T Nation

Looking for a Second Opinion

Hiya guys I am a twenty year old male and have been working out for a couple of years. I was very fat up until I decided to change my life at eighteen and things have been a success as far as sticking with some kind of training consistently, staying motivated and such.

However the problem is when I started to exercise I would do weights as well as a lot of cardio, but knew nothing about nutrition, training, how to rest properly. This has lead me to lose an absolute shit load of weight, but it seems I had next to no muscle while obese and the long cardio sessions four nights a week stripped off any I did have.

I would go on these phases where I would do around 30-50KM of running per week and then couple of months later be doing none and just lifting weights with a shit routine and not having one routine to stick to.

So I got down to around 9 and a half stone or 61KG from about 92 KG at five foot 10 and built a bit of muscle well actually quite a lot compared to what i did have but I still have a lot of fat from the way I ate and trained. So in shot I am now skinny with fat, if that makes sense. I am now back to twelve stone but with a lot less fat and a lot more muscle. So body weight has changed in composition quite a bit.

Any way sorry for boring you, on with the story. I have been going to the same gym for a few years and when I started could not bench an Olympic bar on my own. I now bench around 60KG or 22KG dumbbell bench per hand, so while still poor lots of improvement.

A guy there, an absolute hulk of a man called James has constantly helped me out with spotting, encouraging me, telling me how you can notice improvements, but never actually offered advice just been a great guy and one of the few people who would try and make the fat weak guy in the gym good about himself.

So after all this time last week I asked him a question, I asked him how he gets so huge and has so little fat. He gave me such an honest answer it shocked me, he said, hard work, perfect diet and testosterone and other ped’s.

He said not to compare myself to him and some of the other guys because they were on things I was not. He then went on to explain he sees me every week come here with all the determination in the world, putting in all the effort but failing because of poor performance.

He said the advice I got online before telling me to train each muscle group once a week was in his opinion not optimal for someone with so little muscle and that he was skinny muscle wise and had high body fat when he was younger and the way he got bigger and stronger naturally before he touched any steroids was high frequency training, sticking to one program for the long term and doing something he called counting your marcows where like you measure all your food and stuff and have a specific goal like x amount of protein in grams, x amount of carbohydrate.

He said I have very little lean muscle and he recommends hitting each body part twice a week by using a three day split and repeating it twice with one day off. I also used to just lift as much as I could for as many lifts, I usually get to around 6 or 10, he said a higher range of lifts like 10 to twelve is better and do that three times per exercise.
This is the routine he recommended:

Monday and Thursday-Shoulder/Back/Bicep

1.Dumbbell shoulder press
2.Lateral raises
3.Front raises
4.Barbell rows
5.Dumbbell rows
6.Cable rows
7.EZ curls
8.Barbell curls
9.Dumbbell curls

Tuesday and Friday-Legs/Abdominals

1.Barbell squats
2.Leg extensions
3.Leg press
4.Calf raises
5.Situps
6.Planks

Wednesday and Saturday-Chest/Tricep

1.Dumbbell decline press
2.Dumbbell flat press
3.Dumbbell flies
4.Standing french press
5.CG bench press
6.Seated overhead Tricep dumbbell extension

I really trust this guy and he has been great and helped me a lot but I was wondering if this is really safe and if it is a good way to build muscle because I told my brothers and they said it is stupid and dangerous but this guy has no reason to lie, is far bigger than my brothers and has shown himself to be a good person and not the type of guy who would tell someone a lie for no reason.

Current body measurements.

waist-32 inches
hips-35 and a quater
chest-38 and a quater
arms-10 and a half
neck-21 and a half
thighs-14 inches

8Arms are eleven and three quarter inches when flexed, was not awar you were supposed to flex. Sorry

I don’t see anything inherently wrong with that routine- it hits a lot of the areas that need to be hit. I guess if I were to criticize it, I would say that the total volume is pretty high for a beginner. I don’t really see how it could be dangerous at all though, and I have a hard time guessing where your brothers’ complaints are coming from.

You have a tremendous resource in your friend James, and personally, I would go with your instinct and listen to his advice. If you don’t feel like you are progressing with what you are currently doing, then what’s the worst thing that could happen by listening to someone who has obviously found success and is willing to lend you his experience?

The importance of his advice on nutrition cannot be overstated. It directly determines how successful you can be with your training in the gym. Listen to what he says on both counts, but definitely start taking the time to get a better understanding of the foundation of basic nutrition.

If you have a smartphone, download “myfitnesspal” (it should be completely free) and learn how to use it. Begin logging what you eat, and use it to help you understand where you’re at in relationship to what you are learning about nutrition.

(Quick edit- the following is purely my personal viewpoint and others may disagree, but… - if at any point James suggests that you, too, should take steroids, you should stop listening to him. Not because steroids are inherently bad, but because it would be retarded for you to use them right now. I doubt he’d suggest that though, given your description of him.)

We all differ slightly in opinion on routines but trust him. Apparently he is huge so he is doing something right. And everything else in your post about diet etc seems smart. I would honestly follow him around almost, listen and learn everything you can from him.

[quote]JohnMariette wrote:
We all differ slightly in opinion on routines but trust him. Apparently he is huge so he is doing something right. And everything else in your post about diet etc seems smart. I would honestly follow him around almost, listen and learn everything you can from him.[/quote]

^This

I’m such a wordy mother******… John intelligently said here what took me four paragraphs of rambling.

I was truly disheartened to see 1. there is NOTHING for hamstrings in this routine 2. not a single poster above me noted that

sigh

I agree. It should also probably include the deadlift, and various other exercises I personally prefer.

But, you’re super fantastic for picking up on something that my meager intellect failed to grasp. You win.

You should find out where the OP is, drive out there, and let that good for nothing guy trying to help him know what a fool he is.


00
__/

[quote]Halcyonview wrote:
I agree. It should also probably include the deadlift, and various other exercises I personally prefer.

But, you’re super fantastic for picking up on something that my meager intellect failed to grasp. You win.

You should find out where the OP is, drive out there, and let that good for nothing guy trying to help him know what a fool he is. [/quote]

And please don’t act like neglecting hamstrings is not a huge deal. Forget lacking a balanced physique, that’s a recipe for all kinds of hip and knee problems down the road.

So you’ve found a helpful and apparently successful guy at the local gym who’s helping you out. Sounds good.
What made you think you should double check with the internet?

[quote]jskrabac wrote:

[quote]Halcyonview wrote:
I agree. It should also probably include the deadlift, and various other exercises I personally prefer.

But, you’re super fantastic for picking up on something that my meager intellect failed to grasp. You win.

You should find out where the OP is, drive out there, and let that good for nothing guy trying to help him know what a fool he is. [/quote]

And please don’t act like neglecting hamstrings is not a huge deal. Forget lacking a balanced physique, that’s a recipe for all kinds of hip and knee problems down the road. [/quote]

In the OP’s case, it isn’t a “huge deal,” and the routine above contains both leg press and barbell squats. Is it optimal? No. But if everyone here did what they usually do and tell the guy to go do starting strength (etc…), I doubt you’d be in here crying “Where’s the hammy curl machine in that routine, brah!”

Regardless, you got your cute little meme’s in and took your shots at me. Did you have a point here, though? Are you going to tell the OP that he’d be better off listening to you instead of his buddy in the gym? Or did you just drop by to fling some **** around?

[quote]jskrabac wrote:

[quote]Halcyonview wrote:
I agree. It should also probably include the deadlift, and various other exercises I personally prefer.

But, you’re super fantastic for picking up on something that my meager intellect failed to grasp. You win.

You should find out where the OP is, drive out there, and let that good for nothing guy trying to help him know what a fool he is. [/quote]

And please don’t act like neglecting hamstrings is not a huge deal. Forget lacking a balanced physique, that’s a recipe for all kinds of hip and knee problems down the road. [/quote]

Stiff leg dead lift was in there too but I won’t do them as I fucked my back up doing dead lifts when I first stared and it was agony. Don’t want to do them from now on. Is it really that important? I have the non military version of trigger flinching with dead lifts.

[quote]Halcyonview wrote:

[quote]jskrabac wrote:

[quote]Halcyonview wrote:
I agree. It should also probably include the deadlift, and various other exercises I personally prefer.

But, you’re super fantastic for picking up on something that my meager intellect failed to grasp. You win.

You should find out where the OP is, drive out there, and let that good for nothing guy trying to help him know what a fool he is. [/quote]

And please don’t act like neglecting hamstrings is not a huge deal. Forget lacking a balanced physique, that’s a recipe for all kinds of hip and knee problems down the road. [/quote]

In the OP’s case, it isn’t a “huge deal,” and the routine above contains both leg press and barbell squats. Is it optimal? No. But if everyone here did what they usually do and tell the guy to go do starting strength (etc…), I doubt you’d be in here crying “Where’s the hammy curl machine in that routine, brah!”

Regardless, you got your cute little meme’s in and took your shots at me. Did you have a point here, though? Are you going to tell the OP that he’d be better off listening to you instead of his buddy in the gym? Or did you just drop by to fling some **** around?[/quote]

You’re funny. I like you.

Starting strength is a piece of shit routine, cuz yea, it’s incredibly unbalanced.

I haven’t actually taken any shots at you or said anything personal. You seem quite angry because someone suggested that training hamstrings is essential? You made it personal for some reason. I just want OP trainin’ hamstrings…brah. This isn’t about you…Shoo!

OP could get alot of insight from his friend at the gym if he knows what he’s talking about. But he should also train his glutes/hamstrings as much as his quads.

Hamstring curls are good, but there’s also

DB stiff-leg RDL
BB stiff-leg RDL
BB stiff-leg deadlift
Good mornings
GHRs
band or cable pull-throughs
sumo leg press

There is a couple of upright seated leg curl machines, one for quads and the other is reverse and for hams, could use that rather than SLDeadlifts.

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
You made it personal for some reason.
[/quote]

… You’re retarded.

BeginnerBrah-

Training hamstrings is important. It isn’t, however, something to get seriously freaked out about as a beginner.

It’s good that the original routine that James referred you to included SLDL. Be careful with your back, but don’t let one tweak in the past stop you from training it, especially if it wasn’t a full blown injury. If anything, in most cases, training your back will help prevent future injury- but you need to make sure that your form is correct for those compound movements. Watch as many videos as you can, and if possible, ask your friend to help you out and make sure you won’t injure yourself before you move the weights up.

Again, before things got derailed, the question at hand was whether or not to follow your friend’s advice, and it seems like the consensus is yes.

Well I don’t like the split your guy at the gym recommended, but I will say a couple things

  1. Most big guys–even “roid heads” are really good guys and like to help if someone is willing to work hard. They remember being small and they remember how they felt and the long days they put in. Talk to more of those guys, but don’t be obnoxious–but above everything make sure you continue to put in the long hours of steady work because that’s what people who are experienced notice–like he mentioned.

  2. He gets major points for being honest about his PED use and telling you not to do what he is specifically doing.

  3. Big, Big, Big fan of working each body part 2x a week for underweight guys looking to gain size. I used that approach for most of my lifting and I currently do a variation of that.

Finally, I would say I much prefer an upper/lower split to his, and although push/pull/legs can work I don’t like his split really. I would say use a modified WSB template–only for hypertrophy rather than PL training. Go heavy one day and “bodybuilding” the other day. Roughly speaking one day is 5-8 reps and the other is 10-12 reps.

Mon/Fri–upper body
Wed/Sat (or sunday, whichever fits better) – lower body.

Pick 5 exercises for leg days and 6 for upper body days. 2 hamstring and 2 quad exercises for legs, plus an isolation movement. For upper body pick 5 compound exercises and 1 isolation movement. So the split looks like this:

Mon–upper body: 3 pushing, 2 back exercises, 1 isolation exercise
Wed–lower body: 2 hamstring, 2 quad, 1 isolation exercise

Fri --upper: 2 pushing, 3 back, 1 isolation
Sat or Sun–lower: 2 quad, 2 hamstring, 1 isolation.

“arm” day you can put after your last leg day of the week if you really, really want to. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about arms at this point because you just need to friggin eat (note to all others: I am NOT against arm training). But I would suggest doing more bicep work on arm day than triceps just because your tri’s will get hit with all overhead pressing and benching. Arm day should not be super long. Most of your energy should be focused on big compound movements and eating.

[quote]Halcyonview wrote:

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
You made it personal for some reason.
[/quote]

… You’re retarded.[/quote]

It seems as though you haven’t actually read anything I’ve written in this thread. I told the OP his routine neglected hamstrings…period. THAT’S ALL I SAID!!!

In any case, thank you kind sir, for reminding me why TNation is a waste of time. I came in here telling OP not to neglect hamstrings, the same way anyone else would if they were completely neglecting a bodypart–chest, back, delts, etc…very elementary advice. I kinda think you’re just trolling because your assertions are pretty over the top…that and the fact that it took just a couple of memes posted in good fun to get you this butthurt. So I won’t feed you.

Good day =)

Hey sorry if i sparked some argument up. I did warn you all I was a beginner. Thank you for all the support guys. I joined another site a while back and it just seemed like if all the traumatized, battle scarred survivors from the walking dead joined a forum and tried to out Shane everyone. (Yes Nerd in this bitch)

I am enjoying the routing and have been very strict with my diet, but today I encountered my first problem. Insanely weak triceps. They were dead midway through the chest exercises and after the first tricep exercise, which I was forced to use an olympic EZ bar and 1.25 plates either side for reverse grip french press while people starred like I was hurting their eyes.

This lead to me having to skip Close grip bench press and instead replace it with kneeling tricep pull downs where I could not kill myself. Just could barely move my arms the triceps were jacked. I am thinking of maybe doing tricep exercises before chest in order to do an actual tricep workout. However then chest will suffer. Anyway I am enjoying it and find it challenging as hell so will be sticking with it.

Thanks again.

21.5 inch neck with 12 inch arms doesn’t sound right…