I asked this question 3 months ago how much I can improve in 3 months

working 3 times a week using protein shaker twice a day and eating meat/chicken/fish every lunch/dinner. and I am still 67 kg..

while training I feel the muscle pain and following days some soreness.

in 3 months I gain 0 muscle, whats wrong with me?

this is program that I am doing http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/shortcut-to-size.html

  • Can you clarify how you know that you haven't gained any muscle whatsoever? Mar 19, 2015 at 13:28
  • no weight gain and fat looks the same.
    – Mert
    Mar 19, 2015 at 14:00
  • 1
    No weight gain, no weight loss, and you've been following that routine strictly for 3 months? Something doesn't add up. Mar 19, 2015 at 14:34
  • If you're not gaining muscle you need to eat more. You didn't tell us if you are making progress on how much weight you can lift, but it could be a while before muscle growth is visible in the mirror. Also, 3 months is a pretty small timeframe. It could take a year or more for you just to figure out what conditions (nutrition, training, supplements, sleep, etc.) allow you to maximize muscle gain.
    – Nick
    Mar 19, 2015 at 20:54
  • 2
    Go with starting strength or strong lifts. You'll increase your strength, and there's no way you'll be squatting 300 and benching 225 without looking fairly beasty.
    – Eric
    Mar 20, 2015 at 2:27

7 Answers 7


Gaining muscle as a natural (non-drug using) exerciser is difficult at best. Most of us neglect the role that genetics plays in the potential for growth. Too often, we look for quick gains, when in fact, the gains come over the years. Patience is not something a person who is busting their butt in the gym typically has.

I, for one, have been training for 20+ years. Looking back, I’d say that gains were few and far between in the beginning. But, fast forward to today, and I’d say I’m very happy with the accumulated effects of my training over the years.

in 3 months I gain 0 muscle, what’s wrong with me?

More than likely, nothing. The previous post you linked provided some pretty good advice. But, you must understand that no one has a concrete fool proof plan to pack on muscle. That’s because each of us is an individual. And, we all have different levels of potential. That’s not to say that you can’t work hard and produce gains. Rather than concentrating on how much muscle weight you’ve not gained, think about how much better you feel since taking up an exercise program. Give your training some time. And, if you feel that you’re not making any gains, change your routine. More than anything, learn what works for you and use the programs you find (ie. shortcut to size) only as a guide.

  • 1
    Gaining muscles as a bigger is a lot faster than after doing it for a long time.Even if he performs cardio only 3 times a week for three months, there should be some definition. I don' think we have the full picture. Nice answer though :). Mar 19, 2015 at 14:37

shortcut to size is fine BUT, don't follow the supplement and nutrient guides. They are way too focused around supplements. The answer to your problem is easy. Eat more. Track your macros (Macronutrients). Sites like myfitnesspal can be very helpful.

To know what is your daily caloric need, try googeling "Caloric calculator" I can not recommend one or another, there are many different ones, some get more specific and give better answer etc.

You need to not only consume a lot of protein, but carbs and fat as well. For example, for bulking i go 200G of protein 200G of carbs 80G of fat daily (This is only me, your values will be different).

From your weight, i would say you need about 134G (Bodyweight(kg)*2) of protein a day, and a lot more carbs.

I used to know a guy who drank chocolate milk every day to bulk, because he could just not get enough carbs from foods.

So to conclude. You need to eat more, track your macros. If possible, follow the workout routine (4 days a week). This program is pretty good for beginners, since it offers variety, and gives you an good idea of what a program should look like, once you start putting together your own.

  • I am confused about gram protein. I use 2 scoop protein everyday is that 60 gr protein? so plus that how many grams chicken breasts should I consume? 2 gr chicken = 1 gr protein?
    – Mert
    Mar 19, 2015 at 12:41
  • 1
    Check the lable of the tub/bag, it will tell how much protein you have per serving. Different powders have different serving sizes -> different amounts of protein. Some power might have 60g with 2 scoops, some might need 3 scoops. Use myfitness pal, it has all these foods. So just inserts 200g of chicken for example, and it will show you, how much nutrients it has
    – s3v3ns
    Mar 19, 2015 at 13:05

Different things seem to work for different people, so you'll get a lot of suggestions that may or may not work for you. Likewise, here's what worked for me. I'm sure it's not a guide of what to do, but it adds some color to what you've probably heard or read from others.

In three months (or less actually) I went from: (these are 5-rep numbers, not single pull maximums... I never bothered to test what my single pull max was on anything).

  • 60 to 65kg bodyweight, 20 to 14% bodyfat (as measured with calipers)
  • 45 to 70kg bench barbell press
  • 40 to 80kg squat
  • 60 to 100kg dead lift (no straps or powder)

My diet was healthy but not high protein.

I never slept properly... rarely more than 7 hours a night; but I did take 2-3 days between workouts. I went to the gym 2-3 times per week.

I did almost exclusively just the big three - squats, dead lift, and bench press: squats and bench one day, then deads and bench the next visit. Each exercise was one warmup set of 10 reps, then 5 sets of 5 reps - increasing the weight by small or large amounts depending on how I felt on each previous set. My final set would be at my highest weight, and in some cases I could jump straight from the warmup weight set to the heavy weight set immediately.

I took no supplements.

Since I'm not predisposed to big muscles, I guess the specific workouts plus the ample time between workouts contributed to my success.

Then I plateaued and stayed at those numbers for a LONG time. But since I don't need to get bigger or much stronger, I'm shifting my goals to endurance and general fitness.

As a side note, the big three help you create a really strong core, without crunches! Yay.


My preference is quality over quantity - there's a lot to be said for muscle fiber.

Focusing less on the workout, I would suggest you eat regularly - like clockwork. Consume the protein first. Set an alarm for eating time, and try to pin it down to the minute! Your body appreciates regularity will find itself better able to utilize available nutrients - as long as you are fully hydrated. This leads to 'clockwork' bowel movements further encouraged by drinking a glass of water every time you pee.

An example supplement to your routine would be the addition of a 'modest' bowl porridge (with a scoop of protein), at intervals fixed between meals and workouts.

Never underestimate porridge!

If you wish to simply gain weight (dirty bulking?) and work from there: eat as you would - but place it between two slices of bread and add cheese.

All the best in your endeavors.

  • I eat cheese and yogurt sometimes. I am not good with timing, I just drink one after wake up and another before sleep. about 30 min tolerance
    – Mert
    Mar 19, 2015 at 18:09

First, three months is very short. Give it some time.

Second, There is a chemical called myostatin. This chemical controls how big you can become via inhibiting muscle development. Some people have a little or none, and some have a lot.

If you have a very little like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can grow very easily. Some have lots of this that will ultimately limit how big you can become. Creatine supplementation temporarily lowers your level of myostatin, allowing for greater muscle gain.

There is an old body building saying you can't change your body type. You can't turn a small car into an SUV. It just simply isn't possible. But you can make a car slightly bigger.


Did you do any progress regarding the weigths you use for those exercises? (that information is missing in your question). If you have been able to increase the weigths more or less steadily, then you have done progress. It is only that you still don't see it in the mirror (have some patience).

But if you have spent 3 months training with nearly the same weigths and reps, then you definitely have a problem. You mention things like nutrition and weekly workout frequency, but what about your sleep quality? Sleep is often forgotten as if it were not important. But it is during deep sleep that most of the growth hormone you will get is released. Every effort goes down the drain if you don't have enough sleep regularly.

One variable you might want to tweak a bit is your recovery times. Try inserting additional rest days in your routine. Perhaps only then you will start making gains.

  • no change on weights mostly but I could extended reps a bit, I believe I sleep fine, around 1 am and wakeup about 10 pm
    – Mert
    Mar 20, 2015 at 8:44
  • 1
    I think this answer deserves more upvotes. One of the most important things in weight training is constantly challenging and pushing your body to it's limits imo. If you've been following a strict diet & training routine for 3 months, my guess would be that you actually can lift heavier weights... but haven't tried doing so. I'd suggest to try a linear progression training schedule, or at least try and add extra weights on a regular basis.
    – Nathan
    Mar 20, 2015 at 15:22

Quality doesn't go over quantity if you're low responder to rep range of 1-5. Try rep range 8-15. If youre low responder you will grow more with 8-15 than 1-5.

  • disliking without commenting is bad quality.
    – Stjema
    Jun 1, 2019 at 19:53
  • I agree with that comment @Stjema. I didn't downvote, but I would guess that the downvote is because you make the claim that 8-15 reps is outright more effective than 1-5, without providing any sources that back up this claim. A quality answer would ideally provide further reading than just a one-size-fits-all solution (which simply doesn't exist).
    – Alec
    Jun 3, 2019 at 7:32
  • you're right, but then I could say, 95% also don't source their claims.
    – Stjema
    Jun 4, 2019 at 8:52
  • If you see someone making a claim that you doubt, you should ask them to source it. Further reading should be encouraged. Specifically for one-size-fits-all solutions like "8-15 reps will make you grow more than 1-5 reps". It's a bit of a bold claim, is it not? If 8-15 is simply better, why do people still use 1-5?
    – Alec
    Jun 4, 2019 at 17:46

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