T Nation

Help With Exercise Selection & Reps

I started lifting weights about two 1/2 months ago and I am looked to the T-Nation for some training help. I am 6’0 and currently weigh 191 lbs, probably around 20%bf, I guess. I dont have any visible abs but I am nowhere near fat. I have gained about 5 lbs since I started workin out. I adopted a workout routine from some friends of mine and from some articles. Here’s my routine. Please help me with exercises, reps, etc.
My Goal: Gain Strength and Muscle Mass.

Monday: Chest/Tri
Flat Bench: 10,8,6
Incline Bench: 10,8,6
Incline flyz: 10,8,6
Decline DB bench:10,8,6
Dips(Assisted): 10, 8, 6

Tuesday: Legs
Squat: 10,8,6
Leg Press: 10,8,6
Standing dead lift: 10,8,6
Leg curls: 10.8,6
Standing Calf Raises: 15, 12, 10

Wed: Off

Thur: Back/Biceps
LatPull down: 10, 8
Open faced pull ups: 2 sets of max amt
Seated row: 10,8,6
Bent-over barbell row:10,8,6
Standing Barbell Curl: 10,8,6
Seated one arm curl:10,8,6

Shoulders/Abs
DB military press: 10,8,6
One arm lateral raises: 10,8,6
DB Shrugs: 10,8,6
Various Ab workouts:

Sat/Sun: off
No cardio right now, I am trying to bulk up first. Bad idea?

I do use Designer Whey Protein for post workout drink and drink twice a day

Please Help.

Way too much volume for someone who hasn’t been lifting three months yet.

I would suggest a routine like Rippetoe’s 3x5 or Westside for Skinny Bastards.

[quote]Chaz23 wrote:
I started lifting weights about two 1/2 months ago and I am looked to the T-Nation for some training help. I am 6’0 and currently weigh 191 lbs, probably around 20%bf, I guess. I dont have any visible abs but I am nowhere near fat. I have gained about 5 lbs since I started workin out. I adopted a workout routine from some friends of mine and from some articles. Here’s my routine. Please help me with exercises, reps, etc.
[/quote]

First, realize that gaining muscle and strength is a long term process. Do not get discouraged and realize that this will take you years to achieve.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this program. It’s fairly balanced and involves exercises for both the upper and lower body.

That said, there is a fair amount of volume in this workout. Some people like lots of volume, so there’s nothing wrong with that. But, are you able to increase your training poundages (or progress in some other fashion) every single workout on every single exercise?

If you can’t then you may want to rethink your approach.

Lifting weights and building muscle/strength is all about progressive overload. If you aren’t supplying that overload, then you won’t build muscle/strength. Volume is one method of overload, but unless your poundages also increase you won’t build big muscles (otherwise marathoners would have hyooge legs, and ultra marathoners would start fires from their inner thighs rubbing together).

So, on the other side of the coin, once you’ve provided a sufficient overload (i.e. more weight preferably, or at least more reps with the same weight) then going beyond that point and continuing to do umpteen more sets is only going to deplete your recovery systems further and force you to take longer periods between your workouts (in this example only training once every 7 days). You also aren’t likely going to be able to add weight to every single exercise every single workout and reach your rep range for that exercise.

What do you think will make you bigger/stronger a year from now; adding 100+ lbs to a few money exercises?

examples:
Incline bench (chest)
Dips (triceps)
Squats (quads/glutes/hammies)
Deadlift (glutes/hammies/upper back/forearms)
pull-ups (lats)
Shoulder press (shoulders)
Barbell curl (biceps)
Leg press calf raise (calves)

Or adding 20 lbs to every one of the exercises that you listed above for the 15 work sets that you’re currently performing?

Also, those weights are completely arbitrary. At your stage in the game, with a good program, lots of hard work and good nutritional strategies you might very well be able to add far more than 100 lbs to all of the lifts that I listed.

My point is that if you focus on a few “money” exercises and getting as strong as possible on those, along with proper rest and nutrition, you’re going to grow a heck of a lot more than someone who does endless amounts of volume but doesn’t add nearly as much weight to their lifts.

I could go into a more detailed discussion with you if you want, but for now I’ll leave it at this: Focus on getting as strong as possible on a few choice exercises, eating enough to support growth and resting long enough for recovery.

Finally, IMO there is nothing wrong with cardio. Not everyone always needs to do it from a fat burning standpoint though. If someone had a racing fast metabolism and had a really hard time eating enough calories to support growth, then I honestly wouldn’t suggest them doing cardio. Otherwise cardio is great for heart health, can be an effective fat burning tool, and can even be used to stimulate appetite.

[quote]
I do use Designer Whey Protein for post workout drink and drink twice a day
Please Help.[/quote]

I don’t have too much experience with Designer, I’ve had it before, but never actually bought a tub and seriously looked at it’s contents. Whey protein is great for post workout. It’s ok as a protein supplement throughout the rest of the day, but it’s really fast absorbing, so you’ll likely be hungry again soon after eating/drinking it.

Try to get the majority of your protein/calories from solid nutritious food if possible. Use the powder/liquid nutrition to fill in the gaps/post workout.