1. #1

    Help me gain muscle mass (18male, 5ft 5inchs)

    Hi all, im 18 years old, 5ft 5inches in height (fairly short guy) and 8 + 1/2 stone in weight.

    About 8months ago I signed up for my local gym, which is very well equiped.

    I regularly use the weight machines in there (3-4 times a week), along with many home work-outs, I also swim and hit the treadmills.
    I push myself hard enough so that my muscles tend to ache the following day, and try to keep good form 100% of the time, and so avoiding weights which are far to heavy for me, but I also avoid doing many reps, as this tends to mean the weight isn't heavy enough.

    Where I think im falling flat is my diet. I don't eat a lot of crap, but do eat lots in general. A normal day for me is a large bowl of cereal, with full fat milk, tends to be something with nuts in like crunchy nut clusters etc. That then may be followed by a banana or some other fruit, along with a glass of water and daily vitamin tablets. (I try to eat as healthily as possible, because I tend to get a lot of acne, probably due to my age, but I thought getting off crap/junk food may help - thus the vitamins and regular fruit)
    Lunch will just be some brown toast, with penut butter on, or crackers with cheese, or sandwhich with chicken / tuna mayo, generally four slices of bread, and another piece of fruit, and a smoothie to drink or large water.

    Dinner varies massively, but I eat loads of what ever it is, curry, chinease, roast dinner, salad, italian, fish.

    Snacks will consist of bowl of cereals, maybe a chocolate bar, more fruit, and vitamins. Throughout the day i'd end up drinking atleast 1.5 - 2ltrs of water, generally nothing else, possibly a cup of tea.

    I know, or have read that in order to gain muscle mass, its essential to eat the right foods, and get enough protein intake so that you body can regrow muscle as efficiently as possible, after the workout.
    What foods, in what quantities, and at what time do you suggest I eat?

    I work full time, 7.30 in morning til 5 in evening tuesday to saturday, so I find it hard to pick foods to eat. My workout tends to be around 7-8pm, every other day .

    Would it be best for me to also invest in protein shakes etc, sometimes i'll end up buying one as I go into the gym, purely because I think it may help.

    Any advice greatly appreciated,
    thanks.

  2. #2
    Field Marshal
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    Sounds like you are on the right track. As far as bulking up, you want to be constantly eating. You might have to train yourself to eat when not hungry but it isn't that hard once you get used to it. I try to eat at least 6 times a day with small meals every 2hrs or so. By eating more often you help maintain a higher metabolic rate as you are constantly taking in food.

    As far as protein shakes, they definitely help to achieve a 1:1 lb body weight per g of protein (or higher) if are just trying to mass up. I think for kilos that would be .5g per roughly?

    It also depends on your budget for the shakes. If you can afford to buy the tubs of powder to mix a shake up every time you hit the gym I don't see why not. However you can still get a decent amount of protein and other nutrients/vitamins through normal food sources.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swizzle
    the best part about all this? i have empirical evidence on my side. you? you have nothing. i COULD take even more away, but that would be inhumane. enjoy your cranberry sauce in lalaland while i do a charleston with my girlfriend.
    Support your local EMS, run with scissors.

  3. #3
    If you're serious about it, you should not be asking on a gaming forum. If you must ask on a forum, present yourself to the people @ bodybuilding.com forums.

    Personally, you should be indulging yourself in books on nutrition, peer edited articles and start learning how your body works from reliable sources. It's amazing how dumbfounded people are when it comes to losing/gaining weight when the idea of either is very simple. It's just having the discipline to see the diet to the end.

    Here are a few links to get you started. But as always, books are your best friend.

    http://stronglifts.com/how-to-gain-w...r-skinny-guys/
    http://stronglifts.com/how-to-build-...-triceps-arms/
    http://bodybuilding.about.com/od/nut...ngupdiet_2.htm
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/4_st..._nutrition.htm
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/topicoftheweek37.htm

  4. #4
    Find a body building / gym workout forum, there are quite a few around and read the F.A.Q.s there. This should help you the most since those forums are full of knowledgeable people who really know everything there is to know about exercising.
    Here are a few guidelines.
    Nutrition is really important, probably 70%+.
    You need a lot of proteins, in the range of 1.5-2 grams per kg of muscle mass.
    Protein shakes are essential as a post workout meal, get a whey protein you can afford.
    You also need a lot of carbs, especially post workout. You can drink glucose/dextrose (you can buy that nearly anywhere) with your whey shake or get a gainer whey (has a lot of carbs already in it).
    Eat often (every few hours) if you can. If you can't, just follow some general guidelines. Based on your post I think you could use around 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat.
    When doing anaerobic exercises use the appropriate weight so you can do 8-10 repetitions per series (the optimal amount of reps for muscle gain), the last rep should be pretty hard, but not to failure.
    Again, go find a nice body building forum and check it out.

    I'm just an amateur, so don't take all of this as a fact, do your research first, and listen to your body.
    Good luck

  5. #5
    Mechagnome beardedcandy's Avatar
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    the thing about gaining muscle is that very few techniques work for everyone. I have a few questions for you...

    1) how much do you weigh? (not sure what you meant by 8 1/2 stones)
    2) do you gain weight easily?
    3) do you have a lot of body fat?
    4) have you ever attempted to gain muscle before?

    A few things that will work for anyone...

    1) compound exercises are ALWAYS more effective than isolation exercises. your program should focus on squats, deadlifts, benchpress, pull ups, etc. Basically do exercises that involve multiple muscle groups. DON'T BE A CURL MONKEY. If you want big guns then DO DEADLIFTS AND BENCHPRESSES
    2) Eat wholefoods as much as possible (do get a good whey protein shake to drink around your workouts though). All other dietary advice depends on what body type you have
    3) DONT WORK OUT FOR MORE THAN 45 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! seriously

    bodybuilding.com is a great source for info.

    good luck

  6. #6
    If you aren't making strength and mass gains, you are probably failing at the following:

    - Not enough calories or poor macronutrient spread. You'd be surprised how much food you have to eat if you're not eating junk food to meet caloric needs.
    - Lackluster or too much training

    Keep a food log and get a solid workout program (BB.com has a few on there) and go from there. It's a long process and the more activity you can keep track of, the better you can make alterations to see improvements.

    It's like the guy who asks, "I don't get why I'm not getting huge" when he can't remember what he ate yesterday, won't do squats and spends his gym time on the treadmill. It's a lifestyle, not an afterthought.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by beardedcandy View Post
    3) DONT WORK OUT FOR MORE THAN 45 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! seriously
    And why not?

  8. #8
    Field Marshal
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    Technically you can do a full exercise in ~30 mins that is sufficient for muscle building but I've known some powerlifters/bodybuilders that tend to hit the gym for 2hrs+ sometimes. It's all in what you want to accomplish.

    Also here's a quick rundown of what I do to stay healthy,

    My week consists of:
    M: Squats and presses - 45min
    T: Bodyweight workouts (Using parallel bars and pull up bars) - 30min
    W: 8:00pm Caveman training (Sledge/Tire, Kettlebells, Rope throws, Keg pushup/downs) - 30min - 1min intervals with 1min rest between the 4 "stations"
    Th: 8:00pm Bodyweight workout - 30min
    F: 8:00pm Deadlifts and pulls/cleans - 45min
    S: 10:00am Caveman training -30min
    Su: Rest day

    As far as supplements, I do a Whey Protein shake before I head out and an Amino acid supplement drink afterwards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swizzle
    the best part about all this? i have empirical evidence on my side. you? you have nothing. i COULD take even more away, but that would be inhumane. enjoy your cranberry sauce in lalaland while i do a charleston with my girlfriend.
    Support your local EMS, run with scissors.

  9. #9
    The Patient Shikomei_TFC's Avatar
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    Gonna copy+paste an earlier post of mine because I'm lazy

    -Eat at maintenance or 200-300(clean bulk) or 500+(dirty bulk) calories above, with mostly whole foods/foods you enjoy. Yes it's fine to have a burger, or "junk" food once in awhile(as long as you've hit your macros[protein/fat/carbs]). At the end of the day it's calories in > calories out.
    -Meal timing/frequency is irrelevant. Eat @ whatever time you want, even before bed, it doesn't matter.
    -Be sure to get in about 1-1.5 grams of protein per lb of muscle mass, .4-.45 grams of fat per body body weight. Fill the rest with carbs, or a combination of the 3.

    I could toss out how much you need, but I'd be off. A good way is to try ~2500 calories for about a couple weeks. Adjust from there accordingly, or go to the link below & figure it out yourself. You'll have to use one of the formulas, & plug in your: Height, weight, age(depends on which you use), body fat %, & lean body mass.

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=121703981

    Supplements aren't needed. But I'd suggest to get a decent multi, fish oil, & protein powder(if you're not getting enough protein from your diet). There's nothing special about protein powder, you'll get the same results from food with protein. So I don't find one necessary.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Also, specific types of food is irrelevant to one's weight/body composition(general health is a different story). You can eat foods you enjoy & still see good results if your training & calories/macros are in check. Pre/post-wo nutrition isn't necessary, but if you function better using one of the two, then do so.
    Last edited by Shikomei_TFC; 2011-08-10 at 06:14 PM.
    Too fat to be a bodybuilder..
    Too weak to be a powerlifter..

  10. #10
    hey brother, just another guy living in cali here and like you i started pretty much clueless about fitness. lucky for me i had good trainers in high school so i didn't have to rely on strangers telling me how to train, of course when i went to college everything changed and my 165lb self wasn't good enough for anything. 4 years later i still learn new things every day and the one thing i always tell people is that no one answer is always the answer. question everything people tell you and ask them more about the subject; to be honest most people just talk out of their ass when it comes to bodybuilding and training. here's some pointers that i have found universal and beneficial for guys like us:

    -never buy the whole "every nutrient is the same" bullshit. there's a reason why millions of dollars are spent each day trying to find a cure for obesity and diabetes. always go for low-glycemic carbohydrates, ditch the white bread and stick to whole grains; brown rice (white is fine too), whole wheat pasta, yams, fresh veggies. SKIP bananas, cereal and potatoes, they're too starchy, apples and oatmeal are the best source of carbs, they're low on calories and high in healthy sugars.

    -never listen to someone who tells you to eat whenever you want. again billions of dollars are spent studying blood sugar levels throughout the day and how it affects your system. eating every 3 or so hours is crucial in maintaining healthy insulin levels throughout the day, and ensures that you're not overloading your digestive system with high amounts of macro-nutrients. eat between 600-900 calories per meal depending on your needs, just remember this: your body has a set amount of enzymes to break down food, everything else is just discarded. oh, and did i mention my best friend the circadian rhythm? read up on it and find out why eating late at night is dumb as fuck, if you're going to eat though go for light food, nothing big.

    -you're not a pro bodybuilder, so cutting and bulking should only apply to the steroid abusers. eat for your health not your ego, you can do cardio on your off nights; putting extra weight should sound as dumb as it really is.

    -i used to work at a super market and yes i ate tons of crap before, but if you're really serious about getting the most out of your workouts you have to start taking a lunch box or cooler to work. canned tuna/salmon, a cooked yam and some veggies is a really good meal. plus eating at work does build self-esteem and shows people you actually care about your body. people will respect you for that.

    -as far as timing your protein intake i'd recommend drinking a shake right after your workout, and yes you shouldn't workout for longer than 30-45min because your body starts releasing hormones to replenish your muscles, things like insulin get in the way of the krebs cycle and your muscles don't perform at their maximum capacity anymore.

    -you mentioned you have some trouble with acne. high glycemic sugars like bananas and cereal could probably trigger an stress/irritation reaction in your body causing you to break out, more reason to ditch that crap. drink water all the time, if you're unsure how much water you drank on any given day it means you didn't drink enough. ok bed time for me bye.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by solari View Post
    hey brother, just another guy living in cali here and like you i started pretty much clueless about fitness. lucky for me i had good trainers in high school so i didn't have to rely on strangers telling me how to train, of course when i went to college everything changed and my 165lb self wasn't good enough for anything. 4 years later i still learn new things every day and the one thing i always tell people is that no one answer is always the answer. question everything people tell you and ask them more about the subject; to be honest most people just talk out of their ass when it comes to bodybuilding and training. here's some pointers that i have found universal and beneficial for guys like us:

    -never buy the whole "every nutrient is the same" bullshit. there's a reason why millions of dollars are spent each day trying to find a cure for obesity and diabetes. always go for low-glycemic carbohydrates, ditch the white bread and stick to whole grains; brown rice (white is fine too), whole wheat pasta, yams, fresh veggies. SKIP bananas, cereal and potatoes, they're too starchy, apples and oatmeal are the best source of carbs, they're low on calories and high in healthy sugars.

    -never listen to someone who tells you to eat whenever you want. again billions of dollars are spent studying blood sugar levels throughout the day and how it affects your system. eating every 3 or so hours is crucial in maintaining healthy insulin levels throughout the day, and ensures that you're not overloading your digestive system with high amounts of macro-nutrients. eat between 600-900 calories per meal depending on your needs, just remember this: your body has a set amount of enzymes to break down food, everything else is just discarded. oh, and did i mention my best friend the circadian rhythm? read up on it and find out why eating late at night is dumb as fuck, if you're going to eat though go for light food, nothing big.

    -you're not a pro bodybuilder, so cutting and bulking should only apply to the steroid abusers. eat for your health not your ego, you can do cardio on your off nights; putting extra weight should sound as dumb as it really is.

    -i used to work at a super market and yes i ate tons of crap before, but if you're really serious about getting the most out of your workouts you have to start taking a lunch box or cooler to work. canned tuna/salmon, a cooked yam and some veggies is a really good meal. plus eating at work does build self-esteem and shows people you actually care about your body. people will respect you for that.

    -as far as timing your protein intake i'd recommend drinking a shake right after your workout, and yes you shouldn't workout for longer than 30-45min because your body starts releasing hormones to replenish your muscles, things like insulin get in the way of the krebs cycle and your muscles don't perform at their maximum capacity anymore.

    -you mentioned you have some trouble with acne. high glycemic sugars like bananas and cereal could probably trigger an stress/irritation reaction in your body causing you to break out, more reason to ditch that crap. drink water all the time, if you're unsure how much water you drank on any given day it means you didn't drink enough. ok bed time for me bye.
    Show us some resources where you read this stuff so you are not one of those people talking out of their asses.

  12. #12
    Hey man, i actually had exactly the same issue as you only 2 years ago, including age and height!.
    The thing with gaining weight and muscle is that there isn't a foolproof way to guaruntee gains.
    There are a few important things that i would advise you should maybe try for 6 weeks (as it takes the body around 6 weeks to start showing signs of your efforts)
    1) Try to work out in the mornings. A study was carried out recently that showed early morning workouts can stimulate more muscle growth as the muscle fibres are more relaxed after sleep.
    2) There's something known as the "golden hour" in bodybuilding, try to take your supplements if you are taking some in this hour to maximise results.
    3) Compound exercises are great AND essential for mass, so try deadlifting and squats. They work out multiple groups of muscles at once and provide a huge feeling of self satisfaction when you nail a good lift :P
    3b) I highly recommend trying "20 Rep Squats". To do this do 10 squats on a comfortable weight just to get yourself ready, then increase the weight slightly and do another 10, and then finally add more weight and do 20 squats, by the time you hit 15 you should be feeling something quite noticeable in your legs, and by the 20th you shouldn't be smiling. For example i started this by squatting 80kg 10 times, then 85kg 10 times, and then 90kg 20 times
    4) Try drinking low fat, high protein drinks whilst working out
    5) Eat 6-8 times a day, by this i mean 3 good meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner duh) then have snacks every 2 hours. A common misconception is that these snacks have to be something intense, when in reality you can get away with pretty much anything, as long as you give your body the energy it needs, but saying that dont be a dunce and eat chocolate bars.
    6) Use supplements, they do work. But dont buy into the idea that the protein with the most colorful writing and the biggest dudes on the front if the one you need. Quite obviously they all contain the same basic things, and in alot of cases all the different trademarked things they contain are infact almost carbon copies of each other but have such minimal chemical differences they're allowed to create a new patent/name for it. Id recommend a simple Whey protein, most fitness stores have a standard protein they'll sell. This will do, unless your Ronnie Coleman, which your not.
    7) Rest is important, make sure you grab 8 hours at least a night.
    8) Cardio in trying to gain muscle mass can actually work against you as the energy your expending on the cardio training isn't going into healing your struggling muscles, so i'd advise dropping cardio for a 6 week period to concentrate on mass and weight gains
    9) Hit the same muscle group from different angles, e.g. for you chest do Bench Press, then followed by Incline Bench Press, followed by Decline Bench Press. Same with shoulders, so Military Press, Cuban Press
    10) Your body can only digest something around 60g of protein in one serving, and most protein shakes recommend having 2-3 scoops. Look at the back of the container and try to find out how much is in each serving and keep it around 60g of protein and then have the other scoops recommended and hour later

  13. #13
    The Patient Shikomei_TFC's Avatar
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    ^^^^ 6 out of the 10 things you mentioned are either wrong or unnecessary. I know you mean well, but please do some research before giving out advice.
    Too fat to be a bodybuilder..
    Too weak to be a powerlifter..

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Shikomei_TFC View Post
    ^^^^ 6 out of the 10 things you mentioned are either wrong or unnecessary. I know you mean well, but please do some research before giving out advice.
    ^

    I only counted 5, but definetly.

  15. #15
    Mon

    Bench Press 5x5
    Barbell Rows 5x5
    Squats 5x5

    Wednesday

    Overhead Press 5x5
    Deadlifts 1x5
    Squats 5x5

    Friday

    Bench Press 5x5
    Barbell Rows 5x5
    Squats 5x5

    Eat 3000 Calories a day, if your not gaining any weight after 1 week, eat 3500

    Meal Idea's: Oats, Eggs, Peanut Butter, Chicken + Brown Rice, Tuna + Brown Pasta

  16. #16
    The Patient Shikomei_TFC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMMOchampion View Post
    Eat 3000 Calories a day, if your not gaining any weight after 1 week, eat 3500

    Meal Idea's: Oats, Eggs, Peanut Butter, Chicken + Brown Rice, Tuna + Brown Pasta
    That actually looks like too much, & he would put on more fat than he would want. 119 lb 5 foot tall male's maintenance would probably be around 1800-2000 calories(this varies on one's activity & how much muscle mass they have).So, 2300-2500 would sound about right for bulking. That's just a rough estimate though.

    @ op, if you're not sure how many calories to consume for a bulk, take a look at the 2nd link in my sig. As for food intake, take a look @ the first link, sums it up pretty well.

    Edit: forgot I posted earlier in this thread lol, OP please read post #9
    Last edited by Shikomei_TFC; 2011-08-18 at 09:41 PM.
    Too fat to be a bodybuilder..
    Too weak to be a powerlifter..

  17. #17
    I also had a time whenever i was working out that i dident gain any muscles ( dunno how to say it correctly)

    My friend told me the problem was that i was doing it wrong, because i workout like this:

    start on treadmill - then do muscles gaining workouts(push ups,weight lifting etc) - then go on treadmill AGAIN.

    he sad that you shouldent go on treadmill again after you do the muscles workout caus then you burn up your muscles gaining work orsomething.

    Now i dont do treadmill anymore after the muscle workout and its working for me.

    hopefully this is helpfull since my english really terrible..

  18. #18
    from what i see youre not eating enough protein. make sure you get some IMMEDIATELY after your workout

    if your on a rest day, eat it first thing in the morning. doesnt matter from what you get it from, as long as you get it.

    second, also mix up your workout every few weeks. this will result in muscle confusion. if you do the same type of workout schedule for a extended period of time, your strength and progress will plateu. with a new workout routine your body will work the same muscles,, and not know it, but it will be done in different ways (aka muscle confusion).

    if you can get a lifting buddy, then do it, they will always be able to push you more than you would by yourself

    also focus on free weights! doing those stupid little machines where you just sit down and slide a metal rod into a weight amount generally dont do much
    Last edited by vazar-da-priest; 2011-08-18 at 09:47 PM.

  19. #19
    The Patient Shikomei_TFC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joehrax View Post
    I also had a time whenever i was working out that i dident gain any muscles ( dunno how to say it correctly)

    My friend told me the problem was that i was doing it wrong, because i workout like this:

    start on treadmill - then do muscles gaining workouts(push ups,weight lifting etc) - then go on treadmill AGAIN.

    he sad that you shouldent go on treadmill again after you do the muscles workout caus then you burn up your muscles gaining work orsomething.

    Now i dont do treadmill anymore after the muscle workout and its working for me.

    hopefully this is helpfull since my english really terrible..
    You won't burn muscle mass while doing cardio unless you haven't ate in the last 72-96 hours(that's when your body starts using muscle as fuel). Your friend is misinformed..

    Also, your not gaining weight probably had to with your diet, you weren't consuming enough calories to help build muscle, & cardio just causes you to expend more energy. Have to add more food to account for that.
    Last edited by Shikomei_TFC; 2011-08-18 at 09:50 PM.
    Too fat to be a bodybuilder..
    Too weak to be a powerlifter..

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