T Nation

A Beginner in Need of Advice


#1

Hello everyone,
I've been lifting for 5 months, 7 days a week and also doing some running and swimming (usually a 6 miles run or 50 mins of swimming, I'm not sure how much that can be). Prior to that I trained boxing and (though not consistently) running. I'm 21, 5'7, 170.

I've been eating lots of eggs, nuts, chicken,fish, cottage cheese- basically lots of proteins and some carbs around workouts.
I've become much stronger, I bench, squat and deadlift 30% more than I did and I'm really happy about that.
What I'm not happy about is that I don't look any different than I did, I still sit around 15%bf, you would never call me lean and I don't know how to change that.

My question is- should I aim for a leaner physique and then start to add some muscle or should I keep on training the way I do now and just hope it will somehow turn out fine?

Second question- would Christian Thibaudeau's 6 Weeks to Superhero program be good for me?


#2

If you don’t look somewhat muscular at 170 on a 5’7 frame then chances are that you are fatter than you think. This dude is as tall as you are and weighs less. No, he does not look like Arnold, but I guess many people would be happy with his physique.


#3

Agreed with nighthawkz. 5’7" 170 at 15% is a decent build. Maybe you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough in the weight room, and eating enough to grow. Maybe you need to scale back the runs and swimming.


#4

How much weight have you added in this time? What program are you following? and most importantly:

What are your goals?

No-one can give you directions if we don’t know where you’re aiming to go.


#5

I’ve added 50 lbs to my bench and deadlift, 60 to squat.
This is how my routine looks like:
Legs- Back squat 60%x9, 70%x5, 80%x4, 85x3, 90x2, max x1, 80%x4, 70x5,
Front squat 60%8, 70% x5, 80%x 5
Stiff leg deadlift 3 sets 70%x8
Back - Deadlift variations- same as above
Chest - Bench press, Incline bench press, dips
Upper back, shoulders- Pull ups, chin ups, overhead press.
Monday-legs, Tuesday-chest, Wednesday- back and so on…
I don’t do any isolation work.

My primary goal is to get stronger, but I would like to see the difference in the mirror as well and if I could kill 2 birds with one stone I’d be more than happy.


#6

Add at least one wholeday off from excercise a week, wether you feel like it or not.

Other than that broadly keep doing what your doing as long as your big lifts are going up. When you start to stall get on a proven program like 5/3/1 etc


#7

You lift 30% more and added 60lbs to your squat. So basically you’re telling us that you went from squatting 200 to 260 in 5 mo. Somehow I doubt the BF% you’ve given is accurate.

TBH, you’ve made rather slow strength gains for a novice lifter whose goal is strength. I really hope that “max” refers to a training max and not actual 1RM because you aren’t doing yourself any favours by maxing squats and deads every week.

Just much conditioning are you doing? Excessive conditioning can be counterproductive to lifting gains, especially if you aren’t eating, sleeping, and modulating intensity/resting properly.

You’re also doing pull-ups and chin-ups but no rows…


#8

Thanks for the feedback!

As for the swimming I have to keep doing it, I’m in the miltiary and it’s obligatory, just no way around it.
BF% given is just my estimation unfortunately… I squat 310, irrelevant, my point was to say I was getting stronger despite all that conditioning, I didn’t just look like it.

I’m going to add more volume instead of striving for new PRs, rows and a day off each week. Hope it works out.


#9

How much weight do you lift?


#10

[quote]magick wrote:
How much weight do you lift?[/quote]
I squat 310lbs, bench 220, deadlift 320- these are 1RMs.