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I am 45 years old, 5'-10", 145lbs, and ~12%-15% body fat. I have always been light and over the last year have had the desire to gain more muscle mass. I workout consistently now at noon for 45 minutes using a 5-day split. I don't have a problem bringing an appropriate level of intensity to each workout but feel that they're a bit short, I have both work and family that constrains my time, but find a lunch break consistently available.

I've been lifting this way for 2 months now but have only gained about 3-4 lbs. I've noticed some fat loss and some muscle gain, but not as much as I would have hoped for. My primary problem is getting enough calories down each day and struggle to get down even 2000 calories. I've decided to take a weight gainer, but want to make sure that I'm still working out enough.

I thought about adding some supplemental weight training to my program, either early morning or late evening but not sure if that we'll tax my body too much. I'm consistently sore 1-2 days after each workout, which usually means Sundays are the only days that I'm not totally wiped. If I add more training, do you think I'll be able to see better gains, or will I just end up hurting myself?

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There is nothing wrong with 45-minutes and 5 day split. I can certainly get a significant workout done in that time, and with high levels of intensity, so I'm sure you can too. The 2 day delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is indicative that you are training well within this time frame.

I also would suggest a weight gainer is not the way to go. They are typically a carbohydrate based product that the net result of taking them is water retention and increased body fat levels. Increase your intake of protein, ideally supplemented with BCAA's, and you will see more increases in your lean muscle mass as long as you continue on a progressive overload resistance training program. So how much is the right amount of protein per day? Most sources advise 1g protein per 1lb of body weight. For a man of your age, training regime and goals, this would be ideal. I struggle myself to eat the required amount of protein for my size per day, so supplement ~60-100g whey protein daily. Do not use Soy protein supplements, these lead to the same problems as weight gainers.

I recommend adding in some additional body weight exercises - not more weighted resistance. Body weight workouts are in fact resistance - but just not weighted, obviously. A nice routine to add in is the PLP workout, as below:

Pull up-Lunge-Press up (PLP)

If you can do 10 pull ups from the start, this is your start point. If you can only do less without stopping, then start from 1. For this example I will start from 1.

At some point in your day, but ideally no closer than 6 hours before or after your main workout, perform:

1 pull-up, 1 reverse lunge, 1 press-up. That's it. Done.

Easy enough. However, day 2 is:

2 pull-ups, 2 reverse lunges, 2 press-ups

...and so on. Im sure you get the picture what day three, four, five etc will be. You continue in this manner up to DAY 60 where you will need to reset and stop for a week or two. Then you can start over if you need.

That's it, and it really is that simple. The additional progressive workout on top of your usual training is easy to begin with and builds volume over time. Typically people will see a drop in BF and an increase in upper-body and thigh muscle sizes when doing this.

I hope this info helps, and all the best with your training.

  • I chose this answer because it addressed what I was specifically asking for, additional training. I like the idea of supplemental body weight workouts, perhaps targeting muscles that I worked on 3-4 days ago. – Joshua Belden Oct 19 '18 at 15:03
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I'm going to start by saying working out and gaining weight is something that requires patience, you won't get big over night. Most of us have been working out for years to achieve what we've achieved.

That being said; it sounds like your problem is not the workouts you're doing but the food you're consuming.

To gain weight you need to eat properly, it's easily as important as the workout part of gaining. You'll really need to work on comsuming more calories because you can't expect to grow a whole lot on only 2000 calories. I would not recommend adding a weight gainer, this won't make you gain the weight you want to gain (muscle) but rather help you gain more fat.

Eating real food is still the best and most healthy way to grow. Try to meal prep on the days you don't work out so you can easily get some extra food during the day for instance at work or right after a workout.

You mentioned that you have sore musles for 1-2 days, this is a good sign, it means that in general your workouts are intense enough. I'd workout a bit longer than 45 minutes myself but if that ain't an option there is no point in me going there.

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    Damn, beaten to it while I was trying to find out where the "Bodybuilding is a sport of years" quote originated :) – Dark Hippo Oct 19 '18 at 6:28
  • @DarkHippo Haha, I wouldn't be able to tell you where it's from if you'd ask me to be honest! – MJB Oct 19 '18 at 6:30
  • Turns out... I have no idea. I'm guessing it's just one of those meme / community things that gets thrown about but doesn't really have a true origin. – Dark Hippo Oct 19 '18 at 6:44
  • Thank you for your response! This confirms my suspicions that I have to be in it for the long game. I guess no Gerard Butler in 300 over night. :( – Joshua Belden Oct 19 '18 at 15:01

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