T Nation

I Want More From My Workouts

Hi everyone,

This is my first post. I have a few questions about my regimen that I would like to bounce off of you guys.

I have been lifting heavy for almost a year now. Before that I worked a hard labor job and did P90X three times and before that I was in the military.

I was sucked in recently to the “I, Bodybuilder” program, and I’m on my last week, final 2 workouts. While I DO like a lot of the exercises (a lot of which I had never done before), I have a couple of concerns I would like to share.

I have the time to commit between 1-2 hours in the gym every weekday. I can maintain this pace indefinitely as I very rarely get sore enough to not want to go back every day. But, with this I, Bodybuilder program I find that some days I will only need 30 minutes to complete the entire workout.

I want more! I want to feel more like I am really killing it in the gym. I feel like the harder I hit it, the better my results will be. However, I like the structure that accompanies the program. I like knowing what I’m going to do and how many sets, etc.

Is there a program that I could follow that will allow me to take it to the next level? Or should I accept that this is a reasonable amount of exertion to build muscle as fast as possible?

Here is some info on me that may help to sway your decision:

5’10’’, 167 lbs, 8.5% BF, Max wt bench ~235, Max wt deadlift ~250, Max wt squat ~250

I can do pushups/pullups for days, run for miles (although usually I do intervals), and I have a lot of explosive energy waiting to be tapped into. I feel like a caged animal all the time except for the 1-3 hours after working out.

Any advice?

Thanks,

Adam

You aren’t ready for the programs that will ‘take you to the next level’. It would be best to become proficient at the basics before you try to do the advanced (or sprint before you can walk) Can you shows us some videos of your squat/bench/deadlift? And what your other lifts are (what you can do for rows, what you can do for over head presses, chin ups, pull ups ect)? Also what are your goals, do you want to become extremely strong, as huge as you can get, big and symmetrical?

5/3/1 3 month challenge, or advanced gvt

Want more exertion? Want more intense workouts? Feel like a “caged animal”?

Squat. Deadlift.

[quote]AdamEE wrote:
I want more! I want to feel more like I am really killing it in the gym. I feel like the harder I hit it, the better my results will be.[/quote]
This mentality puts the priority on the wrong things. Do you want a hard workout that leaves you feeling like death or do you want a productive workout? One is not always connected to the other.

[quote]Is there a program that I could follow that will allow me to take it to the next level?

5’10’’, 167 lbs, 8.5% BF, Max wt bench ~235, Max wt deadlift ~250, Max wt squat ~250[/quote]
The “next level”, for you, should be a lower body-empasis program or a basic strength-focused program.

Barring some previous injury you haven’t mentioned yet, there’s no reason your squat, bench, and deadlift should be nearly the same after almost a year of lifting. You’re slacking in lower body work, so unleash your caged animal by having two leg days per week. :wink:

Try one of these routine for a few months:




Thank you all for the swift replies!

After a little testing in the gym today I found my deadlift to be closer to ~300lbs with squats at ~250.

YES, my squat is lacking, as is a lot of my lower body as several of you have mentioned. I will definitely move to progress in this area! Thank you for this good suggestion!

I would be happy to post some videos from my workout this saturday, as I am going with a friend (normally a lone wolf). I suppose this is so you can monitor my form. I try to always explode out/up, then have a controlled, steady descent before exploding the next rep, repeat.

A few other points I want to address, since you guys were nice enough to reply…

[quote]DSSG wrote:
And what your other lifts are (what you can do for rows, what you can do for over head presses, chin ups, pull ups ect)? Also what are your goals, do you want to become extremely strong, as huge as you can get, big and symmetrical?[/quote]

Unfortunately for rows, the row machine in my gym (like many of them) has plates labeled 1-20ish with no conversion ratio to weight. I even asked the staff, and they don’t know either. On other machines, the weight will be considerably off. For instance, there is a squat machine where I can do 2-3 reps on “400” and like I mentioned already, I can’t squat anywhere near that.

My overhead press is ~150lbs max, I can use the weight belt to max pull ups at ~100lbs max, lying tricep extension ~90lbs max, barbell curl ~100lbs max, shoulder shrugs ~300lbs max…

I don’t go into the gym and test my max to get these numbers, I’m doing the math knowing I can do 2-5 reps on a weight that is approx 15% lighter before experiencing technical failure of the rep.

My goal, for now, is to get much, much bigger. Eventually I can see myself wanting to perfect symmetry and such, but for now I want to just get bigger!

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
This mentality puts the priority on the wrong things. Do you want a hard workout that leaves you feeling like death or do you want a productive workout? One is not always connected to the other.[/quote]

You are absolutely right. If I am getting results, it shouldn’t bother me that I’m not drop-dead exhausted after a workout.

[quote]The “next level”, for you, should be a lower body-empasis program or a basic strength-focused program.

Barring some previous injury you haven’t mentioned yet, there’s no reason your squat, bench, and deadlift should be nearly the same after almost a year of lifting. You’re slacking in lower body work, so unleash your caged animal by having two leg days per week. ;)[/quote]

Once again, thanks for this suggestion. I will certainly take your advice to heart and focus more on my lower body strength. I DO tend to have weaker joints in my lower body (was medically discharged for blown knee 6 years ago) and my ankles and hips are touchy. But even so, there’s rarely enough discomfort to dissuade me from getting in the gym. I just tend to be very very careful about form and how I attack those lower body exercises.

Thanks again, everyone!

-Adam

\heavy squats will do it.

This totally taxed my cns and completely alters my appetite. I would look for chances to sit down throughout the day to give the legs a rest and so I was recovered enough for the next session.