I started going to the gym over a month ago, twice a week, to try and build some strength and muscle definition with weight training. I also have tae kwon do training every Monday and Wednesday evening. I've noticed my strength increasing using heavier weights (6x6 reps) but little to no actual growth in muscle size, most notably in my pectorals.

The other week I was curious about supplements, and someone suggested Maximuscle Progain to help build mass. I dont want to become huge, just a little more built and more definition. I started drinking two scoops in the morning and two scoops after a workout. On the days that I have tae kwon do, I would have 1 scoop in the morning and the same after training. On other days I would only have a 2-scoop shake in the morning.

Obviously I am an amateur and unsure of about how much protein supplement I should take and how often. Advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • 2
    one comment - you say you're getting progress in strength, but little to no growth is size. You also mention that you're trying to get ready to join the Army. I never served, but I'd point out that if you're getting consistent strength increases at major barbel lifts (benchpresses, military presses, squats, deadlifts), then you're probably doing fine. Don't sweat hypertrophy too much - getting stronger without getting bigger can be great if you want to have more athletic abilities. And doing a pure hypertrophy workout may or may not align with your athletic goals.
    – DavidR
    Oct 25, 2012 at 14:28
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    Why are you focusing on powders? Why not just increase the amount of food you eat? Oct 25, 2012 at 14:47

2 Answers 2


First of all you should decide what you want because bulking(get more mucles) and cutting(get more definition) at the same time is hard. In order to get more muscles, you have to make sure you eat enough so your muscles get all the nutrients they need. When you're cutting you'll normally will be on a minimum level of daily nutrients, so these two really don't go well with eachother. And also if you don't want to become huge as you said, this holds for every one who wants to bulk or cut.

About your protein intake: Since you're taking your proteins in the morning and after your workout, what I think is very good, you should take whey protein. These proteins are fast-digesting proteins and therefor perfect to take in the morning when you have a protein lack from the night and after the workout.

I hope that helps you. If you have more questions, feel free to ask.

  • Thanks for the input, i'll put consideration to which way im heading (currently aiming to apply for the army, so really need the strength increase). Is there any suggestion you can make to which product to use? The gym i visit has mainly the maximuscle powdwers but unsure which to go with, or what other supplement there is? Also, is my routine ok? I've read that many use the supplement everyday, even when not working out, but my time at the gym is usually spent on a friday/sunday evening, and i don't believe the exercise at taekwondo training warrents as much. Oct 25, 2012 at 13:34
  • Well there are so many different products out there, I guess you have to test some different products and see which you like most, I know that a lot of people like Optimum Nutrition, maybe you could give it a try. In order to gain strength you could also consider taking creatine. Yes your routine looks good but if you don't make the progress your heading for, consider to take more/less but it also depends on how you eat,that's actually the main part. A proper nutrition is the winning factor.
    – Danny
    Oct 25, 2012 at 14:06
  • If your true objective is the army I suggest you do not focus "only" on lifting more weight but be able to expend strength for a long period of time, try to include some series of push ups and chin ups in your upper body strength training. Has for the lower body Taekwondo should had gave you some endurance, but some running(not on the days you hit the gym or you will overtrain and lose muscle) may make you entry in the army much easier. Oct 25, 2012 at 14:07

Basically if you are gaining size and not mass that means you are either lacking calories or protein, or not doing a workout strong enough to produce the micro tears and re build.

The token amount of protein to have in building muscle is 1g per pound of body weight.

I weight 145 pounds, so to build muscle I have to aim for 145. It is very hard to reach this hence many people who train don't grow as much as they would like.

Eg cup of milk has 8g, tuna is 18g etc.

That is good that you are taking the protein straight after training as after you lift weights there is a 20 monute "window" as they call it where the body acts as sponge and needs protein ASAP. hence a protein shake with about 30g after training is good. Use whey protein for this.

Now you know protein lets cover calories. If you are quite a skinny guy it will be VERY hard for you to calculate how many calories you eat and I doubt you want to anyway... Basically unless you have a far bit of body fat.. if you want to gain muscle you have to eat! eat every 3-4 hours with protein based meals. If you want to look at your calorie daily need though for boys is about 2000-3000 and girls about 1500-2200. you can put your name and age and everything into calculations in google and it will figure it out for you. and with the lifting do it so on your 8th or 9th rep you COULD NOT do another rep for your life, feel the burn! and make sure you keep up with your water in take :) hope I could help!

If you already are lifting as hard as you can and going up weights every few weeks then your doing fine. when I am not strong enough to go up weights but want a killer workout. I will do this: (say its for biceps- eg bicep curl)..

start at absoulute max weight (for me is 7kg- im a girl) I do 5 of them, or even 3 (whatever I can do) then without a break pick up a 5kg weight, do 10 reps then pick up a 3kg weight and do 15 reps. hence the musxcle is under tension a LONG time, and you have varied the rep/weighjt range for muscle confusion and lifted heavier than usual! its called super sets really good for muscle

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