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Started working out 3 times a week in April 2021 with the following plan:


Week 1:

Day 1: Squats, Bench + assistance exercises

Day 2: Deadlift, Military press + assistance exercises

Day 3: Squats, Bench + assistance exercises

Week 2:

Day 1: Deadlift, Military press + assistance exercises

Day 2: Squats, Bench + assistance exercises

Day 3: Deadlift, Military press + assistance exercises

Up 2,5kg on upper body and 5kg on lower body every workout, once i fail all sets three to five workouts in a row, i do a 20% setback and start over.


Achieved my first 100kg squat set of 3 with 5 reps a few months ago, 100kg deadlift a little earlier.

While this felt great, i feel like i'm still missing some visual results.

Besides paying a bit attention to nutrition and consuming whey, i started taking 3g of creatine every day.

Should i just go on the way i did or are there any changes i should contemplate?

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    You had me with 'feeling great', but whats your goal? If you're looking to improve certain areas, are you targeting those with your routine? What exact expectation is not being fulfilled?
    – Kinglish
    Jan 4 at 20:52
  • Goal is to get a bigger/wider physique overall, since that's what hasn't changed a lot
    – Pfanna
    Jan 4 at 20:57
  • Is your nutrition intake (after working out) geared towards that goal? Plenty of protein, but also a balance of calories adding lean mass to your body. Your overall nutrition strategy is central as I'm sure you know. Then again, some bodys or body parts don't bulk out like others. I tried for years to make my slender wrists more muscular and while I did strengthen them, the rest of my arm grew while they looked the same....
    – Kinglish
    Jan 4 at 21:02
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    Sounds like your goal is tied to weight gain. You have the strength training in place which is usually the hard part. Now perhaps you just need to focus on your nutrition, eating right to rebuild muscle tissue, while also keeping up calorie intake.
    – Kinglish
    Jan 4 at 21:14
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    Are you comparing yourself to your memory of yourself, or pictures? Also, have you tracked your weight through this? Jan 4 at 21:46

1 Answer 1

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With the information you provided it's a little hard to say if you should upgrade your workout or nutrition. How many sets/reps do you do for each exercise, the assistance exercises and your actual protein/calorie intake would be helpful.

That said, I can give you a few pointers and tips:

  1. First off: Visual results are hard to measure, especially on yourself, since you see yourself in the mirror every day. So don't get frustrated if you don't notice big changes right away, if you put in enough effort the results will come. Your lift numbers (100kg squat/deadlift for 5 reps) are pretty good for a beginner so I'd say you're on the right path.
  2. Strength vs. hypertrophy: As I said, I'm missing some detailed info about your program. Based on the core exercises, it seems like a solid beginner STRENGTH routine to me though (similar to Greyskull LP or Stronglifts). Those beginner strength routines are great IMO, and usually geared towards teaching you the core (compound) lifts and building a solid strength base, not maximising hyptertrophy. You will still be able to add some muscle mass with those routines, but if you want to prioritize hypertrophy maybe now is the time to switch to a bodybuilding-style routine.
  3. Volume: this is a key aspect in building muscle mass. It goes hand in hand with 2., but your program (probably strength/beginner focused) might not have the ideal volume for hypertrophy. Check out this article for more info about that. You might want to add some more volume to your workouts (be careful here, do not try to reach all that volume with big compounds in the lower rep range), or probably even better switch routines (Jeff Nippards fundamentals hypertrophy program is a good choice for example, I personally like it and saw good results).
  4. Nutrition: First, you definitely need enough protein, about 1.2g-2g per kg of bodyweight. Most of it should come from solid food (meat, fish, eggs, vegan options, ...) and some from protein powders if you want. Second, you should be in a caloric surplus to build muscle mass, maybe 200-300 above maintenance. While you can gain strength without being in a caloric surplus, you will not add a lot of muscle mass/size. Many beginners think they are eating enough but actually aren't, since it's hard to regulate those things intuitively, which might be what's happening in your case. Try tracking your protein/calorie intake for a while or at least consciously eating more.
  5. Progression: Your progression (2.5kg upper / 5kg lower) with 20% set back on repeated failure will probably set you back too much too often. Try adding less weight and/or only going down 10% each time.
  6. On a side note: Unless your assistance exercises include a lot of Rows / Pull-Ups or similar, you might be neglecting your back with this routine. A big, wide back is key in looking bigger, so you might want to incorporate some (more) of that.
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  • Thanks for the detailed comment! I've started to track my nutrition again and it works pretty well so far. I can only do standing bowed rowing, cause i don't have a cable machine at home (doing all of this in my cellar :) ). And i've added another upper back exercise last week, which i'm pretty happy about. Definetely gonna take your tips into account, thanks for commenting!
    – Pfanna
    Jan 13 at 12:34

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