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  1. Ha no plans to compete at bb-ing or anything else! I just work out to keep in reasonable shape as I get older - I'm 36 & it's at about this age that all my older male relatives have gotten fat. Part of it also is showing that you can be strong on a vegan diet. I used to get loads of sh*t from friends & colleagues about my diet, but I don't get any now I'm bigger than all of them. I don't have any pics I'm afraid; I'm 6ft 0" tall & I reckon I weigh about 210lb; don't know what my bodyfat is but abs are just about visible under strong lighting!!). I don't eat huge amounts as I'm not looking to get huge (I did get up to 235lb a few years back but just felt too unfit). I don't measure calories or macros much, but I reckon I get about 180-200g protein per day. I keep carbs fairly low apart from gym days where I eat more.
  2. Basically split routines were popularised back in the 70s when pro bodybuilders started using them - this was also about the time that heavy steroid use become much more common. The theory is that by taking steroids & then training a bodypart once per week you can totally smash it into oblivion with a huge amount of volume (that would most likely cause injury otherwise) and then give the muscle fibres a full 7 days to repair & grow. If you're training naturally (i.e. with chemical assistance) firstly you can't get away with the same amount of volume per session & secondly your window for growth is much lower - around 48 hours rather than 1 week. This isn't an exact science & I'm sure there are natural folks who do well on a split routine (usually people who are experienced trainers with many years behind them), but personally I think full-body is better. Bear in mind that if you're a relatively novice gym-goer then pretty much any routine will work for a few months - the shock of any type of resistance training will cause you to grow. However as time goes on you need to be more sure that you're using a routine that works for you & your goals. Currently I use a full-body routine 3 times per week. My basic pattern is simply just Squats-Weighted dips-Weighted pull-ups & I train Mon-Wed-Friday. I vary which exercise goes 1st/2nd/3rd & vary the set/rep patterns (anything from 3x6 to 3x12) but that's pretty much it really; extremely basic as you can see! I throw in some other crap if time allows like prowler, ball slams, gymnastic rings. 2/3 times per week on non-gym days I spend 30 mins throwing a kettlebell around in the garden for conditioning purposes - usually just high-rep swings & snatches to get the blood pumping.
  3. Ah OK that makes sense now! Personally I don't think you'll need to eat that much to add mass given what you currently weigh, but just give it a try & see how it goes - if you find that you're adding to much bodyfat just drop the calories slightly. How long have you been training? The 4 day split you've got there is best suited to advanced bodybuilders & people using steroids. Have you tried doing a full-body routine?
  4. At your bodyweight & with all you're eating I'm surprised you're not gaining loads of weight. Are you doing loads of cardio in addition to weights - could be one reason you're not adding size. What's your exercise routine?
  5. Agree 100%. It's got to the stage now where you can't even politely suggest that just maybe it's not optimal for someone's health to be 100lb overweight without someone accusing you of being a privileged fascist. Apparently the laws of medicine and thermodynamics don't apply to them. I've particularly noticed this attitude gaining popularity within the vegan community. It seems that some vegans almost take a sense a pride from the fact they manage to be fat whilst consuming only plant-based foods. I remember when I first went vegan nearly 20 years ago the vegan stereotype was skinny hippies; it seems now to have changed to tubby cakemonsters. People are free to make their own choices & to each their own, but they should be aware that being overtly over/underweight makes them a terrible advert for veganism.
  6. 2 blocks of tofu is I'm guessing around 60-70g soya protein. How much is that of your total protein consumption per day? As a female I'm guessing you're not nailing huge amounts of protein. I get around 50-60g soya protein per day, out of a total of 200g. The rest comes from peanut butter, almonds, pea protein in shakes, chick peas, oats, beans & so on. There's no conclusive proof soya is bad for you, despite the fact your average gym-goer will recoil in horror if you mention tofu! I limit my intake purely because I don't want to over-rely on one single source of protein.
  7. Personally I'd increase fats & decrease carbs. I would get fat as hell on that many carbs! Doesn't make any difference is the food is organic or not in my opinion. How big are you currently? How many calories do you need for maintenance? If you want to add mass without packing on too much bodyfat you don't really want to go more than 10% over the maintenance amount.
  8. You don't want to be 'that guy' (and every gym has one) who's got an impressive upper body but legs like a 5 year old girl. There's no getting away from the fact that squats are tough - if you've not squatted before then your body will be in a state of shock for a few weeks whilst it gets used to the added strain. Make sure your technique is good and keep at it.
  9. Myprotein has the best range of products undoubtedly, but their customer service can be pretty bad & they aren't the cheapest. Ironscience is my personal preference.
  10. Whilst I agree with the above, to a certain extent you aren't always going to feel great after a tough workout. For instance on leg day & when I've done sprint training I often feel physically sick by the time I've finished.
  11. I'm in a very similar situation - I really screwed up my L4/5 area about 4 years ago & have had to completely change the way I work out. I don't deadlift, squat, bench or overhead press as these movements all really aggrevate my back. I second the above recommendation for the Ironmind hip squat belt - not cheap but a worthwhile investment. Yes getting the hang of the movement can be tricky (requires serious balance) & finding the right set up for you can be a pain (I've tried 3 or 4 different methods with the belt & have now settled on just threading plates onto the belt strap and then squatting between between 2 elevated step aerobic platforms). I also love walking dumbell lunges, although be careful to begin with because although there is a lot less spinal loading then if you had a barbell across your back your core will still be working hard with this exercise. Lunges really hit the hams/glutes hard if you do long strides so this will also help compensate for lack of deadlifts. Glute ham raises (GHR) are another excellent posterior chain exercise. Besides hip squats, walking lunges & GHRs, my other go-to exercise for legs is Bulgarian split squats using dumbells - a really brutal exercise where you don't need much weight to generate serious resistance. As Veganessentials said be very careful with the leg press; I avoid it completely as, contrary to popular belief, this exercise causes massive spinal loading. Personally I have no aspiration to barbell squat or deadlift again as I'm not a powerlifter, can work around things easily enough & basically don't want to risk a serious injury. I'm bigger & stronger now than I was when using a barbell-based workout; it can be done so keep positive & don't give up Edited to add: Sprints are also a fantastic exercise for leg strength, but they are incredibly stressful on the body so don't do them unless you're well warmed up & pain-free.
  12. To be fair most vegans I know have shockingly low levels of protein in their diets. Not helped by the fact that some pro-vegan literature you'll see seeks to make a virtue of this fact. Regarding Bulkpowders, their customer service is terrible. Last few times I ordered it took ages to arrive & it's very difficult to get hold of them (they don't publish their phone number anywhere so I had to get hold of it on the grapevine). If you want decent cheap supplements & good service your best bet is http://www.ironscience.co.uk/.
  13. Every time I hit the gym I'll be squatting and/or doing gymnastic ring work like levers & L-sits, so my abs get worked 3 times a week. Personally I don't bother with separate ab/core work any more.
  14. My gym is based in an industrial unit with a tin roof & loads of holes. Consequently it's insanely hot in the summer & insanely cold in the winter - there's literally ice on the floor sometimes!
  15. Just my opinion I think you've got way too much volume, mainly down to all the isolation work you're doing, & you're not eating enough (not much protein either from what I can see).
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