I have been reading your columns now for over a year and its great stuff, i learn something new every time i read! keep up the good work!!
I am 23 yrs old and have been training now for 15 months , 4 times a week, monday, tuesday, thursday and friday
i have really got into training whereas before i just used to do cardio and no weights and was into long distance running. over the time of me weight training i made good gains initially, and got a lot of compliments, my chest was bigger, my arms and shoulders etc
but now i seem to be getting nowhere, if anything i am losing mass. im not defined, nor do i wish to be, i just want to be big, with good sized chest and arms and shoulders
The problem is i am now getting nowhere and i have read all your diffrent programs and tried a few, they are great and i do have better strength after them but dont seem to be getting bigger and this is getting me down now, even putting me off training as i try to train hard but it seems to no avail
i eat plenty of calories but can you tell me if im going worng in my diet, below is my usual daily intake
breakfast: 2 pieces of toast and 1 piece of fruit
snack: protein bar usually a tracker bar and some more fruit
lunch: 1 portien of cod fish, a can of tuna, vegetables, 1 egg and baked beans
snack: some more fruit
few hours before gym 4pm: tuna and salad sandwich on brown bread
before gym: 2 pieces of toast
after workout: protein drink
dinner:chicken/steak with potatoes and veg sometimes pasta with cheese
night snack, bowl of nuts and almonds cereal with milk
I think that is a fair bit of food there and people say i eat loads however i dont know if i need to eat more or change something, can you help?!
Thanks for your e-mail. Glad to hear you enjoy my website.
The simple answer to your question is if you are not getting bigger you are simply not eating enough. Guessing and saying "I eat a lot" is not good enough. You need to know exactly how many calories you burn off and exactly how many calories you are consuming.
To calculate how many calories you burn during the day check out http://www.leehayward.com/calorie_calculator.htm
(Note: my personal favourite calorie calculator formula is the Harris Benedict equation)
Once you calculate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) from the formula above. Simply add 500 calories to that number. This is the number of calories you should be eating everyday in order to provide a caloric surplus to grow from.
You can find out exactly how many calories are in the foods you eat at: http://www.calorieking.com this is an awesome nutritional information website.
You need to sit down with a pen, paper, and calculator and add up the numbers. It is a bit tedious at first, but this is the only way to know for sure how much to eat in order to gain muscular bodyweight.
In the customized nutrition programs that I offer. I do all the number crunching, meal plans, etc. for you. But by using the
information that I have outlined here you can do it for yourself.
I would like to buy your Total Fitness DVD's but, the issue I have is, I am a hard gainer who smokes. 6' 2" 35 year old with a 145lb weight. Never feel hungery, hardly ever workout. Sleep 4-6 hours a day and, never can gain any weight with supplements. Is there anything that you can offer a person like me?
Well, I think you just summed up your reasons for not making progress (not working out and poor diet).
I could outline the most precise diet plan and training program down to the exact detail, but it would be worthless unless you followed it. So what you need to do at this stage is make things easy on yourself. Don't complicate things by trying to do too much too soon. What I'd suggest you do is start off by just committing yourself to go to the gym 3 times per week. Don't worry about your diet, supplements, or any of that stuff right now. Just get to the gym. There are several sample beginner workout programs that are included with the Total Fitness Bodybuilding DVD Training System. Just pick one of them and follow it. After about a month of consistent workouts you will start to feel better about yourself and you will also find that your appetite will naturally increase due to burning more calories and the training demands you are putting on your body.
Once you are working out consistently for a month or two then you can focus
on improving your diet, etc.
You have some great knowledge, I have asked many people this question over the years. I have always been an athletic guy, always playing sports, but ive always been real thin. I am 6'0 and about 155 lbs. I work full time, and don't have a lot of time or money to spend on 6 meals a day to gain mass and size. What are my options here to really explode to the next level. My body gets really toned, which is great, but I would love to add some size so I don't look so damn Skinny..
The bottom line is that you have to eat more calories then you burn off in order to gain size. There is no way around it. Saying that you want to get bigger but don?t have time to eat good, is like someone saying "I'd like to get a degree, but I don't have time to go to school".
Here are a few tips that you can use to help get those 6 meals per day. Most people can manage the big 3 meals (breakfast when you wake up, lunch at your lunch break, and dinner when you get home from work). Just make sure to have a source of protein with each meal. (i.e. eggs with breakfast, a sub sandwich with lots of meat for lunch, generous helpings of meat, chicken, fish, etc. with your dinner.)
But to get some quality nutrition in between meals you can have a protein or meal replacement drink. Simply mix this up in advance in a shaker bottle or thermos and sip it in between your meals. You can also eat protein / meal replacement bars, these are really quick and convenient when you are out on the go. Instead of gobbling down a candy bar out of a vending machine you can eat a protein bar and get some quality nutrients in your system.
And you should also eat before going to bed. A cup of cottage cheese is great because it provides a good source of protein that will digest slowly over the night. You can mix it with some strawberry jam and it tastes pretty good. You can also add sliced almonds, dried fruit, etc. to help make it taste better.
For some more info about muscle building nutrition check out my
article at: http://www.leehayward.com/dvd/get_bigger.htm
Hi Lee -
You seem to have a huge understanding of this stuff, I figured you may be the perfect person to ask............... any help/feedback would be greatly appreciated. I will make it quick:
I recently started taking weight gain shakes (one in the morning, one at night), the one I take in the morning literally about puts me in a coma... I stay rediculously fatiqued until about 2pm......... unable to function at work, etc.............. could this be the massive amount of calories I'm putting into my body?
Thank you much.
It could the high carbohydrate content of the weight gain drink is making you sleepy. Just like after you eat a big meal (i.e. thanks giving dinner) you just feel like laying down for a nap afterwards.
Try cutting back to 1/2 serving of the weight gain drink in the morning and
see if that makes a difference. To help make up for the extra calories you
would of been getting from the drink have a couple handfuls of mixed nuts.
1/2 cup of mixed nuts provides over 400 calories as well as some protein and
healthy fats. They are great for getting extra calories in your diet to
help gain muscular bodyweight.
I’ve heard that you can’t gain muscle and lose bodyfat at the same time, is this true?
It is possible to increase your lean muscle while losing bodyfat. For example, if someone is 200 lbs. with 20% bodyfat (i.e. 160 lbs. of lean mass and 40 lbs. of bodyfat) with proper diet and exercise they could drop 20 lbs. of bodyfat while increasing their lean muscle by 5 lbs. and then weigh 185 lbs. and have approx. 10% bodyfat. But they are still losing weight, in this case the person lost 15 lbs. of bodyweight.
However, you can not gain weight and get leaner at the sametime. For
example, someone would not be able to go from 200 lbs. to say 220 lbs. and
lose bodyfat at the sametime. In order to be a lean 220 lbs. they would have
to bulk up well past that weight and then diet back down.
I'm 15 years old, 5"7, 145 pounds (with quite a low body fat) and plan on being a professional competitive bodybuilder and getting as muscular as I possibly can. I eat healthily year round and consume about 60grams a day of protein powder and also consume alot of egg whites, beef steaks, chicken breasts, milk, whole grain cereals and breads, nuts and tofu. I've been training with weights for just over a year but only started training in the rep range of 8-12 in about the past four months and train with reps going as low as 2 once every month. I change my weight training routines around for every muscle about every 4-5 weeks. During the time I've been training heavily, I've made good gains in muscle and strength, I respond well to heavy weights, though I haven't had any major weight gain recently, I don't think I'm eating enough carbs.
My current routine is...
NOTE: I dead lift at the end of my leg workout and stretch out my body for ten minutes before every workout and warm up with two light sets or more if I feel it's needed of 20-15 reps before beginning my heavy training which consists of about 3-4 exercises for every muscle and 3-4 sets per exercise for most exercises.
I train at home and have a straight 6ft bar, an E-Z curl bar, 2 dumbells and 101 kilos of weight plates.
My bench has about 12 differnet angles you can set it at inlcuding flat, has a lat pulldown machine, thigh extensions, thigh curls and a preacher bench. I obviously don't train with many machines and prefer using free weights anyway.
Am I eating enough carbs? I eat two pieces of whole grain toast with a thick layer of 100% natural peanut butter a day, 7 weet-bix with a full bowl of milk 5 times a week, lots of roast potatoes about 4 times a week and various other snacks throughout the day but i dont think im getting enough carbs to gain a decent amount of muscle. What are some other carb loaded foods? and will I gain more by eating more carbs. I'm not worried about gaining too much fat as I train very religiously and wont have a problem losing it when I want to.
Any feed back would be much appreciated.
PS: I have read a very good bodybuilding book called 'Beef It' by Robert Kennedy and have the knowledge of my dad who was a bodybuilder for four years when he was alot younger and believe I have a decent understanding of how to train. If my entire training routines would help you find out how many calories I need daily I can type them up for you as well. I'm desperate to find out if I need more food lol.
Great job on your workouts. You are very dedicated and disciplined for a 15 year old. That is awesome.
If your goal is to gain weight, and you are not gaining weight, then you are not eating enough food. At 15 years old you are going to have a fast metabolism and with all your training that is only going to make your metabolism even faster. So you need to eat A LOT of food to make up for all the calories you burn off.
Increase your eating frequency. During the day don't let yourself go any longer then 2 hours without eating something, even if it is just a piece of fruit or a granola bar. You should eat a meal or snack every 2 hours during the day in order to provide your body a steady supply of calories that you can grow from.
Another easy weight gain tip that you can use to get extra calories in your diet without eating more food is to simply add 2 tablespoonfuls of safflower oil to each of your protein drinks. Safflower oil is a very healthy oil and has a bland taste so you will hardly even notice it in your protein drinks. 2 tablespoonfuls of oil equals 250 caloires. If you do this a couple times per day that is an extra 500 calories per day without having to eat more food.
I also wanted to let you know that I have a bodybuilding and fitness message board for my website. I would like to have you join up as a member on the board. You can get answers to any questions that you have about training, nutrition, supplements, etc. You can also read training journals of the other members and see exactly what they are doing in the gym, how they eat, etc. It is a friendly little online community where we can all chat and help each other.
Please take a few minutes and sign up for the board (if you haven't
This is Mike im 5-7 and about 155 ilbs and I used to lift every other day consistently for 2 years straight But it seemed like I would never get big like I wanted to. At my peak point I could max out on bench at 275 and could bench 225 10 time but there where people who where bigger than me size wise but where still weaker than me strength wise if you get what im saying. So I haven’t lifted for about two years now because of that and im starting back up so my question to you is how can I make big mass gains in about 12 weeks or even longer and what should I eat.
The reason you are not gaining weight is simply because you are not eating enough. It comes down to calories in verses calories out. Regardless of how hard you workout in the gym. You need to eat over and above what your body burns off in order to have a caloric surplus to grow from.
It is just like if you were running a business. If your income doesn't exceed your expenses then you will never turn a profit, no matter how hard you work.
There is a good weight gain article that you should read at:
I'm curious if doing some light running or any aerobics will help bring up my energy levels for when I get to the gym? I just feel sluggish and no energy to work out. I don't want to burn too many calories though because I have a high metabolism as it is. Any ideas?
I always start each weight training workout with at least 5 minutes of
cardio. This warms up the body, gets the blood flowing, and helps renew
your energy levels, espeically if you have been sitting at a desk at work or
at school during the day. Cardio like this will not burn up too many
calories or hinder your muscle growth. An extra scoop of protein powder per
day would more then make up for the calories you'll burn from this small amount of cardio.
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