T Nation

Getting Started (Again) with a Couple Questions


Hello T-Nation!
Well, I've been lurking for awhile, but I figured I'd see if I could get some
advice. I like lifting and have done it on and off and more and less seriously in the
past, but since I haven't seriously trained in some time I am going to consider myself a
beginner. That said I am 29, 195 lbs, 6 foot 2, and approximately 20% bodyfat. My goals
are for both lifting and feeling better and athletics:

30 in vertical leap (at present it is 20 in)
280 lb bench press (just did 3 reps with 205 last week)
10% bodyfat (~20% right now - not sure how I'll measure this or get it measured)
280 lb front squat (just did 5 reps with 175 last week)
400 lb deadlift (just did 3 reps with 215 lbs last week)
1 arm chin up with each arm (just did both arms 3 reps with bodyweight plus 30 lbs)
(I want to attain these by August 1st)

Anyway I am planning to be in the gym 5 days a week and workout at home once a week
here's the plan:


All lifts unless otherwise specified ~ 5x5 with increasing load, lifting explosively and
trying to incorporate the Perfect Rep and Max Force Reps and Auto Regulation (I am
really liking this by the way after about two weeks!)

Monday and Friday:
Front Squats (Back squats are out now due to shoulder injury and lack of mobility)
Standing Calf Raises
Single leg Romanian Deadlifts
Seated Calf Raises

Tuesday and Thursday:
Bench Press
Bent Rows (supinated grip Thursday, pronated grip Tuesday)
DB Overhead Press (my shoulders tolerate this better than barbell)
Pull-ups (pull-ups Thursday, chin-ups Tuesday)
Standing Calves
Seated Calves
Sprints in the evening on Tuesday
Plyometrics in the evening on Thursday

Seated Calves
Walking Lunges (with a plate until I my legs scream and then 3 more sets like it)
Standing Calves

Shoulder Raises (whatever feels underworked)
Bicep Curls (whatever tickles my fancy)



I wasn't going to do anything too drastic here except to cut out refined carbs, beer,
and most all prepared stuff and up my protein intake, but here's a sample:

2 eggs, 2 slices bacon, 1 piece of toast with butter

After morning workout:
1 scoop protein (20 g) in 8 oz milk

grilled chicken breast, rice and beans, salad with walnuts, orange or apple

almonds or other nuts, fruit

corned beef and cabbage (with potatoes and carrots)


I've never been one to go crazy here, but I'm taking:

Fish oil
Vitamin D (2000 IU/d)

My questions I guess would be should I add another protein drink each day?
Is there something really lacking in my lifting plan (I plan to stick with it for 2
months before I reassess and make any changes)?


I wish you had waited till 2010 to sign up


Sweet! I love snarky comments, but I can see exactly how this appears to you and anyone else. I checked out your training log though and saw that you’ve been making some gains, so do you have any advice for me?


Dammit. I hate it when people are nice to me when I’m being a dick. Ok. It looks to me like you’re trying to do too much at once to start out. I see this type of overdoing it enthusiasm all the time from someone wanting to get into the weight room (whether or initially, or “back into it”) and they are nowhere to be found a month later. Not to say thats applicable to everyone, but I am skeptical until proven otherwise.

You are training 7 days a week–I wouldn’t train more than 5 days if I were you. You need to recover. Your exercise selection is pretty good (you’re incorporating the big compound movements and it looks like you are trying to work on your weak areas: calves). But without seeing any of your pics, and just going by your size and stats, I would think you have more glaring weak points than your calves.

I think your tuesday/thursday workouts should have more than one day of recovery in them since they are the same workout. A better split would be M: upper, Tu:lower, Th:upper, Fr: lower. Then do your major conditioning or whatever on Sunday (with added conditioning after your lower body days if you feel it is needed).

Your diet needs a lot more protein. I didn’t do any calculations, but I can tell looking at it that its too low in both protein and calories (considering all the work youre going to do). Eat more eggs for breakfast. Eat two chicken breasts instead of one. Drink protein shakes liberally. Figure out your caloric expenditure for each day, then add 500 or so calories to that and aim for that daily. Reevaluate after a month.

What you really need to determine is if you want strength or 10% bf? Everyone struggles with this. If you are truly 20%, if I were you I would do the V-Diet to start back into lifting. There is an exercise program with it and you will get used to lifting weights again. You will lose fat and tolerate carbs better when you start your strength phase later in the summer. Plus you get to at least not be fat for the summer (you’ll probably be skinny though, but everything takes time).

Good luck man.


Thanks for the input:
Too much… noted… maybe I’ll focus on the lifting and drop the plyos and sprints for now making it 5 to 6 days a week in the gym.

Hitting my weak points… definitely this is what I was thinking with calves… and you are probably right that I have other glaring weak points, legs everywhere is what I think (hence my 3x a week with them). Thanks for the tip on more recovery time too.

More protein… alright I can do that for sure I love eggs!

So I gotta pick strength or low body fat… That was the conclusion I came to, but I just didn’t want to believe I had to pick one… Strength it is then! (and maybe some fat will come off by quitting the beer drinking anyway!)

Thanks for answering my questions!


No problem. I’m not the best guy for advice on here, but what I’ve been doing has worked pretty well for me.

On another note, I would go get your bodyfat tested with a 7-site caliper measurement (none of the 3-site or electronic bullshit ones). It is well worth the $5-$10 you will pay for it. I highly doubt you truly are 20% at 6’2"/195lbs. Probably less.

Just do it smart, bust your ass in the gym, eat right, and the gains will come. You’ll probably strip off some BF with your current regime too.