Impossible to gain mass?

Post questions and tips on right foods and right balance of nutrients for sprints, jumps, throws, and weightlifting.

Impossible to gain mass?

Postby rasteira » Dec 16, 2003 16:51

I'm really excited to see these forums take off, so I'll support by asking a question :D.

I'm a typical ectomorph. 6'1", 150 pounds, 7% bodyfat. I dance classical ballet and play capoeira on an average of 3 hours a day 5 days a week. I'm not trying particularly hard to gain mass, but strength is what's killing me. I'm assuming that the mass I already have is strengthened about as much as it's going to go. Speedwise I'm very happy, and can kick and jump very fast and high. However, when my kicks connect, they have very little force.

I'm also relatively flexible. I have about a foot remaining on my sidesplit and an inch on the front splits. However since I'm not very strong all, that was gained with relaxed stretches. And I'm now stuck at both those spots. I cannot hold myself in an isometric sidesplit without using my hands, and I'm always sore afterwards. I have done adductor flies for a year now, lots of horse stance, and weightlifting, attempting to strengthen my adductors enough to be able to do isometric stretching. For 8 months a year previous I even weightlifted seriously, working the entire body in 3 day splits 5 days a week. I made very small strength gains in the beginning, but after the first month I didn't gain any strength and zero mass, even though I constantly pushed myself to the maximum.

Nutrition is where I believe I suffer. I eat a mostly vegetarian diet, with lots of carbs, and about 50-60g protein (due to homemade protein drinks). However, my apetite is very small and I have to struggle to eat 2000 calories a day. (not normal for a 19 year old guy excercising this much, I figure). Occasionally I can manage more than 2000, but I generally feel like crap until an hour later or so.

I really don't want to pass this time of my life up skinny as a pole and weak as a girl because of some stupid problem. Please give me suggestions on what I can do!
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Re: Impossible to gain mass?

Postby Guest » Dec 16, 2003 17:00

rasteira wrote:Nutrition is where I believe I suffer. I eat a mostly vegetarian diet, with lots of carbs, and about 50-60g protein (due to homemade protein drinks). However, my apetite is very small and I have to struggle to eat 2000 calories a day. (not normal for a 19 year old guy excercising this much, I figure). Occasionally I can manage more than 2000, but I generally feel like crap until an hour later or so.


I'm confused: are you making a conscious effort to be a vegetarian or is that just how your typical meals look like?

If you're willing to tolerate animal protein and increase your intake of fats (good fats, not hydrogenated junk) I'm sure we can get your weight up!

Have you had a blood test from a physician? You may have hyperthyroidism and that is giving you an overly fast metabolism.

Finally, you state that you're not trying to gain mass but then complain that you don't want to be "weak as a girl". Are you opposed to weight training? That would obviously help with the strength and mass issues, although don't go picking some weight routine out of those glossy magazines at the store. Get some real instruction.

-Mark
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Postby mmeloon » Dec 16, 2003 17:03

Hmmm. Apparently I wasn't logged in. Just putting in a new reply so I can be subscribed to this thread.

-Mark
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Postby rasteira » Dec 16, 2003 17:10

thanks :D I have nothing against meats, it's just that it's what I happen to be eating mostly. I can change that.

When I did my weightlifting program I looked for decent instruction, but everything everyone said was totally opposite everything I'd read about physiology. So I designed my own program. Guess I should keep looking eh?

So: eat meat and work hard. heh :lol: oh yeah, I'll get that thyroid thing checked out.
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Postby UKfightfreak » Dec 16, 2003 17:35

Ok lets do some maths:

Say a 150lbs person needs 2250 calories per day just to live normally (without extra exercise). Now add a routine, a heavy aerobic session may use 800 calories, so just to sustain the 10 stone weight you will need to eat 3050.

Now add a strenth routine, which requires muscle to be rebuilt, needing extra protien, as well as calories used in that routine.

My number might be out but you get the idea?

For your size I would consider someone of your weight to be underweight by too much - 7% fat is very low.

You need to eat a lot, lot more.

If you struggle try liquids such as milk or soups to up the calories.
Matt

If you always done what you always did, you will always get what you always got.
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Postby mmeloon » Dec 16, 2003 23:10

rasteira wrote:thanks :D I have nothing against meats, it's just that it's what I happen to be eating mostly. I can change that.

When I did my weightlifting program I looked for decent instruction, but everything everyone said was totally opposite everything I'd read about physiology. So I designed my own program. Guess I should keep looking eh?

So: eat meat and work hard. heh :lol: oh yeah, I'll get that thyroid thing checked out.


It's hard to find good sources of weight training information. I, and others, swear by the approaches espoused by Hardgainer. Basically you want to do a small number of compound exercises, make sure you eat enough and get enough rest, and keep upping the weights (or reps) a little bit each week.

If I were you, I'd just do bench press, squat, deadlift and something for the back (like rows or pulldowns). Keep track of how much you're eating and watch your weight. If a month goes by and you haven't gained a pound, then you probably need to increase your food intake. Also, if you're not increasing the weights your using, you need to look at what's missing from your approach. Good foods include protein-rich foods like meat and dairy, complex carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids (either in fatty fish or take 2 Tbsp of Flaxseed or hemp oil a day).

I think it's wortwhile to make sure you aren't hyperthyroid even if it's a long shot. People with hyperthyroidism oftentimes have a problem keeping weight on.

-Mark

P.S.: Since you are already active, you'll need to be careful not to try to do too much when adding weights. With your metabolism and busy workout schedule, you might have to do only 2 work sets (+ 1 warmup) for each of the four exercises I listed above. You'll have to experiment to see how much your body can take.
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Postby rasteira » Dec 19, 2003 23:05

awesome, thanks a ton!
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Postby Haakon_Myrseth » Dec 21, 2003 18:40

You should also make sure that you sleep enough. Sleep is extremely important for recovery and especially when you want to add mass. Get an extra hour or two of sleep as well and perhaps a nap after your workouts will do you good. Just don't take a nap before your workout because it will lower your ability to train.
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Postby UKfightfreak » Dec 23, 2003 09:22

Haakon_Myrseth wrote:You should also make sure that you sleep enough. Sleep is extremely important for recovery and especially when you want to add mass. Get an extra hour or two of sleep as well and perhaps a nap after your workouts will do you good. Just don't take a nap before your workout because it will lower your ability to train.


I agree - rest is important, if your standing up, sit down if you can, if your sitting down, lie down if you can!!!!!
Matt

If you always done what you always did, you will always get what you always got.
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Re: Impossible to gain mass?

Postby allan101 » Nov 12, 2009 05:58

Hi guys,
I have been wondering the exact same thing lately! Last week when I weighed in on Saturday morning I weighed 126. I tracked my calories and had a deficit of at least 1800 for this past week (and I do underestimate exercise cals and over estimate food cals) and well, today I weighed in at 126.8 again lol.
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