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Trying to add mass to my frame - struggling!!!

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  • #46
    Originally posted by kitoi View Post
    3-5 reps is not going to put mass on but will make you strong. Up the reps to 8-15 to get some hypertrophy. Add in peroidization every 4wks, mix things up to stimulate muscle growth. Keep the intensity up and volume high.
    Isn't that low rep range the premise behind programs like Starting Strength and 5/3/1? And as far as I have heard, they put on tons of mass, along with strength? Maybe I'm wrong.

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    • #47
      I think SS and similar programs focus on strength and tell you that the mass will come along with the strength automatically and you'll be better off in the long run. You can gain the mass and size without all of the strength with hypertrophy and I think it is considered to be easier. Strength vs hypertrophy training is the main reason elite power lifters are considered to be stronger than elite bodybuilders.

      If you want to be big but aren't as concerned about being strong, I think you can do it easier than following SS, Stronglifts 5x5, 5/3/1, etc.
      Last edited by dgreenwood; 08-22-2012, 06:16 PM.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by dgreenwood View Post
        I think SS and similar programs focus on strength and tell you that the mass will come along with the strength automatically and you'll be better off in the long run. You can gain the mass and size without all of the strength with hypertrophy and I think it is considered to be easier. Strength vs hypertrophy training is the main reason elite power lifters are considered to be stronger than elite bodybuilders.

        If you want to be big but aren't as concerned about being strong, I think you can do it easier than following SS, Stronglifts 5x5, 5/3/1, etc.
        I don't really care about being big. Just bigger. And yes, there will obviously be a corresponding increase in muscle size with muscle strength. Do I want 20 inch arms? Hell no. I look great in a suit now and want to keep it that way. Do I want to be able to deadlift and squat respectable figures? Hell, YES!

        So in that case, I think SS and/or 5/3/1 is just for me. Once I get settled in, and get my cage up, I'll be focused on these programs.

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        • #49
          I like that 3-5 range.. Not really looking for hypertrophy, but more that density you can only get with getting stronger.. Would rather have dense, hard & strong muscle rather than puffed & soft tissue

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          • #50
            I have a similar problem. I can't seem to gain no-matter how much I eat. I've even added a couple potatoes a day to what I've already been eating. I think it has to do with my training. I do Powerlifting training and I think there just isn't enough volume this far into my cycle.
            sigpic

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            • #51
              I'm going to say it again. Its ALL about genetics. Guys who get big generally don't have any special training plan. In fact guys who are really gifted in the genetics department usually have terrible form in the gym. They heave the weights around using momentum etc. They get big easily because they have the right body to start with. Most people fall somewhere in between. Most have to train much harder and in stricter form just to make meaningful progress.

              If you have been training hard for a while as in a year or three and no matter what you do, you can't seem to gain any mass, it is NOT magically going to happen for you someday. It simply isn't. The idea that almost everyone can build a huge physique is ridiculous! The truth is that almost nobody can. The good news is that most can improve what they do have in some measure.

              It may be a bitter pill to swallow for some but it is what it is. Take a sensible approach. Train very hard, get out of gym and have fun with lots of different things. Your body will respond how it is going to. Trying to force it to do something it won't will only lead to frustration and burnout.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Forever Young View Post
                I'm going to say it again. Its ALL about genetics. Guys who get big generally don't have any special training plan. In fact guys who are really gifted in the genetics department usually have terrible form in the gym. They heave the weights around using momentum etc. They get big easily because they have the right body to start with. Most people fall somewhere in between. Most have to train much harder and in stricter form just to make meaningful progress.

                If you have been training hard for a while as in a year or three and no matter what you do, you can't seem to gain any mass, it is NOT magically going to happen for you someday. It simply isn't. The idea that almost everyone can build a huge physique is ridiculous! The truth is that almost nobody can. The good news is that most can improve what they do have in some measure.

                It may be a bitter pill to swallow for some but it is what it is. Take a sensible approach. Train very hard, get out of gym and have fun with lots of different things. Your body will respond how it is going to. Trying to force it to do something it won't will only lead to frustration and burnout.
                I'm sorry but that is complete rubbish. No one can gain mass? I'll bet if you increased your dietary caloric intake to 5000 calories and above, maintaining a low carb, paleo approach, you could do it.

                And why not toss in some AAS for good measure? You don't think all these huge guys with poor form aren't doing it? Because I would wager a guess that they are.

                You repeating that statement doesn't make it any more true than when you first tossed it out.

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                • #53
                  How tall are you?

                  I know plenty of guys with shitty genetics that put on a fair amount of size.

                  5/3/1 makes your muscles strong and dense, 8/15 makes the big and puffy. Why not alternate them to have the best of both. One month low reps, next month med to high. What you got to loose?
                  http://kitoikitchen.blogspot.com/

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by MouthDR View Post
                    I'm sorry but that is complete rubbish. No one can gain mass? I'll bet if you increased your dietary caloric intake to 5000 calories and above, maintaining a low carb, paleo approach, you could do it.

                    And why not toss in some AAS for good measure? You don't think all these huge guys with poor form aren't doing it? Because I would wager a guess that they are.

                    You repeating that statement doesn't make it any more true than when you first tossed it out.
                    You've twice completely missed my point. I didn't say nobody can build mass. I did say that almost nobody will get HUGE. Oh and yes the massive guys are most certainly doing it. This discussion was not about that. Its about adding mass naturally. I stand by what I said. We ALL have a limit to how much mass we can build. What that is only time and work will tell. But if you have busted your ass in the gym, ate lots of food and have been doing it for a few years I can tell you without a doubt that you will be at or pretty close to your upper potential and that all the eating, training, wishing and hoping in the world aren't suddenly going to add up to packing on lots more muscle.

                    I just don't see what is so hard to understand about this?? It is obvious. Oh and I don't have the problem of not having mass. But then I never really did. I train hard and it at least looks like I workout. Again, its genetics. Everything in life is.

                    You thinking that somehow you'll magically get huge one day over and over isn't going to make it so.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by kitoi View Post
                      How tall are you?

                      I know plenty of guys with shitty genetics that put on a fair amount of size.

                      5/3/1 makes your muscles strong and dense, 8/15 makes the big and puffy. Why not alternate them to have the best of both. One month low reps, next month med to high. What you got to loose?

                      Yes they put on what THEIR genetics would allow. I get that! But make no mistake there are people with really shitty genetics as you say. They make little if any improvement. They are though at the other end of the spectrum and most can indeed make some meaningful progress.

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                      • #56
                        I can only sympathize with the OP because I'm almost in the same boat: 6'5'', around 190 lbs, 31 years old, sort of struggling to gain muscle mass.

                        Not that my training is particularly hard - I do bodyweight exercises almost daily or every other day (from the book Convict Conditioning). I'm sort of fed up with my disproportionately tiny chest and back (check this one), and I will switch to doing 100 pushups and 50 pullups spread thought the day how I see fit, 6 times a week, for 3 weeks, then a break for an about a week. It's sort of Greasing The Groove protocol, but with the addition of promise of gaining muscle mass in the upper body. The idea is from this article: Big Back, Big Chest, Real Fast

                        I also walk everyday to work with brisk pace (6 miles/10 km).

                        My eating of fairly simple but I wouldn't say that its not enough. A typical day:

                        For lunch (at around 1 PM)
                        * A little under a pound of grilled pork (400 gr)

                        In the evening (from 7 PM to 2 AM):
                        * 4 lbs (2 kg) bananas and/or some other fruit, certainly a kilogram or two (currently, nectarines, watermellon, figs)
                        * Huge salad (around a kilogram)
                        * homemade pesto from 2 oz almonds and 1/3 cup of olive oil (no parmezan cheese!)
                        * 7-11 oz (200-300 gr) of grilled fish - mackerel or trout
                        * 8-10 boiled medium eggs

                        I haven't calculated the calories but I would guess they are in the ballpark of 4000 kcal, maybe even more.

                        Just to mention that I'm not one of those 'genetic' lucky bastards that can eat a whole lot of junk and never gain fat. On the contrary: when I eat hardcore junk or even just primal-ish but with dairy and butter, and this is for more than a day or two, I slowly but visibly start to gain fat and to put on weight.
                        Last edited by trippplez; 08-25-2012, 06:56 AM.
                        Me@twitter

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                        • #57
                          Trippplez,

                          Just work with what you have. Its all any of us can do. At some point we accept what our individual limits are and we go from there.

                          I enjoy training still but my perspective is different than it was years ago. I could spend several more hours in the gym each week and obsess over everything I eat. I'm done with that though. I train very hard but very briefly and infrequently relatively speaking. The fact is that my physique is pretty close to what it would be if I spent hours a week working out. I have no wear and tear issues i.e. sore joints etc. I have lots of time to do lots of other things and I'm decently strong and feel great almost all the time. That is where its at for me now. Its about maintaining my youth for as long as possible.

                          As to your lagging areas. All you can do is work to make them THEIR best. We all are born with a certain amount of muscle cells and a certain shape in each area. Just look at people from the same family. They will generally all have that same shape, size etc. I happen to have a decent size chest and my forearms are like Popeye's. People ask me what I do for them and the answer is nothing! Same with calves. I do little direct calf work and have decent calves but I always did.

                          Do your best, go on with the rest of life and don't sweat it. Have fun with it and everything else.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Forever Young View Post
                            You've twice completely missed my point. I didn't say nobody can build mass. I did say that almost nobody will get HUGE. Oh and yes the massive guys are most certainly doing it. This discussion was not about that. Its about adding mass naturally. I stand by what I said. We ALL have a limit to how much mass we can build. What that is only time and work will tell. But if you have busted your ass in the gym, ate lots of food and have been doing it for a few years I can tell you without a doubt that you will be at or pretty close to your upper potential and that all the eating, training, wishing and hoping in the world aren't suddenly going to add up to packing on lots more muscle.

                            I just don't see what is so hard to understand about this?? It is obvious. Oh and I don't have the problem of not having mass. But then I never really did. I train hard and it at least looks like I workout. Again, its genetics. Everything in life is.

                            You thinking that somehow you'll magically get huge one day over and over isn't going to make it so.
                            Define huge? You did read that I want to get to about 225 lbs on a 6'5" frame right? And you did read that I was once at 240 lbs correct? Because it sounds like you are making some condescending comments, which seem to be directed at me for suggesting that genetics play a limited role in mass.

                            If you think that a natural 225 is huge, well then, we have different definitions of that term.


                            Update: weighed in at 202 lbs and the weird thing is, that I seem to be a lot more lean than ever before! LOL And, I haven't trained all week, so is it possible that I was over-training? Hmmm...... Trained this morning and my lifts are all up. Is it possible that adding a significant amount of sheep/goat dairy to my diet did all this???

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                            • #59
                              So claiming that what one says is complete rubbish wouldn't be condescending? Oh it would and it is.

                              So genetics plays a LIMITED role in mass? Ok. You are right. Anyone can pack on muscle no matter what body type or genetic makeup they have. Right!

                              How much muscle YOU can build as well as how much anybody else can ultimately build is COMPLETELY dependent upon genetics. I simply can't fathom how this is such a difficult concept to grasp.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Forever Young View Post
                                So claiming that what one says is complete rubbish wouldn't be condescending? Oh it would and it is.

                                So genetics plays a LIMITED role in mass? Ok. You are right. Anyone can pack on muscle no matter what body type or genetic makeup they have. Right!

                                How much muscle YOU can build as well as how much anybody else can ultimately build is COMPLETELY dependent upon genetics. I simply can't fathom how this is such a difficult concept to grasp.
                                I was a genetic engineer in the past. Not sure exactly what education you have on the subject but I can assure you that genetics is not as simple as you seem to think it is.

                                This banter has not helped my OP and has derailed my thread. Let's move on.

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