T Nation

41 & Need New Routine

41 years old and I’ve been lifting for a few months now after weaning myself off machines.

I’ve been overworking, doing full body workouts 3 days a week (1.5 hours in the gym), followed by an hour of cardio or an hour of swimming.

In short, I’m a cripple from this routine and not seeing gains after my initial few months.

New plan is…3 days a week lift weights…each of the 3 days does various parts of the body with as limited an amount of overlapping muscle group work on different days as possible.

I’ve started doing deadlifts as my back is now strong enough (only do 90 lbs until I get the form perfect) and about 12 or so other basic exercises.

I am just now starting to do squats. These are difficult for me due to my weight (I’m very overweight), so I’m currently sticking to “air squats” until my form is better, weight less and core stronger.

I’m hoping someone can point me to a basic 3-day routine that can accomplish what I’m trying to do. My non lift days will be cardio and swimming.

Anyway, looking for suggestions on a Mon Wed Fri routine. My bench press is horrid…120 lbs max 8 reps x 3 sets with a smith cage. Doing a normal bench w/o the smith…50 lbs…my stabalizer muscles are weak.

Thank you !

I think your progress will slow down if you only work each bodypart once a week. If your goal is fat loss you are better off sticking to 3 days of compound multiple joint exercises.

This program is a 3x a week total body workout however the rep ranges are different everyday so it helps to keep from burning out -
http://www.T-Nation.com/...ic.do?id=508031

If you are just starting out squatting watch Dan Johns FitCast episode. IMHO it is a great primer for olympic style squatting http://video.google.com/...301858251744&hl

[quote]:David41 wrote:
41 years old and I’ve been lifting for a few months now after weaning myself off machines.

I’ve been overworking, doing full body workouts 3 days a week (1.5 hours in the gym), followed by an hour of cardio or an hour of swimming.

In short, I’m a cripple from this routine and not seeing gains after my initial few months.

New plan is…3 days a week lift weights…each of the 3 days does various parts of the body with as limited an amount of overlapping muscle group work on different days as possible.

I’ve started doing deadlifts as my back is now strong enough (only do 90 lbs until I get the form perfect) and about 12 or so other basic exercises.

I am just now starting to do squats. These are difficult for me due to my weight (I’m very overweight), so I’m currently sticking to “air squats” until my form is better, weight less and core stronger.

I’m hoping someone can point me to a basic 3-day routine that can accomplish what I’m trying to do. My non lift days will be cardio and swimming.

Anyway, looking for suggestions on a Mon Wed Fri routine. My bench press is horrid…120 lbs max 8 reps x 3 sets with a smith cage. Doing a normal bench w/o the smith…50 lbs…my stabalizer muscles are weak.

Thank you ![/quote]

First. See a Dr. Get everything checked out. In fact, this will give you a good baseline as you move forward.

Next. You were doing something wrong sir. A full body workout that didn’t include squats or deads until just recently should never have taken 1.5 hours. Also, 1 hour of cardio afterwards??? Instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater here, let’s modify what you were doing.

I agree with the other poster, though I didn’t check those links, that a full body workout is the correct program for you. What you need to do though is streamline the workout. I can only go by what you posted, but my guess might be more of a circuit training than regular lifting.

Change the order of the exercises each time you lift and slowly up the loads. When you feel ready, you can go to a more traditional 3x a week program. And don’t be afraid of machines. Depending on your gym, you may have some great ones available. At your given strength, they may be your best option for a while.

I would save my cardio for the other 3-4 days. Walking is better than swimming, but swimming is easier on the joints, so you have to make that call.

You didn’t mention diet, but that will be the key for you to see some major results and keep the motivation. Smaller meals more often with good protein, lots of fiber, and plenty of water.

Now, make a goal. Not I want to weigh (x) by (y), but simply tomorrow I will workout and eat better.

Start by making a plan for tomorrow. That night, make a plan for the next day. Begin a food log immediately. If you eat it, you have to write it down. At this point keep your goals very short term and realistic. Certainly set a major goal, but to reach that goal, you will need to hit many many intermittant goals along the way.

Keep working

Thank you for the input.

Pick up Alywn Cosgrove’s book “The New Rules of Lifting” from amazon.com and follow the yearly plan after reading the book.

I would suggest finding Ian Kings and Lou Schulers book titled ‘Book of Muscle’. Ian’s weight lifting ideals are clearly distiled and the book is extremely well designed.

Additionally and perhaps most important to you is that there are three programs outlined (begginners intermediate and advanced). These programs last for 6 months each and are trully a work of art. The begginners routine consists of 4 phases, muscular adaptation and conditioning phase, muscular balancing phase, hypertrophy phase, and power phase.

I would recommend the velocity diet whilst doing the first phase, moving to a normal diet to about 500cals plus during the balancing and hypertrophy phase and end it with a 500 cal defeceit diet during the power phase.

Also on cardio I would reccommend starting at a gentle walking program and full body stretching, this will ensure your long term adherance and not handicap your gains in the gym.

Long Live The BodyScience

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
Pick up Alywn Cosgrove’s book “The New Rules of Lifting” from amazon.com and follow the yearly plan after reading the book.[/quote]

Forgot about that one - I second Nate Dogg suggestion. Excellent basic plan using compound exercises - should keep you from getting bored.

Just another 2 cents worth - I’ve been using Bryan Haycock’s system found at Hypertrophy Specific Training and I’ve made more gains in size in the past six months than I did in the previous two years. Shocked the hell out of me as the system seems a bit crazy to an old school guy like me, but I can’t argue with the results. I also find it to be very good for avoiding injuries. As always, your mileage may vary.