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slowprogressguy

Hoi. My name says it all

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I do calisthenics only.

I see difference in mirror, but I don know whether that progress is the max possible thing my body can do. 

I started in October. 183cm 77kg.

I gained 1 kg per month for 3 months. Max weight 82 kg. Then I started cutting. Now I am at 78.6 kg.

In the beginnging, I couldn't do a horizontal push-up, no chin-ups, and no rows on rings.

Today I still cannot do any of it. Not even one single chin-up.

I do this routine: https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommended_routine

People there tell me if I don't progress, then the form is wrong or I don't eat enough.

I gained 1 kg per month. This is a gain. 

But I don't think that the form is that relevant. It's ony relevant when you wanna give your best, like for a competition. But I don't think form is that important when you just want bigger muscles. I do chin-ups with a resitance band. That means my muscle work. How can a form matter? Can't imagine. 

I totally believe that I have a medical condition. Like low Testo. But supplementing it can be dangerous. 

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3 hours ago, slowprogressguy said:

But I don't think that the form is that relevant. It's ony relevant when you wanna give your best, like for a competition. But I don't think form is that important when you just want bigger muscles. I do chin-ups with a resitance band. That means my muscle work. How can a form matter? Can't imagine. 

I totally believe that I have a medical condition. Like low Testo. But supplementing it can be dangerous. 

 

If you think you have a medical condition, then see your doctor. Ask for blood work. This is always a good idea when you are starting an exercise plan anyway. 

 

That being said, as Tank said above, form is always important. Not only for injury prevention, but also actual progression. Progression works through continually using the correct muscle groups and making them stronger. If you aren't using correct form, you are sacrificing the gains you should be making. (This was really crappy wording, I'm sure someone like @Machete could probably say this in a much better way.)

 

In regards to gains, you cannot do the exact same workout every time and expect to see progress. You have to challenge, either through more reps or harder movements. Where are you in the progressions currently? What are your goals beyond "bigger muscles"? Are you talking about more definition or adding inches to areas of your body? 

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@Tank, there should be a meme, “Bad form leads to...” and ends with the dark side.

Bodyweight training is pretty form dependent.

There should have been some progress. Are you still at the same progressions you started at?

You might want to look into Convict Conditioning. They do a really good job of breaking up the exercises into achievable progressions.

In my experience the biggest impediment to progress is a lack of consistency.

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There is clearly progress. The only thing i complain about is that I still can't do a single chin-up, and let's not talk about the much harder pull-up.

Push-ups right now: 3 sets x 5.

Rows on rings: Can't do them with a horizontal body, have to do them with a easier leverage. 

Mirror also says progression. But when seeings others how they look after 12 months, I cannot paint me a picture, how I could like that guy. I always write under impressive progression threads in reddit: "Steroid, huh? :D" Because I cannot believe that, when comparing to myself. 

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Isn't that article just for people who just wanna do a push-up? It reads like that. Oh, I want to do a push-up, I'll read this one, then I can do 1 push-up and I am happy! Just for strength reasons? My progress is slow everywhere... 

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Form is important both to avoid injury AND to target the appropriate muscles consistently. Consistency dictates progress. AND, frankly, if you're not going to pay attention to avoiding injury, your lifting career isn't going to last very long anyway. This is a marathon, not a sprint - and results won't come overnight. 

 

In regards to testosterone replacement therapy - talk to a doctor about it. If you try to do anything with illegal/illicit materials, you are potentially setting yourself up for nasty/bad side effects that can affect you for the rest of your life. Don't be an idiot: ask a medical professional to help you determine if it is in fact a factor or not, and to supervise any treatment plans.

 

In a caloric surplus, with the right kind of programming and diligent effort, most men can easily gain something between 2-10kg of muscle in their first year as a 'beginner' weight lifter. Think about what a 1lb steak looks like - imagine adding only 5 of those strategically to your physique, evenly distributed (it may be less than you think, but the muscle is still there!). Bear in mind however that weight gain is NOT the same thing as muscle gain - so you would need to keep a workout log/strength records in addition to girth measurements to have a more accurate picture of where that mass is actually going.

 

If you choose to restrict your options to calisthenics, that will be slower since the movements rely MORE on consistent form and really dialling in frequency and intensity to see good progress. The program itself that you linked to looks pretty decent though. Bodyweight exercises rely on leverage, gravity, and the different angles which can change the level of resistance - it's also highly dependent on your body composition. EG. a 75kg lifter that's 12% bodyfat will have considerably more luck with a successful pull up in comparison to a 75kg lifter that's 22% bodyfat. If you're still carrying a fair bit of fat, you may need to simply continue on as you have been, and as your strength:bodyweight ratio improves, you will eventually be able to do that chin up.

 

Progress can be seen in many different types of improvement: numbers of reps, number of sets, reduced rest period, increased weight lifted, improved form with the same weight, easier recovery after your workout, reduced perceived effort, etc. But you must program progressive overload (https://bretcontreras.com/progressive-overload/) intentionally and consistently over time to see results.

 

It's possible that you're trying to move through the movement progressions TOO quickly (eg. ignoring form), and therefore not activating the appropriate target muscles consistently to provide the regular resistance needed for muscular growth stimulation. It's also possible that you're not working out hard enough, or often enough, to give your body a chance to receive those signals to grow - the only one who will know which it is, is yourself. Which is why it's so important to keep records when you're first starting out.

 

It sounds like you were starting at a pretty basic level of strength - and 4 months isn't a super long period of time to be lifting. In addition to that, you will see very little (if any) progress on the 1,200kcal you claim you are eating in another thread to cut. If you want to gain muscle, you need to eat a MINIMUM of 2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight (that's 160-180g per day for yourself), in addition to a 5-15% surplus over your TDEE (guesstimating here, but I'm betting that'll look like a total of 2,100-2,300kcal/day for you). If you went from being unable to do ANY rows or pushups, and you are now consistently doing those, that's great progress. Judge yourself by your own metrics, not by other people's.

 

Nothing is going to happen without hard work and consistency; keep records, make a meal plan, workout regularly, program in progressive overload (eg. one more rep, one more set, etc), and keep on keeping on. It'll be slow, but you will see results over time if you're smart about it.

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That's a great discussion point on protein intake, for sure - and it definitely set the lower bounds of sufficient protein for resistance training. However, my bias still errs towards 2.2g/kg for a couple of reasons:

 

1) It can help prevent SOME fat gain while in a caloric surplus, so can be useful when bulking

2) It's filling, so when you body starts crying HUNGER in response to harder workouts, life sucks less

3) Optimum protein intake (like everything else around nutrition and fitness) is still pretty individualistic, and some folks can still benefit from more than 1.6g/kg - just as some can get the same results while consuming less than that

4) Most lean athletes can benefit from eating at least 2.2g/kg/day while in deficit (ie. when cutting), and it's a convenient number to use in keeping your intake consistent regardless of your goals

5) There's virtually no risk or health concerns around eating more protein, and it can help to prioritise good nutrition

 

The most compelling arguments I've heard around eating less protein come from individuals that have done their own personal experimentation to find their own optimum intakes, OR for folks that really need to be careful around caloric or financial limitations. Obviously if you prefer to eat less, that's totally up to you - it's your body after all. But there's still sound science behind the 2.2 number.

 

Here's a great discussion on the same blog that you referred to, with a differing but respectful academic perspective:

https://mennohenselmans.com/eric-helms-protein/

 

And even in the metanalysis that Menno Henselmans participated in writing (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5867436/), you can see other perspectives in the discussion: "Given that the CI of this estimate spanned from 1.03 to 2.20, it may be prudent to recommend ~2.2 g protein/kg/d for those seeking to maximise resistance training-induced gains in FFM." (FFM being Fat Free Mass)

 

It's also prudent not to forget that statistical results can downplay just HOW MUCH results can vary based on different factors:

 

bjsports-2017-097608f05.jpg.918ff45dfca4fc736cf9f4cb465d6dc7.jpg

 

Plus there are always new studies shedding new light on the topic. eg. https://examine.com/nutrition/should-one-gram-per-pound-be-the-new-rda-for-bodybuilders/

 

 

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Hi slowprogressguy.  Welcome to Nerd Fitness!

 

On 3/9/2019 at 11:14 AM, slowprogressguy said:

The only thing i complain about is that I still can't do a single chin-up

 

I would be happy to help you with your chinups.

 

In order to do so, the first thing I need is to be able to evaluate what your current level of chinup strength is.   If you would please, the next time you have the opportunity to use a chinup bar, I want you to perform a Dead Hang.   I made a video this morning to demonstrate what I'm asking you to do:

 

 

 

It would be very helpful if you could take a video of yourself doing the Dead Hang and share it.  But, if you can't take a video, or don't want to, that's okay.  It would be very helpful to see a video of you doing it, but I can still help you without a video too.  If you aren't able to share a video, or don't want to, then I just need you to perform the Dead Hang and then post here telling me how many seconds you were able to hold it.  After you've done so, I will have a good idea of your current level of grip strength/endurance for doing chinups, and we can move forward from there.

 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, slowprogressguy said:

 

Thank you for the video.

 

You're using a pullup grip (pronated grip) rather than a chinup grip (supinated grip).    In your earlier posts you said that you were working on chinups.   Are you working on pullups instead?

 

 

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On 3/9/2019 at 10:54 AM, Sylvaa said:

That being said, as Tank said above, form is always important. Not only for injury prevention, but also actual progression. Progression works through continually using the correct muscle groups and making them stronger. If you aren't using correct form, you are sacrificing the gains you should be making. (This was really crappy wording, I'm sure someone like @Machete could probably say this in a much better way.)

 

I thought it was okay. I would have probably just gone into a pretentious rant about the overused word "form" and the lack of real objective meaning behind it other than to assert the superiority of our methods over others'.

 

Anyway, to the OP @slowprogressguy, what exactly do you want, bigger muscles, or to be able to perform push-ups and pull-ups?

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2 hours ago, slowprogressguy said:

I first worked with chin-ups. Then people said go with pull-ups because they activate the back more.

 

Would you like to work toward both chinups and pullups at the same time?   Or would you prefer to focus on one of them?   You can work toward both at the same time if you want to, it'll just involve doing two exercise progressions instead of one.  But if you'd prefer to focus on getting good at one of them first, I'd recommend starting with chinups.  Developing the strength to do chinups tends to come faster and easier than pullups, which makes chinup training a little more fun.

 

Just let me know which you want to do.  Then I'll be happy to post the next training step.

 

 

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2 hours ago, slowprogressguy said:

Bigger muscles is what I want.

Same time? I don't know. It doesn't matter.

Right now I do pull-ups with resitance band.

 

If you're following a program, "form" is important for the exercise that you are supposed to perform in the program, because if you do not perform the exercise according to its prescribed guidelines (i.e. "proper form") then by definition you are not actually following the program.

 

You don't NEED to follow the program in order to increase your muscle size. You can do what you want, and if it involves progressive overload (e.g. mechanical tension, metabolic stress, muscle damage) and adequate raw materials (amino acids, caloric surplus) you'll probably get there. But I personally like walking paths that have been walked on before. There are people writing programs who are a lot smarter than I am.

 

If you're actually worried about testosterone enough to spend money on it, get yourself tested. WellnessFX does that. Otherwise, just make sure you get 9 hours of sleep a night, get some sunlight, take your vitamin D, magnesium, creatine, and fish oil, eat enough protein, sat fat, and cholesterol, train heavy, and reduce your overall stress. And perhaps start a Training Log

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On 3/10/2019 at 8:43 PM, slowprogressguy said:

I don't know. It doesn't matter.

 

I'll continue with you along chinup progressions for now then.  We can work on your pullups later after you've developed your chinups. 

 

For the deadhang, you had a nice long hold time.  You have plenty of grip strength/endurance to continue forward.   The next step I'd like for you to do is a Flex Hang at the top of the chinup position.  As before, I made a video this morning to demonstrate what I'm asking you to do:

 

 

You can use you a stool, chair, or any other object that doesn't get in the way in order to get yourself into position for the hang.  Or just jump up if you're strong enough to catch yourself in the top position.  Whichever option you like is fine.  

 

Also as before, it would be very helpful if you could take a video of yourself doing this Flex Hang and share it.  Otherwise, if you don't want to take a video, then just post here telling me how many seconds you were able to hold yourself in the position. 

 

 

 

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On 3/15/2019 at 9:30 AM, slowprogressguy said:

 

You're welcome.

 

In the second of those videos, you hold the Flex Hang for over 20 seconds.   That should be enough strength with a bent elbow for you to safely try the next progression level. 

 

The next step I'd like for you to do is three repetitions of Chinup Negatives.  A Chinup Negative is the lowering portion of the chinup exercise.   To do a chinup negative, get into the Flex Hang position, then slowly lower yourself as best you can into the Dead Hang position, at which point you can put your feet down and let go of the bar.  That's one repetition.  Then get back into the top position and do it again.  Do a total of three repetitions. 

 

As before, I made a video this morning to demonstrate what I'm asking you to do:

 

 

 

Share your video of your attempt, and then we'll continue.   :encouragement:

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, slowprogressguy said:

I can do 3x12 negative Chin-ups.

 

When performing negatives it's not a matter of how many you can do, it's about how slow and controlled you can do them.

 

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