T Nation

21 YO, Need Direction


I'm 5"8, around 145 lbs. I've lifted on off about a year but nothing too consistent. I'm in the military (Ireland) and have good athletic base .
I'm confused what to do program wise I've been hopping between5x5 ICF And upper lower.

I would love some advice here I'm looking to gain muscle . Also plan on maintaining my fitness so cardio will be there too like running and sprints etc.



If you like ICF 5x5, do that. If you prefer doing an upper/ lower split, pick one of the million that have been posted to this site or google "Lyle McDonald's Generic Bulking Routine."

Running and sprinting is fine, just eat and sleep enough.


Routine doesn't really matter. Focus on becoming proficient in ass to grass squat, deadlift, overhead press, dips, pullups, and carrying odd shaped heavy objects. If you focus 90% of your time on getting to

200 kg squat
250 kg deadlift
100 kg strict press
50 strict dips
30 strict pullups

In 2 years, whether you actually hit these numbers or not, you will be miles ahead of your peers. Trust me. If you want a sample routine, I'd do a pull/push/legs split. something like


Deadlift work up to heavy 2RM
6x2 @ 90% of 2RM
Pullup/Dip superset until you hit 30+ reps on each


Press work up to heavy 3RM
30 reps @ 80% in as little time as possible (split the sets/reps up however you want)
Pullup/Dip superset until you hit 30+ reps on each


5 sets of 5 (each set getting heavier until you hit your 5RM)
Pullup/Dip superset until you hit 30+ reps on each
Basic bodyweight mobility work ie. cossack squats and pistol squats

Don't let the simplicity fool you. You will be in and out in <1hr and spending your time RECOVERING. and making progress. make sure to eat a lot. done


This is fantastic advice.