T Nation

Lost on Where to Go


I’m new to the gym. Been going for around 6 months and started with the body part splits. I started at 257 pounds and I am 6’2 at 27 years old. I’m now down to 215 thanks to changing from splits to a full body routine. I’m fairly weak. 125pound bench. A 185lb squat. Same for deadlift and an overhead press of roughly 100lbs. My question is since I can’t do a push-up or pull-up what do I need to focus on? I’m willing to do whatever it takes to build a strong lean body and with my new job I have the time to put into all aspects of diet and training 100%. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I’ll upload current pics so people can see as well. Thanks


By the way. My body composition has changed drastically and I’m very happy with my progress. I just need to know where to go from here.


You can’t really go wrong with 5/3/1 and basically all of Jim Wendler’s writing/insights. I would recommend checking out his books and articles, it would serve you well.


I will do that. Based on my information and pictures do I need to really worry about anything other than strength? I.E losing more weight? I think the fat and my boobs are so noticeable because there is so little muscle there.


For sure try the 5x3x1 routine
When you follow it, do exactly what it says
Don’t try adjust it and if you’re lifting and it feels light when you first start, don’t be worried
Believe me that when you start adding weight and the reps change, you’ll notice the changes
There are plenty of articles here on T-nation that give you a perfect outline, BBB or hardgainers are ideal

Don’t be scared of weights, it is the easiest way to lose fat and when coupled with a healthy diet, your body in its current state will change drastically if you do the 531 cycles to the tee

What are your stats man?
Have you figured out your macros?
Find any decent calorie calculator on the net and type in your stats
Then track your foods for a month or so, download an app like “myfitnesspal” and keep track of what you eat
Ideally you’re going to want to have about a gram of protein/per body weight lb
Wether you’re resistant to carbs or not you’re going to have to keep track of your calorie intake and to continually lose the fat, keep it in a deficit of 200/500 calories a day


I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for about 6 months to lose the weight. I’m eating about 2600 calories a day and I haven’t been tracking my macros but I can tell you that I know I eat way too many carbs and not enough fat. Looking through my nutrients this past week I’m at 40%protein 50% carbs and 10% fat. I’ll do the 5/3/1 and lower my defecit. Been at a 500-600 deficit for the whole 6 months.

I’m 6’2 215lbs currently.
I don’t know body fat but probably around 19-22%.
Eating at 2600 calories daily.


Believe it or not this is close to spot on for you. I’ve had reasonable success using something similar (225 lbs to 185 lbs with minimal muscle loss) while using 5/3/1. I would agree with upping fat, to 20%; reduce protein to about 30-35%; and fill the balance with carbs, mostly from rice and potatoes.

I know this seems counter-intuitive and I’ll get a fair few people disagreeing. Check my log for my before and after pics if you want.

I would urge you not to reduce your calories yet. You should do fine at 2600 cal/day for at least three months or so. If you do 5/3/1 properly, you’ll need as many calories as you can have especially while in a deficit. Gradually lower your calories, by 100-200 per cal/day as you go.

I don’t mean this nastily, but you’re probably closer to 25-30%. Don’t worry. You’ll get there, just be patient and consistent and trust the process. It takes around a year if my experience is anything to go by.


Thanks for all the replies. Ill keep my calories down and start 5/3/1 next week. I’ll get some help today on finding my maxes. I’m fine with it taking time. I have time. I just want to feel like I’m progressing. The weight loss believe it or not has been pretty easy. I’m used to being hungry. It’ll be nice to know if I train really hard using that program method then I can grow that much stronger.


It’s fine if you want to test them, but I wouldn’t worry too much about finding your maxes. With 5/3/1 it’s better to start a little too light if anything. You seem to have a good attitude; one of the biggest keys here is patience, which you have (since you specifically allude to being fine with it taking time). Consistency and hard work are going to get you to a better place. Exactly where that is, we’ll see in time.

Just one other comment:

While you’re currently pretty soft (I don’t mean that as a knock, just a statement of fact) you are correct that your body will start to look better as you gain muscle, so I would worry less about the number on the scale and more about what the mirror and the barbell is telling you. If you still weigh 215 pounds at this time next year, but you’re squatting 275 for 5 reps and benching 200 for 5 reps (some would tell you those are aiming too low, but I say that just so you know that those numbers are well within reach for you within a year) you will look better and be healthier than you are now.


I really appreciate that comment. Those numbers would be awesome to hit in a year! I’ll start with a weight I know I can hit with 5 on each. So from everything I’ve been reading you go up 10ish pounds per week on DL and Squat and 5ish on bench and press. I’ll push as hard as I can and see what sort of progress I make over the next few months. As for accessory work. One exercise a day for 50-100 reps… any that I want from the list? Or at this point is that even important?


I gave BBB a try today. This is what I did. It took around 30-40 minutes and I am toast. My back and shoulders hurt so bad and I’m probably a little stronger than I previously thought.
Military Press
45 5x10 (these were hell)
Dumbbell row
45 5x10
Tricep pushdown
70 3x10
Face Pulls
60 3x10


I think you’ve misunderstood 5/3/1 it’s not just simply a set of 5, 3 and 1. I’d strongly recommend you pick up 5/3/1 second edition, you can buy it on Jim’s website or Amazon, it’s one of the best things I’ve done for my training.

To help you for the time being give this a good read:

I’ve seen you started a training log recently too which is great and I’d advise you check out a few others, many of which are 5/3/1. Just be consistent and keep at it. Most people on here are much better equipped to advise you than me but I feel they’ll all echo this.


I do more of a Texas Method but its similar. The workouts are separate… basically volume day (light weight, multiple sets and reps), and intensity day (max or close to it, 1 set of some number of reps).

6 months is a good stretch to be working out, but you are still new to it. Keep adding weight every “cycle” and you will either get stronger or die. Jk. But lifting is a lifestyle… 6 more months is 26 more weeks… adding just a pound a week over that period will be a significant gain.


Oh yes. I understand the 5x5 then 5x3 then 5x1 and a deload week. The bench in that workout was more assessing where I am and get comfortable under the bar again. I’m a little self conscious because of my size and low bench numbers so I’ve stayed away from it for the most part. I’m saying screw all that and going after it. Can you recommend somewhere I can look at macro breakdowns? I understand the concept but not the implementation of it. And yes, I am going to stick with that training log 4x per week at least. Might even throw in meals and stuff on training days


Yes, OP should definitely read more about 5/3/1 to understand. At the same time, though, don’t fall into the trap of paralysis-by-analysis. If you do a few workouts “wrong” because you misread the 5/3/1 percentages one day, that doesn’t nullify the work involved. The most important thing is that you get into the weight room and put some work in.


Again I’m not the best person to help you but I don’t bother with tracking macros and stuff, it was just too much effort that I didn’t need to make. I currently follow this diet wise and I’ve seen it recommended by much more experienced people:

Whether you want to lose weight or not they seem sound principles to go by food wise.

Last thing definitely don’t be self conscious, everyone on here started somewhere, I’m not very much stronger either. I’ll be following your log, all the best!


I definitely do this on days that I just don’t wanna do what I was “supposed” to do. Feels good to break free from the shackles from time to time!


I track macros with MyFitnessPal.com and I aim for 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight… or so… (200g). Some will tell you that’s a minimum or low even.

As far as the breakdown with carbs and fats someone else will know better than I. I mostly aim for protein and total calories and let the rest fall where they may.


I just finished reading his book and now I understand. It was very insightful. I can’t wait till I can do chin-ups and dips as accessory work(as of now that would be my whole workout lol) I also thought cardio was much more important than it is. Even for losing weight…


Are there any supplements that you recommend I get? I’m rather new to anything supplement wise other than protein and pre workout