T Nation

Is This a Good Plan for Serious Gains?


This year I really want to make some serious gains over the summer.
I can recall last year during summer I worked really hard yet made minimal gains due to many training errors including not cycling,only liftig heavy resulting in stagnation, under nutrition and a lack of sleep.

this year I revamped everything and wanted to runit by you guys to see how it looks.

Breakfast: 2 large bowls of cheerios with .5 multivitamin

immdeiatly pre-practice I have a gatorade

Football Practice: M,W lift upper body T, TH lift lower along with daily conditioning,speed drills and general practice.gatorade during water breaks

Immediatly after practice: a ton of chocolate milk, but self made so not permeated in chocolate

Lunch as soon as I get home: 3 peanut butter sandwiches, 3 apples, and 2 glasses of milk

From here I go to an internship that lasts for 4-5 hours

Pre- second workout: 2 gatorade, other .5vitamin

evening workout: Monday-chest, tuesday- bi's,back and legs, wed- shoulders, thursday same as tuesday, Friday same as monday

Chocolate milk again immediatly after

whatever for dinner

glass of milk and apple right before bed

Note I'm a high-school kid with minimal income so I can't buy suplements so I make do thebest I can with plain foods

How's it look?


Right off the bat, you’re eating almost no protein. That sucks. Whole food is fine, if you can’t get any protein like Metabolic Drive, but where’s the eggs? Tuna? Chicken? Turkey? Roast beef sandwiches? At least one portion of each of these should be in every meal.

You’ve 5’10, 165, (what’s your age?) and you’re training twice a day four or five days a week. Dude, you should be eating hella-high calories (protein, fat, and carbs) all day, everyday.

And what exactly does the “lift upper body/lift lower” mean:

What are you doing in those workouts?

And why are you doing a bodypart split five days straight, Monday through Friday? That kind of split, in addition to your frequent football training, is counterproductive to building the most muscle and it won’t help your football.

Also, just to clue you in:

You’re training chest by itself, but squeezing back and legs into one workout. Don’t be that guy.

Take a look at Westside for Skinny Bastards 2:

I think that would be a solid choice for your situation.


I’m 5’9" 180ish and 16 going on 17

I try and get all my protien in milk and some in peanut butter. I know its not wht you think of when you think of protien, but over the coarse of the day it turns out to be a good bit. We usually eat some form of meat for dinner normally chicken or turkey like you mentioned.

I’m not one of those no-legs guys, its just we dolots of speed training and conditioning in fottball, along with practice which wears out your legs. even though it looks like I’m skimping on the legs, it all basically evens out.

sorry I didn’t go into the workouts in detail. when we do upper body Its normally 1 chest 1back 1 shoulder 1 tricep and 1 sport specific lift.

But tat waslast year this year we’re prolly doing 4 chest exercises and 4 back exersises one day, the next is 4 shoulder and 4 legs. idk exactly what we’re doing since we haven’t gotten the program yet. We’ll prolly go on a macrocycle starting with hypertrophy,going through strength training and ending with power right before the season starts

Thankyou for the link, i like it a lot, I have a couple of questions : what do they mean when they say “work up to” and what should the rest intervals be between lifts. I know you didn’t write the program but
do you have anything off prior knowledge??


does this thing submit right away or did my post just not send??


x2 on most. im a highschool lineman, so i know what busy is.

  1. with breakfast, try to eat some peanut butter with it or some hard boiled eggs, good protien and if you boil the eggs the night beofre, its easy.

  2. train legs and back on a diffrent day try this maybe:

monday-chest, tuesday-back, wednesday-legs, thursday-shoulders, friday-arms.

  1. for lunch, eat ur pbjs, but put a more pb on it, and drink as much 2% milk or whole milk as you can, milk has great protien in it.

  2. if you want to bulk, do agility drills during the week, but keep cardio untill mid june to 2 days max per week. grant it, youll not be in as great of shape, but youll get alot more muscle and a bulk too

btw what pos. do you play?


[quote]Vnation wrote:
I’m 5’9" 180ish and 16 going on 17[/quote]

I was just repeating the info you have in your profile:
Weight: 165
Height: 5’10"
Body fat %: 10-15%
Years Training: 2

Relying on only two protein sources (one of which is relatively-poor quality) is simply a bad plan.

No, it really doesn’t. Let’s even say you go through a full gallon of milk each day, that’s about 165 grams of protein (most guys have this in addition to their regular diet to add some major size). And let’s say you get another 25 or so from peanut butter (which would be about six tablespoons worth).

I’d call that an okay amount for someone your size looking to build muscle. But factor in all the extra training you’re doing, and your body’s going to need even more. Like I said, eggs, tuna, and turkey or roast beef sandwiches are fairly cheap and should be on your daily menu.

Still, having just one well-balanced meal per day is not the way to go for building muscle.

Ah, the old “I do lots of cardio so I can’t train legs too much” line. I absolutely understand and appreciate the intensive legwork of athletics. However, even with frequent sports practice, you need to train your legs with heavy weights in order to build strength and size, which will also carryover to your field performance.

The trick is knowing what you’ll be required to do as part of your sports practice, and then complimenting that with work in the gym. It’s a combination of the getting the right schedule (five days of lifting isn’t it) and getting the right intensity. (Plus, smarter nutrition will help you recover and not be as sore afterwards.)

Even with the WS4SB2 plan I mentioned, it includes speed work, but you’d need to coordinate that on your own and take your on-field practices into consideration.

Well, you still didn’t go into detail about the workouts (exercises, sets, reps), but if you don’t have the plan yet, that’s understandable.

If these workouts are mandatory, you’ll have to really do some planning to see how to add extra workout without being redundant. Is there any way you can talk to the coach for exemption from these gym workouts, as long as you still do the on-field stuff?

Working up to a 3-5 rep max is basically doing sets of 3-5 reps, and increasing the weight each set until you can’t get at least 3 good, solid reps. So it could be something like:

If you have a weight and you can get more than 5 reps, the weight’s too light. If you can’t get at least 3 good reps, the weight’s too heavy. Be sure to keep track of the weight and reps you’re doing, and do more with one or the other (more weight or more reps) in every workout.

Not rushed, but no putzing and taking forever. If you had to time it, I’d say at least a full minute, maybe closer to two, probably no longer than three.


what if I had egg white sandwiches for lunch instead of peanut butter? I know egg whites are basically the best natural protien you can get. I would eat them for breakfast but I need quick energy for 7AM practice and also a havy meal sitting in my stomach is just a heavy meal that might come back the other way.

Also would you recommend doing the same body part all day ie upper body monday morning and afternoon, or would it be better to do the oppisite in the afternoon as you do in the morning.

Finally, what if its not possible to dothe strongman exersises due to a lack of equipment and facilaties? what would yo recommend as a substitute

Thankyou for all your help, your advice has been an incredible help

p.s. And yes, I will do all the legs the program recommends. i used to be one of those guys and I don’t want to go back.


what about this, its a better plan, right?



[quote]Vnation wrote:
what if I had egg white sandwiches for lunch instead of peanut butter? I know egg whites are basically the best natural protien you can get. I would eat them for breakfast but I need quick energy for 7AM practice and also a havy meal sitting in my stomach is just a heavy meal that might come back the other way.[/quote]

Changing just one of your meals isn’t going to cut it. If you really want to build muscle, you’re going to have to change your entire plan. Quite honestly, you’re going to need to add more meat in there somewhere. Or some more concentrated sourcce of protein. At 180, you need to shoot for 200g+ of protein. Egg white sandwiches aren’t going to get you there alone.


[quote]Vnation wrote:
what if I had egg white sandwiches for lunch instead of peanut butter? I know egg whites are basically the best natural protien you can get.[/quote]

Why is your instinct to go with egg whites instead of whole eggs? By tossing out the yolk you’re missing out on: A - half the protein in the egg; B - essential fats found only in the yolk; and C - calories. You’re not a pre-contest bodybuilder, you’re a football player. Eat whole eggs. But yeah, an egg sandwich would be a very good call anytime of day.

Not sure exactly what you’re asking here. The WS4SB2 plan has upper body heavy/low rep on Monday and relatively-lighter/moderate rep Thursday, and lower body on Tuesday.

If you’re lifting with the team in other sessions, I’m guessing you’re stuck to that schedule, so you’ll be doing whatever they do during the day. I’d get try to have a good postworkout drink, recover as best you can, and then hit it hard in the other session (be sure to have a postworkout drink after that lifting session too).

The article says:
Note: If you can’t perform strongman training on this day, you can substitute it with another running day. This running day can consist of a dynamic warm-up followed by sport-specific drills. Kettlebell training is also another great alternative on this day

Presuming you don’t have any kettlebells (and if you don’t have any running drills in your practice that day), you could do some moderately-higher rep work with a single dumbbell. Hang cleans, swings, overhead squats, high pulls, etc. It wouldn’t be a majorly intense workout. Maybe 20-30 minutes, but it would get you moving around and work on general conditioning, as well as sparking your appetite to get you eating even more that day.

That actually reminds me of another one of DeFranco’s ideas to help skinnier guys put on size. See “the hour of power” on page four here:

Two big meals each week would be a good investment of whatever pocket money you have. Do some serious damage at the local fast food dollar menu, head to the supermarket for a shopping basket full of good eats, whatever it takes.

Good on 'ya. Like I said, hitting the legs with weights is important, you just need to do it right so it doesn’t interfere with your practices.

That’s DeFranco’s Part 3 plan. It’s not necessarily “better”, it’s different and he designed it a while after creating the first version. Part 3 calls for training with weights four days a week, which, on top of your five day practices, I think would be too much to deal with for now.

I’d rather stick with the Part 2 I mentioned, especially since it’s specifically designed to incorporate running. DeFranco even says right in the Part 2 article:
Remember that this sample program is geared toward football players who are preparing for training camp; therefore, conditioning workouts have increased and some adjustments must be made to their weight training, especially their leg workouts.