T Nation

New Beginning: Seek Solid Advice


(Please bear with the long post!)

I'm not the worlds biggest guy, actually I'm not even close. Currently I stand 5'10-11 and 195 lbs. I lifted in highschool because of the weight training course that was offered. I lifted when I could, when I couldn't it was because of injury or surgery. Now 195 is the most I have ever weighed, back when I was lifting everyday, or actually on a work out plan, I was a fairly lean 185-190 at my estimate of 13% bf.

As some of you may know (definately most don't) I am an Air Force rotc guy at a smaller private school. The only reason I bring that into view is because of the 1.5 mile run test and the expectation of me to be able to run 5 miles rather quickly.

I haven't been lifting in a while, mainly do the fact that I've been focusing on my aerobic fitness for my run test; but recently I've read a few articles and just plain realized that I can get much bigger while still maintaining the ability and endurance to perform well.

I now have made up my mind that I am going to get back into lifting full swing, and this time include nutrition and supplements on top of protein powder.  I have read as many diet articles on this site that I could find with in the last few days, from the velocity to the T-dawg, and I have learned a great deal about dieting already. I understand that in order to gain mass and/or become more dense, one must consume all of the necessary nutrients along with a sufficient caloric intake. Now the tough spot with my situation (or atleast how I see it), is that I want to gain lean muscle mass without gaining any or atleast more than a couple pounds of fat. I know some of you are saying that it would be much more beneficial to me if I would just worry about bulking now and worry about cutting later, but I can't. Again going back to my Air Force situation, I am already 'over weight' by their standards; meaning the maximum weight without a bodyfat measurement for my height is 185, so I am currently 10 lbs over. Now there are certainly ways around this maximum such as a bodyfat measurement or this wierd tape measure equation they use, but I still want to show them that I am as lean as possible even if I have gotten bigger. ( I know that paragraph was sort of a tangent, but I hope everyone gets it). 		

Per a formula that I picked up on in one of the articles on this site, I'm estimating that around 2500-2700 calories per day is reasonable for my goals; aslong as I eat good clean foods (please correct me if I'm wrong or if you have a better suggestion).  As I have said earlier, I've never followed my nutrition, but this is going to change. I am going to briefly list off foods that will be the majority of my diet in hopes that you all can assist me in eliminating any bad choices, or by adding some of your own good choices.

All fruits
All vegetables
natural oatmeal
fat free cottage cheese
other fat free cheeses
skim milk
lean turkey
lean steak
lean grilled chicken
hard boiled eggs
Natural penut butter?

The fats (where I need help most)
-milled flax seeds

If there are any major things that I have missed, please post it!
Side question: What would be a good meal for me to eat at 6am before I go run for an hour?

Now to the second part of my situation: the lifting.

I do know a lot more about lifting than nutrition but I still have much to learn. In the past I rarely did any of the 'big' lifts besides bench, but I now fully intend, and have already started squating and doing deadlift. I have briefly put together a workout for my schedule and situation together in my head and I want to ask all of you guys for some input before I really get into it. My schedule for atleast this upcoming semester is Monday, Wednesday, Friday I don't have class until 11, so I was planning on getting my major workouts in on those mornings(but keep in mind on two of those three days I have mandatory physical training with my wing (airforce for unit) that usually consists of alot of running, pushups and situps), on tuesdays and thursdays I have class for most of the day and will probably reserve any freetime I have to simply cardio or do abdominal work.
So my workouts tentatively looks like so:

Day 1 : Chest, arms and traps

flat bench 3x6
incline db 3x6
decline bench 3x6
flyes(cable or other) 3x6
overhead push/skullcrushers 3x6
pushdowns 3x8
straight bar curl 3x6
single db curl 3x6
reverse preacher curl 3x6
shrugs 3x6

Day 2: Legs
squat 3x5
step ups 3x6
quad extens. 3x6
some sort of calf extens/press 3x8

Day 3: Back
roman dead lift 3x6
seated row 3x6
bent over row 3x6
lat pull down/pullups 3x6-8
back extenders 3x10

Please comment on the above

Lastly are my supplements. I've never understood or tried to learn much about different supplements and which ones are good for certain situations, but I am slowly learning. Currently I only use a low carb protein powder, but I am looking for the whole 9 yards (as cheaply as possible, I am in college..)
I was thinking a stack like this:

Lowcard protein powder
some sort of post workout drink
salmon oil capsules
HOT-ROX maybe, probably not
-Also, I have a bottle of Alpha Male for some reason. Would this help me, or would it just be a waste?

Please add or negate anything I have listed, also it would be helpful if you could list specific products so that I don't over pay for some crappy supplement.

That pretty much wraps up my new beginning thread and if you did stay with me and read the whole thing I appreciate it along with any response you may have for me. I realize that I probably have listed some things or my plan contains something counter productive, so please if you see something out of place let me know. I will try to get some recent pictures of me so that I can have a true before picture.

Thanks again!


How about just trying the 5x5 for lifting?



Some beef, milk and peanuts would also be a good idea in helping you pack on some mass


great link, I'll get through as much of it as I can tonight!


Any other opinions? How's this stack look?

salmon oil caps
lowcarb protein
Alpha Male?

I'm unsure about the safety of Alpha Male with these others. Comments encouraged.


Before getting in any supplements, make sure your eating plan is solid


It's pretty solid right now, just not fine tuned.


The fact that its not fine tuned yet means its not solid


Fair enough, I'll work on that today then!


Flameout for your essential fatty acid needs, Metabolic Drive either Low-Carb or Complete for additional protein needs, Alpha Male to keep your test levels optimally high as well as keeping you anabolic, ZMA, to boost immune function, quality of sleep, and to support test production. Alpha Male is safe with everything mentioned.

If you, as you have stated, have your nutrition bases covered and are lifting and wanting to improve endurance, lean mass gains, and overall health, these supplements will help you to fire on all cylinders.

Take care,



Well, my first thought is that 2700 cals is way too low if you want to gain any muscle, especially since you are running for an hour a few times a week (is this necessary?).

Also, your diet looks painfully low in fats. I would suggest making at least two salads a day with meat, cheese, vinegar, olive oil, flax oil, and walnuts or almonds (and of course greens, spinach, and other veggies like broccoli, carrots, and peppers). Also, don't be afraid of a little saturated fat from the dairy, it will provide more calories.

Lastly, I don't think that the bodypart split you are doing is very effective. I am a strong supporter of full-body workouts, especially for beginners. I would look into any of Waterbury's routines, such as ABBH or TBT.

Good luck, and eat big!


Great advice from all of you guys and I will certainly factor in all of your suggestions.

As far as fats go, cheese, 1%milk and nuts good enough? How about some super chunk penut butter? I love me some of that.

Full body routines, I would love to be able to do that but I just don't think I can dedicate a block of time large enough to do those effectively, but we'll see how it pans out once my schedules goes into full swing.

Please keep the advice coming!

(Here are my official 'before' pictures)

I will take in to account raising my caloric intake, but I do need to cut my fat to show my Colonel that I am doing what I can do make weight (even if I am gaining muscle weight), so we'll see how that goes


my gut


my lightning wheels


Well, if you have time to do 30 sets on chest day, then you sure as hell have time to do a 45 minute full-body workout.

Now, judging by your pics, if you did lose fat, how the hell would you notice? Seriously, you seem to already be pretty lean, and worrying about bodyfat is just going to keep you small and skinny! Just tell your colonel you will be a more effective killing machine with more muscle.

You also might want to look into Waterbury's Summer Program, becuase it is intended to help you lean out, while maintaining (or, if you eat enough, gaining) muscle mass.

I don't know what else to tell you, since you have to keep your superiors happy... Good luck, and remember that whatever you decide to do, keep track of diet and workouts, and adjust every couple of weeks as necessary.


Lol oh the fat is there, I got big fat lumps on the outsides of my lower back, and I could lose some in my ass too. I also changed up my work out to do arms, shoulders and traps on my off/cardio days since I'm already time crunched. I donno, we'll see.

Got a link to a good full body workout?

Thanks again


I'm sorry,did know onw else read that he thinks 2800-2900 calories is enough for his workouts and his mile runs?I would think you'd need to eat at least 3200 calories.anyone have a link to the BMR calculator?


I feel your pain - the BMI standards in the military are a problem, especially if you want to get bigger (my old gunner was "overweight", but he had a killer 6-pack). Don't sweat it, just get taped.

Try full body workouts - either circuits or supersets using opposing muscle groups to keep down time, but also give you some cardio effect. Doing this with the military PT / runs should keep the fat in check and give you some gains.

Sorry, but can't help you with the nutrition - I'm a nugget at that. If you can stomach oatmeal before a run, go for it, or try a fruit smoothie or a proiten & carb shake.

Good luck