T Nation

Listening to Paul's Advice, Optimizing It for my Situation

#1

Hey Paul,

I spent some time going through your posts (by recommendation of some users), such as the one on volume, and reading his responses. The main takeaways I’ve taken away are

  • get stronger on the compound basic movements in the 8-12 rep range
  • focus on basic lifts
  • 8-12sets a week

About me, I’m 17, and aside from the noobie gains, I don’t think i’ve accomplished anything in two years of lifting weights. impressive other than maybe a physique that resembles a typical high school male. So basically abs and then nothing.

My biggest mistake is not listening to users on here that actually gave me good advice. That will change.

I took some time off from serious gym training this past year in order to set myself up for the future (got stellar grades, finished my sophomore/junior years of high school and now I am in a pretty good situation life-wise). I still “trained” the whole time, but it was half assed training and diet, no commitment. Don’t worry, I am going to fix that. I still lifted, put on a tiny bit of muscle, but obviously not as much as it should have been due to poor training/diet choices. Now basically, after two years, I feel that I’m back to square one- good news is that I’m still only 17, learned from my mistakes . And I’m ready to train, I’m getting back in the gym.

There’s not a single gym within a 20 mile radius that is an actual gym, and not a Planet Fitness tier abomination. .So I went and bought my own rack, and barbell, and pullup bar, and some weights. So obviously I’ve got some equipment limitations as to what I can do. Here are lifts I can build my routine around. I organized them in terms of category

PUSH:

  • Bench Press
  • Overhead Press / Push Press
  • Dips (Weighted / BW)
  • Lateral Raises (done holding weight plates)

PULL:

  • Deadlifts
  • Barbell Rows
  • Pullups/Chinups (Weighted / BW)
  • Rear Lateral Raises (done holding weight plates)

LEGS

  • Squat (Front/Back)
  • RDL
  • Leg Extensions
  • Lying Hamstring Extensions

I understand this might not be optimal for mass training but it’s better than nothing. So my question is, how would structure a routine that fits my goals (strength + hypertrophy) and experience?

1 Like
Back to Square 1, but Am I Truly a Beginner?
#2

It’s not bad. Drop the deadlifts if you’re doing RDL’s, and do supinated grip pulldowns or the hammer version that allows that for lats instead of pull ups since you’re doing barbell rows already.

Chins and pull ups, especially the kind where you’re in a pronated wrist really bias the upper back more. It’s not that the lats don’t get hit, it’s just that it’s not an optimal movement to bias the lats. I wish the whole “do chins for wide lats, bro” shit would die.

1 Like
Question to You Guys: What Do You THINK is the Main Driver for Muscle Growth?
#3

Thanks Paul. You’re a good guy.

I’m curious, when did you start training? I read on your instagram once you got huge the summer you were 17

#4

I started lifting when I was 14, and 98 pounds. By 17 I was 205 and 225 at 18.

#5

nice, Paul. I’m essentially your 14 at 17.

#6

Paul, I hate to bother you, but you have so many good beginner programs and I’m having trouble picking. In addition there’s a bit of discepencies between the programs. I read through them and I’ll offer my understanding from the programs

1. EliteFTS: Young Skinny Guy’s Guide To Mass

What I like about this program:

  • Some type of upper body work everyday
  • The title speaks to me!

Potential Cons:

  • 3x a week may not be enough stimulus? (As elaborated below)

**2. Starting Off Right on LRB

Okay, here’s where there’s a bit of conflicting information that I would like to clear up with you. You quoted in the article

A lot of beginner programs suggest training three times a week but I think it needs to be more. I will explain why. When you are a novice or intermediate, adaptation to stimulus is at an all time high. But so is recovery. This is why growth and progress are so substantial in the early stages. Because the body is having to learn coordination of the movements, incurs muscle damage very easily, and yet also because you’re not very strong can recover quite easily. If you want to progress as quickly as possible, train four to six times a week as a beginner. As you progress up through the intermediate ranks, you will then probably have to scale things back, and maybe even more become very advanced.

So I do like the increased frequency, cause I like to go to the gym! So I was thinking, should I use that EliteFTS program but do it 4-6x a week? basically ULULUL?

3. LRB post on beginner programming and combining programming methods

I like the layout of this program as well

4. Base Building

I’m not sure if the name “base building” means its a beginner program or not.

#7

He reviewed your program and gave you some changes to it. Why not just run what you posted with the changes he suggested?

2 Likes
#8

Paul wrote a whole e-book especially for beginners: Inception.

#9

because the suggestions he gave have to do with exercise selection and not things such as frequency

#10

Train 3,4,5 whatever days a week. The part about how a beginner has a higher ceiling for trainability is true, i.e. the gap between the stimulus you can provide and recovery. That means you can’t really overrun your ability to recover. That doesn’t mean you should live in the gym either. Training for the sake of training is stupid. The whole point of training is to get the adaptation you want from the stimulus. Not to be in the gym to get tired.

You’re really hung up on routines. Which so many young guys are. So the questions will be endless because you’re in search of a “perfect” routine. Dude, I can spot that shit a mile away.

3 Likes
#11

Hey…

#12

measure of recovery = weight added to the bar right?

#13

I spent some time going through posts by well respected coaches such as Paul Carter (by recommendation of some users), such as the one on volume, and reading his responses. The main takeaways I’ve taken away are

  • get stronger on the compound basic movements in the 8-12 rep range
  • focus on basic lifts
  • 8-12sets a week

About me, I’m 17, and aside from the noobie gains, I don’t think i’ve accomplished anything in two years of lifting weights. impressive other than maybe a physique that resembles a typical high school male. So basically abs and then nothing. I’l, post a physique pic down below because I think it’s useful in judging whether I’m still a noob or not. My goals are to become stronger and bigger, like everyone else here.

My biggest mistake is not listening to users on here that actually gave me good advice. That will change.

I took some time off from serious gym training this past year in order to set myself up for the future (got stellar grades, finished my sophomore/junior years of high school and now I am in a pretty good situation life-wise). I still “trained” the whole time, but it was half assed training and diet, no commitment. Don’t worry, I am going to fix that. I still lifted, put on a tiny bit of muscle, but obviously not as much as it should have been due to poor training/diet choices. Now basically, after two years, I feel that I’m back to square one- good news is that I’m still only 17, learned from my mistakes . And I’m ready to train, I’m getting back in the gym.

There’s not a single gym within a 20 mile radius that is an actual gym, and not a Planet Fitness tier abomination. .So I went and bought my own rack, and barbell, and pullup bar, and some weights. So obviously I’ve got some equipment limitations as to what I can do. Here are lifts I can build my routine around. I organized them in terms of category

PUSH:

  • Bench Press
  • Overhead Press / Push Press
  • Dips (Weighted / BW)
  • Lateral Raises (done holding weight plates)

PULL:

  • Deadlifts
  • Barbell Rows
  • Pullups/Chinups (Weighted / BW)
  • Rear Lateral Raises (done holding weight plates)

LEGS

  • Squat (Front/Back)
  • RDL
  • Leg Extensions
  • Lying Hamstring Extensions

I understand this might not be optimal for mass training but it’s better than nothing. So my question is, how would I structure a routine that fits my goals (strength + hypertrophy) and experience?

Should I “pick back up” with a true beginner routine, even though I’ve been lifting for two years?

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#14

Beginner routines are silly internet things. Train the way you want to train. You will be good.

2 Likes
#15

I think the fact that you’re doing PPL rather than a bro split shows you’re in a pretty good place for a comeback.

My 3rd year of lifting had some big set backs and by the end of it I looked like I never even started lifting. The comeback is quicker than you’d expect and you’re young so I don’t think you need to worry too much about the details. Work hard and try to get stronger, results will come.

1 Like
#16

i didnt say I was doing a PPL…but that is definitely one option I have considered in terms of structuring my routine. Just to be clear, PPL means 3 days a week or 6 days?

#17

Beginner routines are silly internet things.

train how you want to train

woah, that flies in the face of everything I’ve heard… like people would scream “DO SS 5X5” or something everytime

So basically, routine doesn;t matter so long as you progressive overload and put in effort and eat?

#18

I’ve had this exact conversation with you on reddit before, haha.

Train hard, eat well, be consistent and follow a program you like that was written by someone that knows what they are doing. You will be fine.

2 Likes
#19

Ah I see that you said that’s just how you organized them. I found it best where I would do legs/push/pull/rest. I liked to have a day between deadlifts and squats. I’ve tried 6 on 1 off but that was a bit much.

Some people promote the idea that if you work hard enough you only need to hit groups once a week, I’m not really willing to try iot though.

I think getting stronger in basic barbell movements will get you a lot of results so I wouldn’t be too worried about the lack of a gym being less than ideal

#20

what you said about

My 3rd year of lifting had some big set backs and by the end of it I looked like I never even started lifting

really struck a chord with me. I lost all my progress due to depression etc, so basically lost a whole year of training. Meaning, during that year, I didn’t put in the effort needed to make progress. It’s really motivating knowing you had setbacks too…I guess we all do