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How is this routine/diet for a newbie, skinny vegan?


Madcut
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First of all, hello all! It is awesome that a website like this exists. I hope to gain a lot of useful information from it.

 

A little about me:

I am a male, twenty years old and have been vegan for seven months now. It has been an amazing experience. I was not a vegetarian before this so it was a big change. Although I don't feel it has been very difficult. In my first six months I lost around 12-15 pounds which was really worrying me. People (family) keep using it as criticism for why I shouldn't be living a plant based diet.

 

Well now I just started a new diet and work out plan. So far I have gained around seven pounds in one month. I have always been thin so becoming vegan just made it a little harder to maintain weight.

 

Stats:

5'9"

116 pounds

20 years old

Under 4% body fat

 

Diet:

Morning- Sprouted wheat peanut butter sandwich. I take one spray of a B-12 supplement and a multi vitamin.

Late morning- One everything bagel. Sometimes an orange.

Lunch- Burritos, vegan pizza, bean tostadas, or something along those lines. I try to make it fairly hearty.

Afternoon- Smoothie with 1/2 cup almonds/ 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup raisins, 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon flax seed oil, 1/2 cup berries.

-Workout-

After workout- 1 cliff bar. Usually a cliff body building bar.

Dinner- Always a large salad with good amount of olive oil and Bragg's liquid aminos. One large bowl of spaghetti, or rice with some sauce, or a hearty bean soup. I always try to stuff myself during this time.

 

Workout:

Start every workout with an 8 minute jog.

 

Day 1:

 

Push ups- 20

Bench Press- I haven't really found how much to be doing with this. I usually do 3 reps of whatever weight is on and move down five pounds for three sets. 65-95 pounds.

Incline Hammer Press- 4x6

Decline Press- 4x6

Machine Flys- 3x10

Dumbbell Pulls- 3x8. Not sure what this exercise is called. I take a couple dumbbells and, with my arms out straight, pull them together while standing and flexing my chest.

 

Triceps:

Reverse Grip Pull Downs- 3x10

Overhead Skull Crushers-3x10

Dumbbell Kick Backs: 3x8

 

Day 2:

 

Back:

Single Hand & Double Hand T-Bar Row- 8L,8R,12 Double Hand

Assisted Pull Ups- 3x10

High Rows- 4x10

Hammer Low Row- 4x8

Australian Rows- 3x12

Lat Pull Down- 3x10

 

Bis:

Wide Grip T-2 Bar Curls- 3x8

Rope Curls- 3x8

Reverse Grip Curls- 3x10

1 Arm Preacher Curls- 3x10

 

I use the exercise band after every bicep exercise for 20 repetitions.

 

Abs:

Crunches-30

Reverse Crunches- 30

Side Crunches- 20

Other Side Crunches- 20

Medicine Ball Twist- 20

 

Day 3

 

Legs:

Squats- 3x8

Leg Press- 4x8

Leg Curls- 4x10

Calf Raises- 4x10

 

Abs: I do these two days a week.

Crunches-30

Reverse Crunches- 30

Side Crunches- 20

Other Side Crunches- 20

Medicine Ball Twist- 20

 

 

So I work out three days a week with one day of rest. I'm wondering if this work out is good for a skinny guy who has not worked out much in his entire life. I really enjoy this routine and it usually lasts about 1 hour and fifteen minutes.

 

I just want to make sure I will be gaining muscle mass with this routine and diet. Any advice on alterations I should make would be much appreciated.

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Very unlikely that your under 4 percent Body fat. That is what elite body builders come into contest at and quickly go above that after wards. there's very few people naturally sub 6 percent unless they are staving themselves. There's no secret to gaining, just eat as much as you can and lift.

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That reading is from one of the gadgets my trainer used at the gym. It read under 4% body fat but I guess it could be wrong. I had a personal trainer a couple years ago and it read the same thing.

 

Sometimes, the gadgets skew things, but if you're REALLY low in bodyfat, you're probably between 5 an 7%. Basically, men will carry about 3% of essential-to-live bodyfat that you'll never even see, so usually the really, really ripped people fall in around the 6% range on average from what I've seen.

 

It's not a bad program, but probably a bit more comprehensive than someone needs for gaining. You could easily simplify it a bit by focusing primarily on compound movements and cut that time down to an hour or less You might want to check into some of the 5x5 programs that tend to work really well, as they'll focus on the most effective lifts and keep things simple. Keep things centered around the basics that give the most bang for your buck, including -

 

Barbell squats

Barbell deadlifts

Barbell or dumbbell rows (pull-ups/pulldowns as a secondary option)

Overhead pressing, barbell or dumbbell

Barbell or dumbbell benching

 

Those are the cornerstone lifts to get the best returns for your time training, so center your programs around them and do less of the "extras" if you don't need to. In due time, you'll see the results!

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In simplifying it would that be primarily for efficiency or higher gains?

 

It feels like the more research I do, the more I feel like I should be changing my exercise, diet, sleep, etc etc. Everyone has several opinions on the same topic. It is really hard to get firm answers on anything and what I'm doing is going to lead to muscle gains. Every time I do make an adjustment it seems like someone else tells me the opposite.

 

Yet, I have friends who go to the gym and don't take it seriously at all. They take most of their info from sales people at supplement stores. They eat hamburgers and carne asada burritos. They aren't serious when lifting and usually are laughing and fooling around during their exercise. Yet these guys are 50 pounds heavier than me and one has body fat around 8%.

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Here is an interested article I came across that addresses gaining for skinny guys.

 

http://www.mensfitness.com/fitness/workout_routines/458

 

I am also naturally slim, and I find it hard to pack on muscle at times. I haven't tried it out, but it seems to make sense and I've heard experts say the same thing about the dangers of overtraining for slim guys. It seems like you are packing so many exercises every workout and maybe its not necessary, especially for someone fairly new to weight training. Everyone is built differently and have different needs, so while listening to what works for the biggest guys in the gym may be benefitial to your knowledge, it may not be the best workout for you at the moment. I firmly believe you can train abs up to 6 times a week without worry, so I would go ahead and do whatever feels good for you in that department, but just make sure you dont do the same things everything time there, as your body is very smart and adjusts, and you have to keep coming up with new ways to challenge your gut. If you are really in the 5% body fat range right now, I'm betting that you will start to look REAL cut up soon if you arent already! good luck!

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Here is an interested article I came across that addresses gaining for skinny guys.

 

http://www.mensfitness.com/fitness/workout_routines/458

 

I am also naturally slim, and I find it hard to pack on muscle at times. I haven't tried it out, but it seems to make sense and I've heard experts say the same thing about the dangers of overtraining for slim guys. It seems like you are packing so many exercises every workout and maybe its not necessary, especially for someone fairly new to weight training. Everyone is built differently and have different needs, so while listening to what works for the biggest guys in the gym may be benefitial to your knowledge, it may not be the best workout for you at the moment. I firmly believe you can train abs up to 6 times a week without worry, so I would go ahead and do whatever feels good for you in that department, but just make sure you dont do the same things everything time there, as your body is very smart and adjusts, and you have to keep coming up with new ways to challenge your gut. If you are really in the 5% body fat range right now, I'm betting that you will start to look REAL cut up soon if you arent already! good luck!

 

Thanks for the good advice.

 

I know this probably sounds inaccurate but... In the past month I have gained around 14 pounds. This seems really unlikely to me but I have been regularly scaling myself on different scales. I remember during Christmas I was around 110, and now the scale at our gym reads 125 with other scales saying similar. I had thought that one pound requires 3500 of extra calories. I needed about 2,500 calories to maintain my weight and I have been eating 3,000-4,000 a day. I don't see how I could have possibly raked up nearly 50,000 calories in less than a month.

 

I've always had extremely fast metabolism and I think I still do. From May-November I was probably eating around 1,500-2,000 calories a day, so maybe my body is just in shock with the excess calories? I just resumed my old belt size by increasing it one notch haha, but other than that I don't really see any more weight anywhere. Although I do feel like my muscles are larger than they were before I started training a month ago. Not much bigger but still larger and more firm.

 

I do hope I am approaching all of this in a healthy manner. I've been eating really well and making sure I'm getting all of my vitamins, proteins, carbs and fat including drinking at least 60oz of water a day.

 

I have been training pretty hard and I'm usually in the gym longer than my friends. I'm taking it really seriously and focusing on form, slower repetitions, more weight. I don't feel entirely fatigued after my work outs. I still have energy but the muscles I worked out definitely feel dead. I'm usually sore for around two days, sometimes three.

 

Any more advice would be helpful. I don't really have a coach on this stuff as my friends aren't very knowledgeable on what they are doing. And my vegan friend doesn't care for exercise. Maybe I should see a doctor next month and tell him my diet, routine, weight/muscle gains, etc etc?

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Do compound excersises, don't trust Men's health and eat more protein.

 

4% BF isn't very common but I walk around with 4,5% despite stuffing myself with food. However if you are 116 pounds and have below 4% BF you're in trouble because that's like 2 kg of fat that should cover your organs and make up 2/3 of your brains weight.

 

VE: To say a certain percentage of bodyfat in general is essential isn't really correct I think. The essential fats is the fat that's covering your organs and that make up the brain and that amount is not relative to your bodyweight/muscle mass, so a skinny 100 pound guy has about the same amount of essential fat as Jay Cutler.

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I agree with pretty much everyone on here so far. I'm a pretty small girl, and when I did a 5x5 program for eight weeks I gained about 20 pounds. Not in a bad way. I looked about as toned as before, but I'm not actually striving to be a bodybuilder. I'm more interested in powerlifting. Anyway, I stuffed myself (in a healthy way) and focused on compound lifts.

 

I think you need to eat more complex carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. It actually doesn't sound like you eat very much. Also, the compound lifts are key. Focus on bench, squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses. Oh, and I weigh a little more than you now and I'm 5'1". Keep trying. I know from my own experience that you can gain some muscle mass!

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It feels so difficult to consistently eat over 3,000 calories. And now I am seeing that I'm not eating as much protein as I thought I was. Are there any other quick meals that can exceed 800 calories with 20+ grams of protein? My smoothies seem to help, but I can only drink so much of those. I've found that cashews are packed with fat, calories and protein.

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Cashews sound like a good snack. I love snacking on almonds, cashews, and peanuts. Um, the first thing that comes to mind for me is replacing rice with quinoa in your meals. I guess I don't know what kind of meals you cook, but a lot of people use rice often, and if you replace it with quinoa it will give you more protein, amino acids, and other nutrients. There's a chickpea quinoa pilaf in Veganomicon that I love. You could add more oil to your sauteed veggies, and put more flax seed in your smoothies and on your cereal or soups or what have you.

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  • 2 months later...

I see this thread is kind of old, but if you're still interested:

 

I'm in the same boat as you, I've always been skinny, but i've put on 20 lbs and a ton of strength in about 4 months on a 5X5 program. Drop every exercise that isn't a compound movement and restrict your cardio as much as possible. Go to www.nerdfitness.com or www.stronglifts.com and get on either 5X5 program and you will see results much, much faster than what you're doing. How do I know? Because I did stuff very similar for years and made very little progress. Doing squats and deadlifts at 5 reps has changed my understanding of tired.

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When you first start training, the muscles are going to develop rather quickly, then all of a sudden you'll notice your gains slowing down. This happens to everyone who just starts out on a weight-lifting program. A couple months from now you'll go "Why aren't I gaining anymore?" So just a heads up for that.

Quite honestly, I find it more beneficial to lift weights no more than 45 minutes a session, splitting my days up. I'll do back/chest/abs, shoulders/triceps/biceps, and legs get a separate day. I also stop doing cardio altogether and focus on eating as many calories as possible. Pick calorie rich foods like avocado, nuts, and stuff like that. I ate a TON of oatmeal too and I put on quite a bit of weight The best thing is how cheap oatmeal is.. And it's great with nuts and fruit mixed in.

Finally, I agree with lifting heavy and focusing on compound exercises. Nothing has worked better for me than good old compound exercises! Also, get plenty of sleep! Happy training!

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