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Am I gaining too slowly?

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First of all, English is not my mother tongue but I still hope what I write makes sense to you Bear with me!


I'm a 29 year old woman, 1,61 m (5.2 ft) tall, 50 kg (110 lbs), and I have been vegan for four years now. In February 2016 I startet working out as I had troubles with my heart due to stress. That's why I did cardio (running, cycling) according to my doctor. After three month I started weight training - and I liked it! My heart is okay now, I no longer have any troubles with it.


I started weight training with the livefit programm by Jamie Eason (bodybuilding.com), which I found 6 weeks later was totally insane. After six weeks I was overtraining so hard, that I could not fall asleep at night. When I slept I had to sleep 10 to 12 hours. My body hurt so much that I needed help from my husband getting dressed. I lost my appetite completely but forced myself to eat enough. That was when I looked for another program. I stumbled on aworkoutroutine.com. This was half the work (if not less) and I started to actually enjoy weight lifting again and feeling good.


Unfortunately I'm not the healthiest person, so I wasn't able to do all the suggested exercises (hurt my tailbone two years ago), so I changed them to fit my needs. I'm now into 6 month of working out.


This is my schedule:



Upper Body Workout (twice a week):

Bench Press

Shoulder Press

Cable Row OR Lat Pulldowns

Bicep Curl

Tricep Press Down (I think it's called)

Delt raise


Lower Body (twice a week)




Leg Press

Abs (Crunches, Leg Raise)


3 sets each, 8-10 reps. Once I reach 10 reps, I use more weight the next time.


Two weeks ago I started to incorporate HIIT-Routines (2-4 times a week).





I tracked what I eat for four weeks (well... this sentence is certainly not correct) to see where I'm going wrong. After those four weeks I stopped, as I got too obsessed with it... also it was annoying. What I learned from it was that I probably don't eat enough fat (only 30 g a day) and that I have to eat more protein. But I'm doing this now (try to go with 50 g protein (that is 1g of protein per 1kg bodyweight) a day and as I eat a lot of salads I just use more oil). I usually drink water only, when I eat bread or noodles, there are always whole grain. I eat a lot of lentils, beans, tofu, as well as nuts, vegetables, fruits. I do not really have a sweet tooth (lucky me). So all in all I think I eat really healthy. We eat at restaurants roughly once a week. This might be a not so healthy meal. But that's one meal in a whole week.


Although I feel like I'm doing everything right, it seems like I don't. Because within 6 month, this is my progress (sorry, those pictures are huge).






I mean... there is hardly a difference. My goal was to build muscle and then reduce my body fat. The only thing that happened was, that I now have a tiny biceps! I don't see that my legs got bigger, I don't see any muscles on my back (sorry, i don't have photos of that)... I did not lose fat really. My weight is the same. I really don't get how this is even possible


What am I doing wrong? If I ate too little, I should have lost more fat, right? If I ate enough, I should have gained more muscle by now.


Any advice? Am I doing something wrong or does it just take more time than that?

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Hi there, and welcome:)


Indeed, gaining muscle can be a painfully slow process, especially as a natural trainee, so dont be too hard on yourself....


Based on what youve stated, my advice would be as follows....


After 26 years of training ive noted this, the number one reason as to why people dont see results from their training, is almost always because they train far too long and with no were near the intensity of effort required to warrant an adaptive response, after all, results are proportional to the intensity of effort. So you need to find a balance between intensity, volume and frequency that is just right for you. May take a bit of self experimenting.


Looking at your routine, its not to bad at all, although I think theres a bit too much overlapping around the hip going on in your lower body workouts. Perhaps go with deadlifts and lunges one workout, and then squats and leg press the next and add calf movement for balance, just a thought. Also, try mixing up your rep ranges, shoot for as little 4-6 reps one week, 8-12 reps the next etc, also salt in different techniques, such as rest pause, pre exhaustion, constant tension, static holds, negative accentuated etc.


When it comes to diet, I would recommend you check out Pauline Nordins fighter diet, shes a very good vegan version, Pauline advocates a much higher amount of protein, I believe shes around your size, but consumes over 220g of protein per day, that coupled with more healthy fats a lots of veggies.


Perhaps JMF could chime in here, hes a bit more clued in on diet than me.


Best of luck


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<3 thank you very much! I will alter the lower body workout (I felt this was to much...).

I think I'm okay with the intensity. While doing deadlifts for instance, I'm almost always on the verge to drop the bar as I cannot hold it any longer. Or sometimes during Benchpress there is no way I can move the dumbbell any further. It does not hurt but my hands just won't do it... In squats I notice to lose my form if I'm going to heavy. The weights I lift are a joke, I know, but my babymuscles can't handle any more =(


I don't know how I will ever eat that much But I will check her out for sure! Thank you for your advice! =)

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