T Nation

New Guy Wanting Advice on Workout


#1

Hello. Long time lurker. Decided to ask for advice. New guy.
Long story short, I tried to do Starting Strength but could never get the low-bar squat form down and had hard time with power cleans so I did power snatches instead. High-bar is more natural for me but since the program calls for low-bar I ended up ditching it since High-bar is "not doing the program" and I wanted to do the program to the letter as possible.

I tried to create a three day a week program based on compounds.
Warm up: Light Dumbbell swings for 20 reps and then one set of stretchs for each body part.
All lifts each have 1 warm up set at 60% work weight, then second warm up set at 80%.
Dumbbell clean and press: 3 work sets 5 reps.
Free weight T-bar row: 3 work sets 8 reps.
Front squat: 3 work sets 3 reps.
Romanian deads: 3 work sets 6 reps.
Dumbbll bench: 3 work sets 8 reps.
Rippetoe pushdowns: 3 work sets 8 reps. Heres the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rh3MHnRI_I at 1:20 mark
Barbell curls: 3 work sets 8 reps.
On the off days, I do seated calf machine with same as above with 3 work sets at 12-15 reps and either dumbbell/kettlebell swings or skip roping for conditioning.

Weight: 326lb. Height: 6 foot 2 inchs.
Goals: Fat loss and the usual strength and mass.
Diet: A combined verison of paleo and Jim Wendler's take two lean shakes before each meal when he lost weight in his blood and chalk series.
If I can control the meal, I do paleo. If I am eating something someone else made such as at a restrant or my mom is cooking or just too lasy to do a paleo meal at the moment, I put two scoops of whey isolate with water and drink that first before anything else.

Started the diet three weeks ago.
My lifts after stopping SS out of frustration.
Bench: 200lb 5RM
Press: 125lb 5rm (I cannot budge this one and I tried the wendler trick of false grip plus split stance)
PS: 135LB 3reps
HB Squat: 315lb 4 reps
Deadlift: 315lb 5 reps.

I'm ready to hear. If I'm a pansy, tell me. If my routine is shit, I will take anything. I will try to have videos up of my lifts soon (I know all about the rule of "Videos or it did not happen").


#2

nice effort but the volumes a bit too high is your recovery ok with doing this form of training and at what percentage of your 1rm are you working at.


#3

nice effort but the volumes a bit too high is your recovery ok with doing this form of training and at what percentage of your 1rm are you working at.


#4

Thanks. For the work out mentioned, I do not 1rms just lowered the weight until I could hit the reps and have started from there.

My frustrations come on SS from the fact that I’m weak as shit, I’m platuing like skinny guy not eating alot, I’m as fat as SHW, and yet I’m not getting stronger. I sleep 9 hours day, and was eating 4000 cals plus a day. I decided to lose weight because of my dads insurance (I need to get down below 290lb). Plus Health reasons.

I want to lift big and be huge (not fat). Also a small amount of conditioning is nice, enough to not be winded when moving furniture.


#5

dude, you are HEAVY!

Can we have a little more detail on the diet?


#6

[quote]Yogi wrote:
dude, you are HEAVY!

Can we have a little more detail on the diet?[/quote]

If I’m in control of the meal, typically its
breakfast: 3 whole eggs plus a cub of whites, and a fruit.
lunch: two chicken breasts or two swai fish filates and a green vegetable (if canned, the whole can or if frozen, a cub).
dinner: if I’m in control, same as lunch or similar like ground beef or turkey.

I am to get 200 grams of protein so I finish the intake with either whey isolate or egg whites.

That’s assuming I made the meals. When not in control such as mom makes dinner or eating out, I go Jim wendler blood and chalk diet and take two scoops of whey isolate with water first before the meal.

It has worked so far since I was at 338lb at the start. I weighed myself week before last Thursday and going to check again Monday. Also have not be constant with cardio, only got 4 times in 3 weeks.


#7

[quote]Yogi wrote:
dude, you are HEAVY!

Can we have a little more detail on the diet?[/quote]

This was exactly my thoughts. Even for your height, you’re a big lad.

Your routine doesn’t look bad at all, but Starting Strength, and other beginner programs are proven to work. It genuinely confuses me why beginners, who have such standard and basic needs from a program, feel the need to reinvent the wheel.

Note to all beginners out there: you are not a special and unique snowflake, whatever your mum tells you. The programs that have made hundreds and thousands of other beginners bigger and stronger will do exactly the same for you too. /rant


#8

dagill, you know I love you (insert bro-hug here) and agree about 97 percent,

There is one thing I wish to redirect though. Because this “you are not a special snowflake, do a proven program” discussion seems to come up a lot, and I’ve given it some genuine thought.

If someone likes front squats better than back squats, or incline pressing more than flat benching, or something like that…and they want to design their own spin on SS or StrongLifts that swaps X for Y because they think it suits their leverages better, or their equipment, or whatever…I actually think that’s OK, with the giant caveats that it still has to be focused on quality form and PROGRESSION.

So I’m OK with “modified” versions of beginner programs IF that’s happening because the person thinks they’re better suited to front squats than back squats, or if they want their main pressing movement to be OHP instead of bench. As long as the basic principles of progressive overload are there, and they’re doing the lifts right and using enough weight, they SHOULD still make progress. Agreed?


#9

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:
dagill, you know I love you (insert bro-hug here) and agree about 97 percent,
[/quote]
I feel a bromance coming on man.

[quote]
There is one thing I wish to redirect though. Because this “you are not a special snowflake, do a proven program” discussion seems to come up a lot, and I’ve given it some genuine thought.

If someone likes front squats better than back squats, or incline pressing more than flat benching, or something like that…and they want to design their own spin on SS or StrongLifts that swaps X for Y because they think it suits their leverages better, or their equipment, or whatever…I actually think that’s OK, with the giant caveats that it still has to be focused on quality form and PROGRESSION.

So I’m OK with “modified” versions of beginner programs IF that’s happening because the person thinks they’re better suited to front squats than back squats, or if they want their main pressing movement to be OHP instead of bench. As long as the basic principles of progressive overload are there, and they’re doing the lifts right and using enough weight, they SHOULD still make progress. Agreed?[/quote]

I agree with you up to a point. I absolutely agree that if someone makes a substitution in a program for a good reason, then this is a good thing. Intelligent modifications to programs to put them more inline with your goals make Dan John smile (maybe).

The problem I see is that a lot of beginners don’t have the experience to know whether the changes they are making are for good reasons or bad. When someone does front squats instead of back squats in 5/3/1 because it translates better to their olympic lifting, have at it. When someone decides that squats hurt their knees so their Mass Made Simple program now features depth jumps instead, they’re going to make the good Mr John hulk out and kill people.


#10

[quote]Darthzilla99 wrote:
It has worked so far since I was at 338lb at the start. I weighed myself week before last Thursday and going to check again Monday. Also have not be constant with cardio, only got 4 times in 3 weeks.[/quote]

What kind of cardio do you do?

How long has this weight loss been in? You might have mentioned it, but I’m a bit slow in my old age and I missed it.


#11

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
The problem I see is that a lot of beginners don’t have the experience to know whether the changes they are making are for good reasons or bad. When someone does front squats instead of back squats in 5/3/1 because it translates better to their olympic lifting, have at it. When someone decides that squats hurt their knees so their Mass Made Simple program now features depth jumps instead, they’re going to make the good Mr John hulk out and kill people.[/quote]

This is fair. I think we’re essentially of the same mind here: a beginner is within their bounds to make intelligent substitutions to a program if they have a reason for doing so, preferably if they’ve solicited some kind of advice (that’s what these forums can help with). So while I used to think the answer to pretty much every beginner asking this question was “No, do a proven program” - I’ve changed my tune a little bit.

As you noted, though, the beginner should have a good reason for the selections, and they should be carefully chosen to maximize the benefit, not “I wanted something for my legs and I don’t like squatting so I do box jumps instead.”

Even within that, there’s a layer of complexity. I almost typed “beginners should make exercise choices based on what works, not what they think is fun” but even that has to be couched a little bit. Folks should have some room to do things they like.

Anyway, OP: your program is OK, and if you work hard at it, you should see results.

I also recommend checking out the log of twojarslave (Do Meatheads Dream Of Iron Sheep?) - a once-obese beginner, close to your size, who has turned himself into a grizzly, strong man approaching a 600-pound deadlift.


#12

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
The problem I see is that a lot of beginners don’t have the experience to know whether the changes they are making are for good reasons or bad. When someone does front squats instead of back squats in 5/3/1 because it translates better to their olympic lifting, have at it. When someone decides that squats hurt their knees so their Mass Made Simple program now features depth jumps instead, they’re going to make the good Mr John hulk out and kill people.[/quote]

This is fair. I think we’re essentially of the same mind here: a beginner is within their bounds to make intelligent substitutions to a program if they have a reason for doing so, preferably if they’ve solicited some kind of advice (that’s what these forums can help with). So while I used to think the answer to pretty much every beginner asking this question was “No, do a proven program” - I’ve changed my tune a little bit.
[/quote]

Exactly that, yes. For example, if the OP had asked for advice at the point of giving up SS, I’d have said “Just do it high bar squats if they’re more comfortable” and probably “what exactly did you eat yesterday”. The answer isn’t always “Just DTFP”, but it’s a better place to start than from scratch.

Having said that, there’s more than one way to skin a cat and the OP’s program looks fine. I’m sure with enough commitment and nutrition, he’ll get the results.


#13

Thanks for the advice everyone. I gave up ss because I kept trying on and off for years, reading this and that, frustrated at not getting low bar right, and not budging on ohp despite the fact that I was very heavy, and reading how 'this is not Doing the program or that ( like using high-bar), and not feeling the stretch reflex. I finally decided instead of f-Ing with a program, I just do my own thing based on compounds from reading on this website.

The conditioning is either skip roping for 15ish minutes or swings for 15ish minutes. The conditioning, calfs and arm work is not that concerning to me. The main focus is the diet and compounds. The rest is bonus if I have time that day.

Edit: To keep myself honest, my food.
Thursday:
breakfast: two servings of oatmeal, 3 whole eggs plus a cup of egg whites.
lunch: two chicken breasts, a swai filet and a cup of frozen black eye peas.
dinner: two scoops of whey isolate and three slices of digoreno supreme pizza.

Friday:
breakfast: three whole eggs plus cup of whites and bowl of strawberries.
lunch: two chicken breasts plus cup of black eye peas.
dinner: two scoops of whey isolate then ate out at a Mexican restaurant with family. Steak fajita queso burrito with vegetable rice and avocado and two soba bias.

yesterday:
breakfast: sames as Friday minus strawberries and had half cub of black eye peas.
lunch: same as Friday.
dinner: two scoops whey plus two egg salad croissants and two servings of chips.

Today is fast Sunday so won’t eat until dinner tonight. Mom is making spaghetti.

Weighing tomorrow, but I’m going to increase scoops to three before the meals I don’t make and see how that goes.

Needless to say, do not come in an elevator with me.


#14

[quote]Darthzilla99 wrote:
The conditioning is either skip roping for 15ish minutes or swings for 15ish minutes. The conditioning, calfs and arm work is not that concerning to me. The main focus is the diet and compounds. The rest is bonus if I have time that day.[/quote]

You seem to have a pretty good grasp on what you should be doing. I would say have at it and let us know how it goes. Keep reading around the subject and consider a log on this site to keep yourself motivated and so regular posters can help tweak the program as issues arise or priorities change.


#15

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

I also recommend checking out the log of twojarslave (Do Meatheads Dream Of Iron Sheep?) - a once-obese beginner, close to your size, who has turned himself into a grizzly, strong man approaching a 600-pound deadlift.[/quote]

Thanks for the shout-out. I’m still obese, but I suppose all of those other things are true. And my physique has improved substantially, going from that of a competitive processed cheese eater to a body that is the envy of dive bar bouncers across central Maine.

Regarding the OP’s routine - I don’t think it matters all that much… yet. I didn’t know anything about “conventional” wisdom when I started lifting, and I ended up on a 3 day/week full body routine that, had I posted it in the beginner section, would surely have been met with plenty of people telling me to do starting strength or 5/3/1.

Would I be some combination of leaner and stronger had I gone with conventional wisdom? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe I would have hurt my fat ass squatting 3 days/week as a beginner. Maybe I would have burned out and quit. Maybe I’d be benching 400 by now. No way to know.

More important than any of those “what-if” scenarios is the fact that I found a style of lifting that I learned to really enjoy. I’ve made lifting seriously and sensibly a part of my life.

I would encourage you to do the same, OP. If you believe in this program and want to run it, well, run the shit out of it and see where it gets you. Become a person who lifts weights! You have decades ahead of you that you can spend running 5/3/1, Sheiko, Westside, Eastside, Southside, some other shit you made up on your own, or just go back to the warm bliss of being fat, lazy and not giving a fuck.

The more time you spend under the bar the better-equipped you will be to make these choices on your own.

Good luck, and never, ever quit.


#16

Thanks twojarslave. I read your log alot. And thanks everyone else.


#17

Do this and similar fat loss based programs until you get down to say 250…


#18

This doesn’t help you that much, I suggest you find a squat you enjoy and squat frequently. I love deadlifting, but it will overtrain your Central nervous system quickly. That’s the beauty of squatting, it doesn’t nearly fatigue as much and a heavy set will leave you winded, I’m assuming burning mass calories. You won’t meet many strong motherfuckers who don’t squat heavy and often. That’s my goal, a heavy squat. I practice a lot of different variations.