T Nation

Questions for Experienced Lifters

Hey all,

I’m new to training - however not new to the associated knowledge base. I’ve working on a degree in Human Kinetics and my CSCS cert. So what I need in terms of help is some advice from those who’ve been there and done it.

Firstly, I’m 26YO, 5’8, wiegh about 150IBS. 32inch waist, 39inch chest. Slightly ectomorphic physique, which has been supplemented by a lot of soccer, stints at the weightroom, and an active lifestyle. My bodyfat % was around the 10% mark, but I believe its closer to 12 now since I’ve stopped playing soccer. The problem is that almost all the extra fat is in my midsection. The rest of me seems to remain fat free.

So my dilemma is the obvious bulk or cut one. I desperately want to bulk, and I need to as my muscle mass is nowhere near what it should be. However, I’m deathly afraid of getting a bigger gut. It’s already too big for my liking.

Secondly - I currently work out at a shithole of a gym. Due to my schedule/location currently, its the only option. No squat rack, no bench press, a lot of machines, and a big ugly smith machine. The good thing is that I can do dead lifts, and possibly cleans in order to do presses. Squats is where I run into trouble. I know full well the importance of the squat, especially in a mass building program. However, I want to hear from anyone (as unlikely as it sounds) who has achieved results doing a squat alternative (something that doesn’t require a rack).

Thanks in advance, and apologies for my wordiness.

-K

if you cant do squats or bench, i wouldnt go to that gym… and u definately need to bulk, a cut really isnt necessary… at 150lbs u dont have much muscle to show off… good luck

[quote]ghostofbellstar wrote:
if you cant do squats or bench, i wouldnt go to that gym… and u definately need to bulk, a cut really isnt necessary… at 150lbs u dont have much muscle to show off… good luck
[/quote]

x2

x3

x4

get a set of squat uprights in your garage or get a different gym.

If you’ve got the knowledge base then you should know that you can gain muscle without getting “a bigger gut.”

Get a nutrition plan. get your program together and get serious as cancer about getting strong.

-chris

[quote]kkhaku wrote:
wiegh about 150IBS … Slightly ectomorphic physique … My bodyfat % was around the 10% mark, but I believe its closer to 12 now … The problem is that almost all the extra fat is in my midsection. The rest of me seems to remain fat free.[/quote]

These four points you mentioned should make you feel more comfortable doing a smart, clean bulk with strategic cardio for “damage control.”

These should give you some direction:


By “no bench press” do you mean there’s no barbell bench, or there’s no place to even do dumbbell benching? Working your overhead pressing hard, with just supplemental chest work, would be one way to go.

If you can clean, you can front squat. Front squats, barbell hack squats, deadlifts, Romanian deads, dumbbell squat/deads, dumbbell swings, step-ups, and all sorts of lunges can create a solid lower body workout. I don’t see a reason to ditch this gym.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

These should give you some direction:


By “no bench press” do you mean there’s no barbell bench, or there’s no place to even do dumbbell benching? Working your overhead pressing hard, with just supplemental chest work, would be one way to go.

If you can clean, you can front squat. Front squats, barbell hack squats, deadlifts, Romanian deads, dumbbell squat/deads, dumbbell swings, step-ups, and all sorts of lunges can create a solid lower body workout. I don’t see a reason to ditch this gym.
[/quote]

Thanks Chris. Good articles those. I like the idea of a clean bulk.

By no bench press I mean no barbell bench press other than the smith machine. There are benches and free dumbbells which I could chest press.

I don’t have much of a choice right now anyway, I’ve got to stick with this gym. So I’ll be doing a lot of front squats and hack squats to replace the back squat. I’m just hoping I can get as close as possible to recreating the effect of the back squat.

I would do lots of oly lifts, supplemented with hypertrophy work on the machines.

As previously stated, get squat stands.

Where can I sign up for personal training? You sound like a genius.

do split squats and bulgarian squats with dumbbells. If there are no barbells at all, do the same with deadlifts and sumo deads, otherwise just do regular deadlifts. try jumping squats and explosive pushups too. and lots of pullups and 1 armed bent over rows.

as for the gut, come on that’s obvious. If you want to bulk up and cut some fat, run sprints instead of long distance stuff and limit your rest periods between sets to 90 seconds or less.

[quote]kkhaku wrote:
Chris Colucci wrote:

These should give you some direction:


By “no bench press” do you mean there’s no barbell bench, or there’s no place to even do dumbbell benching? Working your overhead pressing hard, with just supplemental chest work, would be one way to go.

If you can clean, you can front squat. Front squats, barbell hack squats, deadlifts, Romanian deads, dumbbell squat/deads, dumbbell swings, step-ups, and all sorts of lunges can create a solid lower body workout. I don’t see a reason to ditch this gym.

Thanks Chris. Good articles those. I like the idea of a clean bulk.

By no bench press I mean no barbell bench press other than the smith machine. There are benches and free dumbbells which I could chest press.

I don’t have much of a choice right now anyway, I’ve got to stick with this gym. So I’ll be doing a lot of front squats and hack squats to replace the back squat. I’m just hoping I can get as close as possible to recreating the effect of the back squat.[/quote]

If you learn to do dips correctly I reckon it is just as good a chest builder as bench. Combined with some heavy ass DB pressing you should fill out your shirts in no time.

If you are going to do a clean bulk or carb cycling you really have to be really conscientious. Many people dont monitor their calorie/food levels enough to keep that optimum level where they put the muscle on and keep the fat off.

As for leg work all the ideas previously presented are strong ones. My legs got huge [at least an inch or more at the lower quad and mid quad] when i was rehabbing my ankle and only did bulgarian split squats with DB’s [use straps] and pistols.

With a little creativity you should be fine. Be careful cleaning on bars that dont spin.

-chris

Bulk, without a doubt.

And find a better place to train.