How hard should I push myself?

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Working out is only 20% of the battle, I cannot stress enough how much more important your diet is.

Have you ever considered counseling or seeing someone about your relationship with food?

I have been in your shoes last year when I tipped the sales at 320lbs.

I Never saw myself as an emotional eater but I definitely was and In a lot of ways still am.

I hope you find something that works for you! Don’t let yourself get Burned out on workouts! Focus on the food first! Then when you’ve gotten some weight off begin working out a few times a week and increase from there.


I hear you, and congrats on getting to it. Having said that…take it slow and listen to your body. You need to think long term. Consistency is the key to success.


Push yourself on consistency more than intensity. No one losses 100 pounds in one back breaking workout. They lose that much weight by fixing their diet and returning to the gym again and again, sometimes over a period of multiple years.

Develop a long term plan and stick to it. When you have the inevitable hiccups, just dust yourself off and get back to it. You can do this. Just don’t quit.


I was 357 In Jan of this year. Just hit 209 today. Just stick with eating healthier and working out consistently. The weight will melt off of you if you cut out all the bullshit from your diet. CICO will beat anything, such as keto or eating paleo.

So if you really want to push yourself, start by going hard as fuck in the kitchen first. I started working out in Jan but by Feb I was lifting 5x a week and I’m super grateful I started then as opposed to now.


You lose weight in the kitchen.
You build muscle in the gym.

In either scenario, consistency is key! Regularly eat at a calorie deficit (even if it’s slight!) and find a workout schedule/plan that you can stick to. Make adjustments if you need to.

Be consistent. Do what you can sustain, pushing yourself just a tiny bit more every time.


Set Volume for Muscle Size: The Ultimate Evidence Based Bible

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Oh boy.

This will be misapplied for eons.



But does this apply when doing sets of 5 because sets of 5 are for strength?

Jokes aside, is there a tldr on what a “set” is in this context? I have to assume the response to 8 soul sucking high weight AMRAPs is different than 8 sets with two in the tank at a moderate weight.


“If one desires to train in the 10-20 weekly set range, it is likely best to split it up into 2-3 training sessions.  If one desires to train for more than 20 weekly sets for a particular muscle group, then it is best to split it up into three or more sessions during the week.”

This is what I was looking for. I would think most people do this already.


Volume and progressive overload are the main drivers for muscle growth and strength.


I’ve gained the most using 6 sets/week per movement pattern (push,pull,hinge,squat) with another 3 in accessory. You can only stimulate so much muscle protein synthesis and the rest is wasted volume – good for insurance maybe but not necessarily needed.

The amount of intensity of effort per set is a major factor not really covered by “close to failure”.


” Probably the biggest thing that’s gotten lost about our new study on volume was the finding that training less than 45 mins a week produced the same strength and muscular endurance increases as training 5 times as much in resistance trained men. That’s kind of a big deal.”

–Brad Schoenfeld


25M, 6′, 147lbs (66,7kg) -> 174lbs (79kg), 10 months of progress with pics.

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Did you really make gains if your Underwear game didn’t LEVEL UP?

Great progress and such an important point to stick to getting enough sleep.


That is some damn solid gains man. Good job! Lookin very fit and healthy


You look completely different, nice work.


What the hell in stronglifts did you swap out thinking you could get injured? It’s the most bare bones program in existence.


Got muscles AND a girlfriend in the same year, well done, brother.


Anyone else just awful at performing bulgarian split squats?

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I perform these regularly. One mental tip that often helps is to remember that on the way down to to keep my hips and back aligned and moving straight toward the ground. The other is in the way up, drive through my heel while keeping back and hips straight.

Perhaps you could try lowering the weight and focus on working the imbalance. Alternatively, you could work in isolation on the strength of the hamstrings by doing one-legged leg press or single leg Romanian dead’s. There are a lot of muscles working in coordination for this exercise.

The best advice is to always work slowly, focus on perfect form as much as possible, and of course to just keep doing them over and over.


Athlean-X actually had a helpful video (for me at least on this). For whatever reason the cue that helped me the most was putting my hand in my hip crease and making sure it got squeezed as I went down. This kept my knee over my foot and my hips back.


I had an issue with Bulgarian split squats where I found myself shaking quite a bit. My legs didn’t feel particularly exhausted, but my body would tremble. I told my physiotherapist and he said that it was likely due to weak gluteus medius muscles, which are stabilizers.

He suggested clamshells, dead bugs, and single leg bridges to help.

If you’re having issues with balance, your form is likely deteriorating. I used to get pain in my knees as well while doing split squats because my shin would be stable, but my thigh would be kind of torquing my knee around. Obviously you may have a completely different issue than me, but my PT said that weak gluteus medius muscles are quite common if you’re often sitting down for work/studying!


Injuries? Proper form? Too much weight?


Possible controversial things that help me…..

1) Don’t ignore importance of the back foot placement. Not too high of a bench and not too low of a bench. 18 in is good with me. Back foot needs to be planted on the bench solidly, but not too deep.

2) When weight increases or fatigues starts, its OK to lean slightly toward whichever leg you are squatting with. And while I try to keep my back leg as straight behind me as possible, cheating a little and kicking it out – isn’t a terrible practice if it gets you your reps.

3) don’t ignore your shoe choice. Like regular squats, squishy shoes can lead to balance issues especially when weight gets heavy.


Fitness Evaluation Machine at the Gym

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>the gym requires us to come in for a fitness eval for insurance purposes.

They are outright lying to you and you need to find another place to workout.


They are not accurate and are affected by a range of factors such as hydration level. They work based on impedance.


I would consider finding a new gym if there’s one available to you. At this point I think I’ve belonged to 7 gyms and have never had to do something like this for any kind of insurance reasons.


Just a scam by the personal trainers to try and get some business.


If they require you to do it, it sounds like a way to just get money off you. You can get a BIA scale off Amazon for $30 and get adequate measurements at home.


35M, 6′, 132lb -> 168lb. 15 months of progress and questions

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I think the alcohol is killing your gains seriously


> I think about 4-6 shots of whisky a night (its a habit)

What the fuck. Get rid of that habit and your belly might disappear. Skinny dudes tend to be able to lean bulk more easily, I expected you to have more muscle and less fat. Get rid of the alcohol and I promise keeping the rest up will give you good results.

Also, up the BPMs. Try to remain above 160 for quite some time.


4-6 shots of whiskey is way too much and not what people consider “normal drinking”. The alcohol is 400-700 extra calories of nothing. It will also keep your test levels low, stop down your digestion and protein synthesis. Alcohol can have seriously effects on your gains and keep fat on you so you should consider cutting down your drinking to 1-2x per week max. If you need to drink every night you might have a problem, and I’m speaking from experience. No judgement though, it’s about your personal goals. Also, diet could be a bit better.

In regards to cutting or bulking, it depends on how you feel about your body. If your okay with that belly you could keep bulking, but it’ll probably keep growing…

When youre counting calories are you including the extra ones from the whiskey? That could have you at about 3k calories per day.


You were in prime position for a nice perfect slow bulk.

Honestly 6 shots a night has fucked you.

After 15 months of lifting and at 2400 you should be much leaner and not to be rude but you’ve put on not very much muscle

Stop drinking now bro and keep eating in a surplus


Maybe if enough people say it, you’ll listen. You need to scale back the drinking. A large part of why you have a belly is because your drinking. If you change nothing else about your life except the drinking, i’m sure you’ll not have that belly.


Is eating at a maintenance while lifting ok for a beginner?

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You have my written permission.


Big misconception regarding calories and muscle, calorie surplus = you gain WEIGHT. You don’t need to be bulking to gain muscle, eat your maintenance, eat 1.2-1.5g/kg BW of protein and its all you need. If you stall you might need to deload and then up the weight again, or change your routine. It won’t have anything to do with your diet, especially if your eating maint and correct amounts of fats/protein and enough carbs to give you energy.

Just make sure you really are eating maint.

EDIT: if you want to lose fat, eat at a deficit, not much.. All you need is maybe 5/10% of your maint try 5 and wait and see, maybe a month, before going lower. You don’t want to starve yourself, you still need energy, and if you have a huge deficit you lead to a greater chance of binging on food.

But make a deficit from carbs, not from fat or protein, fats regulate your hormones, protein is the building block for muscles.

Oh, drink lots and lots and lots of water.


If you’re still new to weights you can still build muscle while losing some fat on a caloric deficit. I believe it’s because your muscles receive micro-trauma and stimulus like never before.

A very common mistake many lifters make is thinking that their diet is the number-one determining factor of their progress or the rate at which they build muscle. They religiously count calories on a surplus/maintenance/deficit but half ass their workouts thinking that as long as their calories are in check, they would achieve their goals just by being at the gym and moving some weight.

-Stick to a good program with good frequency and intensity, and aim to progress on compound lifts
-Start with a minor caloric deficit with at least 0.8g protein per lb bodyweight daily + decent carb choices and some fat
-Get enough rest

Do these and you should be good. Clearly everyone is different, so trial and error is key to finding out how your body responds, and by starting out with a deficit, you greatly reduce risk of putting on unnecessary fat

EDIT: This doesn’t mean you should be on a deficit/maintenance til the end of time. Everyone is different. When you hit a fairly long plateau with the weights, I personally believe you should alter the workout first (many ways to do this like rest times and deloads). Altering calorie intake should be the last resort if you’re really looking to gain as much muscle with as little fat as possible. When you hit a plateau, think “What can I do differently at the gym to bust this plateau?” before you think “How many calories should I add to my daily intake to bust this plateau?”


Not to be ugly with you, but I kinda hate questions like this, though I blame the /r/fitness community more than you.

It basically does not matter. You are a beginner. You could eat glue and dirt exclusively and as long as you lift you’ll see results. Min maxing fitness is never important as we all see results at different rates and from different routines differently.

You’ll see 95% of the progress you’d ever be able to achieve by just tending towards healthy foods and eating protein while working out consistently. People have been getting fit for eons without counting every calorie and macro obsessively. Don’t overthink it. Obviously if you are planning on competing or something then that last 5% becomes important, but for the rest of us it’s not worth the mental sacrifice.


as a man who’s also in the same boat i did a ton of research. Short answer is yes.

Long answer is: when do you want results? I for one want to be fit within a 10 month period so i put a weight in mind i want to reach in 10 months and eat accordingly. Right now i am the same weight i was 2 months ago but i’m getting stronger meaning i’m gaining muscle and losing fat if i’m staying at the same weight. Body recomposition is the best thing to do as a beginner , you can progress while looking better and better instead of bulk/ cut cycles. Now i looked at the research and i’ll tell you that bulking is more beneficial for muscle growth even as a beginner but then you have to cut and its gonna be harder losing more fat you’ll eventually be gaining as you bulk.


So decide what you want. Do you want to be 175 in a few months ? Or do you want to be a leaner 165? Do you care about the way you look or do you prefer getting stronger? you’ll look better quicker with maintenance and you’ll get stronger quicker with bulking.


1st Dunk last night! Thoughts or advice on dunk/jump technique or form?

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Nice going. What’s your squat numbers at the moment? Also trimming weight helps a lot, no point taking extra baggage up there to the rim. I see you are a one footed jumper, how far off are you from a 2 footed slam?


What’s the training you’re doing to increase vertical???? I would love to know!


Hard to tell with not much run up in the video. It sounds weird, but what’s helped me is to actually think about jumping while you’re dunking. Specifically, a lot of times people don’t use their arms enough to get momentum going up. See if focusing on throwing your arms upward on take off makes it easier for you. Does for me.


Whaddup glad to hear we got the dunking community on reddit


My best tip: When your jump gets a bit higher and you grab the rim more solidly on dunks. be aware of how much grabbing the rim can shift your center of gravity, and how that shift can make your grip on the rim slip.

When I was younger and 1st started dunking I ate sh!t more than once trying to showboat a little, then flailing/falling totally parallel to the floor as my momentum swung me sideways and made my hand slip.


Good idea to temporarily take up trail running instead of weightlifting?

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A 2 week deload from lifting doesn’t have to be a bad thing, especially if you are replacing it with another form of activity. You won’t lose all your gains because you stop lifting for 2 weeks, and an occasional break for recovery can be a good idea.

If it were me, I’d increase my lifting volume leading into the 2 week break, then do some jogging and light bodyweight work while away from the gym, like you suggested.


its two weeks. even if you sat on your ass for those 2 weeks it wouldnt make too much of a difference. do it if you want to.


Seems to be like a lot of overthinking for something simple. Go be active whether it’s trail running, walking, ab work, whatever. Also, enjoy the holidays and time with family and friends, it’s only 14 days.


Do you have any base for running? With no base, jumping right to 10-15 miles per week from zero seems like it’s a recipe for some type of annoying overuse injury like shinsplints or something like that. I would just be careful you dont injure yourself running and put yourself out of the gym when you get back. I find that as a moderately fit person it’s easy to over train when I start a new skill because I have a good fitness base but theres always some random muscle group the new skill requires that is lagging behind my general abilities, combined with enthusiasm for something new, = overuse injury.


Couldn’t matter less. It’s two weeks. Do whatever you feel like. I’d recommend just hiking instead of trail running though. Sucks a lot less.


35M, 5’8″, 138 lbs. —–> 162 lbs., 16 month progress

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I think I saw this Marvel movie.

Congrats bro. Besides the obvious strength progress has working out had an appreciable or quantifiable improvement on other aspects of your health?


Damn son. That’s a captain america level transformation. How do you feel now compared to previously?


I’m going to make sure I respond to everyone individually but I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has taken the time to read this and respond. I wasn’t sure what type of feedback to expect since I’ve seen so many people share transformations much more impressive than mine, but you all made me feel like a million bucks. I could go back to the gym and do another full workout with all the positive energy you’ve blessed me with here. It means more to me than I could possibly express.


Damn, that’s a hell of a transformation. Seems as if a majority of bulking progress posts I see are from teens hitting puberty while lifting. As somebody who is also interested in bulking in their 30s (failed a couple times during my 20s), it’s refreshing to see successful bulking progress posts from somebody in their 30s as well.

Regarding your diet, you said you try to consume 2,800 – 3,000 calories per day but don’t always make it and that you drink 2-3 protein shakes a day. I also struggle to eat enough to pack on serious weight, so can you share what a normal day of eating looks like because if you take 2-3 protein shakes a day that’s at least 1,500 calories just from shakes alone (easily close to 3,000 if you make a larger shake).


Looking swole