T Nation

Newbie Introduction and Questions


Hi, first of all im loving this site, i've been reading it for a good 6 months now and its the best bodybuilding site ive found on the net.

Ive been liting weights for 3 years now and am 22, i used to be very unfit, not so much dangerously overweight, my bmi was always just above average however i didnt feel particularly healthy, about 5 years ago i took up swimming and that got me hooked on exercise. It wasnt doing enough for me though, i was a very competent swimmer and was feeling aerobically fit but wanted more.

3 years ago i joined my local gym, ive been slowly improving and am pretty happy with the gains however i know i can do better, reading this site has shown me that, im 5'10'' and weigh 78kg, unfortunatly i dont know my body fat.

So now i want to improve, for the last 3 years my workout has been very basic,

2 days a week ill do
machine/dumbell bench press,
dumbell military press,
bent over db rows,
becep curls
tricep extensions

  • one of
    lateral raises
    db flys

For 3 sets of 10 reps for each, when i hit 12 reps on every set i up the weight

Also a days legwork which is just leg press's and extensions plus swiming and running twice a week.

My diet is good, not great in terms of how clean it is but good for volume, i eat lots and get enough protein without too many simple carbs so i really just want to sort out my routine as ive seen on here that diy programs are nowhere near as effective.

My first choice was to do abbh but the problem with that is weight, im not anywhere near my goals but even now my gym just doesnt have enough weight for me to do abbh, the equiptment is very limited, dumbells up to 25kg, a machine bench up to 100kg and the standard gym machines, no barbells, squat racks etc. Which is fine for isolation work with db but when it comes to benching, rows etc its not enough to use the db and i have to use the machines unfortunatly.

Id like to go to another gym but this is my only option really, both down to money and location. I have 2x20kg adjustable dumbells at home but again, benching with them or trying squats is pointless and i cant afford to spend on a bench and more weights.

Is there any program that is more suitable to my situation, most of the progams ive read have been heavy weight based but while the weights i have are adequate for my current program many of the ones on here require 80% of my 1rep max which i dont have access to for the compound lifts.

Legs are also a major issue for me, every new poster gets recomended squats, is there any way i can get as much out of the leg press machine?

Also, a machine bench isnt great but if its my only option how best to use it and are there any isolation exercises that will compliment its weakness's?

Sorry for the length of this, i just didnt want to miss anything out and apologies for such broad quesions, ive read all through the beginers thread whch is how i sorted my diet but have really struggled when it comes to picking a program.

Thanks for any advice (im from the uk by the way so unfortunatly no Surge for me, all i take is cod liver oil, vitimins, creatine and whey)


If you're just doing leg-presses and extensions, you're going to have a major imbalance via weak hamstrings.

Try doing Deadlifting with the dumbbells, or find the leg-curl machine.

Also, try talking to the gym's manager/owner. If people start asking for more free-weights, they might start buying more.


i agree, first thing i noticed is that you will have a serious lower body imbalance with that training regimine. read up on romanian deadlifts, squats, lunges, even squats all with dumbells. good luck



Cheers, i used to do db squats but with only 2x50 pound dumbells i dont feel like im getting much out of them, whereas at least the leg press machine has weight behind it, as for asking for more i have done but its a struggle keeping what we have, there used to be some excellent dumbells at this gym, up to 90 pounds but they got rid of them as not enough peple were using them to warrent the space apparently! They said they were being relocated to another gym and we were getting this crap 25kg max tree!

Never tried deadlifts i have to admit though, will add them in next week once ive read up on them and see how they go.

What about general programs? Is mine better than i think, lower body is obviously a problem but is there no all round routine that would work better? Obviously ive made gains doing this but looking at what some people achieve on this site through the programs i cant help feel that i need something more effective, unfortunately all the best programs seem to be based around high load so im guessing until i get a better set up ill have to make do with putting more effort into a less effective system.