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      02-16-2012, 08:37 AM   #1
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A question for the workout gurus

Hey guys,

I have been lifting weights since April of 2009. I am currently on a routine that has me doing chest, shoulders, and triceps on one day, running the next day, doing back, biceps, and legs the next day, running the next day, etc.

Unfortunately I have not seen much result as far as muscle gain goes. It gets kinda annoying to lift weights all the time and still have very skinny arms. Could this be because I am running too much and burning the muscle? Could it be that I don't consume enough protein? I usually drink one protein smoothie per day and consume 3 regular meals.

Any insight is greatly appreciated.

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      02-16-2012, 09:06 AM   #2
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Hey guys,

I have been lifting weights since April of 2009. I am currently on a routine that has me doing chest, shoulders, and triceps on one day, running the next day, doing back, biceps, and legs the next day, running the next day, etc.

Unfortunately I have not seen much result as far as muscle gain goes. It gets kinda annoying to lift weights all the time and still have very skinny arms. Could this be because I am running too much and burning the muscle? Could it be that I don't consume enough protein? I usually drink one protein smoothie per day and consume 3 regular meals.

Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Cheers


stop the running , do nice steady paced cardio fat burning for a warm up and cool down and on non training days do an hour fat burn , also if you want to put muscle on you need something like 2,to 3grams of protein to how ever many pounds you weight and eat regular & clean , every 3 to 4 hours ideally if you want to gain the size nicely
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      02-16-2012, 09:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

How would I go about doing the hour fat burn on not running days?
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      02-16-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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I told myself I wasn't going to get into these discussions again, but wth.

But all I'll say is you're not sharing enough for anyone to be in a position to offer the best advice. Example, you're not sharing what kind of weights/machines you're using, nor how much weight you're lifting in the various exercises. If you're only lifting 5 lb dumbells and 20 lbs on a bench, then of course it wouldn't be very reasonable to expect much muscle gain. Then of course, there's the approach itself. Heavy weights and fewer reps are going to typically yield more mass quicker than light weights and 10-15 reps. Some people want bulk, some want definition, some just want strength. Personally, the latter better defines my goal these days.

IMHO, I would not give up running, unless you're going to substitute it with walking outside, treadmill, etc. Running should have very little effect on muscle loss, if any, and assuming you have a decent diet. I'm also not a big fan of all the nutrition drinks and all the supplements going around, but again, an individual thing. And I suppose I can accept it doesn't hurt. Myself, I eat whatever I want.

To a certain degree, it's all going to vary by individual. We don't all gain/lose the same way, and no one program will be best for everybody. Honestly, I'm not really interested in muscle definition or having a washboard stomach or any of that anymore. Been there, done that. But now my schedule is very casual. I still lift some weights 3-4 times a week, and I walk for 30-50 mins almost every day on a treadmill or outside (rods and screws in the back now so running is out of the question). I have sets of 15/20/25/35 dumbells, and for example, one day I might do 3 sets of 10 curls using the 35's and the next time I workout I might do 4 sets of 15 with the 25's. I use the dumbells for 3-4 different exercises and vary the workout a little each time. I recently got on a bench at the gym and pushed 3 sets x 10 reps at 225 lbs. Not what I could do when I was 20 or 30, but at 54 I don't think it's too bad, and it's more than adequate for what I'm after. I'm still staying in reasonably good shape but not killing myself or burning out in the process.

Last edited by ruscoupe; 02-16-2012 at 12:25 PM.
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      02-16-2012, 11:22 AM   #5
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This could really turn into a very long reply so I'll try to keep it short...

Definitely stop the running if you want to gain muscle. Like DieselDamo and ruscoupe said walk on a treadmill or some other type of low impact cardio. If you are concerned with burning fat then on your run days do sprint work instead of running long distance. Sprinting is a good way to burn fat and minimize muscle loss.

As far as your workouts... you are doing too many boday parts in a day. How long does it take you to work out three body parts in one gym session? Either you are spending a long time in the gym and over training or you are not spending enough time on each body part. You should not be lifting weights for more than an hour, maybe an hour and a half at the very most. Again like ruscoupe said we all gain and lose in different ways. So what may work for me may not work for you. But I would say keep it to two body parts or less each day. When I want to gain muscle (in the winter months) I work out one body part per day and absolutely kill that body part. So an example is

Mon - Back
Tues - Chest
Wed - Legs (heavy quads light hamstrings)
Thur - Shoulders
Fri - Bi and tri
Sat - Legs (heavy hamstrings light quads)

If you don't want to work out 6 days a week then do chest in back on the same day and alternate body parts. So do one set of chest and then one set of back and repeat. You may ask why two days of legs? Working out your legs is essential to build muscle naturally. Your legs are the largest muscles in your body and to repair your leg muscles your body has to release a large amount of HGH and test. This helps stimulate muslce growth throughout your entire body. You may notice when you have a killer leg workout you wake up the next day and feel tight. This is cause your body has released a large amount of hormones while you were sleeping to help repair the muscle tissue in your legs. But since your body can't specifically traget the muscles in our legs the hormones go to all your muscles. I also like doing chest and back on the same day for this same reason. Eventhough they are not as large as your legs together they are still a pretty large group of muscle.

Diet... If you want to gain muscle you're going to have to accept that you are going to gain weight. You have to put on some amount of weight to build muscle. I am not saying to go out and eat mcdonalds or pizza everyday, but you'll need to up your caloric intake. You can do this by simply adding another meal to your diet, an extra protien shake, etc...

Finally (and I will now shut my mouth/stop my hands from typing) I tell everyone who is curious about working out (gaining muscle or leaning out) do your homework. The internet is loaded with info. And just like mod'ing your car you wouldn't do something to your car without researching it first. A really good book for reference is The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises. It is 460 pages of exercises, workouts, meals, and diets. It's a really good source to look at when your in a rut.

Just my $.02

Last edited by BoostedE90; 02-16-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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      02-16-2012, 12:06 PM   #6
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i agree with some of what was said in the various posts above..... to be honest i think you are jamming to many lifts into one day....

i would try to stick to two muscle groups a day......like chest tris or back bis....shoulders legs......

running isnt bad in moderation but if ur main goal is to get bigger then i wouldnt do more than 45 mins a week because it will affect how much mass you put on if ur running to much.

That being said some ppl are hard gainers and have to do a minimum 3 days of lifting to make gains but for me i have to do more like 5 days a week to make gains.

As stated above diet is also a huge part in gaining mass.....protein and calories from both natural forms as well as protein shakes because other wise it will be difficult to get the appropriate amount of protein that you need daily for gaining mass. I try to eat 5 to 6 times a day.....usually smaller meals, but i do count a protein shake as a meal and i do about two of those a day.

Also like stated above your reps and sets will make a difference in how u make gains. For instance, for gaining size you would probably to 5-8 reps as opposed to higher like 12-15....

im trying to not write to much and still be helpful, but every ones body works a little bit differently so you kinda have to figure a little bit out by ur self.... but i would def try and use what iv written so far.

also you want to be pushing your self...so going heavy and to failure if you can on ur lifts....so if ur goals is 8 reps when doing benchpress you want to make sure that on ur 8th one ur pretty much at failure. You also want to change up ur pattern every 2 weeks or so.....do things in different orders, with different rest periods, maybe different days of the week.....

You can effectively get a cardio workout in while your lifting by cutting your rest periods and keeping your hear rate up, basically you want to be sweating and breathing hard or out of breath your whole lift.

The most important things are going to be diet, what you eat and how much and how often, as well as proper technique and form. Going to the gym and busting ur ass is good only if your form is right, and ur doing things the right way, thats the best way to make gains is proper form.


Iv probably left some stuff out and Im sure that someone will disagree with me on something and like i said each person is different, but im pretty confident in what i say, iv been a high level athlete my whole life, wrestled, soccer, lacrosse, and played lacrosse in college and have set and reached many fitness goals. If you have any questions feel free to message me with them. Goodluck
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Last edited by merchomini; 02-16-2012 at 12:12 PM.
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      02-16-2012, 12:13 PM   #7
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Guys, thank you so much for the replies. I greatly appreciate that you took your own time to help a stranger on the internet !!!

I am currently working out with a Bowflex machine that I have at home. I know that the Bowflex numbers are not the same as a real bench press or other exercises but here are the numbers I use:

Chest - 110lbs per side to warm up (220 total)
120lbs per side for first set
125lbs per side for second set
130lbs per side for third set
135lbs for final set

Back - same weights as bench.

Triceps - 140 per side, 145 per side, 150 per side, 155 per side.

Shoulders - 100, 105, 110, 115.

Curls (biceps) - 80, 85, 90, 95.

I have accepted that I need to stop running and gain some weight to be able to add muscle. The idea of doing sprints sounds like fun to me and hopefully won't burn off as much muscle as a long distance run. I like the idea of adding another protein shake but don't know at what point of my day to add it. Breakfast?

Again, thanks so much for the help.
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      02-16-2012, 12:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TACA A320 View Post

................................

Chest - 110lbs per side to warm up (220 total)
120lbs per side for first set
125lbs per side for second set
130lbs per side for third set
135lbs for final set

Back - same weights as bench.

Triceps - 140 per side, 145 per side, 150 per side, 155 per side.

Shoulders - 100, 105, 110, 115.

Curls (biceps) - 80, 85, 90, 95.
Ok, granted I don't have any experience using any of the Bowflex type machnies, and granted you said the numbers aren't the same as accurately stamped free weights, but I'm still having all kinds of trouble figuring out how someone can be using 80-95 lb weights for curls and bitching about muscle size.

Either I know less about Bowflex type machines than I thought or you're basically wanting to look like a silverback on steriods.

Russ

Last edited by ruscoupe; 02-17-2012 at 08:58 AM.
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      02-16-2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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You haven't said much about your diet. Meaning what you eat at each meal so it's hard to say were you should add an extra shake. Your body can only process so much protein at one time. If you take too much at one time your body is just going to store it or pass it. The amount of protein a person's body can process is different for each person. There a few factors that play into it (lean muslce mass, activity, metabolism, etc..) but generally 30-40 grams per meal is what you should be thinking. So if you are already eating a good amount of protein at breakfast (eggs, egg whites, chicken, etc..) adding a protein shake at breakfast is probably not the best idea. If you are not taking a protein shake after your workouts this is probably your best place to add an extra shake. It's important to replenish your muscles with protein after a workout. And if you are trying to gain muscle also replenishing your glycogen stores is something you should be doing as well cause following a workout is when your body is depleted and looking for protein and glycogen to rebuild your muscles.

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      02-16-2012, 04:43 PM   #10
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If you haven't made any progress in that long you're clearly doing something VERY wrong.

Post your total caloric intake please.
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      02-16-2012, 08:02 PM   #11
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Hey guys, again thank you everyone for your input.

I think the food I eat is the killer here. I used to be extremely fat and now cannot make myself eat a lot (which of course is essential to muscle growth lmao)

Breakfast - I usually just eat two waffles and drink water. The waffle package says that both waffles combined have about 11 grams of protein.

10am snack - Special K protein bar. 12 grams of protein.

Lunch - whatever my buddies and I feel like eating that day. Sometimes healthy, sometimes not so much. I think I can definitely improve here.

4PM Snack - protein smoothie

Dinner - anything goes. This is usually my healthiest meal as it is usually home cooked except for weekends.

Thanks!
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      02-17-2012, 04:04 AM   #12
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I find it hard to believe you have "small" arms when you're able to curl 95lbs. I know you're on the bowflex, so after accounting for pulleys you're still curling at least 30-35 lbs. Are you increasing the weight weekly or monthly? Try increasing your weights more frequently, increased strength means increased muscle mass. Are you limited to just using a bowflex? Try getting in olympic bar squats and deadlifts into your workout.
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      02-17-2012, 08:41 AM   #13
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Hey, thanks for the input. I increase the weight every opportunity I get and I am also still surprised that my arms are small. I have buddies who have been lifting for a year that have bigger arms than me

I think the problem lies in my old routine. I was on a routine that had me working out all of the above mentioned body parts, all at once, every other day. I then switched to a routine that had me lifting every day but different body parts (chest, shoulders, tris one day, back and curls the next day) combined with ~7 hours of sleep I was probably overtraining and screwed myself.
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      02-17-2012, 02:53 PM   #14
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in a nutshell, you need to eat more, up your calories/ protein intake by 20-30%, eat meals 5 spread out mixing the types of protein intake if you can (nuts, fish, poultry, beef, egg, etc). Make sure you get lots of rest too.

As for your routine, pick two muscle groups a day for a workout. I found that was a good starting point for me. Also check your vegetable and fruit intake, you need those micro nutrients and minerals. I try to always stay away from a multi-vitamin sine our bodies are able to absorb more from foods than with a pill. Work out heavy, the last few reps should be quite difficult if your choosing the right weight. Remember though, form is key.

Your running shouldn't be a problem if its on your off-weights day. But usually running anything longer than 40 mins will start burning muscle tissue. Now if you want to focus on fat burn, you can pick a high incline on the treadmill and choose anywhere from (min) 3.5-4.4 (max) for speed. Or you can do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which is running sprints for 30 seconds or so, then a slow jog for anywhere between 30secs - 1 min.

Goodluck!
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      02-17-2012, 09:17 PM   #15
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I think the issue lies in your routine as well. You are only doing 1 workout per body part? That is nowhere near enough to fatigue your muscles. I would add some dumbbells to your routine or fork out the extra dough and go to a gym where you will have access to dumbbells and barbells along with machines. Each of your muscles have different heads and parts to them which require different workouts. Hell I do about 5 different lifts for my biceps alone, same goes for my tricep workouts ( these do not include any workouts I do for chest or back.)
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      02-17-2012, 10:29 PM   #16
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Do you workout before or after dinner?

Please explain your additions to his diet.
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      02-18-2012, 01:47 PM   #17
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I think the issue lies in your routine as well. You are only doing 1 workout per body part? That is nowhere near enough to fatigue your muscles. I would add some dumbbells to your routine or fork out the extra dough and go to a gym where you will have access to dumbbells and barbells along with machines. Each of your muscles have different heads and parts to them which require different workouts. Hell I do about 5 different lifts for my biceps alone, same goes for my tricep workouts ( these do not include any workouts I do for chest or back.)
Lift heavier weights, you can get the same effect with just 2-3 exercises.
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      02-18-2012, 11:46 PM   #18
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Lift heavier weights, you can get the same effect with just 2-3 exercises.
I do go very heavy.
I've been working out for over 12 years. I have figured out what works for me. And unfortunately 2-3 Different exercises with heavy weight does not do much for my muscles..
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      02-19-2012, 12:08 AM   #19
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Thumbs up

Protein!

UA-320...LAX
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      02-19-2012, 01:00 PM   #20
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Hey guys, again thank you very much each of you for your input. I am making some modifications to my diet (adding protein lol) and to my workout as well (going even heavier than usual) and will find a way to throw in more exercises for specific body parts.

Happy sunday everyone!
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      02-19-2012, 02:41 PM   #21
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Good luck let us know how it goes.
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      02-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
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bi cepts you don't need 5 routines in same day.. maybe spread throughout the week. i usually hit 3 routines for my bicep

standup barbell curl or weighted pullups
incline dumbell curls (both arms at same time, no cheating)
arnold concentrated curls..
That may work for you. But people have different things we are working towards. I'm going for size and my arms are a little over 18 inches. What has your 3 workouts done for your arm size? Hate to come off as smug, but peoples body respond differently to the same types of workouts. What works for you will not get me to where I want to be.
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