T Nation

Critique My Routine



After much research (probably too much), and some trial and error, I have come up with a routine that I think suits my goals and fits my schedule. I am in much better conditioning than my bodyfat hints at (I can run 4-5 miles at 8min/mile), though getting tested with BodPod a month ago and seeing the results was all the motivation I needed...

Note: I began with Starting Strength and did that for 3 weeks, with some solid gains but a sore neck. I'm sure my form on squats and deadlift could use some work. However one of my main priorities here is losing bodyfat (BodPod says I am 23%) while hopefully gaining some lean muscle mass in the process.

I absolutely need to implement cardio, and starting strength isn't very conducive to that. Also, squatting three times a week in my gym's smith machine doesn't seem like the best idea. Damn that's a lot of excuses in one paragraph...

My diet is on point I think, as I monitor calories and protein intake closely and eat incredibly clean. However I seem to be plateauing at 174 pounds right now.

So here is the routine I started on Monday, with some cardio:

Hard Gainer 2B from Alfalfa:

Monday - Flat bench, incline db, military press, db skullcrushers, ab work, elliptical 30-45 minutes at 75% max hr

Tuesday - Elliptical or run 30-45 minutes

Wednesday - wide lat pulldowns, bent over row, ez bar curls, ab work, stationary bike 30-45 minutes

Thursday - Off

Fridays - Squat, deadlift, glute ham raises, ab work, hitt on stationary bike for 15-25 minutes

Saturdays - Off

Sundays - Steady Walk or light jog depending on how legs feel.

Rep ranges are between 6-12 depending on exercises, with pulldowns at 15 reps (I assume there is a reason for that).

My first goal is to get to 15% bodyfat (which supposedly would have me at 160 lbs, which feels a bit too low). I'm 100% committed to this task, just ask my wife (she hears about it every 10 seconds).

Also, for supplements I have post workout whey isolate shake, vegetable or whey protein shake once a day to supplement protein intake, multivitamin, calcium/magnesium for sleep, fish oil, and tons of water. And free cold exposure daily because I live in Sweden, unless that is a myth...

If I am missing any info let me know.

Thanks for any and all feedback!



Hey dude,

Cool for posting, but it doesn't exactly jump out at me that you have bodybuilding type goals, more like general conditioning/get in shape type goals.

Either way I would suggest you visit the stickies at the top of this page, or hit another forum if bodybuilding is not specifically your goal.


Just FYI, most will stop reading right there. Pick one goal. One. You say you have done "maybe too much reading" or whatever, yet you make a post with that sort of goal....it's beyond my comprehension. Go lose some fat, then worry about muscle. Or, go put on some muscle, then worry about losing fat.


Not sure, 3. just read "How to Bulk and Cut on the Same Day" by Clay Hyght:


Might not be optimal, but it seems to me that especially at 23%, its possible. I do agree that focusing on one target at a time is more optimal.


Good point Gluteus. I'll post this thread on a few other spots. This forum just seemed to pop up a lot with some intelligent info.

3 - I appreciate the feedback but I thought one of the best ways to lose fat, along with cardio, was to lift. And If I am lifting/doing cardio in a disciplined and well-timed manner, and eating clean, it just seems like common sense that I can lose some bodyfat and at the very least maintain, or gain, muscle mass right? It just seems like a hell of a challenge. What's the worst that could happen?

Thanks xilinx - I will check that link out.


Agreed that this is in the wrong section, however, since you're here I'll chip in:

The amount of time you are in the gym is "ok" for general body composition goals (lose decent fat while building a little muscle), but if you are only in the gym 3x/week, the lifts need to be done a little more frequently (e.g. upper body lifts roughly twice a week, lower body 1-2x/week). At this stage (newbie), your gains will come quickly and the lighter loads that you lift means that the body will have less to bounce back from (hence more frequency can be done).

Since you can run fine, I'd strongly recommend HIIT on two of your non lifting days (for 10-20mins/session). Some don't like HIIT and reason that it's too much, but that's because they're in the gym 5+ days/week, often lean and on very restricted calorie intake (on weeks leading up to a show for example). For those in your situation (decent bodyfat and new to lifting), HIIT is one of the fastest paths to fat loss.

As for diet, don't get too obsessive lol. Concentrate on getting in plenty protein, and centre your meals around that (and veg) rather than carbohydrate based meals (e.g. pasta/rice/potatoes).


Thanks for the input. Much appreciated.