T Nation

Program Challenge?

Sup all? me again! Lol.

I just started the anabolic diet on Monday…

And I need some help from you all to get the maximum out of the minimum on my HIIT days, first of all, all I have is my dumbbells and a chin bar - no bench or barbell.
So do you think you could help me out with a good program for the diet and my equipment limitations?


What are your goals?

Gain muscle, lose body fat are the main two also to try and gain as much functional strength as possible.
I’ve read a few great articles about all three here but I’m not sure how to go about it on this diet since I don’t want to use up everything that I have carb loaded on the weekends to quickly.

Well, what kind of weight have you got for your dumbbells?

It will be hard to do much of anything without a barbell and some plates. Having said that, much of what you can do with a barbell can be done with a dumbbell, just with not as much weight. You can front squat, bench (on the floor, I guess, since you don’t have a bench) do rows, cleans, overhead presses, weighted pullups, etc. The problem is that unless you have lots of weight on the bar, you won’t gain much muscle.

I am a huge fan of doing what you can with what you have. I don’t want to discourage you from lifting what you have, as long as you have the understanding that you’re working toward obtain something better.

Yeah I do a fair few things with my dumbbells they’re not a very heavy set they was a beginner set given to me last year and I think it must be a 16kg-ish set.
I made some great gains with it from being a flabby kid but I’ve definitely hit a milestone where I’m not making anymore gains.

Do you know some good sets I can buy for around $200?

Look around craigslist or whatever the local equivalent is for you. Somebody’s wife is always trying to clean out the weights that she’s been tripping over in the garage. Used sporting goods stores like Play-It-Again Sports usually have new o-bars for around $40 and plates are something like 29-39 cents/pound (here in Phoenix, anyway).

Don’t let not having a piece of equipment keep you from doing something. When my o-bar got stolen out of my backyard, I did deadlifts and anything else I could think of with plates on a 2 inch steel fence post that I had laying around. Put all your plates onto one dumbbell (if they’re adjustable), do one arm snatches, overhead squats, cleans, shoulder presses etc. Make do with what you have. Good luck.

Craigslist is where it’s at.
Look for a barbell and weights. That’s all you really need.

As for a program… everybody wants to gain muscle, lose fat, and get stronger, all at the same time. While getting stronger and bigger are usually synonomous, losing fat at the same time… while not impossible, is highly unlikely. What usually happens is people who’re cutting gain a little bit of muscle mass and a hefty bit of strength because they’re beginners. But that’s pretty much it.

oh, and define ‘functional strength’.

Hmm well my definition of functional strength will vary from yours and others.
My definition of it would be - Readily available strength for the use of everyday purposes, so I would be guessing I need to strengthen my core strength as well as trying to make better use of the Golgi tendon organs that Christian Thibaudeau mentioned in Beast Building, Part 1.

[quote]BruceLeeFan wrote:
My definition of it would be - Readily available strength for the use of everyday purposes…[/quote]

My point in asking you this question is to realize how… dumb… the concept is.
You do realize people get through everyday activities without strength training. No one needs to do ten rock-bottom one-legged squats to be able to bring groceries in from the car.

You don’t want to train to be normal. You want to train to be awesome! The question becomes… at what?

I don’t necessarily intend to sound mean or anything, it’s just that the phrase ‘functionality’ gets thrown around a lot without a lot of meaning to it. It’s like ‘musclebound’. What is ‘musclebound’, you know?

So yeah. Come up with a goal, and we’ll see what we can do about getting you there.

Now you mention it - it does sound kind of dumb.
Anyway my goal is to get in brilliant shape less than 10% body fat, good strong muscles but without getting to huge I want to keep speed as I’m considering starting some form of martial art or maybe boxing.
Right now my biceps are 12.5 inches, forearms are 11inches and chest is 37.5 .
It would be much nicer to see them at 14 inches 12inches and 40inches.

So strength and speed without weight. Cool.

Assuming you don’t have weights, look up a guy named Ross Enamait. He’s pretty much America’s leading expert on getting strong using bodyweight exercises (and if you ever run into Matt Furey’s work, RUN!).

By ‘don’t have weights’, I mean your current set of beginners weights don’t count. I mean, they go up to what, 40lbs? If you tack all that onto a single dumbell? If you’re repping it overhead, it’s too light for the work you want to do.

Assuming you can either a) get a membership at a gym (there are all sorts of ways to do this that don’t involve money, if that’s your hang up) or craigslist a barbell and weights, you’re gonna have your work cut out for you.

  1. Athletically, you’ll need to develop a minimum level of maximum strength, a healthy bit of anerobic endurance, and unlimited endurance in your shoulders.
    CW says it better here: http://www.T-Nation.com/article/most_recent/7_steps_to_a_balanced_fighter

  2. As far as speed itself is concerned, you’re probably referring to the ability to punch or kick with speed, which is a skill you only really develop with practice in martial arts. Weight training won’t do it. Bag work might, if you can’t train at a dojo or school.

  3. Don’t try to cut fat until after you’ve established strength. Everyone wants to walk around with a six pack all the time. Wait on this one a little bit. If you’ve persevered with your training and eating, it’ll be simple down the road to drop fat.

Simple does not equal easy, though.

As for actual programs, I’d recommend Mark Ripppetoes starting strength.

And on off days, do conditioning work (jump rope as CW recommends, do circuits, drag sled, go to MMA practice). Don’t overdo it, and you should be okay.

As for diet, do the AD as planned (plan your food and make sure you’re getting close to the ratios he gives as you can on both regular days AND carb-up days) and continue to eat at BWx18. This should provide enough calories to allow you to recover. The cleaner your food sources, the more likely you are to drop fat and gain muscle (10 oranges are a better carb-up than 1 cup of ice cream).

This is a lot of words. I hope you got something out of it. If you have more questions, keep posting on the thread or feel free to PM me.

I’ll be interested in hearing about your progress. Good luck.