T Nation

Just an Introduction..

I have been training just 16 months, so I still definitely class myself as a beginner. When I started I weighted 133 pounds at 5ft 10, that is pretty damn skinny, my “natural strength” was equally poor, starting with lifts such as a 20kg squat, 20kg deadlift (i am not joking) and bench, less then 20kg also.

I got up to around 148-150 fairly easily, then I discovered T-Nation and starting understanding diet much better, about a year ago. I am up to around 159-160 now, so I have put on a fair bit of weight, even though i’m still very small. Not exactly sure on the body-fat but I’ll put a couple of pics up to give you an idea.

Anyway, my goals for the end of 2009-
Minimum of 170 pounds at around same body-fat, or less.
Progress my deadlift up to at least 120kg for reps (80kg atm)
Progress my squat up to at least 100kg (embarrasing at around 40-50kg atm)
Progress my bench up to roughly my bodyweight (currently again 40-50kg, making my squat even more embarrasing)

I hope to do so through practising form precisely on all my big lifts.
Lifting heavy and hard
Eating at least 6 meals a day
Taking whey protein, creatine, fish oils and multivitamin

Oh, and i’m 17, not that it should make a difference.

Any advice right off the bat? I read plenty of articles every day but it’s still nice to know other “real people’s” opinions
Thanks

I’m not trying to be a dick, but body weight deadlift after 16 months seems low. (Not that you shouldn’t be happy with your progress thus far, you have come a long way.)

I would put money on the fact that your stronger than you think, and you can blaze your goal of 120kg in less than twelve months. I would bet your just not pushing yourself hard enough. Or you have the same problem I have, my brain unconsciously was limiting myself thinking the weight was heavy, when it really isn’t as heavy as I thought.

Good progress so far. Now increase the weight, increase the food, and lift your ass off.

Starting Strength. And plenty of food.

Welcome to the Nation.

^ agreed with both. Lift hard, eat a lot, and you should be able to accomplish all those goals in much less than a year. And that you’re 17 actually does make a difference. You should be able to gain a lot more than 10 pounds in a year.

I agree. The goals are way to low. It doesn’t hurt to reach for the sky.

You can do a fair bit with a full year of consistant training.

Honestly, rather than set macro-goals at this stage in the game, hop on the Starting Strength bandwagon (one of the forum vets was awesome enough to put together a thread on it entitled ‘Starting Strength: The Guide’) and focus on making consistent progress every week or two. You’d be surprised at how much strength you can pack on by consistently adding 5 lbs each workout/week.

All the replies are much appreciated guys.

I’ll clear things up with where i’m at… I have been benching since the start of when i worked out, but squatting and deadlifting… well, probably around 10 months, i realise my figures in all 3 lifts are terrible, i put this down to two factors

a/ very poor form. through watching tutorial videos from trusted strength coaches and reading articles i am starting to clean my technique up and realising a 40kg squat with proper form is better then a 60kg one that’s doing me no good at all.
b/ This comes under the ‘starting strength’ suggestion, to an extent. I’m currently on a 3 day fullbody workout consisting of (roughly)

  • Light Squats
  • Heavy Deadlift
  • Bodyweight dips
  • Bent-over rows (50kg)
  • Triceps Pushdowns
  • Some form of bicep curl (personally into the ‘alternative constant tension dumbell curls’ as seen in a thib article iirc)
  • Smith machine ‘Calf Press’ using around 100kg

I will rotate that with

  • Light Deadlift
  • Heavy Squats
  • Push Press
  • Chin-ups
  • rest as above

Anyway, what i think i am finding with this (and the reason /b at last) is my recovery does not seem suffecient from one work out to the next to really hit the compounds hard sesssion after session, what sort of recovery have you guys been experiencing with the ‘starting strength’ program? as it is not majorly different from what im trying now, or doesn’t seem to be?

Thanks again, i set my goals as a "minumum’ and lifts wise, i fully expect to far exceed my goals if i get everything right and the progression flows, with hopefully the weight to follow.

Oh yeah, and i got Atomic Dog as a christmas present, I’m sure as hell set for success now.

[quote]jake_j_m wrote:

Anyway, what i think i am finding with this (and the reason /b at last) is my recovery does not seem suffecient from one work out to the next to really hit the compounds hard sesssion after session, [/quote]

At 17 I would say your not eating enough, and up too late with your girlfriend.

Eat more, alot more. And drink more milk.

Slow down on the partying if you are, (but not too much, just drink less and go to bed at a reasonable time, but still have fun with your buddies)

Sleep. Don’t forget to sleep. Your body needs it.

Honestly, just eat more. I’m kicking down 30’s door, and I can heavy squat & heavy dead in consecutive days, just not every week.

Also, life stress can be a bitch. If school+family+work+whatever = super high stress, that could contribute to the lack of recovery.

Haha, thanks for the reply, made me laugh too. Not to worry now though, split up with my girlfriend anyway!

Being serious, though, Sleep wise i get between 7 1/2 and 9 hours a night, so that shouldnt really be a problem, but I will try to stop/limit the amount of nights i go to bed at 1-2 or later, because it means I’m getting up later which throws my diet out of sync a little.

Diet wise, a typical non-training day for me (assuming i woke up at 9am) would be.
-9.15 2 scoops protein shake (40g of protein), 1 wrap with either ham/chicken/any meat in it and usually a bit of cheese, lettuce, mayo, branston.
-11.30- 1 wrap with either ham/chicken/any meat in it and usually a bit of cheese, lettuce, mayo, branston.
-1.00- 1 wrap with either ham/chicken/any meat in it and usually a bit of cheese, lettuce, mayo, branston.
-3.00- 1 wrap with either ham/chicken/any meat in it and usually a bit of cheese, lettuce, mayo, branston.
-5.00-6.00- Dinner usually consists of Spaghetti Bolognese, a pasta bake, Salmon+peas, something like that.
7-00-9.00- Usually another wrap but sometimes a 2 scoop protein shake + a bannana
11.30/whenever i hit the sack- 1 scoop casien 1 scoop standard (40g protein in total)

That equates to (roughly) at least 175g or so of protein a day. and at least 175g of carb.
With this in mind my diet should be suffecient without changing too much, i’m just thinking about adding a protein shake with every other wrap to bump up the protein and have to consider making good fats part of my diet, for this I’m thinking coconut milk for the price/high fat values.

Thanks for the reply again, I’m pretty sure I’m going to give the starting strength a go, since it’s not majorly different from my current routine anyway!

edit: I should have mentioned the fact i go out most wednesday and friday nights and drink maybe 3-4 ‘pints worth’ of alchohol, I will try and limit this and am cutting out beers/ciders in the hope that drinking vodka etc. instead will at least limit the calories and bloat from the alchohol, even if not the adverse effects. Be interesting if anyone has read anything about the effects alchohol has on muscle recovery, though.

An update, just to prove i’m actually listening to you guys!

Started the starting strength today!

I’ve eat well and slept well and i was prepared, my effort levels were at an all time high, especially since i knew i only needed to get through 5 reps, not 8, so new PRs of 85kg deadlift, 52.5kg bench (4 reps on the last set though), and squatted last set at 55kg.

I feel i’m definitely going to make big strides in strength on this program, it just makes sense now i’ve tried it! now to learn power cleans…

also: im using the ‘smith rack’ shudderrr for my squats as my gym has no squat rack (buying one soon for a home gym) and also for the bench press, as my gym only has incline or bench dumbells, i realise these are far from ideal but i figured ill increase my strength as much as i can while using them (they do work, if not ideally).

then use lower weights and work my way up again when i can perform the exercises free.

I don’t think anyone’s really said it yet, so I’m going to, even if it sounds a bit mean: You can lift heavier than you are lifting. I’m sorry but there is no way that after lifting for 16 months your bench, and even more so your squat, should be just over 100 pounds for 5 reps. Start throwing a whole lot more weight on there, and really lifting hard, because I straight up do not believe that is the most you can lift, and if you are not lifting the most you can lift, you are not going to get any kind of good results.

Well, i think it was a combination of things, but this program has allowed me to increase the sort of weight im lifting already just through lower reps, most effort i’ve ever put in, and doing everything close enough to right. as i pointed out ive not been deadlifting that long, and seriously say 8-10 months, squat more like 6 months, bench press i’ve often done with dumbells etc. but for whatever reason it just was happening until now. no, im not immediantly strong, but its progression.

today i did:
Squat: 3x5. iirc i did a set at 55, then 52.5, then 3 reps before i couldnt carry on the last set at 52.5, something like that.
bench: 52.5, 5, 5, 5, i think.
Deadlift 90kg 3 reps (grip gave out) then about 10 seconds later just managed the last 2 reps, forgot to use chalk otherwise i’m sure it will be 5 ok, so i’m going to try 92.5kg next week
dips 2x8: completed

workout b i started on:
power clean 40kg (not every rep was perfect form, pretty hard exercise to do properly first time)
military 30kg 3x5
2x8 chinups. managed about 5 each set.

probably need to write down the exact weights but its progression, if i can put just 2.5kg on my squat and deadlift every week and 2.5kg over other on bench, once the twelves weeks is up my strength should be much improved:

maybe 115kg+ deadlift
maybe around 75kg+ squat+
maybe around 65kg+ benchpress

if i can exceed these fine, i will, because i always look to use very maximum weights (at last) and if i find the first set not painful enough, an extra 2.5kg will be straight on.

If it all goes well i’m going to stay on this program until my progression stops, obviously, nice to consider i might actually have lifts that suggest i work out in 6 months time :wink: