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GotAGrip

Need Help Gaining Mass

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Okay, I know how to gain mass and I have years upon years of nutritional knowledge. I know I have to lift heavy and eat heavy.

However, I am in NO way a normal lifter, I have recently "cured" an incurable condition known as Ulcerative Colitis but I won't go into details about that, but that is the reason why I can't just eat and eat and eat - otherwise it will cause problems.

The main problem is that I have M.E/CFS which is the real f***er - it attacks me with INSANE fatigue, light sensitivity, confusion and all sorts of issues if I workout too heavy. I seem to respond well to training early, before breakfast - which lessens the issues. It all changes, but mostly for example, if I deadlift really heavy on monday - then on tuesday, I will crash slightly - and for about an hour I am practically disabled. Then the next day, I have huge periods of the day when this happens.

I won't stop because the fatigue gradually gets less intense the more I do it, but slowly - and even if I knew training for mass would kill me, I would still do it - it's my life!

So with these limitations, I need help with my workouts because my head gets cloudy. Like I say, I am semi-intelligent and know a lot about training, but since M.E, I have issues with planning stuff. I NEED lots of grip related exercises to perform at random times of the day (I train grip every day to good effect and spread it out randomly throughout the day).

I do one heavy squat workout when I wake and wait 30 mins before I eat. I also don't eat carbs after this, I save them for the evening when insulin is least sensitive. I do this for health benefits, but mainly because my illnesses are manageable this way, any more than 200g of carbs then I crash for very long periods of the day. Before the daily carbs, I do another workout - and this is where I need the help. I don't have a bench, but I have dumbbells, big weight plates, barbells, bands so the only thing I can't really do is bench pressing - I normally do planche push ups and close-grip pull ups for chest.

I am gaining, just slowly - and the sheer amount of exercises is doing my head in. HELP lol.

Edited by GotAGrip

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Sounds like you're doing what you can. Not everyone can gain any certain way, or at all.

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there are a few things i am not clear on. besides ulcerative colitis, what are your other ailments? and how often in a week are you training? what kind of carbs are you eating?

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Have you tried Olympic lifting? It might stress your system differently, could be less of a shock to it... Or not. Just speculating here.

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Sounds like you're doing what you can. Not everyone can gain any certain way, or at all.

I am doing what I can - but nobody could understand the hell I am going through lol.

I was thinking of doing squats everyday before breakfast (apart from days like today, I was wrecked all day and didn't even have the energy to close my hands).

For my evening workout (before carbs), I was thinking:

Mon: Military Press + Shrugs

Tue: Pull ups, Bent-Over Rows

Wed: Planche Push Ups, Dips

Thu: Deadlifts

Fri: Glute and Heavy Leverage/grip Work

Sat: Rest

Sun: Rest

Obviously keeping the weight down on the deadlifts because they cause my mitochondria to freak out.

Hope this covers it - I won't be able to complete it all, especially if I don't diet properly.

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Maybe lifting less, like 3 days a week, and only once a day, would be better?

What is the reason for lifting so frequently?

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there are a few things i am not clear on. besides ulcerative colitis, what are your other ailments? and how often in a week are you training? what kind of carbs are you eating?

I train everyday at different levels of resistance depending on my energy. I don't have much energy however, ever... my biggest feat is not laying in bed all day and appearing like nothing is wrong with me. I have chronic fatigue syndrome (I don't like the name of it, makes it sound sissy), but it cripples me a lot. Basically, the way I understand it is my mitochondria can't keep up with my body and restore at a much slower rate.

I breathe for strength training and without it, I would be overcome by this affliction - even though sometimes it makes things worse.

I am going to bed now, I will write some more about it tomorrow. As for my carb source, I was using sweet potatoes/rice, but I got really bored of it and went back to white potatoes, about 200g a day. I know it hinders me not being able to stuff my face with carbs, but that won't be changing, it's the only way I can tolerate my health.

@Meph - I am willing to try anything, but my main goal is to gain some mass. I am as strong as an ox for my build, but I want to "look" better. I am the male equivalent of a "size 0" lol. I used to be big, pre-illness lol.

Maybe lifting less, like 3 days a week, and only once a day, would be better?

What is the reason for lifting so frequently?

Obsessment.... lol

Something that wont change ;)

The funny thing is... I don't have the energy to do chores or even wash sometimes (not through lack of interest) most of the time, but my body finds the power to do feats of strength lol. I have no idea how that is possible.

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there are a few things i am not clear on. besides ulcerative colitis, what are your other ailments? and how often in a week are you training? what kind of carbs are you eating?

I train everyday at different levels of resistance depending on my energy. I don't have much energy however, ever... my biggest feat is not laying in bed all day and appearing like nothing is wrong with me. I have chronic fatigue syndrome (I don't like the name of it, makes it sound sissy), but it cripples me a lot. Basically, the way I understand it is my mitochondria can't keep up with my body and restore at a much slower rate.

I breathe for strength training and without it, I would be overcome by this affliction - even though sometimes it makes things worse.

I am going to bed now, I will write some more about it tomorrow. As for my carb source, I was using sweet potatoes/rice, but I got really bored of it and went back to white potatoes, about 200g a day. I know it hinders me not being able to stuff my face with carbs, but that won't be changing, it's the only way I can tolerate my health.

@Meph - I am willing to try anything, but my main goal is to gain some mass. I am as strong as an ox for my build, but I want to "look" better. I am the male equivalent of a "size 0" lol. I used to be big, pre-illness lol.

Maybe lifting less, like 3 days a week, and only once a day, would be better?

What is the reason for lifting so frequently?

Obsessment.... lol

Something that wont change ;)

The funny thing is... I don't have the energy to do chores or even wash sometimes (not through lack of interest) most of the time, but my body finds the power to do feats of strength lol. I have no idea how that is possible.

first, watch this video. it may help you a lot.

second, as has been said, train less often. you will have more energy and probably put on more mass.

third, eat more food that don't bother you. is UC aggrevated by frequency or type of food?

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Stick some rest days in there...most people who aren't juicing need rest days, some more than others...even juicers need the occasional rest day! ;)

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first off... i wanna say i admire your determination and will to succeed in spite of setbacks

one thing that i have been doing quite of bit of recently is isometrics with a towel, the physique is hardening up quite a bit faster than it has in the past with traditional weight lifting supersets, dropsets, and 5-3-1...

i am no doctor and i can't speculate what is going to work for you but you could try experimenting with isometrics to replace some of your most difficult movements

good luck dude :)

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there are a few things i am not clear on. besides ulcerative colitis, what are your other ailments? and how often in a week are you training? what kind of carbs are you eating?

I train everyday at different levels of resistance depending on my energy. I don't have much energy however, ever... my biggest feat is not laying in bed all day and appearing like nothing is wrong with me. I have chronic fatigue syndrome (I don't like the name of it, makes it sound sissy), but it cripples me a lot. Basically, the way I understand it is my mitochondria can't keep up with my body and restore at a much slower rate.

I breathe for strength training and without it, I would be overcome by this affliction - even though sometimes it makes things worse.

I am going to bed now, I will write some more about it tomorrow. As for my carb source, I was using sweet potatoes/rice, but I got really bored of it and went back to white potatoes, about 200g a day. I know it hinders me not being able to stuff my face with carbs, but that won't be changing, it's the only way I can tolerate my health.

@Meph - I am willing to try anything, but my main goal is to gain some mass. I am as strong as an ox for my build, but I want to "look" better. I am the male equivalent of a "size 0" lol. I used to be big, pre-illness lol.

Maybe lifting less, like 3 days a week, and only once a day, would be better?

What is the reason for lifting so frequently?

Obsessment.... lol

Something that wont change ;)

The funny thing is... I don't have the energy to do chores or even wash sometimes (not through lack of interest) most of the time, but my body finds the power to do feats of strength lol. I have no idea how that is possible.

first, watch this video. it may help you a lot.

second, as has been said, train less often. you will have more energy and probably put on more mass.

third, eat more food that don't bother you. is UC aggrevated by frequency or type of food?

That's a great video about nutrition.

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Have you tried Olympic lifting? It might stress your system differently, could be less of a shock to it... Or not. Just speculating here.

Unless he has access to some kind of coach to help him along I would think that learning the quick lifts himself could be a problem, and potentially created larger chance of injury.

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Yeah I don't mean in pure Olympic form... Just to clarify, I meant the "street" versions: Power clean and Military press, Jerk/Push Press, Power Snatch. You can build plenty of mass and strength with those.

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im no expert in clean diet or bodybuilding by a long shot.. but id like to throw in a pattern that ive noticed between weight/mass gain.

looking back, typically when i gain weight (any notable weight, i.e., 8 or more lbs within a 2 week period) it's been times when ive gone long periods of my body being on just straight plain jane simple routine. and when i say routine, i mean go to bed at the exact same hour everynight, get 7-8 hours sleep, eat 3 solid meals a day (get full when you eat) and hit some form of training for about 45 minutes a day. basically what im saying is, the times i put on a little muscle, were the times i really wasnt looking to do so. ...i.e. less=more.

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im no expert in clean diet or bodybuilding by a long shot.. but id like to throw in a pattern that ive noticed between weight/mass gain.

looking back, typically when i gain weight (any notable weight, i.e., 8 or more lbs within a 2 week period) it's been times when ive gone long periods of my body being on just straight plain jane simple routine. and when i say routine, i mean go to bed at the exact same hour everynight, get 7-8 hours sleep, eat 3 solid meals a day (get full when you eat) and hit some form of training for about 45 minutes a day. basically what im saying is, the times i put on a little muscle, were the times i really wasnt looking to do so. ...i.e. less=more.

good point tommy

i don't understand why some people think they have to demolish their body for 2-3 hours in the gym to make it grow.. just challenge it little by little

Edited by jvance

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Thanks guys, that's some really good support - sorely needed.

Second day of crashing, won't be able to do anything today anyway - I get a lot of "forced" rest days with this.

I will try to exercise less, and I know it's erroneous, but I feel like I need to keep exercising to keep/build my body. I am someone that can't sit down much because I am always itching to exercise and find out new ways of trashing my body. I suppose I just want my body to ache as much as my brain does lol.

My diet will alarm you, it truly would - but it's simple, and it VERY effectively stops Ulcerative Colitis which was what stole about 40lbs of muscle from me when I was young, so I am pretty scared of it flaring up again (which happens EVERY time I eat a lot of carbs).

My main source of calories is from saturated fat, and my protein comes from meat, fish, shellfish, bcaa, unpasteurised cheese/milk (the heating process kills the essential enzymes, so pasteurised milk/cheese destroys me).

I eat 250g or more of butter a day, I know that sounds crazy, but I never believed in mainstream nutrition. I had high cholesterol before I started this diet and after a year of eating a bar of it a day - my levels improved across the board, HDL raised, LDL lowered along with triclycerides. I obviously switched over to burning fat as fuel rather than carbs (keto) and the carbs I have at night flood my body with insulin, stuffing the muscles with glycogen and giving me enough for the following day. The butter I have is grass-fed, which makes all the difference - normal butter would be deadly because of it's fatty profile.

So, as you can see, I am pretty weird lol, but it works for me... everything else puts me on my knees.

I measured myself last night and have put on a few inches in certain places, so I am calming down a bit haha. Gotta stick with it and learn to rest more.

Thanks once again.

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Right, I been thinking;

As less is more, I will do a heavy workout every 3rd day to allow my muscles to repair properly and to allow my mitochondria to keep up. Here would be a typical week.

Monday: Heavy exercise (No direct grip on heavy days)

Tuesday: Isometrics + Grip

Wednesday: Isometrics + Grip

Thursday: Heavy Exercise

Friday: Isometrics + Grip

Saturday: Isometrics + Grip

Sunday: Heavy Exercise

The following week would start with monday + tuesday being isometrics/grip if following this structure. So that's fine, I can stick with that. I will start lifting next monday to let my body sort itself out, my hands are injured anyway due to trying to close grippers without a warm up. (Muppet!)

Now, the only problem is... I want to stick to one exercise on the heavy days. Do I stick with 20 Breathing Squats every day or should I mix it up a bit?

I was thinking of replacing it with clean and press to work more muscle groups, but this isn't neccessarily better for mass right? Squats are said to be king for fast mass and flooding the body with testosterone/growth hormone.

Wait, lol... I have an idea - this will be brutal, but will make sure my muscles explode.

I will find my 5 rep max for the clean and press (strict). Performing 40 breathing squats with it, with 5 C&P's after each 10.

Haha, I am such a weird man, where the hell is my medication? :upsidedwn

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Thanks guys, that's some really good support - sorely needed.

Second day of crashing, won't be able to do anything today anyway - I get a lot of "forced" rest days with this.

I will try to exercise less, and I know it's erroneous, but I feel like I need to keep exercising to keep/build my body. I am someone that can't sit down much because I am always itching to exercise and find out new ways of trashing my body. I suppose I just want my body to ache as much as my brain does lol.

My diet will alarm you, it truly would - but it's simple, and it VERY effectively stops Ulcerative Colitis which was what stole about 40lbs of muscle from me when I was young, so I am pretty scared of it flaring up again (which happens EVERY time I eat a lot of carbs).

My main source of calories is from saturated fat, and my protein comes from meat, fish, shellfish, bcaa, unpasteurised cheese/milk (the heating process kills the essential enzymes, so pasteurised milk/cheese destroys me).

I eat 250g or more of butter a day, I know that sounds crazy, but I never believed in mainstream nutrition. I had high cholesterol before I started this diet and after a year of eating a bar of it a day - my levels improved across the board, HDL raised, LDL lowered along with triclycerides. I obviously switched over to burning fat as fuel rather than carbs (keto) and the carbs I have at night flood my body with insulin, stuffing the muscles with glycogen and giving me enough for the following day. The butter I have is grass-fed, which makes all the difference - normal butter would be deadly because of it's fatty profile.

So, as you can see, I am pretty weird lol, but it works for me... everything else puts me on my knees.

I measured myself last night and have put on a few inches in certain places, so I am calming down a bit haha. Gotta stick with it and learn to rest more.

Thanks once again.

that is not so weird in my opinion. many open minded doctors are discovering that saturated fat is not a killer and can be a huge part of a healing diet for many people. i think you are getting closer with your new program but i am concerned that maybe you want too much too fast. if you must do something on your off days, take a walk.

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Everyone has to find their own way dealing with what life has dealt them. In your case you have more things to juggle than most - and it's going to require finding your own path more so than average. But I think many of the basics of weight lifting are still going to apply for you. I think working out every other day is a better place to start for weight gain. And the big thing for anyone - not just you - is to never out work your recovery ability - no matter how much or little stimulus that takes. It's something I see all the time in my high school athletes - a strong will and desire and a body unable to support the workouts that strong mind wants to do. Being big and strong is not nearly as important as being healthy and able to function normally. And please don't do isometrics 4 days a week - not a good idea at all. Energy management skills sound like they will be critical for you. I don't know how old you are but relax - the weights are a lifetime journey - enjoy the trip and results will come over time.

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I love this site lol. Thanks guys. So many amazing people on here.

My isometrics are split, for example - on one day I will do pulling isometrics (outward pulls with a karate belt) working all sorts of angles. On a different day I would be working with pushing isometrics (pushing inwards with a bar), I will remove two of the isometric days and just do it twice a week.

And yes, I have OCD on top of all things lol.

Edit: I am 28 by the way, but look and feel about 12 ;)

Edited by GotAGrip

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fyi... climber511 is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable people on the topic of strength and health on this board

on isometrics - they should be intended to supplement your routine in order for you to lessen the load in other lifting areas....don't go crazy with them right off the bat.....i only do isos once or twice week - you won't need to do more than that to see major strength gains

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The diet your on sounds reasonable, even good to me. Not too far off Paleo ideas. Except for the lack of veggies. I did a few months on a primal diet last year and my gut issues cleared up and I felt better than I have in years as well as dropping a lot of fat pretty quickly. It's pretty tough to gain muscle on that kind of diet though but not impossible. Short intense workouts are the key when you are working in a ketogenic state or even near one. Long steady state stuff just won't work at all with that. Have you found any carb type stuff or meal timing of such that doesn't set off your UC? I read the book on Carb - Backloading not too long ago and it had some very good stuff in there. By doing low carb throughout the day and adding just a bit of high glycemic fast digesting carbs in the evening / before bed it keeps your insulin levels low throughout the day and works with your natural hormonal rythyms as well as producing a growth hormone spike in the night. There is more to it but the science seems sound. Its a pretty recent book and ties together quite a bit of current research ideas well that I have been seeing bits and pieces of from a variety of different areas. Guys doing that diet seem to be having pretty good success at getting very lean and gaining muscle at the same time. Anyway there may be something useful in there for you. And for god's sake don't try to do that many Iso sessions a week. You might want to look into something like Adam Glass's Gym Movement Protocol for training. Something you could do daily without taking it to failure and stressing your already challenged recovery systems.

- Aaron

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The diet your on sounds reasonable, even good to me. Not too far off Paleo ideas. Except for the lack of veggies. I did a few months on a primal diet last year and my gut issues cleared up and I felt better than I have in years as well as dropping a lot of fat pretty quickly. It's pretty tough to gain muscle on that kind of diet though but not impossible. Short intense workouts are the key when you are working in a ketogenic state or even near one. Long steady state stuff just won't work at all with that. Have you found any carb type stuff or meal timing of such that doesn't set off your UC? I read the book on Carb - Backloading not too long ago and it had some very good stuff in there. By doing low carb throughout the day and adding just a bit of high glycemic fast digesting carbs in the evening / before bed it keeps your insulin levels low throughout the day and works with your natural hormonal rythyms as well as producing a growth hormone spike in the night. There is more to it but the science seems sound. Its a pretty recent book and ties together quite a bit of current research ideas well that I have been seeing bits and pieces of from a variety of different areas. Guys doing that diet seem to be having pretty good success at getting very lean and gaining muscle at the same time. Anyway there may be something useful in there for you. And for god's sake don't try to do that many Iso sessions a week. You might want to look into something like Adam Glass's Gym Movement Protocol for training. Something you could do daily without taking it to failure and stressing your already challenged recovery systems.

- Aaron

Thanks mate, will check Adam Glass out in the morning, my head is too fuzzy right now - gives me something to read while my son's at nursery. As for the carb-backloading book, is it free online or is it for purchase?

NO carbs agree with me to be honest, apart from pure glucose and very very small amounts of fructose. Complex carbs, especially starches feed the pathogens with UC and I wouldn't have any at all if possible, but that's very detrimental for training I find. I would take glucose powder instead of the potato, but I need something to combine all the butter with! lol.

As with the isometrics, I don't do that many during each session because they bore me. I wish I enjoyed it because I believe they are crucial.

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The diet your on sounds reasonable, even good to me. Not too far off Paleo ideas. Except for the lack of veggies. I did a few months on a primal diet last year and my gut issues cleared up and I felt better than I have in years as well as dropping a lot of fat pretty quickly. It's pretty tough to gain muscle on that kind of diet though but not impossible. Short intense workouts are the key when you are working in a ketogenic state or even near one. Long steady state stuff just won't work at all with that. Have you found any carb type stuff or meal timing of such that doesn't set off your UC? I read the book on Carb - Backloading not too long ago and it had some very good stuff in there. By doing low carb throughout the day and adding just a bit of high glycemic fast digesting carbs in the evening / before bed it keeps your insulin levels low throughout the day and works with your natural hormonal rythyms as well as producing a growth hormone spike in the night. There is more to it but the science seems sound. Its a pretty recent book and ties together quite a bit of current research ideas well that I have been seeing bits and pieces of from a variety of different areas. Guys doing that diet seem to be having pretty good success at getting very lean and gaining muscle at the same time. Anyway there may be something useful in there for you. And for god's sake don't try to do that many Iso sessions a week. You might want to look into something like Adam Glass's Gym Movement Protocol for training. Something you could do daily without taking it to failure and stressing your already challenged recovery systems.

- Aaron

Thanks mate, will check Adam Glass out in the morning, my head is too fuzzy right now - gives me something to read while my son's at nursery. As for the carb-backloading book, is it free online or is it for purchase?

NO carbs agree with me to be honest, apart from pure glucose and very very small amounts of fructose. Complex carbs, especially starches feed the pathogens with UC and I wouldn't have any at all if possible, but that's very detrimental for training I find. I would take glucose powder instead of the potato, but I need something to combine all the butter with! lol.

As with the isometrics, I don't do that many during each session because they bore me. I wish I enjoyed it because I believe they are crucial.

how do you do with white rice?

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White rice ain't too bad, I was on it for a while but it made me sleepy (more than usual lol) so I scrapped it and went with sweet potatoes. They were the best but then I found out that they were high in fructose, and I don't like the way the liver deals with fructose so I went with white potatoes in the end.

Haha.

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