T Nation

Help! So Lost!

Remember when you were back just starting and how you wish you could have had help to do everything properly? Well now you can help that person!

I began lifting at home about 6 months ago, starting with two 5kg dumbells. I did sit ups and press ups and some jogging, but didnt really take it that seriously. As of the last 4 months ive starting getting a lot keener about working out and have moved up from those 5kg dumbells to 12.5kg and been to the gym a lot in the last 3 months.

However im noticing much improvement in my physique to be honest. I dont seem to have put on that much muscle or lost that much fat. For most this would deter them from carrying on, but all its done for me is make me more determined then ever to achieve my goals, no matter what.

It sounds very newbish because I am at this. Il be honest, I really dont know what im doing when it comes to diet and working out. So instead of me running around doing everything wrong, im hoping someone feels kind enough to point me in the right direction and sort me out!

Heres some details that should be useful I hope, and give anyone an idea of what im after…

WHY?
To look good! (who doesnt want to?!)
To improve myself for sports, mainly Rugby and athletics training, like sprinting

ME?
Age: Im 16, its a good age I hear to start, and some friends of mine who are a few years older and built up to hell started around this age.
Weight: 77kg, 169lbs,
Height: 6"

GOALS?
Basicly, im after the whole ripped, not that huge look (you know, big shoulders, pecs, biceps and triceps, 6pack, legs, etc) also I need to be able move fast and have enough stamina to last a rugby game.

Im not THAT unknowledged to think I can get huge results in a short time, im expecting to be spending years, not weeks…


So if your still reading by this point and havent moved on thinking im just another 16 year old kid wanting to look big then thanks for so far!

Now the reason im lost, is beacuse I read that I need to bulk here and cut there and how different plans are crap etc etc. It would be great if somebody could just tell me what to eat on a typical day and what to lift and how long to run. I have some equipment at home, and pretty much access to a gym whenever I need.

Should I loose this last little bit of fat, or should I be eating more to build muscle?

My abs are really developed at the top, but almost nonexistent further down, what am I doing wrong?

Does lifting lighter weights, over a long time still cause the muscle to build up, but much more leaner and effiecent then your run of the mill lifting?

I understand most of you are hardcore so my stats are properly really really really unimpressive but try and treat me, the new guy nice :slight_smile:
(pictures coming as soon as I get my camera out)

[quote]brrrap wrote:
Now the reason im lost, is beacuse I read that I need to bulk here and cut there and how different plans are crap etc etc. It would be great if somebody could just tell me what to eat on a typical day and what to lift and how long to run. I have some equipment at home, and pretty much access to a gym whenever I need.

Should I loose this last little bit of fat, or should I be eating more to build muscle?

My abs are really developed at the top, but almost nonexistent further down, what am I doing wrong?

Does lifting lighter weights, over a long time still cause the muscle to build up, but much more leaner and effiecent then your run of the mill lifting?
[/quote]

1st: there’s a lot of info on this site. SEARCH.
Look up JBs seven nutritional habits article and follow what he says. TC has an article about super foods floating around, that’s a good one to.

Start by eating clean, and you will notice a change in body composition (I did). If you’re super confused, start by looking at the Men’s Health Abs diet power foods (I know, I know, men’s health, but this is actually a good crash course in clean eating). That said, DON’T follow too much other info on the men’s health site.

Determine your goals: You probably cannot cut fat and add muscle at the same time. Choose which you’d like to do. To cut, you have to be a calorie defitic. No ifs ands or buts.

Should you loose that last bit of fat? I dunno, should you? Make a decision and go with it. If you’re tiny, don’t worry about it, and build some muscle first. Personally, I’m a FFB. I started training a year ago, and hit a plateau with college food and fat loss.

This summer I am going to take control of my diet and cut again. Why? Because I want to see if I can do it. I’ve never been lean in my life, and I want to see what it’s like. I weigh 193 right now. Some would say that’s not big enough to cut. And that’s fine. But their goals are not mine goals. Make a choice, and stick with it.

What you’re doing wrong with you abs is not training the lower abs. Look up the abs articles on here. Ab Training for Smart folks is a good on. Work on exercises that work the lower abs: reverse crunches, pulse ups, dead bugs, etc.

does lifting lighter weights…? No. Lift heavy. Lift hard. Eat. Sleep. Lift heavy for you. No one can tell you what “heavy” is. Go into the gym with the mindset that you’re going to kick your own ass. Lift heavy for you, and don’t worry about the guy next to you.

Start by reading the threads at the top of this forum. I still consider myself a beginner because I don’t know what works well for me yet. I’m still experimenting. Above all don’t forgot that this is about getting into the gym and the practical application of your knowledge. You won’t get any bigger/leaner by sitting at your computer reading about it.

Lift hard. Lift heavy. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

Remember, this is a long journey, not a short term whim.

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/six_pack.htm

[quote]brrrap wrote:
[…]
So if your still reading by this point and havent moved on thinking im just another 16 year old kid wanting to look big then thanks for so far!

Now the reason im lost, is beacuse I read that I need to bulk here and cut there and how different plans are crap etc etc. It would be great if somebody could just tell me what to eat on a typical day and what to lift and how long to run. I have some equipment at home, and pretty much access to a gym whenever I need.[/quote]

Try to eat about 1g of protein per lbs of body weight (~2g per kg of BW)

try to eat every ~3 hours, because the body has no way to store protein, if there is none in your blood you simply won’t regenerating/building muscle

There are dozens of programs on this site, I would recommend TBW (total body workout) ~3-4x/week or a upper/lower split ~4x week to a beginner (<1 year of real training), 6-12 reps per set, 24-30 total reps per exercise

Try to avoid lifting and running on the same day, if you must run after your lift, get as much resting time (~6 hours) between

Gaining 10lbs of muscle while also gaining 10 lbs of fat and dieting the 10lbs fat off afterwards is still at least about twice as fast as gaining 10lbs of muscle without any fat. Other than someone taking steroids or a complete beginner, you won’t build any significant amount of muscle on a caloric deficit

Nothing. The way your abdominals are shaped (how many intersections etc) is 100% determined by your genetics and won’t be altered through training

I don’t understand that question

‘light weights’ (>20-30 reps per set) doesnt’t really build mass, just muscular endurance

search a bit on this site, pick any good program and stick to it for at least 6-8 weeks

:wink:

Take some pictures now, wait till you gained ~25lbs, take a few more then post both together :stuck_out_tongue:

Squat and eat, deadlift and eat, bench and eat, row and eat, military press and eat… And some dips and pullups never hurt either. I was so confused when i first started, i started making gains as soon as i took out the complicated stuff and just started lifting big and eating big.

Your goal should be to gain weight and get stronger. The whole “ripped” look is over rated. Have you ever looked at a college football player? A defensive end that’s 6’5", can run a 40 in 4.7, Has a 32" in vert, and can bench over 350 lbs., that’s pretty normal in D1 football. Do you think that the d-end is unathletic? Hell no! When you get stronger, you get faster. You should be doing dead lifts, squats, bench, cleans, and all the basic lifts. That will get you bigger, stronger, and might even give you that “ripped” look your after. It is definitely going to help you in rugby. So stop focusing on getting “ripped” and pick up a fork and eat, because that’s the only way you’re going to get bigger, stronger, and faster.

Read the newest article written by Christian Thibaudeau.

I actually second the Abs Diet as an easy acronym for eating clean.

Almonds and nuts
Beans and Legumes
Spinach and green veggies
Dairy (fat free)

Instant oatmeal (unsweetened)
Eggs
Turkey (lean meats)

Peanut butter
Olive oil
Whole grain breads
Extra protein (Metabolic Drive)
Raspberries (berries)

There really is no magic number when it comes to calories, everyone is a little different. Just eat six good meals a day and if you feel too worn out eat more.

Oh, and squat, deadlift and lunge your ass off. Rugby players need those legs!

Read Berardi’s article “Massive Eating” part 1.

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=body_146mass

There are calculations in there that will help you to figure out your daily caloric needs. You must eat more calories than you expend if you want to build muscle/gain weight.

Understand that most likely you will gain some fat when you are gaining weight. But, if you adjust your calories accordingly you can gain approximately 70% of that weight in the form of muscle. Also, the added muscle that you gain will make it easier to burn off the fat that you gain later on down the road (muscle is highly metabolically active and will increase your resting BMR).

I’m also with midgethearsexb, forget about the “ripped” look. Being “ripped” simply refers to having very low body fat. However, without a decent amount of muscle, extremely low body fat simply isn’t aesthetically appealing.

You mentioned that one of the reasons you are doing this is for looks (nothing wrong with that by the way, who wouldn’t like to look better?). Now, let me ask you a question would you rather look like the picture above (which is Frank Zane)?

Or, this picture (it’s of Christian Bale in “The Machinist”). Both guys are “ripped”, but (at least in my opinion) I would never want to look like Bale, while I definitely wouldn’t mind looking like Zane.

The difference? It’s muscle mass.

As far as not wanting to get that “huge look” because you’re afraid of it slowing you down. You have been mislead if you believe that building muscle will slow you down. What do you think allows you to move in the first place? Muscle. So, if you have more muscle, what do you think will happen? You will be much more efficient and able to move faster than you can now. Just take a look at the legs of olympic sprinters, speed skaters, tour de france competitors they are usually quite large and muscular, and it certainly hasn’t slowed them down.

Good training,

Sentoguy

Thanks everyone loads for the replies! Ive been reading a lot more since and am learning all the time now what it is i need to be doing. Still not 100% sure yet but i definatly feel like i know more now.

Ive decided im going to focus on getting the good ol six pack and toned look for the summer then bulk up in the winter as the rugby seasons starts again. Im going to stick to a diet that involves a lot of protein and good clean carbs so that muscle loss is minimal during the summer.

And respect to Mr. Christain Bale, skinny Machinest guy to Batman is quite impressive!

A few days ago i bought my first protein shake. “Promax” by “Maximuscle” mainly this brand because this is the only brand i could find near where i live. Anyone heard of it before? One thing im not sure about is when to take it? Should i take the recommened 30ml everyday, even on rest days or just on work out days? Post/pre workout or in the morning?

Heres a diet and workout plan im putting together for myself:

DIET:
(Im guessing this isnt going to be that good a diet so would be really appreicated if anyone could point out where its wrong)

Meal 1
Porridge/oats with semi skimmed milk

Meal 2
Fruit/Rasins/Nuts/etc

Meal 3
Turkey or any lean meat in wholewheat bread

Meal 4
Peanut Butter/fruit

Meal 5
Salmon/Tuna Steak/Eggs only omlette with green veggies

Meal 6
Fruit/Nuts/etc

WORKOUT:
4 Days Per Week (every other day)
Full Body

Lower Legs:
Calve Raise 2x15 reps

Upper Legs:
Squat 4x15-3(per set as weight increases)reps
Leg Press 4x10
Hamstring Curl 4x10
Leg Extensions 4x10

Abs:
Im following a routine from a book that seems fairly solid and works out Obliques, Upper and Lower nicely and is based on a 4 level system

Chest:
Bench Press 2x15 reps
Fly Press 2x15 reps
Press ups 2x40 reps
Pec Dips 3x15 reps

Delts:
Front Rise 2x15 reps
Side Rise 2x15 reps
Bent Over Rise 2x15 reps

Shoulders:
Shoulder Press 2x15 reps
or
Military Press 2x15 reps

Biceps:
Curls 3x15 reps
Hammer 1x20 reps
Conc. Curl 1x20 reps

Triceps:
Overhead Extensions 3x15 reps
Kickbacks 2x15 reps

Back:
One Arm Row 2x15 reps
Shrugs 1x100 reps
Hyper Extension Situps 1x100 reps

Takes me about 1 and half to 2 hours to do this.

Any tips for impoving my workout plan? What ive been doing for the past 3 months is in there, but ive included a load more exercises so it seems the ratio between upper body and lower body is a bit mad. Im looking for a wider range and number of exercises for my lower legs at the moment. Any help again is appreciated :wink:

Some Pictures:

Not sure how to get images to work on here so heres direct links:

My back -

http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/1969/13062007500ye5.jpg

Tensed… -

http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/7205/13062007498oq9.jpg

Fully relaxed… -

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/8250/13062007499al4.jpg

Eat Eat Eat Lift/Eat Eat Eat Sleep

Repeat for One year

[quote]detazathoth wrote:
Eat Eat Eat Lift/Eat Eat Eat Sleep

Repeat for One year[/quote]

Or for the rest of your life.

If you loose any more weight, youre going to look like Bale in the machinist.

Go here: http://www.johnberardi.com/updates/july262002/na_masscalculator.htm and use that calculator to find out how much you should be eating.

If you start to get “too big”, you can always scale it back.

Look up Westside for skinny bastards on here. That program should help you gain weight and also help with rugby.

Last time I checked, girls didnt think dudes with eating disorders looked all that great.

[quote]brrrap wrote:

Ive decided im going to focus on getting the good ol six pack and toned look for the summer then bulk up in the winter as the rugby seasons starts again.

[/quote]

That’s good. Ask for advice and then ignore every ounce of it. You are a trooper. Be careful with that “get too big” thing. It happens.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
brrrap wrote:

Ive decided im going to focus on getting the good ol six pack and toned look for the summer then bulk up in the winter as the rugby seasons starts again.

That’s good. Ask for advice and then ignore every ounce of it. You are a trooper. Be careful with that “get too big” thing. It happens. [/quote]

Yeah, I’ve gotta agree with X as well. The reason why you don’t look “toned” (which is a word that a lot of people, myself included, loathe) is because you DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MUSCLE MASS. You already have quite low body fat judging from your pictures, and adding lean mass will do much more for looking shredded than focusing on losing body fat.

Also, trying to bulk up during Rugby season is probably a bad idea. Not only is it going to be much more difficult, due to the increased energy you’ll be expending during rugby practice/games. But, you may also be putting yourself at a higher risk of injury due to trying to lift heavy weights (which you will need to do to gain muscle), while also taking the beating that rugby will be putting on your body.

Look at the way that professional football players (that’s football, not futbol) generally periodize their training. It’s during the off season, when they are not actually playing football, when they really focus on actually trying to put on muscle/make strength increases. Once again the reason for this is because trying to do so during the actual season is not only much more difficult, but may also put them at higher risk of injury.

People here have given you good advice so far, perhaps you should try taking some of it.

Good training,

Sentoguy

dude. if you lose weight for summer you won’t look nicely ripped, you will look pathetic. get some muscle

[quote]Professor X wrote:
brrrap wrote:

Ive decided im going to focus on getting the good ol six pack and toned look for the summer then bulk up in the winter as the rugby seasons starts again.

That’s good. Ask for advice and then ignore every ounce of it. You are a trooper. Be careful with that “get too big” thing. It happens. [/quote]

Man, this T-Nation of ours is a strange place…

MTTP, you won’t suddenly blow up once you start bulking during the winter. Size takes time. You will not gain satisfactory size within the designated time frame. Fuck the pretty little mid-section for the beach. There you go, I said it. The sun didn’t refuse to shine and the earth didn’t split in two. It’s okay to negate the perceived value of a cute li’l six-pack because, well, it’s really no big deal. If you want to have optimal strength for rugby season to do a GOOD job, then start training to be an optimal rugby player A-S-A-P!

This is a life leason, BTW, asking “is this a good decision…” and adjusting your goals accordingly. Of course, it’s easy to talk big when I have Joe Stump blasting in my ears, jeez, that guy does something to my brain.

Man you look fine on those pictures there really is no reason for you to lose any fat. Bulk up I recon you’ll be hay with the results.

Imo if you try to burn that tiny bit of fat you’ll just end up loosing muscle mass.