T Nation

My First Routine


#1

I am about to start my first real lifting routine and follow it consistently and keep a workout and food log. I will be doing Greyskull LP which is a linear program which has you squatting twice a week, deadlifting once a week and alternating between Bench and Overhead press each workout.

I have invested in fractional plates 4x0.5kg and 2x0.25kg to go along with the 1.25kg - 2.5kg - 5kg and 10kg 15kg 20kg and 25kg plates at the gym. This allows me to use the proscribed weight increments of

Squat and Deadlift 2.0kg
Bench and Press 1.0kg

The bench and press alternate each workout but the days themselves don't it goes ABA ABA ABA and so on.

The base program looks like this

A

Bench/Press 2x5 1x5+
Squat 2x5 1x5+

B

Bench/Press 2x5 1x5+
Deadlift 1x5+

Now my program with my selected add ons will look like this:

A
Bench/Press 2x5 1x5+
DB rows/Barbell rows 4x6-8
DB curls/DB lateral raises 4x6-8
Squat 2x5 1x5+

B
Bench/Press 2x5 1x5+
DB rows/Barbell rows 4x6-8
DB curls/DB lateral raises 4x6-8
Deadlift 1x5+

So I would alternate between doing barbell and dumbbell rows from workout to workout and alternate between curls and lateral raises. I would probably do laterals on press day and curls on bench day.

I was also interested in using the ladder system he outlines in the book for pressups and chinups for situps, hyperextensions and grip work (COC grippers)

How would you fit that in?

I have a weak core and lower back and grip from having tiny hands and wrists. I have noticed since starting to do situps and hypers I finding it easier to not cave or fall forward during squats. How should I program these in ladder format? Would the following be ok?

Hyper ladder
1 set of 5
1 set of 7
1 set of 10

Situp ladder
1 set of 5
1 set of 7
1 set of 10

gripper ladder
1 set of 5
1 set of 7
1 set of 10

I know these sound stupid easy but Jonny Pain says to stay well clear of faliure and just keep adding reps to the sets. For example on press-ups it starts low and ends at around 50. So after a month I would go from 5 7 10 to 10 13 15 to 13 15 17 etc

M GSLP A - Sit-up ladder
T Hyper ladder
W GSLP B - Grip ladder
T Sit-up ladder
F GSLP A - Hyper ladder
S Grip ladder
S rest or test one of the ladder exercise max reps

I will also be walking my dogs around 3-4 miles every day and I cycle or walk to work every day which is a 3 mile round trip.

I weigh around 200lbs at around 30-35% bodyfat. I am 5 foot 9 and have most of my fat around my abdomen and thighs. I am struggling to figure out how much to eat. All the online calculators have set exercise categories like extreme workout, 3 moderate worjouts a week etc. So I am never sure what to choose.

I was thinking of starting at around 2500kcal and a gram of protein per lb of lean body mass.

I am very newby so please be gentle with the criticism and any advice.


#2

First of all, congratulations to your choice. Greyskull is a very decent program. All of the questions you have asked relate to what one would call assistance exercises. The worst you can do with these is spend a lot of time planning them as they won’t make a big difference compared to the big lifts. So I suggest you do the following:

  1. Keep your main workouts the way they are. Realise that the raises and curls target very small muscles that will take time to get stronger. Don’t make the mistake of adding weight on these too soon, you’ll just start heaving the dumbbells, making the exercise useless. Be patient.

  2. back extensions and situps are awesome but doing ladders with them is dumb. Just do 3x20 on extensions on your press days and 3x20 on situps on your bench days, after you’re done with the big lifts. keep it simple.

  3. Do push ups and pull ups whenever you want, but don’t push them hard - just get the reps in. You could do one set of each every morning and every night, for instance. Again, these are supposed to be easy.

  4. The most important part is getting your squat, deadlift, bench and press numbers up while staying injury free. If you achieve this, something worked. If you don’t, something didn’t.


#3

dont stress out
keep it simple
sometimes you dont see the results you think you should as fast as you think you should
dont quit
keep going
keep reading and learning and lifting
pick a calorie intake dont stress adjust as needed
ex. calorie count that had me gaining body weight (amount of weight lifted during workouts increased) became a calorie count that had me losing body weight had to increase calorie to continue gaining weight


#4

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
First of all, congratulations to your choice. Greyskull is a very decent program. All of the questions you have asked relate to what one would call assistance exercises. The worst you can do with these is spend a lot of time planning them as they won’t make a big difference compared to the big lifts. So I suggest you do the following:

  1. Keep your main workouts the way they are. Realise that the raises and curls target very small muscles that will take time to get stronger. Don’t make the mistake of adding weight on these too soon, you’ll just start heaving the dumbbells, making the exercise useless. Be patient.

  2. back extensions and situps are awesome but doing ladders with them is dumb. Just do 3x20 on extensions on your press days and 3x20 on situps on your bench days, after you’re done with the big lifts. keep it simple.

  3. Do push ups and pull ups whenever you want, but don’t push them hard - just get the reps in. You could do one set of each every morning and every night, for instance. Again, these are supposed to be easy.

  4. The most important part is getting your squat, deadlift, bench and press numbers up while staying injury free. If you achieve this, something worked. If you don’t, something didn’t.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice.

With regards to your advice to do sit-ups and hypers 3x20 during my workouts. Where should I put them in? The book says to have assistance work before the lower body main lift as that should be the last lift of the day.

Would doing situps and hypers before squatting and deadlifting not mess me up? I would of thought fatiguing my back and core before doing squats and deadlifts would give me problems with maintaining form.


#5

keep it simple
i think the other guy said 'do them after the big lifts keep it simple’
but if you did them first they would be a warm up


#6

[quote]Red69 wrote:
With regards to your advice to do sit-ups and hypers 3x20 during my workouts. Where should I put them in? The book says to have assistance work before the lower body main lift as that should be the last lift of the day.

Would doing situps and hypers before squatting and deadlifting not mess me up? I would of thought fatiguing my back and core before doing squats and deadlifts would give me problems with maintaining form.[/quote]

As I said, do them after everything else. The idea behind doing squats last is that you won’t be able to push yourself after them, but doing some fairly easy core work is manageable even after the most epic squat fest.


#7

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]Red69 wrote:
With regards to your advice to do sit-ups and hypers 3x20 during my workouts. Where should I put them in? The book says to have assistance work before the lower body main lift as that should be the last lift of the day.

Would doing situps and hypers before squatting and deadlifting not mess me up? I would of thought fatiguing my back and core before doing squats and deadlifts would give me problems with maintaining form.[/quote]

As I said, do them after everything else. The idea behind doing squats last is that you won’t be able to push yourself after them, but doing some fairly easy core work is manageable even after the most epic squat fest.[/quote]

Thanks Nighthawkz.

Can I get your opinion on something?

I joined a gym a couple of months ago when I planned on starting greyskull. I ended up getting injured (non training related) so could’t go. Recently I found an oldschool powerlifting and bodybuilding orientated gym right next to the gym I joined.

I went in on my way back from the gym last night and it is amazing. Multiple racks, tonnes of weight plates, all the bars have knurling in the middle and it is very rough so it stays on your shirt when squatting, my gym has shiny bars without knurling in the middle.

I dropped almost a grand on a year membership but it is always packed, has shitting weight equipment and terrible bars.

Would you keep going until your membership ran out or would you cut your losses and join the powerlifting gym?


#8

Oh also I nailed a high bar squat , back was almost completely vertical my arse was almost touching the floor. The olympic shoes were amazing, made it feel natural. I will work on ankle mobility so I am not just masking a problem but very happy with them.

I put a 5kg plate on each side and started from there. I was incredibly sore afterwards and today my quads and gluted are very sore. I never felt like this when I was squatting higher so I guess it is just that the muscles are not used to being worked?


#9

Whether or not to cut your losses depends on two things - how much a different environment will really help you and how much money you’d lose relative to your income. Some people do much better when they’re surrounded by strong people, others don’t see a big difference. Also, to a minimum wage worker losing 1’000 would be a big problem - for a CEO, not so much. You don’t need to answer this question publicly, just think about it.

A new exercise will very often leave you sore because you’re not used to the particular ROM. That doesn’t mean it’s a magic weapon.


#10

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Whether or not to cut your losses depends on two things - how much a different environment will really help you and how much money you’d lose relative to your income. Some people do much better when they’re surrounded by strong people, others don’t see a big difference. Also, to a minimum wage worker losing 1’000 would be a big problem - for a CEO, not so much. You don’t need to answer this question publicly, just think about it.

A new exercise will very often leave you sore because you’re not used to the particular ROM. That doesn’t mean it’s a magic weapon.[/quote]

Listen to this man.


#11

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Whether or not to cut your losses depends on two things - how much a different environment will really help you and how much money you’d lose relative to your income. Some people do much better when they’re surrounded by strong people, others don’t see a big difference. Also, to a minimum wage worker losing 1’000 would be a big problem - for a CEO, not so much. You don’t need to answer this question publicly, just think about it.

A new exercise will very often leave you sore because you’re not used to the particular ROM. That doesn’t mean it’s a magic weapon.[/quote]

Listen to this man.[/quote]

He probably didn’t think what he said, as innocuous as it was would of had much of an effect on me. After reading it last night I really had a think about my life, job and where I am and ended up phoning the local college about getting a diploma equivalency and booked a theory test for getting my arse towards getting my license.

I have been in a total funk last couple of years but I am suddenly feeling energised and focused. Thanks Nighthawkz for unwittingly giving me the kick up the ass I needed.


#12

[quote]Red69 wrote:
He probably didn’t think what he said, as innocuous as it was would of had much of an effect on me. After reading it last night I really had a think about my life, job and where I am and ended up phoning the local college about getting a diploma equivalency and booked a theory test for getting my arse towards getting my license.

I have been in a total funk last couple of years but I am suddenly feeling energised and focused. Thanks Nighthawkz for unwittingly giving me the kick up the ass I needed.
[/quote]

Yeah, completely unintended since I didn’t know about your circumstances, but good for you. Make sure you keep the momentum going. We all love being TD sometimes.


#13

[quote]Red69 wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Whether or not to cut your losses depends on two things - how much a different environment will really help you and how much money you’d lose relative to your income. Some people do much better when they’re surrounded by strong people, others don’t see a big difference. Also, to a minimum wage worker losing 1’000 would be a big problem - for a CEO, not so much. You don’t need to answer this question publicly, just think about it.

A new exercise will very often leave you sore because you’re not used to the particular ROM. That doesn’t mean it’s a magic weapon.[/quote]

Listen to this man.[/quote]

He probably didn’t think what he said, as innocuous as it was would of had much of an effect on me. After reading it last night I really had a think about my life, job and where I am and ended up phoning the local college about getting a diploma equivalency and booked a theory test for getting my arse towards getting my license.

I have been in a total funk last couple of years but I am suddenly feeling energised and focused. Thanks Nighthawkz for unwittingly giving me the kick up the ass I needed.
[/quote]

Nice. Best of luck.


#14

Ugh that fucking gym.

I had to wait 39 minutes (yes i timed it on my watch) for the one squat rack. I finally got on it and the bar endings were literally unscrewing (the inside things) I had to walk to the other end of the gym because a trainer had stacked up all the weight plates up for group box jumps.

I finish and then have to wait another 25 minutes for the one bench. The bar was slightly bent after only being in the gym a week. I go to do some dumbbell curls and a couple guys have like 10 pairs at their feet doing dropsets. Get all agro when I ask to use one.
I am broke but I really can’t keep going there. It is fucking ridiculous.

I would try and get my money back but I think it isn’t in the cards, we will see. Going to go to the powerlifting gym on monday. I dropped in and asked about it on my way back, they don’t let you join you can go a few times and they will keep an eye on you and if you are ok and respectful they let you go regularly.


#15

[quote]Red69 wrote:
Ugh that fucking gym.

I had to wait 39 minutes (yes i timed it on my watch) for the one squat rack. I finally got on it and the bar endings were literally unscrewing (the inside things) I had to walk to the other end of the gym because a trainer had stacked up all the weight plates up for group box jumps.

I finish and then have to wait another 25 minutes for the one bench. The bar was slightly bent after only being in the gym a week. I go to do some dumbbell curls and a couple guys have like 10 pairs at their feet doing dropsets. Get all agro when I ask to use one.
I am broke but I really can’t keep going there. It is fucking ridiculous.

I would try and get my money back but I think it isn’t in the cards, we will see. Going to go to the powerlifting gym on monday. I dropped in and asked about it on my way back, they don’t let you join you can go a few times and they will keep an eye on you and if you are ok and respectful they let you go regularly.

[/quote]

Are you asking to work in with the people that are occupying the equipment?


#16

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Red69 wrote:
Ugh that fucking gym.

I had to wait 39 minutes (yes i timed it on my watch) for the one squat rack. I finally got on it and the bar endings were literally unscrewing (the inside things) I had to walk to the other end of the gym because a trainer had stacked up all the weight plates up for group box jumps.

I finish and then have to wait another 25 minutes for the one bench. The bar was slightly bent after only being in the gym a week. I go to do some dumbbell curls and a couple guys have like 10 pairs at their feet doing dropsets. Get all agro when I ask to use one.
I am broke but I really can’t keep going there. It is fucking ridiculous.

I would try and get my money back but I think it isn’t in the cards, we will see. Going to go to the powerlifting gym on monday. I dropped in and asked about it on my way back, they don’t let you join you can go a few times and they will keep an eye on you and if you are ok and respectful they let you go regularly.

[/quote]

Are you asking to work in with the people that are occupying the equipment?
[/quote]

I Normally would but for both the rack and the bench multiple guys were in groups using equipment. That seems a big thing, groups of men using equipment and taking extensive rest periods.

On monday I worked in with a woman who was doing squats and the bench was free but quite alot of the time people seem to use equipment in groups.


#17

[quote]Red69 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Red69 wrote:
Ugh that fucking gym.

I had to wait 39 minutes (yes i timed it on my watch) for the one squat rack. I finally got on it and the bar endings were literally unscrewing (the inside things) I had to walk to the other end of the gym because a trainer had stacked up all the weight plates up for group box jumps.

I finish and then have to wait another 25 minutes for the one bench. The bar was slightly bent after only being in the gym a week. I go to do some dumbbell curls and a couple guys have like 10 pairs at their feet doing dropsets. Get all agro when I ask to use one.
I am broke but I really can’t keep going there. It is fucking ridiculous.

I would try and get my money back but I think it isn’t in the cards, we will see. Going to go to the powerlifting gym on monday. I dropped in and asked about it on my way back, they don’t let you join you can go a few times and they will keep an eye on you and if you are ok and respectful they let you go regularly.

[/quote]

Are you asking to work in with the people that are occupying the equipment?
[/quote]

I Normally would but for both the rack and the bench multiple guys were in groups using equipment. That seems a big thing, groups of men using equipment and taking extensive rest periods.

On monday I worked in with a woman who was doing squats and the bench was free but quite alot of the time people seem to use equipment in groups. [/quote]

I’ve asked to work in with groups. I actually think the long rest periods help, and I figure we’re all here to use the equipment. Sharing is caring at all that.


#18

I lifted at a commercial gym for a few years. At first I sorta liked it. There were girls to look at, and I’d catch up with my homeboys. But it kept getting more and more crowded.

The cheap bars didn’t last long. The power racks were always taken. People herded around the dumbbell racks. Machines were always falling apart and cables were always breaking. Dudes would steal plates off the power rack while you were in the middle of a set of squats.

After awhile I just started adjusting my workouts. I didn’t do what I needed to do. I didn’t even do what I wanted to do. I just did whatever I could with what was available. Most of the time I was just angry. It started to make me dislike lifting. It was really frustrating, and progress slowed to the point were I was pretty much going backwards.

Finally I switched gyms like I should have years earlier. Plenty of power racks, nice barbells, metal plates, all the good stuff. No crowds. I actually get useful feedback from other lifters, instead of them grabbing equipment out from under me. I’m so glad I moved. I wish I’d done it sooner. The time and money I spent at the commercial gym is wasted and gone. If I had bit the bullet and joined the good gym earlier, I’d still have wasted money, but not the time.

Remember what Louie Simmons said,

“-If it’s not an advantage, its a disadvantage.”


#19

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
I lifted at a commercial gym for a few years. At first I sorta liked it. There were girls to look at, and I’d catch up with my homeboys. But it kept getting more and more crowded.

The cheap bars didn’t last long. The power racks were always taken. People herded around the dumbbell racks. Machines were always falling apart and cables were always breaking. Dudes would steal plates off the power rack while you were in the middle of a set of squats.

After awhile I just started adjusting my workouts. I didn’t do what I needed to do. I didn’t even do what I wanted to do. I just did whatever I could with what was available. Most of the time I was just angry. It started to make me dislike lifting. It was really frustrating, and progress slowed to the point were I was pretty much going backwards.

Finally I switched gyms like I should have years earlier. Plenty of power racks, nice barbells, metal plates, all the good stuff. No crowds. I actually get useful feedback from other lifters, instead of them grabbing equipment out from under me. I’m so glad I moved. I wish I’d done it sooner. The time and money I spent at the commercial gym is wasted and gone. If I had bit the bullet and joined the good gym earlier, I’d still have wasted money, but not the time.

Remember what Louie Simmons said,

“-If it’s not an advantage, its a disadvantage.”

[/quote]

I have just been to the powerlifting gym. I spent a good hour or so there talking to the owner and some of the guys there. I have been a couple times now and am just checking the place out but I am really impressed.

There were a couple of enormous guys there doing rack pulls with an enormous amount of weight. They finished, took off all the plates, put them in the right place across the gym, put the collars in the collar box, moved the safety bars and pins back to where they were prior to use and then toweled the bar to remove excess chalk they had applied.

This really should be standard behaviour in society but you almost never see it at my current gym. I did some squats and the bar was fantastic, the knurling was like velcro on my shirt. I tried out the reverse hyper which I struggled with and did some core work.

I am still not allowed to join as they want to make sure no arseholes join. They also do cash only and you agree that the gym owner can ban you if you violate the gym rules of conduct. Seems to have created a pretty great environment.

Only thing I am worried about is getting in the way. They have guys who squat in the 500+ lbs range etc and I feel oddly out of place. But that is just a confidence issue nothing on their part.


#20

Cash only with no contract is the way to go. Eliminates that whole sense of entitlement that disgusts me about society lately. Likelihood of banishment for being an asshat is even better.

Those guys squatting 5+ are going to make you stronger. Always seek to train with guys who are stronger than you. That’s the thing I miss the most about commercial gyms.