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Exercise & Fitness Message Board

Exercise & Fitness Board Index

Hi everyone. I've been having an extremely hard time trying to gain muscle. I've been lifting for almost 2 months now, but see no results! I have a pretty good workout routine suggested from a friend who plays football. Example: (Chest - Benchpress with dumbells, 3 sets of 10, 8, 6, rest period 2 min, adding little weight between sets). I have similar workouts for my biceps and triceps. The weird thing is, after I lift, my muscles get a lot larger. But after 3 days, they shrink back down again! The only supplement I take is protein powder. I just don't understand why my muscles always shrink after 3 days! Please help.
Well, for starters, you don't want to jump right into a mass/strength routine. You should spend at least 3 months in a routine where you're working with 50-55% of your 1-rep max weight doing 3 sets of 10-11 reps.

After that, for mass, you want to do 4 sets. 1st set is 10 reps, 2nd set is 8 reps, 3rd set is 6 reps, and 4th set is 4 reps. At first, you want to increase the weight in 5 lb increments on each set(i.e. 115x10/120x8/125x6/130x4). Once you're able to do 135-140 lbs on the last set, you'll want to increase the weight in 10 lb increments on each set(i.e. 110x10/120x8/130x6/140x4).
Mondays/Thursdays do upper body "push" exercises working from the larger muscles down to the smaller ones(chest, shoulders, then tricepts).
Tuesdays/Fridays do lower body & upper body "pull" exercises in the same manner. Legs(leg press, leg extensions, leg curls, then calf raises), Back(Lat pulldowns, and then rows) and lastly, Bicepts(curl bar, and then hammer curls.)
While others like to follow a different routine, this one is mainly designed to keep you from working the same muscles too much(i.e. overtraining). For example, you don't want to do bicepts the day before, and then do pulldowns & rows on the next day or vise-versa since working the back muscles also invlove using the bicepts. This way you'll be able to hit them both hard in the same day and allow 2 days rest until you hit them again.

Proper diet is important, too. The idea isn't to simply eat a lot of protein. You don't want to just eat 3 big meals. The key is to intake a steady flow(4-5 meals per day). In the mornings(first 2 meals) is when you want to take in a majority of your complex carbs(fruits), whole grain cereal/bread, etc.. Then around noontime hours, maybe have 2 more meals(antipasto salad, romaine salad, or other leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and throw in a turkey sandwich/salad). You should space your meals apart by 2-3 hours. I workout in the late afternoons, so I have plenty of energy for my workouts following this diet. Also, make sure you're getting at least 30-40 grams of protein per meal. My advice would be to stick with lean meats. Powdered protein is fine, too, but make sure it has the BCAA's(Branched Chain Amino Acids). Depending on how much more foul smelling gas you want to expunge on a daily basis, I would avoid the protein supplements that have any kind of egg protein in them & stick with the whey protein. The vegetables alone give me more than enough gas, heh.
Keep in mind that you want to be looking more for strength improvements and less on weight gain. Otherwise you'll be putting on more fat than muscle if you keep on trying to eat more & more, which isn't good. Believe it or not, I haven't had much weight increase for the past couple of weeks, but my strength has improved. That's why its important to also keep a record of the amount of weight you're working with week by week & your body weight. Usually the best time to weigh yourself is in the morning before you eat anything.

Drinking plenty of water is important, too. I try to drink at least a gallon each day. Water helps your body cleanse itself. The body can't build new muscle very well if its unable to get rid of all the other waste material in the way due to lacking a steady flow of water.

"I may be fat, but I most certainly carry more weight around than your narrow butt everyday." -phat food for thought

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