T Nation

Newbie Wanting Help From T-Nation!

Hello everyone,

I am posting here today in hopes of finding some advice. I was recently discussing with a friend about my desire to start working out and changing my lifestyle. I asked him (Registered here as Fulmen) if he knew of any websites that I could go to for a workout plan and advice. I was referred to this website.

I am six feet tall and I weigh 175 pounds. I realize that I am too skinny and I want to make a change.

I currently run 1 1/2-2 miles at least four days a week. That is about the extent of my exercising.

I have several goals in mind. I want to increase my size and gain muscle. However, I wish to continue running. I would like to start participating in races (5k) again. I also wish to be in moderately good shape before I sign up for a martial arts class.

Would anyone mind helping with a workout plan? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I wish to be pointed in the right direction.

Regards,
Brandon

Welcome aboard buddy! The good news is that strength training and high intensity interval training will improve your running times for 5K. I have several clients who are running the best times of their lives after training with me for a couple months.

What are your goals? What do you want to weigh and what do you want your bodyfat percentage to be?

I’d start with a basic program and start learning the basic, most effective exercises:

bench press, squats, deadlifts, rows, military press, chin ups, dips, lunges

For example, you could do this:

Monday

squats
bench press
seated rows
military press
barbell curls

Wednesay

deadlifts
walking lunges
chin ups
dips
shrugs
face pulls
pillars

Friday

squats
bench press
seated rows
military press
barbell curl

Of course, this routine depends on your flexibility/mobility being adequate enough for squatting and deadlifting and your strength on chins and dips being sufficient to throw them into your routine.

I think 200 pounds would be a good weight for my height. I’m not too knowledgeable about body fat percentage. I understand the basics and I believe I was at 17% when I had it checked in a physical education class that I took a year ago. I was told that I should shoot for 10-12%. Personally I felt this was too low but I was informed that it’s a very healthy range.

What would you suggest for my lower body? How should I incorporate lower body work with the upper body work? Also, how should I fit in the running? Should the running be done on the days between the lifting?

[quote]BrandonMK wrote:
I think 200 pounds would be a good weight for my height. I’m not too knowledgeable about body fat percentage. I understand the basics and I believe I was at 17% when I had it checked in a physical education class that I took a year ago. I was told that I should shoot for 10-12%. Personally I felt this was too low but I was informed that it’s a very healthy range.

What would you suggest for my lower body? How should I incorporate lower body work with the upper body work? Also, how should I fit in the running? Should the running be done on the days between the lifting?
[/quote]

If you are running 1.5-2 mi a day, you better start eating. If not you’re wasting muscle. If you want to make gains you will have to start with getting your nutrition in line.

You can find websites that will help with this. a good one is http://www.fitday.com and look up all the nutrition articles you can. There is a ton of advise already written on nutrition. Just click on ARTICLES and then NUTRITION.

As far as workouts, BretC gave good advice. Start out concentrating on form and make sure it feels natural before you move up.

Bodyfatwise, you are 170 pounds and at 17% you have 28 pounds of fat on your body that isn’t doing anything except making you slower. As you gain muscle, you’ll lower your bodyfat by increasing lean mass as well as decreasing fat mass.

Gaining muscle will also make you faster. At 10% you should be able to see ab def. the bodybuilders that you hear about being in the danger zone, because their fat is so low, are around 3%.

[quote]BrandonMK wrote:
I think 200 pounds would be a good weight for my height. I’m not too knowledgeable about body fat percentage. I understand the basics and I believe I was at 17% when I had it checked in a physical education class that I took a year ago. I was told that I should shoot for 10-12%. Personally I felt this was too low but I was informed that it’s a very healthy range.

What would you suggest for my lower body? How should I incorporate lower body work with the upper body work? Also, how should I fit in the running? Should the running be done on the days between the lifting?
[/quote]

Make sure you find your daily calorie expenditure and eat above the maintenance level, so that you gain muscle.

As for incorporating your legs into a workout, you have to choose a specific routine. I suggest a split routine, since total body routines are made nearly specifically for overall conditioning and not hypertrophy. It should remain basic, such as:

[i]Monday-Chest/Tri’s
Tuesday-Back/Biceps
Wednesday-Shoulders/Abs
Thursday-Legs
[/i]

As aforementioned, each day you should stick with compound exercises at first (i.e. bench press, squat, deadlift), and make sure you get your form down correctly. Use videos and websites (such as http://www.exrx.net) to show you how to perform each exercise. Also do direct arm work.

I suggest doing that split routine with 3-4 exercises for each body part. Start out by sticking with 4-5 sets with 8-10 reps. Also, I state again, make sure you do your compounds. They’ll make ya grow. An example of that would be:

Chest-Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, Flyes, and Dumbbell Bench Press

As for nutrition, I suggest trying out CT’s Carb Cycling Codex, and make sure you eat whole foods. Don’t be afraid of whole milk after your workout either. Stay away from fried food, most boxed food, etc. Use your head.

For running, I’d run two days out of the week at most. A better option would be to run a mile or two on Friday, then do sprints on Saturday. That way you’re building your lungs AND muscle.

[quote]Fulmen wrote:
I suggest a split routine, since total body routines are made nearly specifically for overall conditioning and not hypertrophy.[/quote]

One thing that bodybuilders and strength athletes agree on is that full body routines are superior for beginners for strength and hypertrophy gains. The reason for this is because a beginner is not neurally efficient and can therefore work his muscles more frequently.

I’d recommend full body routines to start, then once you’ve reached sufficient strength levels, you can decide whether or not you want to do a full body, lower/upper split or bodypart split routine.

Personally, I respond best (both strength and hypertrophy-wise) to lower/upper splits. My training partner does best with a bodypart split. You must learn about your body and how it adapts to various stimuli, which is a constant journey.

Thanks for the advice, fellows. I’ve sort of got an idea of what I should be doing. As a few have said, I suppose the best thing to do is experiment and see what works best for me