T Nation

I Can't Believe I'm Doing This

Alright, these are definitely before pics, not that theres an after yet. I found this site late December, took my first job out of college and am getting back in shape, and am starting to get very focused on my training.

For awhile, I was just doing dumbbell circuit training in my apartment, but lately I’ve been going to the gym doing total body routines. I was weighing my food and counting calories, but have stopped being so strict about it.

During that period I learned how to eat clean, as I put a lot of weight on at school and was for the most part ate crap.

Now my diet is like this:

BF: Eggs, Toast, Butter, Coffee or Oats w/ Whey
Glutamine, CLA, Fish Oil

Mid-Morning: Apples and Oranges

Lunch: Chicken, Beef, Turkey, and Spinach Salad or Brocolli
ClA, Fish Oil, Multivitamin, and Glucosamine/Chondroitin

Mid-Afternoon: Same as above or Sandwich or Wrap

Pre W0: Glutamine, BCAA, Beta Alanine

Post WO: Shake w/ Powerade or Shake w/ Pumpkin or Smoothy, BCAA, Beta Alanine

Dinner: Pretty much same as lunch or Fish
CLA, Fish Oil, Multivatimin, Glucosamine/Chondroitin

Pre-Bed: ZMA

My training has been total body. Right now, I am working on coming up with a new program that emphasizes the lifts I want to work on, which is all of them, but particularly OH press, squat, and weighted pull ups. I am new to deadlifting and squatting, and my lower body is definitely weak.

I have been working on the squats and am comfortable to the point where I will start learning the deadlift. I was considering an upper/lower split, but think I will do the following for simplicity:

Workout A:
Heavy Squat
Heavy OH Press
Heavy Cleans
DB Rep Flat Bench
Heavy Rows
Light Pull Ups
DB Split Squats
Back Extensions

  • 15 min rower intervals

Workout B:
OH Squat
DB Press
SD High Pull
Heavy Bench
Reverse Hyperextension
Weighted Pull Ups

  • 15 min intervals

Workout C and D:
Similar Except Changing Squats for Deadlift and Single Leg DB Deadlift

I am going to throw in a little calf work because I have been doing a lot of jump rope lately, and Friday I felt a pull/pop in my calf when I was locking my ankle behind my leg with a DB between my legs doing weighted pull ups. I will also swap out dips with benches if I choose, and the pull ups grips are varied each set. The lower body exercises will be adjusted as I learn new ones and work with the ones I do.

So it will go like this:
Day 1: Workout A,B,C,D
Day 2: Sprint Intervals, Crossfit Circuit, Home-made Circuit, Jump Rope Intervals
Day 3: Rest

My goals are to lean out, get stronger, and learn the lifts I am unfamiliar with. My diet is unmonitored but clean with 1 cheat meal a week on either Friday or Saturday, and I am hoping that the fat will drop and the muscle will develop.

So here is my current status:

Start of T-Nation:




… I just wanted to see what I currently rate. I realize I have a lot of work to do: I’ll see where the next couple months takes me, then reevaluate and adjust, and maybe post again in 6 months/1 year.

Any advice on training, nutrition, or supplementation is appreciated and criticisms as well. I’m 100% beginner, but my focus and desire is getting to the point where training is definitely something I value and am taking seriously. I think this post will serve as another personal motivation in my increasing stack of them…


Your back looks unhealthy crooked man. No offense.

I don’t think so. I took another look at that pic on my computer though and my back does look crooked, I don’t know if its because of the angle or the way I was standing, but I’m going to ask the Dr. about it the next time I go.

Looking pretty good for a beginner dude, how old are you?

Not sure about your goals to ‘lean out’ though, I would recommend a good few bulking cycles first add some mass (and a bit of fat I’m afraid) then look to lean out a bit.

It looks like your calves could use some direct work, since just your leg work isn’t seeming to make them grow.

How much do you weigh/height?

I’m 24, a tad under 5’7" and about 162 lbs. I used to work out all the time in high school and I played rugby. I went to college, did nothing and got fat and out of shape. I started going to the climbing gym my last couple years of college and tried to get back in shape, which was climb and do bike sprints. The climbing got my forearms and back pretty big and I never really lost the muscle I had when I was younger.

Tumbles thanks for the suggestion, I am going to start doing some direct calf work. I noticed today when after a set of something that my legs are getting bigger, and my calves are starting to look like toothpicks.

I want to get two solid months in before I figure out what I want to do in terms of bulking. Its climbing season again, although all my climbing partners moved away and I’m still working on learning a lot of lifts I’ve never done. I used to want to lose weight and be a lean 155, but this site has changed my opinion on the matter.

I don’t know if it is caused by your stance or due to the angle of the camera, but your legs looked to unsymmetrical. One have a definite bulge, while the other one looks slightly flatter. It might just be me as well since no one else mentioned it.

I think that’s mostly an illusion provided by his shorts-leg being pulled to a different height on each leg.

That is an illusion, although my chest is pretty unsymmetrical, which I think is genetic, although I could be wrong.

My calves really aren’t that small either, another effect of the camera. Although my shins are still sore from jump roping, and if anybody has any ideas on combat this I’m all ears. I ordered a new pair of shoes, which I hope will do the job.

Are you training the front part of the calves? If not, your shins will thank you for adding in some dorsiflexion training.