Nice job man, you’re already stronger than most will ever be
I’m kind of in a hurry here bit I’ll try to write something up for you.
Regarding advice, you’be already got a good idea of what you should do
Sleep a lot - get 7-8 hours of sleep per night and take a nap if you need to.
Drink a lot of water. No need to go batshit crazy with three gallons, but try to get at least 2-3 liters down per day.
Eat a lot. Make sure you get enough protein (Say, somewhere in the neighborhood of 180-200 grams in the beginning), after that, look at your vegetable intake, fats and carbs.
A guy of your size would do wonderfully on something like 200 grams of protein, 250 grams of carbs and 75 grams of fat for starters, increasing carb intake by ~10-15 grams per week until you’re steadily gaining 250-500 grams of bodyweight per week. Eat protein and vegetables at every meal.
Now don’t get too caught up with what I just said - counting calories is by no means necessary in your situation and it may even be counterproductive, as you may get too keen on it - if you want, you can use those numbers, but that’s just an example of how one could split his macros. (For counting macros apps like myfitnesspal are great)
If you do not want to weight your food and count macros, just eat a lot of protein and vegetables and after that consume carbs and fats until you’re full. 4-5 times per day. (I would suggest taking this route)
- Training wise, pick a couple of exercises and focus on becoming proficient with their execution, then start adding load to those exercises. In other words, build a good strength base.
I would recommend picking mainly big compound movements, but if there are some “pet exercises” you enjoy doing, by all means, do them! A set or two of cable crossovers won’t kill you!
As per movement choice, pick, say, two presses, two upper-body pulls, a squat variation and a deadlift variation. In addition to that you can do rear delts, curls, tricep extensions, calf raises, ab work etc. I’ll list a couple of good movements from each movement group down below, see what sounds fun and search for a form tutorial on the internet (or just ask)
- Strict barbell overhead press
- Seated barbell overhead press
- Dumbbell overhead press (standing/seated)
- Incline bench press
- Close-Grip Bench press
- Dumbbell bench press
I’d pick one overhead variation and one bench variation (or pushups)
Upper body pulls:
- Lat pulldowns (any handle)
- Pull ups
- T-Bar rows
- Dumbbell rows
- Pendlay rows
- Bent-over rows
Here I’d pick one vertical and one horizontal pull
- Back squat
- Box squat (a bit above parallel, at parallel, or below parallel)
- Front squat
- Goblet squat
- Hack squat
- Leg press
If you do not know how to squat, I’d start with goblet squats or parallel box squats as they are great for teaching correcting technique and they are relatively safe. Your mobility may be a limiting factor here, so if you can’t do a variation, pick another one and focus on getting more mobile.
- Conventional deadlift
- Sumo deadlift
- Stiff-legged deadlift
- Dumbbell deadlift
- I’ll throw in cable pull-throughs and kettlebell swings here as well.
If you have mobility issues, start with stiff-legged deadlift and don’t go all the way down straight away. Gradually increase your range of motion and your mobility will increase as well.
Always perform movements in a controlled manner, if you can’t do that you’re using too much weight.
If a program calls for 2 sets of 8, start with a weight that you can do for 8 reps relatively easily. In your first session, do 2 sets of 8, and try to beat that in the next one. (So two sets of 9 or 10, for example) Then use that same until you reach 2 sets of 12 with good form. When you can do 2 sets of 12, add 2.5-5 kgs to the bar next time you perform the exercise.
So, how do you put this all together?
If you want to train three times a week you could do something like this:
For 2 sets of 8-12 reps
- Your horizontal press (say, dumbbell bench press)
- Your squat (for example, goblet squat)
- Vertical pull (lat pulldowns)
- Horizontal pull (T-Bar rows)
- Optional work: calves, rear delts
Max 2 exercises, both for 2-3 sets of 10-15
Fir 2 sets of 8-12 reps
- Your vertical press (for example, strict overhead press)
- Your squat (Goblet squat again)
- Your deadlift (Stiff-legged deadlift)
- Optional work: arms, 2 exercises, 2-3 sets of 10-15
With this type of program you would train every other day, alternating between workouts A and B
Day 1: A
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: B
Day 4: Rest
That’s one way to put it, it’s simple and effective.
Of course if you want to train more often that is also possible, but don’t get too hyped up about training 12 times a week with a separate day for every muscle group. For a beginner, I’d say a 3-day split is about as far as it’s wise to go.
- Eat a lot of protein rich foods and vegetables with every meal, after that down carbs and/or fats until you feel full
- Eat 4-5 times per day
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink a lot of water
- Focus on big compound movements, good form and weight progression
- Leave your ego home when you are going to the gym
Two more things:
Do not neglect your conditioning; do some cardio/GPP work either after training or on your off days. It doesn’t need to be strenuous, but it should be hard enough to keep you conditioning up.
Never skip warming up. Do some face pulls, curls, tricep extensions, leg curls and leg raises before every training session. Stretch lightly and for short durations if you feel like something is tight. After that start with your first movement - always start with the empty bar and then do as many warm-up sets as you need before doing your work sets.
If you’ve got any questions I’ll be happy to help.