T Nation

First Time Poster... Hello All!

I’ve been looking through many fitness/bodybuilding forums for a while now but decided to sign up here as it seems people actually know what they’re talking about and tell it like it is!

I’m a 21 year old male student from the UK (don’t judge me…), I’ve always used the gym but have suffered from a bit of a stop-start mentality which as you can imagine has put a serious cap on my progress! However in 7 months time I am off travelling and have decided that with a final goal to aim for I can really increase my efforts in the gym.

Now I read ‘Stupid Things Young Guys (And Some Older Guys) Do in the Gym’ by Nate Green and he picked up on a point that I definitely agree with; that most people don’t know why they’re in the gym. So it got me thinking what kind of physique i’d ‘ideally’ like. Now while I envy the dedication of serious powerlifters and bodybuilders, in reality though I just want a well proportioned, well toned, athletic body.

By no means small, but from what I’ve read here I guess most would class it as ‘small’. I’ll be honest, as sad as it is Matthew McConaughey is the ideal.

Right I’ll wrap this up. I’m 6ft1 and weigh 180lbs. I’d estimate my bodyfat to be around 15%, which naturally I want to get down by the time I leave. Now i’m not asking anyone to create me a programme, just some guidance as to the plan of action they feel I should take.

For instance should I split up my time into different phases or not? And what kind of programmes should I follow for my goals? Circuits, Split body parts, Cardio? As I said I’ve used the gym for a long time now, and I know the importance of compound movements done with good form, I’m just looking for a few pointers or other articles I can read to help me along!

Apologies for such a long post, all answers are greatly appreciated of course!

Welcome to T-Nation!

Post your lifts: how much do you squat, deadlift, bench press… (weight and reps) and what kind of program have you been following so far (days of WO, muscle parts, sets, reps…). According to your strength levels, we can suggest you a few “true and proven” routines.

Hope you’re aware of the importance of a good diet to reach your goals (whatever they are): healthy food, at least 1,5-2 gr of proteins per lb of bodyweight, healthy fats (fish oil, olive oil, nuts).

is it not 1.5-2g of protein per KG of body weight? i.e 100kg guy takes 200g of protein…

[quote]matchettman wrote:
is it not 1.5-2g of protein per KG of body weight? i.e 100kg guy takes 200g of protein… [/quote]

No, it’s per lb.

[quote]matchettman wrote:
is it not 1.5-2g of protein per KG of body weight? i.e 100kg guy takes 200g of protein… [/quote]

Actually, you have many point of view: Poliquin go as far as 3g per POUND, others say 1,5g per KG. My suggestion was a kinda “middle of the road”.

Cheers for the replies so far!

Ok well i’m not sure of my 1RM max’s but here’s the weights I will usually use:(all not including the bar, 20kg I think?) Bench Press, 3x8 with 40kg (plus bar); Squat, 3x10 with 50kg (plus bar) and deadliff, 3x6 with 50kg (plus bar). VERY modest lifts I know :frowning:

I have tried all sorts of routines, both full body split body part weekly split. At the moment I’m using more lactate inducing weight circuits, comined with more cardio (especially punch bag work) than I have tried in the past, however i’m unsure as to what kind of routine to concentrate on for my goal. As I said raw size isn’t important, it’s mainly striking that balance between well built but also athletic and ‘light’ looking!

I’m probably more sorted in terms of my diet (in part due to the part time nutrition degree I’m studying in). However in general I don’t count kcals or macros.

To give you an idea, a typical days eating would look something like this:

9am, Whey Protein with semi skimmed milk and oats.

1am, Spaghetti Bolgnase/chicken breast with new potatos/Tuna and wholemeal Pasta (generally a protein/carb meal)

3am, train, followed by a recovery shake (Protein, Carbs, Creatine and EAA mix)

7am, Chicken thighs/homemade burgers/chorizo and cheese omlette, all with a large serving of broccoli (generally try and reduce carbs aside from veg in evening meal).

Between most meals I will snack on nuts/fruit/pre-cooked meat (chorizo, salami etc.)

I also have 5g fish oil extract in the morning.

Sorry for another long post guys, but hopefully this all helps!

Don’t set two conflictual goals: you’ve better focusing on getting stronger/bigger, then you will cut a bit of fat. I looked at Matthew McConaughey pics, his level is absolutely reasonable for a beginner.

You’re not too strong for Starting Strength (a full body routine): http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/The_Starting_Strength_Novice/Beginner_Programs

If you prefer an upper-lower split: http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles/38-articles/65-westside-for-skinny-bastards-part3.html ; since you’re not an athlete, you can skip dynamic-effort lower body, if you want (see the end of the article).

It doesn’t really matter which one you choose, just put 100% of effort on it; be consistent!

A quick note on your diet: unless you forgot to write down some of your meals, you’re basically starving 14h a day (from 7 pm to 9 am)…A protein+fat meal around 9-10 pm and a protein+carb breakfast at 7 am wouldn’t hurt, IMO.

EDIT: I understand you don’t want to go crazy counting your calories and macros, but make an effort and be shure to get a good amount of prot, carbs and fats. It’s so easy to think we’re eating enough, then we count Kcals and macros…big surprise, my friend! Don’t make this mistake, now I warned you :slight_smile: