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Scrawny Nerd to Brawny God - unsilentwill - 03-09-2013

One of my deathline goals was gaining 50 lbs of lean muscle in a year. I still don't know how realistic it was, but it failed completely. However it was in the deathline because it's important to me, so I can't give up.

Currently I'm 6'4" and 150 lbs. Incredibly underweight due to a stupidly high metabolism and lack of a disciplined workout routine. My genetics seem to say I'll start gaining weight (and even become overweight) in time, but instead of sitting at my computer all day overeating (trust me) and waiting around--I want to get fit for my health, flexible for posture, and bigger for better body image and social confidence.

I've been through gym routines and weight lifting all through high school and college with very, very little improvement. It's disheartening but it's time to go back for good. This subforum comes up at a perfect time as I've found a great deal to go to the local university gym at no cost to me, starting next week.

My plan is going in the morning every day and devoting different days to Arms/Chest, Shoulders/Back, and Legs as well as running and swimming. This plan includes extra time devoted to stretching as I am not flexible at all, as well as keeping track of my calories and upping the protein in my diet. I'll be posting some numbers of sets and reps as well as diet changes, and weight gains (or losses) and pictures if I'm brave. I'm familiar with the exercises, but besides protein powder I've never made huge changes to my diet and nutrition. I know there's a thousand places to look for the right numbers for protein and calories, but if someone with similar experience knows some good numbers I'd love to hear them.

[Image: laocoon.jpg]
GOAL: Be devoured by giant snakes for getting in the way of the gods plans/being too ripped


RE: Scrawny Nerd to Big Guy - Darqjakob - 03-09-2013

Hey man,

Good goal. I hope you make some progress. I am 6'2 and-- these days -- usually around 170, so I understand the struggle of being a "hardgainer".

For me, when I started working out it was tough to find a reliable resources, there are so many books and websites, and so many are so misleading and can do more harm then good. I spent about a year of dicking around and tweaking things before I found a workable resource, where there was a direct cause and effect relationship to the nutrition and workout to the gains.

I recommend this site whole heartily. The information on here costs nothing, it's just this guys site. Don't be turned off by how goofy this guy seems. His methods really work.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

http://scoobysworkshop.com/chest-exercises/


RE: Scrawny Nerd to Big Guy - Ioan Chirita - 03-09-2013

Hi there!
First of all I wish the best of luck to you ! I have to say i was in a similar position and i hope you take my advice.
When i started out i was also 150 lbs (68 kg) but i'm not that tall, i'm just 5'8'' (172 cm). Although i was in my normal weight range, i looked really skinny! Now i weigh around 176 lbs (80 kg) and that's after a year and i still look kinda skinny, I'm also a hardgainer/skinny-fat/ectomorph kinda guy. I didn't go to the gym, i only worked out at home with my dumbells. Currently i have two dumbells of 42 pounds(19 kg) each.I still have a long way to go, i'm nowhere near an expert or anything, this is just my experience so feel free not to take my advice.

These are some BASIC RULES that i followed :
1. You have to have PATIENCE and to be CONSISTENT. Nothing comes overnight, it takes a good 6 months of hard work to see some satisfying results.

2.EAT a lot and healthy.Keep track of you calories(http://caloriecount.about.com/). Eat high caloric foods like meat, eggs, milk if yo can tolerate it, oats, salmon, nuts and seeds, fruits. But being a hardgainer you can cheat by eating junkfood as well from time to time.Remember, you have to eat at least 2500 calories a day to gain weight and that is hard when eating clean. But also you need 1.5 g of protein per pound, so in your case you need at least 225 g of protein a day. Here are some examples:
-150 g of grilled chicken breast has 40g of protein(246 calories)
-1 150g can of tuna has also 40g of protein.
-1 cup of milk has 8g of protein(100 calories)
-1 egg has 6g (78 calories)
-100 g of sunflower seeds has 20g of protein(585 calories !!!) - This was probably the MAIN GUN! Eat a lot of seeds and nuts, they are very good for your health, having good fats.
-1 banana has little protein but 105 calories, eat at least 2-3 a day

So you have to do the math and add those up and other healthy foods that you like until you reach 2500 calories to see what you have to eat the next day. ALSO DONT FORGET CARBS AND FIBER - fruit, vegetables and cereals.

This is very IMPORTANT, eating is like 70% of the whole business.If you don't eat, you don't gain, simple as that.If you can't do it, consider investing in protein shakes.

3.TRAIN HARD. This means big weights and low reps, 5-8 range.I see that you decided to do a split workout("... devoting different days to Arms/Chest, Shoulders/Back, and Legs...") and i think is a BIG mistake. you need a fullbody workout, 3 times a week and go for the compound movements with free weights, forget machines. Squats, Deadlifts, Pull-ups, Benchpress, moves that involve more than 2 muscle groups.After each workout you need feel pain, that means sore muscles and shaky arms. If you don't train hard you don't gain weight.

4.Keep a workout LOG/JURNAL. Being a student/having a job or having other problems can keep your mind occupied and you need to track your progress. What i mean is that when your next workout comes you need to up your reps or your weights everytime, otherwise it doesn't work. So you need all of this info on paper, type of exercises, reps, weights, form, everything!

5.GOOD FORM. don't cheat on this. The movements must have the correct form otherwise you risk injury.

These are roughly some basic rules that i followed(eat a lot, train hard and have patience).As i said i still have a lot of work myself but i won't give up.
When i started out i did all kinds of mistakes that you don't have to do, diet being one of them.There is progress in muscle mass in my case, but i still have to deal with some belly fat(imagine that! - i was skinny my whole life). I still need to bulk a bit, maybe reach 85 kg, then comes the cutting part!

So again, i wish you the best of luck and be patient !


RE: Scrawny Nerd to Big Guy - Anthony Devine - 03-09-2013

(03-09-2013, 04:31 PM)unsilentwill Wrote: Currently I'm 6'4" and 150 lbs. Incredibly underweight due to a stupidly high metabolism and lack of a disciplined workout routine.

I've been through gym routines and weight lifting all through high school and college with very, very little improvement. It's disheartening but it's time to go back for good. This subforum comes up at a perfect time as I've found a great deal to go to the local university gym at no cost to me, starting next week.

My plan is going in the morning every day and devoting different days to Arms/Chest, Shoulders/Back, and Legs as well as running and swimming. This plan includes extra time devoted to stretching as I am not flexible at all, as well as keeping track of my calories and upping the protein in my diet. I'll be posting some numbers of sets and reps as well as diet changes, and weight gains (or losses) and pictures if I'm brave. I'm familiar with the exercises, but besides protein powder I've never made huge changes to my diet and nutrition. I know there's a thousand places to look for the right numbers for protein and calories, but if someone with similar experience knows some good numbers I'd love to hear them.

To be honest mate, your plan isnt really going to work out or at least it's NOT the most effective way for working out your body type. The most important thing about working out/body building is to understand GENETIC's to begin with. You're 6ft4in at 150lbs (just under 11stone in UK measurements), this means you fit into the Ectomorph category.

The plan you've written above won't help you very much as it involves working out EVERY DAY, isolated workouts and TOO MUCH cardio. Ectomorph's get better results by sticking to working out:

3times a week for 1hr- 1half hrs each sesh. Why? Because your muscle is very thin and in body building terms, its still in its infancy. You NEED longer recovery periods to BUILD muscle. Keep cardio like swimming and jogging at a bare minimum if even that- your metabolism is way too high it burns off body mass no probs, so it makes no sense to help it out even further by doing a lot of swimming and jogging.

Stick to compound exercises. Forget isolated workouts, concentrate on fullbody workouts you'll find in compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, snatch, hang clean, military presses etc You build muscle mass far quicker.

Programme: 4 Sets of 5-8 reps 3 times per week with compound exercises or you could try Pyramid reps instead as Ectomorphs respond better to these. Be sure to have 3-5minutes rest between sets and work with weights that are 75% of your 1 rep max. This will be different for each muscle groups- your shoulders maybe able to take more weight than say your arms. Flex your muscles that you're working out for a minute after each set. This will encourage growth.

Adding to what Loan talks about with eating, make sure that you switch to wholemeal products like brown bread, brown pasta, brown rice. Eat lots of green veg + leafy veg- broccoli, spinach A protein shake before a workout and then one after is the way to go + on your recovery days make sure you're taking your protein.

One more thing, besides from making sure you're taking the right amount of calories per day, you really have to eat a shit lot more carbs than others. Like 500grms of carbs per day.

My brother is 28, 6ft4in and weighs 154lbs. He switched to the above plan 3 weeks ago and gained 11 lbs in his first week and now averages 1 lbs every 5-7 days or so.

Hope the above helps and google Ectomorph for further research and look up The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger.


RE: Scrawny Nerd to Big Guy - Ioan Chirita - 03-09-2013

Yes, listen to what Anthony Devine is telling you, he speaks the truth.
Good luck!


RE: Scrawny Nerd to Big Guy - RyanC - 03-10-2013

That's some great advice from Ioan and Anthony. My gaining routine is all compound exercises like Anthony suggested with at least a day or two rest in between workouts. I do deadlifts (which along with squats is the single best weight gaining exercise) weighted push-ups, pull-ups/chin-ups , inverted rows, dips, shoulder presses. 2 sets each 6-8 reps with lots of stretching before hand. My workout usually takes about 40 minutes. Eat some food right before bed to help keep calories in you (I usually have a banana with peanut butter and whole milk because it's easy). I also recommend adding olive oil to things for example I cook my eggs in it for good fats. Getting enough sleep is important because that's when your body repairs and builds your muscles. I weigh myself first thing every morning and write it on a calendar to keep track of progress, I find this helps with motivation. I hope this helps. Lift safely, work hard and eat eat eat!


RE: Scrawny Nerd to Big Guy - unsilentwill - 03-10-2013

Wow, amazing response from you guys. Thank you for being so incredibly helpful. Like I said I've been working at this mostly ignorantly and going to my old college gym with some guys, each who had different goals and strategies which probably put me on the wrong course. And damn as a nerd Ectomorph has a horrible ring to it, it's too Ghostbusters. Gotta accept that's me and change myself I guess.

Quoting some things to remind myself, I'll put them in my Man Journal.

(03-09-2013, 09:55 PM)Anthony Devine Wrote: 3times a week for 1hr- 1half hrs each sesh. Why? Because your muscle is very thin and in body building terms, its still in its infancy. You NEED longer recovery periods to BUILD muscle. Keep cardio like swimming and jogging at a bare minimum if even that- your metabolism is way too high it burns off body mass no probs, so it makes no sense to help it out even further by doing a lot of swimming and jogging.

Stick to compound exercises. Forget isolated workouts, concentrate on fullbody workouts you'll find in compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, snatch, hang clean, military presses etc. You build muscle mass far quicker.

Programme: 4 Sets of 5-8 reps 3 times per week with compound exercises or you could try Pyramid reps instead as Ectomorphs respond better to these. Be sure to have 3-5minutes rest between sets and work with weights that are 75% of your 1 rep max. This will be different for each muscle groups- your shoulders maybe able to take more weight than say your arms. Flex your muscles that you're working out for a minute after each set. This will encourage growth.

Adding to what Loan talks about with eating, make sure that you switch to wholemeal products like brown bread, brown pasta, brown rice. Eat lots of green veg + leafy veg- broccoli, spinach A protein shake before a workout and then one after is the way to go + on your recovery days make sure you're taking your protein.

One more thing, besides from making sure you're taking the right amount of calories per day, you really have to eat a shit lot more carbs than others. Like 500grms of carbs per day.

Hope the above helps and google Ectomorph for further research and look up The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Awesome, so rad. I can start to see my big mistakes already, shame wasting nearly 7 years of lifting but hey. I tend to be an all or nothing guy, so that recovery info is killer. Sounds like I'm doing myself no favors there. The full body lifts you mentioned scared the hell out of me, tossing weight I can barely lift off the ground off my face, or onto my shoulders, I've never seen a little guy near them in my life. Good to know I've got an enemy to face head on.

Ioan Chirita Wrote:1. You have to have PATIENCE and to be CONSISTENT. Nothing comes overnight, it takes a good 6 months of hard work to see some satisfying results.

2.EAT a lot and healthy.Keep track of you calories(http://caloriecount.about.com/). Eat high caloric foods like meat, eggs, milk if yo can tolerate it, oats, salmon, nuts and seeds, fruits. But being a hardgainer you can cheat by eating junkfood as well from time to time.Remember, you have to eat at least 2500 calories a day to gain weight and that is hard when eating clean. But also you need 1.5 g of protein per pound, so in your case you need at least 225 g of protein a day. Here are some examples:
-150 g of grilled chicken breast has 40g of protein(246 calories)
-1 150g can of tuna has also 40g of protein.
-1 cup of milk has 8g of protein(100 calories)
-1 egg has 6g (78 calories)
-100 g of sunflower seeds has 20g of protein(585 calories !!!) - This was probably the MAIN GUN! Eat a lot of seeds and nuts, they are very good for your health, having good fats.
-1 banana has little protein but 105 calories, eat at least 2-3 a day


So you have to do the math and add those up and other healthy foods that you like until you reach 2500 calories to see what you have to eat the next day. ALSO DONT FORGET CARBS AND FIBER - fruit, vegetables and cereals.

This is very IMPORTANT, eating is like 70% of the whole business.If you don't eat, you don't gain, simple as that.If you can't do it, consider investing in protein shakes.

3.TRAIN HARD. This means big weights and low reps, 5-8 range.I see that you decided to do a split workout("... devoting different days to Arms/Chest, Shoulders/Back, and Legs...") and i think is a BIG mistake. you need a fullbody workout, 3 times a week and go for the compound movements with free weights, forget machines. Squats, Deadlifts, Pull-ups, Benchpress, moves that involve more than 2 muscle groups.After each workout you need feel pain, that means sore muscles and shaky arms. If you don't train hard you don't gain weight.

4.Keep a workout LOG/JURNAL. Being a student/having a job or having other problems can keep your mind occupied and you need to track your progress. What i mean is that when your next workout comes you need to up your reps or your weights everytime, otherwise it doesn't work. So you need all of this info on paper, type of exercises, reps, weights, form, everything!

5.GOOD FORM. don't cheat on this. The movements must have the correct form otherwise you risk injury.

1. Tell me about it. I've got that, gotta make it last this time. 2. Amazing details. I generally eat nothing but carbs, so I need to kick up the protein like crazy, and write some damn numbers down. 3. I feel like hell after a normal routine, sounds like it's gonna push me to the limit. Nice. 4. Noted, same thing with my sketchbook I have to go more in depth, no detail left uncovered. 5. I'll look for the right books, don't think youtube will cut it this time.

RyanC Wrote:That's some great advice from Ioan and Anthony. My gaining routine is all compound exercises like Anthony suggested with at least a day or two rest in between workouts. I do deadlifts (which along with squats is the single best weight gaining exercise) weighted push-ups, pull-ups/chin-ups , inverted rows, dips, shoulder presses. 2 sets each 6-8 reps with lots of stretching before hand. My workout usually takes about 40 minutes. Eat some food right before bed to help keep calories in you (I usually have a banana with peanut butter and whole milk because it's easy). I also recommend adding olive oil to things for example I cook my eggs in it for good fats. Getting enough sleep is important because that's when your body repairs and builds your muscles. I weigh myself first thing every morning and write it on a calendar to keep track of progress, I find this helps with motivation. I hope this helps. Lift safely, work hard and eat eat eat!

The university gym I'll go to is on spring break and I've got one hell of a deadline, so today will be about counting calories and protein for my day, getting some weighted pushups started, see how it feels. Sunday I should able to sign up and get started, go shopping for foods, and post what I've got on this site.

Thanks again to all you guys, you're getting me so pumped up to fix my mistakes and do it right.


RE: Scrawny Nerd to Big Guy - Ioan Chirita - 03-10-2013

Glad we could help!
Remember, you can start with 1g of protein / pound of bodyweight if you find it difficult to eat 1.5 g, but don't go below 1g.
Also keep your workouts under 1 hour, that would mean 1 big exercise/muscle group. If you do more than 1 exercise you will extend your workout to 1 1/2 h, maybe more and that will make you fatigue. Also under 1 h the body releases testosteron which is great, after 1 hour the body releases cortisol which is bad for mass building.(Example: for legs, you only do squats, 3 sets, then onto the next muscle group. You can alternate exercises for a muscle group from workout to workout).

Good luck! and eat :)


RE: Scrawny Nerd to Brawny God - unsilentwill - 06-10-2013

Today starts only my third week back at the gym. Went after posting this thread, was almost immediately discouraged. Never planned on giving up, working through some issues apparently. Worked on my diet in the meantime, introducing time for more food prep.

Started after a move closer to the gym just a block down. First week of May 19 went well, brought a notebook to test what weight/reps I managed to do. Quick summary:
Assisted Pullups/Dips - 8-10 reps at 70 assist
Squats - 10 at 70 lbs
Bench -10 at 55~70 lbs
Deadlift - 8 at 55lbs
Pushups -3
All at 3 sets, four times. Had the next week off for family health, obligations, and friend celebrations, but back to it last week. Eating adequate amounts, still not near calorie amount. Biggest challenge so far is not desire to go or determination, but working out the right weights for endurance without tiring myself out quickly, which I imagine will improve as I get a solid routine.

Currently at 160lbs, the most I've ever been at, so I seem to going in the right direction. I'll try to update this thread weekly or biweekly to make up for the months of depressed silence.