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    Old 09-16-2006, 11:58 PM   #1
    mrpringle
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    Gaining muscle, but not weight

    Hey,
    I am a 21 year old male, somewhere between 5ft 10 and 5ft 11 and I weigh around 65kg (145lbs). I eat plenty of food. Today for lunch I ate a footlong sub, and followed it up with a nandos chicken wrap.
    About 4-5 months ago I got gym membership. Initially I was going 3 days per week, but about one and a half months ago I decided that I would go 5 days / week, Mon-Fri.

    I have been lifting more, and my biceps are getting noticeably bigger, but I am not putting on much weight, maybe about 1-2Kg at the most.

    I am just wondering if this is normal, and what I can do to increase my weight a bit. I eat chicken a fair bit, I do not like fish, but don't mind tuna.

    thanks

    Last edited by mrpringle; 09-17-2006 at 04:43 PM.

     
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    Old 09-17-2006, 06:07 AM   #2
    chopsky
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    Re: Gaining muscle, but not weight

    In order to put on weight, you just need to eat more. That simple. It's all about calories in vs calories out. Limit your cardio as well. It also depends on what youre doing on those 5 days youre at the gym. If 3/4 of the 5 days are cardio days, then that's why youre not putting on weight.

    Mmm..nandos.

     
    Old 09-17-2006, 04:39 PM   #3
    mrpringle
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    Re: Gaining muscle, but not weight

    I'm not doing any cardio. I was playing AFL football for my uni which finished 3 weeks ago. I was training for that 2 days a week, plus 1 day for games.

    At the gym i'm rotating between back, legs, abs, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps. I'm not spending much time on legs and back though.

    I don't starve myself, I'm always eating plenty of food, everyone is surprised at how much I can eat. I don't think I could eat any more food without really forcing it down.

    Last edited by mrpringle; 09-17-2006 at 04:46 PM.

     
    Old 09-18-2006, 05:40 PM   #4
    orl770
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    Re: Gaining muscle, but not weight

    You may be gaining muscle while losing fat and this would not show up as a net weight gain. You need to measure both your overall weight and your lean body mass (as determined by your body fat percentage).

    If you stay the same weight over, say, the course of 1-2 weeks, but you body fat goes down and your lean mass goes up, you will not 'gain weight' but you are adding lean muscle, which is exactly what you want.

    On the other hand, if you are overtraining, then your body is never fully recovering from the weight training which means it never adds any mass.

    It sounds like you are getting enough calories, but this too is a determining factor. You need to be in calorie surplus to add muscle mass. You need to calculate your TDEE (Total Dietary Energy Expenditure) and eat about 60 calories extra per day to add mass.

    Also, if your weight training does not include overloading the muscle being worked with more load each and every workout, you will not stimulate new muscle growth.

    This subject is pretty broad, so I can't go into all of the details, but basically:

    1) Eat above your TDEE
    2) Get enough rest
    3) Eat the right combination of 'clean' food (eating junk will destroy your progress)
    4) Be sure to overload (increase) the weight you are lifting for each exercise from workout to workout
    5) If you are not able to increase the weight from last workout, you are overtraining and need to space out your workouts more

     
    Old 09-18-2006, 09:51 PM   #5
    mrpringle
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    Re: Gaining muscle, but not weight

    thanks for your reply.

    I don't think I am overtraining.
    I am spending about an hour a day on average at the gym. Every second day I am working on my biceps, chest, and legs, other days I'm dong my shoulders, arms, triceps, and I try to fit in a set of situps between the more straining exercises so I have a short rest time. I also do a couple of sets of back extensions before every workout.

    Quote:
    4) Be sure to overload (increase) the weight you are lifting for each exercise from workout to workout
    Could you please just clear up that point a little, because to me, it sounds like this:
    On Monday I did 3 sets of 8 bicep barbell curls using a 60lbs barbell. THen on Wednesday I would have to increase it to say 65lbs, then Friday, 70lbs and so on.
    Obviously as I kept increasing the weights I wouldn't be able to do as many repetitions, no matter how long I gave my body to rest. Maybe I've got the concept wrong.

    Quote:
    5) If you are not able to increase the weight from last workout, you are overtraining and need to space out your workouts more
    I'm am a little unsure of the specifics when you say, "If you are not able to increase the weights from the last workout."
    Does this classify as not being able to do the same number of reps? Not being able to lift it at all.

    Thanks

     
    Old 09-19-2006, 10:54 AM   #6
    davej24
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    Re: Gaining muscle, but not weight

    The goal is to increase work, either by increasing weight lifted @ same reps or increasing reps lifted @ same weight.

    You mentioned you dont work legs and back as much, and those are among the biggest muscles. Try stressing them more. You might want to consider eating more calories, probably carbs and fat (it seems you are getting enough protein). Eating an extra 30g of carbs and 10g of fat will increase your daily intake by 210 calories.

     
    Old 09-20-2006, 07:38 AM   #7
    Willapp
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    Re: Gaining muscle, but not weight

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrpringle
    Could you please just clear up that point a little, because to me, it sounds like this:
    On Monday I did 3 sets of 8 bicep barbell curls using a 60lbs barbell. THen on Wednesday I would have to increase it to say 65lbs, then Friday, 70lbs and so on.
    Obviously as I kept increasing the weights I wouldn't be able to do as many repetitions, no matter how long I gave my body to rest. Maybe I've got the concept wrong.
    You've got the concept right, but you don't have to increase the weight each time you do the exercise. To stimulate the best muscle growth, variety really is the key. Once you body gets used to doing the same exercises, with the same reps/weight, you simply won't grow anymore.

    Most people agree that there are 3 ways you can stimulate slightly different muscle growth:

    1) Doing few reps of VERY heavy weight. Say 3 - 6 reps per set but using a weight that all you can manage is that amount of reps. Take as much as 2 minutes rest between sets to ensure muscle recovery. This is best for stimulating pure strength increase

    2) Doing a moderate amount of reps with moderate weight. Say 8 - 12 reps per set, again using a weight that you can only manage this amount of reps on. Take between 60 - 90 seconds rest between sets, and do no more than 4 sets per exercise (plus maybe one or two light warmup sets). This stimulates hypertrophy which is muscle size increase (some strength increase is also inevtiable as a result of the size increase).

    3) Doing high reps with a relatively light weight. 14 - 20 reps per set, max 60 seconds rest between sets. Again 4 sets max. This stimulates endurance gain which allows you to work harder for longer.


    Ideally you want a training program that incorporates all 3 of these training types. For example you could do something like:

    Week 1: Hypertrophy
    Week 2: Strength
    Week 3: Endurance

    Then repeat this once or twice before taking a rest week. Rest is ESSENTIAL for muscle growth, which brings me to my next point - I think training 5 consecutive days is a big mistake. You're likely to overtrain at some point or other.

    I personally recommend at least one day off between weight training sessions, which effectively limits you to 4 sessions a week. This is plenty though if you're doing the right stuff as suggested above. Work harder and smarter, not longer.

    Every time you complete a cycle as suggested above (3 weeks), try and increase the weight you do for each exercise, even if it's just by a few pounds. Don't worry if you only make say 4 reps on the last set instead of the 6 you wanted - this is fine and just indicates that you're working to positive failure which is a good indication that you'll stimulate good growth.

    Also don't be afraid of lowering the weight to accomodate the different training types I mention above. Progress isn't always about lifting heavy all the time. For example, when training for pure strength I do sets of 4 - 6 reps bench press with 100kgs. When training for hypertrophy I lower the weight to about 85kgs to allow me to get the 8 - 12 reps that I aim for. Endurance I lower again to more like 70kgs which does feel light for the first 10 reps, but it's struggle to hit 20 reps!

    Also vary the exercises you do - don't stick to the same old barbell curls each week, instead alternate with hammer curls, ******** curls or even better do some pull ups (weighted if necessary) as these are also great for working the back muscles at the same time. Likewise don't stick with standard barbell bench press, but also use dumbbell presses, chest flyes etc.

    Last edited by Willapp; 09-20-2006 at 07:50 AM.

     
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