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I'm not getting sore - What am I doing wrong?

Brian SD

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So I'm trying to put on some weight by the end of the year. There are a few problems I'm having:

I realize diet is a huge part of this but I'm having a really hard time finding a time and a place to put in more calories. I've been drinking some milk/protein mix (one pre-workout, one post-workout, one before bed on workout days) and eating mixed nuts on my breaks at work, but I'm such an ectomorph that I can't seem to be getting any improvements in terms of weight gain.

I'm awfully skinny and always have been. I have no idea my BF% but I assume it's pretty low, I can see muscle striations around my quads and biceps - all my fat is around my belly, but even that is pretty minuscule.

Anyway, the thing I noticed recently is that my muscles aren't getting sore at all and I feel like I'm not gaining/growing if I'm not getting sore, but I really don't know where to go next.

I've been blasting my legs with everything they've got at the local club, basically doing 40 minutes of leg exercises every two days, and about 10-15 minutes of upper body. I have some problems with my chest (costochondritis), so I can't do pectoral workouts, but I've still been noticing a little bit of muscle gain in that area, possibly due to increased growth hormone from the other stuff.

Anyway, my workout is as follows:

Squats 1x10, 2x8, 2x5
Leg Press 4x8
Leg extensions 3x8
Leg curls (?? not sure what it's called, its the one where you lie on your front side and pull your heels in) 3x8
Calf Raises - I start with 15 reps at 50 kilos and increase weight until I can only do 5 reps

then I do core and upper body, usually 10-15 pull-ups, maybe some military press or lat pulldown, and various core workouts until my abs can't take it anymore.

Oddly enough, except for my shoulders and back, I don't get any sore muscles anymore. My legs/gluts are hardly sore at all even if I can barely walk up the stairs out of the club after my workout, my calves are NEVER sore even though I work them to the bone, and my abs are never sore as well, under similar circumstances.

A guy who works at the club was trying to explain to me something about shocking my muscles (I think?) but his English is pretty bad and my Korean is non-existent, so communication is rough to say the least.

Anyone see some glaring mistake in what I'm doing here? I know it's not perfect, nor anywhere near it, but I feel like I have a pretty good full-body workout going on here and the part that I care about / work at the least (my shoulders/back) is the only part that gets sore. I wanted to split my workout so that I can separate leg workouts by 4 days instead of only 1 day, but 2 days after my workout I'm ready to hit the squats again, so I go at it till I can't do it anymore.
 

Thomas

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I get really really sore when I drop a dumbbell on a random body part. But I don't seem to get any stronger.

yuks aside, when people talk of shocking your muscles, they generally mean doing different exercises. In your case I'd venture to say that you're doing too much work on your legs (15 sets) to get much growth. My favorite workouts for legs included squats and stiff-legged deadlifts, roughly 5 sets each and that was the day's work. I pretty well left the machines for when I wanted a change of pace. Try paring it back and focus on one or two lifts, really get into them, and see what happens. Good luck.
 

why

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Your problem is that you're listening to idiots.

You don't have increased GH from the leg workouts that are making your pectorals larger.

If the weights are moving up you're doing fine. If the weights stay the same very week then cut out the leg presses, leg curls, leg extensions, and all core work besides some weighted sit-ups. Move the weights up minorly (maybe 2-3% of 1rm) each week.

What is 'some military press'?

You need to cut out the volume on your legs. Good mornings/deadlift will help a lot more than leg curls and extensions.

If your weight won't go up then start eating whole buckets of KFC.
 

Jumbie

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Originally Posted by Brian SD
Anyway, the thing I noticed recently is that my muscles aren't getting sore at all and I feel like I'm not gaining/growing if I'm not getting sore, but I really don't know where to go next.

You don't need to get sore to have increases in strength and size. Whoever started that particular myth should be shot.

I've been blasting my legs with everything they've got at the local club, basically doing 40 minutes of leg exercises every two days.

Anyway, my workout is as follows:

Squats 1x10, 2x8, 2x5
Leg Press 4x8
Leg extensions 3x8
Leg curls (?? not sure what it's called, its the one where you lie on your front side and pull your heels in) 3x8
Calf Raises - I start with 15 reps at 50 kilos and increase weight until I can only do 5 reps

Anyone see some glaring mistake in what I'm doing here?
Yes. You are doing way too much too often.

Give your body time to recover. Unless you're juicing or naturally genetically gifted - neither of which appears to be true - you will end up overtraining and do more harm than good.

By the way, sometimes you just aren't going to be able to grow in certain areas. I've always had smallish calves despite being able to get bigger in the thighs and elsewhere. They became incredibly strong but just didn't grow much. Such is life and you can only do so much with what you are given; don't expect miracles although sometimes significant improvement can be made.
 

Brian SD

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So as I understand it, I should be focusing on increasing the amount of weight I'm doing in my squats, start doing deadlifts, and laying off the leg extensions, leg curls and leg press? And on top of that, I should give myself a longer break between workout days?

5x5 squats and 5x5 deadlifts on the same day a good idea? Then maybe throw in some pull-ups and core work and call it?

Thanks for the advice.

Btw, on the GH - a friend of mine who is a long time CrossFit guy was telling me that exercises that utilize many groups of muscles, like pull-ups and squats will increase your GH levels. This isn't true? He's a pretty reliable source, I'd be surprised if he was full of shit.
 

Omar1223

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^^^^whats s & l bread?

btw brian here is the template i have been using for the past month or so regarding gaining weight...its from menshealth.com. sorry for the length.


Goals:
Eat 3 meals a day, plus pre and post workouts.
Add calories in at every meal and snack through food and beverages.
Get more carbohydrate into your diet through cereal, rice, pasta, fruits, and vegetables to provide fuel for activity.

Cut down on fat in the diet and increase the protein and carbohydrate.

THE PLAN

BREAKFAST

Orange juice: large glass ( 12 ounces)

Cereal: A large bowl of Cheerios with granola added, skim milk

And a bagel or 2 slices of wheat toast with 1 TBSP peanut butter on each piece

OR

2 pieces of fruit

A glass of juice ( 12 ounces)

A breakfast sandwich of an English muffin

Scrambled eggs (2)

2 pieces of ham

2 slices of cheese

OR

A smoothie made with

1 scoop of protein powder

8 oz yogurt

12 oz skim milk

1 cup of frozen fruit

AND

A bagel with peanut butter

Eat something within 15 minutes of finishing your workout, EVEN if you are not hungry. If you exercise more than once a day, you need to eat something after every workout.

Choices:

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a sports drink

A container of yogurt with granola

A small bag of trail mix and Gatorade

A bar such as Balance, Power or Clif Bar and sports drink

This helps you to recover as well as increase weight.

LUNCH OPTIONS:

Subway 12 inch:

Chicken

Tuna

Steak

Ham and cheese

With baked chips and lemonade or juice to drink

Burger places:

A cheeseburger, and a grilled chicken sandwich

Small fries

Shake

OR

Grilled chicken salad with a baked potato and juice to drink

OR

A wrap with a salad and a shake

If you make food:

Bagel sandwich with turkey, cheese and fruit

Pasta with sauce, 2 pieces of chicken and a salad

OR

An omelet with 3 eggs, cheese, vegetables,

Hash browns

And 2 slices of toast

SNACK in the afternoon:

Banana with peanut butter ( 2 TBSP)

Trail mix with cereal, nuts, and dried fruit ( 1 cup or 2 handfuls)

Cheese and crackers

Large Bowl of cereal


Every time you eat, have something to drink that contains calories:

Juice

Low-fat milk

Lemonade

Sports Drink


DINNER

Protein always:

Half of the plate

Steak

Chicken

Fish

Pork

Turkey


With

Half the plate as rice, pasta, potato, corn

And then separately:

A salad

Or

Cooked vegetables

Or fruit

Seconds should be from carbs and meat

And to drink at dinner:

Milk

Juice

Lemonade

LATER AT NIGHT

To add some extra calories:

A large bowl of ice cream or frozen yogurt

A smoothie

A protein shake with ice cream added

A sandwich
 

Brian SD

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I don't care enough about optimum weight gainage to put myself through that hellish routine of bland food. If I come up ahead 4kg by the end of the year, I'd be stoked. My concern is mostly that I may be doing something wrong in my workout that I can easily fix. Turns out this is true and there's plenty to work on there. I've come to grips with the fact that with the way I eat, I'm just not going to gain enough wait to become "slim" instead of "skinny," and I can deal with that. But if I can improve my workout routine, then I will. Aside from that, most everything you guys are proposing (food wise) is either unavailable in Korea, or very expensive. My diet consists of tons of cabbage, some pork, some chicken, tuna, lots of seaweed, rice, sprouts, the occasional fast food burger, the occasional beer, and milk protein shakes. Oh and I treat myself to cow intestines every once in awhile.
 

why

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Originally Posted by Brian SD
So as I understand it, I should be focusing on increasing the amount of weight I'm doing in my squats, start doing deadlifts, and laying off the leg extensions, leg curls and leg press? And on top of that, I should give myself a longer break between workout days?

Basically, yes. You're adding on volume and keeping the intensity the same. Volume-based programs only work for people on juice.

5x5 squats and 5x5 deadlifts on the same day a good idea? Then maybe throw in some pull-ups and core work and call it?
Yup. That's it. Start light for the first week -- probably light enough that you don't even sweat. Take 2-3 minutes between sets (don't do rapid fire lifts to 'feel' the muscle or some other shit -- that's just stupid). Then increase the weight on the same exercises each week for a month or so. Then decrease them again (maybe to week 2 or 3 weights from the first go-around) and start putting more weight on each week from there. In other words, it looks like this:

Week 1: 100lbs.
Week 2: 105lbs.
Week 3: 110lbs.
Week 4: 115lbs.
Week 5: 105lbs.
Week 6: 110lbs.

You get the idea.

Btw, on the GH - a friend of mine who is a long time CrossFit guy was telling me that exercises that utilize many groups of muscles, like pull-ups and squats will increase your GH levels. This isn't true? He's a pretty reliable source, I'd be surprised if he was full of shit.
Yeah, they increase for a little bit post-workout. Wow. Since protein synthesis occurs in the 36 hours after training, the small increase post-workout is pretty minimal and ultimately worthless since over an extended period of time through training your GH levels will be below baseline. Don't worry about GH and nutrient timing and stuff. Put weight on the bar and food in your belly.
 

unexpected

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without eating more, any improvements in your workouts are going to be worthless. This is the point we're trying to make.

Basically, your body works like this (and this is a simplified version, and why and eigolan can argue over my semantics later, but this is an easy model):

your body has a set number of calories that it burns everyday. Let's say that you have a high metabolism, and it burns 2500 calories a day. Now you add 500 calories of exercise expenditure through lifting, now you're burning 3000 calories a day.

If you keep eating 2500 calories a day, guess what, your body is going to lose weight. If you pump up your diet to 3000, your body is going to break even.

Only when you eat an excess of calories is your body going to say, "omg, we have excess calories, and our muscles worked really hard today!! What should we do with these extra calories?? omg, i know, let's build muscle so our bodies don't have to work as hard next time!!).

If you don't work out, your body is like, "omg, our muscles are good, let's convert these calories to fat in case we need them for later".

Unless you get a true excess of calories though, your body is not going to enter this phase. Instead it's going to be, "oh man, my muscles hurt, but there's nothing I can do- there's not enough calories to go around"

Also, on the soreness issue- the first couple times you do squats, you should honesty feel like you've been buttfucked. If you don't feel like you're being buttfucked, you need to increase your weight, or you need to go deeper in the bends, so that your hips are parallel to the ground.

And yes, cut the leg extension shit out. just do squats and deadlifts. If you do them properly, you really should be in pain.
 

thinman

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My trainer basically gave me the same advice about cutting the volume and focusing on squats and deadlifts with heavy weight, usually on different days (though I see him once a week, so I do both lifts on the same day).

When he "shocks" my muscles, about once every 3-4 weeks, I do lifts through a partial range of motion using very heavy weight. For example, for partial squats my current one-rep max (where I actually do one rep) is 484 lbs., whereas I typically lift only 132 lbs, plus about 70 lbs of chains through a full range of motion for multiple reps. The idea is that lifting 484 lbs makes 132+ lbs seem light by comparison and readies my body to handle increased weight through the full range. He also uses various tricks like hanging chains from the ends of the bar or using what are basically big rubber bands running from bar to rack, in order to shift the maximum load to different phases of the lift. This also shifts the load to different muscle groups (quads vs. lower back vs. rhombiods, etc.). Others with more knowledge than I can comment on the utility of doing these variations on standard squats; I don't represent myself as an expert, I trust my trainer and do what he tells me to do.

Edit: My trainer also puts a small medicine ball between my feet, to make sure I go all the way down and touch butt to medicine ball.
 

Eason

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Putting rubber bands on the rack is an interesting progression, he must have a lot of faith in you.
 

West24

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i dont know if this will help you much brianSD, but i find when i go on a strict diet and excersize i dont get many gains, but when i slack a bit and maybe eat unhealthy just a bit i see the gains so much more. dont know if thats helps, probably not lol.
 

skunkworks

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Unless you're doing very light reps of squats and deadlifts, I would definitely not do both on the same day if you're doing a 5x5 routine. It would be dumb and dangerous to do so. It even sounds dumb as hell to do 5x5 of deadlifts. You don't need that much volume with that exercise because it's extremely intense.
 

Eason

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5x5 deadlifts? That isn't bad, it's only 25 reps. I used to do 5 x 5 clean and jerk, a lot harder than deadlifts.
 

why

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Originally Posted by skunkworks
Unless you're doing very light reps of squats and deadlifts, I would definitely not do both on the same day if you're doing a 5x5 routine. It would be dumb and dangerous to do so. It even sounds dumb as hell to do 5x5 of deadlifts. You don't need that much volume with that exercise because it's extremely intense.
Uhhh...what? There's nothing wrong with doing them both on the same day...and 5x5 is fine...
 

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