T Nation

Back With Questions


Ok i made a post a while ago and lets just say.. it didnt go to well. Anyways i decided to join the gym, since im at university and i've semi quit trials biking i have a lot of spare time on my hands. I go with two other guys who have both been doing it for about 3 years now.

Needless to say when i walked in there the first time i was shocked at how small i look compared to everyone else (last i checked im about 140ish lbs and 5'8" that was a month ago though). I was really intimidated but one of the guys i go with has given me a routine to start out on. Remember.. this is the first time ive ever been to a proper gym. Im basically looking for some other exercises which i can incorporate in to my routine. Really sorry for not knowing the name of all the machines.. im still getting used to what everything does in there.

I do 3 sets of the following for 10 reps each unless stated:

Abs cruncher 25 reps on 70lbs i beleive
Bench Press 40kg
Bicep curls 10kg
Triceps on cable machine (unknown weight it just says 2 on the machine, you pull down on a cable with a bar on the bottom)
Back on 110 (you sit on a seat and your chest presses against a pad and you pull two handles towards you)
Butterfly curls 7.5kg
Shoulder lifts 5kg
Leg press 100kg
Leg press calves 100kg
Leg raises 15reps

Once again apologies for not knowing the exact names. At the minute i got to the gym for 4 days in a row. I do the routine above for 3 and the last day i do some cardio and work on my abs. I then have 3 days off.

I know it all sounds a bit of a sketchy routine but im only on my 2nd week now. Already im finding a lot of the weights are becoming a bit too light, especially bench press which was more of a learning to balance and get the technique right to start off.

So does anyone have any recommendations, im a total begginer looking for some guidance.

Also a quick question on supplements and eating habbits. I've been trying to work on eating a lot more protein orientated foods especially before and after i go to the gym. One of the guys i go with suggested buying some form of protein shake to make sure i got enough in me. So like a idiot i didnt ask for advice and just went and bought the first thing i saw that had protein in its called optibol anyone heard of it? its under meal replacements under most places ive looked and my friend says its really overpriced. Anyone got any better ideas on what i should be taking?

Thanks for any help.. lets hope i dont get flamed to hell for this :frowning:


thats a good start, optibol is good.


It's... interesting... to put abs first in the workout. Very Ian King of you.

Again, here, you are putting the cart before the horse by doing biceps curls before you work your back. It's not exactly "wrong" to do it like that, just... uncommon.

Okay. You're not doing enough for the back part of your body. You need to add some pullups/chinups and some deadlifts. Also, you should be squatting, not leg-pressing. 3x10 is, shockingly, okay for a little while, but don't get married to that rep range.

To sum up:

  1. Stick the compound exercises first in the routine and the isolation exercises last.

  2. Do more pulls.

  3. Squat.

That's all I got.

Dan "Out" McVicker


Thanks for the help so far, like i said i didnt decide on the exercises or the order it as just something to get started out on. Ill add in some more back exercises and squats.

Also a question, when i was 12 i broke my arm pretty damn bad (just above my wrist both bones bent outwards and one bent out and snapped, due to someone jumping on it and driving their knee in to my arm.. in a fight) ever since then my left arm has always been noticeably weaker. Infact when we had gym at school and i would try some weights it would always hurt where i had the fracture. For this reason i seem to use my right arm for everything and it is visibly bigger than my left. What type of exercises should i be doing to try and balance the two out? or should i just carry on how i am now and eventually they should? I've talked to a few people in the gym and they have said that one of their major flaws is that they arent symmetrical muscle size/power so im wanting to try and sort it out early.


For an answer to your last question start by reading this:



to train 4 times in a row and then take 3 days off is an interesting approach.

What would you think of having rest periods of at least 48 hrs in between workouts?


dude i bent my wrist when i was 12-13(x-ray looks cool)and i had pain in my wrist also.its gonna hurt for a long time but ive been doing this for about 2 years and after 6-8 months you dont feel it anymore.now this could be because it never healed all the way and you're forcing it to now,or your body just releases hormones to make it "feel-good-happy-time"....both of which are probably wrong,but it goes away jus keep workin it


I didn't even see that.

Wow. Good point.

Who the heck designed this program?

Dan "Containing the urge to flame..." McVicker


it says in my post


4 days on and 3 days off actually works well enough. That isn't your biggest concern, especially as a beginner. You do need to pull more though.



Discussions about training frequency aside, wouldn't doing the routine (same exercises, same order) for four days in a row compromise the intensity of the work that's being done? I understand as a beginner wanting to use lighter weights to learn correct technique, movement patterns and develop tendon strength, but wouldn't this be achieved doing "the routine" every other day? The day of rest would allow for a (slight) increase in the intensity of work performed per session.
I'd look to learn the squat and deadlift as soon as you're comfortable as well.
Good Luck...


ok it seems that quite a few people have given me some good ideas, i know its a bit lazy of me to ask this but all you guys seem to have a huge wealth of knowledge that i really dont have. Could someone recommed a routine for me?

To be honest im still unsure of my goals, i want to gain muscle but i want to keep cut at the same time.


Hey...Look up Dan John's OLAD programs or CW's 10x3 philosophy. And give up hoping to build AND be cut. Read the recent bulking article by Dave Barr, it says it much better than I could. You can't really build and keep lean at the same time (you can, but it's much more efficient to build and then cut-periodize). And at about 150, I wouldn't worry about being cut. You said in your first post that you noticed how much SMALLER you were than everyone at your gym. Let that fuel you for a while, never mind your pretty six-pack.
Good luck...


Please, punctuation lad! Use commas, periods, and even the occasional semicolon. They are around for a reason!


take a look here,CW rocks



All off CW programs,



Your routine sucks ass. There are many good ways to train, but doing the same routine 3 days in a row isn't one. You aren't giving the muscles you work time to recover. Try training M W F, training your whole body, but different exercises, if possible. Read up, too.


You are being given good information in this thread, and in this post. However, in regards to this post, I don't think that it is advisable that you go and try Chad's 10x3 simply because you have only been in the gym for a very short time and need to build some sort of base of strength first. I personally would recommend Westside for Skinny Bastards because it has worked well for me.