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 New vegan from Brooklyn

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PostSubject: New vegan from Brooklyn   Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:05 pm

Hey guys,

My name's Daniel. I'm new to veganism (a few weeks) and have been lifting for a little over a year. Excited to have a place to get some advice. I have a small frame (130 lbs), but have a good amount of muscle on me. I was a personal trainer for a bit, so I have some knowledge of what I'm doing (which I'll gladly share), but am hoping to learn more from all of you. Smile

As for my new veganism; it's amazing! I wish I had done it sooner. In just a week, I'm already lifting more, and the stubborn layer of fat over my abs is already quickly disappearing.

I've always wanted to add a bit more mass, so hopefully you guys can help me with that as I now have the obstacle of a new diet.

Looking forward to conversing with all of you,

Daniel
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PostSubject: Re: New vegan from Brooklyn   Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:32 am

Hi Daniel,
great to have you onboard.
If you're new to veganism there are a few pitfalls you'll want to avoid. I'd suggest you read the nutrition guide we have on the VBB site we've got it in 2 formats, either:

MS Word Document
or a
Acrobat PDF document

If you read though those they cover most of the pitfalls you may encounter.

Welcome to the group!
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PostSubject: Thanks!   Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:20 am

Somehow my account got deleted. Anyway.

Great advice. My problem has always been when I consume more calories, it just goes straight to my stomach. And I have a really intense workout routine, and lift 4-5 times a week for about an hour. So while I'm recommended to consume 2500 calories a day, doing so only adds fat. I consume about 1500-2000 calories a day, and don't drink much alcohol, eat well, 6 times a day. Might I just not be genetically disposed to having a larger, muscular frame?
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PostSubject: Re: New vegan from Brooklyn   Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am

It might be you're genetically limited, but it could also be the food choices you make & macro nutrient profile you consume. There are 2 common type of people in the world carb-sensitive & fat-sensitive. What this means is that if you are carb-sensitive, when you eat a lot of carbs you tend to store it as fat very easily, however if you are fat-sensitive you tend to store fat easily as body fat. The first thing to do is to try upping your protein intake a little & either decreasing your carb intake or your fat intake, the reason you up protein is that it is generally the hardest of the 3 macronutrients to be stored as fat & it is much more common that it's one (or both) of the others that are causing the fat storage. For a month or so keep at it with either lowered fat or lowered carbs with the protein making up the excess calories (you're not trying to lower total calorie intake just the macronutrient ratio), then for the next month swap over, so if you had cut carbs, swap to cut fat & up the carbs to the previous levels, do that for a month or so.
During the experiment take photos, weigh yourself, write how you're feeling, notice how your clothes fit, how your training feels etc. This experiment would take 2 months or so, but will give you a good idea if you tend towards being particularly fat or carb sensitive. it does take some time sorting out your diets & pre-planning stuff for each month, but afterwards you'll tend to understand your body a lot more.
Let's look at a few possible results:

1/ You tend to loss fat when you lower fat intake but keep overall calories the same - then you're fat sensitive, you can probably safely begin to add calories from complex carbs & protein without too much fat gain.

2/ You tend to loss fat when you lower carb intake but keep overall calories the same - then you're carb sensitive, you can probably safely begin to add calories from healthy fats & protein without too much fat gain.

3/ you tend to stay around the same bodyfat (or lose an equal amount) whether you lower fat or carbs, but keep overall calories the same. Then you are neither carb nor fat sensitive. To increase calorie intake you will probably need to increase daily activity & possibly to gain substantial muscle mass gains you may need to accept some fat increase.

You said you train very intensely for around an hour, what training do you do? If you could give us your routine, your details like height, age etc & goals then we could try & sort out if there are any glaring omissions.
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PostSubject: Re: New vegan from Brooklyn   Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:30 am

Thanks for the advice! I'm 28, 5'8, 130 lbs, about 10-12% body fat.

Here's my current routine. I warmup for about 5-10 minutes on the elliptical, or treadmill.

I usually do three sets of everything, 6-10 reps.

Day 1
Squats (Barbell, 150 lbs)
Dead Lift (Barbell, 70 lbs)
Bench Press (Barbell, 110 lbs)
Standing Shoulder Press (30 lb dumbells)
Lat pull down (100 lbs)
Tricep pull down (40 lbs)
Flyes (90 lbs)
Crunches on Bosu Ball (3 sets of 20)
Planks (3 for one minute each)


Day 2

Decline bench press (Barbell, 110 lbs)
Close Grip Cable Row (90 lbs)
Hammer Curls (20 lb dumbells)
Leg Extension (100 lbs)
Leg Curls (60 lbs)
Lateral Raises (20 lb dumbells)
Cable Crossover
Tricep Kickbacks (30 lb dumbells)
Cable Twists (35 lbs)


Day 3
Incline Bench Press (Barbell, 90 lbs)
Leg Press (200 lbs)
Wide Grip Rows (110 lbs)
Dumbbell Curls (25 lb dumbells)
Front Raises (20 lb dumbells)
Split Squats w/ Dumbells (20 lb dumbells)
Calf Extension (180 lbs)
Pullups
Pushups on Bosu Ball
Planks

Thanks!

Oh, I should add that I used to run 3 miles on my off days, but have since stopped doing extra cardio. I wasn't burning fat or adding muscle when I was doing that, and realized that I was overtraining and only burning new muscle tissue.
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PostSubject: Re: New vegan from Brooklyn   Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:58 am

OK this'll have to be a little quick as I'm about to plumb in my new computer as it's just arrived through the door this second.
There are a few options you could try:
My first choice would be, if you've been doing this workout a while, I'd swap things up a little. I'd try lowering the reps down to 4-6 reps with slightly longer rests & work on maximum strength for a few weeks. This should also give you a little more energy in reserve so you can include some cardio. Now you mention that long cardio overtrains you, but you can do short stuff like sandbag circuits, sprints, kettlebell stuff, med ball work or even bodyweight stuff for around 15 minutes, they burn a lot of calories & are very quick to do. This should allow you to eat more without fat build-up. In all honest you should be able to get over 130 at 5'8" unless you're genetically at the bottom on the muscle gaining pile. worse case scenario is that 130 is all you can get to, but that doesn't mean you can't add serious strength to that frame. Some of the most respected guys in physical culture like W.A.Pullum & Maxick were pretty small guys, but developed massive strength. But, for now let's assume you can gain mass & work on that.
So I'd lower the reps & aim for some serious goals - let's look at what you lift...
Out of everything one thing that stands out as lower than everything else is your deadlift, in proportion it's a little low. Everyone should be able to pull at least bodyweight, so there you go aim for a bodyweight deadlift over the next few month, don't rush it, if you can get there by next summer you'll have made good gains. Next squat - let's aim at 1.5 x bodyweight, so 195 for the squat (again no rush, but we're setting goals for 2010 here). For the pressing I'd alternate focus, for 4 weeks or so focus most on bench pressing, then the next 4 work on shoulder press work, for bench you should be aiming at above bodyweight for next year & shoulder press, at least 3/4 bodyweight. I'm not suggesting you stay on low reps forever, but I think adding in a real pure strength cycle might help develop the strength you need build some extra mass. Your weights are a little low to add real mass to your frame yet. Once you start hitting higher number I think you'll find the weight will come on, it's just a matter of forcing your body to adapt to these new loads. Take you time working up in weight, really conquer each weight increase before going up, remember this isn't a race, being a 'tortoise' rather than a 'hare' in the weight room will get you better results over the next 12 months. A basic plan would be to work down in reps & up in weight over a couple of weeks until you're doing 4-6 reps. Everytime you hit 6 reps for the final set, go up in weight. Do this for 4-12 weeks (I don't know you, so I'm not sure how you recover, some people need a back-off week more often than others), when you feel the need to rest you can either have a full week of rest, or do a light pumping week - I do mean light save plenty in the tank! Do a couple of cycles (the less weeks between rests the more cycles you should do, so if you have a rest every 4 weeks, do 3 or 4 cycles, if you do 6-8 weeks do 2 or 3 cycles, 12 or more weeks 1 or 2 cycles), start each cycle a bit lower than you ended the last. After that I'd take a few weeks to work up to higher reps & do a cycle or 2 of higher reps, then lower down the reps for another go at the heavier stuff. Your goal should be to be lifting well beyond what you can right now by the end of 2010. I think that is your main issue, you just need more weight on the bar to force those muscles into growth, then the extra food should be being used for the building of muscle fibres, not being stored as fat. Don't forget the short intense cardio sessions.
That's not the only way to do this & others might have other, equally valid, views, but that's what I'd set up if you came to me - Assuming you have no medical issues or other problems that need addressing like postural problems or imbalances etc.
Keep us up to date with how the mass gaining is going however you choose to proceed.
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PostSubject: Update   Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:58 pm

Ok, you gave some great advice. I've gone up in weight in everything, so obviously I wasn't challenging myself enough. Here's my new routine (including a few things I accidentally left out. also, some weights are the same as I only went up in them a week or two before my first post):

Day 1
Squats (Barbell, 150 lbs) 3 sets of 8-10
Dead Lift (Barbell, 120 lbs) 3 sets of 8-10
Bench Press (Barbell, 110 lbs) 3 sets of 4-6
Seated Shoulder Press (35 lb dumbells) 3 sets of 6-8
Lat pull down (110 lbs) 3 sets of 8-10
Tricep pull down (40 lbs) 3 sets of 10
Flyes (machine, 100 lbs) 3 sets of 6-8
Crunches on Bosu Ball (3 sets of 20)
Planks (3 for one minute each)


Day 2

Decline bench press (Barbell, 110 lbs) 3 sets of 6-8
Close Grip Cable Row (100 lbs) 3 sets of 6-8
Dumbbell Curls (30 lb dumbells) 3 sets of 6
Leg Extension (110 lbs) 3 sets of 8-10
Leg Curls (70 lbs) 3 sets of 8-10
Lateral Raises (25 lb dumbells) 3 sets of 6-8
Cable Crossover (95 lbs) 3 sets of 8
Tricep Kickbacks (30 lb dumbells) 3 sets of 8-10
Cable Twists (35 lbs) 3 sets of 10 on each side


Day 3
Incline Bench Press (Barbell, 90 lbs) 3 sets of 6-8
Leg Press (220 lbs) 3 sets of 8
Wide Grip Rows (110 lbs) 3 sets of 8
Front Raises (25 lb dumbells) 3 sets of 8
Hammer Curls (25 lb dumbells) 3 sets of 8
Split Squats w/ Dumbells (20 lb dumbells) 3 sets of 10
Calf Extension (180 lbs) 3 sets of 10
Pullups 3 sets of 10
Reverse Flyes (70 lbs) 3 sets of 8
Pushups on Bosu Ball 3 sets of 15
Crunches on Bosu Ball 3 sets of 20

Does this look better? Am I leaving anything out? I'd like to gain 10 lbs of muscle if possible. I have very defined/ muscular arms, but still have a bit more body fat over my abs than I'd like. Should I change up what kind of curls I'm doing? More/ less single joint exercises?

Thanks!

PS: I know diet is important, so here's an example of what I eat throughout the day.

9am - Breakfast: 1.5 cups of Multigrain cheerios, light soy milk. Coffee with soy milk and 1 tsp of raw sugar.
11am - Snack: Apple
1pm - Lunch: Almond butter sandwich on 2 slices of multigrain bread.
3 pm - Snack: Apple or granola bar (low calorie/ sugar, about 120 calories)
6 pm - Dinner: Seitan with asparagus and lentils.
8 pm - Dessert: Apple, or 1-2 pieces of vegan dark chocolate.

Also, about 2-3 nights a week I'll have a few glasses of red wine with dinner.
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PostSubject: Re: New vegan from Brooklyn   Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:46 am

You've made 1 change - that is to begin progressing the weights up slowly, I'd stick at that for a few weeks.

I'll be honest the diet could use a tweak for maximum results. Cheerios aren't really 'building food'. Swapping them for something a little more wholesome might improve results. You seem to be lacking protein in your diet - not 'lacking' in a clinical sense, you're not deficient, but 'lacking' as in for maximum muscle gains most people need an excess - I'd suggest adding some here & there. You can add a protein food, or you could add a powder that's up to you. Like for example say you wanted to change breakfast, you could go with porridge with a scoop of protein powder (whichever you prefer the taste of) or muesli & a protein shake. If you could I'd also consider some protein with your snack of an apple (or snack bar) on occasion during the day (you won't need one with every snack, especially if you have a snack an hours or so before training slip one in there with a few complex carbs to sustain energy & encourage growth).
I'm not sure when you train during the day, but I personally like to recommend having some protein & complex carbs say 1 to 2 hours before training (depending on how fast things leave your stomach, you don't want to feel sick during training), then after training getting some protein to encourage repair & recover in the body. These are the vital times to get protein in you. Studies have pretty much shown that eating higher protein around training times (both post & pre- workout) affect how this nutrition is utilised & tends towards making the body more anabolic, so getting extra protein around then will affect how these foods are used by the body.
There are differences between protein powders, the most basic is a the difference between a concentrate & an isolate. A concentrate tends to be around 50% protein & 50% fat & carbs, while an isolate is around 90% protein & 10 fat & carbs, so per scoop you'll get more protein from an isolate, but a concentrate is often less processed, so it's a bit of a trade-off. I tend to use both. I use a 50% hemp protein concentrate with my AM meal, but an isolate after training, but that's a personal choice, you don't need to buy more than 1. The most common proteins available are soya protein isolate (I don't tend to have this much as I drink soya milk & eat tofu quite a lot, so I think I get enough soya & I like to vary my food sources), pea protein isolate, hemp protein concentrate (considered a raw food), rice protein concentrate. There are dozens of others suitable for vegans with stuff like alf alfa protein, buckwheat protein, cranberry protein as well as many blends like vega, APS, vegan protein+ & specialist products like sun warrior that do a sprouted rice protein (another protein considered raw).
So my general advice would be to add a little protein in the form of food or powder to your breakfast & pre-post workout & see how you get on. If you start adding fat I'd suggest you cut out some unnecessary stuff (like cut back on the wine & see how that changes things). In all honesty most people need to add a little fat to add muscular weight, a few can do it without, but most of us need the extra fat to allow muscular growth to occur. You may find that growth is slower without adding fat, but it's something you'll have to experiment with to see how these changes effect you. You can fina a list of a few of the proteins available here
So for the next 4-12 weeks (as long as your lifts keep going up) I'd keep adding weight to the bar slowly in all your lifts & with the planks move to harder variations like one leg lifted off the ground, or even a bird dog (one leg & the opposite arm so left let & right arm, then do the opposite), add in the extra protein, either as food or as powder & then stick with it for a while. The protein will certainly add something to your growth & I'd be surprised if you didn't add a few pounds quite quickly assuming you're working hard enough at the lifts.
Anyway if you need anything else just let me know, I'll stop here as I'm sure others want to have a say as well.
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New vegan from Brooklyn
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