458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
1

Gymnastics Strength Training- Hormonal Stimulation similar to heavy lifting, TUT

by (88)
Updated September 03, 2013 at 7:24 PM
Created August 23, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Hey, so I recently picked up a copy of Gold Medal Bodies' "Rings 1" and "Rings 2" gymnastics courses, and I am looking to start very soon. I was working through a barbell strength training program, WS4SB 3, but the whole point of my doing this was to try to gain weight and muscle, and I recently found my Testosterone levels are not in the area that would allow me to build considerable muscle in the first place.(I also have been struggling with low T for the past 4 months, 2 of which I didn't realize I even had low T)

I want/need some advice, but first, some info: I've actually liked how I've felt for the past 4 weeks of doing WS4SB 3, simply meaning that actually getting under a heavy bar (doing what some would consider REAL training), focusing on the "feels" in the muscle(mind-muscle connection), improving my form, etc, it's given me a boost of confidence which feels friggin' awesome.

However, I TOTALLY didn't eat enough for these past 4 weeks. NOT AT ALL. In fact, many of my days were actually lower than I used to eat when I was simply doing home workout fitness programs (p90x, p90x2, insanity, etc)

This is because I used to eat 5x a day, plus post workout, and I've been trying to eat only when hungry... but I've thus been eating 3 times a day, and I don't know how large I should portion my meals if I'm only eating 3, I'm so used to the "eat every 2-3 hrs" lifestyle, that knowing whether I'm eating too little, too much, or when I'm actually hungry, is often very difficult.

My basis for the diagnosis that I haven't been eating enough is that I can see what I'm eating is less, and simply that my body composition has gotten even worse than it was previously. (fat accumulation around the abdomen increasing, visible lean-ness decreasing despite changing my workouts to less-cortisol inducing and more strength oriented)

as a result I feel I have made NO progress with WS4SB 3, and I will soon be having to go to school early, and my schedule will be far more hectic. This means getting to the gym to lift will not be easy, and so I feel like stopping the program. However, I don't like the feeling of starting something, and switching to something else before I really have time to see if it works, which I imagine is what it looks like I'm doing.

So what I need advice on is this: #1. What am I doing wrong nutritionally, if it is eating too little, than how can I make modifications to make sure I eat enough without having to track my food and eat every 2 hrs, AND-

                               #2. **Should I start these rings programs or try to keep doing WS4SB 3, even though I have made NO progress and am really frustrated and confused about what I'm doing wrong?**   IE: Can the extreme TUT of real gymnastics strength work provide similar hormonal benefits to doing heavy strength training and hypertrophy work?

AND, what should I do in regards to lower body work, as the program is designed to be done on the rings, and so is almost entirely upper body.

IMPORTANT: I'm 17, male, 5'7", 114 lbs. I can provide daily eating plan (what I eat) if anyone could help me more seeing that

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680
0 · September 05, 2013 at 9:42 AM

In general my week looks like this... Tues: HIIT with pull-up sets, Wed: F1, Thur: F1 stretching/mobility. The weekend really depends, but sometimes another HIIT or F1 play on Saturday or Sunday. I tend to be in the park for over an hour and thus join two days of F1 together.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · September 05, 2013 at 3:52 AM

Hey @Mash, what does your workout schedule generally look like? are you following F1 to a tee on it's own, or are you adding in other stuff to make it a complete program?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · September 04, 2013 at 7:29 PM

@sustainedfitness, @CD, @Matt, could you look at the update I've written, and posted as a new question? It relates to what you advised, and I wanted some quick follow up, if you would be willing to ... I'd really appreciate it!

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · September 02, 2013 at 5:58 PM

I already know I haven't been eating enough, I know I should increase that regardless, but when it comes to not improving, is that a question of carbs, or is eating a lower carb diet appropriate given the fact that my workouts are strength-based, not HIT based(as my old training regime was)

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · September 02, 2013 at 5:57 PM

I did pullups because A: I can't do muscle ups yet, and B: the program is layed out so that I do those exact exercises. MU's come down the road, but as I said, I can't do them yet. I honestly couldn't do more than the number of pullups that I did in each set. When I say I didn't think I was that glycogen depleted, I mean that my arms weren't shaking so bad I couldn't hold up my water bottle... On a side note I've noticed decreased performance in my next workouts, which is leading me to believe that I A: don't have enough total calories, or B: don't have enough carbohydrate. Since-

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680
0 · September 02, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Regarding the PHD, well the authors outline the reasons behind what foods in what amounts are useful. So I think it is a fantastic template.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
0 · September 01, 2013 at 6:37 PM

if it didn't feel like anything to you -- why didn't you do a more advanced movement? Explosive movements will cause your body to demand bursts of energy, which will deplete your glycogen stores. I think the problem is you are doing all stability exercises. Rather than 3xfailure for leg raises... Do 3x25. Explosive up, hold for a second, slow down. Same with the levers, don't hold them. Explosive up, hold for a second, slow down. Skip the pull-ups, if you got rings go full muscle ups. Again, Explode up, hold for a second, slow down.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · September 01, 2013 at 1:41 AM

I always try to lift more/do more work, no matter the program I'm on, so I haven't been seeing a lack of progression for lack of trying, trust me- What I am wondering is, why is the PHD so supported by you? and also, would it be something you'd recommend trying given my activity level?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 10:37 PM

That workout didn't feel like anything to me.. I mean, I was obviously fatigued, but I didn't feel like my body was all that glycogen depleted, and I went on to eat <100 grams of carbs, no starch, only a bit of fruit and lots of veggies, for the remainder of the day..... Post workout was coconut milk+protein powder... I figured I would go low carb and get a big carb boost every 3-5 days or so, where I would shoot for 200 grams or so post workout, and I would do this on my most glycogen depleting day.. is this a bad approach, and why?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 10:34 PM

then hanging leg raises, 3x to failure. And FYI, I can't do a full front or back lever yet, nor a planche, they were all the tuck versions, with my tuck back lever being the most advanced, and my tuck planche being the least The rest periods were all 45 seconds, but I raised them to 50-60 seconds on my last set of inverted tuck roll chins

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Okay, I realize I do need to dial the volume down a bit, but I am just curious, what type of ring workouts have you done? because even robb wolf stated in one of his posts that he managed to get by on very few carbs, only around 100-150 grams per day while doing BJJ and 3 days of gymnastics/strength work with barbells... so my question really is.. how were the workouts "very glygogen depleting?" for example, one workout was- 60 sec Back/Front lever, Planche, HS, tuck inverted ring row- 4x6 supinated ring pull up- 4x6-8 inverted tuck roll chin-up- 4x6-8 (with hold in chin-up position)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
0 · August 30, 2013 at 5:44 PM

the end of the day, do you want to be healthy? If so they work harder not longer.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
0 · August 30, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Of course if you want to go hard core, you can. But you have to provide your body with enough fuel. You will likely need to be in the 200g carb range with 3800 kCal to hit maintenance. And probably another 500 kCal to put on muscle and increase testosterone levels

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
0 · August 30, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Your ring workouts should destroy your glycogen stores. I know that when I used to do ring workouts I would do four exercises: pushups, dips, hanging scarecrows, and V levers -- that I would be beat at the end. I think it is a bad idea to do rings for upper and weights for lower. It would be much better to do two full body resistance days, one ring day, and one HIIT day (which I suggest doing as sprints on a track). And taking at least two days off completely. If you want to do yoga, you can mix that in.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 4:34 PM

I was planning to do the 3 ring workouts, all upper body, 3x a week, and lower 2x a week(either heavy lifting or something like that) Plyo or sled sprints/ normal sprints or a metcon-type conditioning workout for HIIT 1x a week, and yoga of course on my off day, probably just 30 mins or so... The gymnastics stuff isn't very glycogen depleting, so I was planning to do a CKD, with lowish (around 80g) or so of carbs, no starches per day, and then a refeed, probably 2x a week, on the days I do lower body strength work.... what do you think? is this too much?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 4:28 PM

no, my low T is Fact unfortunately.. I had it tested and I had the levels of a starved, female kitten

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
0 · August 30, 2013 at 12:55 PM

@Allison, you have no idea with high intensity interval training is all about. If you want to get big you should be doing intervals at least once a week. (1) HIIT can actually increase testosterone levels and GLUT4 concentration (2) HIIT increases 24-hour mitochondrial biogenesis (3) HIIT sets off an increase in the concentration of myofibrillar nuclei.

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9
0 · August 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Well that's good that you sought out what sounds to be a knowledgeable strength coach. I may suggest that you stick with a program in the long-term so that you can see how your results pan out over the long-term. Your low-T is just speculation, right? I would say at the age of 17, you can get away with a lot of stress, physically (e.g., working out) and use that to your advantage. I guess if you're concerned about T levels, make sure you;re getting enough zinc (red meat, oysters), saturated fat, and cholesterol (red meat, eggs).

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 3:31 AM

activity levels..... And just FYI, I've never been able to successfully "bulk," I just end up adding fat and virtually no muscle. Also, just as some background info, I'm coming also from having a very low Testosterone level, which has been low(unkown to me) for the past 2 years, and so any results I've gotten with any program in the past have been minimal if notice-able at all, aside from developing high "functionality"

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 3:29 AM

-gym. The gym is much more "functional" in the sense that it is in a warehouse, and has a bunch of stuff like prowler sleds, kettlebells, sledghammers, etc, plus power racks and gymnastics rings(though it isn't a Crossfit gym) I used my training sessions for ONLY the days I was squatting and DL-ing, and so I guess I was just saying that I did go to a trainer, and did try to do a strength-oriented program. I went into this coming from doing lots of HIIT and tons of HIT and bodyweight calisthenics, so I have been, and still am, very unsure of how to structure my nutrition around my new

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 3:24 AM

I've been trying heavier strength training, using a routine made by joe defranco called WS4SB 3, aparently made for "skinny bastards" I have been doing this for about a month, but last tuesday(so 3 days ago) was my last workout using it, because I wasn't seeing the results I was wanting: I was becoming more and more "soft" around the middle, feeling like I was losing the level of fitness I'd accumulated before-hand, and generally I was(and still am) a little frustrated and at odds about which direction I should go in... I had paid for 10 sessions with a knowledgeable trainer at a local-

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 3:16 AM

I could understand that part, but I was wondering if there was actually a correlation between simply a lack of sufficient calories, and a decrease in one's physical appearance, in this instance, meaning becoming "softer" and appearing less lean, despite being at around the same weight....

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9
0 · August 30, 2013 at 12:58 AM

Valai was making a sarcastic joke. His/her advice is to simply eat more food.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 30, 2013 at 12:47 AM

really, it sounds like you have something you'd like to say, so what exactly are you suggesting? I am just curious in regards to the visible lean-ness part, is eating too little something that could cause that?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 29, 2013 at 11:15 PM

what do you mean?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 28, 2013 at 9:36 PM

if you read the 3 (admittadly way to long) posts I put above, I pointed out that I want to take a break from attempting to gain weight for now, until I get back my testosterone levels from the doc and can see if they're in a sufficient range for me to gain muscle in the first place..... I will know by this coming weekend, but I also want to increase my strength through doing upper body gymnastics work, as it really apeals to me

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2
0 · August 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I am going to be blunt--I don't mean to be rude--but are you suffering from an Eating Disorder? My hormones were whack for years for that reason--and my mindset was also similar to yours.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2
0 · August 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

and AVOID HIITS--if you want to get big and strong, you need to avoid cardio like the plague for a while. HIITS are primarily used to lean out, shed off that last few stubborn pounds, not build muscle.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2
0 · August 28, 2013 at 1:19 PM

You need to do what the powerlifters and bodybuilders do to bulk up--the see food diet. I agree with the others--don't worry about macros. Focus on nutrient dense foods--lots of fat and starchy carbs and at least 1g of protein per bodyweight lb. You can even do liquid meals--shakes to cram the calories down. I am 5' 2" female, and I weigh more than you. Your testosterone levels are low probably b/c your low bodyweight.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 28, 2013 at 3:13 AM

- and lower body work on the days I'm not doing the actual gymnastics work, so I figured one good "carb up" a week, or just after the conditioning/lower body work 2x a week would be sufficient, and then shoot for unlimited veggies, enough protein, some fruit(if any) and adequate fat on rest and gymnastics days... what is your opinion? is this an okay plan for the short term while I wait to get my testosterone levels up a bit higher? I just have had immensely difficult time trying to figure out what to do nutrition-wise as my workouts have changed...I was hoping I would get it right this time

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 28, 2013 at 3:08 AM

The reason I was asking about post workout with the gymnastics is that the workouts in the program I intend to follow are all strength-based, there is little of what you could call "endurance" or "hypertrophy" work in it, and so I assumed I would not be burning much glycogen, and thus would not need to have quite as much carbohydrate as I've been forcing in in the post workout period as of late. One thing I'm wondering about is if I just have a low tolerance to carbs, I never have cravings for them anyway, so I figured this type of a workout would fit that well... I intend to do HIIT-

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 28, 2013 at 3:05 AM

I am interested in just incorporating gymnastic strength work into my routine somehow.. it does really interest me. Since I started the lifting program I HAD been doing, WS4SB 3, I've just felt discouraged as I have visibly become less lean, while not really building any muscle. I think nutritionally and hormonaly I am somewhat screwed up right now, and so I was planning on doing this gymnastics training just for a while before I try to go back to lifting, because I want to feel like I've at least accomplished something ...

Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02
0 · August 28, 2013 at 2:39 AM

"... visible lean-ness decreasing..." @ 5'7" 114 lbs, sigh... how could your testosterone be low with those stats?! /sarcasm eat some damn food

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
0 · August 27, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Eat a wide variety of foods, and at this point don't worry about macros, just eat what is both nutritious and appealing for you to eat. As to a post workout meal, make sure to have some carbs and protein in there, but you don't have to have a ton of either. If you don't have much appetite, and tolerate dairy, drink whole milk. I personally would lean towards barbell strength program over the gymnastic program, unless you are actually interested in gymnastics. Either one will not give you the results unless you are eating plenty.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 27, 2013 at 1:08 AM

Hey @SUSTAINEDfitness, can you offer any insight into this?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 25, 2013 at 1:39 PM

As in- what would be a good meal post workout gymnastic training?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

if my assumption is correct, than what should I structure my diet around? SHould I just make sure I get in 3000 kcals but focus on high fat? or are carbs preferred as a fuel source as they are when one is doing strength/hypertrophy weight training...?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

will the auto-regulatory systems kick in after I've eaten at a higher level for a consistent period of time? Also, what about my other parts of the question regarding gymnastic ring training.... what are the pros/cons IYO of using that form of training over conventional lifting, and could I gain any mass/strength from gymnastics upper body work alone? Also, I know very little about how much gymnastic work taps into the glycotic pathway, given the greater rest periods and long periods of static holds, I'm assuming the answer is: not very much-

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
0 · August 25, 2013 at 3:53 AM

I couldn't have said it better.

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5 Answers

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4f7dafcf032030503f04203700a63865
6
83 · August 25, 2013 at 3:27 AM

You really need to eat more. There's no way to get bigger and stronger without eating more. You clearly aren't eating enough. I recommend increasing your daily caloric intake to around 3000kcal/day. My 120lb 5'1 girlfriend eats 3000kcal/day for maintenance. There's no "trick" to eating more, just put more food in your mouth, chew it and swallow it.

Autoregulatory eating is the way to go, but like you said, you lack the sensations that indicate your body needs food. You need to suck it up and eat more. You'll get used to eating more, but you'll have to eat to the point of uncomfortable fullness until you get there. Don't kill yourself, just eat more. Do whatever you need to do to eat more. You're not going to get bigger and stronger unless you eat more calories.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · September 04, 2013 at 7:29 PM

@sustainedfitness, @CD, @Matt, could you look at the update I've written, and posted as a new question? It relates to what you advised, and I wanted some quick follow up, if you would be willing to ... I'd really appreciate it!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
0 · August 30, 2013 at 12:55 PM

@Allison, you have no idea with high intensity interval training is all about. If you want to get big you should be doing intervals at least once a week. (1) HIIT can actually increase testosterone levels and GLUT4 concentration (2) HIIT increases 24-hour mitochondrial biogenesis (3) HIIT sets off an increase in the concentration of myofibrillar nuclei.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 28, 2013 at 9:36 PM

if you read the 3 (admittadly way to long) posts I put above, I pointed out that I want to take a break from attempting to gain weight for now, until I get back my testosterone levels from the doc and can see if they're in a sufficient range for me to gain muscle in the first place..... I will know by this coming weekend, but I also want to increase my strength through doing upper body gymnastics work, as it really apeals to me

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2
0 · August 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I am going to be blunt--I don't mean to be rude--but are you suffering from an Eating Disorder? My hormones were whack for years for that reason--and my mindset was also similar to yours.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2
0 · August 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

and AVOID HIITS--if you want to get big and strong, you need to avoid cardio like the plague for a while. HIITS are primarily used to lean out, shed off that last few stubborn pounds, not build muscle.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2
0 · August 28, 2013 at 1:19 PM

You need to do what the powerlifters and bodybuilders do to bulk up--the see food diet. I agree with the others--don't worry about macros. Focus on nutrient dense foods--lots of fat and starchy carbs and at least 1g of protein per bodyweight lb. You can even do liquid meals--shakes to cram the calories down. I am 5' 2" female, and I weigh more than you. Your testosterone levels are low probably b/c your low bodyweight.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 28, 2013 at 3:13 AM

- and lower body work on the days I'm not doing the actual gymnastics work, so I figured one good "carb up" a week, or just after the conditioning/lower body work 2x a week would be sufficient, and then shoot for unlimited veggies, enough protein, some fruit(if any) and adequate fat on rest and gymnastics days... what is your opinion? is this an okay plan for the short term while I wait to get my testosterone levels up a bit higher? I just have had immensely difficult time trying to figure out what to do nutrition-wise as my workouts have changed...I was hoping I would get it right this time

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 28, 2013 at 3:08 AM

The reason I was asking about post workout with the gymnastics is that the workouts in the program I intend to follow are all strength-based, there is little of what you could call "endurance" or "hypertrophy" work in it, and so I assumed I would not be burning much glycogen, and thus would not need to have quite as much carbohydrate as I've been forcing in in the post workout period as of late. One thing I'm wondering about is if I just have a low tolerance to carbs, I never have cravings for them anyway, so I figured this type of a workout would fit that well... I intend to do HIIT-

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 28, 2013 at 3:05 AM

I am interested in just incorporating gymnastic strength work into my routine somehow.. it does really interest me. Since I started the lifting program I HAD been doing, WS4SB 3, I've just felt discouraged as I have visibly become less lean, while not really building any muscle. I think nutritionally and hormonaly I am somewhat screwed up right now, and so I was planning on doing this gymnastics training just for a while before I try to go back to lifting, because I want to feel like I've at least accomplished something ...

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
0 · August 27, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Eat a wide variety of foods, and at this point don't worry about macros, just eat what is both nutritious and appealing for you to eat. As to a post workout meal, make sure to have some carbs and protein in there, but you don't have to have a ton of either. If you don't have much appetite, and tolerate dairy, drink whole milk. I personally would lean towards barbell strength program over the gymnastic program, unless you are actually interested in gymnastics. Either one will not give you the results unless you are eating plenty.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 27, 2013 at 1:08 AM

Hey @SUSTAINEDfitness, can you offer any insight into this?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 25, 2013 at 1:39 PM

As in- what would be a good meal post workout gymnastic training?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

if my assumption is correct, than what should I structure my diet around? SHould I just make sure I get in 3000 kcals but focus on high fat? or are carbs preferred as a fuel source as they are when one is doing strength/hypertrophy weight training...?

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · August 25, 2013 at 1:36 PM

will the auto-regulatory systems kick in after I've eaten at a higher level for a consistent period of time? Also, what about my other parts of the question regarding gymnastic ring training.... what are the pros/cons IYO of using that form of training over conventional lifting, and could I gain any mass/strength from gymnastics upper body work alone? Also, I know very little about how much gymnastic work taps into the glycotic pathway, given the greater rest periods and long periods of static holds, I'm assuming the answer is: not very much-

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86
0 · August 25, 2013 at 3:53 AM

I couldn't have said it better.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680
1
8574 · August 30, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Jdoane,

I am currently doing GMB F1.

  1. What am I doing wrong nutritionally, if it is eating too little, than how can I make modifications to make sure I eat enough without having to track my food and eat every 2 hrs.

    A military endurance study showed that calorie expenditure topped out around 40kcal per lbs of bodyweight. So if you were to be doing 22 hours of "The crucible" you would be burning around 5000kcals. Since you are doing around a couple of hours a day of mixed training, I would say eat for maintenance plus 15% to 20% more. (16 x lbs bodyweight, then calculate 15% to 20% of that and add it on.)

  2. Should I start these rings programs or try to keep doing WS4SB 3, even though I have made NO progress and am really frustrated and confused about what I'm doing wrong? IE: Can the extreme TUT of real gymnastics strength work provide similar hormonal benefits to doing heavy strength training and hypertrophy work?

    I am no expert but my guess is that your lack of progress is NOT related to your hormone levels, ESPECIALLY since you are 17. I would put money on the reason you are not progressing is probably because you are not sticking to the program. If in terms of progress you mean muscle mass, then you HAVE TO progressively do more work. That is if you can do 5 sets of 10 reps twice this week, then next week you need to either do 6 sets, or 5 sets of 11 reps, of do the whole workout three times a week rather than two. The point being you need to consistently DO MORE WORK however that looks.

You do not need to gorge yourself on food, you need to workout smarter. I would simply aim to get around 2500kcals in a day eating good nutritional meals (I prefer the Perfect Health Diet), and sit down and look at GMBs schedule and plot out the work progression. And as other people have answered add in some leg work keeping to the same progressively increasing workload goal.

Gymnastics training is not only superb fun, but does a bigger stronger body make if you program right. Here's me from the other night: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3523981/gmbf1-0813.jpg

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680
0 · September 05, 2013 at 9:42 AM

In general my week looks like this... Tues: HIIT with pull-up sets, Wed: F1, Thur: F1 stretching/mobility. The weekend really depends, but sometimes another HIIT or F1 play on Saturday or Sunday. I tend to be in the park for over an hour and thus join two days of F1 together.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · September 05, 2013 at 3:52 AM

Hey @Mash, what does your workout schedule generally look like? are you following F1 to a tee on it's own, or are you adding in other stuff to make it a complete program?

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680
0 · September 02, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Regarding the PHD, well the authors outline the reasons behind what foods in what amounts are useful. So I think it is a fantastic template.

458b7bac46cb9d6110245305ce8fae44
0 · September 01, 2013 at 1:41 AM

I always try to lift more/do more work, no matter the program I'm on, so I haven't been seeing a lack of progression for lack of trying, trust me- What I am wondering is, why is the PHD so supported by you? and also, would it be something you'd recommend trying given my activity level?

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1
743 · August 30, 2013 at 1:14 AM

Answer to number 1 - Eat more food. If you're stressing out about eating frequently, just pile on the food into 3 big meals. Plus, don't forget about fruit and carbs. Sure, most people cut out fruit, but you need to put on weight.

Example - Breakfast: Omelet (consisting of 5 eggs, 2 or 3 diced-up pieces of bacon, onions and/or garlic), raw carrot(s), and a tall glass of home-squeezed orange juice. Make it a pint.

Lunch - Big ass salad. Use any and all kinds of meat and cheese (if you're not dairy intolerant). Bacon and bleu cheese. Chicken and mozzarella. Pork and muenster. Sausage and cheddar. Use some leaves of lettuce and spinach for the actual salad. Add in a little olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. Maybe have some boiled and fried (in butter) potatoes or sweet potatoes as a side.

Dinner - Steak. 10oz or larger. Go for a fattier cut of steak (rib-eye is my favorite). Have whatever veggies you want. I usually fry and caramelize onions in the left-over grease. Wash it down with more homemade freshly squeeze juice, or have some fruit or starch.

If you're having trouble eating decent amounts of food because you get too full, maybe invest in a small bottle of digestive enzymes, so that you'll feel less full after eating.

EDIT: Liquids may help you here with your lack of appetite. Freshly squeezed fruit juice, such as OJ, or milk, coconut milk, almond milk, raw eggs, etc., plus protein powders are something you can gulp quickly without having combat fullness for 15 minutes as if your eating something solid.

Answer to number 2 - If you want to stick to bodyweight training, you can learn how to do pistol squats and cossak lunges. If not, you can try the barbell back squat. Learn either the low-bar or high-bar variation. Train the squat at least twice a week. Do the appropriate mobility and warm-up work, and try 3 sets of 10. Have someone teach you it. Not some pansy Bally's personal trainer, but a REAL weight-lifting coach.

For barbell training, look up the book "Starting Strength". Or, you can check out a strength coach on Youtube named Elliott Hulse. His channel name is "Strength Camp". He's got around 1000 videos.

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 4:28 PM

no, my low T is Fact unfortunately.. I had it tested and I had the levels of a starved, female kitten

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Well that's good that you sought out what sounds to be a knowledgeable strength coach. I may suggest that you stick with a program in the long-term so that you can see how your results pan out over the long-term. Your low-T is just speculation, right? I would say at the age of 17, you can get away with a lot of stress, physically (e.g., working out) and use that to your advantage. I guess if you're concerned about T levels, make sure you;re getting enough zinc (red meat, oysters), saturated fat, and cholesterol (red meat, eggs).

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 3:31 AM

activity levels..... And just FYI, I've never been able to successfully "bulk," I just end up adding fat and virtually no muscle. Also, just as some background info, I'm coming also from having a very low Testosterone level, which has been low(unkown to me) for the past 2 years, and so any results I've gotten with any program in the past have been minimal if notice-able at all, aside from developing high "functionality"

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 3:29 AM

-gym. The gym is much more "functional" in the sense that it is in a warehouse, and has a bunch of stuff like prowler sleds, kettlebells, sledghammers, etc, plus power racks and gymnastics rings(though it isn't a Crossfit gym) I used my training sessions for ONLY the days I was squatting and DL-ing, and so I guess I was just saying that I did go to a trainer, and did try to do a strength-oriented program. I went into this coming from doing lots of HIIT and tons of HIT and bodyweight calisthenics, so I have been, and still am, very unsure of how to structure my nutrition around my new

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 3:24 AM

I've been trying heavier strength training, using a routine made by joe defranco called WS4SB 3, aparently made for "skinny bastards" I have been doing this for about a month, but last tuesday(so 3 days ago) was my last workout using it, because I wasn't seeing the results I was wanting: I was becoming more and more "soft" around the middle, feeling like I was losing the level of fitness I'd accumulated before-hand, and generally I was(and still am) a little frustrated and at odds about which direction I should go in... I had paid for 10 sessions with a knowledgeable trainer at a local-

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88 · September 03, 2013 at 7:24 PM

UPDATE:

Hey everyone, so I just tried taking all of your advice, and after my workout on the rings this morning, had this for breakfast-

1 cup fresh strawberries/raspberries, 6 oz ground white meat turkey with spices, 250 grams sweet potato cooked in coconut oil and spices(hash) 1 pastured egg fried in the sweet potato residue, wilted spinach, a bit of home-made ketchup, and sauerkraut.

This was after having a small shake containing beef protein, canned pumpkin, and coconut water within 15 mins of finishing the workout- Breakfast came 1.5 hrs later.

I was afraid I would see symptoms of carb-intolerance, especially with my minor gut bacteria problem, but I didn't at all! - no headaches, tiredness, dizziness, nothing. Also, I was feeling really flat for the past 3 days of eating low carb(around 80 grams a day) and now I don't at all....

What I'm saying is that my fear of not being able to tolerate carbs seems to have been wrong, and now what I want to know is ---- whether it's appropriate to start having a carb refeed like this 3x a week, or whether I should do 3 days lower carb, and one day higher like this. Also, if I were to eat what I usually eat, and go back to focusing on fats/greens/misc veggies, my total daily carbs come out to around 160 grams, is this adequate for a "re-feed?

The reason I'm asking is because if I am going to start eating more carbs like this, doesn't it make the most sense to on the days I eat carbs, prioritize them, keep fats lower(sort of similar to the leangains approach, especially IF I do this 3x a week) and shoot for a higher number, say 250 g or so total just to hit my daily calorie needs? I guess what I REALLY am saying is that to eat the amount people are suggesting, even to hit around 2500 kcals, I have to keep my fats still relatively high even if my carbs are higher. Also, I've never really eaten over 200 g of carbs per day, and given my small size, isn't it probably accurate to assume I don't need to go over 200g of carbs on a given re-feed day, especially if I'm getting them mostly from dense sources like sweet potato?

If I DON'T need to go over 200 g a day for a re-feed day, is it still okay to have fairly high levels of fat in my diet, just for the sake of calories? Any thoughts on this would be great!

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25992 · August 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Jdoane, I am going to lay this out in three phases:

Rings vs Weights


Weights will definitely be more efficient. But ring workouts are fun. Your best bet will be to do 2 of one type and 1 of the other each week.

Testosterone - Diet


You need to eat more. Eating is key to gaining muscle and maintaining testosterone levels. at 5'7" 114 lbs you are very lean. Adding 10 lbs of bulk (combination of fat and muscle) will be critical to get your hormones on track.

Make sure you are getting sufficient nutrients, especially zinc and magnesium. Eat lots of eggs (2-3 per day) and sufficient fat.

Also eat foods that will help damping estrogen levels. That means eliminating sugar, beer and soy. And adding sulfurous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage).

Testosterone - Exercise


Exercise can increase your testosterone levels. Primarily HIIT and Resistance Training. Keep it high intensity (big weights, low reps -- i.e. 5x5 or 3x8) and focus on full body exercises. The more muscles you fire the better your testosterone levels will be. HIIT (best is done outside on a track/flat surface) once per week. Sprinting is the ultimate full body exercise. If you are doing it right, at the end of the workout your lactate acid should make you feel like cutting your legs off, your abs should be burning, and your shoulders and triceps will squeal when you try to pick up your water bottle.

Finally, make sure you rest and recoup. Recovery and keeping cortisol levels low is also important to maintaining testosterone levels.

Some Resources


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0 · September 02, 2013 at 5:58 PM

I already know I haven't been eating enough, I know I should increase that regardless, but when it comes to not improving, is that a question of carbs, or is eating a lower carb diet appropriate given the fact that my workouts are strength-based, not HIT based(as my old training regime was)

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0 · September 02, 2013 at 5:57 PM

I did pullups because A: I can't do muscle ups yet, and B: the program is layed out so that I do those exact exercises. MU's come down the road, but as I said, I can't do them yet. I honestly couldn't do more than the number of pullups that I did in each set. When I say I didn't think I was that glycogen depleted, I mean that my arms weren't shaking so bad I couldn't hold up my water bottle... On a side note I've noticed decreased performance in my next workouts, which is leading me to believe that I A: don't have enough total calories, or B: don't have enough carbohydrate. Since-

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0 · September 01, 2013 at 6:37 PM

if it didn't feel like anything to you -- why didn't you do a more advanced movement? Explosive movements will cause your body to demand bursts of energy, which will deplete your glycogen stores. I think the problem is you are doing all stability exercises. Rather than 3xfailure for leg raises... Do 3x25. Explosive up, hold for a second, slow down. Same with the levers, don't hold them. Explosive up, hold for a second, slow down. Skip the pull-ups, if you got rings go full muscle ups. Again, Explode up, hold for a second, slow down.

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 10:37 PM

That workout didn't feel like anything to me.. I mean, I was obviously fatigued, but I didn't feel like my body was all that glycogen depleted, and I went on to eat <100 grams of carbs, no starch, only a bit of fruit and lots of veggies, for the remainder of the day..... Post workout was coconut milk+protein powder... I figured I would go low carb and get a big carb boost every 3-5 days or so, where I would shoot for 200 grams or so post workout, and I would do this on my most glycogen depleting day.. is this a bad approach, and why?

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 10:34 PM

then hanging leg raises, 3x to failure. And FYI, I can't do a full front or back lever yet, nor a planche, they were all the tuck versions, with my tuck back lever being the most advanced, and my tuck planche being the least The rest periods were all 45 seconds, but I raised them to 50-60 seconds on my last set of inverted tuck roll chins

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Okay, I realize I do need to dial the volume down a bit, but I am just curious, what type of ring workouts have you done? because even robb wolf stated in one of his posts that he managed to get by on very few carbs, only around 100-150 grams per day while doing BJJ and 3 days of gymnastics/strength work with barbells... so my question really is.. how were the workouts "very glygogen depleting?" for example, one workout was- 60 sec Back/Front lever, Planche, HS, tuck inverted ring row- 4x6 supinated ring pull up- 4x6-8 inverted tuck roll chin-up- 4x6-8 (with hold in chin-up position)

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 5:44 PM

the end of the day, do you want to be healthy? If so they work harder not longer.

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Of course if you want to go hard core, you can. But you have to provide your body with enough fuel. You will likely need to be in the 200g carb range with 3800 kCal to hit maintenance. And probably another 500 kCal to put on muscle and increase testosterone levels

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Your ring workouts should destroy your glycogen stores. I know that when I used to do ring workouts I would do four exercises: pushups, dips, hanging scarecrows, and V levers -- that I would be beat at the end. I think it is a bad idea to do rings for upper and weights for lower. It would be much better to do two full body resistance days, one ring day, and one HIIT day (which I suggest doing as sprints on a track). And taking at least two days off completely. If you want to do yoga, you can mix that in.

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0 · August 30, 2013 at 4:34 PM

I was planning to do the 3 ring workouts, all upper body, 3x a week, and lower 2x a week(either heavy lifting or something like that) Plyo or sled sprints/ normal sprints or a metcon-type conditioning workout for HIIT 1x a week, and yoga of course on my off day, probably just 30 mins or so... The gymnastics stuff isn't very glycogen depleting, so I was planning to do a CKD, with lowish (around 80g) or so of carbs, no starches per day, and then a refeed, probably 2x a week, on the days I do lower body strength work.... what do you think? is this too much?

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