T Nation

Looking for Conditioning Advice

Hey guys, first post here. I was posting on the bodybuilding forums but I don’t really get the constructive responses I’m looking for so hopefully I’ve come to the right place. Just had a friend refer me here and decided to take a whack at the forums.

A little about myself, I’m about 5’7" - 5’8" and I weight between a fluctuating 188-197 lbs since I started lifting. I just started lifting about ~8 weeks ago and have been trying to log my gym sessions for about the past ~4 weeks. I have been going with two good friends of mine who are going for something completely different than I but I figured starting is better than pretending to go and then not going at all! Although some of you may not agree with this, right when I started going to the gym, I instantly started using pre-workout, amino acids, multivitamins, and fish oil. Preworkout: I went from using jack3d > MP Assault > c4. I was advised that it would be a good idea to cycle off pre-workouts for a little while so after c4 I plan on cycling off. I have also been using Xtend which I plan on continuing. I take protein after workouts and I take Animal Pak vitamins and also fish oil.

They are going for more of a body building routine, which I followed in suit. It consisted of:


Something along those lines. I’m going to write based on what I know so please, bare with me. I am looking to go more towards an “abercrombie model” look if you will over a “body building” look. It’s not that I don’t want to gain muscle, I am just not looking to be huge. I have been told numerous times that the fact that I have some fat to work with is very good. As of recently, I was asking my friends what I should do to try to cut/tone while still gaining muscle. As of recently, I have been trying the following:


I have been trying to do the lifting days in a 12-10-8 rep routine with approximately 4-6 exercises per body group.

At first glance, some of you may say that I need more rest days and I will be blunt in saying I’m unbelievably stubborn. Ever since I started going to the gym, I have LOVED every second of it. It’s been so great for me and I’ve been working so hard. However, even being 500% stubborn, I know I could definitely use some more guidance.

Some problems I have already run into are doing pull-ups and focusing my back muscles. I also am not doing squats because the last time I tried, I felt like I broke my neck lol. Also, I know biceps aren’t THAT important. However, I do see and feel a significant difference between my right and left arms. I also tend to have a fairly consistent soreness/pain my shoulder, specifically what seems to be my trap muscle. Any tips on these issues would be much appreciated!

I did overlook the beginner threads and tried doing some searching. However, although I am technically savvy and a bit of a nerd (no problem admitting that), I did not easily find the information which is why I am posting here. Some of the forum links were dead as well.

Summary (TL;DR): I am about 188-197lbs fluctuating and am looking to cut to a minimum of 175lbs within the next few months. I have been told and have already read on the forums that actual weight in pounds does not mean much. However, I am actively pursuing a job in the Air Force which does have a standard in terms of height vs weight. In terms of looks, as I said I am looking to get a more cut/lean look and although I may look bigger than I actually am, that’s what I’m looking to get out of going to the gym. This just about sums it up, looking forward and hoping for some constructive advice and replies!

NOTE I am definitely looking for some specific links to programs that I can follow religiously and any quick nutrition tips. I will stop being lazy and will start looking more into these forums in due time.


Nobody’s gonna read that wall of text.

Try and slim it down to the basics.

I gave up halfway through sentnece two and I’m currently reading ‘Thus Spake Zarthrusa’ in it’s native German for fun.

I’ll repost tomorrow I guess. I did leave a summary towards the bottom for the illiterate.

Usually, when I have a question and am trying to find information on a topic such as yours, fat loss or burning fat. I enter that in the search box on the right there. Then I look to the left and click on articles(not the big button, the little one). Then I read the articles. I manage to do this even with my literacy problem.(I’m kidding. I read more than the summary, but even as young as you are, you should recognize that most facets of your life, even those that you may hold in common with the reader, are nauseatingly boring. Not because you are you, but because you are not me. If you get my drift.) The articles are going to represent the body of individuals who are either the most experienced or the most well informed. I’ll include this because I found it helpful when concentrating on fat-loss www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/.../the_fat_loss_hierarchy

Old proverb: if you don’t like the answer, don’t ask the question. The answer to all your questions are in the beginner stickies. Yes, all of them.

You have been training for 8 weeks. This sport is measured in years. Again, your questions are answered in the stickies.

You hurt your neck squatting because you don’t know how to do that properly. You are teck savy, so use YouTube and learn.

You mentionned nothing of your diet, so I’ll have to say it sucks. Once that is in place, you can actually talk supplements. Taking jacked (however its spelled) does not make you a god in the gym.

At first glance, you don’t need more rest days. Actually, your routine looks like a +50 program. Work one muscle group a week. It’s easier for us old farts to recuperate.

You feel a difference between right and left arm? You have been lifting for 8 weeks. You have not even passed the pre beginner stage yet.

And you are aspiring to look like a anorexic vampire (Abercrombie model) instead of a bodybuilder?

I’m stopping there. You see, your post is full of naivete. You are youg and full of yourself. Hey, we have all been there. I will give you the recommendation you don’t want to hear.

Lift: get on a proven program.
Eat: get your diet in check. Food first, supplements second.
Sleep: you need to recoup.
Be consistent: repeat for a minimum of 6 months, then we can re evaluate. I know you said two months, that’s too bad.
Get off your ass: no one is going to do it for you.

Your NOTE made me laugh.