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New Confused Lifter Seeking Results

I recently started getting back into the gym about 2 months ago and am not seeing the results I was hoping for.

My goal is to cut my fat (about 28%), and get a cut body while obviously building muscle. I am 5’10 160. I have a body built for endurance but not strength. I read the “computer guy” article and feel like that is kind of my type. I am coordinated and athletic, but I do sit in front of a computer all day.

My workout is usually like this

Day 1
Chest and Shoulders
2 Exercises each 3 sets 10-12 reps
20-30 mins cardio after

Day 2
Arms and Back
2 Exercises each 3 sets 10-12 reps
20-30 mins cardio after

Day 3
Legs
3 Exercises, 3 sets 10-12 reps

Day 4
Cardio only
30-60 mins on treadmill or boxing class

Day 5
Back to Chest and Shoulders

Day 6-7
Rest

(Day 1 will now be arms and shoulders etc.)

I usually do abs at least every other day.

I am balancing meals and eating continually throughout the day. I keep a healthy diet full of protein and healthy carbs like fruits and vegetables).

I have lost 5 pounds and seen not much change in body form, which I think is from intense cardio. I am trying to gain weight through muscle, not lose it.

If you have any suggestions please post them. I am beginning to lose motivation because I am not seeing results.

Thanks

First of all where did you get that bodyfat %?

Forget doing abs every day, spend it doing cardio instead until you get a lot leaner. An old school bodybuilder once ordered a client out of his gym once because he saw the guy trying to crunch his way into a badass body. You’d be better off doing deadlifts and squats instead of crunch for now.

First of all : your lifting volume - sucks. I wouldn’t have a girl 2 set 2 exercises per body part.

You do realize that if you are at 28% bodyfat that if you had no body fat you’d weigh like a nice girl : at 115lbs of PURE muscle, including bones and organs of course. By an large that is a lot already so I can see that you have a good foundation. I’m sure others will agree.

Point is :

New to T-Nation?
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=817951

Are You A Beginner?
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=640350

Advice From Vets for Young Bucks
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1368968

Read articles from John Berardi the “doc” about nutrition.

Read carb cycling codex by Christian Thibaudeau

  • You are a beginner, you’re gonna have to toss out that lifting scheme you invented and best to grab one of the training program articles for beginners off the site, and wait to hear what others have to say. 2 months is not a very long time if you don’t have the time or the know how to do more in less time. You have neither ~ I expect that based on your weight-lifting scheme your cardio isn’t as rough and tough as it may sound on first glance. But as long as you break a sweat and walk out dripping in your own fluids thats good enough.

If your lifting for strength why don’t you check out n3wbs reps and set #'s

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1189524

Generally 2-6 rep range is meant for strength and size gains.

10-12 is not.

But honestly only 2 sets per body part? Who told you to do this? Why?

Can you also include the weight your lifting. More info required and or photo. But even without the #'s or pic that’s the ugliest lifting schedule I’ve ever seen volume wise.

Empty your mind of preconceived notions and start clean and start reading! good luck! Better questions = better answers.

Also an accurate honest bare-faced food log is in order.

Fat Loss is primarily fueled by a calorie-deficit combined with cardiovascular activity and solid amount of rest. I’d recommend you worked on building muscle primarily so that it’s easier for you to lose fat and you up your metabolism too!

Muscle is great for burning fat overtime in increments. If you want instant gratification you can just hike 12 hours a day instead and live off of small woodland creatures and nuts n berries.

Sorry about being so vague.

About the body fat. I had a trainer do an assessment on me when I joined the gym and he took a bunch of measurements. He is the one who said I had about 30% body fat. He also told me to do about 10-12 reps for muscle building.

I actually do 3 sets per exercise with 1 warm up set (total of 4). I do 2 exercises per body part, sometimes 3. This is at the guidance of the trainer. I’ve only had an intro/beginner session because I can’t afford a regular trainer, which I would like to have.

I will try to post a picture soon. It will probably motivate me if I get it up on the internet anyway.

Thanks for the advice. It seems like it is a combination of misguidance and impatience. I know I am slim, maybe even like a girl you say. This is the reason why I am starting to lift.

Below is my weight lifts(I apologize for improper terminology)

Day 1
Chest and Shoulders
Incline Bench
65x10
85x10
105x10
115x10
(Sometimes right into DB incl press)

Cable Cross (Free Motion)
25x10
30x10
35x10
40x max out

Weight bar lifts(from gut to upper chest) straight into standing military press
30x10…30x10
40x10…40X10
45x10…45x10

Cable Cross (shoulders, from mid section to full extension-free motion machine)
10x10
15x10
20x10

20-30 mins cardio after

Day 2
Arms and Back

Warm Up Pull ups
70(assisted)x10
60(assisted)x10
50(assisted)x10

Seated Row
60x10
70x10
80x10
90x10

Lat PD
40x10
50x10
60x10

Bi Curls
35x10
40x10
45x10
55x10

Tri Rope Pull Downs
80x10
90x10
100x10
110x10

(Lie on bench with curl bar and push from behind head to above head)
35x10
40x10
45x10

20-30 mins cardio after

Day 3
Legs

Machine Squat
180x10
180x10
270x10
270x10

Leg Press
180x10
270x10
360xmax

Calf raises
45x20
65x20
90x20

Day 4
Cardio only
30-60 mins on treadmill or boxing class

Day 5
Back to Chest and Shoulders

Day 6-7
Rest

I hope this helps. Thanks again for the advice

Machine Squat=NOOOOOO
These are quite bad as they force you into an awkward range of motion that puts a lot of stress on the spine. With free weight the center of gravity changes with the range of motion. With the machine it stays put so your spine has to start supporting the weight in positions that will eventually lead to complications.

Now, you addressed the fact your body is more built for endurane. With your lifting scheme I can see why. Doing Multiple sets for muscles is not bad, but lets take your triceps for example. If you look at day 1, your chest day, almost all of those exercises also incorporate triceps and of course chest. If you add those reps up though you get at least 100 reps. (the 40xmax out pushes it past) Now German Volume training focuses on 10x10. But for you doing that seems like it will add muscle endurance but not strength or size. I’m not saying you have to, but I think you should try lowering your reps but increasing the weight to keep the volume the same. So I would honestly say give that a try and see if it changes your results and also start doing free weight back squats and deadlifts. I like to alternate leg days between the two because doing both on one day is usually too strenuous. Anyhow that’s my two cents. Hope it helped.

Also work on some pictures.

Haha, don’t worry I didn’t mean to say you were a girl or had the figure. Just if you were to suddenly remove all your fat you’d be sub 120lbs. That wouldn’t look good at all as of right now, so focus on building muscle and losing weight overtime. Be patient since you are just starting you can make a lot of newbie rapid gains in your first 3 months! You could drop 20-30 lbs easy, as long as you do enough cardio and progressively lift more or heavier.

1.25-1.5 grams of protein per bodyweight lb.

Wait… your 5’10’’, 160 lbs, and 30% bodyfat???

Are you a bird? Because your bones are sounding mighty hollow. That BF statistic smells like bullshit. But a machine, or get in done by a doc.

I’m 190, 5’8", 20% BF and I’m just a bit chubby. Not that fat. I can’t imagine someone your height and weight being fatter than me.

[quote]kinein wrote:
Haha, don’t worry I didn’t mean to say you were a girl or had the figure. Just if you were to suddenly remove all your fat you’d be sub 120lbs. That wouldn’t look good at all as of right now, so focus on building muscle and losing weight overtime. Be patient since you are just starting you can make a lot of newbie rapid gains in your first 3 months! You could drop 20-30 lbs easy, as long as you do enough cardio and progressively lift more or heavier.

1.25-1.5 grams of protein per bodyweight lb.

[/quote]

agreed on above just work hard, read up but for now do something. Id really think about getting on a basic w/o plan based in big free weight compounds. something like ABBH, maybe some of Alwyn Cosgrove’s stuff, Total body keep it and nail the basics first.

Nail a solid diet id say make it simple 1gram protein per lb and just fill in from there

check out the beginners thread

Phill

You’ve had some good advice here but you DO NOT need to lose any weight. If you clean up your diet and start to lift properly (learn how to Squat & Deadlift with free weights and stop using the assistance on the pull-up machine) you can lose fat and build muscle, at your stage that is definitely possible.

Without knowing hits true BF % it’s hard to say but if he truly has 30% BF and about 120 lbs of lean mass that kinda rules out bodyweight pullups as effective. I have about the same lean mass but like 8% BF and if I weighed 40 lbs more there’s no way they would be viable.

[quote]Skrussian wrote:
Without knowing hits true BF % it’s hard to say but if he truly has 30% BF and about 120 lbs of lean mass that kinda rules out bodyweight pullups as effective. I have about the same lean mass but like 8% BF and if I weighed 40 lbs more there’s no way they would be viable.[/quote]

I’m going to have to disagree with you there. 120 lbs LBM at 8% would put your total weight at approximately 130 lbs, add 40 lbs and you have 170lbs. I weight more than that and can perform weighted pullups or chins (remember that if you have gained 40 lbs you should be stronger).

To the OP you may have to ease yourself from the assistance but to be honest with you I found that forcing myself to do them with body weight was the only way I was able to build the necessary strength. Of course if you can’t even move when you try to do them with bodyweight you’re probably better off building some Lat strength with Lat pulldowns and possibly throwing in some bodyweight negatives for the pullups.

The amount of people I see still using assistance on the pullup machine even though they have been doing them for ages is ridiculous.

Thanks for all the info and support. I will take all the advice and put it to practice.

Oh one more thing if you want to give your body more protein and plan to lift often, then you could always up it to:

bodyweight x 1.75-2grams, a lot of people working on gaining and or mass tend to use more. 1.25-1.5 is generic and it depends more on your body’s ability to absorb and use the protein for rebuilding and growth.

[quote]balemos wrote:

My goal is to cut my fat (about 28%), and get a cut body while obviously building muscle. I am 5’10 160. I have a body built for endurance but not strength. I read the “computer guy” article and feel like that is kind of my type. I am coordinated and athletic, but I do sit in front of a computer all day.

[/quote]

I freaked when I read that…

I’m 5’ 8" @ 198lbs that is close to 30%bf.

I’d get your money back from that ‘trainer’ saying that he doesn’t know how to use the callipers properly.

[quote]IQ wrote:
If you clean up your diet and start to lift properly (learn how to Squat & Deadlift with free weights and stop using the assistance on the pull-up machine) you can lose fat and build muscle, at your stage that is definitely possible.[/quote]

Good to see that someone else agrees that muscle gain and fat loss is possible for newbs! So many people are adamant that you can’t do it…

[quote]majicka wrote:
IQ wrote:
If you clean up your diet and start to lift properly (learn how to Squat & Deadlift with free weights and stop using the assistance on the pull-up machine) you can lose fat and build muscle, at your stage that is definitely possible.

Good to see that someone else agrees that muscle gain and fat loss is possible for newbs! So many people are adamant that you can’t do it…[/quote]

IQ is right on track as he usually is, but who has ever said that noobs who are carrying a good deal of excess fat cannot lose fat and gain muscle at the same time? You cannot bulk and cut at the same time, but neither of these should be the emphasis of somebody without some productive time already under their belts.

Hey Balmos,

These guys are on the right track listen to them. And the info you gave us is exactly why I hate the majority of Personal Trainers, they no jack shit and the majority don’t even work out.

Anyway, I think you are in a good postion to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. It seems that those of us that start out over weight are able to have a slightly reduced caloric intake and still build muscle. your able to tap into those extra adipose stores and use the energy for muscle building. (Not turning fat to muscle, which is impossible.) But using the fat to nurish while your in a deficit.

A good example of this is CT’s “Beast Evolved” and “Mutation Series”. Check it out.

Good Luck

[quote]balemos wrote:
Sorry about being so vague.

About the body fat. I had a trainer do an assessment on me when I joined the gym and he took a bunch of measurements. He is the one who said I had about 30% body fat. He also told me to do about 10-12 reps for muscle building.

I actually do 3 sets per exercise with 1 warm up set (total of 4). I do 2 exercises per body part, sometimes 3. This is at the guidance of the trainer. I’ve only had an intro/beginner session because I can’t afford a regular trainer, which I would like to have.

I will try to post a picture soon. It will probably motivate me if I get it up on the internet anyway.

Thanks for the advice. It seems like it is a combination of misguidance and impatience. I know I am slim, maybe even like a girl you say. This is the reason why I am starting to lift.

Below is my weight lifts(I apologize for improper terminology)

Day 1
Chest and Shoulders
Incline Bench
65x10
85x10
105x10
115x10
(Sometimes right into DB incl press)

Cable Cross (Free Motion)
25x10
30x10
35x10
40x max out

Weight bar lifts(from gut to upper chest) straight into standing military press
30x10…30x10
40x10…40X10
45x10…45x10

Cable Cross (shoulders, from mid section to full extension-free motion machine)
10x10
15x10
20x10

20-30 mins cardio after

Day 2
Arms and Back

Warm Up Pull ups
70(assisted)x10
60(assisted)x10
50(assisted)x10

Seated Row
60x10
70x10
80x10
90x10

Lat PD
40x10
50x10
60x10

Bi Curls
35x10
40x10
45x10
55x10

Tri Rope Pull Downs
80x10
90x10
100x10
110x10

(Lie on bench with curl bar and push from behind head to above head)
35x10
40x10
45x10

20-30 mins cardio after

Day 3
Legs

Machine Squat
180x10
180x10
270x10
270x10

Leg Press
180x10
270x10
360xmax

Calf raises
45x20
65x20
90x20

Day 4
Cardio only
30-60 mins on treadmill or boxing class

Day 5
Back to Chest and Shoulders

Day 6-7
Rest

I hope this helps. Thanks again for the advice[/quote]

I would say, leave the cable crossovers and other stuff alone. Stick to the basics! Dead lift, squat, military press, bench, pull ups and rows. Throw some core work in there too. My favorite is lunges while holding a 45 lb. plate over my head. Work your whole body. You really shouldn’t be isolating muscles yet.

I was kind of in the same boat you were a few months ago. I’m 6’3" and I was weighing 225. I felt like I was chubby. I started doing cardio like a madman and restricting my calories. I did that for a month to see no “real” results. I did lose some weight, but my body didn’t look like I wanted it to. I changed my goal and outlook. After reading as much as possible I decided I wanted to gain muscle. I started with the basics. Over the last 2 months I have been taking in 4500 calories a day, at least 1000 of those right after lifting. I have gained 20 pounds! My bench has gone up 80 pounds! Now I can see a huge difference in my body. I plan on continuing to gain weight and get up to 265 before I even think about losing fat. I don’t have a six-pack, but I also don’t have a gut. I feel I look much better now. Focus on gaining muscle and I promise, the fat will start to vanish.