T Nation

Help with My Program

First of all I love the site and have been lurking for a long time, great advice.

I am 20, 6’1 167 pounds and I have been doing this program for the past 3 months, when I first started I was getting great results but now it feels like i’m not gaining like I used to. How can I tweak my program for the best results.

I am trying to bulk right now and am eating 3500 calories a day.
I want to reach 220 pounds before I start cutting.

day 1 back

A1 : 3x10 Lat Pull down
A2: 3x10 upright row

B1:Bent over rows 3x10
B2: Deadlift 3x to failure

I can only do 2 pullups in a row so I don’t incorporate them.

day 2 chest

A1: 3x8 flat bench press
A2: 3x10 dumbell fly

B1: 3x6 incline bench press
B2: 3x10 Upright dumbell fly machine

Day 3 biceps and triceps

A1: 3x10 preacher curls
A2 : 3x 10 tricep extensions

B1:3x10 dumbell curls
B2:3x10 dumbell kickbacks

And then usually 4x10 of reverse grip pushdowns using a bar

Day 4 shoulders

A1: 3x10 reverse dumbell fly
A2: 3x8 dumbell shoulder press

B1:3x8 barbell shoulder press front grip
B2:3x8 barbell shoulder press back wide grip

And usually 3x10 shrugs afterwards

Day 5 Legs

A1:3x8 squats

B1: calf raises 3x10
B2: Leg press 3x8

My leg routine is a little lacking, mountain biking is pretty popular where I live and I hit the trails for fun on weekends so my legs are more developed than my upper body.

All help is greatly appreciated thank you!

I always thought that combining triceps with chest, and biceps with back would give you better results if it allows more recovery time or better performance(for example having chest day then arms back to back might slow you down a little). Obviously that differs for everyone though.

It’s obvious that once you start working out, adaptations will occur less, therefore you will gain less rapidly. It would be on you to figure out whether it’s the program, or your body just naturally gaining less. You mentioned you’ve been on this program 3 months. How long have you been lifting prior to that? You could also check the obvious factors such as diet to make sure your getting enough calories to make sure growth continues.

Another leg exercise you could consider is lunges. Heavy lunges always kick my ass. =[

First, a couple of questions - you are 167 now, what were you when you started?

Second, is this your first time lifting or just your first time serious?

Third, don’t be insulted, but how is your form? I ask because of all the mistakes I made early on. I did my share of partial reps and made ZERO progress for a long time. But I was once 6’3" 145 and now I am 6’3" 220 so somewhere along the line I got something right.

Finally, I would be curious what weights you are doing for that program and how you are the composition of that 3500 calories. Let me know and I will give you my advice (if it is worth anything).

Everyone else has made some valid points for you to consider, so I’ll just state the obvious…if you’ve been doing this prog for a solid 3 mnths and you’ve stopped making progress then you need to change the prog.

Give your body some new stimulus, for example you’re doing 3 sets on everything so try a prog that advocates 5x5 or something.

You could do alot worse than giving Rippetoes Starting Strength a go, it will get you doing lower reps and really working on the big compound moves.

Don’t be fooled by the ‘novice’ bit in the title, it will make you work!

[quote]I can only do 2 pullups in a row so I don’t incorporate them.

[/quote]

You might want to work on that. The pullup is the squat of the upper body!

Ok, here are my answers,

When I started I was 145 pounds, I have been gaining roughly 2 pounds a week.

In High school I was going to the gym regularly, after then I took up smoking and drinking and my fitness got into bad shape. I quit smoking and drinking, and I am trying to get back into shape. I want this to be a permanent lifestyle choice.

Prior to this I did about a month of light cardio(mostly biking), mostly just trying to get my lungs back in shape.

I do have a copy of Rippetoe’s starting strength, I try my best to keep form.

My diet consists of different things every day, I try to buy healthy stuff from the grocery store when i go, no junk food. The only things I eat regularly are peanut butter sandwiches and whole milk. To get to 3500 I take 2 2scoop shakes a day of Muscle juice 2544 (works out to about 1000 cal).

As for weights I cant really give you all of them off the top of my head as they are on a note pad in my bag at the gym, however I am going tonight and will post tommorow.

I can remember that last time I went I did 160 for my first set of squats then 140 for the other two.

I seem to still be gaining weight but my lifting as slowed alot lately.

Thanks alot for all your help.

You will find that all progress slows down after the beginners stage, the length of this varies for each person.

If you’re still gaining weight then you are probably still ok to keep going with this if you want for a little longer. It is when this weight increase stops you need to change something.

I am curious as to why you haven’t tried Starting Strength if you have already it, why have you been following the routine you outlined?

[quote]orangeseven wrote:
Ok, here are my answers,

When I started I was 145 pounds, I have been gaining roughly 2 pounds a week.

Going from 145 to 167 in three months is great progress if you have managed to keep it mainly muscle with just a little fat. I would say that 2 lbs a week is just about perfect.

In High school I was going to the gym regularly, after then I took up smoking and drinking and my fitness got into bad shape. I quit smoking and drinking, and I am trying to get back into shape. I want this to be a permanent lifestyle choice.

Keep it up, fitness will change your outlook on life, I promise!

Prior to this I did about a month of light cardio(mostly biking), mostly just trying to get my lungs back in shape.

I do have a copy of Rippetoe’s starting strength, I try my best to keep form.

Keep up the form, I know for me it was tough to be honest early on. I wanted to gain strength so bad that I lost range of motion on all lifts. I am sure you are aware of this, but in the long run you come out way ahead making sure you do full reps.

My diet consists of different things every day, I try to buy healthy stuff from the grocery store when i go, no junk food. The only things I eat regularly are peanut butter sandwiches and whole milk. To get to 3500 I take 2 2scoop shakes a day of Muscle juice 2544 (works out to about 1000 cal).

Make sure you are getting enough proten - a minimum of 1 gram per lb of body weight at this point.

As for weights I cant really give you all of them off the top of my head as they are on a note pad in my bag at the gym, however I am going tonight and will post tommorow.

I can remember that last time I went I did 160 for my first set of squats then 140 for the other two.

I seem to still be gaining weight but my lifting as slowed alot lately.

Thanks alot for all your help.[/quote]

Just a comment here,

at 167 and you can’t do more than 2 pull ups,
I would do essentially a drop set:

pull up x failure
no rest
lat pull down at a weight you will be able to get ~10 reps for

repeat

Definitely should work on getting pull ups down. Usually the only people that cannot do them are people carrying way too much bf. Even scrawny guys can usually bust out pull ups.

Once you master 10 pull ups… I would start adding weight. Even try drop sets with those.

Ex: pull up with 10lbs x failure
drop weight
pull up til failure