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Honestly, I'm Retarded (pls help)


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I have spent what feels like countless hours reading about routines, exercises, plans, splits, muscles, compounds, resting, nutrition, diet, vegan protein, raw, calories, forums, stickies, threads, articles, etc etc etc etc etc. I haven't been able to make any gains I am happy with in the last few months, and I am terribly frustrated. It's gotten to the point where I think I just might be a retard. I see people making gains on all kinds of routines, with all kinds of meal plans, and it really confuses me. It's like there is some secret that only half the people know about, and the rest of us are left flailing in the dark. Hell there are people on this site who are squatting 3x their bodyweight, and I can barely manage 3x10 with 155lbs!

 

I can't improve my lifts, I can't lose fat, I can't gain muscle, I can't increase my energy, I can't get enough protein, I can't eat few enough calories. Argh what does it take!?!?

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I'd imagine you have it in you to get good gains like everyone. Genetics are big, but i think anyone can get pretty big and strong with the right training and nutrition and rest. There are other factors as well but those are the Big Three and have to be there to get gains.

 

I think the most important thing with training and life in general is balance. there's a delicate balance between under training and over training and that's some thing you'll have to learn your self. There's many factors like SEX, AGE, Fitness Level, Training routine, Diet among other things. Train hard, Never train a muscle group that's all ready sore.

 

As far as training goes if you want to get stronger a simple routine is best. Focus on heavy compond exercies that work many muscles. Machines are fine as a supplement to your routine, but are bad as the core of the routine. Bench, Military, Squat, DeadLift should be in every routine

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Eat more.

 

 

 

Seriously. Don't worry about splits, muscles, protein, raw, fat loss, etc. Just eat, and squat, and you'll grow. A simple caloric surplus will increase your strength and size, while a caloric deficit will lead to spinning your wheels, not getting stronger, not gaining mass.

 

Couture is right on about the routine. Lift simple. Squat, deadlift, bench, overhead. If there is any way possible for you to get a copy of Mark Rippetoe's book Starting Strength, do so. It has all the information you'll need on exercises and a routine - there is exactly one - you'll need for a long time to come.

 

By the way, 3 X 10 @ 155 is not "bad". It doesn't really matter what your strength levels are now - it just matters that whatever you're doing in the gym, that strength level is increasing at a regular rate. Ie, by 5-10 pounds per workout, or at least per week. If the routine you're following now isn't doing that, you're limiting yourself either via diet or a crappy routine. You're a strong dude, I saw your pullups video A 3 X bodyweight squat might still be a ways off (I'm not even close myself), but I bet you'll beat me to a 2 X BW squat.

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Eat more.

 

 

 

Seriously. Don't worry about splits, muscles, protein, raw, fat loss, etc. Just eat, and squat, and you'll grow. A simple caloric surplus will increase your strength and size, while a caloric deficit will lead to spinning your wheels, not getting stronger, not gaining mass.

 

Couture is right on about the routine. Lift simple. Squat, deadlift, bench, overhead. If there is any way possible for you to get a copy of Mark Rippetoe's book Starting Strength, do so. It has all the information you'll need on exercises and a routine - there is exactly one - you'll need for a long time to come.

 

By the way, 3 X 10 @ 155 is not "bad". It doesn't really matter what your strength levels are now - it just matters that whatever you're doing in the gym, that strength level is increasing at a regular rate. Ie, by 5-10 pounds per workout, or at least per week. If the routine you're following now isn't doing that, you're limiting yourself either via diet or a crappy routine. You're a strong dude, I saw your pullups video A 3 X bodyweight squat might still be a ways off (I'm not even close myself), but I bet you'll beat me to a 2 X BW squat.

 

Your right on with the eat big thing! I've been like many people on here and many lifters in general and was all about Protein, protein, protein. The more the better was what i thought. I like many got 300 plus grams a day(from Powders and also before going vegan with eggs, meat, chicken. Then i ditched that whole thing and developed a balanced diet for humans of Moderate to high carbs and lower protein and fat. The times i've made the best gains were on SAD(16-18) when i wasn't watching my diet and eatting carbs like a mad man. and recently on a higher carb/ cal diet whole food organic diet.

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It might be better for you to pm those who have seen gains to compare your diet, routine, etc. with them. Some people who've made gains don't post much but might be willing to discuss this with you via email or pm.

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You certainly are not retarded, just experiencing a plateau. The human body is infinitely adaptable, and for some (especially myself ), it needs things to be shaken up or changed periodically. Some things that have worked for me are:

changing my routines regularly

changing intensities of workouts

keeping my metabolism guessing by changing up caloric intake levels

Periodically when I am really stuck, I like to do what I call a technique re-build. I will cut the amount of weight I work with way down and work form and technique, trying to eliminate all cheats and bad habits. I will then take the time to work my way back up to heavier weights using this corrected movement pattern. I have been on a re-build since September and am finally seeing some change.

Anyway,not to worry, most everyone has these annoying plateaus, the trick is to figure out what works for you to effectively break them. That's part of the fun . . .

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Focus on heavy compond exercies that work many muscles. Machines are fine as a supplement to your routine, but are bad as the core of the routine. Bench, Military, Squat, DeadLift should be in every routine

I do! I would say 80% of my routine is compound exercises. Bench, squat, deads, b-o rows, pullups, chinups, and dips are all in my routine.

 

How long have you been CONSISTENT with a routine?

Well some lifts I have had in my routine for months (dips for over 8 months now) and others I have just added in the past 2 weeks (deadlift). I lift at least 3x a week, sometimes 4, for about an hour each time.

 

It might be better for you to pm those who have seen gains to compare your diet, routine, etc. with them. Some people who've made gains don't post much but might be willing to discuss this with you via email or pm.

Good idea. I suppose I will have to make the rounds. Now who can I bother?

 

Periodically when I am really stuck, I like to do what I call a technique re-build. I will cut the amount of weight I work with way down and work form and technique, trying to eliminate all cheats and bad habits. I will then take the time to work my way back up to heavier weights using this corrected movement pattern. I have been on a re-build since September and am finally seeing some change.

Cool idea. I have been worried about my form these days, maybe I will try this out.

 

 

Well thanks to everyone for their kind replies! I was quite overwhelmed last night when I was looking through others progress threads and how well people are doing. It's very inspiring but at the same time it can stress me out about my own progress. Everyone keep up the good work though!

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Can you post an example of your diet, and training routine? I know how discouraging it can be not seeing results. I've been struggling to put on mass for sometime. Finally, I feel like I'm starting to make some progress.

 

Personally, I had a problem with eating/getting enough calories. I was busting my ass training, but eating like a ballerina. Take a breath, sort out your diet, and keep lifting heavy. I'm sure you're tired of hearing that, but it's true.

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allso a 3X full bw squat is extemely rare. Not sure if there's anyone on here getting close to that on a full squat. 2 is pretty doable more most hard training people
I was thinking the same thing. I'll never be able to Full (deep) Squat close to 600lbs.
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allso a 3X full bw squat is extemely rare. Not sure if there's anyone on here getting close to that on a full squat. 2 is pretty doable more most hard training people
I was thinking the same thing. I'll never be able to Full (deep) Squat close to 600lbs.

 

The only guys doing 3X on full squat are like olimpic lifters that compete in weight classes and are have freak show p4p strength. I don't think even many pro powerlifts/ Strong men are doing that without squat suite/ lifting belt/ knee wraps.

 

The majority of people don't do full squats becasue It's a wake up call on how strong you really are. 3 months ago i though my legs where all strong becasue i was doing 365 10X, but i was only going down 3/4 the way and wearing a belt which makes a which difference.

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Training:

 

Try doing a pyramid. 3 x 10 with 150 most likely means you will stay in a plateau because if you can do 3 sets with the same weight for the same rep count, you are just not reaching your limits and your muscles don't feel challenged.

It is very important that you reach failure in your training. It is not a must to start screaming and yelling during your last reps but it is a good sign - screaming is the natural result of training until/after failure. If you don't reach failure, you won't have exhausted your muscle and it will not have to overrepair itself, i.e. - grow or get thicker.

Try doing a pyramid like this:

warm-up

1 set of 8 reps (stop 2-3 reps before failure)

1 set of 5-7 reps (failure, go over 150 pounds here)

1 set with the same weight from the 5-7 reps set (as many as you can)

 

Also, do some cardio in the end of your workout, like 20 mins (10-30 mins depending on how much you ate, how much you worked out, etc - feel it) or do some cardio in the days when you don't go to the gym. The cardio works to maintain your metabolism higher and to keep the flow of nutrients into the muscle. The lactic acid gets carried away faster as well. This means you recover faster and better.

 

Food:

 

Do a high carb diet - brown rice, potatoes, corn, wheat, wholegrains, pasta - you know what to eat. Try to maintain a positive nitrogen balance in the body (by supplying enough aminoes from plant proteins!!!). I myself love Indian recipies with chickpeas, you find what works best for you Make sure you eat before you work out and you eat afterwards - have a high protein meal after your workout because in the next hours the muscle is going to need that nitrogen to grow. If you feel like doing insulin spiking, have some honey after the workout but don't quit the protein meal at any cost! Protein first, spiking is not as important!

The rest of the time focus on getting enough carbs.

You should be getting enough energy (calories as they call them) and fats (needed for hormone and cell membrane production) too.

Also, avoid doing a tough judo training and then not eating for 8 hours (like I did yesterday) or else you will not grow! (shows himself as bad example)

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Ok so maybe I was exaggerating with 3x squats, but surely not 3x deads.

 

And a shoutout to VeganEssentials for a great PM he sent me. Go Ryan!

 

 

3X deads are very doable. not sure if there are any people on here doing that, but there might

 

3x bodyweight squat, without a suit, is a hard thing to come across. Even most of the super-heavyweights that can dunk 1000+ rarely go above 700-800 raw, and these are 300+ lb. beast-men. Lighter guys who are lean and pound-for-pound very strong have a better chance at that one - think about it, what sounds more doable, a 525 lb. squat @ 175 lbs. bodyweight, or, 750 lbs. squat @ 250 lbs. bodyweight? You're going to find a lot more guys who can squat a better bodyweight ratio raw or with minimal equipment who are in the 220 lb. and under classes than with heavies, unless, as mentioned, it is done equipped.

 

3x BW deadlift is definitely far, far more common. Heck, Lamar Grant did something like a 5.2x bodyweight deadlift, which is just out of this world strong. He was a lightweight competitor in the 123 lb. class, and had arms that were so long you had to see them to believe them (which certainly gave him an advantage in deadlifting ) Otherwise, Hideki Inaba did a 4.54x bodyweight deadlift at 114 lbs, also freakin' amazing. Big guys and deadlifting aren't always so good - plenty of guys out there who can squat 800-1200 lbs. but struggle hitting 700 on a solid deadlift - while getting fat can be helpful in squatting, with deadlifting it can drop one's numbers once the gut gets big enough to change your mechanics and make you alter form to compensate. I've trained with some big dudes in strongman that were either close to 3x bodyweight deadlift or slightly above it, but again, most of them had to be equipped to be close to that mark with squats, needing a heavy-duty suit, wraps, briefs and all that stuff. I myself would need a deadlift of over 750 lbs. to be 3x bodyweight, and I don't forsee that happening any time soon, but the lighter guys who are built to deadlift (short torso, long arms, overall good mechanics) will definitely have an easier time getting a big number based on bodyweight percentage.

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Using multiples of bodyweight isn't a good way to compare the quality of lifts from different lifters.

 

From http://tsampa.org/training/scripts/relative_strength/

 

This is probably a good time to point out that even when reduced to only bodyweight, determining relative strength is not as simple as directly comparing lifts with bodyweight (as in a "double bodyweight bench press"). Relative strength is simply not linear with bodyweight. In fact, the best weight to achieve good results compared to bodyweight appears to be around 60 kg/132 lbs for men and 50 kg/110 lbs for women, after that the added bodymass will make it progressively harder to reach an impressive bodyweight compared result.
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Using multiples of bodyweight isn't a good way to compare the quality of lifts from different lifters.

 

From http://tsampa.org/training/scripts/relative_strength/

 

This is probably a good time to point out that even when reduced to only bodyweight, determining relative strength is not as simple as directly comparing lifts with bodyweight (as in a "double bodyweight bench press"). Relative strength is simply not linear with bodyweight. In fact, the best weight to achieve good results compared to bodyweight appears to be around 60 kg/132 lbs for men and 50 kg/110 lbs for women, after that the added bodymass will make it progressively harder to reach an impressive bodyweight compared result.

 

Yeah i agree to a certain degree. I'd personally rather be 200 benching 400 then 100 benching 250. p4p has alot to do with frame. Like a fit 7 footer will never be stronger p4p then a fit 5 footer.

That said i think p4p is good overall and very important. Usally i'm most impressed with people that put up alot more weight then they look like they could. and not that impressed with big massive guys that can't lift much and have trouble breathing because there so big and unhealthy. I've grappled with 100's maybe 1000 of different people of all shapes sizes and strength levels and some of the strongest guys where guys that you wouldn't guess and vice versa. In athletics it's all about how effective your body works together and not just some isolated parts

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