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need help building lean muscles
tonytran445 posted:
Hey i recently lost over 110 pounds in a course of 7 months and after that have been trying to build lean muscle mass. However it has been really difficult. I kept a strict diet, consuming my daily protein if not some more. I do see the changes in my body and more definition, but i have not reached my goal. People have been telling me to try and use supplements from AtLargeNutrition, where their protein has both whey and casein works together in the same blend. I am not ready to dive in and try some product that i do not no the after effect. Hence why i am here to get some clarification

Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
Hi Tony,

Wow, congratulations on all that weight loss. That's awesome. It must feel unbelievable. Good for you.

You didn't say specifically what your goal is so I can't comment on that precisely, but I can tell you that when you lose weight you can lose up to 35% or so of the weight from muscle, so it explains why you might have some difficulty gaining back noticeable amounts. You may be gaining it, just not quite enough to reach your goals.

A number of things to think about. You should get objective measures of how you're doing. The mirror is not a very good measurement. First, you can focus on your body composition (the amount of fat and muscle you have). You can monitor your body fat by using a bioelectric impedance (BIA) scale. You can buy a BIA scale for around $45. Check and for more information. Second, you could measure circumferences. The standard circumference measurements are arms (flexed and relaxed), chest (after a normal exhale), shoulders (the widest part), waist (the narrowest part below the ribs and above the belly button), abdomen (across the belly button), buttocks (at the maximum extension of the buttocks), gluteal/thigh (high on the thigh at the groove where the buttocks end), mid-thigh (halfway between the crease in the groin and the top of the knee cap), and calf (at the maximum circumference, either with leg hanging freely off a table or with legs 8 inches apart and weight distributed evenly). Keep the tape horizontal during measurements and pull the tape lightly so it indents the skin only slightly.

As for protein, I can't tell you whether you need a supplement or not. The majority of Americans get more than enough protein in their diets (you need 0.8-1.2/4 grams per kilogram of body weight), but you could check the Diet Community for some insight or perhaps a registered dietitian in your area. You can find one here There's nothing wrong with whey protein, but if you don't need extra, you could save some money. I also suggest that if you are having trouble building muscle to check with your doctor just to make sure all the necessary blood levels are in order (iron, thyroid, etc.) With lots of weight loss sometimes these can change.

Finally, feel free to post back with what you're doing for exercise and I'd be happy to have a look and comment. If you want to post your height, weight, and age too, then I can comment more specifically.

Congratulations again on your weight loss. Awesome job. Rich
tonytran445 replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
Hey Rich,

Currently this is my workout routine:
Monday- chest, calf, shoulders, and 1 mile timed run
Tuesday- biceps, quadriceps, deltoids, and 20 min jog
Wednesday- triceps, abdominal, lats, 1 mile timed
Thursday- break
Friday- chest, biceps, triceps, 20 min jog, deltoid
Saturday- calf, quadriceps, abdominal, 1mile run, lats
Sunday- break

I currently weigh 157-159
Height 5'9
Age 20

Occasionally i would mix my routine with some hiking
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE replied to tonytran445's response:
Hi Tony,

I see now why it might be tough for you to gaina lot of muscle. At 5'9" 158 pounds, your BMI is 23.3 which is lean. I know you probably won't want to hear this, but you coudl affordt to gain 6-10 pounds if it's from muscle. You're probably connsuming about 2000 calories a day to maintain your current weight, and so if you went to 2200 or 2300 calories, it would help you put on muscle. Like I said, you can check the Diet Community for some diet advice on incresaing intake wihtout gaining fat and youought to measure circumferences and body fat.

I have posted a routine for you for some variety. The program is broken up by muscle group (chest, back, shoulders, arms, legs, abs) and is three days a week, but you can modify it if you like for more or less days.

Day 1: Chest (bench press with bar or dumbbell press, flyes, pushups), triceps (bench dips, kickbacks, )

Day 2: Back (bent over rows) biceps (curls, standing or seated)

Day 3: Shoulders (lateral raises, front raises), legs (squats, lunges)

Do 10-12 repetitions, 1-3 sets per exercise. That means select a weight you can lift 10-12 times to momentary fatigue with good form. When you can easily lift the weight 12 times, increase the weight.

You can experiment with different splits. For instance, you could try the following

Day 1: Chest (bench press with bar or dumbbell press, flyes, pushups), Back (bent over rows, pulldowns),

Day 2: biceps (curls, standing or seated), triceps (bench dips, kickbacks)

Day 3: Shoulders (lateral raises, front raises), legs (squats, lunges)

There are dozens of exercises for both your lower and upper body. I've given you just a few. You can go to the for pictures and videos of exercises organized by muscle group and select any of them.

Take care, Rich
PJ58k responded:
Tony, I'd be happy to help you on the protein part. You are doing so many things right and with a little help from an excellent program (I'm involved with) and one that has helped many, many people just like you gain lean muscle tissue/mass I think you'll be very happy. Congrats on your 110 lb loss! That is excellent! My preference would be to talk with you privately. No pressure. How may I contact you?