T Nation

Advice on Training & Diet


130 pounds
ive been working out for 3 months and have made little to no progress..

im going to be doing the 5x5 program i found on here..
i want to end up at 150-160 pounds

advice would be awsome...especially on my diet


im also going to be tracking the colour and depth of these stretch marks on my back..


aand last picture


First, you pants are way too low in that first picture.

If you want advice on your diet, you need to post your diet. All you said is that you're doing 5x5...is a specific diet a part of this progam (I've never looked into it)? Even if it is, post it because probably not everyone here knows it off hand, and we don't feel like looking it up.

I'd say switch to a traditional split.


You most likely need to eat more.

Newbies ask this sort of question all the time, and more often than not they simply are not eating enough to fuel growth.


haha sorry
and sorry about that as well..i figured i might as well post it tomorrow since i dont full remember what i ate in the morning..and no it isnt a specific diet

and what does a traditional split program look like?

dumbell row 5x5
flat bb bench press 5x5
back squat 5x5
chin up 4x10
dip 4x10
1 arm db snatch 4x10

db row 4x10
flat bb bench press 4x10
chinup 5x5
dip 5x5
1 arm db snatch 5x5

repeat monday's work out


repeat tuesday's work out

repeat monday's work out


as for the work out does that look better?


with my height and weight..im 18 by the way...how many calories should i be taking in per day? and how many grams of fats/carbs/protein will be enough to grow?


No, that isn't a good workout. Tuesday has the exact same exercises as monday, minus the squats. Read the stickies for programming help, diet help, and other things. If you're bodybuilding, follow Brick's Bodybuilding Bible. It'll give you guidelines. Read around the site; all the information you need is already in the articles and old forum posts.


A split would be something like

day 1: shoulders/traps
day 2: legs
day 3: back/biceps
day 4: chest/triceps
if you haven't put rest days in between these, put one or more here. then repeat.

You could change around the combinations somewhat, but I like this one. Do 3 exercises for big body parts (quads, chest, back) and two for the other muscles. For shoulders, make sure to hit the front, middle, and rear delts. Use pyramiding sets for everything.


when i searched "5x5" i couldnt find the same program as before i found the stripped down hypertrophy and from what i understood that was the work out...but alright

so for the split do rest days go inbetween each work out?
and pyramid sets meaning...10, 8, 6, 4, 2?


wide-grip pull up

cable pullover

t-bar row

this week is going to be a bit of a trial period i guess..i had to somewhat cheat with 90 pounds

db row

i was going to do biceps too but my calouses got really irritated...i guess im going to get gloves sometime this week as well


There are no magic numbers.

A better approach is to figure of how much of everything you're eating now and increase it if you're not gaining. Then, if you still don't see gains after a week, increase it again.

Bodybuilding is all about trial and error. The sooner you embrace this, the sooner you'll likely begin making progress.

If you want further feedback on this, calculate your intake of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat for an average day and let us know what you come up with.


You don't necessarily need to use those number of reps for pyramiding sets. In fact if you're going for hypertrophy you shouldn't be using a weight you can only get two reps with. Something like 5 or 6 should be your lower limit.

So something like 12, 10, 8, 6 would be better. And of course the weight needs to be increasing while the reps decrease. And always do a warmup.

OR you could do something like 10 reps for every set, but start with light weight and gradually increase until you actually can't get that 11th rep with that weight. Find what works best for you.


and about rest days, most people train between 4 and 6 days per week. If you're working in the lower rep ranges closer to (or at) failure, you'll probably want more rest, versus doing high reps/volume. Get to know your body.


thanks for the advise

db shoulder press

side shoulder raise

rear shoulder raise

power shrug

face pull

haney shrug


I'm pretty much in the same situation as you help_me_out (5'9'' and a puny 125-130). My exercise routine is as follows

Mon: Back/Bi's
5X8 Deadlift (increase weights to make final set a real challenge)
5X8 chinups (I can't quite do 8 on the final sets so I go to failure)
3x8 good mornings (trying to find another lower back exercise though)
3x8 barbell curls
A 3x8 upright row (hurts my wrist sometimes)
B 2x10 hammer curls (each arm)

last 2 are super-set

Tues: chest/tri's
5x8 incline press (increase weights)
5x8 weighted dips
3x10 dumbbell bench
3x10 lying triceps overhead extensions
A narrow grip push ups with feet on ball
B bent over triceps extensions

Weds: Legs
5x8 front squat (increase weights, most hated set of the week)
3x10 reverse lunges (each leg)
3x10 lying leg curls
A seated leg extensions
B weighted standing calf raises

Thurs: Shoulders/abs
5x8 military press (usually seated)
3x10 side arm raises
3x10 shrugs
3x10 front raises
2x10 barbell rollout
2x10 dumbbell woodchopers
leg raises or bicycle crunches
plank variations to failure

Fri: rest (I may also rest on weds depending on my schedule and how I feel)

Sat: start cycle again

Diet is probably key though and where I'm struggling. I get about 500 cal breakfast, 350 cal snack, 500 cal lunch, 350 cal snack, 500 cal dinner, 250 cal before bed and I probably still need more.


I had the exact same stats as you when I started lifting a few years ago, and looked very similar to the way you do lol

Here is some advice:

1) Training: Over time you want to develop a short list of basic exercises that become your measure of progress. What I mean by that is, if I know the bench press is a really effective pec exercise for me, then I also know that in order to get another inch on my pecs I need to bring my bench up another 50lbs in the next 6 months.
Most big guys have 2-4 of these exercises for each muscle group that they rely on to build the most muscle mass. Even a pro like Ronnie Coleman, for instance, found out years ago that deadlifts, barbell rows, T-bar rows, and pulldowns work great for building his back, and he stuck with these exercises his entire training career and on through 8 Olympia championships.

Everybody is different, and you tweak this list over time to fit your body and your needs, but since you're a rank beginner it's best to just start with the most traditional freeweight exercises.

The most important thing to remember about training is progressive overload. If you aren't getting stronger, then you aren't building any muscle.

2) Diet: Get it through your head now that you need to eat a lot of food, and a lot of protein. If you can consistently eat 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight every day, and get yourself into the gym every day, then half the battle is already won.

Here is my diet guideline that I give to everyone that asks for my help...
Eat 1-2lbs of meat, half a dozen eggs, and two protein shakes every day, and fill in the rest of your diet with enough carbs to gain bodyweight at a rate of 3-5lbs a month. If you can do all of this with "clean" food, then by all means just eat steak tuna and brown rice... but most people can't, or don't want to (and you really don't have to). Remember that it is more important that you move the scale upwards; If you ate "clean" every day this month, but didn't gain a pound, then congratulations it was all for nothing.

3) Education: Read through all of the main links in The Best of T-Nation sticky to understand how other guys got big and strong. There aren't a whole lot of books I'd recommend since most of them are just confusing dogmatic bullshit, but I personally recommend The Education of a Bodybuilder to you. This website, and youtube are great resources for learning how to do all the basic exercises - watch videos and learn about the guys that look the way you want to look. Find a role model.