T Nation

Making Sure I'm on the Right Track

Sup guys.

Okay so I just joined the T-Nation (great site!) and been looking up lots of different things posted up here. I gotta admit that its a little mind boggling here and there, what with all this info being thrown at me.

Anyway, I just started lifting about a month ago and I just keep getting warnings that I should make sure I do it right to save myself time. Thats the advice I’m looking for now.

I’m extremely skinny for my height (6’5" and 140 pounds–no typos here) and have gained about 3-4 pounds since I started eating right and hitting the gym. I’m just looking for some advice on what different kinds of sets I should be doing, as well as tips on what to eat.

I heard that I should take in like 1.5g of protein per pound I weigh and I definitely am not doing that. Protein powder is apparently the solution, but currently I am income-less so its hard to afford stuff like that.

For working out, I more or less just finished getting the hang of the forms for the squat, dead lift and bench press, so I’m going to start lifting those next week. I’ve been told that I should be doing full body work outs as a newbie and doing 3 exercises each time I hit the gym. Two of those exercises would be bench press and DL/squat, but what is a good third one to complete the work out?

Sorry if all this is a bit much, I just really would like some advice from people who actually know what the heck they’re talking about as well as have no prob with dealing with a newb lol. Thanks in advance!

Diet:
The keys here are getting a lot of protein and gaining 3-5lbs of bodyweight each month. Protein powder isn’t an asbolute necessity but it makes things a hell of a lot easier. Eating a lot of protein is important. Get a job.

Training:
If you feel like you need to do really simple, limited workouts at first to get your technique down on basic bodybuilding exercises for a few months, that’s fine.
But once you have the hang of it I would suggest doing a traditional split routine and really concentrating on busting your ass in the gym, and trying to add weight and/or reps to every lift you do, every time you’re in the gym.

Rest:
Don’t stay up all night. Don’t do stupid shit.

Eggs are a cheap protein source.

Do Riptoe’s Starting Strength until you have decent form on the more important compound lifts. Milk the program until your squat stalls and then switch to a split routine.

Eat a lot of good food.
Sleep.
Grow.

Thanks for the tips. Muchly appreciated.

Eggs, Milk, Nat PB

Nat PB is like $2.50 for a jar, 17x200kcal servings is just what you need, unless you are allergic to peanuts.

Right now you need to learn the basics, read the stickies.

Lift hard, lift heavy, and for god sakes eat.

Eat/Eat/Eat/Eat/Lift/Eat/Eat/Sleep/Repeat

Second what Mr. Popular said. Eat enough so that you can lift more weight each week. Do this for a few years and you will be one of the biggest guys in your gym.

That is all of the advice you need right now. Once you have been making progress for a while, you will learn what foods and types of exercises to which you respond best. But for now, get strong in the core lifts and your body will grow. And if you want big arms, do curls and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

In regards to training, do not get caught up in all the special fad exercises you see like the muscle& fitness bullshit. People tend to over analyze the shit out of training. Truth be told, you only need about 10 or so exercises to get big and strong as hell, literally. These exercises have been proven to work for decades upon decades. Thing is, most of the best exercises are difficult. This steers people away because everyone wants to take the easy way out. If you do these movements, bust your ass by making progressive improvements on these exercises, and keep things simple, I guarantee you will get the results you seek.

Here are the exercises:

  1. Squat
  2. Deadlift
  3. Good mornings (to 45 degrees)
  4. Vertical hanging pull exercise (pullups or chinups var. NOT lat pull down)
  5. Horizontal pull exercise (start off with body weight rows for a few months and then progress to barbell or DB rows)
  6. Shrugs, vertical & horizontal (get full range of motion, or ROM)
  7. Bench movement (if you can’t do your body weight, stick to push ups for a few months)
  8. Standing shoulder press
  9. Dips (not machine)
  10. Bent over dumbbell exercise for rear shoulders
  11. Standing curls
  12. Core movement (ab/oblique)

Don’t feel you need to jump right into barbell bench training right away, esp. at your level. Pushups and Body weight rows will go a very long way for you in terms of foundation. To back up my point that you only need these movements to reach your goals – look at any successful bodybuilder, powerlifter, or strong man individual… All of which will have decent strength in all of these movements.

Hope this helps, and remember to keep it simple.

In regards to training, do not get caught up in all the special fad exercises you see like the muscle&fitness bullshit. People tend to over analyze the shit out of training. Truth be told, you only need about 10 or so exercises to get big and strong as hell, literally. These exercises have been proven to work for decades upon decades. Thing is, most of the best exercises are difficult. This steers people away because everyone wants to take the easy way out. If you do these movements, bust your ass by making progressive improvements on these exercises, and keep things simple, I guarantee you will get the results you seek.

Here are the exercises:

  1. Squat
  2. Deadlift
  3. Good mornings (to 45 degrees)
  4. Vertical hanging pull exercise (pullups or chinups var. NOT lat pull down)
  5. Horizontal pull exercise (start off with body weight rows for a few months and then progress to barbell or DB rows)
  6. Shrugs, vertical & horizontal (get full range of motion, or ROM)
  7. Bench movement (if you can’t do your body weight, stick to push ups for a few months)
  8. Standing shoulder press
  9. Dips (not machine)
  10. Bent over dumbbell exercise for rear shoulders
  11. Standing curls
  12. Core movement (ab/oblique)

Don’t feel you need to jump right into barbell bench training right away, esp. at your level. Pushups and Body weight rows will go a very long way for you in terms of foundation. To back up my point that you only need these movements to reach your goals – look at any successful bodybuilder, powerlifter, or strong man individual… All of which will have decent strength in all of these movements.

Hope this helps, and remember to keep it simple.

Thanks a lot for the feedback, guys. I’ll bust my ass and work on those tough exercises, as well as make some kind of progression all 'round every week. Now I just need to get a damn job so I can get those supplements.

[quote]Marukai620 wrote:
Thanks a lot for the feedback, guys. I’ll bust my ass and work on those tough exercises, as well as make some kind of progression all 'round every week. Now I just need to get a damn job so I can get those supplements.

[/quote]

Supplements are not as important as you think. Once you have a certain level of experience, you’ll realize that.

[quote]engerland66 wrote:
Marukai620 wrote:
Thanks a lot for the feedback, guys. I’ll bust my ass and work on those tough exercises, as well as make some kind of progression all 'round every week. Now I just need to get a damn job so I can get those supplements.

Supplements are not as important as you think. Once you have a certain level of experience, you’ll realize that.[/quote]

But they do help regardless.

[quote]engerland66 wrote:
Marukai620 wrote:
Thanks a lot for the feedback, guys. I’ll bust my ass and work on those tough exercises, as well as make some kind of progression all 'round every week. Now I just need to get a damn job so I can get those supplements.

Supplements are not as important as you think. Once you have a certain level of experience, you’ll realize that.[/quote]

I agree with this statement. People tend to have the same kind of mindset with supplements (over analyzing). Truth is, it breaks down pretty easy – If you are consuming more calories than you burn, you are going to gain weight. If you consume less calories than you burn, your going to lose weight. Regardless of any supplement. Think about all the old timers who obtained great physiques. They didn’t really have any supplements to choose from other than multivitamins.

It just isn’t really needed, sure it can help, but I would say 94% of your progress is going to be from diet from whole food sources. 6% from supplements (this doesn’t include anabolic supplements). The diet is the cake, and the supplements are just icing. Don’t over think it. As for diet, stick to whole food sources. I like to keep things as simple as possible because I have a busy schedule (most of the time). I cook my meals 1 day a week for two weeks. I put everything in tupperware containers and freeze it. This saves a lot of time. All you have to do is leave you meals out to defrost the night before, and you have all your meals ready to go the next day (just add oil). It is very easy to track how many calories you are getting this way. (good thing I saved a lot of this from away ago).

Healthy Meats (befriend a hunter and you’re set):
Tuna
Salmon
Orange ruffy
Truit
Tilapia
Skinless chicken breast
Lean turkey (preferably breast meat)
Extra lean beef (5% or less fat)
Liver (better to make it yourself)
Buffalo
Ostrich
Venison or elk
Protein powder (Whey, Casein, or egg protein powder)
Non-fat cottage cheese
Cheese (white cheese is better than orange cheese)
Eggs (not meat but great source of protein)
Note: try to buy Omega 3 eggs. Omega 3 eggs are much better for you than regular eggs

Healthy Carbs:
Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, kiwi, grapefruit, grapes, frozen mixed fruit, etc.)
Beans (pinto beans, black beans, gonzo beans, etc.)
Oatmeal (the less processed the better. Stay away from instant oatmeal. Try to find steel cut oatmeal or whole oats)
Vegetables (spinach, broccoli, green beans, or any other dark green leafy plant)
Note: the darker the vegetable, the better. Hence, iceberg lettuce offers very little nutritional value because it is so light in color)
Other healthy carbs: rice (brown or white), pasta(occasionally (post w/o meal best time. not really healthy), Ezekiel bread, yams, potatoes (preferably sweet potatoes or yams), oatmeal

Healthy fats:
Coconut oil
Olive oil
Fish oil
Borage oil
Nuts:
Walnuts
Almonds
Macadamias
Pistachios

Here is a sample of what I like to do:
Breakfast (I like to make a shake because it is quick):
1.5 cup raw oatmeal (blend for 2 minutes)
7 raw organic eggs (sounds gross, but it’s not)
Cup strawberries
Meal 2 (pretty much keep this for all my meals):
6-7oz meat
120g brown rice
3oz vegetables
15g healthy oil or handful nuts
2 fish oil caps
Meal 3 (same as meal 2)
Meal 4 (same as meal 2)
Meal 5 (preworkout shake, very important)
Fast absorbing protein (1,3 ratio protein to carbs)
Dextrose Carb source
BCAA’s
During training: carbs/BCAA’s
Post training:
Fast absorbing protein (1,3 ratio protein to carbs)
Dextrose Carb source
BCAA’s
Meal 6 (same as meal 2)
Meal 7 (same as meal 2 but no carbs)
Meal 8 (before bed shake)
scoop Whey casin (slow digesting)
scoop Whey isolate
big scoop natural (make sure it is natural) peanut butter, or oil
Meal 9 (middle of night shake)
Nocturnal meal
whey isolate
big scoop natural (make sure it is natural) peanut butter, or oil

Also with training. If I were you, I would train all those movements twice a week. With 2 exceptions:

  1. Maybe not deadlifts and goodmornings twice a week because these two are very demanding on on your posterior chain (both those movements work many of the same muscle groups). Meaning that they will take you longer to recover from. But go by how you feel. The key here is to listen to your body. If you are feeling beat up in the area your training, train higher reps, or just don’t do that exercise. Let your body be your guide as to how you should train. If you are a little sore, suck it up and do it. After all, anything worth having (in your case, a great physique), requires a great deal of effort. Remember this, and don’t use the “listen to your body” as an excuse to be lazy.

  2. If you suck at pushups, pullups/chins, and dips, do these ever day. They do this in the military for basic training. Many times a new recruit will come on who can only preform 6-8 pushups. There training will consist on 100s of pushups everyday (broken in to sets, of course), and by the time basic training is over, the recruit can preform a ton of them. Use this method to your advantage, but the key is consistency.

Did you see that last post? I hope I didn’t type all that for nothing lol.

Arguably, the only supplements that most people “need” are protein and fish oil. Protein powder is helpful because it can be very difficult to consistently get 1.5-2g protein/pound from your normal diet.

Fish oil is helpful for general systemic health. It has been shown to have an extremely beneficial impact on the cardiovascular system and to inhibit inflammation generally as well.

I get a small boost from creatine, but honestly it’s not much. However, since this supp is relatively cheap I continue to use it.

I have only noticed benefits from BCAAs while cutting. When I’m getting enough calories I don’t seem to need them.

Keep in mind that personal anecdotes do not equal evidence.
This is just my limited experience with the most common supplements. No supplement is a replacement for intensity in gym. And no supp is a replacement for a good nights sleep.

Yeah, fish oil and protein power are a necessity. I also think a good multivitamin (hard to find) is also a necessity because no matter how good your diet is, you are bound to be deficient in something.

[quote]Johnyjohnjohn wrote:
Did you see that last post? I hope I didn’t type all that for nothing lol.[/quote]

I did, sorry for not saying so lol. Yeah I’m trying to incorporate everything said in one sense or another. Thanks for the keep it simple advice too btw. Kinda made me realized that I was thinking about too many things.

I really do appreciate all the advice, man! Thanks again.