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Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
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Kieran Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
Eating at a surplus, not pushing hard enough, and following shitty programs is a recipe for disaster.
06-14-2017 12:22 AM
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Post: #27
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
So based on the comments so far, you guys can bench in the 350-400 range (or increased bench by 3X / 300%) all while cutting calories? That's amazing to me if true.

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06-14-2017 04:10 AM
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BoiBoi Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
Try IF. Been doing it for years and it works wonders.
06-14-2017 04:17 AM
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Post: #29
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-13-2017 10:59 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Honestly, anybody who has trained for 4 years solid could make great gains. If you were consistent and pushed that whole time you could have been incline pressing 350-400 or better for reps.

The issue is that you really just went from beginner to barely intermediate in 4 years, and your body reflects it. And your diet was bad so you got fat.

Fucking why??

Ehh. Let's not be unrealistic now. These are numbers unachievable for 99.5% of guys who train consistently.

How much weight you can lift is not at all indicative of how you look anyway.

He needs nutrition advice, not powerlifting motivation.
06-14-2017 05:54 AM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-14-2017 04:10 AM)RexImperator Wrote:  So based on the comments so far, you guys can bench in the 350-400 range (or increased bench by 3X / 300%) all while cutting calories? That's amazing to me if true.

No, not while cutting calories.

You have to eat to grow. If you were already fat to start and never lost the fat, that's one thing. But to put on muscle and strength quickly you have got to eat, and you'll put on some fat and muscle.
06-14-2017 06:04 AM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-14-2017 05:54 AM)Nascimento Wrote:  
(06-13-2017 10:59 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Honestly, anybody who has trained for 4 years solid could make great gains. If you were consistent and pushed that whole time you could have been incline pressing 350-400 or better for reps.

The issue is that you really just went from beginner to barely intermediate in 4 years, and your body reflects it. And your diet was bad so you got fat.

Fucking why??

Ehh. Let's not be unrealistic now. These are numbers unachievable for 99.5% of guys who train consistently.

How much weight you can lift is not at all indicative of how you look anyway.

He needs nutrition advice, not powerlifting motivation.

Those numbers are not unachievable. There is nothing you can't achieve if you set your mind to it and grind. You just have a limiting mind set.
06-14-2017 06:15 AM
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britchard Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
From my relatively amateurish diagnosis I would put it down to a poor diet and focusing too much on strength rather than volume.

Count your macros, including any drinks other than water (beer has A LOT of calories) and combine this with intermittent fasting to get your diet under control.

I'd recommend switching to a volume-based bro split program, rather than just trying to squat or deadlift as much as you can.
06-14-2017 06:36 AM
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zatara Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
If you're benching 250lbs+ for 5 reps you're already stronger than 90% of the male population. You must have a decent amount of muscle mass (presuming your other compound lifts are at a comparable level), your bodyfat% must just be hiding it.

Whats your diet like? Cardio? Have you had your bf% tested? What do you weigh? What height are you?

To the guy saying anyone can bench 400lbs after 4 years of training...you have no idea what you're talking about. Almost no athlete with any cardio capability, professional or otherwise, can do that. Defensive linemen in the NFL, who weigh 250LBs+ and look like shit due a focus on strength above all else, rarely bench over 450lbs. For players who actually have reasonably balanced bodies, a 330lb bench would place someone in the top 10% of defensive or offensive backs in terms of strength. And this is in a subset of the population that is a) genetically gifted and b) has spent a decade training to the best of human capability and c) are highly paid professional athletes whos entire life depends on their fitness.

A bench-press of 2x bodyweight (ie 350lbs for an average American male of around age 30 who weights 175lb - as I'm going to presume the OP is in lieu of any data yet) would put someone in the elite strength athlete category, comparable with professional athletes. A bench press of 1.5bw, or 260lbs, would put them in advanced lifter category. Which should be more than enough to look great in a tshirt or at the beach, if his bodyfat was in check.
(This post was last modified: 06-14-2017 07:52 AM by zatara.)
06-14-2017 07:50 AM
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heavy Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
Some people will never look like they lift and do strength training (compared to others).

I suppose what I mean is, the goal of strength training is to look *better than before*. It's sorta like heartiste said way back in the day, Game won't take a guy from a 4 to an 8, but it will give you a bump of 1 or 2, which will transform a guy's life.

Don't compare yourself to what you think you should look like. Compare yourself to what you used to look like. Besides, jumping that much in bench press is pretty amazing. I've never accomplished anything like that.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
(This post was last modified: 06-14-2017 08:03 AM by heavy.)
06-14-2017 08:02 AM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-13-2017 09:39 PM)Steelex Wrote:  My problem is that he gained 130 on his bench after 4 years.

That's pretty shitty. Like shitty shitty shitty.

Gaining over 30lbs a year on a small mover like bench is actually really great. Most dudes I know who have been lifting for a long time are really happy with 10 lbs a year. Don't hurt OP's ego for no reason.

Anyway most everyone else in here had a lot of great advice. More intense and consistent training, better diet, proper sleep etc. It's a full package. 3 days a week is barely enough to see serious results imho. I try to go about 5 days a week personally.
06-14-2017 08:15 AM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
Zatara you're full of crap.

I've seen it happen over and over again, a guy in his 20s can start lifting and be benching 225 in a year, and 315 the next year.

With the squat, a 225 squat is attainable in 3-4 months. A 315 deadlift is attainable in 6 months quite easily. They can go a lot further in 4 years.

These numbers don't represent any sort of specialization or hyper dedication to strength training, and can be attained by most average, healthy young men under the age of 35.

I'm 6'2" at 255 but used to be 6'2" 180, I've seen the process happen.
06-14-2017 08:20 AM
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Post: #37
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
This is correct. Some people will not look that strong even though they are. When I wrestled in high school we all did basically the same workout and some guys didn't look that defined but I have no doubt they were strong. Likewise when I studied abroad me and the fellas ate the same dorm food and some got fat and some did not. It comes down to genetics.

If you dont look strong its because your fat is blanketing your muscles. You need to cut out carbs almost completely and eat fewer calories than you burn. I started lifting regularly about 6-8 months ago and my strength shot up. I look way bigger now and its very noticeable. I can also lift 250 5×5 but probably just barely. I usually do around 5-7 sets of 5 with 205 -225. Going off the size of my arms and chest (and assuming you can bench 250 even 2-3 times) then you do have a lot of muscle. There is no way you're putting up that weight without a very strong chest and arms.

What you gotta do son is lose that pork chop belly and the titties. You might look lean and maybe you won't have tons of definition but you'll look good and that's the point. Hell if you do nothing more than 5×5 @ 225 and lose the fat you will look strong. In my experience that's pushing enough weight to look like a bad mofo if you are anywhere near 10-12% bodyfat.
06-14-2017 08:32 AM
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zatara Offline
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Post: #38
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-14-2017 08:20 AM)Steelex Wrote:  Zatara you're full of crap.

I've seen it happen over and over again, a guy in his 20s can start lifting and be benching 225 in a year, and 315 the next year.

With the squat, a 225 squat is attainable in 3-4 months. A 315 deadlift is attainable in 6 months quite easily. They can go a lot further in 4 years.

These numbers don't represent any sort of specialization or hyper dedication to strength training, and can be attained by most average, healthy young men under the age of 35.

I'm 6'2" at 255 but used to be 6'2" 180, I've seen the process happen.

225lb bench in a year of very good training/nutrition/good genetics is definitely achievable, but thats not what you initially stated. You stated it was possible for "anybody" to benchpress 400lbs for reps after 4 years of training, which is ludicrous.

Benchpress strength standards and records for every major professional sport are accessible quite easily. And even for the sports that emphasize strength (the NFL and professional Rugby Union for example) benching 2xbodyweight is a level of strength reserved for only the strongest players on any team. 1.5xbodyweight is a more common standard.

And again, thats considering professional strength athletes. Who are genetic freaks, who've been trained at the peak of human endurance and scientific knowledge for a decade.

Telling the OP, a normal, hobby trainer that he should be expecting to bench 400lbs for reps is both wrong and unhelpful on your part.
06-14-2017 08:42 AM
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Post: #39
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
It sounds to me like you are strong and have muscles but they are covered in excess body fat.

My advice would be go on a lowcarb/ high fat or even a ketogenic diet immediately.

It's the carbs that are making you fat.
06-14-2017 08:54 AM
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Post: #40
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
1.5x my body weight is 270 lbs.

So that's my new goal. Right now I bench 195 x 3, or 175 x 5.

Still a long way to go, but 3 months ago I couldn't even bench 155.

My shoulder just needs to cooperate...
06-14-2017 09:45 AM
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Nascimento Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-14-2017 08:20 AM)Steelex Wrote:  Zatara you're full of crap.

I've seen it happen over and over again, a guy in his 20s can start lifting and be benching 225 in a year, and 315 the next year.

With the squat, a 225 squat is attainable in 3-4 months. A 315 deadlift is attainable in 6 months quite easily. They can go a lot further in 4 years.

These numbers don't represent any sort of specialization or hyper dedication to strength training, and can be attained by most average, healthy young men under the age of 35.

I'm 6'2" at 255 but used to be 6'2" 180, I've seen the process happen.

Nah, you're the one exaggerating. You make it sound like strength gains are linear, which they're not. At some point comes diminishing returns, and unless you're a genetic freak or using something the average guy is not going to get in the 98% percentile of strength among those that train.

400 pound incline bench? Come on. In all my years at the gym I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen someone successfully rep 3 plates a few times, and that's way less than 400. And on a regular bench. Much harder to lift heavy on an incline.

If OP can bench above 1.25x his body weight he's doing well. He's making a point about his appearance being off, which has much more to do with his nutrition.
06-14-2017 09:51 AM
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Post: #42
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
Not that I have anything against steroid users as I dabbled myself a while back, but steroid users tend to forget how hard it is for regular people to get up to 400lb presses if you don't have freak genetics.
06-14-2017 10:14 AM
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Post: #43
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-14-2017 09:51 AM)Nascimento Wrote:  
(06-14-2017 08:20 AM)Steelex Wrote:  Zatara you're full of crap.

I've seen it happen over and over again, a guy in his 20s can start lifting and be benching 225 in a year, and 315 the next year.

With the squat, a 225 squat is attainable in 3-4 months. A 315 deadlift is attainable in 6 months quite easily. They can go a lot further in 4 years.

These numbers don't represent any sort of specialization or hyper dedication to strength training, and can be attained by most average, healthy young men under the age of 35.

I'm 6'2" at 255 but used to be 6'2" 180, I've seen the process happen.

Nah, you're the one exaggerating. You make it sound like strength gains are linear, which they're not. At some point comes diminishing returns, and unless you're a genetic freak or using something the average guy is not going to get in the 98% percentile of strength among those that train.

400 pound incline bench? Come on. In all my years at the gym I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen someone successfully rep 3 plates a few times, and that's way less than 400. And on a regular bench. Much harder to lift heavy on an incline.

If OP can bench above 1.25x his body weight he's doing well. He's making a point about his appearance being off, which has much more to do with his nutrition.

My point, regardless of how strong you think someone can or cannot become in four years, is that the OP did not effectively apply himself over the course of those four years. That is a clear fact, made obvious by the fact that this thread exists.

So he either A) Did not progress as well as he should in his strength and size gains or B) did not eat the right diet.

My wager is that the answer is both. 4 years is a long time to not see noticeable progress. If you don't see a noticeable change after 2 years of actively training and eating a controlled diet, you did something wrong. For most people this really means that they just did not apply themselves.
06-14-2017 10:36 AM
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Post: #44
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
I can't tell if the OP is asking for help or just complaining. There's little detail here on his situation, which makes any advice given to him speculation.

OP, how much do you weigh?
How tall are you?
What's your BF%?
How old are you?
How much can you lift in the major movements?
What routines have you done in the past four years?
What has your diet been like in the past four years?
How consistent have you been?
When did you first notice you weren't making progress? What did you do about it?
Have you ever worked out with someone who has the body you want? Did they give you any advice?

Answers to all of those questions would help.
06-14-2017 10:47 AM
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Post: #45
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-14-2017 10:36 AM)Steelex Wrote:  My point, regardless of how strong you think someone can or cannot become in four years, is that the OP did not effectively apply himself over the course of those four years. That is a clear fact, made obvious by the fact that this thread exists.

So he either A) Did not progress as well as he should in his strength and size gains or B) did not eat the right diet.

My wager is that the answer is both. 4 years is a long time to not see noticeable progress. If you don't see a noticeable change after 2 years of actively training and eating a controlled diet, you did something wrong. For most people this really means that they just did not apply themselves.

Nah, you made an unhelpful, wildly exaggerated claim and got called on it.

The OP went from benching 135lbs to 252lbs for reps in 4 years. Thats not a huge end figure, but he started off weak. I'd say he did a solid 3 years of training as an amateur within that 4 year window.

If hes benching 252lbs for 5 reps his 1RM is probably around 270lbs. Thats better than 90% of adult males. If he doesn't look good aesthetically at that level of strength his problem isn't his training, its his diet.

Advising him he needs to be benching 400lbs for reps because "anybody can do it" is terrible advice that would likely lead to him obsessing over adding more digits to his lifts, instead of tightening his diet up. Its just plain bad advice for the OP.
(This post was last modified: 06-14-2017 10:54 AM by zatara.)
06-14-2017 10:54 AM
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Post: #46
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
Does Rex have any progress pics, maybe start and current?
06-14-2017 11:08 AM
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Post: #47
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
You would get much more useful answers if you gave your height/weight/age and estimation of BF%.. Before and after pics would be very useful too, just hide your face.


I'm against trying a million different programs, once you start you should stick with it for at least 6 months... but in 4 years you had plenty of time to experiment and see how your body reacts to different strategies.

Did you try weighted pullups/dips?
Did you try to mix strenght and hypertrophy? Like 531 BBB + isolation accessories?
Did you try ______?
Basically I'm asking... apart from SS, what the fuck did you do during those 4 years?
This info is crucial to answer this kind of questions.

Every body responds differently to lifting. Some people may become beasts after a few months of weighted pullups, others will bulk up like crazy when they focus on lower weight but insane volume. Hell, if your problem is body fat, why not doing the 10000 kettlebell swing challenge for 5 weeks?

Try stuff until you find what works for YOU. Just don't become one of those "fuckarounders" that try a new program every month.


Plus as everybody else said... what does your diet look like on a normal day?
(This post was last modified: 06-14-2017 11:10 AM by Stallion.)
06-14-2017 11:09 AM
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Post: #48
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
Yeah the claim he made was off but he's right about 4 years being more than enough time to radically transform a physique. I've been training for many years and not until recently did I start figuring some stuff out, I could have applied myself much better for sure. OP is definitely in the same boat.

Live and learn. Don't make the same mistake twice.
06-14-2017 11:12 AM
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RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-14-2017 10:54 AM)zatara Wrote:  
(06-14-2017 10:36 AM)Steelex Wrote:  My point, regardless of how strong you think someone can or cannot become in four years, is that the OP did not effectively apply himself over the course of those four years. That is a clear fact, made obvious by the fact that this thread exists.

So he either A) Did not progress as well as he should in his strength and size gains or B) did not eat the right diet.

My wager is that the answer is both. 4 years is a long time to not see noticeable progress. If you don't see a noticeable change after 2 years of actively training and eating a controlled diet, you did something wrong. For most people this really means that they just did not apply themselves.

Nah, you made an unhelpful, wildly exaggerated claim and got called on it.

The OP went from benching 135lbs to 252lbs for reps in 4 years. Thats not a huge end figure, but he started off weak. I'd say he did a solid 3 years of training as an amateur within that 4 year window.

If hes benching 252lbs for 5 reps his 1RM is probably around 270lbs. Thats better than 90% of adult males. If he doesn't look good aesthetically at that level of strength his problem isn't his training, its his diet.

Advising him he needs to be benching 400lbs for reps because "anybody can do it" is terrible advice that would likely lead to him obsessing over adding more digits to his lifts, instead of tightening his diet up. Its just plain bad advice for the OP.

We simply have different ideas of what is achieveable. Mine are based on what I've done and the time it took me to do it, as well as what I've seen others do, some of whom I train.

Now granted, this isn't a hobby for me. I've had decent placings at local and regional shows and think I have a good shot at earning my pro card before I turn 35. But it's not a hobby. Origami is a hobby. It starts at breakfast and dictates how my day goes. But if the OP isn't happy with his results, the onus is on him to create better ones. The whole premise of limiting your expectations of yourself based on what other people achieve is self defeating. It should always be "I need to do better and push harder, and harder, and harder, to get what I want".

Being better than 9 out of 10 means you're better than the other 9 who didn't do a fucking thing to better themselves. It's no gold medal.
06-14-2017 11:23 AM
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Post: #50
RE: Fitness Fail: After four years of lifting weights, I still look like sh*t
(06-13-2017 06:20 PM)RexImperator Wrote:  Fact is, lifting did very little for my physical appearance, and gaining weight during linear progression just made things some things worse. I definitely need some kind of diet help and a change up of things.

Some people find it easier to focus on the gym than on diet, so they keep looking for fixes in the gym. If that's you, the first step is to recognize where your focus needs to be right now.

The big tip about dieting is to realize the importance of compliance. You need something you can follow, and that means having a plan for dealing with food prep, social eating, cravings, setbacks and so on. You cannot willpower your way through this.

Try intermittent fasting with an 8 hour feeding window and see how it works for you. Coffee in the morning will blunt your appetite. After a few days, you'll probably be used to the new schedule. You can combine it with low carb and moderate (not high) protein, which will also reduces hunger (whether or not you believe that total calories matter). Leafy vegetables are okay/good. Some people need to go very low on net carbs to see results. At a bare minimum, eliminate all added sugar. Try this for a while and see if you get results.
06-14-2017 11:49 AM
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