T Nation

5'10 Newbie

Okay a short history of my work outs and I know I have yet to learn so much but I was hoping the professionals and more experienced people on this board can help guide me in the right direction.

I’m almost 20… 5’10" and currently fluctuate from 148lbs to 153lbs. So I say around 150lbs. When I was 14 I joined our high school football team at a measly 5’7" or so and 130lbs. Got worked and bullied around my first year. Worked my ass off and by the end of my sophomore year I made it to 158lbs and about 5’9". Not all fat so I’d say it was good progress. Mostly cause of the football weight program my coach put together and how we were “forced” to work out everyday.

Anyway, beginning september of 2005 (begin. of school semester) I made the goal of getting to 165-170lbs by the end of the school year which I did not accomplish, AND also get a 6 pack. (simply put, get a lower % of body fat). I tried to focus on building lean mass and cutting down on body fat and did not accomplish much. I ran a 4.4 mile “permeter” around my school maybe… 2-4 times a day to do the cutting. And I lifted about 3 or 4 times/week, drinking a protein shake 55g of whey protein, 3 g of carbs… right after the workout. Ate a heavy dinner with salads and about 4 eggs without the yolks. Did that, but honestly… I dont know if it was the running, i saw progress in getting “cut”.

My arms, especially triceps got bigger, and my pecs got a bit bigger… put on more lean mass but I dropped from 158lbs to 146lbs. And I didn’t even have much of a development on the 6 pack abs after all that. :slight_smile:

Now, Ive read up on some articles here on the process of bulking, and THEN cutting because it’s hard to do both at the same time correct? And also in the process of bulking, I will gain some fat in the process, correct?

Now at 5’10" 150lbs, I definitely want to gain muscle. Performance muscle especially, not just showy big bulges. My goal is to be at least 165lbs, AFTER the cutting process. Possibly 170lbs.

For me, i would like functioning performing muscles (packing lot of ATP) but a gain in size would be great too. I also want to cut down so my abs are visible and they’re also developed.
That is my goal.

At this point, would you say I should cut down to about 140lbs by running everyday and lifting heavy low reps, so I attain a lower body fat% … and THEN work on gaining clean body mass?

Or would you say… screw the body fat% for now, eat a lot of protein and clean… bulk up to a certain weight, and then cut down?

Any suggestions are welcome. The general process I should go into. The type of workout I should go into… and the diet I should take. You can give me a set of routines you found effective if you want.

My current workout looks like this:

Day 1: Chest (bench, dumbbell bench, incline, decline. Machine weights, machine flys)… sets of 3-4, reps go from (10, 8, 7, 5). Work till failure.

Shoulder (different types of dumbell raises, wire raises, etc.) Same # of reps and sets. Work till failure

Triceps - rope pull down, dumbells ,etc. Push down motions. Same # of reps/sets. Till failure.

To do all this, it takes like 2 hours.

Day 2: All back muscles. Lat pull downs. Hyperextensions. Work till failure, Same # of sets/reps.

Biceps - work till failure. Different work outs.

Day 3: Neck, abs, and all other arms till failure. Usually the military, the powerclean if they have it at the gym, abs with a completely declined benched with a 25lbs weight. Arms I just work high reps until failure.

I started that cause triceps, chest and shoulders are one muscle group, in the whole “PUSH” category. The back, biceps are another. Then day 3 is miscell.

So, shoot, i got my flame suit on. :slight_smile: I know I’m completely new but I would like to go to the gym in an hour and advice would be greatly appreciated.

p.s. I have tried creatine as well and got bigger in size, (swollen) but didn’t like the fact that it’s actually an illusion of my muscles getting bloated with muscle. Any input on this would be appreciated as well. Thanks

bumpety bump


Have you looked into HIIT at all, such that you might do a series of sprints instead of miles of cardio?

If you are doing tons and tons of cardio and long workouts you are going to have a hard time putting on mass.

Maybe just find a workout from this site and follow that? Add in some sprinting days to help keep you lean. Make sure you eat enough to gain mass.

Don’t worry about creatine being “artificial” as it should help you achieve real muscle growth gains.

Not sure what else to say. Make sure you eat well and get lots of sleep. Oh, also read up on modern post workout nutrition while you are leafing through the archives.

search: John Berardi: Massive Eating.

Do things like squats and deadlifts and overhead presses, not lateral raises.

Do Chad Waterbury’s summer project (most recent articles)


gotcha. Yeah i read the massive eating part I and II and calculated my indexs and what not. He sasys not to increase your energy intake drastically and do it slowly so should I not eat the “Required” amount of calories right away? Maybe increase 200-500 calories everyday? Trust me, it’s not much compared to some here. My required calories is something like 3,800 but that’s still a lot compared to what I’m eating right now I’d say.

I will check out that summer workout article, thanks man.

I think I’ve got the general idea covered, eat more, sleep and rest, work out a couple times a week intensely, do a HIIT program (still reading up on that) to cut down on fat %, and bulk up for now.

However, a problem I’ve encountered is… ive read so much articles. That’s the problem. Too many out there and too many of what others have to say, and they’re so different. Not in the general sense but in the specific workout sense. Why not do this exercise, and do this, while others choose this one? I guess what I need is experience to make my own training workout routine but until then, I will try and stick with that summer workout program. The title sounds like I hit jackpot.

Final inquiry: creatine and protein powder. I take protein every time I work out but that’s it. Only following my work out. I know I should increase my protein intake but those protein powder jars are expensive! If I use 3-4 scoops a day to match my necessary daily protein intake, i’d be broke. Any suggestions?

And as for creatine, I took it without loading and I took it only on days I worked out. It pressured me to work out everyday. I noticed that I got “swollen” over my whole body, in a matter of like 2 weeks but when I pressed on my muscles, they were nowhere as HARD and solid as they were meaning it was bloated with water. I don’t want fake muscles and from the post above, it was stated that muscle growth will follow. So does that mean water retention will subside after a while? Or will I need to possibly set my goal weight higher in order to take into consideration all the water that will be leaving my muscles after I stop the cycling use of creatine ?

Last question: What brand of creatine is best? Simple question. I’ve been to GNC and made the mistake of buying some cheap creatine called 6 star or something and it has like 49g of carbs in it in each serving. Tastes good but 90% of it is unnecessary sugars. Creatine tablets? Creatine powder? What am I looking for in the nutritional label exactly? There’s other things like monocreatine something 5G, and like L-glutamine or something like that.

Thanks, all help is appreciated.


  1. food: eat, then eat some more, quite worrying about looking like a gay abercrombie model (aka. quite worrying about being a pretty boy with abs)…

  2. sleep: alot, then sleep some more…

  3. money lifts: squats, bench, deadlifts, military press, rows of all kinds…these are the most bang-for-the-buck exersizes for putting on muscle…

  4. attitude: kick fucking ass during your workouts…

  5. supps: fish oil, multi-vitamin, acidophilous, olive oil, and possibly powder creatine (if it works for your great, it doesn’t do shit for me)…

[quote]My arms, especially triceps got bigger, and my pecs got a bit bigger… put on more lean mass but I dropped from 158lbs to 146lbs. And I didn’t even have much of a development on the 6 pack abs after all that. :slight_smile:

I didn’t read your entire post because it started to get lengthy…
anyway I just wanted to point somethin out with what you said above. Your arms and pecs got bigger but you lost 12 pounds.

I sort of doubt this happened and I am guessing you didn’t take an actual measurement. Lean bodies look more muscular/bigger than they really are sometimes. So, perhaps your leaness just made your chest/arms look larger. That is something to keep in mind.

Other than that, you are skinny and need to eat more… a lot more.

yeah now that I think about it. I dropped from 158 to 146lbs because I was running a lot. The 4.4 miles a couple times a week. My tri’s and pecs are definitely bigger and that’s probably when I went from 146 to 150lbs I’d say. Anyway, I’ve started eating a lot starting today so we’ll see where it takes us.
Thanks for the help