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I feel like I'm eating enough but can't gain?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 13, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Stats: female 19 5'0" BW = 98lbs

Background - I've been involved with crossfit/heavy lifting for about a year now and am happy with my results but I'd like to put on some mass and increase my lifts. I have IBS so I'm not sure if that is why I'm not gaining or if I'm not eating enough but compared to others gaining diets I think I'd be more than enough food. I know everybody is different and I shouldn't compare but when people say they are 5'7-5'8 and at 2300 maintaining and I'm at 2200+ 5'0 and not gaining?

Daily grind (Mon-Sat) Sunday is my rest day and I do less carb/more fat (see below for reasoning)*

M1: 3-4 eggs, 1 cup berries, 2T almond butter, coffee with heavy whipping cream

Workout - currently doing M/T/Th/F the 5-3-1 program and W/Sa olympic lifting technique and gymnastics skill work. All workouts between 30-50 mintues. Lifts feel good for 98 lbs. Squat 150, deadlifts 175, bench 100, press 70. Working to get numbers up along with weight hoping they go hand in hand.

M2/PWO: 4oz lean meat (chicken or turkey) 4oz sweet potato

M3: 4oz lean meat (chicken or turkey) 3oz sweet potato, 1 whole medium zucchini, 2T coconut oil

M4: 4oz fattier meat (usually grass fed beef, sometimes salmon) 2 cup green beans, 1/2-whole avocado

M5: 2oz? bacon, 2T almond butter, (occasionally) handfull of berries or a few squares of 99% dark chocolate

Water: 100+ ounces per day

Supplements: 2grams fish oil

Sleep: 6-8 hours/night. I wake up alot 2-3 nights/week. Feel well rested half the time.

General health: some minor injuries but nothing broken/sprained/torn

Stress: low/medium. Student, full time job and training. Just finished 2012 race season until September so cardio is done (5-3-1/olympic focus as said above).

* less carb/more fat sundays because I try to keep in the sweet potato/berries for carb Mon-Sat for my lifting but I do not tolerate carbs well at all. I'm not just saying that or because I'm afraid of them. IBS = pain/bloating/distention with carbohydrate digestion or well lack of digestion.

Any tips? Advice? More information needed??

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:47 PM

yeah yeah? I'm down. Bacon n beef, maybe combine the two. I just feel like I'm eating so much but yall are right if I want to gain more protein is key!

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:46 PM

I'll try to add in some more sweet potato though post workout

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:46 PM

My problem is I don't tolerate much startch or dairy well. So the ideas of both throwing in more carb and the lots of whole milk are out for now. I'm hoping with added fermented foods and keeping to paleo I'll be able to heal the gut and add in one or the other.

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:43 PM

I've looked into 5x5/3x5 have been doing 5-3-1 (see link) as I've heard good results from it. http://www.amazon.com/Simplest-Effective-Training-Strength-Edition/dp/B00686OYGQ ... I'll be looking into the other you mentioned more! Thank you. Between the main lift and accessory lifts I'm probably working about half of the 30-50 minutes the other half being rest time. I am going to add in another rest day.

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:38 PM

It's not that I'm against the number, for it doesn't matter. I want to be stronger. I want to be healthier. I've been at 110/112, I felt good. I miss that. I agree though, the grass is always greener :)

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:36 PM

Wait... I'm not doing crossfit currently. 5-3-1 lifting 4x/week (thats the program) and olympic specific 2x/week. All rep/sets for power not endurance....

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:35 PM

Mark suggests full fat. Personally, that's gross, but so is skim milk.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:16 PM

16 oz is where it is at.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:14 PM

Drink a half gallon of Skim Milk for the carbs/protein. Thatll do ya.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:13 PM

Wow, you're at the weight I'm trying to get to. Funny how the grass is always greener, etc.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:56 PM

"There are no shortcuts. The fact that a shortcut is important to you means that you are a pussy. Let me be clear here: if you'd rather take steroids than do your squats heavy and drink enough milk, then you are a fucking Pussy. I have no time or patience for fucking Pussies. Please tell everyone you know that I said this."

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:55 PM

"But you would be shitting primarily cheese. Are you ready for this?"

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:54 PM

I understand that you're asking me if I have controlled for other factors such as failure to do the program correctly, and the answer is yes, of course I have, because I am not a complete idiot. Those that will not do the program are not being considered when I make these remarks, because that would be too fucking obvious a hole in my analysis. The difference in the milk drinkers is that THEY GET BIGGER THAN THE ONES WHO WON'T DRINK THE FUCKING MILK. Please tell me that you understand this now." - Mark Rippetoe

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:54 PM

"It is because over thirty years of direct observation has demonstrated to me that when trainees drink one gallon of milk added to their regular diet and train in a progressive linear fashion, they gain significant muscular bodyweight, and those that do not drink their milk, even in the presence of progressive linear training, fail to do this. They also fail to continue progressive linear training for the same length of time, because this is facilitated by the steady weight gain..

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5 Answers

4
F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

on July 13, 2012
at 06:38 PM

I know people hate my answer to all of these questions - you should back off of/quit Crossfit if you want to gain mass and increase your lifts. Plain and simple.

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:36 PM

Wait... I'm not doing crossfit currently. 5-3-1 lifting 4x/week (thats the program) and olympic specific 2x/week. All rep/sets for power not endurance....

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Daily grind (Mon-Sat) Sunday is my rest day

...

All workouts between 30-50 mintues.

There's your problem. You're really beating yourself down. Your diet looks good, but you're not giving your body the right stimulus or enough time to react to get the growth hormone going.

3 days a week max.

Pick one or two lifts per day, do a 5x5 or 3x5, sit down relax between sets, no metcons. Keep actual work time down to less than 10 min a day. Keep the weights heavy (so that you're almost failing on the 5th rep).

Get more sleep.

Metcons and long workouts (30-50 minutes is long) are what break you down, and doing them 6 days a week keeps you small and doesn't give you time to heal.

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:43 PM

I've looked into 5x5/3x5 have been doing 5-3-1 (see link) as I've heard good results from it. http://www.amazon.com/Simplest-Effective-Training-Strength-Edition/dp/B00686OYGQ ... I'll be looking into the other you mentioned more! Thank you. Between the main lift and accessory lifts I'm probably working about half of the 30-50 minutes the other half being rest time. I am going to add in another rest day.

1
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:26 PM

Eat more? Go hog wild and have eight ounces of meat instead of four?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:16 PM

16 oz is where it is at.

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:47 PM

yeah yeah? I'm down. Bacon n beef, maybe combine the two. I just feel like I'm eating so much but yall are right if I want to gain more protein is key!

0
8038d61ab8306afaf860114ee89fa27b

(40)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:21 PM

Still, I don't think you eat nearly enough carbs to gain. 7oz sweet potato is 45g. Add berries and other stuff is another 10g. I'd try to double your carb intake, adding an extra SP or two per lifting day, to get to 100-150g carbs a day, minimum. You're already lean, and you're eating a diet that'll lean you out with your heavy workout regimen.

Mark Rippetoe would say drink a gallon of milk a day, but if your gut is not up to it, add more starches.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:54 PM

"It is because over thirty years of direct observation has demonstrated to me that when trainees drink one gallon of milk added to their regular diet and train in a progressive linear fashion, they gain significant muscular bodyweight, and those that do not drink their milk, even in the presence of progressive linear training, fail to do this. They also fail to continue progressive linear training for the same length of time, because this is facilitated by the steady weight gain..

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:54 PM

I understand that you're asking me if I have controlled for other factors such as failure to do the program correctly, and the answer is yes, of course I have, because I am not a complete idiot. Those that will not do the program are not being considered when I make these remarks, because that would be too fucking obvious a hole in my analysis. The difference in the milk drinkers is that THEY GET BIGGER THAN THE ONES WHO WON'T DRINK THE FUCKING MILK. Please tell me that you understand this now." - Mark Rippetoe

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:56 PM

"There are no shortcuts. The fact that a shortcut is important to you means that you are a pussy. Let me be clear here: if you'd rather take steroids than do your squats heavy and drink enough milk, then you are a fucking Pussy. I have no time or patience for fucking Pussies. Please tell everyone you know that I said this."

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:46 PM

I'll try to add in some more sweet potato though post workout

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 07:55 PM

"But you would be shitting primarily cheese. Are you ready for this?"

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:14 PM

Drink a half gallon of Skim Milk for the carbs/protein. Thatll do ya.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 13, 2012
at 08:35 PM

Mark suggests full fat. Personally, that's gross, but so is skim milk.

5a2f057930eae337ce2950dc64ba208d

(1)

on July 13, 2012
at 10:46 PM

My problem is I don't tolerate much startch or dairy well. So the ideas of both throwing in more carb and the lots of whole milk are out for now. I'm hoping with added fermented foods and keeping to paleo I'll be able to heal the gut and add in one or the other.

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on July 13, 2012
at 06:30 PM

With a rough calculation of your meals, you're still around maybe 1700-1900 a day? From first glance, calories seem to be decent and fat is the primary macro. Without more information, I'd look at protein intake. Timing of carbs and protein after lifting especially.

I'm a believer that you don't need the carbs to gain. While it can help with energy and glycogen repletion after a workout, for a heavy lifter, they can grow substantially with the post-workout isolated (small amounts of fat/carb if wanted) protein meals because of the insulin spike.

At first glance, I'd up the protein intake and if you're comfortable, the overall calorie intake. Almond butter, coconut oil, dark chocolate, you're definitely getting the right types of fats.

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