 13
Location: Seattle, WA
Sure thing. I'm doing a round of Body Beast, started on 8/6. Little to no cardio after week 3, no machines. Just dumbbells and bar weights, going as heavy as I can to complete the rep set. Full exhaustion by the end of the workout, and each week weight has been steadily improving. So, strength is definitely improving and I've been happy with the progress. I've always been a hard-gainer though, and 160 seems to be my body's wall.

Week 1-3:
Chest/Tris
Legs
Back/Bis
Shoulders
Cardio/Abs
Rest

Week 4-9:
Chest
Legs
Back
Arms
Shoulders
Rest

Full schedule can be viewed here: http://images.beachbody.com/pdf/bodybea ... ksheet.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Hardgainer stuck at 160lb - Diet review/recommendations?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
Looking over the program, I think that with the gains you've made, it's time to move to a more standardized training protocol if you want to keep moving forward.

Circuit training is fine for a few months when first getting into weight training, but it has drawbacks as well that show over time. First, you're typically always moving and not getting rest between sets - that's great for building endurance, but can hold back strength and size over time. Not to mention that it leaves out some things that are the best for packing on weight, typically you'd want to put more emphasis on heavy compound lower body work with squats (which I see as a "warm up" lift only) and regular deadlifts. And, there comes a point for many people where hitting the same body parts multiple times in a week slows down recovery, so you may be better off with more time between hitting the same parts unlike how it is with the program you noted. Also, am I correct in it just being 2 circuits as well? If so, chances are that you're now experieneced enough that you may require more volume in your training protocol to really move things to the next level for gains.

I would recommend that, if you can do a 3 day per week split, you might want to try something like this:

Sunday - Legs and Chest/Triceps training
1. Squats - 2-3 warm-up sets, 4x8 (4 sets of 8 reps) afterward, coming as close to failure on the last rep of the last set (failure is not always desirable, but you want to be close). I usually go with the feel of first working set I could probably hit 2-3 more reps if I fought for it. 2nd set, maybe 1-2 more with a lot of work. 3rd set, not likely I could do any more reps beyond the set number, last set to where it takes everything out of me to get through it, no possibility of getting more reps. For rest times, I'd suggest two options - either take 2 to 3 minutes between sets, or, take 1 minute, move to do a set for chest, rest one minute, and rotate back to leg work again (same for other days, either take a moderate rest period if sticking in one lift or take 60-90 seconds, move to other body part, and alternate between). Just be sure that, as you're moving into heavier compound lifts to give yourself enough time to recover a bit between sets, otherwise, you might not gain as well if you keep rest periods too short when hitting the same part.
2. Barbell or dumbbell bench press, 2-3 warm-up sets, 4x8 afterward, same "feel" as with squats for how tough sets should be
3. Leg curls (using either seated leg curl or lying leg curl machine), 3x10-12 reps, no warm-ups sets
4. Close-grip (hands at torso width, not too close together) barbell bench press, either flat or with slight incline, 3x10-12 reps, no warm-up sets
That would be enough for that day, unless you feel your calves are lagging and want to throw in 3 sets of calf raises, but that would be totally optional

Monday - rest or light cardio work if desired (30 minutes low to moderate intensity maximum)

Tuesday -Upper back, biceps and ab work (if needed)
1. Barbell or dumbbell rows, 2-3 warm-up sets, 4x8 for working sets, same feel as described above
2. Pull-ups (if you can do them) or pulldowns, 3x10 for working sets, no warm up needed
3. Barbell or dumbbell shrugs, 1-2 warm-up sets, 3x12 for working sets
4. Cable face pulls (check Youtube for video, just need a rope handle and normal cable tower setup at gym), 3x15, no warm-up needed
5. Optional biceps work done as dumbbell hammer curls, 1-2 warm-up sets, 3x8-10 for working sets, only if you feel the need to do additional arm work
6. Optional ab work if desired, 3 sets of whatever you enjoy doing

Wednesday - rest

Thursday - Lower back and shoulder work
1. Deadlifts from the floor - 3-4 progressive warm-up sets, then 4x8 working sets
2. Standing barbell overhead press - 2-3 warm-up sets, 4x8 working sets, bar touching collarbone in front of head each rep, don't cut them short at ear level, go all the way down
3. Single leg dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts (check Youtube for clips of how to perform), 3x15-20 sets
4. Standing 1-arm dumbbell clean and press - 3x10-12, slight lean to the side allowed for stability

Friday and Saturday - rest, or light cardio

Pretty simple program, working non-interfering body parts with enough time for most to have plenty of recovery, utilizing good compound lifts as the base to provide the most bang for your buck. Also gives off the two main days people usually like to go out and have fun, so you don't have to worry about training for the main part of the weekend if you don't want to (if you prefer, just move the days forward by one or two in the schedule but keep same pattern of days training/days off). Try something like this for 6-8 weeks, add a bit of weight each week that you're able, see what happens!

_________________
"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Hardgainer stuck at 160lb - Diet review/recommendations?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:39 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:15 am
Posts: 13
Location: Seattle, WA
Thanks very much for the feedback! The program below looks pretty solid, though with a bit more equipment than I have access to. Still, I'll see what I can do to modify. Rather than race through, I've been pausing to work a bit slower through most of the sets, pushing for failure and lengthening the recovery time a bit to balance. Whole workout usually takes about 45-60min.

As far as diet goes, would you suggest continuing at 3000 cals? I bumped up to 3600 the last two days, which now I don't feel as hungry as often.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardgainer stuck at 160lb - Diet review/recommendations?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:13 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
DonnieUtah wrote:
Thanks very much for the feedback! The program below looks pretty solid, though with a bit more equipment than I have access to. Still, I'll see what I can do to modify. Rather than race through, I've been pausing to work a bit slower through most of the sets, pushing for failure and lengthening the recovery time a bit to balance. Whole workout usually takes about 45-60min.

As far as diet goes, would you suggest continuing at 3000 cals? I bumped up to 3600 the last two days, which now I don't feel as hungry as often.


There are certainly modifications that can be made, this was just a general idea for a program that can be done in most gyms with standard equipment (I realize that not all gyms have the same items, and that people who train at home will have to adjust some of the lifts accordingly).

If you're feeling less hungry at 3600 cal., I'd suggest staying at that point for the time being, at least for a few weeks to see how it fares with your body. Unless you start to see weight gain coming too quickly in the form of fat (which would probably take a few months to show up with only adding 600 more calories to your meals on training days), it may be that the increased mass you've put on is now requiring more fuel for potential to keep growing. Some people don't have to up their food intake a lot (myself included), some people find that every 10 lbs. of mass they put on, they may have to keep adding more food into their protocol to keep things moving in the right direction. I'd keep with it for a while to see if it can help you break through the plateau, keep us posted how things go in the coming weeks!

_________________
"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Hardgainer stuck at 160lb - Diet review/recommendations?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:07 am 
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Rabbit

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:15 am
Posts: 13
Location: Seattle, WA
Happy to report after some tweaks to the diet I have hit 166lb. Less than 10lb away from my bulking goal!

Thanks very much for the feedback. I'll be working to incorporate more of into my program going forward.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardgainer stuck at 160lb - Diet review/recommendations?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:32 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
Great work! :)

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"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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