T Nation

Beginner Needing Some Clarification


#1

Hey everyone!

I've been lifting for the past 3 years but have not taken it as serious as I should have this whole time. But now life has caused me to take everything seriously. My goals are to be strong, lean, and athletic.

Stats - 27, 5'7, 166lbs, I have a higher bf%. I have love handles and a small belly. I also have skinny legs and arms.

Weights I can do for the lifts (5RM) - Back Squat 135, Front Squat 115, OHP 110, Bench Press 155, Rows 140, Deadlift 235, Power Clean 105, Snatch 65, C&J 95, Pull Ups 7

I know my weights are all over the place. Instead of going to the gym I decided to buy a squat stand and a barbell with about 300 pounds worth of weights. I can't afford to buy a bench or a dip station for quite a while. I have noticed that most of the programs include benching.

I can devote 3 days a week to purely lifting. Is there a workout I can do 3x a week just using the setup I have? I like the idea of squatting 3x a week because my legs are twigs and I want to change that. Since I won't be benching, could I do overhead pressing 2 or 3 times a week instead?

In terms of diet I know I can consistently eat 3 meals a day. Since I have love handles and a small belly should I try to cut while lifting heavy or should I eat just really good big meals? So for breakfast/lunch/dinner make sure I have some protein, carbs, and tons of veggies? So I HATE eating chicken breasts. Could I make chicken thighs more of my staple for proteins? How many calories should I be shooting for? Since I have a higher bf% eating fattier meats scares me a bit even though I know it is good for me.

Any information or advice would really help me out. I plan on starting whatever program/meal plan template that would be suitable for my situation Monday (do groceries on Sunday).

Thank you very much in advance!


#2

If you’re not a powerlifter, no need to worry about benching. I watched a strongman do 315 for 16, he hadn’t done a bench press for years.

As for diet, just eat good food, enough to allow you to progress session to session.


#3

I’m no expert and you definitely don’t need to take my advice as a beginner myself, but I also don’t have a bench and instead have been doing weighted push-ups. Placing a 10kg+ plate on my back while doing push-ups works for me! Then I just go heavy on the Over Head Pressing to get some good strength gains. Hope that helps, good luck!


#4

Chad Waterbury Full body WO.

Chicken thighs are fine.


#5

You can do anything you like two to three times a week. Like others have said, unless you’re a powerlifter you don’t ever need to bench.

I’d recommend 5/3/1, to be honest, just based on how good a program it is. It doesn’t have you squatting as much as you’d like but if you did the Boring But Big version you’d still squat a lot. You’d just have to replace bench with press, but that wouldn’t be an issue I don’t think.