T Nation

New Here, Looking For Advice

Hey all,

I’ve been checking the place out and decided to join bc you guys (and girls) don’t give bs answers. There is a lot of brutal honesty and I respect that. To give you an idea of my goals…

Ht: 5’11
18 months ago I started 150lbs approx 16%bf
Today: 165lbs, approx 8%bf

I train 5-6 days a week as follows:
Day 1: Chest, Abs
Day 2: Arms, Forearms
Day 3: Legs
Day 4: Shoulders, Abs
Day 5: Back, Forearms

I take rest on an as-needed basis, 1 or 2 days per week… obviously

My diet is very clean (especially for summer, going to the beach in July). I take in about 1g protein per 1lb of bw. My carbs come in the morning and pre-workout, usually oatmeal or wheat bread. Any other time of day I have turkey, tuna, chicken, or sometimes lean beef with a couple servings of vegetables (usually green beans or broccoli).

As far as supplements go I use Whey, arginine (pre-workout), and a multivitamin, combined with other supplements from time to time (creatine, BCAA’s, few other things).

My main focus is to get bigger, but i want to stay fairly lean. My short-term target weight is 185lbs, lean (I’ve been as high as 180 but had too much bf).

Basically I need something different. My workouts have gotten stagnant, and I probably do too much volume. I don’t want people to just come in here and say “eat more, do more compound movements”. I know I need to eat more, but how much is too much? When will I start getting fat? Compound movements are great… maybe some direction with that or a new split?

I seriously do want help, any advice you may have will be appreciated.

Only you can tell us on the food. You just have to add MORE if your not gaining really what works for me or anyone else may suck for you, youve made progress if you stall add to it

Training well of course you need to base the w/o on compounds hell most moves are. You want something different Lil tough tell us what your doing now

Phill

Realized I left out my age… I’m 22yrs old

Right now my workout looks something like this:

Chest
Incline Bench 4x10,8,6,4-5
Flat Bench 4x10,8,6,6
Flys 4x10,8,8,6
Decline Bench 3x12,10,8

Arms
BB curl: pryamid up to 4-5 rep max, pyramid back down to bar
Hammer curls 3x10,8,8
Incline/concentration curls 3x10,8,8
V-pressdown 4x12,10,8,8
Skullcrushers 3x10,8,6
Rope Pulldowns 3x10,10,8
Dips to burnout

Legs
Squats: Pyramid to 6 rep max
Leg Press 4x12,10,8,8
Leg Extensions 3,12,10,8-10
Lunges 3 sets, 30lb dbells
Leg Curls 4x12,10,10,8
Seated calf 6x20,15,15,12,10,10
Standing calf 3x15,12,12

Shoulders
Seated press 4x10,8,6,6
Side laterals 3x12,10,10
Shrugs 4x12,12,10,10
Rear laterals 3x12,10,10

Back
Lat pulldowns 4x12,10,8,6-8
BB rows 4x12,10,8,8
Cable rows 3x12,10,8-10
Hyperextensions 3x12,10,12

I don’t really do cardio… I just play sports a couple days a week (basketball and softball).

The exercises vary sometimes but thats generally it. Opinions on this??

Thanks

No deadlifts? Try adding some pull/chin ups and standing overhead presses as well.
Maybe switch up to some DB presses on chest days.

Hey Dfresh, you might want to look into a total-body training plan, or at least an upper/lower split. I’ll bet that making a change like that and adding some more food (if you’re not eating enough) will help you make some gains.

Check out some of the programs around here by Waterbury and Cosgrove. For someone who’s just moving away from split training, the TBT article is a great place to start, IMO. Good luck!

Animal, I do definitely need to start doing deadlifts- they just scare the shit out of me so i’ve shyed away from them.

[quote]lifting girl wrote:
Hey Dfresh, you might want to look into a total-body training plan, or at least an upper/lower split. I’ll bet that making a change like that and adding some more food (if you’re not eating enough) will help you make some gains.

Check out some of the programs around here by Waterbury and Cosgrove. For someone who’s just moving away from split training, the TBT article is a great place to start, IMO. Good luck![/quote]

Is that kind of split good for adding mass? I’ve always thought that was kind of a fat burning split? It definitely would be something different.

Honestly, the biggest thing that makes your plan “muscle-building” or “fat-burning” is your diet. If you’re eating enough, you’re going to see hypertrophy gains.

That being said, you need to do some work with big, compound lifts, and train each body part frequently. TBT will let you do that. You could also check out Waterbury’s newest mass-building article; I believe he lays out a rather intense 30-day plan there. Big, compound lifts = more muscle mass!

[quote]Dfresh wrote:
Is that kind of split good for adding mass? I’ve always thought that was kind of a fat burning split? It definitely would be something different.

[/quote]

It appears you like doing chest work. If you want to walk among giants start picking the hardest exercise you know of that works the most muscle … and do it as the first exercise on your first day… probably squats or deadlifts. There are tons of articles on here about deadlifting. Move this to the second day of your session.

Back down to the bar? If you’re like an average beginning lifter you can probably do more than 20 reps with the bar. How much stimulation do you think you’re giving your tissue if you’re lifting below a 20 rep-maximum ( ~605 of a 1RM)?

I’m a bigger fan of warming up with singles and doubles until I reach a working weight… let’s say it’s 4-5reps… then doing a bunch of sets at 4-5. You’d get more work for those high-threshold motor units if you weren’t pre-fatigued. Then you can always hit the lower-thold units after you do your heavy stuff.

why do people do dips to burnout? Why not put them at the start of the tricep workout and do 5 reps… immediately followed by skullcrushers for 7-9 reps… then rope pushdowns for 12-15 reps? Rest 3 minutes and repeat… or insert a similar bicep superset before restarting the tricep superset.

If 5 reps of dips are too easy, then you have to add weight by holding a db with your feet or using a chin/dip belt to add weight. Take your time when adding weight for dips. There is no shame in doing your first set of dips with just 5 extra pounds - then add 5 lbs each set until you find something challenging.

How many sets? Why stop at 6? Why not do a few sets at 6. The next time you do them do sets of 20 (with a much lighter weight)… then go back to 6.

[quote]
Leg Press 4x12,10,8,8
Leg Extensions 3,12,10,8-10 [/quote]

How many reps?

Not a big fan of the seated OHP. Do your overhead presses like a man and stand up. Most people get a wicked lean when doing seated overhead presses and make it into an upper chest exercise.

Insert Full chin-ups here. It’s ok if you won’t be able to go as heavy on your lat pulldowns - the chin recruits way more tissue anyways so the sets you will be performing will mean more.

You are combining spinal flexion with exercises that emphasize the shoulder flexion. Just because they are adjacent doesn’t mean they are all the same thing. Do these with your abs (get your bridges in) and start worrying more about lumbar stabilization rather than lumbar mobility.

yay! fuck cardio

[quote]danger-kelly wrote:

Chest
Incline Bench 4x10,8,6,4-5
Flat Bench 4x10,8,6,6
Flys 4x10,8,8,6
Decline Bench 3x12,10,8

It appears you like doing chest work. If you want to walk among giants start picking the hardest exercise you know of that works the most muscle … and do it as the first exercise on your first day… probably squats or deadlifts. There are tons of articles on here about deadlifting. Move this to the second day of your session.

Arms
BB curl: pryamid up to 4-5 rep max, pyramid back down to bar

Back down to the bar? If you’re like an average beginning lifter you can probably do more than 20 reps with the bar. How much stimulation do you think you’re giving your tissue if you’re lifting below a 20 rep-maximum ( ~605 of a 1RM)?

I’m a bigger fan of warming up with singles and doubles until I reach a working weight… let’s say it’s 4-5reps… then doing a bunch of sets at 4-5. You’d get more work for those high-threshold motor units if you weren’t pre-fatigued. Then you can always hit the lower-thold units after you do your heavy stuff.

Hammer curls 3x10,8,8
Incline/concentration curls 3x10,8,8
V-pressdown 4x12,10,8,8
Skullcrushers 3x10,8,6
Rope Pulldowns 3x10,10,8
Dips to burnout

why do people do dips to burnout? Why not put them at the start of the tricep workout and do 5 reps… immediately followed by skullcrushers for 7-9 reps… then rope pushdowns for 12-15 reps? Rest 3 minutes and repeat… or insert a similar bicep superset before restarting the tricep superset.

If 5 reps of dips are too easy, then you have to add weight by holding a db with your feet or using a chin/dip belt to add weight. Take your time when adding weight for dips. There is no shame in doing your first set of dips with just 5 extra pounds - then add 5 lbs each set until you find something challenging.

Legs
Squats: Pyramid to 6 rep max

How many sets? Why stop at 6? Why not do a few sets at 6. The next time you do them do sets of 20 (with a much lighter weight)… then go back to 6.

Leg Press 4x12,10,8,8
Leg Extensions 3,12,10,8-10

Lunges 3 sets, 30lb dbells

How many reps?

Leg Curls 4x12,10,10,8
Seated calf 6x20,15,15,12,10,10
Standing calf 3x15,12,12

Shoulders
Seated press 4x10,8,6,6

Not a big fan of the seated OHP. Do your overhead presses like a man and stand up. Most people get a wicked lean when doing seated overhead presses and make it into an upper chest exercise.

Side laterals 3x12,10,10
Shrugs 4x12,12,10,10
Rear laterals 3x12,10,10

Back

Insert Full chin-ups here. It’s ok if you won’t be able to go as heavy on your lat pulldowns - the chin recruits way more tissue anyways so the sets you will be performing will mean more.

Lat pulldowns 4x12,10,8,6-8
BB rows 4x12,10,8,8
Cable rows 3x12,10,8-10

Hyperextensions 3x12,10,12

You are combining spinal flexion with exercises that emphasize the shoulder flexion. Just because they are adjacent doesn’t mean they are all the same thing. Do these with your abs (get your bridges in) and start worrying more about lumbar stabilization rather than lumbar mobility.

I don’t really do cardio… I just play sports a couple days a week (basketball and softball).

yay! fuck cardio

[/quote]

THANK YOU for that breakdown… Advice well noted.

One question… what did you mean here?
“You are combining spinal flexion with exercises that emphasize the shoulder flexion. Just because they are adjacent doesn’t mean they are all the same thing. Do these with your abs (get your bridges in) and start worrying more about lumbar stabilization rather than lumbar mobility.”

And to answer some of your questions…

Yes, my chest is my strongest point :slight_smile:

When I pyramid back down for on curls i do so w/no rest, so its basically for pump.

Squats… usually ends up in 6 sets total. Will do more sets of 6 reps tho

And just from doing clean and presses from time to time I think I bend more with the standing OHP. But I will try it and see how it feels

Also when I do back I often do pullovers… but right now I want to focus more on thickness

Thanks again to everyone

Swap out your lat pulldowns for pull ups…You will see a noticeable difference fast.

[quote]mattnxtc wrote:
Swap out your lat pulldowns for pull ups…You will see a noticeable difference fast. [/quote]

Just to clarify… I do pull ups also, I swap them in for pull downs about every 2 weeks I guess. I don’t do them more bc I don’t feel it in my back… Am I doing them wrong? Right now I do them overhand, outside of my shoulders by at least 6 inches or a foot. Should I keep my shoulders pinned back farther?

[quote]Dfresh wrote:
mattnxtc wrote:
Swap out your lat pulldowns for pull ups…You will see a noticeable difference fast.

Just to clarify… I do pull ups also, I swap them in for pull downs about every 2 weeks I guess. I don’t do them more bc I don’t feel it in my back… Am I doing them wrong? Right now I do them overhand, outside of my shoulders by at least 6 inches or a foot. Should I keep my shoulders pinned back farther?[/quote]

Keep them out there just like you do for the lat pulldown…should be the nice wide grip. If you arent feeling it…add some weight to you to add strain.

[quote]Dfresh wrote:

THANK YOU for that breakdown… Advice well noted.

One question… what did you mean here?
“You are combining spinal flexion with exercises that emphasize the shoulder flexion. Just because they are adjacent doesn’t mean they are all the same thing. Do these with your abs (get your bridges in) and start worrying more about lumbar stabilization rather than lumbar mobility.”

And to answer some of your questions…

Yes, my chest is my strongest point :slight_smile:

When I pyramid back down for on curls i do so w/no rest, so its basically for pump.

Squats… usually ends up in 6 sets total. Will do more sets of 6 reps tho

And just from doing clean and presses from time to time I think I bend more with the standing OHP. But I will try it and see how it feels

Also when I do back I often do pullovers… but right now I want to focus more on thickness

Thanks again to everyone

[/quote]

Although it can be fun to participate in Bench Press Across America at 6:00pm on Monday, you might want to consider deadlifts given the bang/buck they can deliver.

I just noticed a glaring error in my post - I should have said, “You are combining pulling movements of the shoulder with lumbar extension movements (the back extensions). Although those tissues don’t face the mirror - they are quite different - and shouldn’t necessarily be grouped together. You might be better served training lumbar stability with other abdominal exercises.”

Why do you train for a pump? How come other muscles aren’t trained to pumpiness? Under a microscope, they aren’t that much different. You can officially not do high-rep-waste-of-time bicep curls.

6 sets of squats is fine if they are all of a working weight. Warm-up sets prior to a working sets don’t count.

With backwards lean during the OHP, sloppy abs are at fault. They are neglecting to hold you upright. They don’t know better so you really can’t blame them. You however, have no such excuse if you read T-Nation. Get your bridging in to create effective stability in your lumbar spine.