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i'm starting from scratch - the only way is up! heh.

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I hope that this photo thread will chart some pretty dramatic and much needed changes! Any tips for building mass will be greatly appreciated - though I will search and read the forums, of course! I hope the next set of pictures I post in a few weeks will show improvement! I'm currently working on eating more and swimming for roughly 30-40 minutes 5 days a week. I particularly want to see more weight on my arms and upper body.




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Hey, you have a good low-fat starting point, will make certain things much easier for you in the long run. For bulking up, I recommend compound exercises, mid - low reps (maybe around 8 ) allowing the weight to dictate the reps, meaning that you should pick a weight that you can do no more than 8 with, if you can do 9 or more, then up the weight until you can only do 8, that's how you get stronger and bigger.


This is a brilliant site full of exercises for muscle groups, so you can find how to target the things you need:




Off the top of my head, for upperbody and arms (although I don't recommend ignoring your legs)



bench press (general chest mass, and triceps)

incline bench press (upper chest / front of shoulders, triceps)

decline bench press (lower chest, triceps)

dumbbell flies (center of the chest)

dumbbell press (general chest mass, triceps)



Pull ups / chin ups (back, biceps)

Lat pull-down machine (same as above, allows you to determine the weight rather than using bodyweight)

Deadlift (back, lower back as well as other things)

Resistance Row / bent-over row (back / upper back)



Cable pull-down

tricep extensions



dumbbell curl

barbell curl

hammer curl


and so on, there are lots of other exercises, check out the link

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  • 4 weeks later...
Swimming is TOUGH for the untrained I suppose. Went for some laps after a workout and i'm not out of shape at all and died after lap 4, lol. Nice lean frame, look forward to seeing the continued enhancements to your already great physique!


My weekly swimming class helps me along with some improving - this week is is butterfly stroke! (mops brow in panic!)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
I'm definately noticing a gain in muscle now. Had my first external confirmation last night when my boyfriend rubbed my stomach - "wow, you feel nice and firm"



Nice to hear that! Just keep eating LOTS and lifting heavy.

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  • 1 year later...

After a long hiatus I am back with an update. Fortunately last summer was great and with swimming and weights I managed to bulk up around 10lbs and I felt great. Unfortunately autumn was less great and what with moving overseas for work, work stress, and slipping back into old (non) eating habits it all came off.


I lost all the 10 lbs of mass that I put on since I took those photos in the past year, and I am actually probably 5-7lbs lighter now than then.

Anyway, I am twice as determined this time and will keep working towards the end goal. No slipping into old eating habits.


My plan for the next month is to concentrate on gaining and stuffing my food down so that next month I can start some swimming again - I don't want to start the cardio too soon.


So off I go, and will aim to post some improvements in 4 weeks time!

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  • 5 months later...

So it took me ages to actually start eating again properly and the stress of finishing my PhD and and a traumatic relationship end left me a wreck. Once again I am as small as, if not smaller than the original pictures. I have often checked the progress pictures to feel motivated for other people's progress, hoping that I could also do it. Anyway keen to make a new start and I am now eating much larger and frequently. My birthday last month made me realise that in my late 20s I have to stop undereating and do something positive


I've been going to the gym 3 x a week and lifting plus cardio for the past 2 weeks and already I feel stronger and "bigger" (in body mass if not muscle yet - too soon to tell really but def feel firmer...)


I will post my first progress photos on the 12th September

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  • 7 months later...

Well it has been a very long time and a lot of back-tracking happened until last year when I realised I needed to do something about eating more etc as I became about 2stone smaller than the first pictures. The past 9 mths I have been going to gym to do cardio and weights 3-4 times a week as well as eating more. At first a friend helped me put together a routine but now I improvise. There is still a lot of work to do and I sometimes think I have just put on far rather than muscle --- but this is a start, I think there is maybe some muscle peeking through JUST . The pic represents 9mths of working out rather then - sadly - the years it has been since I joined the board. I have often looked at other people's progress pictures for inspiration


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