T Nation

Progress Advice


Hi guys,

I'm new to this, so go easy on me!

Been training for about six months now, and had a slow progression. I've gone from 10st 6lbs to 11st 4lbs and while the bulk has been clean, I am developing a bit of puppy fat around my lower abs.

I have an ectomorph body type.

My old routine was OK for me, but I think my muscles have kind of recognised my process, so I'm trying something new now.

This is it:


Squats- 3 x 8
Bench Press- 3 x 8
Chin Ups- 3 x 8
Deadlift- 3 x 8
Dumbbell Military Press - 3 x 8

Reverse Curls 3 x max

Stiff-legged Deadlift: 3 x 8
Dips- 3 x 8
Bent over rowing
Dumbell Shoulder press

Ab Crunches 3 x max

I workout three times a week, following pattern A-B-A, then B-A-B and so on. I do CV work (mostly HIIT) 2 days a week!

My target goal is 12st. So here are the questions I have:

1) On my previous routine, I was a lot of 5 x 5. Should I keep doing that for a bulk,(coz Ive heard its better) or try 3 x 8 instead?
2) Should I cut the current puppy fat I have before continuing my bulk, or keep bulking regardless?
3) Is it counter-productive to put in CV work during workout days? If so, what are the best ways to warm up (other than stretching?)



First, get on a proven program. You picked great exercises, but you have no method of progression.

A little bit of fat on your lower abs is nothing to worry about. Im not familiar with the Stone and pounds system so I have no idea how much you gained, but it seemed like a good amount. Keep gaining muscle.

For God's sake do NOT cut out your conditioning work. It is important to be in good shape.


since you call it just a bit of fat, I'd keep bulking. you likely won't progress much (if at all) if you freak out every time you lose an ab. keep bulking until you're uncomfortable with your level of leanness/fatness, then post back here (not in RMP) with pics if you want an honest opinion.

long sessions of steady cardio can hold you back from gaining as a beginner, especially if you really have no idea how many calories you need to keep gaining at certain bodyweights. I don't think there's a problem with it if you're more advanced, or if you're coming off of a dieting phase and you want to bulk a little more slowly. HIIT would be more beneficial for conditioning. I dropped all forms of cardio while bulking since June, and while I've gained almost 40 lb, my conditioning has fallen apart. I had to drop my rep progression from 10 reps to 8 just to keep putting weight on the bar.


thanks for great responses!

The exercises I picked are part of a proven programme. Many people I know have raved about it! The progression comes by adding 2lb per week to the lifts.

And to translate the weights, I weight 159lbs now, and used to weigh 146lbs. My goal is 169lbs.

Thanks again!


just hop on starting strength and eat.




That looks a shit load like Rippetoes SS....

Keep at it.

Choose any of the programs around. Do it, eat, sleep, win.


Okay good. Keep adding that 2 pounds a week as long as you can.