T Nation

About to Get Serious - Need Advice

Hey everyone,

First off - great site, one of the best on the net!

I’m someone who has always semi taken care of himself. That is, I’ve worked out here and there, kind of watch my diet, know a little about nutrition and training. You know the type - about 80% of 23 year old men, who think they know everything they need to and are in semi decent shape compared to the average joe but are really pretty piss poor compared to anyone who takes fitness seriously.

That’s me.

Over the past month or so, I have been lurking on this site and some others, trying improve my knowledge on fitness, as I want to start taking this seriously.

I have devised a plan for myself and just want some advice on a couple of areas. Now, it’s not a highly developed plan, but it’s something I can start on and tweak as I go along. I figure at this point, the main thing is to actually get started.

I’m 6 foot and about 175, bodyfat maybe around 15%. My main goals are actually to improve my overall athleticism for basketball. I.e. speed, strength and stamina.

My basic week will consist of a couple of hours of ball once or twice a week. I tend to go to the gym twice a week to lift weights. I tend to work out my whole body when I’m there, which I know is not right, but I find it easier time-wise. (How limiting is this to my development, keeping in mind i’m more interested in strength and general athleticism rather than size?)

I’ll tend to have another cardio session in the form of tennis or martial arts during the week. So thats roughly three sessions of intense cardio for 1-2 hours, and 2 lifting sessions also at about 1-2 hours.

My diet: Generally consists of fruit and veg, protein (fairly clean meats) and brown carbs. I tend to get about 2500 cals and about 120g of protein.

NOW - I know the above is a fairly mediorce program (low protein, full body workouts etc). BUT at the moment, its the best I can commit to, due to work and other commitments. If I kept doing this for 2 -3 months, what development would I see?

If there are some points you feel MUST change, what would they be?

I also plan to take BCAA’s and HOT-ROX in order to help with energy levels and fat loss. Any problems with this? Anything else that I should add?

I’m actually going to make a seperate thread on HOT-ROX, as I take some other supplements and need to ask about that, but don’t want to “dilute” this thread too much.

Think thats it.

Sorry for the kind of long rambling post, if anyone needs clarification on anything, please just ask.

Thanks,

Bob

[quote]Scorched Soul wrote:

NOW - I know the above is a fairly mediorce program (low protein, full body workouts etc). BUT at the moment, its the best I can commit to, due to work and other commitments. If I kept doing this for 2 -3 months, what development would I see?
[/quote]

If it’s supposedly the best you can do at the moment, why don’t you start doing it already and see how your body responds to it instead of continually lurking and reading. Just do it.

Your Welcome,

Nike

At 15% fat, there’s no need for HOT-ROX. Upping your protein intake is the MUST. If you’re willing to spend the money on HOT-ROX, just spend it on protein powder, instead. There’s a far greater need for that.

Lift 3 or 4 times a week, instead. There are many people who endorse TBT (Chad Waterbury being one of them,) so don’t think that it’s wrong.

Phox - I already have started, thanks for the advice.

CJ - That sounds reasonable enough. How much should I up my protein intake? I can only really take protein shakes in the morning and evening, I’m very limited in what I can eat during the day and I can’t take things with me, due to the nature of my work. I guess I’ll just take in as much as I can, aiming for a minimum of 150g, but taking more if I can.

With regards to lifting. Three days are definitely out due to sports ( I assume I can’t lift on the same day?) That leaves four, at least 1 or 2 of which will be out due to travelling for work. Is 2 lifting days really not enough? I’m reluctant to cut out my basketball days, but I guess I could stop my third cardio session and lift instead…

If I went to three lifting days, how would you recommend I adapt my sessions. I assume I wouldnt be working out my whole body any more?

Thanks for the help guys.

Bob

There is absolutely nothing wrong with fullbody training. In fact if you are limited to only 3 days of weightlifting then a total body program is probably the best course of action.

As someone mentioned earlier Chad Waterbury is a strong believer in total body training and he even designed a TBT 3 day a week program. Here is the link: http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=04-073-training

I have done said program for a couple of months and have had good results with it. Make sure you read the whole article CAREFULLY and understand it. Base your workout around the compound lifts which can be very effective on packing on size and strength. Just read the article really.

Also, and this is probably open for debate, but I have always been told that you need atleast 1-1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight to make progress. In either case your 120g of protein per day is a bit on the low side.

Hope that helps.

Just got through reading thr article - sounds good.

One thing I’ve realised that 90% of my lifts have been in the 8-12 rep range. I think I always end up in that range without even thinking about.

I think I’m gonna make a real effort to train in the 4-7 range to try and stimulate my muscles. I think it will also fit in better with my aims of strength rather than size.

Cheers guys,

Bob

[quote]Scorched Soul wrote:
Just got through reading thr article - sounds good.

One thing I’ve realised that 90% of my lifts have been in the 8-12 rep range. I think I always end up in that range without even thinking about.

I think I’m gonna make a real effort to train in the 4-7 range to try and stimulate my muscles. I think it will also fit in better with my aims of strength rather than size.

Cheers guys,

Bob[/quote]

Try and exaustive last set with less weight for up to 20 reps AFTER 3 sets of the 4-7.

[quote]Scorched Soul wrote:
Phox - I already have started, thanks for the advice.

CJ - That sounds reasonable enough. How much should I up my protein intake? I can only really take protein shakes in the morning and evening, I’m very limited in what I can eat during the day and I can’t take things with me, due to the nature of my work. I guess I’ll just take in as much as I can, aiming for a minimum of 150g, but taking more if I can. [/quote]

Weeell… First off, if you’re looking to muscle up, I’d honestly say that you should double your minimum of protein goals. That’s eating for success! Furthermore, your amount of activity (3 lifting sessions + 3 cardio sessions weekly) is quite a bit. That calls for some serious chow just to keep what you already have on your frame.

Also, your post leaves a few questions… Is this league basketball, or just playing with friends? If your martial arts and tennis are because you just feel obligated to throw more cardio in the mix, then you should at least know that this is unnecessary. If you truly enjoy and are enriched by them, then keep doing it, by all means.

Lifting and cardio are fine in the same day. Many people do this and split them, one in the morning and one in the evening. Make sure there’s a lot of food in between!

[quote]If I went to three lifting days, how would you recommend I adapt my sessions. I assume I wouldnt be working out my whole body any more?

Thanks for the help guys.

Bob[/quote]

What Gutshot said. Take care.

Ok, I’m hearing you on the protein. I’ll make sure to eat at least a gram per pound of bodyweight MINIMUM.

That lifting technique sounds interesting. I’ll definitely do it, but can I ask the science behind it? Is it to do with fully tiring out the muscles, or does it stimulate other fibers?

With regards to my sports; it’s not for the sake of cardio. I do play league basketball actually. We are in the off season now, but I really want to train my arse off both in the gym AND on the court, so 2 times a week is the absolute minimum for me.

The martial arts is something I’ve started in the past couple of months but, again, its more to do with the actual sport as opposed to the cardio benefits.

Tennis is just for fun, but I really enjoy the sport.

I do all these sports for reasons other than cardio (but the cardio effects are a great bonus!) and I think thats why I’m so reluctant to give them up. Especially in basketball, I’m sure the way I feel when I improve a part of my game is EXACTLY the same as the way you guys feel when you’ve improved your max bench or squat.

Saying that, my development in the gym will only enhance my development on the court, so I am gonna give it my best shot.

I think I’ve been given all the advice I need, and now I just gotta shut up and TRAIN.

I’ll post again in a month, to keep you guys updated and to also give myself a short term goal - to come back with results.

I’ll also try and stick around and contribute to other posts where I can.

Cheers guys,

Bob

[quote]Scorched Soul wrote:
Just got through reading thr article - sounds good.

One thing I’ve realised that 90% of my lifts have been in the 8-12 rep range. I think I always end up in that range without even thinking about.

I think I’m gonna make a real effort to train in the 4-7 range to try and stimulate my muscles. I think it will also fit in better with my aims of strength rather than size.

Cheers guys,

Bob[/quote]

This may be something you are already doing, but if you aren’t yet, start writing down your lifts. The Lift, how much weight, how many reps and how many sets, also additional notes you may find helpful (make note of form problems and things like that)

That should help you make sure you stay in the rep range you mentioned shifting towards (4-7) instead of 8 and up, if you find yourself able to do 8 or more, up the weight and get the lower rep range that you said you wanted.