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Classing Myself as a Beginner (due to lack gains)

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2011/03/26 10:49:43 (permalink)

Classing Myself as a Beginner (due to lack gains)

Hello to all,
I am posting this thread as if I am a complete beginner. The reason behind this is due to the lack of much happening in the 6 months I have been weight lifting. I know many people provide there info on here for critique, so if I  may do the same I would appreciate any thoughts. I then want to start a journal because I am hoping with your guys/gals help I will get the opportunity to actually need to record progression.
Firstly, without getting my violins out, I just want to explain my desire to achieve a body building goal. I am 27 years old and I have lifted weights on and off for about 10 years. The reason being that I have always been a poor eater and never athletically built. At only 5 foot 7 tall it is even more difficuly to pull of a small frame. As I have become older my frame has naturally grown with better diet, but I have always been able to lose weight rapidly if my diet becomes poor. Secondly I have tried many things in the past, certain jobs, courses, etc and never stuck at it. Not because the ability is not there, but because when things got a little tough I threw in the towel. I'm not doing that this time !
I have always had a massive interest in bodybuilding starting fromwatching Arnie when I was very young.
I have been taking this very seriously and living my life by it for the past 6 months, But something is not working.
I have had minor gains, and I have a more toned appearance but this is not my goal. I'm looking for mass, and then in time quality of shape. I have studied to a large extent on nutrition, technique, and training programs. I am currently weighing in at 12 Stone 3lbs.
I know I need help/guidance from people who experience the same thing. I do all of my training at home alone, with the upport of my girlfriend. I use food diaries, and keep records of whtat I do. I will now show you a snippet of this and would be grateful for your help. I will warn you that while I feel I have the training working, I am struggling massively on the food. I have gained no weight in 3 months, and this has put me on a huge downer. I don't want to give up, and despite a few knock backs I still keep lifting.
*The weight I lift has gradually increased in the last 6 months but still incorporating good technique
Training for the week:
Monday: - each session starts with stretches, abdominal crunches, oblique bar twists
Bench press - 4 sets 6-8 reps (60kg)
Incline Bench - 4 sets 5-6 reps (50kg)
Bench dumb bell flys - 4 sets 10 reps (10kg each arm)
Squats - 4 sets 10 reps (50kg) no squat stands so clean and press
Calf raises- 5 sets -25 reps (40kg)
Deadlifts - 4 sets 10 reps - (80kg)
Bent over row 4 sets 6-7 reps (50kg)
Lying skull crushers - 4 sets 10-12 reps (20kg)
Dumbell tricep kick back - 4 sets per arm - 15 reps - (10kg)
Military press - 4 sets - 6-8 reps (45kg) Forced reps on last set
Lat raises - 4 sets - 10 reps (5kg per arm)
Overhead dumbell lat raises - 4 sets - 10 reps (5kg per arm)
Upright rows - 4 sets - 6-8 reps - (30kg) with strong technique
Arm curls - 4 sets - 8-10 reps (20kg with good technique)
Seated dumbell curls - 4 sets per arm - 6 reps with 10kg followed by 6-7 reps with 5kg
Reverse wrist curls - 4 sets - max reps (5kg)
Behind back wrist curls - 4 sets - max reps (20kg) EZ bar
DIET: This is taken from my food diary for a training day. This does vary slightly. I will eat everything if I can. My job makes it difficult to always eat everything on time, and some days I just can't eat it all.
7:00am -
1 protein shake with semi milk - USN Pure IG1 2 sccops = 40g protein +milk
1 slice of heavily seeded toast, with 2 scrambled eggs
9:00am -
4 eggs, glass of semi milk, 1 seeded toast with peanut butter
11:00am -
Portion of lean minced beef - size of a clenched fist
1 apple 1 orange
1:00 -
1 tin tuna
Raw salad small portion - consisting spinach, green bean, celery.
3:00pm -
100g of mixed nuts and fruit
Portion of minced beef size of clenched fist
5:00pm -
Protein shake with semi milk and 5g creatine
6:30pm -
PWO - small portion of oats with milk
7:00pm WORKOUT
9:00pm -
Protein shake with 5g creatine - 1 rump steak with leeks, and portion of brown rice
11:00pm -
2 x 0%fat high protein yogurts - handful of almonds - BED !
This is from a good day when I actually managed to eat it all, but the food type can vary as this has a lot of red meat. This can be substituted for chicken, fish, eggs or whatever I have handy. I do struggle like mad to keep this up. One week I may get a good gain of 1-2lbs hard training and eating well. Other weeks sloppy diet keeping, but still training hard can lose me as mcuh as 3lbs. I eat no junk food ever, and never have a cheat day.
Any help on why this isn't working would be appreciated, any support or encouragement because that is what I thrive on, and some help on setting up a journal that will help me, and might help others. Thank you to everyone for looking and helping,
Kind regards,

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    Re:Classing Myself as a Beginner (due to lack gains) 2011/03/26 12:52:37 (permalink)
    Any help on why this isn't working would be appreciated

    Sorry to be blunt, but it isn't working because your routine and diet are both quite poor.
    Your routine is all over the place! From what I can gather, you are doing:
    Monday - Chest and Legs
    Wednesday - Back and Triceps
    Friday - Shoulders and Biceps
    It makes no sense for so many different reasons. You are inadvertently hitting your triceps in every session, and your biceps on two of those sessions. Whereas you are doing a comparatively tiny amount of volume for muscle groups like your legs and your back which are far bigger than chest and arms.
    If you want to do a split routine, stick to something like push/pull/legs, where you only hit each muscle group once a week. But I would recommend a full body routine personally.
    As for the diet, I think you are probably on the right lines but you just need to eat more. Your portion sizes seem quite small, and I would suggest eating more carbs. Give yourself a good sized helping of low-GI carbs with every meal, be it wholegrain pasta or sweet potato or wholegrain bread. But post in the diet section for a more thorough response re diet.

    "Be adequate"
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    Re:Classing Myself as a Beginner (due to lack gains) 2011/03/26 15:07:22 (permalink)
    Blunt can be good !
    This is why I am asking because it is a struggle. Feels like I am eating rediculous amounts. Just remember compared to what I used to eat this is a lot. In terms of routine, I have changed several times based on information from different sources. I see you have pointed out what is wrong, and you are obviously someone who knows so may I ask how you re construct my current routine? Also what you would advise as additional to diet. I have been told previously yo eat less more often, which is what I thought I was doing. Several small meals a day.
    It is hard to convey in writing how important this is. I don't want to be killing myself lifting weights every week, and eating in such a manner and not getting anywhere. I really do need to do this, and to make it work. The willing is there, I just think a little guidance now will make the difference. The only thing you will gain is that you have helped someone who needs it.
    Thank you for taking the time to respond.
    *I just wanted to add that I have been wary of adding more carbs. Purely because I have found that while there have been some minor gains there is fat building at the lower stomach, and back. This only increases or enhances that something is going wrong. Very difficult when everyone knows your doing it, but they can't see any changes!
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    Re:Classing Myself as a Beginner (due to lack gains) 2011/03/26 16:04:09 (permalink)
    How about then:
    Monday - Pull
    Deadlifts - 4 sets x 6 - 8 reps
    Bent over rows - 4 sets x 6 - 10 reps
    Upright Rows - 34 sets x 6 - 10 reps
    EZ bar curls - 4 sets x 6 - 10 reps

    Wednesday - Push
    Flat bench press - 4 sets x 6 - 10 reps
    Incline bench press - 4 sets x 6 - 10 reps
    Military press - 4 sets x 6 - 10 reps
    Overhead Lat Dumbells - 4 sets x 10 reps

    Friday - Legs
    Squats - 4 sets x 6 - 10 reps
    Lunges - 4 sets x 6 - 10 reps
    Standing calf raises - 5 sets x 25 reps
    Then I just need to get the diet sorted. Lift big, eat big and clean. Lots of protein, lots of carbs.
    Do you think I should worry less about eating at specific times? And also worry less about isolating forearms etc, because this does not include that or any skull crushers which I love doing?
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    Re:Classing Myself as a Beginner (due to lack gains) 2011/03/27 00:21:59 (permalink)
    Youre proposed routine doesnt look bad, however id ditch upright rows and add in pull ups, (just my opinion though)
    Also add in some stiff legged deadlifts for legs

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    Re:Classing Myself as a Beginner (due to lack gains) 2011/03/27 10:02:29 (permalink)
    I thought upright rows were good for lats? Overall though you think this new routine will be an improvement on the last one, and if I can sort diet out I might actually see some results?
    Thank you for responding :-)
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    Re:Classing Myself as a Beginner (due to lack gains) 2011/03/27 16:24:51 (permalink)
    The advised split looks good for a split but I really think being you have classified yourself a beginner you should keep it simple and focus only on the main lifts to develop strength and generql body mass.
    I recommend looking into mark rippetoe starting strength training. You can find it all on google and clips of his video to check form on youtube.
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    Re:Classing Myself as a Beginner (due to lack gains) 2011/03/27 20:08:54 (permalink)
    Thank you for that, I will look into it.
    I have classed myself as a beginner because usually it is only people who have not started yet who don't make gains. Realistically I have trained on and off for about 2 years, but very seriously in the last 6 months.
    I just thought for the effort I was putting in, and the sacrifices you make when taking it so seriously I ought to have had some gains.
    As it turns out sometimes a little bit of knowledge on the subject can screw you up even more. You end up trying to do everything and getting it wrong like I did.
    I wondered why my forearms seems to actually respond well but my triceps did not and the hurt pretty much all the time.
    From the advice on here I was not even aware I was totally over training them.
    So I guess technically not a complete beginner, but felt like it at the time.
    I think this routine is going to be a lot better. I figured doing a split like this would be best, so each muscle group gets hit hard once a week (heavy weight, low reps, good form combination) and allows them to recover and grow.
    No one has comented any further on the diet though. I guess I just need to eat more.
    Thank you for your comments, I will check out google and youtube :-)
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