T Nation

Newbie, Well Kind of


Ok here is a very brief description of me. Iâ??m 35 I have had colon cancer, 2 major head surgeries and for the past 2 years I have done the #1 thing I should not have done to get bigger never stuck to anything longer than a month. One other big issue is with the 2 head surgeries my equilibrium is shot. So I try squats and canâ??t go heavy or high rep. So with every one telling me you have to squat I try and form is bad I have hurt myself then canâ??t work out exceeder.

So I have come up with a plan that includes the trap bar deadlift to be my main leg exercise. Itâ??s a 3 day a week total body that will be to get bigger. Week 1 A,B,A week 2 B,A,B. and mind you I have been away for a month from it 100% with a shoulder injury

Workout A
Trap bar dead 3X8 - 2min rest
Pull ups failure x 3 - 2 min rest
Shoulder press 3X8 - 2min rest
Dumbbell incline bench 3X10 - 1min rest
Incline dumbbell curl 3X10 - 1min rest
Abs 3X15 - 1min rest
Lying leg curl 2X12 - 1min rest

Workout B
Trap bar dead 3X12 2min rest
Trap bar row 3X8 - 2min rest
Barbell bench 3X8 - 2min rest
Seated lat raise 3X10 - 1min rest
Cable tri press down 3X10 - 1min rest
Seated calf raise 3X12 - 1min rest
Stiff leg dead lift 2X12 - 1min rest


no advice or thoughts?


Given everything you said OP, I would expect a majority of people to be hesitant to give you advice. People feel the most comfortable giving advice when they can relate to certain experiences.. given your very unfortunate history, oh and by the way - You are one tough bastard, not many people will be able to relate or feel comfortable giving workout advice.

I'm included in the above group, however, there are some general advice that floats around in every thread.

1) You have pre-determined rest periods. That is, IMO, illogical. How do you know how you are going to feel on wednesday 12/06/2013? You don't. So how do you know how much time you need to rest after a 'shoulder press' set? You don't.

Feel it out. Do your set, wait until you "feel ready", and do your next set.

2) Squatting is GREAT.

Doing something that hurts you or injures you is the OPPOSITE of great. So, squatting for you is not great.
You don't have to squat. Just like you don't have to beat women and swear but some people will say you are a huge pussy for not doing it.

Who gives a fuck?

3) Your total program, again IMO, is not something that you should use. I think you should go with something pre-conceived.
A push-pull-legs routine. It still fits your 3x frequency, and it dedicates a whole day to your legs.

Given that you can't squat, your leg development will take a hit, right? Yes, it can, but it certainly doesn't have to. You just have to pay EXTRA attention to your legs. I think a dedicated leg day will help you do that.

Now, at this point of my thought-process is where the dilemma(that i prefaced the advice with) comes into play.. Even though I want to help a fellow person who is inspired and motivated by exercising, I don't feel comfortable suggesting what exercises you should do, or even what rep-ranges you should consider.

Perhaps, you should consider going low-weight & med-rep(5-8) until you actually get back to a 3 month stretch without interruption or injuries.



all that is important, but the thing I value most about my 90 minute workout session, is my 10 minute mobility drills warmup.

Ever heard of face-pulls? I think they will blow your mind(because they blew my mind) when it comes to shoulder health.

Do some research and come up with a good upper-body mobility schedule/warmup.

Then, you should do the same for your lower-body. If there ever was a "secret to bodybuilding" or "secret to getting jacked" then it's definitely the 15-minute pre-workout mobility warmup.


Thank you! like I said short very brief description. lots of other stuff but now after 16 years of health issues I?m healthy to get in shape. no set backs in sight. like I had with UC. and my going deaf and head surgeries and others? I thank you a lot gave me things to think about!


Get on a 5x5 program like this...

You definitely get a pass for not being able to squat, just replace it with leg press.


I don't know anywhere near enough to give advice here but...

... Claudan, I gotta know: who are these people who'll call you a pussy for not beating women?


Thanks all! um I'm sure someone would say your a pussy for not hitting women but you are one for hitting women. think thats his point.


I deleted 4 different jokes I came up with, that were very offensive and I certainly don't want that to be taken seriously on here, so I'm just going to say it was an arbitrary example.


Have you tried lunges? Not the same as squat, but an effective leg exercise nonetheless.

Off Topic: Claudan, where in Oregon do you live?


Excellent suggestions on the lunges, in fact, check this out OP:

I can squat weight without any further issues or concern, however, whenever I "Switch it up" and use BSS, I get a very quick reality check. Those things are the real deal.

off topic: Portland, OR. Coming up on 8 months.


Nice. I'm from Oregon and will be moving to Portland next year. I moved to Idaho for a job last year.


very cool! I lived on the east-coast for a few years before deciding to dip on the whole east-coast mentality and try it out west-coast style.

Lived in sweden for almost all of my life prior to my east-coast move. Portland is amazing.


Hah, I wasn't offended (you were doing the opposite of condoning it in any case), just baffled. Which was the point of the joke - something so ridiculous as to be laughable.

Gosh, explaining jokes is fun. Sorry for leading us down that path.


I"m going to take it a step further, beer with me(no i mean it, grab a beer).

Most recently you said

You also said

So in response to that I said,

but I meant 4 different jokes in response to

and not to you specifically.