I am 37 years old, I weigh 195 lbs. I don't know my body fat
percentage, I have a little bit of a gut.
I work out with weights at home four times a week. I do have access to
a gym but I don't have a membership.
I've never attended a gym in my life.
I'd rather workout in the privacy of my home. Before I started working
out I weighed 175 lbs, so far I've gained 20 lbs.
My goal is to reach between 230-240 lbs.
My problem right now is that I'm stuck at 195 and have been that way for
maybe two months, maybe more.
To be honest, I'm a little frustrated. I'm trying to switch my workouts
roughly every two weeks, when I get up to ten reps I add more weight and drop
the reps down to eight or nine reps.
I do a split routine. I workout my legs, calves back, I don't do my lower
back, forearms one day, rest one day then the next day do chest, shoulders, bis,
tris, rest one day, then start the cycle over again.
I'm trying to watch my form so I don't cheat. I'm getting enough sleep
during the week, on the weekends I admit my sleep is off, I stay up late.
I'm thinking maybe I'm not getting enough protein and carbs in a day.
With that in mind I'm trying to eat more for breakfast, with lunch I have a
protein bar, I'm trying to drink more water.
Roughly at 3pm I have another protein bar, I try to have a good supper.
Before I go to bed I try to have some cottage cheese, milk, a salmon sandwich,
food that's high in protein, carbs.
I hope you can help people in my position. If you need any additional
information in regards to my workouts, or diet I would gladly supply it. I
appreciate any help you can provide.
There are Many Factors which can Contribute to a Training Plateau
Getting continuous body composition results is all about periodization.
You must also follow a periodization model to drastically reduce the chance of
Your training sessions should have very high time under tension (volume).
This means either more reps per set, or slower sets. Since your goal is
hypertrophy or building the muscles larger, you should be lifting for high
volume training sessions for the majority of the year.
When you start to plateau, you MUST take a week off. This is very
important before transitioning to another cycle of different sets and reps,
training split and volume. After your week off, your body will be ready to
make more gains.
Irregular sleeping patterns and not getting enough sleep is very bad for
gaining mass. When you do not get enough sleep or stay up late at night
your body releases the stress hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is not completely understood but when your body releases it, during
periods of high stress, the rate of muscle breakdown and fat gain is
accelerated. This being said, make an effort to get regular sleeping
patterns and you will benefit.
You mentioned you don't know your body fat percentage and you don't know
whether you're getting enough carbs and protein during the day.
Wouldn't it be a good idea to find out? It is too easy to find out, and
too important for the success of your training program to neglect.
Determining your body composition can be very easy and quick with an
Accu-Measure skinfold. Even if your body composition is not
important to you now, when you start gaining mass it will be important to know
whether you are gaining muscle or fat.
Finding out how many calories you need is a matter of finding a calculator
which does mathematical equations to estimate your caloric needs. Here is
caloric needs calculator to easily estimate your needs to put on
Building mass from 175 to 195 was significant and building 35-45 more pounds
will take some serious training and serious amounts of calories.
Don't just concentrate on protein and carbs. Fat has important hormonal
functions as well as provides 9 calories per gram. Make sure you spread
out your meals evenly throughout the day. Cottage cheese is great before
bed but don't forget your essential fats such as salmon.
If you aren't taking a multivitamin, definitely get a multiple vitamin which
is dosed in multiple pills every day. Drink plenty of water. If your
diet and training are spot on and you still are not getting the results you want
check out the two ideas below.
Extra Carbohydrates from Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin is a tasteless complex carbohydrate which is used in
many meal replacements and other products as a filler carbohydrate. It is
high energy and made immediately for your body to use rapidly. It is
available in powders in stores for cheap as well as online.
You can add maltodextrin to your post-workout recovery or drinking water to
increase your caloric intake as well as frequency of fueling your muscles with
Maltodextrin is added to Iditarod sled dogs water to give them enough fuel to
mush across the snowy tundra and it will help athletes keep their energy levels
up as well as maintain a caloric surplus for people who want to gain muscle
Increase your Dietary Fat Intake
Fat is more calorically dense than protein and carbohydrates and has twice
the calories. You can maintain the caloric surplus needed to gain mass
easier if your diet has about 30% of its calories as fat.
Remember all fats are not created equal. You should avoid high amounts
of saturated animal fats. Stick to primarily unsaturated fats.
Muscle Milk is a great supplement for people of low body fat
percentages who want to gain mass. Muscle milk contains healthy fats and
Medium Chained Triglycerides (MCTs) which are most likely burned as energy
rather than stored as body fat.