T Nation

Have to Change My Routine, Need Help


Okay, so; I’ve been on this U/L split since the very end of August, before that I was on a body part split, as a beginner, before I started reading up more, needless to say; very slow results lol
I noticed results faster with the U/L split but still pretty darn slow I have to say, anyway; the template I’ve been following is getting the best of me now, I don’t really look forward to my sessions anymore, it’s just taken away my motivation.
2 Chest, 2 back, 1 shoulders, 1 biceps, 1 triceps. + I walk to and from school (about 5.2-6 miles 5 times a week), I don’t think that’s been helping my motivation. I love working out otherwise, just this routine has been breaking me down a bit it feels like…

So I’m currently looking into a new routine, but I’m not sure what to do yet. I’m considering a full body routine, or another U/L split but a different template to go after. My goal is mass before eventually moving over to calisthenics for a while to switch things up for a bit, and MMA or a specific martial art.

I’m open to ideas though if anyone’s willing to help out.
I work out at home and have access to basic free weight equipment (plates, bars, dumbbells, bench with leg attachment) and a pull-up bar.


[quote=“Buffaroo, post:1, topic:213498”]
My goal is mass[/quote]
What do you currently weigh? What’s your specific goal? “Mass” isn’t a goal. “Weighing 170 by May 1” is a goal.

In your last thread, you said you wanted to look like Tupac (or at least, a hologram version of Tupac) and you were “141-145”. Getting closer to that kind of build, even at your height, will mean putting on at least 20 pounds of muscular bodyweight. That’s going to mean eating plenty, eating consistently, and training right.

If you’re saying your current plan is “breaking you down”, I can almost guarantee your nutrition hasn’t been good enough and/or consistent enough. You need plenty of quality protein, fat, and carbs, seven days a week, to add size and get the scale moving.

There are tons of workouts in the article archive. Pretty much any one will be fine if you’re eating right. Bodypart split, full body, or upper/lower split is the least of your concerns.

Calisthenics are not conducive to “building mass”, and may not be conducive to maintaining mass depending on the details of the plan, so let’s focus on actually getting there first. Do you currently do any martial arts training or is that just a hobby you’re considering picking up?


Well it could be due to stress too due to some medical issues plus school, I’ve gone back to school after being home for 5 years. But yeah I’m not really feeling my current routine, not really enjoying it anymore.
Specific goal would still be like that pic, around that anyway. I’ve gained a few pounds since then too. I don’t currently own a scale though, so can only weigh myself when I’m at someone else’s place.

I have been looking at different routines on here but can’t decide yet.

It’s just a hobby I’m considering picking up :slight_smile:


No worries. Do this program with intelligent exercise substitutions as needed, based on the equipment you have to work with.

Chest-supported t-bar row would be face-down incline 2-dumbbell row. Pulldown would be pull-up or neutral-grip pullup. Stiff-arm pulldown would be dumbbell pullover. Tri pushdown would be close-grip push-up. Tri rope extension would be 2-dumbbell kickback.

Now you’re all set. Eat, train, grow.


Thank you sir, I apprciate it!


The word “patience” also comes to mind. We are talking years, not weeks.


I know that, but the progress has been really slow, seems to be slower than what’s normal


Bodies do not understand linear. Ebbs and flows. Or, life, if you will.

When something happens, learn why. Simply changing bread brand can have an impact. Heck, worrying about lack of progress can have an impact (yeah, I know what I did).

But, do get on a program you enjoy. And Cc gave you great advice. Just plow thru.


In your other thread, you described yourself: “I’m about 5’7-5’8 and 141-145lbs maybe? I’ve always been small lol I’m really low in body fat, always have been”

Sounds like you’re just a small-framed guy, probably with a high metabolism. I’m not going to say “ectomorph”, because that’s a nonsense term, but you’re on the far end of the bell curve in terms of a starting point.

It’s going to take plenty of calories, eaten consistently, to see progress. The consistency is key, because a lot of guys will eat three or four big meals a day for three days in a row, and then let things slip, miss breakfast one day, grab just a protein bar for lunch another day, and just not put in the work it takes to eat for size when you’re starting off skinnier.

I know a 21-year old kid who, at 5’10", went from 139 to almost 165 in about 10 weeks, kept his ab definition, and said having three big meals plus drinking a half-gallon of milk everyday was more of a mental grind than going through any workout. Plenty of the guys here who started off in a similar situation will tell you the same thing.

Read this article about the idea of Forced Anabolism and consider that approach.



Yeah, I’ve been consistent with what i eat and working out.
So what I eat now is basically this:
Meal 1/snack (pre-workout in the morning): a couple pieces of fruit with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Meal 2 (post-workout): 3-5 eggs with spinach or kale.
Meal 3: Fish or chicken with potatoes, veggies. Sometimes I’ll have a shake as well.
Meal 4: Oatmeal (about a cup’s worth) made with milk, protein powder mixed in. Sometimes a can of tuna too.
Meal 5: Cereal with either a shake or a cup of greek yoghurt (10%) with protein powder.
I’ll sometimes snack on fruit and stuff between some meals.

Thank you for the article, gonna read it now


Not that this needs any further support, but x2 anyway.

I’ve never been a small guy, and I’ve always loved eating but if I can sometimes find it an effort to get in my macros/calories OP will probably need to focus hugely on that, more than training.


Just get on a proven template like Texas method, 5/3/1 triumvirate etc


For mass you do Squat and deadlift. You want 5x5, 5-3-1, Smolov or a schedule that focus on big lifts. And you can do warmup with a complex.


With all due respect, for mass you can certainly squat and deadlift, but you’ll need to press and row too and above all you need to eat a lot


He wanted a program, not what to eat. And the programs i suggested all have what you need.


Apart from food. You can train as hard and well as you like, and the programs you suggested (possibly except Smolov) are all fine - but doing them without eating a bunch of good food isn’t going to end so well. That is going to be especially true of a smaller guy like OP.

Besides, what OP asked for and what OP needs aren’t necessarily the same thing.


Yeah what I’d been considering were just my thoughts but I wanted opinion from experienced people, like I said; I’m open to other suggestions.
So yeah, I appreciate all the help guys!

I have a food related question too; how long would it take for bulking calories to become maintenance, that’d take a while, right? Say you’ve upped them by 3-500. I realize pretty much impossible to figure out exactly how long, but is there an estimated guess anyway?


How often does a beginner ask for help on their program looking for better results? How often is it the program that is the issues? I’ll say the only time it is anything to do with their program is when it’s some shit they cobbled together from their vast knowledge of training and even then it is usually a part of a bigger issue.