T Nation

Change Routine?

Hi, this is my first post and I’m a pretty big newbie when it comes to gym. I only really started going to the gym about once a week for about 8 months now. But i’m looking to getting into it more. I started gym because I wanted to lose weight (which I have, but losing a little more fat would be good), gain muscle mass (which I’m more interested in now that I’ve lost a fair bit of the fat) and get stronger (which I figured was related to gaining muscle mass, I hope I’m right).

The only significant change since I’ve started is a loss in weight all over my body, harder legs, stomach, some off my chest and slightly bigger arms that only really show muscle if I tense (basically my medium sized arm of fat is now my medium sized arm of muscle covered with fat). How long does it take most gym newbies to start getting proper bulk and cut?

Anyway when I started the membership, the deal included someone doing a program for me,

which was:

3 x 12 reps of squats (started at about 5kg on each side now doing it with a bar with 15kg on each side)

3 x 12 reps of cable row (started doing it only with one arm on about 30kg, but I’ve sinced switched gym and they only got one where I gotta use two handles, so I’m doing 50kg on that now)

3 x 12 reps of lat pulldown (started on 35kg now on 50kg)

3 x 12 reps of sit ups (I’ve added inclination and a 5kg weight)

3 x 12 reps of bench press (free weights/dumbells) (started on about 10kg now on 15kg each arm)

3 x 12 reps of triceps pull down (started on 25kg, now on 50kg)

  • 20-30 mins of cardio 2-3 times a week

I’ve pretty much stuck to this routine the whole time, slowly increasing the weights here and there (but I’m not sure how fast I should be progressing). Each visit goes for etween 1.5 hours and 2 hours and like I said I’ve been going on average about once a week for those 8 months.

I’ve since added in a few things like 3 reps of 12 on 2 different pec machines, see I got this man boob problem but since a started working out they’ve gotten smaller but they are still there (hoping I don’t have that gyno, how do you know?).

I’ve also gotten off the squats and moved on to those leg machines (one for quads, one for hamstrings), except after reading parts of this site I think I’ll be going back to squats).

So I’m just wondering, when am I supposed to change my workout routine? I mean totally, with totally different exercises and things, is it cool to be on the exactly same program for a year or maybe years? Does it stunt your progress if you don’t change your routine? Does changing your routine help you progress faster? Because I would have thought, if the exercises work all the muscles, then the way you exercises doesn’t really matter right? I don’t know, I’m a newbie, so I’d like to know from more of you pros.

I’m looking to get bigger arms (including forearms, though I don’t know how), harden up my frigin chest hahaha and get rid of more belly fat (though there’s like heaps less there than there used to be). I don’t want to neglect my legs, though I’m not as worried about them because they are actually way more lean than the rest of me for some reason (I’ve taken up Taekwondo again for the first time in about 6 years, lots of stretching and kicking so maybe thats it).

Could any of you suggest new programs, or things I should get rid of/add/change to my routine? Any help would be appreciated.

PS. I’ve been reading about protein powder and the like, I’m looking to getting one high in protein just to make sure my body gets enough of it to build muscle after the workout - shoot me down if I’m wrong about this (I’m not really into taking much else though).

GOOD lord Bro I seriously tried to read this but couldnt make it through it with how you have it layed oty all screwy.

Do yourself a favor and use the Edit function and fix it. You may think about also picking out the MAJOR points. be direct get to the point while still giving as much inf. as possible.

Fix that bad boy and Im sure we will all be glad to help if we can,

What you are doing is OK for a beginner, but you could certainly improve on it. For a start, you need to go to the gym more than once a week. Second, you need to have more idea of what an appropriate diet is. Third, you probably need to go to a better program now.

Check out this thread:


It has all you need to know to get started on some serious improvement. Once you have read and understood everything there (including the links) come back to us with any more questions.

No offense at all intended but I find it seriously hard to believe you’re seeing some improvements with that routine. Unless you’re seeing what you want to see…I just can’t believe that going to the gym once per week will make any difference in anything. I would go to the gym no less than 3 times a week…Maybe more if you can. My routine is a four day on, one day off which works for me but I know not everyone can get into the gym that often.

Protein is not a bad idea but you’ll have to get to the gym more often to get optimum results. I wouldn’t suggest any other supplements until you’ve been at it hard for quite a while. Start doing squats again and think about adding deadlifts to your routine. 3x12 can be ok…but there are a TON of better routines out there…Just search this site for something that fits.