T Nation

Is This a Sufficient Beginner Routine?

Hello all! I have not really ever fully committed to a workout plan. Not for long, anyway. I am actually giving it a real shot this time and have been doing the routine detailed below for about 3 weeks now. I was wondering if anyone had any better suggestions? My goal is to cut my fat (I’m currently around 23% body fat) and make some noticeable gains in the process.

ME:
Male
33 years old
6’2"
212 lbs

Routine:
Bench press 3 sets of 15 @ 50lbs
Bent over rows 3 sets of 15 @ 50lbs
Squat 3 sets of 15 @ 50lbs
Overhead lift 3 sets of 15 @ 50lbs
Biceps curl 3 sets of 15 @ 50lbs
Calf raise 3 sets of 15 @ 50lbs
Crunches 3 sets of 20

I only own a cheap weight bench that maxes out at 100lbs that includes weights, barbell, and rollers for the legs. I have no dumbells nor can I find any due to everyone now having to workout from home. I do this at least 5 times a week. I have cut out soda and beer from diet as I used to drink both of those quite a bit.

I know I’m going to get killed for this, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I have been supplementing with Test Cyp @ 500mg a week, once a week, for 3 weeks now.

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions other than to say that I shouldn’t be taking testosterone? Please. Anything would be appreciated.

Get off steroids. Otherwise,

First of all, how have these numbers improved in the last three weeks? The most important aspect of training is to improve over time.

What is your progression plan?

Second to that, how many times per week are you doing that routine?

Third to that, why are you curling the same weight that you’re squatting? You said you have access to 100lbs, so why not use it.

Fourth to that, why not do push-ups or other bodyweight exercises, if weight is your limiting factor.?

In the immortal words of @Chris_Colucci
“What, exactly, did you eat yesterday”

Finally, why did you struggle with maintaining regular training in the past, and what strategies are you implementing now to help you stay on track? Is there any specific reason that you’re getting back into training now?

Also get off steroids

2 Likes

I echo what j4gga2 asked/suggested.

With limited weight, you may want to look at lunges and split squats.

Thanks for the reply. I’m a work in progress…

The routine originally called for 3 sets of 12 at 40lbs. I’ve pushed it up a little. It also called to curl 30lbs and I overhead press 30lbs so that where I started.

At least 5 times per week.

I could probably go outside and squat more weight so I can drop the bar if I need to.i can bench the 100lbs, I just don’t have anyone here to assist if the shit hit the fan.

Push-ups are little rough on my shoulders. I have Avascular Necrosis and some things I just can’t do with a metal shoulder and hips. I am open to suggestions, though.

I had a sandwich, 3 protein shakes, 2 chicken breasts, and a bag of popcorn.

I’m just tired of being out of shape. This is the most I have ever weighed in my life and is like to be in shape if I’m going to weigh this much.

I’m always happy to admit that I flat-out stole that approach from Dan John.

Speaking of Dan John, his article about complexes would be pretty spot-on for this situation - a guy with limited equipment looking to drop fat and get into shape.

Does this mean you realize you shouldn’t be taking it? Or you’re going to keep taking it regardless of people suggesting you stop?

Starting PCT immediately is the right idea. If you put up a new thread in the Pharma forum, the guys there can help you sort out a plan to end the cycle and minimize issues.

4 Likes

Thanks for the article recommendation. I’ll give it a read when I get out of work!

No. I just felt like I needed something to get me over the initial hump. In the past, I’d work out for a couple of months and not see any improvement. Whether that be lack of a good plan, poor diet, not giving it enough time, or all of the above… I plan to stop in 5 weeks and I do have a PCT plan in place. From what I have read a short, test only cycle with proper PCT, shouldn’t completely wreck my endocrine system and get me some noticeable results to keep me motivated to keep going. That’s the goal, anyway. I appreciate any and all advice and won’t dismiss it immediately, I just want something to get me started.

How did you come to the decision that taking steroids was a good idea when you’re limited in weight and just starting to train for the first time in your life?

I have worked out in the past without getting the results I wanted. My explanation above is my logic, flawed or not. If my logic is flawed, please tell me why. Everyone seems to think that running a test only cycle with proper PCT is a bad idea, but nobody has explained why it is a bad idea. It seems to work for many others. Again, I’m open to suggestions and criticisms. Is running an 8 week cycle really going to be so detrimental that I won’t recover? Just a little push is all I’m looking for out of this. Thanks for the reply.

I don’t think anybody’s actually said that. They’ve said that you shouldn’t be doing a cycle, which is correct because you don’t have a decent training or diet plan in place and because you don’t seem knowledgable enough to setup a training or diet plan, which makes it unlikely that you’re knowledgable enough to alter your body’s biochemistry safely.

Your workout routine is pretty crap, to be blunt. Having such limited equipment is a legit challenge, but there are so many better ways a plan could’ve been setup. Doing curls and squats for the exact same sets and reps with the exact same weight is just absurd.

All we know about your diet is that you used to drink a lot of soda and beer, and have cut those out. Definitely a good first step, but what’s the rest of your diet actually like?

Using gear is a personal choice, of course, but using it as a quick fix/motivation boost like you did is pretty irresponsible and short-sighted. Figuring out why you weren’t able to get results previously would’ve been a safer and more effective option that set you up for even better results when you turned to anabolics down the road.

5 Likes

That is a fair assessment.

I will look into getting in more weight on my squats. I appreciate the advice. I’ll also look into the article you sent me to get a more complete workout.

I work from 12pm-11pm.

My diet looks like:
4-5 eggs in the morning (11:00am)
Light lunch around 4pm including mostly fruits and, if I can get a some quad curls in, a protein shake.
An evening snack around 7 or 8- usually a salad.
That usually suffices my hunger until I get off and can get a workout in at 11. Afterwards I eat 2-3 baked skinless chicken breasts, green beans, and corn followed with a protein shake. Typically, anyway.

I think you would have been better off investing in proper training/education before buying steroids.

I also don’t think you have enough training knowledge/experience or even equipment to make the most of a cycle, and I don’t think you’ll make much more progress than if you stayed natty. Addressing nutrition/sleep/lifestyle was much lower hanging fruit than taking steroids.

Steroids are always a risk vs reward decision. Making an educated decision on whether or not you use them means understanding, fully, the risks, as well as the potential rewards.

When you don’t know how to eat or train for progress without steroids, you wont be able to eat or train for progress with steroids. Therefore you are taking all of the risks of steroids, with very little or no potential reward. THAT is why its a bad idea.

The lack of steroids was not the reason your previous attempts didn’t work. You should have fixed that issue first.

2 Likes

That makes sense. I may have jumped the gun a bit. I’ll get my house in order before continuing with the test.

I likely had a large amount of confirmation bias while doing my research. I definitely looked into using testosterone more so than I did my workout plan and diet… I am going to spend more time researching a better workout plan and if/when this cycle fails to produce results, I’ll hold off until I get some more experience and strength under my belt. Thank you all for your replies.

1 Like

So yeah, like @Chris_Colucci mentioned, your routine isn’t the best. Though it’s good that you’ve improved (I think, I may have misinterpreted), it could definitely be better. Try this instead:

Mondays and Fridays:

  1. Squats: 3 x 10
  2. RDL’s: 3 x 10
  3. Reverse Lunges: 3 x 10

Wednesdays and Saturdays:

  1. Bench Press: 3 x 10
  2. Overhead Press: 3 x 10
  3. Barbell Row: 3 x 10
  4. Curls: 3 x 10

When you max-out your weights, go to sets of 15, then sets of 20, then sets of 25, then sets of 30. It’s not perfect but you’ll still get hypertrophy. Gaining absolute strength probably isn’t going to happen, but it’s far better than nothing. If possible, I strongly urge you to buy more weights as it will increase your training options.

Diet-wise, keep reading up but:

  • Eat as much meat, fish and eggs as you want
  • Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want
  • Eat potatoes, rice, oatmeal, beans and lentils as your primary carb
  • Eat carbs to support training
  • Fats from Olive oil, coconut oil and butter are okay

The rest of the advice in this thread is very good too

1 Like

Thanks for the tips! I will incorporate this into my next week and see how it goes.

1 Like

citizen_kane

3 Likes

On my days off can I maintain the same diet? I fucked up tonight and put chilli all over 2 hot dogs. I shouldn’t have. My question is, on rest days do you eat the same as WO days?

There’s more than one way to skin a dead cat. Some coaches will recommend eat less calories, some might recommend changing the carbs:fats ratio on off days, some don’t pay too much attention. In all honesty, especially if you’re just starting out, there doesn’t need to be a huge difference in calorie intake between training days and off days. If your goal is to lose weight, just make sure you’re in a negative energy balance across the whole week, prioritising protein and vegetables, and eating carbs to support your training.

this alone shows you really dont know what you’re doing, your week must feel like a helluva rollercoaster

Re training: Look up the current Home equipment thread -STACKED with good routines for minimal equipment

1 Like