T Nation

Advice: Lifting to Look Better

I am a newbie to lifting and I need some advice. My main goal I want to accomplish from lifting is looking better. I was just wondering what a program would look like for this. I am about 5’11 and weight 170ish. I lifted a lot about two years ago and loved it but then I plateued and could not get out of it because I really had no idea what I was doing when I went to the gym.

I did the same routine for the year and did pretty much all lifts 5x5. I went four days a week and did chest, back-mon, legs-tues, shoulders-wed, and arms on friday. From reading on this site with all the great advice everyone gives I can see many things I did wrong. I really want to get back into lifting and take it serious and get back into shape and look better.

Basically any program that has you adding weight to the bar at least ever week. You’re pretty light for 5’11".

I don’t think your split looks too bad. Neither does your idea of going 5x5. There isn’t anything magical (or wrong) about a particular set/rep range, as long as you are progressing.

Perhaps it is your nutrition that caused you to stall. What does your diet look like?

Try this:

Monday:
squat (real squats, no pussy shit)
leg press
leg extentions
calves

Tuesday:
Bench press variation
shoulder press variation
pec iso
rear delt flys
tricep variation

Thursday:
deadlift variation
hamstrings (don’t skip this)
row variation
pullup variation
curl

My diet is very weak. I really do not know much about dieting. I just try to eat as much protein as I can, and all I take for supplements is a shake, with some Biotest creatine after the workout. I need some help with my nutrition also. I dont understand much about what I need for growing, all I was ever taught was eat as much protein as possible.

I was just wondering about my 5x5 because I read so much about hypertrophy for this amount of reps and strength do this many, that is just why I was concerned with that. I always liked to go 5 days and try to fucus on everything one day cause I figured I was letting them rest more and I could try to tear my muscles as much as I wanted too. How many lifts should I normally try and get done in a workout?

Eating protein=good

But you need other macronutrients to build muscle. Don’t neglect carbs/fats. Especially fats! People neglect this when starting out, but lowering fat intake too much will decrease testosterone as well as a bunch of other negative consequences.

Consume carbs with that post-workout shake with the creatine.

Keep it simple with the nutrition:
Get your protein in–eat lots of meat. Steak, eggs, chicken–everythings good.
Eat veggies liberally.
Eat fruits.
Nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, fish or fish oil–these all help getting essential fats in as well as boosting your caloric intake.

Read: Massive Eating Part I: http://www.t-nation.com/article/diet_and_nutrition/massive_eating_part_1&cr=
Massive Eating part II:
http://www.t-nation.com/article/diet_and_nutrition/massive_eating_part_2&cr=

Specific questions about your own body such as “how many lifts should I do” and “how many reps” are very individualistic. I suggest grabbing the first decent program you see and just following it for as long as you can until you stop seeing results or just want a change.

Zephead’s program looks good. 5x5 with that program may be a little much, though. Perhaps try doing 3x5 or 2x8.

First off thanks for all of the great advice, it really helps clear things up. I did notice when I would do the 5x5 that I would become very fatigued during the workouts. On my off days should I just do some cardio and abs then, or what would be good to do on them? Once again thank you for all of the great advice.

[quote]bulldogtor wrote:
Basically any program that has you adding weight to the bar at least ever week. You’re pretty light for 5’11".

I don’t think your split looks too bad. Neither does your idea of going 5x5. There isn’t anything magical (or wrong) about a particular set/rep range, as long as you are progressing.

Perhaps it is your nutrition that caused you to stall. What does your diet look like?[/quote]

Yeah. 5X5 and a Bodybuilder Split Sounds solid enough. Could be your diet, your sleep habits, stuff like that. Eating 5 times a day makes a HUGE difference in terms of the amount of muscle you can put on. All those meals don’t need to be solid. A decent sized protein shake (40-70 grams) counts as a meal.

Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Military Press, and some sort of Chin or Row. As long as those are in your program and as long as you do what you need to do to make them go up, you should see size gains for a while.

First of all thank you for all the great advice. It is really clearing things up for me. I’m gonna really try and eat right after reading them articles. I did notice when I was doing 5x5 I was getting really fatigued during them. I guess as of now my only other question is what should I be doing on my days off? Just do some abs and cardio? Thank you again for all of the great advice its very helpful.

How much are you resting between sets?
Feel Free to rest up to 3 minutes between sets if you’re keeping things heavy. But if you’re not doing heavy stuff, like on arm day, then keep rest periods only as long as they need to be.

Do whatever you want on your off days. Just make sure it doesn’t take away from your lifting. Fast Walking, Easy Swimming, or Biking somewhere flat would be fine if you’re feeling that your CV Fitness is holding you back in the weight room.

If you want to do some intense Cardiovascular exercise, like Sprints or Tire Flipping, it’s best to do that on a training day. You might need to rearrange your split to make room for it. Example:

Mon: Squat + Legs (No Cardio)
Tues: Bench + Chest (Hit a Heavy Bag/Stadium Stairs/Flip a Tire/Whatever)
Wed: Off

With a setup like this, you don’t fuck anything up or make any compromises. You won’t ruin your Leg Workout since you’re doing your intense cardio BEFORE your Leg workout. You won’t ruin your cardio workout either since you’re not jumping off the Leg Press and out onto the track.

Maybe you’re fatigued because you’re doing all your 5 sets with heavy weight. Some 5X5 programs say the first 2 sets of five are to warm up, and the last 3 sets are the work sets with around 80% of your max (or whatever you can get for 3 sets of 5).

If you want to do cardio, try things along the lines of sled drags, sprints, tire flipping, log flipping/rolling, etc. Those are a ton more enjoyable (and in almost any case productive) than jogging for 45 minutes.

Biggest thing about gaining weight is eating enough though. Use fitday.com for a couple days, and be anal about logging everything that goes into your mouth. Increase that by 500-1000 calories, and be consistent about eating like that for the next few months, and you’ll see results. You gotta be eating more than you’re burning.

I was mainly just wondering about cardio and things on the 4 days off because it seemed like a lot of resting time. But I get the hint that you are saying to make sure I let my muscles get all the rest that I need.