30 Bananas a Day!

Hey guys I'm new to 30bad so I didn't know if I should start a discussion or make a blog post lol
I've been vegan for 9 months and raw for almost a month..
I really want to build muscle. I've always been "soft". At the moment I weigh 106.. I lost 4 pounds since going raw (probably from water weight and whatnot. I don't feel like I've lost fat..) but I still look soft. Not toned :/ I've been working out 3 to 5 days a week for the past few months and I have seen slight progress..
I eat around 2500 cals a day and keep my fat and protein under 10%. My question is this - do I need to eat more cals to gain muscle? I want to loose a layer of fat.. Can't my body just burn off that fat by working out and use it to build muscle? That might be a really stupid question lol but I don't know if muscle gaining is different for people who have a low body fat percentage to begin with versus people who want to loose a bit of fat as well. I'm already struggling to get in 2500 cals. I've never eaten such large quantities of food so it's been tough transitioning. And I usually can't afford more calorically dense smaller fruits like dates :p

Here's my typical workout -
10 mins of ab exercises (planks, crunches, etc.)
15 minutes of bodyweight leg (squats, lunges, bridges, etc.)
30 mins of spinning
Squats with the smiths machine (usually 20 reps of 50 pounds then 10 of 60 to 70)
Calf raises on a machine (50-90 pounds)
I don't work out my arms very hard.. Just 5-10 mins with 10 pound dumbbells
And I finish with 20 mins on the stairmaster

I know I should squat with more weight and whatnot to gain muscle but at the moment this workout is really hard for me. Is my workout not hard enough or do I need to eat more cals?
Please let me know what works for you! I'd love to hear:) thanks

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The reason you are probably not seeing very many results is because you are doing too much cardio in comparison to weight lifting. I weight lift 6 days a week and hardly ever throw in any cardio (which i really should). Try switching it up and bit and doing more weight lifting. What i personally do (and have found that works beautifully) is i set each day for something; for example

Monday: Chest and biceps

Tuesday: Legs


Thursday: Back and triceps

Friday: Legs

Saturday: Biceps and triceps

For me, personally, i love to lift weights and have never loved me body more because i am super toned. Let me know if you want all the different exercises i do for each day! Hope this helped!  

Thanks for the reply! How long do your workouts last? I don't have a car so I go to the gym with my sis and she usually stays for an hour and a half to two hours. Do you do bodyweight exercises as well or just lifting? And what do you do on leg day? My legs are the one place where I really want to build muscle. I have chicken legs haha

I am usually at the gym for 2 hours, but that typically includes some yoga and sitting in the sauna. So, probably about an hour to an hour and half. At the moment i am only doing lifting and at the moment i am doing heavy weight, but i switch it up every two weeks and will do light weight. 

So for legs. I do two days a week and one day is light weight and very strict form and more reps whereas the other is heavy weight less reps. 

Squats: 4 sets of 15 reps

Leg press: 4 sets of 12 reps (on this you want to go down very slow, trust me you'll feel the burn!)

Calf raises: 3 sets of 15 

Leg extension: 15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps

Seated calves: 4 sets of 10 reps

Hamstring (any machine): 4 sets of 15 (hamstrings are VERY important when you are working out your legs, make sure to always throw them in because you can really injure yourself if your quads are getting strong and your hamstrings are not. You don't want to be imbalanced.) 

That would be a light weight day which is fine and really great when you are just getting started. You will feel what is best for your body and you might end up being quite sore! 

Thanks so much! I'm headed to the gym right now and I'll definitely have to give your workout a try:)

I was wondering what your workouts were planned like for the other days if you dont mind! :)

moday: chest & biceps: bench press 3 sets of 12, straight bar curls 4 sets of 12, incline bench 3 sets 15, standing dumbbell curls 15, 12, 10, decline bench 16, 14, 12

Tuesday: Legs: up top

Wednesday: shoulders: side raises 3 sets 10, front raises 3 sets 10, any traps machine (or 45 lbs weights at the sides) and do 3 sets of 15 with 15 second holds at the end, dumbbell shoulder press 15,12,10.

Thursday: Back & Triceps: I really don't know the name of any of the back machines, but when i go to the gym today i will re add it for you! 

Friday: Legs: Same

Saturday: Biceps & Triceps: Use the ones from the other days! 

Good luck! 

Hello Abby, I agree with these comments. Your work outs at the moment aren't programmed for you to put on muscle. At this stage you should be looking at lifting heavier weights and doing high intensity for short periods if time.
Best one to start with is the back squat.
It can be a hard movement to do for the newbies.. But I recommend you you get shown how to lift properly before you attempt weight lifting. Will avoid injuries and you won't be so timid to try new exercises. As far as high intensity training goes, I crossfit. Which I find more practical and functional. Plus it's always varied workouts. ( never gets Boring)

For me personally I squat really heavy 5 times a week. All I do is a 5x5 only takes about 20mins.

I can go on for ever with this, but it's best to start small :)
Feel free to ask if you have any further questions or doubts.

Just be aware that when you do the same exercise day after day your not giving your muscles any rest and it can slow down the growth of them. Although the rest of this is great advice!! 

I agree with the dude above. Body weight exercises are great to a certain extent but they're not ideal for building muscle quickly. If u really wanna put on muscle, u have to lift weight challenging for you (8 reps max). I always see girls at the gym curling 5 pounds 30 times in a row. You just won't build muscle doing something that's that easy for u. Yiu need to force your muscles to change. Even in 801010 Dr. Graham recommends lifting heavy. So start there,off weight that's challenging for u

Shields by the case is a cheap high cal food: khadrawi are the best imo!


A great post from one of the masters on body building on HCRV here:


And a great talk by another master of body building on a HCRV diet:

Cool I've been looking for a new place to order dates. Do you know if they're organic? Do they taste chemically like nonorganic store bought dates?


you need to stop using the smith machine and practice your technique with freeweight and an empty olympic barbell first... machines have their place maybe but the smith machine squat takes all the hard work out of the equation..especially if you want that sexy core and to stimulate the maximum muscle fibers



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