Non Responder? Getting Dissapointed

Discussion in 'General Training' started by Mojo77, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. Mojo77

    Mojo77 Member

    Okay, listen in here:
    at 1/11/2015 my stats read like this:

    weight: 72kg, BF: 15% , arm size: 31.9 cm

    right now I'm cutting down and almost a year later at 21/9/2016 my stats read:

    weight: 73,6kg, BF: 16% , arm size: 33,2 cm

    Okay with another month to go in my cut, I will be at around 15% BF again for presumably 72.6 kg.

    So far, comming from some 75,7 kg I haven't lost any size in my arms, so I hope that I can keep that up. However, if while being the same BF virtually and hardly any weight change this means that one year of busting my ass brought me less then 2lbs in gains?

    wtf? is that all, as a fukking newb? fuk me.

    what's up next? what to do?
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Arms, in general, are pretty small muscles. What about size changes in other areas that would be more dramatic? Legs, back, etc? Are you only cutting down to 15% and bulking from there? I would prefer to see you start the bulk closer to 10%, even 12% would be better as a starting point. Depending on how you store fat, arm measurements may vary quite a bit depending on your bodyfat % so using that as a measuring post might not be the most ideal.

    But overall... yes, arms grow slow. The old adage of 1 inch on arms takes 10 lbs of muscle gain isn't necessarily true but it is at least close to being realistic - assuming you are training your whole body. Take a look at 5 lbs of ground beef and imagine that distributed all over your body. Heck, if you want, go ahead and open up that package of beef and smash little patties of beef onto each muscle group. You'll see that the amount going to your arms would be negligible. So................ you're thinking "why distribute the meat all over your body?" I know, right? If you instead just put 2.5 lbs of beef on each arm, you'd see a huge difference. But how to accomplish that??

    If bigger arms is your primary goal, you should tailor your training toward that. If you don't care about legs, then drop squats and stuff like that, focus on my movements that hit the arms. Sure, people will tell you that you'll probably get cancer or something if you don't work legs. So what? If that isn't your goal, then don't do it. Just because other people have an ideal of a well-balance physique doesn't mean you are legally bound to those standards. If that isn't what you want then adjust your training to meet the goals you want.

    Of course, my voice of reason wants to say "limit specialization like that to only a couple cycles at a time" but really, at this point we need to stop worrying about what other people think. Get a goal in mind and do whatever it takes to get there.

    And hey, if none of that works, there is always synthol.
  3. Mojo77

    Mojo77 Member

    Hey Totz,
    Thank you so very much for your response, I really appreciate it. First off, I do want a balanced physique all over. From time to time I see muscle men who neglected their legs completely and as a consequence, their arms are bigger then their stick legs and it just looks ridiculous. So, I don't want to go that road. I'd love to have an herculian physique, but based on my responses to training so far and my overall small framed body and 6 inch girlwrists I probably need to be more realistic and accept that that might not be in store for me. Still, I'd want to shoot for at least an Apollo-like physique.

    Either way, I do consider my arms as a weak point, which is why I do iso's for them. I frankly only measure arms because it's easiest thing to measure and it's what everyone talks about. Cant really measure the growth in my back or chest. Okay, I could measure the circumference but since I naturally have a barrel chest the measurements are skewed and even without any training my chest looks big.

    Independently of your response I have been analyzing my body today I have seen the biggest improvements in my arms and in my back. Given that I do extra work for my arms, and I also hit my back twice as hard as my chest or legs I can only conclude that I need volume, volume and frequency, but with low intensity.

    Right now I train 5 days a week my normal program that is 5, 5, 15, off, 10, 10, off doing basically 2 pull, 1 push and 1 leg and alternatingly side raises and calve raises as both those areas are small af. on top during 15 and 10 I do push downs and curls for tri and bi. a max of 7 exercises per day except for 15's when i do everything but only for 1 set without warm up. anyway, you can find more of that in my log.
    I've started last weekend also the plp challenge adding 1 rep a day, i'm currently at 6 reps and this taxes my upperback to the point that any exercise I start almost instantly provides a sore feeling in that area. But apparently it's what I need since my back feels and looks thick and tight to me despite my cutting back. In the same league, I think it's strange myself but I haven't lost any arm size at this point despite being 2kg lighter.

    From the pictures I've taken I can see I have definetely gained size and muscle compared to begin january however I'm not as lean as I was back then right now. That is whats frustrating me, I look bigger right now but I fear, figure wise that by the end of my cut I'll be at the same weight for the same bf as a year go and so net-net I barely made any progress.

    I'll take your advice and cut further down to 10% and hope I wont look too much like a POW. This is the other part, how to fukkin get an accurate bf reading dong by oneself. I read myself between 15 and 16%, at this moment, but my scale says i'm between 17 and 18%.

    it seems with me it's like I need ridiculous high frequency (like currently 12 times a week full body given that plp is also full body -- pull up, lunge, push up) coupled with plain high volume and low intensity (yeah, I stay well away of failure and maybe therefor I need to compensate elsewhere.).

    How does this sound? Is this a good way to keep progressing? Keep your advices comming
  4. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    You are not eating enough.
  5. Mojo77

    Mojo77 Member

    Stop posting bullcrap.
  6. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    Are you saying you were 72 kgs in November last year then bulked to 75.7 kgs and now you are 73.6 kgs?

    When did you start your cut?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  7. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    To be honest it sounds like a recomp if all you gained was 3.7 kgs (~8 lbs) before you started to cut again (unless that was over 6-8 weeks) and if recomping is the case any muscle gains will be slow, you are not going to gain 0.5 lbs of muscle a week at that rate of weight gain and particularly as you approach the big 40
  8. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    If you gained that little mass in a year, then you are not eating enough.
  9. Mojo77

    Mojo77 Member

    I gained about 1 pound a week, as well as 5% of BF, so if anything, I was even eating too much
  10. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member


    I may have misunderstood your initial post, am I correct in the list below

    1 - Staring weight on 01 November 2015 was 72 kgs (~159 lbs)
    2 - sometime between then and now you were 75.7 kgs (~167 lbs)
    3 - Now @ 73.6 kgs (~162 lbs)

    If the above is correct you only bulked for 8 weeks, how long have you been cutting as there is about 40 weeks left in the timescale stated for a 5 lb loss?
  11. Mojo77

    Mojo77 Member

    Given that I slacked near the end of the year and got sick beginning of this year as my blog mentions my starting point was around 69kg. Over 2 bulk cycles I gained 7kg to 76kg. The summer was maintenance and now I'm on a first cut cycle.
    I'm currently at about 74kg and need to lose another 5kg I guess to reach 11% BF as Totentanz indicated.

    My big fear is, by reaching back down to 69kg I will have lost all the gains I have made so far. It seems however, that with crazy frequency, so far I'm able to hang on to what I have and I hope it will stay that way. Anyway, at 69kg with 11% BF I'll be a whole lot leaner then I beginning this year. I don't think I ever went a lot below 14%

    And yes, there are non-responders and low responders. Given my small frame and thin bones I'm not in the top shelf for building muscle so yes this little is what I need to be content with. I indeed know of several other guys who put on twice the amount of muscle in the same time frame. It is what it is.

    So telling me how little I gained in a year isn't going to help me at all, is it now. Might well stop posting alltogether then
  12. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Always a pleasure to take advice from someone such as yourself. But after consideration, I've decided to continue posting.

    You have gained next to no mass. And no, there are not 'non-responders'. Humans who were incapable of gaining skeletal muscle would. It survive conception FFS.

    Yes, maybe it is harder for you than others. And I'm sure there are people it is harder for still. However in the final analysis, you didn't gain weight in a year, and if your calories were sufficient you would have gained muscle mass - especially at your numbers. Either you didn't eat enough, or you didn't train enough/correctly.

    But if it easier to believe you're a unicorn shaped snowflake, by all means continue...
    Browner likes this.
  13. Mojo77

    Mojo77 Member

    I don't see any helpful advices comming from you. I train 5 days a week, 7 days for the plp challenge, in total 6hours of training a week. How would that not be enough? I use the hst dup myo approach at high frequency which is touted on here as the best, so how would that not be the correct way to train? Progressive overload etc, etc it's all in there. So if all you can do is put people you consider less then yourself down without giving any real help or motivation then I wonder what you're doing on this forum.
  14. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Accuracy of your bodyfat % measurements doesn't matter. All that matters is that the method you use to measure is consistent. I'm not convinced that BIA scales are consistent. I would just use calipers (in fact, I do) although those aren't necessarily consistent either. But using calipers and measuring tape to track progress is easy enough.

    There is a bodyfat range where any gains you did make are going to be hard to see. That's why I suggested cutting down to closer to 10% before bulking again. That also gives you more time to bulk. I don't recall off the top of my head how tall you are. However, the size of your frame isn't as much of a roadblock as you are letting yourself believe it is. Use Casey Butt's max potential calculator, which takes into account your ankle and wrist measurements in addition to your height. This will give you a good idea of what is achievable for someone with your frame.

    For what it's worth, I think you should finish cutting down as I advised, then start bulking until you reach a minimum of 190 lbs. You have gotten roped in to this idea that some people here have that you can 'slow bulk' or put on muscle without gaining that much weight. That is true for some people but if you are a small framed individual, you can't go by that or you'll just spin your wheels forever. This is coming from someone who started out with a small frame. When I started out at 140 lbs or whatever it was (at 6'2, so yeah, small frame) I bulked for something like a year straight. Obviously you don't want to get so fat that your body is creating tons of new fat cells, but you the point is that for smaller people, you really don't want to be cutting your bulks short before you've started to make real gains.

    I would also recommend just simplifying your routine rather than doing any optimizations. Concentrate on just getting stronger on everything. I would lift 3-4 times a week, do mild cardio a day or two a week and focus on getting a lot of protein and a fair amount of good carbs. Protein is critical for muscle growth but carbs are just as important and not getting enough of either will compromise your strength gains, which will minimize your muscle gains.

    One important thing to note: People who think they are "non responders" or have "bad genetics" usually end up finding out that their genetics weren't as bad as they thought once they get their routine and diet sorted out. I was guilty of this myself at one point.
  15. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    I don't recall saying I consider anyone here 'less' than myself. What I said was that you haven't been eating enough.

    And thermodynamics says I'm right, unless there's some medical issues not mentioned.

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