T Nation

Doing What You Want


Hey guys,
I been training on and off for about 10 years, I'm a bit fat and currently trying to drop weight. I normally stick to going to the gym for about 1-2 months at a time then get distracted and have a few weeks of at time. I know this means I pretty much have wasted the last 10 years of my life training.

But i had an epiphany recently as i kinda figured out my self destructive tenancies.

Anyhow i've tried to make a routine for my self but i never stick to them.

I've opted for the doing what i want approach. In the way that when i walk into the gym i train the body part that is currently hurting the least and smash the crap out of that body part.
Every exercise, increasing weight drop sets everything i can think.

My question is, is this a stupid ass approach that will lead to injury? Should i pencil in rest days because at the moment, i have rest day when i wake and struggle to get dressed and walk around.

Any advice guys? Btw i'm sticking to it this time, paid a years membership up front and i'm kinda stingy when it comes to money so I won't wana piss my investment away!


One assumes that using that method that eventually that you'd work all body parts, perhaps once a week. Would that be accurate?

Perhaps having some sort of structured training program or template is not a bad idea with just enough room for you to make changes on individual days to work around injuries/discomfort etc. Just a thought.


unless youre strong willed and dedicated ( it dosn't sound that you are yet ) don't do " what you want" youll probably do whats easiest and most comfortable .
pick a simple basic routine n stick to it , dont deviate .
something like SL 5x5 .


Good advice guys, im training around 6 times a week, normally try to slot 2 body parts per session so i been getting each body part in twice a week.

@lia67, i like b uncomfortable, i try to do push my self to the limit. When i train i train hard. Going to the gym was the problem and where i lacked will but once i get there unless i'm really down or worn out i give 100% now i have a reason to constantly i got a good feelin about what i'm doin. Plus im gettin married on April 24th and wana look good in the suit lol. At least i have a goal as well now so this should motivate me more!


Take a look at Modok's thread on training 'bodypart once weekly' in T Cell. Also see his 'how do you train' thread and a thread called 'OTS Big Beyond Belief' they all have great pointers in what you're looking for. If you have the time training bodyparts twice a week is great. Good luck mate.


I don't think it's a good thing because, whether you realize it or not, you will most likely train your favorite body parts more often than your least favorites.

Also, maybe the reason you usually stop going to the gym after 1-2 months at a time is because you only take a rest day when you "wake and struggle to get dressed and walk around." My guess is that you're getting burnt out either physically or mentally and your desire to go to the gym just isn't there. Maybe instead of burying yourself 6 days a week, lower the volume and switch to a 4 or 5 day split.


Would a de-load week every 4th week address the potential "burn-out" issue?



I agree with Riddle, and also some sort of planned active recovery week would be great too.

For those who can't seem to know when to pull back (or are just too enthusiastic for their own good), they need some sort of planned rest. C_C's advise about doing high reps (not to failure...just a lower weight pump) is excellent I've found and works better than just taking time off.

So every time you've repeated a cycle (cycle = time it takes to train full body) 2-3 times, you spend one cycle just doing lighter loads and high reps (e.g. 15+ rep sets). So if you've trained your whole body 3 times over a period, you do lighter/higher rep sets for the next period training the whole body once.

In the OP's case, he'd train for around 2-3 weeks full intensity, followed by 3-4 days of light training. Repeat.

A note on rest days; if you feel tired all the time (assuming sleep/food intake is in order), consider taking more off days per week. Sounds like you have plenty on your plate (stress), so maybe training 5x week would be more manageable for you.


I do not understand where this thread is going. If someone can't even stay consistent, what does any of the rest of this matter? Deload weeks? This guy strikes you as someone working that hard to need planned time off when he can't even maintain planned time on?

Doing what feels rested works great...assuming the person doing it actually wants this bad enough to have this as a LIFE STYLE and not something they are just doing for a few months at a time before they lose interest again.

That isn't bodybuilding. That's being a weekend warrior. The two are nothing alike.

I don't get the vibe that this guy's problem is he works too hard in the gym and needs more time off.


have a routine


I don't know OP, but I would feel really frustrated and empty if I went to the gym for a long period of time and saw no visual changes or the poundages increasing. I think that if you continue like this you'll hit a point where you say "shit I'm getting old and I didn't even get to 220, or 18 inch arms or whatever". That should be a kind of fear that makes you want to progress.

Are you the same as everybody else? you wanna be? u seem to want to. Let me tell you something, I hate people that make no progress in the gym, or train like shit, or don't know shit. They are an insult to anyone who's dedicated and wise enough to keep looking better every year, the worst part is that they probably don't know that, they might even think you're the one doing something wrong. They are usually the same people that looks at you in a weird manner if they don't understand what you're doing, think you train wrong and assume steroids. But maybe assholes' purpose is dividing them from the people who really stands out or wants to.


Another thing I don't understand is this deload matter. If you're growing from what you're doing, does it make sense to deload because it's week 5,8,n of the program? If you're training really hard, hit a plateau or start feeling run down, adjust nutrition, supplements, rest accordingly, and if that doesn't work you decide to back off a little, wouldn't you grow as a result? why is everyone so afraid of overtraining?


If you made consistent gains each and every month without fail, I would question your level of current development.

A deload is taken around the time when gains generally stall, not when it says so on paper. Anyone with some decent experience knows the difference between overtraining and just needing extra rest or whatever. A deload (or lighter training) is taken based on past experiences and time frames (the times when strength gains slowed down dramatically)...not just an arbitrary number you picked out your ass.

It's pretty narrow minded to think that they're just making it up - if I get better results from alternating high intensity weeks with "easier/deload/active training" periods, why would I NOT have them? If I get to the point where I've pushed so hard, training 6 days a week, eating 6000 cals every day for over a year, pushed intensity to the max and reached a sticking point...who are you to tell me that I don't need an active recovery period when it's worked so well for me and plenty others?

It's very much a lifestyle/genetic/age thing too. Someone in their late teens/early twenties with lessor responsibilities usually can cope better with training without needing lighter periods or whatever. Same applies for those with good genetics/recovery abilities too.

As for the OP, I was just throwing that one out there for the sake of being a little bit helpful. Though, 10 years of little progress doesn't sound promising...


Thanks for the help guys, i am dedicated now X, i used to be quite sloppy with what i was doing but now i want to make it my life style and push my self to stick to it. Planned deloads might help me recover etc and might cause me to grow to prevent me from getting burnt out.

@ Its just me, dont get me wrong ye i've been training for 10 years but i started at 14 and only in the last 5 have i actually thought about nutrition etc my first 5 years were noob gains and kinda just plodding my way through the gym without any really dedication or knowledge. Hopefully this is guna change.

@ X, i know i might seem like a pussy to you and seen inferior to you, but X, there are a handful of people on this site who train as hard and are as dedicated as you. The rest of us are just trying to get there. And well i'm trying hard from now on.


If it comes from experience, why is it being recommended to damn near everyone without fail? If I need an extra day off, I take it. What I don't do is call it "deloading" and take a whole week off as rest just because that is the in thing to do....which it comes across as being exactly what many are doing.

Simply stalling a little should not in any way dictate taking that much time off. That is a normal part of training and the cause could be anything from needing more food to simply being a normal reduction in the growth process. One does not equal the other.

This guy's problem is overcomplication and a lack of consistency. Someone eating enough and lifting logically would have seen more progress than that in that much time.

That is the problem with people who have a "weekend warrior" mentality logging into a bodybuilding forum where others are WAY more serious about this.


re: Deload

I don't know if this is on or off topic, but it's on my mind.

I don't schedule days off. They either come in the form of having to travel for work or some family thing comes up that can't be changed, or my body says "no workout today". I may go weeks without a day off. I may suddenly find that I have 3 days off. In fact, this happened last week when I was in N.Carolina and they got an ice storm that shut the city down for 2 days. Still got to hotel "fitness center" for some treadmill, pushups, etc.

This whole idea of 'deload', like most things people (mis)read on these boards isn't "sit on your ass for a week and do nothing". From the people that I've talked to (you know, real people, not internet people), the 'deload' is usually associated with a strict powerlifting program/regimen and isn't 'off time', but just reduced weight loads-- ie. still lifting but in a higher rep scheme or less volume.

BB'ers, by instinct, walk into a gym and know after their warmups typically how the lifts are going to go. Maybe not as heavy as last week because of a perceived strain, or maybe the energy just isn't there mentally-- and no one should get under heavy weights if they're not 100% mentally prepared. To me, that's "deload", and they come when they come.

Why the hell would you take a week off if you're mentally and physically capable of going in and lifting as hard or harder than the previous week? Makes no sense. If your body says "DO IT" and your brain says "Yea, but calendar says this is 'deload week'..", then maybe some real introspection needs to happen to see if "gym/body progress" is really what your lifestyle is about.


Was a weekend warrior.... And fuck deloading i'll take a day off when i feel i need a day off. Yeah it's a body building forum for people who want to be, want to learn, want to develop not just for guys who are already there and wana brag about what they do.

I am serious.

I was just looking for some help and some guidance from people who know more than me.


Dude, you can TRY to do something for the next ten years...or you can do it. I personally have a difficult time understanding this mentality at all. If I see something I want, I go for it. I don't do it half assed. I wanted to get big and strong...so I worked at it like someone who was really serious. What I didn't do was fall into the on again off again set up like the average person. That leads nowhere. That much has been proven again and again.

So why would anyone do it and expect anything more than next to nothing?

You don't seem "inferior" to me. You seem disinterested, unmotivated, and unable to stay focused...all traits that would have caused me to find another hobby, not linger on this one making minimal progress for several years.

These are years you will NOT be getting back....and time doesn't exactly give you any do-overs.


A handful? I could name a dozen right now off the top of my head who are dedicated, getting results and not dicking around the way you were.


I wasn't talking about in terms of dedication or getting results. I was talking about guys who are ''body builders'' or see it as a goal, way, x, stu, akuma etc..... coz lets be honest 99% of people aren't and will never will be body builders but that doesn't mean it stops them from trying to get there.