T Nation

Need Help Picking Correct Workout Routine


#1

Hello everyone!

So this is my first thread here & i need a serious help with how to pick a suitable workout routine/program.

First of all i am 173 cm / 74 Kg / 15,28% body fat / lean mass 63 kg / fat 11,30 kg.

I am workingout since 11 months but i am getting nowhere speaking about gains, even lifting my numbers are really low,

Example:
Bench press bar 40~50 kg
Straight bar bicep curl 30~35 kg
Cable Triceps push-down 20~25 kg
Standing T-bar row 30-35 kg
Barbell squat 40 kg

I hate looking at myself in the mirror i think my body is really ugly, i am doing a 1700~1800 meal plan 214 proteins (includes on whey after workout), 130 carbs & 35 fat which resulted that i lost my muscles size a bit.
i have an ugly waist, belly and love handles.

I workout everyday since i study at night and work during the day and noon so workingout everyday gives me some time where i can enjoy doing something which i like.

Also it is worth to mention that i have a disease called (Multiple sclerosis) bunch of brain lesions and lost my vision in my left eye, i dunno if my weight lifting is low cuz of my disease since “MS, resulting nerve damage disrupts communication between the brain and the body.”

Recent pictures:
http://epvpimg.com/kkqgb
http://epvpimg.com/Yqaob



#2

First thing u can notice from my log that it is a mess,
My current workout log

Monday:
BB incline bench press
DB chest fly
DB pull-over
Finisher 15R no rest 3 Sets: Incline DB bench press 45% / 30% / flat
Tricep Pushdown V-Bar
Weighted Dips
Cable Triceps Push-down, single arm
Single-Arm Seated DB Overhead Tricep Extension
Finisher triceps until failure 3 Sets: kick back on a bench to failure / incline db extension / elbows tucked db bench / cobra psuh-up
Chest: set 1 (10R) set 2&3 (8R) set 4&5 (6R) 2 min. rest
Tricep: 3 sets for each exercise (6-8R) 1 min. rest

Tuesday:
Assisted pull-up machine
Cable lat pull-down, wide overhand
Close-grip pull-down
DB pull-over
Standing T-bar row
Hyper extension
Inside Grip EZ-Bar Curl
Straight-Bar curl
Alternating DB Curl
Hammer Curl
DB preacher

Back: 4 sets (6-12R) 1 min. rest
Bicep: 3 sets for each exercise (6-8R) 1 min. rest

Wednesday:
Military press 3/8 (90 sec)
Arnold press 3/8 (90 sec)
Seated dumbbell bend-over raise 3/8 (60 sec)
DB pull-over 3/8 (60 sec)
Dumbbell lateral raise 3/8 (60 sec)
Machine cable front raise 3/8 (60 sec)
Barbell squat 4/10
Leg press machine 90 degrees 4/10
Leg extention 4/10
Abduction machine 4/10
Adduction machine 4/10
leg press machine 45 degrees 4/10


#3

I honestly think you are being very hard on yourself here. You aren’t in a terrible position to start a better program and make some quick gains. Depending on your goals here are a few that I have enjoyed and seen some great progress using:
Bodybuilding Style:
Reactive Pump Hypertrophy
Indigo Project <- Choose based on your main goal

Powerlifting/Strength Oriented:
5/3/1 For Hardgainers <- I’m currently using this program and loving it.

I would personally recommend starting with 5/3/1 as it will teach you some basic principles starting out lifting. Your current training routine appears very cluttered and busy (11-12 exercises with 3-4 sets of each). Time to ‘trim the fat’ and get back to basics. You will IMO see more noticeable strength and physique improvements if you focus your workouts on one main compound lift then hit some assistance at a reasonable intensity with adequate volume. You may need to bump your calories up a bit as your body is going to require some additional energy to grow. Read some different 5/3/1 articles so that you can get a feel for what the program is really about…but DO NOT OVER-COMPLICATE IT. The beauty of 5/3/1 is in its simplicity and efficiency.

I’m guilty of trying to add in 10 different intensity techniques in an attempt to speed up progress but always revert back to the basic template when my joints start aching or my progress stalls from lack of recovery.

If you’re dead set on more traditional bodybuilding splits, those I linked above aren’t a bad place to start. I’m no bodybuilder though, but I have experienced those programs myself and feel I made some reasonable progress.

Make sure when you’re in the gym you aren’t just ‘going through the motions’ but pushing yourself HARD. Eat healthy and often, sleep 8 hrs, and drink lots of water.

Good luck!


#4

Thank you so much for your attention, i do appreciate your reply.

I will check the programs you mentioned, as an example can you give me ur current 5/3/1 routine?


#5

I’m following the program exactly as written in the link I provided. Scroll down and all the lifts are laid out for you. I just change my assistance week to week or whatever I feel I need to work on that day.
You can check out what I have been doing in my training log, here.

I start with a light warmup/jumping.
Then do my main lift (OHP, Bench, Squat, Deadlift)
Then I do 2-3 assistance exercises (Choosing from those outlined by the program, or sometimes I’ll do something different to challenge myself/work on a personal weakness)

Keep it simple!


#6

Sounds great gonna check them out.
thank you so much.


#7

Damn man these lifts are very weak for someone who has been training for 11 months. I think you need something like starting strength because I’m not sure you’ll progress benching 30-35 kgs a week


#8

Your body is decent though don’t take it too hard on yourself


#9

Yeah you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself

I would say you need to lower your volume a bit and switch to a proven program which is a little more geared towards strength. You have more sets for your arms than you do your legs?

Also I can’t imagine if you can only bench around 60kg that weighted dips after various other exercises can really be done effectively. Not being critical of your strength as everyone starts somewhere but it kinda shows your probably not benefiting from the assistance work.

you need more quality work on less exercises.

do not shy away from direct ab work, hanging leg raises, crunches, roll outs, cable crunch

also if you want you could always do a few sets of sprints on one or two of your off days, I’m not saying you need but if in the short term you feel you want to drop a bit of bodyfat then it would be effective and build some muscle whilst your doing it.

nutrition is a whole other topic which if you provide more info on your current diet then you will be able to get some help there. At a glance I would say bit less protein and a bit more clean carbs, and obviously all the vegetables you can possibly eat at ever meal.


#10

Thank you so much for your advice, i think ye i will add some cardio to my workouts again, since i had stopped doing it since long time.

About abs i just do vacuums during my rests.

About your question, legs i have 24 sets and for arms bi & tri combined are 30 sets.

do you recommend the same workout routine which @littlesleeper suggested 5/3/1
or can u recommend any other routine?

About my strength i think this might be the reason, or i am just trying to find an excuse?

here is my meal plan

Also i need to mention that short time ago i stopped completely doing any chest exercises using barbell and substituted all of them for dumbbells since i can lift more using them.


#11

ye man, unfortunately that’s the problem i cant pass those weights since long time.


#12

Yeah his advice is spot on, you would learn a lot from the principles

You say you switch to dumbbells to lift more, maybe you should concentrate on lifting with better mind muscle connection for smooth clean reps regardless of weight used. What ever tool gets you that is what you should use.

hit your abs directly, if you strengthen your core and build some muscle it will transfer over to your strength work and also have the added benefit of having visible abs at higher body fat.

Treat your legs like what they are… pretty much around 50% of your muscularity!

I trained and stalled for a long whiled. When I dialed in the volume and concentrated on the key principle of progression things got moving with strength and physique

Eat more vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, kale, spinach and so on with every meal, pretty much as much as you can physically eat in a day. And look at some healthy fat sources like avocado, nuts, olive oil

Your calories are pretty low for someone looking to build size and strength, it may be what’s holding you back. It seems you may be worried about getting a bit soft but with a higher calorie clean diet and some conditioning work you can keep that in check whilst being in a surplus and building some mass.


#13

Thank you for the valuable tips and for your time to answer me back.
Yes, i started since few weeks focusing more on the full range of movement and how to do my exercises properly, & yes i feel much more comfortable with dumbbells when it comes to chest workouts since i can add more weights and focus on the motion.

dunno if it is okay? but i wanted to completely drop the chest workouts using barbell and depend only on dumbbells, pushups & machines etc…

Vacuums are not enough to hit the abs?

About legs i train them twice a week u think 24 sets for legs is low?

About calories i think my best days of gains when i was eating more calories you are right, but when i started my new plan to lose fat i lost weight and lost my gains which i got before.


#14

So the above routine you wrote out is done twice a week? When do you rest and recover?

Dropping barbell for chest is perfectly fine, it’s all about quality of contraction in the target area, so if thats dumbells then so be it.

I don’t think vacuums are even gonna come close to hanging leg raises and roll outs, doing vacuums is fine but they are not gonna build strong thick abs.

It would be best for you to pick one goal and stick to it for 6 months to a year, if it’s gaining muscle it’s gonna be a solid year of calorie surplus and smart training. If you bail after a month because you want to get ripped abs then you will just spin your wheels and get nowhere.


#15

Yes exactly i do it twice a week so every group of muscles is being trained twice a week,

i do not rest, normally i train 7 days a week but sometimes i rest saturday or sunday,

is there any program which i can stick to it for 6 months,
i have checked the 5/3/1 but i thought it is a bit complicated for me to get or understand, i mean it wasn’t clear enough for me how to apply it.

but i got some routines dunno if u would recommend using any of them? they are so clear to me
if you recommend any of them, i would fix my meal plan also and start from today,

Or you might advice to edit my current workout routine?

About meal plan how many calories should i add i am currently eating 1700~1800 calories.

Again thank you so much for your patience.


#16
  1. Find your 1RM (one rep max) for each main lift (bench (DB in your case), squat, OHP (overhead press) and deadlift), or estimated 1RM by using an online calculator using a multi rep max.
  2. From this value, multiply it by 0.85 (85%) to find your Training Max ™.
  3. Using your training max, you follow the prescribed weight/rep scheme.
    Eg. 200lb 1RM x 0.85 = 170lb TM
    65% x 5reps = 0.65 x 170 = 110lbs x 5reps

You can create a spreadsheet to make these values more plug and play. ORRRR…just google “black iron beast”. Select what 5/3/1 template you want to use, fill in the values and it will populate the program for you.

Complicated is one of the only words I would NOT use to describe 5/3/1.


#17

That’s lots of work load with not a lot of calories and not a great deal of recovery so I think this could be your issue.

I have recommended this loads recently but I think Paul carter guaranteed muscle is really good. Or a push, pull split.

Training two days on, one day off would be a good approach, or alternating days. Sometimes less is more, you grow from recovering, you do the work, rest, recover and do the work again.

If what you have been doing is not working then it’s time to change it up, it’s hard to except that doing less is gonna get better results

When I switched to a push pull split and fixed a few diet flaws i gained around 28lbs in less than a year without any obvious fat gain. So I really feel it’s worth a try for anyone struggling results.


#18

You need to get much stronger on the main lifts, -get on a proven 5x5 routine…

Further down the road try something like the Paul Carter routine mentioned above

Also whatever program you choose you need 2days off from the weights and one of those off from all excercise to recover and grow, especially with MS


#19

but if i follow a 5x5 program this mean i will workout 3 days a week only , right?


#20

how stupid i was, thinking like i am working out everyday is gonna get me anything, i will focus on off days more,
but when u say rest day u mean completely nothing not even some cardio, swimming, biking ?