T Nation

Looking for Advice to Reach my Goals


#1

Hey, guys. I have been lurking for a while and thought I'd get around to posting. This seems like a good place to get solid advice without all of the prepubescent chest-thumping over at the BB forums. Here are the basics:

Male
Age: 31
Current weight: 168
Current BF: 14%
Height: 5'10
Current lifts: Bench 225 1RM
Squat 260 1RM
Deadlift - Never maxed on DL since I just started performing it about a month ago. I've been really cautious with my weight since I want my form to be 100%. Did 135 fairly easily the other day x5.
OHP - 110 1RM
(NOTE: I've never actually tested my 1 RM in any lift. These numbers are from a 1 RM calculator. Actual numbers could be a little bit higher.)

As you can see, my lifts are weak, but I've always been an active person. I used to do a lot hard running (5k, 10k, and half-marathons) but I took things a little too extreme and ended up about 130 pounds with 6 or 7% body fat (read: human skeleton). I wasn't consuming enough to support my activity level and eventually I started having chronic knee issues, which made me reevaluate my health at that point. Anyway, skip ahead six years to today. My weight has increased roughly 40 pounds - average for my height I guess -, my body is fairly undefined, and I'm weak. A couple of years ago I set up a workout area in my shed because there isn't a gym available out here in the middle of nowhere where I live. I have a Powertec Multi-system I got on the cheap from Craigslist, a deadlift platform I made last week, and a pull-up bar. Over the last couple of years, I've worked out here and there, but I never followed a consistent plan for any significant amount of time. I am serious now because I really want to change myself from an undefined average Joe to a big, strong guy that looks â?? well â?? big and strong. I have a lot of reasons for wanting to do this that I won't gush about here. Anyway, Here is my current plan:

Full body split M/W/F
Workout A:
Squats 3 x 8-10
Bench 3 x 8-10
Bent-over rows 3 x 8-10
Calf raises 2 x 15

Workout B:
Deadlift 3 x 5-8
Pull-ups 30 reps (usually takes 4 sets)
OHP 3 x 8-10
Triceps work 2 x 12
Biceps 2 x 12

I also do abs on Tuesday and Thursday. My diet plan is as follows for now:

3100 calories per day
.8 to 1 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight
Standard foods: Eggs, whole wheat toast, natural peanut butter, oatmeal, brown rice, chicken, turkey, beef (lean ground beef, sirloin steak, etc.), low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, fruit, veggies (I don't count calories for vegetables), 1% milk, protein shakes, almonds, non-fat yogurt

I haven't been counting macros for carbs or fats at this point. Currently, I am only making sure that I hit my daily caloric goal of 3100 and getting enough protein. Given my height, bodyweight, BF %, do you guys think that my current workout plan and diet is satisfactory to getting bigger and stronger? I know that I won't be following a full body routine forever, but is this a good start? Just so you know, this guy has my ideal physique:

http://stachegallery.tripod.com/estep10.html

I love me some damn Roger Estep. He's got mass, looks good with it, but isn't overly vascular. Anyway, if I could even look half that good, I'd be a happy man. I know it's a long road ahead to get anywhere close to my ideal, but I'd like to know if I'm starting off on the right foot or not. I appreciate anybody's advice on how to proceed from here.

If pics are needed, I can post those tomorrow. It'll be hard to do it since I'm not happy with where I'm at now, but if it will help with advice and suggestions for progress I'll do what I need to.


#2

What kind of progression plan are you planning to use with your main lifts?


#3

I’ve been following the program I listed above for only about three weeks now. I’ve been adding 5 lbs to my working sets each week. As long as I hit all of my reps in each set (8 - 10 reps) with good form, I’ll increase the weight on the following workout. I haven’t stalled out yet, but when I do I plan on repeating the same weight until I get in my desired rep range with good form. 5 lbs per workout is probably too aggressive. I did 3x10 with 175 on squats Friday and it was hard but manageable. I can foresee a wall at 190 or so.

I see plans like SS 5x5 and others mentioned here very often. Would something like a 5x5 plan be more beneficial for me or should I stick with what I’m doing for a few months?

My main goal is to gain mass (in the right places naturally) and strength as a secondary priority. Of course, I want to get much stronger, but strength is not my main priority even though it is important to me as well.

Thanks for any insight you guys can provide. Let me know if there is anything else that would be helpful for me to share.


#4

[quote]Stryder wrote:
I’ve been following the program I listed above for only about three weeks now. I’ve been adding 5 lbs to my working sets each week. As long as I hit all of my reps in each set (8 - 10 reps) with good form, I’ll increase the weight on the following workout. I haven’t stalled out yet, but when I do I plan on repeating the same weight until I get in my desired rep range with good form. 5 lbs per workout is probably too aggressive. I did 3x10 with 175 on squats Friday and it was hard but manageable. I can foresee a wall at 190 or so.

I see plans like SS 5x5 and others mentioned here very often. Would something like a 5x5 plan be more beneficial for me or should I stick with what I’m doing for a few months?

My main goal is to gain mass (in the right places naturally) and strength as a secondary priority. Of course, I want to get much stronger, but strength is not my main priority even though it is important to me as well.

Thanks for any insight you guys can provide. Let me know if there is anything else that would be helpful for me to share.[/quote]

Make sure you have some objective way to measure whether you’re progressing towards your goals over some kind of reasonable timescale and you’re golden. Good Luck.

Also, consider reading the post on Th3Pwnishers blog on why he feels beginners stall on linear progression programs. Might give you some insight on what to do when you do hit that stall. Google Mythical Strength, and find the recent post called “quit stalling”.


#5

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Make sure you have some objective way to measure whether you’re progressing towards your goals over some kind of reasonable timescale and you’re golden. Good Luck.

Also, consider reading the post on Th3Pwnishers blog on why he feels beginners stall on linear progression programs. Might give you some insight on what to do when you do hit that stall. Google Mythical Strength, and find the recent post called “quit stalling”.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice! I’ll stick with my current plan and continue to track how my lifts are going. I’m trying to go from my current weight of around 170 to 200. At 4 pounds a month max, that puts me at 7 months or so. Of course, I’ll have to keep fat gain in check so it could be longer than that. Hopefully, I’ll be in a good position next April to start shedding some fat for the summer.

I read Th3Pwnisher’s blog post that you suggested. Definitely good stuff. I wish I could go back and show that to myself a couple of years ago when I was spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.


#6

Similar but better…


#7

looks like a solid plan to me. I’d add some iso work for the side and rear delts for the sake of sexiness, but that’s just me.


#8

@RampantBadger: Thanks for the program suggestion. Those high rep days look intense! I think I am going to stick with my current plan for now, but I may switch over to that one after sticking with this current one for at least a few more months to build a good base for my core lifts. Can rep calculators also calculate high rep maxes like those in that program? I have no idea what my max would be for a 35 rep set.

@Yogi: Thanks for the feedback. I could add some delt iso sets on my workout A days since I’m already doing biceps and triceps accessory work on the B workout. Like my other accessory work, 2 x 12 sound about right?


#9

[quote]Stryder wrote:
@RampantBadger: Can rep calculators also calculate high rep maxes like those in that program? I have no idea what my max would be for a 35 rep set.

[/quote]

I wouldnt worry , any range over say 20 reps is fine -the main thing is that your body knows its a markedly different stimulus to conventional heavy lifting. You’ll prob figure out a weight within a couple workout anyway