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Hello

I've been weight training at the gym every day for the past 6 months, and have been noticing extremely little progress (the only real mass gain I've noticed is some on my chest) and I think this is down to my vegetarian diet which consists of tiny amounts of protein.

My workout partner has a meat-based diet and has made substantially more progress to me.

My sessions certainly feel like they should be helping me gain muscle, I have reasonable form with all my excercises and have a good understanding of reps and sets and general gym know-how. When I leave the gym after most sessions I can tell my muscles have been ripped apart, I just think the lack of protein in my diet may be seriously hindering the rebuilding of that.

I live in a house with two other vegetarians but as they're women substantial meals with protein in them are rare.

 

Do you think this is the problem?

What simple changes to my diet can I make to help me to bulk?

I try to eat Quorn as often as possible with meals and beans and pulses are sometimes in my meals.

 

I am only 17 so I'm not getting to worried as I know progress will be much more noticeable once I've fully developed but it's quite downheartening putting in so much work and getting no results.

 

Thanks, Charlie.

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Bump up your protein! If you're only eating "tiny amounts" of protein, you won't see major gains. Eat more beans (drink some Vega or other vegan protein drink), eat nuts (as long as you don't mind the fat content), etc. There are plenty of ways to get protein on a veg*an diet, but if you're barely getting any, expect small gains.

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Bump up your protein! If you're only eating "tiny amounts" of protein, you won't see major gains. Eat more beans (drink some Vega or other vegan protein drink), eat nuts (as long as you don't mind the fat content), etc. There are plenty of ways to get protein on a veg*an diet, but if you're barely getting any, expect small gains.

Thanks.

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Bump up your protein! If you're only eating "tiny amounts" of protein, you won't see major gains. Eat more beans (drink some Vega or other vegan protein drink), eat nuts (as long as you don't mind the fat content), etc. There are plenty of ways to get protein on a veg*an diet, but if you're barely getting any, expect small gains.

 

Agreed. Add more tofu, tempeh, seitan, fake meats, protein bars, protein powder, beans, nuts, and seeds to your diet. Some people do fine on a lower protein diet, but for adding serious muscle, good amounts of protein are very helpful!

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What simple changes to my diet can I make to help me to bulk?
Forget protein, just increase the number of calories till you're gaining weight consistently and steadily. Unless you're drinking oil all day, you're going to get more than enough protein. If you're not gaining weight, you're not bulking.

 

I don't care what diet you're following, regardless of what you eat - if you don't eat enough you're not going to gain.

 

 

Curious as well, is this your first 6 months working out, and what's your basic program?

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First six months yeah. Did extreme cardio (10k a day in well under an hour) from November till January, cut down alot of excess fat, since then I've done about 1 hour free weights a day and inconsistent cardio twice a week at most. I don't have an athletic body type generally and I think lack of cardio over the last few months has limited any visible progression or 'ripping' on my torso also due to regression (don't get a particularly balanced diet and without any cutting things are getting lazier and I'm not feeling as good as I was running for an hour a day), but I do pretty tiresome sessions and think I isolate areas quite well, leave the gym for example on back and tricep day feeling ruined but a week later when it comes round again there's nothing there to rip apart. I do a weeks plan from Monday (Chest and Biceps), Tuesday (Back and Triceps), Wednesday (Shoulders and Abs), Thursday (Legs and Abs), Friday + Saturday (some Cardio). Try to mix it up every 3 or 4 weeks to keep things different and try to add in new excercises when I come across them. The minimum I'll do for each excercise is usually 6 sets including 2 drop sets and a burn set.

 

As you can imagine my heart and general fitness and body shape was pretty good after a few months of solid cardio and I was feeling really good about myself, now, short of going back to the gym in the evenings (go at 7 a.m. now) and doing an hour or so on a treadmill as well as my morning workouts I'm just feeling defeated by this lack of progress and almost total regression in terms of cardio by now.

 

Have always considered protein powder, but never thought it would make much of a difference on its own without solid protein in my diet anyway and it just being a supplement.

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Forget protein, just increase the number of calories till you're gaining weight consistently and steadily

 

I'll agree with this too. He just said that he was eating very little protein, but yes, lots of calories is a must as well!

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If your primary goal is to put on mass, then you need to cut back on the cardio or, at the very least, make sure you're getting enough extra calories to compensate for those you're burning during your cardio sessions.

 

Figure out how many calories you need per day to maintain your current size (generally 14-16 cals per lb of bodyweight), add to that whatever you're likely to burn off through cardio, and then add to that a surplus of roughly 250-300 calories so that you can grow. There's no need to go crazy and eat huge amounts of food; remember that you can only realistically expect to put on a maximum of somewhere between 0.25 and 0.5 lbs of lean tissue per week, anything beyond that is fat and water.

 

Try to split your meals up so that you're eating every 2.5 hours or so.

 

Focus on heavy compound movements (bench press, squats, deadlift, pull-ups, dips, bent-over row) and don't worry about isolation exercises for now. Track your progress in the gym and make sure that you're adding more weight to each lift as time goes by; if 6 months from now you're still bench pressing the same weight for the same number of reps, then you can be almost certain that you didn't put on any muscle.

 

Immediately following your workout, drink a protein shake mixed with some simple carbs, then a solid meal about 2 hours later.

 

Get lots of rest.

 

Good luck!

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Hey Charlie I think bumping up your protein intake is definitely a huge must. Remember that you can still have lots of protein in your diet and still be vegitarian, it's just not going to be natural protein obviously. You're just going to have to be drinking protein drinks with non-milk based protein drinks (I'm guessing you don't drink milk either). Or just mix protein with water or whatever.

 

Also make sure you are not getting into a "routine" at the gym. Too many people go in the gym and do the same thing every time. Make sure to really switch it up to shock your muscles. Do crazy exercises sometimes. Do crazy amounts of reps sometimes. Shock your muscles by changing it up...and of course up the protein!

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I have never once made progress in 24 years of training whenever I trained everyday!!!

I find I need to have rest days and I don't train more than about an hour at a time. Right now I am making great gains at 41 training 4 days a week - M/T, Wednesday off and then T/F with the weekend off except maybe some cardio or tennis.

 

Try lowering your volume and frequency and concentrate on compound movements.

Some of my best results are training 3 or 4 days a week. In college I had good results training 5 days a week but could have easily done 4 days or less with the right program.

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I have never once made progress in 24 years of training whenever I trained everyday!!!

I find I need to have rest days and I don't train more than about an hour at a time. Right now I am making great gains at 41 training 4 days a week - M/T, Wednesday off and then T/F with the weekend off except maybe some cardio or tennis.

 

Try lowering your volume and frequency and concentrate on compound movements.

Some of my best results are training 3 or 4 days a week. In college I had good results training 5 days a week but could have easily done 4 days or less with the right program.

This is the best advice right here.

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Hey cs123, you might ought to reconsider your training program, the way you have it set up you do chest on monday, when you work your chest you also work your front delts(front of your shoulders) and triceps, then tuesday you workout your triceps, then wednesday you work out your shoulders which would cause you to workout your triceps again to some extent. Either way your triceps get worked 3 days in a row without rest, so maybe you should change up your workouts, you could do your leg day after you chest day instead

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