T Nation

Need Help, Fast!


Hey, I am new to this forum. I have just started lifting and I got a good routine, I think. I am doing 5 days a week, 2 days triceps/chest and 2 days back/biceps. The middle day is legs. One exercise I am particularly intrigued by is the flat dumbbell press. Right now, I am doing 4 sets of 6 reps with 40 pound dumbbells (I know, I am weak) and I am doing 1 set of 10 reps with 35 pound dumbbells.

I was wondering, if I continued working out 5 days a week for the next 9 months consistently, do you by June of next year, 9 months away, I will be able to do a workout with 70 pound dumbbells at 10 reps, 75 pound dumbbells at 8 reps and 80 pound dumbbells at 6 reps? I mean, is that kind of gain impossible? My chest routine is flat dumbbell press, incline dumbbell press, decline dumbbell press, incline flys, regular flys. Also, I am 5 feet 11 inches and I weigh 126 pounds.


No that kind of gain is not impossible. But I can tell you that you will need to eat like a fiend and train smart.

Since you're a beginner, I'd recommend lifting higher reps (8-12) per set for a few months. Then start gradually lowering back down to 6. Also, since you're a beginner, the volume is probably not going to kill you, but as you start lifting heavier weights, you might find that you may be overtraining with a workout like you've got now. Keep your current program for a month, and then try out some of the high quality routines on this site.

Training smart is at least as good as training hard! Oh, and eat a lot (see the Massive Eating article(s) by Dr. Berardi), drink a lot of water, and sleep a lot. At 5'11" and 126 you're unlikely to reach your goals... it'll be much better if you can gain some weight along the way.

One last piece of advice: Just because you have goals with bench, don't let the rest of your body lag. Believe it or not, a strong chest relies on a strong back, which in turn relies on strong legs. Don't short-change the other parts of your body.


And read this:


The information it contains will help.


Yeah I went from 45s to 80s in my first year..and that was while dieting.(I started ar 280)Just eat big and keep pushing yourself and you'll make it happen.


Ive been lifting for about 10 months and when I started I could do 4 sets of 6 with 50's and now I use 90's. You can do it for sure but I would cut down on the volume. No need to do so much for chest in one day...let alone twice a week, IMO.


I have some mini-exciting news. I have moved up to the 45s for 4 sets of 6 reps. I am still shooting for the 9 month goal of a 10-8-6 split with the 70, 75 and 80 lb dumbbells, but I was also wondering, is an 18 month goal of a 10-8-6 split with 100 lb dumbbells more or less reasonable? I will be gaining weight for sure these upcoming weeks and for the next few months.


I wouldn't say it's impossible but you'd probably benefit from switching up what exercises you're doing after a while. If you're gains on db bench start to stall, start do flat bench for 3-4 weeks then switch back. Definately try to put on as much size as you can. If you worry too much about being cut it will be harder for you to put on a lot of size and gain strength quickly.


I think it's a very bad idea to shortchange your legs like you are doing. Legs are more important than the other days, yet you're only doing them once per week compared to twice on the others. Either spread out your workouts, or cut out the 2nd chest and back days.