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How Long to Stick with This Routine?


Hey, I've done quite a bit of research... but everything seems to be for huge guys, and nothing has given me a straight answer... therefore, sorry to those that have read this a million times.

So I'm going to be 21 in a month and I've been lifting weights for about 1.5 yrs. After a little over a 3 month break, I'm back, (should have joined the gym over the summer....) My past workout was a basic body split, and now I've decided to go for a rippetoe workout, which i've done for 2 weeks now: Workout A(Squat 2 warmups and 3x5 195, BPress 3x5 170, Deadlift 2 warmup and 1x5 245, Dips 2x6-8 (55 on belt)) Workout B(Squat 2 warmups and 3x5 195, Standing Press 3x5 105, Pendlay Row 3x5 155, Chinups(i switch up supination and pronation grip) 2x6-8 (35 on a belt). Weights from my last workout.

I was wondering what you guys think of this workout, and how long I should stick to it before changing something up(or what should i be lifting), as well as how much weight to progress (I've read 5 lbs a workout, 5 lbs a week, 10 lbs a week)...

Also I know all people are different, but what is a reasonable amount of body weight increase (otherwise i'll start adding even more calories)... Since I started working out 1.5 yrs ago, I've gained over 20 lbs of lean muscle... but I never lifted weights before that so ya...

P.S. I'm not an athlete, I started lifting to stop being scrawny. (Also you think 13.5' flexed biceps and 40' relaxed/exhaled chest is weird...)


That's a beginner program. After 1.5 years, you should move up.

Look for the thread Do this routine instead of that dumb one. Good place for you.

If you are looking more for a powerlifting program, 5/3/1 and 5x5 are good places to start.

Either way, good luck


Really? hmm I've always thought I was still a uber beginner because of my build.

Hey also ... How do I know if I'm under training / over training... so hard to tell if I've done enough... how sore should I really be... (I know its a hard question to answer...)

And thanks for the input!


you still are a beginner, keep hitting those bang for your buck exercises, if you are currently dis motivated with your current training program, change for a similar one that suits one.

Starting Strength, 5/3/1, MadCow are all great ones that have been proven to work.


why would you do starting strength after already training for 1.5 years


Because he is still weak enough to be considered a beginner.

OP: Starting Strength is a good daily progression routine, but eventually you will stop making daily gains. If you read the book, or have looked at FAQ's on the Starting Strength wiki you'll see the guidelines for finishing the program. When you have stalled and de-loaded three times Rippetoe recommends moving on to an intermediate program. At that point you'll need to be honest with yourself whether your interest are aesthetic or strength oriented.


there seem to be different ways in which people mean the term 'beginner'

from the perspective of a program like starting strength you are still a beginner if you can still make linear progression on a program like starting strength. once your lifts start stalling (so long as your sleep, nutrition, stress etc is in order) then you are starting to transition to intermediate and you will need to do something a bit different in order to keep making strength gains.

if you can make linear progression (gradually increase the weight each time) then why bother messing around with training submaximally and taking deloads etc etc? you only need to complicate things when you can't make linear progression anymore.

growing is about training + food. people do grow on a strength program if they work hard and eat up. but like most things, most things work for a while and nothing works forever. there are other good programs out there, too (the 'do this routine instead of that dumb one' thread, for instance).

if you picked your program because it gets you fired up and you believe in it (as you should) then do that one. do it for as long as you make gains on it. with respect to the weight increases... it kinda depends...

most people find their military press stalls first. you might like to pick a smaller weight increase for that exercise because you will likely make linear progression for longer if you do so. usually deadlifts are increased by the most... can be a bit hard to figure... how is your form? if you have work to do then go with lighter increases and really focus hard on your form. if you trust your form then you might be able to speed things up.


No mention of goals in the original post, and people still giving advice? Sweet.

7 posts and diet mentioned once, in passing? Sweet.



Thanks everyone. I kinda hinted at the goal.. should have just given it straight out... I just want to but on some more mass to look better. I have 6 in wrists and super lean (you can see the striations in my chest/shoulders when flexed and the veins in my lower abs)

As for diet, I'm pretty diet conscious. Today, for breakfast , I had a bowl of oatmeal (like 2 servings), an banana; 3 hrs later, lunch, I had 3 chicken breasts (but the size varies.. so hard to tell how many grams that was) some whole grain pasta, fresh spinach, apple; I'll go to the gym in 3 hrs, and after an hr of working out I'll have a shake, then like 1.5 hrs late, I'll have dinner, probably a chicken and beef, broccoli, bean sprout, red pepper, stir fry, with purple rice and chug down a glass of milk; 2.5 hrs after that I'll probably be hungry so I'll eat an apple with a ton of peanut butter, or just whip out a spoon and eat peanut butter... I might even have a heaping bowl of cereal like an hr before I go to sleep.
I only drink water, and a ton of it, and have a desert like once a week.
The one thing that's probably really hitting me is sleep... I only get like 7 hrs... being a math major is pretty tough.

I've looked at that Do This Instead of That Dumb One... and I'm very interested. But, sorry if this sounds like a newbie trying to change the workout, but you think that much calf will be good for me? and an arm and shoulder day? (Pullups have been my arms workout, but then again... I have tiny arms)


you have tiny arms because you don't work them directly, and no, Pullups won't make them huge as they can be without some direct work.

Calf only grows with tons of intensity and volume for most people.

get stronger on the main lifts and check back on 1 year.


Be more concerned with eating "what you see" as opposed to exactly what you eat right now. I'm not giving you a licence to eat crap, but just understand that calories come before "quality" when it comes to skinny guys putting on mass. When you get to the stage where you've been consistent (gotten into a routine/eating schedule), and your appetite is raging healthy, THEN concentrate on nutrition in more detail.

As for training, if you find that drive and intensity is suffering too often and progress is hard to make despite eating to gain weight; lower the volume a little (just to the point where you are stimulating grow, but not digging too far into recovery).

Many skinny people respond really well to HIT style training (e.g. Dorian Yates was a big fan), something to research...Basically it involves low volume (e.g. 4-8 sets/bodypart/week), high intensity and more rest days than "normal" bodybuilding routines (typically you train 3-4x/week).


Your diet is absolute rubbish. Loads of carbs, bugger all protein and not enough calories. If you'd spent 30 mins reading on this site you'd know that.


the main thing i picked up on is your diet brah, for example breakfast you have oats and a banana. WHERE IS THE PROTEIN?

since you mentioned you are still quite skinny i wouldnt be so picky about what i eat if i were you. the main thing is getting enough calories in throughout the day, try to aim for at least 4 or 5 whole food meals a day, and have at least 25-30 grams protein with EVERY meal.

can stress enough how important your diet is bro, trying to gain mass without enough calories and protein is like trying to build a house without enough bricks and cement.


the only thing I got from the original post was .........."After a little over a 3 month break"


Yeah diets a big part of this and if you're like me and some others, beginner gains were hard to come by on programs like starting strength because I'm a weight class athlete. Have to be willing to put on weight for the concepts of starting strength to really work.

And the 2 posts above me are right, you're missing protein in some of those meals. Every time you sit down to eat try and get a big serving of a protein, carb, and fat. Not a lot of ways to go wrong there.


Thanks again.
I've upped the amount of protein I take in and my apatite is growing, so I'm eating even more and more frequently. Since September 13th, I've gained 5 lbs, and increased my big lifts: Squat 220, Deadlift 255, bench and military are not increasing as quickly, but I guess that's expected.


If its not broken, dont fix it. If you are still able to make progress on your current routine, then do not change it, in most cases that only retards growth and progress.


Not if his lifts still suck. You dont rank a lifter by his time spent lifting, but by the progress he has made.

I personally ran Rippetoe's Practical Programming routine for a long ass time. Though I personally had trouble with the resets that Rippetoe prescribes; I find scheduled deloads to be better for me, personally.

Here is a nice link for you, OP:

Also, stop taking breaks in your training. That is undoubtedly one of the reasons you have not reached your goals. Train hard and be consistent.


When would you consider my lifts not sucking... around squat 300? deadlift 350?


I can be wrong on this one, but I think Dan johns definiton of okay strenght levels are: 15reps on bw squat and bw benchpress. Its possible it is another author than john who have those standards and if so, feel free to correct me.