T Nation

I Need a Workout

I’m looking for some help finding a workout. I’ve looked at several of the ones on this site but I can’t seem to find something that I would follow. Plus I can’t do olympic lifts in my gym.

A little background:

I was at my heaviest at 220lbs at the end of last summer and over the winter I managed to lose about 10lbs. I was sort of watching what I was eating, but I’d still eat a whole bag of cookies or go out for fast food all the time. I really don’t know how I lost that weight. My sister talked me into doing the V-Diet with her and my cousin at the beginning of february. This was a great stepping stone for me, I am now very aware of my diet and have completely cleaned it up.

I managed to lose about 17lbs during it, and now I’m sitting around 190(At 6’0"). Before the V-Diet I was wearing 38/40 jeans and now I had to go shopping because thats dropped down to a 34. I go to the gym three times a week (usually Mon/Wed/Fri) and lift weights. I don’t follow any set routine, it just depends on how my body is feeling each workout.

I am still gaining strength in all my lifts(Bench is going up 5+lbs a week). I started doing deadlifts using light weight, mainly focusing on using the correct form. I’ve been doing squats and I’m still continuing to improve. Now I’m looking for a specific program to follow; can you guys help me out?

Well, Big Boy Basics is a traditional program that’s great. Starting Strength’s beginner routine by Rippetoe is good, but I don’t have it in front of me.

This is easy, since you’ve already gotten into the gym regularly by now. Congratulations on taking these first steps to changing your physique. Most people never get that far because they give up. Keep going.

If you don’t want to use Rippetoe’s program or Big Boy Basics, look into all the Beginner forum Stickied threads and read those programs. Pick one.

If you still don’t want to do any of that, here’s two options–If you can make the time to train consistently 4 days a week and NOT skip any days I recommend an Upper/Lower split.

Upper body–

horizontal push exercise
horizontal pull exercise
vertical push
vertical pull
Then any bicep/tricep/pec work you want

Lower body–

Hamstring dominant compound exercise (like deadlifts)
Squat exercise of some kind (front, back, box, bulgarian, overhead, whatever)
unilateral leg exercise–Lunges are my recommendation
Alternate Hamstring isolation/Low back exercise–like 45 degree back raises

On lunges go down 'til the knee touches the ground. Try and keep your torso as upright as possible, don’t slouch or lean forward.

Alternate hamstring isolation and low back exercise every lower body day–eg Mon do hammies, Friday do low back.

Work hard. Maintain good technique at all times, but strive to test yourself somehow. Pick different exercises for each day. You’ll do 2 Upper and 2 lower body days each week, so don’t repeat the exact same lift on both days. Keep the exercise list you made up for 6 weeks or so, then switch ALL your exercises to something different. Doesn’t have to be drastic, could be barbell to dumbell, front squat to back squat, or whatever. Or change the order you do the exercises in. Something.

If you can only do 3 days a week lifting consistently, do 1 Upper body day, 1 Lower body day, and 1 Whole body day each week. Whole body day is basically 5-6 exercises that train all your muscle groups. You shouldn’t need any more than 6 exercises if you’re doing things correctly. As always, AFTER the listed exercises are done, do whatever “beach work” you want.

Just want to say good work on changing your habits. And you should thank your sister for getting you sparked up in the first place :). But seriously, most people give up because they don’t have the willpower. It’s not that they can’t, it’s that they won’t. You did–survive the V-Diet, you’re good to go. Now get back to your former weight, but when you get there this time you’d better look like Arnold :).

Thank you for the very detailed response Aragorn.

The thing is I need a strict workout of x reps and x sets or I’ll just be going into the gym like I am now and working whatever I feel like, which isn’t the best strategy.

I haven’t found a basic program of just squats/deads/bench/etc without some type of hang clean or power clean exercise. I need to go into the gym with the mindset of knowing exactly what I’m there for.

Actually I just came across this:


I think it would work for me.

Has anyone here tried this program or something similar?

A little off topic, but we could really use a journal type of forum; I want to keep track of my workout on here while looking for advice but I see people have logs all over the place already.

If you click on “My T-page” you can start a blog there and log your workouts.

That workouts a good one.

Logging your workouts on your T-page and then using the search feature ( or PMing vets) when you need help sounds like a good idea.