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Thread: Trouble gaining weight

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Default Trouble gaining weight

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    Good morning,

    I am a 40 year old male, 5'11" weight 220lbs with ~15% bodyfat and 36" waist. I started NLP at about 190lbs and essentially the same bodyfat.

    I have maintained this weight for about six to eight months and have not, despite my efforts, been able to gain any more weight.

    I confess that tracking of my calories is sporadic at best. Occasionally I will take a week and log everything. When I do this MyFitnessPal tells me that I am typically consuming 4000-4500 calories daily.

    Breakfast is typically 3 scrambled eggs, 2 slices Canadian bacon, and a bowl of oatmeal (3/4 cup dry oats, 1 - 1.5 cup whole milk, teaspoon of brown sugar). The eggs and bacon are fried in a teaspoon or so of butter.

    Mid-morning snack is 3/4 cup cottage cheese and a piece of fruit.

    Lunch is usually leftover supper and can vary considerably, but is typically something like a pork chop with rice, or chilli with bread, or a beef stroganoff. Picture some sort of relatively high fat and protein comfort food and you have a good picture. If leftovers are not available, then it will be a tuna sandwich (flavoured canned tuna, 1.5 tablespoon mayo, hwit bread), or egg salad (same as the tuna, except two eggs, etc). Veggies and fruit as well. And cookies, or a piece of chocolate.

    Mid-afternoon will be same as mid-morning.

    Supper is, as mentioned for lunch, variable and usually consists of cuts of meat like port, steak, or chicken (preferred boneless thighs, but sometimes breast), or some sort of comfort food like chilli, stew, pot roast. Always have some form of carb, predominantly 1.5 cups of cooked rice and veggies (always with butter).

    Mid evening I will have a glass of whole milk. And before bed I will have a bowl of oatmeal (3/4 cup dry oats, 1 - 1.5 cup whole milk, 1 scoop whey).

    MFP generally says this comes out to around 4000-4500 calories with macros more or less even split into thirds (it always complains that my fat is too high).

    As stated, this got me from about 190 to 215-220lbs during NLP. At the end of NLP I was lifting 350x3x5 (Squat), 400x1x5 (Deadlift), 270x3x5 (Bench), and 170x3x5 (OHP). I am presently in the middle of Andy Baker's Garage Gym Warrior program and have found that it has been difficult to keep up with in terms of recovery. Some back problems last week forced a deload and a reset last week, possibly from recovery problems. I sleep well, but can't get the weight to move up and am feeling pretty beat up. I do have a history of back problems, with a back surgery for a herniated disc (L5-S1) in 2014.

    Any advice as to where (or if I should) continue to add more calories? Perhaps move to a 4-day split to better handle recovery as I have had trouble recovering from deadlifting twice/week (GGW has 3x5 medium deadlift monday, and 1x5 heavy deadlift friday)?

    Any suggestions would be welcome and well appreciated!

    Ryan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    First, you may need more recovery in the way of programming. May be time to make an adjustment.

    Your food choices are good so now I would just double up your carb portions to get more calories in and maybe scale up to 6 eggs for breakfast. Post your program up as well so we can see how you’re applying Andy’s material.
    Last edited by Robert Santana; 02-16-2020 at 03:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2016
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    4 day split would also be one deadlift intensity and one deadlift volume day.

    For example Monday Deadlift 5RM and thursday 2-3x5 at around 80% after squats.

  4. #4
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    You can do 3 or 4-day and I think that oftentimes people lose sight of the purpose to adding the 4th day. The reason you add the 4th day is because you eventually need more upper body frequency to drive up those lifts. A better way to address this issue is to reduce the squat and deadlift frequency to twice per week each, with appropriate undulation. If you are still making progress on the upper body lifts on 3-days then keep rolling with it. Trust me, being advanced at bench press requires more time than I care to spend hence why it's the only lift I haven't PRed in two years lol. So take your time and milk the lower frequency while you can. If you can't, however, then yes a 4-day split is your best bet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    First, you may need more recovery in the way of programming. May be time to make an adjustment.
    Do you really think he needs to gain more weight? I have about the same lifts, but weigh 235 and am an inch taller. I'd really like to be at 215 on weight.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Thank you, Robert, for your reply.

    I will look at adding some more eggs to my breakfast. I have had some suspicion that perhaps my protein was on the lower side, although everytime I have tracked it, it comes out to around 240g per day.

    I will also see to adding some more carbs to my snacks, perhaps another piece of fruit? Or would I be better served with something else?

    As for Andy's program, there is not much to report. It is my first time through it. I have been doing all this on my own without a coach and have a relatively poor understanding of intermediate programming. As a result, I am hesitant to make any changes to programming on my own. GGW is a three-day HLM program with just squats, deadlift, OHP and bench and I have been doing the program exactly as written. I have thought perhaps, about reducing monday deadlifts from 3x4-6 to 2x4-6, but would like to see it through to the end.

    I did have to take a week deload after week 8 as I encountered some back problems, again. This seems to be a persistent problem with intermediate programming for me, the last time required a month-long deload and another run at NLP before starting GGW. This time, at least, I only had to take a week, and have restarted GGW at week 6.

    I had also thought that a 4-day split might be an option as my understanding was that even though squat and deadlift volume might stay the same, recovery is facilitated better by spreading the stress out somewhat.

    Ryan

  7. #7
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Dust Devil View Post
    Do you really think he needs to gain more weight? I have about the same lifts, but weigh 235 and am an inch taller. I'd really like to be at 215 on weight.
    If he is struggling to recover and wants to rule out nutrition as the reason then he is going to have to eat more and experiment with being heavier. This need not be a permanent commitment but could be productive in the short-term.

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