Weightlifting & Exercise/not seeing results


QUESTION: I have been trying to gain muscle for over a year now.  I'll admit at first i was very much a beginner - not eating enough, workouts were half a**ed  some of the time, generally did not understand a lot about any aspect of weight training/nutrition.  However, now i feel i am very knowledgeable.  I've spent countless hours researching and studying about all aspects of gaining muscle.  I understand the caloric surplus it takes, i understand constant progression of weight, i understand not overtraining and the importance of getting proper sleep, and so on.
Basically, my question is one of frustration.  Im not seeing the gains i feel i should be, and i want to know why?
Ive always been a skinny person.  However, not to the point that i cant gain weight.  Infact one of the more frustrating things is that i am really developing my gut and not my muscles.   At first i very much thought it was a diet problem, ie not eating enough calories.  But im gaining weight.  Im 5'11 and weight about 168. I eat healthy, very healthy.  I try to take in AT LEAST 3000 calories a day.  I take whey protein, a fish oil supplement (ultimate omega) and just started creatine.  I eat 1.5x my bw in protein.  
My workouts consist of full upper body on monday and thursday and lower on tuesday and friday.  Ive cut all cardio because im trying to use every calorie i can to build muscle.  Im OK with putting on extra fat right now as long as im gaining muscle as well.  What's frustrating is there will be times where from monday to monday i will not see improvement.   Sometimes  Ill be able to lift more weight or do more reps.  However a lot of times i will either do exactly the same as i did the previous week or at times even do less.  I can understand this from a very advanced bodybuilder but for someone like me (who is even supposed to be enjoying the beginners boost where building muscle may happen at a quicker than normal rate) it is very deflating.  It is HARD to constantly be eating and to eat as much as i do (healthy foods sometimes dont pack a lot of calories).  And when i spend a week eating like a champion i wanna see the improvements that next week in the gym.
Working out isnt fun to me, especially with little to no results.  But i feel i have been so dedicated this last year.  I want to prove to myself it is possible to do this.  But im at a point where im close to giving up because the time and energy it takes to do all the things necessary takes a big toll on me.
I know its hard to assess my situation based off of just this.  I guess the best way to sum it up is it just really seems genetics are against me.  I dont lift too fast or too heavy or too little.  I focus on the negatives of a rep and use pretty clean form normally.  I eat.  I sleep.  I drink water like its going out of style.  I havent had a pop in years.  I dont eat sweets.  Even if im not doing SOMETHING right it feels like i ought to be doing enough TO SEE BETTER RESULTS THAN WHAT I AM!
I wont lie because i HAVE gained some strength and i am building SOME muscle.  I remember when i was nervous to put up 125 on the bench and now i do 165 as my normal set.  So it isnt like im completely stagnant.  Its just moving at a snails pace and i just dont think its normal.  If im consistently putting in the effort i am i should be seeing better results.  Its frustrating when you take your bicep measurement once a week for a solid month and see a .1 inches increase at the end of the month.
Even if i was seeing small improvements consistently every week i would be OK.  At least then i would be able to say that it may take longer than most but if i just keep doing this i will eventually get there.  But i cant say that when i spend 4 weeks trying to go from 150 to 155 on the bench press.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

ANSWER: Duane,
First thing, how old are you? Second, train each bodypart ONCE a week. Get back to me with your age and we'll talk more.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for responding!

I am 28 almost 29 years old.

An example of my workout for upper body would be on Monday:

4 sets barbell bench press
3 sets dumbbell row
3 sets incline dumbbell bench press
3 sets lateral raises
3 sets barbell curl
2 sets skull crusher

3 sets barbell shoulder press
3 sets bent over barbell row
3 sets dumbbell bench press
2 sets dumbbell curl
3 sets bench dips

Could see where im hitting bodyparts more than once a week...

Any more questions please ask!


Try this for 2 months and don't measure every week. Monday:legs, Wednesday: upperbody push(chest, shoulders and tri's), Friday upperbody pull (back, bi's and rear delts) and you my deadlift on this day. Start with 3 sets of 8, second week 3 sets of 10 same weight, third week 4 sets of 8 same weight then make the smallest weight increase you can (2.5lbs if you can) and do 3 sets of 8. Do you see the pattern? Same weight more reps, bigger muscles. Pick a weight that FIRST week you KNOW you can do 3 of 8. Try this for about 9 weeks then get back to me.

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Nilo Lins


Questions I can answer: Use of the Olympic lifts in sports specific training. Use of resistance training in sports specific, fat loss, body composition improvement. Motor pattern corrections via proprioception improvements. Fundamental uses of free weights, medicine balls,stability balls, etc.


I have been a personal trainer in Orange County, CA since 1983. I have trained numerous athletes at all levels including Gold Medalists, World Champions, and NCAA All Americans.

National Strength and Conditioning Assoc. since 1999, United States America Weightlifting


NSCA-CPT,*D, USAW Sports Performance Coach I have been certified since 1995 (1995-1998 with NASM)

Awards and Honors
Saddleback College 1979 Dean's List

Past/Present Clients
Steve Hegg (Gold Medalist 1984 Olympics Match Sprint Cycling), Kirk McCaskill (Major League Baseball), Rudy Dvorak (AVP NCAA All American), Scott Friedrichsen (AVP NCAA All American), Charlie Clark (US Triathlon 1985 TX State Champion)

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