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  1. #1
    Registered User ERR0R404's Avatar
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    3 months... not sure if I'm doing much progress

    Complete newbie here..

    I first started by reading as much as I could from this site. My intention was to follow "AllPro: A Simple Beginner's Routine" and change as much as I could my diet (following "Nutrition For Newbies & Must Read Threads").

    My research concluded that my body type was "skinny-fat". If I cut, I would have no muscle to show... therefore I have been trying to do a lean bulk.

    Using the thread "Calculating Calorie & Macronutrient Needs", I determined I need 2,000 cal to keep my body weight as-is. I set my goal to 2,500 cals.

    On September 16th I went to the gym for the very first time (to figure-out my max 10 rep for "AllPro: A Simple Beginner's Routine").

    Bench press: 85x5 (it scare the **** out me, so for the first cycle I used the the bench press machine instead: 100x8)
    Barbell curl: 40x8
    Barbell Squat: 75x8

    I just finished my 3rd cycle
    Bench press: 115x12
    Barbell curl: 60x12
    Barbell Squat: 105x12

    So I'm getting stronger...

    However, since last month I started taking photos of myself (everyday... same pose, same lighting, same speed/aperture/ISO/WB) and I can't tell the difference between last month photo and today's photo.

    I was not expecting some type of amazing body transformation.... but at least a little more definition perhaps.

    Would this be considered a normal rate progress?

    thanks for the feedback
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    Last edited by ERR0R404; 12-30-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User ERR0R404's Avatar
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    BTW, I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this... I'm not looking for motivation... Looking for advice.

    I just couldn't find the right sub-forum
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  3. #3
    Registered User davidg1212's Avatar
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    Your arms, chest look a bit more full and you neck looks stronger. Hard to comment on legs or back. You're squatting improved so I'm sure there's improvement there, but what are you doing for your back?

    Also, keep in mind that you're burning calories during your workouts, so you have to add that extra burn to your 2000 when considering what it takes to maintain your weight.
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  4. #4
    Registered User APwn's Avatar
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    To be honest I dont see a huge change.

    You are starting roughly the same place I did 4 years ago. 20% BF, low lifts, possible low test or rubbish genetics. Its a crappy place to begin IMO. I messed around forever doing stupid crap like kettlebells, bodyweight only, higher rep pump routines etc. All that stuff sucks because you never gain any real strength. For that you need a low (3-6) rep barbell routine with progressive overload. I'm sure allpros routine works for some people, but for me I know my strength would never go up in that rep range. And no strength tends to mean little muscle gain.

    If I was doing things all over again I'd cut hard to 13% not worrying about muscle loss since there isnt a huge amount anyway. After maintaing that for a month I'd get on to a 5x5 style strength program with a 10% surplus kcal and bulk for 6 months with the primary goal of hitting some real lifting numbers.

    Probably look not so hot for a year, but at the end it would be worth it. Thats what I suggest you do. I would say continue to bulk now but at over 20% you are at risk of ending up a REAL fatty.
    Last edited by APwn; 12-30-2012 at 03:22 PM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User ERR0R404's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by APwn View Post
    To be honest I dont see a huge change.
    You are not the only one,
    I'm not an expert (obviously), but I would have imagine that at this early stage of the game (3 months into it), my progress would have been more noticeable if I was on the right track.

    If I have learn something from reading this site is that everybody reacts differently to different workouts, It feels like a moving target.

    Originally Posted by APwn View Post
    You are starting roughly the same place I did 4 years ago. 20% BF, low lifts, possible low test or rubbish genetics. Its a crappy place to begin IMO.
    Well, I can assure you I have crappy genetics, as far as low testosterone... no idea, probably a good idea to check what it's.

    Originally Posted by APwn View Post
    I messed around forever doing stupid crap like kettlebells, bodyweight only, higher rep pump routines etc. All that stuff sucks because you never gain any real strength. For that you need a low (3-6) rep barbell routine with progressive overload. I'm sure allpros routine works for some people, but for me I know my strength would never go up in that rep range. And no strength tends to mean little muscle gain.

    If I was doing things all over again I'd cut hard to 13% not worrying about muscle loss since there isnt a huge amount anyway. After maintaing that for a month I'd get on to a 5x5 style strength program with a 10% surplus kcal and bulk for 6 months with the primary goal of hitting some real lifting numbers.

    Probably look not so hot for a year, but at the end it would be worth it. Thats what I suggest you do. I would say continue to bulk now but at over 20% you are at risk of ending up a REAL fatty.
    Thanks, I'll do some reading on the 5x5 style strength program.

    I live 1 mile from the beach, it would be awesome, if my program would help me look my best during the summer time... not a requirement just a wishful though
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  6. #6
    Registered User APwn's Avatar
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    Yeh definitely get the testosterone checked out. I got mine done recently and came out low for my age range (not low enough to need HRT, but still a lot lower than it should be). Suddenly I realized why my muscle gain journey had been so tricky. I'm on Vitamin D, D-Aspartic Acid and ZMA now and I already feel a lot better. Libido, sleep quality etc are all way up. Gonna have another test done in a few months. I imagine it'll be back to normal by then. Really wish I had of tested myself years ago.

    As for 5 rep stuff, there are a lot of good ones but I wouldn't do Starting Strength personally as the volume is a bit low and neglects the arms & back a little too much IMO. Stronglifts or JasonDBs (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=148036063) are good IMO.

    You may not look amazing by summer, but I'm sure you could make a big improvement over where you are now.
    Last edited by APwn; 12-31-2012 at 10:26 AM.
    Bench - 200lbx1 (1.5x BW)
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  7. #7
    Registered User vedant96's Avatar
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    you need to be squatting heavier
    go heavy on squats and deadlifts
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  8. #8
    Registered User doworkgetbig's Avatar
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    Definitely seeing weight loss progress but it looks like you've been doing mostly cardio and not as much weights. When I first started lifting i was really going through the motions and not giving it 100% every rep on every set. Now the first few sets in the gym i'm breaking a sweat and by the time I leave im pretty much completely drained.

    I've always wanted to get my test checked out but how do you go about it? I'm only 21 and I just want to know what my test levels are but my doc keeps telling me im fine and to not get tested... Da Fuk?

    btw is that a gun in your waistband lolol
    fecalpheliac
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  9. #9
    Registered User j1zip's Avatar
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    Month to month progress pics don't always show change from one month to the next. Sometimes it will take a few months to see a change. Hang in there and stick with it. You are getting stronger and that muscle can't hide forever!
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  10. #10
    Registered User fridge011's Avatar
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    Your pics are only a month apart, not 3. Your still lifting very light weight. Go with lower reps and stick to compound lifts -squat,deadlift,military press, bench, row and IMO pullups. When u can lift some decent weight with those lifts, then add other lifts into your workout. U should add 5 pounds to your lifts every workout, maybe 10 with squats. Keep working! It'll come to you!
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by vedant96 View Post
    you need to be squatting heavier
    go heavy on squats and deadlifts
    Originally Posted by fridge011 View Post
    Your pics are only a month apart, not 3. Your still lifting very light weight. Go with lower reps and stick to compound lifts -squat,deadlift,military press, bench, row and IMO pullups. When u can lift some decent weight with those lifts, then add other lifts into your workout. U should add 5 pounds to your lifts every workout, maybe 10 with squats. Keep working! It'll come to you!


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  12. #12
    Registered User eight-pack's Avatar
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    Heavy lifting and compound movements should take up the majority of your sessions. Fridge mentioned up there the lifts you should be focusing on. Stay consistent with them and you'll be sure to see changes. It's hard to gauge your progress because you haven't been lifting very long but keep up with your diet and your lifts and soon enough you'll see some changes. There weren't any significant changes that I noticed when I started but you've just gotta be persistent. They'll come in time, try not to get discouraged.
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  13. #13
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    Giving you just started, it takes a while to figure out what suits your body less. Also make sure you're actually hitting 2500 calories, do you record what you eat? I didnt see decent results until 3 months in. Keep us posted!
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  14. #14
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    I think the best thing for you to do is to lift heavy and to eat healthy with a high protein intake. You dont have to down 100's of grams of protein, but just eat foods that have a good amount and maybe supplement 2 shakes a day. When you lift at the high end of your ability it will help you to burn fat and produce muscle at the same time.
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