T Nation

Program Advise


I have been a long time reader of articles and posts and have enjoyed this website immensely. I thank all the people who contribute to the wealth of information that has accumulated here over the time I have been a member.

I need some direction (or plan) and have been confused by all the information out there. Some articles say to do this and not that while others state the opposite. I find it hard to make an informed decision with all the conflicting information.

I am a 34 year male. 6' 1" and 207 lbs. I do not know what my body fat % is, but it is higher than I want it to be. I have been active "almost" my entire life. The only time I was not is in college where I became overweight and inactive.

Since then I have used many of the lifting and cardio programs that the popular muscle mags have prescribed with lack luster results (which has caused me to give it up several times only to start it up again).

One day I came across the AST website and the Max-OT program. I thought that it would be a good change of pace and hoped that it would produce results, so I started in. With it I have seen good results increasing my strength and size and body composition, which is good.

I have also cleaned uo my eating habits and think I eat a well-rounded diet (6 to 7 meals a day with at least 20 to 30 grams of protien, low glycemic carbs, fruits and veg.). The problem is that I do not believe it is getting me toward my goal.

My goal is to be "athletic". My view of athletic is one of functional performance of being well rounded. Being able to perform at any sport or activity. I would also like to be strong, muscular and cut.

My question is: What are the best option(s) or program(s) I can implement to achieve the results I am looking for? What would be a good combination of lifting, cardio, and polymetrics, etc.? I realize that one can not have it all, but I would like to try. I know there are individuals out there that have this goal or have achieved this - please help.



It's kind of tough to give you advice since you have very vague/broad goals, but that's ok- a lot of people do. If there's one program I would recommend to just about every beginner, it would be the Westside for Skinny Bastards program. You can find it on here "authors--> view all --> Joe DeFranco". Essentially the program consists of:

Monday- Heavy upper body
Tuesday- Heavy lower body
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- Rest
Friday- High-reps upper body
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Rest

It's a very flexible template and can really be adapted for anybody's goals. It also only includes 3 days of lifting, so you can add some cardio, speed training, etc. on the other days. I would look that up and see what you think of it. It's good that you are eating a good diet, that is a crucial part that most people miss. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll try to help you out.


W4SB looks good for you, especially if you do a lot of running.

Now here is the best advice you can get: Quit reading all this shit and go throw some heavy stuff around. If you worry too much about this program versus that program your mind will fail before your body gets the chance.


Thanks for the info. That program looks more like what I am after.


You're not getting enough protein for starters. Shoot for about 1 to 1.5 grams of protien per pound per day.


20-30 is a little low bit 1-1.5 grams per lb of bodyweight is a little high for someone that wants to lose fat and basicaly start out on a begineer program.

I would eat a ballanced diet with a little more protein in it & less fat. At 207lbs you don't need approx 200-300 grams per day. Thats excess. Protein that is not used is sored as fat. Eat quality protein. Whole foods like an egg. Eggs have a 98% utilization rate.
Powder proteins and supplements arn't the same thing as whole foods. Just try to get at least 50-60 grams of quality protein a day. A good workout program for you would be one of Chad Waterbury's Frequency routines.


I'd go with this, but change the high reps upper body day to a high rep full body day.


Not entirely true. If one is eating at a deficit, excess protein is not automatically stored as fat. It's basically turned to really expensive pee....(wink).

And I am assuming that was a typo. 50-60 grams of protein a DAY is not a wise decision


Yes, anything in excess will be stored as fat, but since protein has a higher TEF then it will help boost metabolism when compared to eating equal calories of fat or carbs. That's not to say just eat protein, but be sure to include it in each meal.


I think this all depends on how much "extra" work as in running,playing ball,GPP or whatever his legs are being hit with.


Not a typo.


Please stop trying to give advice where you aren't really qualified to do so.

It's one thing to bicker back and forth about the effectiveness or mechanics of an exercise, but to put out false or at least potentially misleading info won't do the original poster any good.

Not a flame.


Once again the communication process is broken down.

I am qualified. I have a degree in nutrition.

I'm also 5% bodyfat.

I typed at least 50-60 grams of quality protein a day.

If comprehended correctly and not flamed. It means eat at Least 50-60 grams of quality protein a day. I stated that 200-300 grams would be excess, so the daily amout should fall between 50-200 with 50-60 of it being quality as in whole foods and high net utilization rate.

Thank you for not flaming.


This is a routine of mine, it provides you with less time needed for recovery. That way you can still do athletic activities in between (running, hiking, biking, rowing, etc.)

Monday through Thursday are 30 minute bodyweight routines allowing you to be active throughout the day without draining you like heavy lifting in the gym might do.


Perform routines as circuits going from one exercise to another...

Reps-do 4 reps from failure
Try and fit as many circuits as you can into 30 minutes.

-Always include a warm-up before each session
-stretch after each warm-up and after each session is over

Push-ups, Sit-ups, Squats, Side Bridge, Wide-Grip Pull-ups
Dips, Sit-ups, Lunges, Leg Raises, Close-Grip Pull-ups
Plyo Push-ups, V-ups, Squat Jumps, V-ups, 60 seconds static Squat (hold the half way position of squat against a wall) aka "The Chair"
Full Body Routine
5x10 Bench Press
5x10 Squat (rotate with Deadlift every other week)


this routine is unbelievably good. i highly echo this one. i've been doing routines for 20 years and this is about as good as its gonna get.

excellent post!

kudos to you sir.


I strongly disagree, even Lemon recommends 1.7g/kg for athletes (far more than you're recommending), and protien requirements while dieting go UP, not down. I wouldn't recommend more than 1.5g/lb unless using androgens, but 50g for a 207lb person doesn't even meet the RDA requirement. I do endorse your suggestion that more attention be paid to protien quality, but that's hardly the whole story. See most of Berardi's articles for more details.


Bodyweight squats 4 reps shy of failure? So like, only 9,996 reps?

If this guy wants to be "athletic," how about training like an athlete? Westside for Skinny Bastards was deigned with althletes in mind. You will improve maximal strength, endurance strength, put gain muscle mass (if you eat right), and have plenty of energy and time for running, cardio, agility stuff, sports, or whatever.


I wrote that up wrong. I should have said min 50-60 g of quality protein & no more than 200 total g of total protein/day at 200lbs. Anything over 1g/1lb of bodyweight is going to be stored as fat for a begineer. But a pro may need more, depends on them. Most people are taking protein in forms of powder and thinking its just as good as whole foods. My statement was to try to get as much quality as you can meaning 50-60g at least/day. Not the total. I would disagree with the way i wrote it up too. But, not what I intended it to mean. probably 150g per day would be sufficient. Eating 300g/day is just stupid in my opinion. Especially when he wants to lose weight. No way in hell a newbie will need 300g of protein a day at 200lbs. If you disagree with that, then lets just say we disagree and leave it at that.


That makes alot more sense. Without knowing his bodyfat percentage and more training details it would hard to say for sure, but yes 1g/lb is probably a good place to be for a new lifter. I generally like to recommend 1.5g per pound, but only count lean body mass, that seems to adjust to different fitness levels better.


Shows how much you know...I went on this routine for a month and my body fat went down 5%, my strength increased, and my ability to do cardio went higher than I thought it would be. If actually try this routine you won't think it to be so easy. I know a triathlete who does a very similar program--only he repeats a body weight circuit for 45 minutes straight non-stop.