T Nation

Need General Advice/Critique


What I'm looking for is advice on my workouts and my dieting. The advice I have received from my local gym who have size on them to seem to know what there talking about and friends of mine that happen to be fitness trainers are mixed.

I'm 5,6. I weigh at 138 lbs. I've worked out off and on for years. This past year I have gotten more interested in working out to were I've actually set up routines and spend more time in the gym and doing research.

First I'll explain what my typical week looks like. I'll workout 5 days a week focusing on my Torso on day 1, Arms on day 2, Legs on day 3, Shoulders on day 4, heavy on Abs and some odds 'n ends on day 5, as I take the weekends off. My workouts lasts about 2 hours per day. I workout using sets of 7,5,3 - 7,5,3 - 7,5,3 moving up in weight each rep for my first 2 exercises and than sets of 10x2,8x2,6 for my second 2 exercises also moving up in weight when I can.

Some advice I'd like to hear on my workout is if this seems like abit too much? Thats one of the things thats been mentioned to be by bodybuilders in my gym. While the workout I have set up is similar to a friend's of mine that I workout with over the summer who is a certified fitness trainer.

The only supplement I use is a serving of Cytogainer after each workout and somtimes throughout the day.

I've also noticed lately I don't have the energy and am not progressing as much as I was during the summer. Sometimes I can walk in the gym pumped up ready to throw some weight around and have some wild energy once I get started.. while on other days I just want to get it over with and lack stamina and endurance. I don't figure work or lack of sleep is involved since summertime for me is tourist season and I worked that many more hours. So my only other expectation is my diet. What can I do for energy and endurance? And what could my diet consist of to give me that energy back thats not too complex?

I know I need carbs and protien to workout and build muscle which I feel I maintain pretty well on a good day. I live alone and don't really have time to fix myself a nice meal so my diet is limited to fast food, cereal, microwaveable meals, and pizza... I just try to keep it on the carb and protien side... my metabalism wont allow me to gain weight from fatty foods. Considering that is this diet particularly bad?

I'd like some general advice for a diet when I don't have a whole lot of time. Something simple, fast, and on the go. I also don't have to worry about my weight so I don't stress over calories or fat.

Thanks for your time.


Making time for nutrition is just as important as making time for your workouts. Keep your workouts under an hour and use the extra hour to prepare your meals for the next 24 hours.

The first few threads in this forum contain a humongous amount of information that will help you greatly. You'll find answers to questions you haven't thought of yet. Ton of great info in the articles, too, so read up.

Welcome to T-Nation. I hope this site is as helpful to you as it has been to most of us.


Listen to the big guys; they got big for a reason. Not to take away from all fitness trainers; but not all know the answers you are looking for.

Glad your getting interested. You are short and super skinny. I'd usually say "Eat more!" here; but what are your goals? If it is to gain size....then yes; eat more.

Day 1: Torso? Like, chest, back and abs?
Day 2: A whole 2hr workout for your arms? Tisk tisk.
Day 3: Leg day; good idea.
Day 4: Shoulder day only?
Day 5: Heavy ab work won't give you a 6 pack, do 'some abs'. Define "odds and ends"

All in all, your about 50% set up. The other 50% is a mess. If you have 5 days to work out 2hrs a day; that's a great time frame to get some fucking size and strength.

My advice would be to do: Chest/Bi, Back/Tri, Legs, Shoulders/abs, and then your "odds and ends" day....cardio, grip, kettlebells, or just go in and stare at chicks for a bit. Or use that day to work on a lagging body part or lagging lift you wanna increase.

See my advice on fitness trainers above. I wouldn't say it's "too much" work. Just needs to be restructured.

That isn't a PWO shake, it's a weight gainer. Not terrible...but not a PWO. If that's what you got...then I guess use it till it's gone then look for something else.

Everyone has "on" and "off" days. I had an off day last night, I just wanted to go home. But I busted through all my shit at the gym. Energy? Look at the spike here on sale...it's great. All forms of it.

Like another poster said; make time for your diet or you'll stall out really quick with your progress. I cook for 1hr 30min a week and have all my chicken, pasta and whatnot ready to go for the WHOLE WEEK. it's quick, easy and simple after you do it once. Trust us.

Cooking for 1-2hrs a week out of 168hrs is great for someone short on time.



If you only have time to focus on this 2 hours a day 5 days a week it would probably be better to work out 1 hour a day 5 days a week and then spend the other hour a day learning about nutrition and putting a plan in place.

Fast food, microwaveable meals, pizza, etc, are gonna get you nowhere fast. It's a pain in the ass to get on the right track with nutrition but once you have it figured out and are used to it then it becomes really easy.


completely agree with JP and nowakc, so I won't go too far into the "1 hour rule." lifting longer than an hour is worse than just a waste of your time, anyway.

and be sure you're getting enough protein. you said you're sure you get enough, now? have you checked? if you haven't, that's a great start to fixing anything that's going wrong in the weight room. I found out recently that I'm eating below 2000 calories, but I'm lifting like a fiend and biking to my campus classes.

I didn't know why my lifts were suffering until I wrote down an average day's worth of calories, protein, and carbs. I know you said you don't have to worry about your weight so those aren't a big problem, but IF you're not getting enough protein, when you add it you might get a calorie surplus, so you'll have to figure out what has to go or how you're going to burn those off in the weight room. so write your diet down and check it if you haven't already.

half the battle in the weight room is done in the kitchen. I learned to cook by simply living alone. kind of "baptism by fire," cooking edition. :stuck_out_tongue: after a few burned chicken, you learn fast.

as for something "on the go" to eat, fruits and nuts are always good. just don't eat the entire quart-sized bag of nuts in one sitting. Spike's a good supplement, but (not to steal from Biotest's market) try something naturally grown first. if you still feel tired, by all means buy some Spike. it does help.


Same happens with me. On the days I'm not motivated, I crank up the mp3 player with some heavy shit and it gives me the kick in the ass I need.

Honestly, this sounds like your just making and excuse for yourself. I live alone and have cooked dinner almost every weekday night. Heres an example of a 10 minute meal:

Buy the fit'n easy precleaned chicken breast so you don't have to spend time trimming the fat ($5 per lb at A&P) . Get the thin ones. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in frying pan. Brown 1/2 lb of chicken breasts 2-3 minutes on each side. Salt and pepper each side. While thats going slice up half an onion. Once chicken is done remove it from pan. Add a tiny bit more oil to pan. Dump onions in there and fry them up for 2 minutes. Put chicken back in pan, add enough Stubbs BBQ sauce to just cover the chicken and onions (1/4 cup, maybe half cup). Lower heat and let it cook for 2 more minutes.

Throw a can of green beans with seasoning in the microwave or have a salad for the side dish.

Cooking time: 10 minutes
Calories: 500
Protein: 60 grams
Carbs: 15 grams
Fat: 15 grams

Those #'s are for the BBQ chicken, not including the side. You can make extra and have this a couple times a week. If possible , use Stubbs BBQ. It's awesome.


chicken goooooood

and ya, it does sound like you're making excuses. even if you think you're not, and you think you're right, moving something from "I can't do it" to "how can I do it?" can make a world of difference.

I can make dinner in 30 minutes to 45 minutes, and that's on a day where I don't feel like watching what I'm cooking, or want to do homework while I'm making dinner. it's not that hard, I don't get why some people freak out when they think about making dinner for themselves...

I go much simpler than sneed. I am NOT saying it's better, just simpler. I buy the Tyson chicken breast bags, usually come with 6-7 chicken breast. I boil the chicken for 25-ish minutes, then empty most of the water, add some diced tomatoes, (I buy mine pre-diced) some minced onions, (again, pre-minced) some lowfat cheese, a dash of salt and pepper, turn on the heat for the broccoli to boil, and put the cover back on the chicken for about 5-10 minutes. my chicken is never dry, and I use a spatula that allows drainage for any excess water

. I try not to boil the water out instead of draining it, I usually ended up drying the chicken out or burning it when I started cooking. like I said, simple. but this weekend I'm gonna try sneed's recipe, when I'm not preoccupied wondering how I'm gonna write an eight to ten page essay on engineering. woof. oh and I need some fit'n easy chicken, too. :stuck_out_tongue:

sneed, can you send me the recipe with normal chicken breast? I realize it'd take longer than 10 minutes without fit'n easy, but that's fine with me. is it exactly the same, but with some heat differences?


It's a hell of a lot easier when you cook more than one meal at a time, too. Cook enough for two or three days. Then all you have to do is reheat.

For chicken breasts, just cook a bunch of them bitches and use different sauces and stuff when you eat'em.


JP you bastard you beat me to it. :stuck_out_tongue: I was just gonna edit my last post and say:

"I forgot to mention this, but if you boil all of the chicken on one day, you can skip the 25 minutes of boiling each day and cut it down to a 10 minute cooking, or even slice them and make a sandwich out of them or whatever you want to do."


Yeah, if the chicken is thicker it'll take longer to cook and you may have to lower the heat a bit. When I get the regular chicken breast, I split them down the middle with a Chefs knife. Picture a closed 100 page book as the breast. Run the knife through page page 50 until you hit the binding. Now when you open the book (breast) it should be one big flat piece with the same thickness. Adding more oil helps it cook faster to but I only put a tiny amount so it tastes more grilled than fried.

If you like your chicken thicker, than the just clean it and and pound with a tenderizer till its even. The most important thing when cooking chicken in a pan with oil is that the the thickness of the breast is uniform so it cooks even. But if you're cooking by boiling, it doesn't matter.

Funny thing is I don't even have a stove in my house. I cook everything on a single hot plate with a microwave and toaster oven. This includes chicken parm dinners, chicken marsala, rigatoni with vodka sauce etc, etc. So I really don't believe the I don't have time to cook excuses alot of people make.