T Nation

Looking for Some Advice to get Started Again


I'm looking to get back in the game after a year or so of being away. I'm 5'5'' 160 and looking to really do everything right the first time to maximize my efforts. At my best I was 175 with a bf right around 15%. I would really like to surpass that and get up to 180 at 10%.

I started at my gym again and been sticking to larger compound movements working out 4 days a week with a lower body upper body split. My upper body days consists of deads, weighted pull-ups, curls, weighted dips, DB military press, flat DB and inclined DB press. Lower body consists of Squats and barbell step ups and some upper back work (shrugs). I'm sticking to sets up 3-4 with 5 reps and keeping the weight heavy.

Diet consists of lots of whole milk (about a 1/2 gallon a day), about 6-8 eggs a day, steak, chicken, and green leafy veggies and berries. I'll also try eating oatmeal regularly or at least whole grains. Also do a couple of Metabolic Drive protein shakes a day as well as BCAAs but that's pretty much it right now.

Any advice? I'm built fairly stocky and I put on weight fairly easily. I would like to see if this kind of lifting schedule is a good idea for now since Iâ??m easing back into lifting and if my diet is sufficient. I think my biggest problem is eating every 2-3 hours consistently.

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!


Ok so the diet looks pretty good, and you seem like you have a fairly good attitude, but your workout blows (no offense) and with as much protein as your eating you'd be better suited to a 3 day, 2-1 a week workout.

But first a little about the exercises your doing,

Deadlifts are leg, hamstring/hip/glute/core primary, followed by your quads and only indirectly works your back. So without know your doing it your blasting your legs 4 times a week which will lead to little gains in the way of strength and maximizing the true benefit of doing a exercise like heavy dead lifts, i.e gh and test release to compensate for half your body doing resistance training.

Too many pressing exercises on the same day, that is to say that your doing 16 exercises that directly involve your deltoids and triceps, and to complicate the issue you use dumbbell military's and triceps dips, the prior being a exercise that'll be median delt primary if your front delts are already gassed if done in the correct order, and dips which should always follow suit to bench simply because your always going to be able to press your on bw for 5 reps but the same does not hold true for pressing a growth percentage on chest related exercise.

So your leg work out has good roots, if you throw your deadlifts on the day you'll be hitting the whole leg. I'd suggest taking out the step ups and doing plyrometric box hops as they'll raise your heartrate more being a maximum effort exercise; but in the spirit of staying with the basic's I'd suggest 5 sets of deads, 5 sets of parallel or Olympic squats depending on your lower back strength, with 3 sets of really deep front squats. Moving on to the next exercise, you have shrugs. Now depending on if your moving deads to the same day you could keep them just as a exercise trap hitting exercises, but if your doing the deads correctly you can always throw a shrug on the rep of a dead before you drop and hit two birds with one stone. As for the way it is now, your nuking your trap's all week long, not to mention your whole lower back, which if its not used to that kind of stress can lead to injuries.

Lastly, try to incorporate suppersets between the back and chest exercises as studies have shown by using opposing muscle groups you are neurologically primed and able to handle more weight.

So with everything I put, your current workout should look something like this.
DB Flat Bench /ss/ Pullups
DB Incline /ss/ Bentover Row
DB Militarys /ss/ Dips
Curls /ss/ Tricep Pressdowns

Front Squats
Hyperexstensions 5 x 15
Decline Situps 5 x 15

If you try it and you don't feel your resting or its not taxing you enough try to switch 3 day 2-1 a week workout and up your protein intake.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.


Thanks for the advice-I'll start this next week. I was worried that I'd be exhausting certain groups without enough recovery in between work outs. Quick question though...what's "3 day, 2-1 a week workout". Do you mean do A followed by B the next day and then rest for a 3 day "set" and then repeat?


Also, should I still stick to the 5 sets for 5 reps on everything then or is this too much?


Honestly, thats up to you. If you want to place emphisis on strength then 5x5 with little to no hypertrophy. If you want moderate gains in mass and strength per rep then stay between 6-8, and if you want to push to hypertrophy then stay between 8-10.

Hope this helps.


I've been going strong with the modified workout and things are going great! Makes me wonder why I ever fizzled out in the first place. Thanks for taking the time to post! I've been doing 3 sets of 8 and the supersets you advised are awesome-feeling stronger and able to handle more weight compared to doing each exercise independently. I love beginner gains.

Do you think I should bump it up to 4 sets of 8-10? I'm feeling pretty winded at the end and I like to go heavy but also would like to optimize size. Thanks again!