T Nation

New to T-Nation, Looking for Guidance


Hey guys, this is my first post here so I figure I'll introduce myself first off. I am 19 years old and have been working since about December 2007. Within the last few weeks I have decided to take my diet alot more seriously and train more seriously but my problem is sticking with a program.

Over the years, I have bounced around from routine to routine mainly following advice from BB.com. I have tried everything from Rips, Madcows 5x5, 5-day split, 3-day split, WS4SB, WS4BB, Max-OT, Iron Addict's SPBR, and some programs I've designed for myself. Throughout these years I have managed to grow 2 inches vertically and put on about 40 pounds-ish. Currently I am 6'4" 225 pounds. Not bad for the average world, but we're all here to be above average, am I right? Anyways, here are my CURRENT lifts:

(Note, these have fluctuated and were higher at one point, but college and getting carried away with the party scene first semester really hurt my lifts/progress)

BW: 225
Height: 6'4"
Bench: 185x6
Squat: 185x6
DL: 275x6
Row: 160x5
OH Press: 115x5

Anyways, my main goal is to pack on mass and some strength along the way (I'm currently bulking.)
I posted a similar thread on BB.com and they all told me to run Starting Strength. However, it seems my quads/glutes respond pretty quickly to training and are still pretty big from my 3 years of rugby in high school. The fact that I'd be squatting 3x a week leads me to believe I would be building a disproportionate physique. Big legs, small upperbody = not what I'm going for here.

Now, I know my numbers are pretty weak for my training and like I said before, my main problem is sticking to a program. So, can you guys lead me in the right direction as to what program I should pick. I have a VERY severe case of "Workout Routine ADD." Is a bodypart split the way to go? I see so many people on bb.com preaching Starting Strength as if it is the end all do all of workout programs. Is it impossible to gain strength on a bodypart split? Will I be "overtraining" on a bodypart split? I hope you guys can offer some insight on what my next step should be.

P.S. I did read the stickies and found alot of useful info in them. I especially enjoyed the "How the biggest got that way" or whatever it was called. I am just looking for personal insight into my problem, and what my next step should be.

Thanks guys!


What does your diet currently look like?

Also, what kind of shape are you in, in terms of bodyfat? Not percentage, but looks-wise - do you have some definition, generally pudgy, etc.?

It's probably a moot point since you were lifting in your teens, but do you think you noticed more results from any of those programs in particular?

A huge part of training is consistency and not mindfucking yourself out of progress just for the sake of some change.

Since you're squatting what you can bench, I'm going to make a leap and suggest that maybe your legs aren't as developed as you think. Any recent pics?

[In before Starting Strength-bashing via mr. popular]

Starting Strength can be a solid program, but it's certainly not a cure-all/must-do for every beginner.

Really, since you've been jumping around so much, you should see good progress if you buckle down and stick to one single well-designed program for at least 12 weeks. Westside for Skinny Bastards is a popular program. Dr. Clay's Blending Size and Strength is another good plan:

But, again, whatever you think you can strap yourself into for a straight three or so months would be the way to go. I'd just be sure to follow a plan written by a coach and not try to design one entirely yourself.


Getting your nutrition in line will help a bunch, but in general, no, you're not going to overtrain just because you're on a bodypart split as long as it's well-designed.


Buy starting strength and if you have any questions, shoot Mr. Popular a PM.


Alright. Thanks for the advice you really opened up my thoughts away from the bb.com hive-mind mentality of SS or die.

My next step is taking another look at WS4SB and seeing how I like it.

EDIT: Does anyone else have any ideas as to what routine I should do next? I'm not saying I won't follow Chris's advice, I'm just looking for multiple opinions.


Gotcha. If that's been working, stick with it. Just make sure your strength and bodyweight are both increasing as you go along. If just one goes up and not the other, something's off and you're most likely not building as much muscle as you'd want.

Even for non-athletes, some dynamic or explosive work can be beneficial for stimulating different muscle fibers and getting them to grow, but there are always other options. It's a general template and you can tweak it as needed.

Supersets are, essentially, a time management technique. While they can definitely bump up the session's intensity, you can do the same exercises as straight sets and, as long as you're getting the same work done in the workout, you won't be seriously compromising too much. Just throwing the ideas out there.


Chris, what are your thoughts on KingBeef's "Do this program, not that stupid one?" I am thinking about doing the 4 day split:

Looks pretty well-written and alot of people in that thread seem to like it. However, I might slighlty tweak it and put squats first on Leg day and put deadlifts on back day to focus more on the big compounds.


I haven't seen it before, but it's a solid layout with good exercise choices. I'd probably use a little more rep range variety per bodypart, but that's really not a big deal at all. It's obviously fine as is.

Like I said, if you can make yourself stick with a good plan for a few months at a time, it'll do just fine.

That tweak wouldn't be a big deal, sure.


Hold that thought. I think I am going to continue training using Layne Norton's Power/Hypertrophy Adaptive Training

This is what I have been doing for the last 2 or 3 weeks but I haven't really been taking it seriously and have been missing workouts and such. Well I am going to start running this program seriously and not second guess myself on it. Thanks for all the help, guys!