Relatively New to Lifting


Hello good people, my name’s Burt and I’ve been been lurking this site for a few months now, but I think I finally want to ask for help, because I am well aware that I know next to nothing about this.

My story isn’t too too different from a lot of other people’s stories, so I won’t bore you with my full life story. The gist of it is this:

I was about 185lbs and 5’9" a year ago, overweight with no muscle. Dieted and biked it off over the spring and summer which landed me around 150lbs. About six months later (and six months ago) I started lifting when I transferred to rutgers because my roommate is very much a T-Nation fan, very much jacked, and very much russian.

Anyway, he advised me to spend a few months training for strength, and now I alternate heavy lifting weeks with higher volume weeks. I lift about 4 times a week. My deadlift has gone from about 85lbs to 315, squat is up to 205. I’ve never maxed out, which I’m sure is terrible, so I don’t know what my max is for either of those, but I generally do sets of 5x5 for each.

On days I don’t do those, I do pullups and dips, military press dumbbells, bench (max is around 185), row, and on sundays I’ll usually switch it up to powersnatches or cleans or something like that. My schedule generally looks like this:

tuesday: bench and row, sometimes curls or military press
thursday: squat and deadlift, abdominal planks etc
friday: pullups and dips, power snatches sometimes
sunday: varies

My diet is somewhat of an issue, because I am both motivated and lazy (I surely didn’t lose 35lbs overnight), and doing the research gets really frustrating for me because everyone has different opinions as to how and what I should eat, when to eat, what supplements, etc, so I try not to get too in depth with what I consider to be a budding science at this point. The first 4 months I lifted, I was probably eating under 2000 calories a day because I have body issues and I don’t want to get fat again, but my roommate eventually convinced me to crank it up to 3000kcal/day or more, and pretty much all my size gain has happened in the last 2-3 months.

My typical diet might look like this:
breakfast: oatmeal, 2 hardboiled eggs
snack: protein shake
lunch: turkey burger, whole milk, sometimes roast beef sandwhiches on whole wheat
snack: protein shake
dinner: 2 chicken breasts, whole wheat pasta on lifting days, sometimes 2 6oz salmon steaks, spinach and greens
snack: protein shake, or green apples with peanut butter.

I know that’s pretty bland, but I’m poor as balls and I can’t afford better. I’m lucky enough to have a free gym on campus. For supplements I have protein (obviously), creatine, fish oil, and a multivitamin that I probably paid too much for.

I’m not sure what else I could add, but the bottom line is that I am looking for cost effective improvements and constructive criticism which you’ll all no doubt provide happily, and whatever else you can think of.

As for my goals, I wish to be around 180 lean by christmas, and to increase my squat to 300 at least and my deadlift to 400 or more.

Current weight is 175. If I had to guess, I would place myself between 15% and 18% body fat, because I’m too poor to buy calipers. :frowning: I’ll put up my 6 month side by side when I figure out how.

And the wheels.

[quote] burtw wrote:
I’m not sure what else I could add, but the bottom line is that I am looking for cost effective improvements and constructive criticism which you’ll all no doubt provide happily, and whatever else you can think of.

As for my goals, I wish to be around 180 lean by christmas, and to increase my squat to 300 at least and my deadlift to 400 or more.[/quote]

Your roommate kicks ass. Does he post? Who as?

It looks like you’ve got your shit together. You’re eating enough to grow (right?) and your program consists of heavy compound movements. Keep lifting heavy and you should hit those LBM and lift # goals.

As far as supplementation, I’ve found the most cost-effective to be creatine and fishoil, both of which you’re already taking.

I’ve found that multivitamins, even good ones, are pretty much useless if you’re taking fish-oil; case in point, many research studies point to fish oil preventing long term damage from just about every disease ever. Vitamins prevent a lack of vitamins, which don’t happen unless you’re living off of ramen. Fish oil FTW.

The greatest bulking supplement is peanuts, if you need to increase your kcals more. No insulin response, $2.50 for 2560 kcals? Can’t beat it.

Good luck, keep us posted.

Peanuts, eh? I do love them. The roomie has suggested almonds too, which, by the way, taste amazing when baked for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Seriously, it’s like popcorn, it bugs me out. Next time I go to costco I’ll pick up some bulk peanuts because all the salt in planters is kind of disgusting.

What’s going to be rough for me is the next two weeks after wednesday. Basically the gym closes for two weeks and I’ll be living on a couch subsisting on fast food and whatever scraps I can get. I’ll probably just drink shakes all day and lose a couple pounds. =/ As for exercises, it seems as though I’m in for a lot of pullups, pushups, and pistols.

Yeah, I am eating enough to grow (now). I wasn’t before, but in the past three months I have dramatically increased (and probably doubled) my intake to about 3000-3500kcal, and it wasn’t till around now that people are noticing and commenting on my build. Like I said, I was not seeing results enough to justify binging and potentially getting overweight again. I have since then seen the proverbial light through a combination of Chris Shugart and CT’s eccentric mixture of motivation and a bewildering vocabulary.

I actually don’t know the roommate’s forum alias here, but I think he’s typhoon since that’s what all his other email address and screennames are.


I know this thread is dead, but I figured I would update a little more progress. The picture is bad and the shades are corny, but I think it shows some pretty obvious gains I’ve made.

[quote]burtw wrote:
I know this thread is dead, but I figured I would update a little more progress. The picture is bad and the shades are corny, but I think it shows some pretty obvious gains I’ve made.[/quote]

good job, keep pushing for more.

Wow, that is motivating for me. I did 5x10 deadlifts with 135 on Saturday and it completely devastated me. To go from 85 to 315 … outstanding job. I intend on hitting 315 by the end of the summer as well.

[quote]njrusmc wrote:
Wow, that is motivating for me. I did 5x10 deadlifts with 135 on Saturday and it completely devastated me. To go from 85 to 315 … outstanding job. I intend on hitting 315 by the end of the summer as well.[/quote]

Thanks, the support goes a long way. One day it will just creep up on you. I used to do 5x5 for every set since I heard it was still pretty good for strength gain, and while I admit that I am now going for size since it’s shirtless weather, I’m glad I didn’t know any better and trained for strength for the first few months. But bear in mind it didn’t happen over night. I think it was a good 4-5 months before I could lift 315 off the ground. Right now I’m hoping to be able to scrape 400 by the end of the summer. I’ve slowed down a bit, but it could happen.

I should note that this site is a massive reservoir of inspiration. I think the physique clinic really clinched it for me. Here’s one more picture that, I think, takes the cake. It’s still pretty thrilling for me, I never thought I would see progress.

[quote]burtw wrote:
njrusmc wrote:
Wow, that is motivating for me. I did 5x10 deadlifts with 135 on Saturday and it completely devastated me. To go from 85 to 315 … outstanding job. I intend on hitting 315 by the end of the summer as well.

Thanks, the support goes a long way. One day it will just creep up on you. I used to do 5x5 for every set since I heard it was still pretty good for strength gain, and while I admit that I am now going for size since it’s shirtless weather, I’m glad I didn’t know any better and trained for strength for the first few months. But bear in mind it didn’t happen over night. I think it was a good 4-5 months before I could lift 315 off the ground. Right now I’m hoping to be able to scrape 400 by the end of the summer. I’ve slowed down a bit, but it could happen.

I should note that this site is a massive reservoir of inspiration. I think the physique clinic really clinched it for me. Here’s one more picture that, I think, takes the cake. It’s still pretty thrilling for me, I never thought I would see progress. [/quote]

is what I’m using to up my deadlift to the mid 400s, might be worth a look for you as well. I start the program when I get back from vacation.

I’ll have to take a look at that, thanks.

My roommate is going to tweak my routine a bit so I can cut a little bit for the summer months before I start binging again during school for weight gain, I’ll post it when he sends it.

My first goal is 4 x 275 by July 31. I think I can manage that for sure. Going for a solid 4 x 225 within 4 weeks. I hit the deadlift again on Thursday so we shall see what happens.

EDIT: Looking at your numbers (deadlift notwithstanding), we are very similar in terms of strength. Though, I have been training under more of a 3x8 program which has yielded less strength gains. I have changed it up, though.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:

is what I’m using to up my deadlift to the mid 400s, might be worth a look for you as well. I start the program when I get back from vacation.[/quote]

Are you adding anything to it? aka squats or upper body work?

Off topic, but awesome username. Sometimes you eat the bar, and, well, sometimes the bar eats you.

[quote]TheDudeAbides wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:

is what I’m using to up my deadlift to the mid 400s, might be worth a look for you as well. I start the program when I get back from vacation.

Are you adding anything to it? aka squats or upper body work?[/quote]

My routine was supposed to look like:

Monday:
coan DL cycle

Tuesday:
ME bench variation (floor press, bench, close grip alternating)
military press
DB incline press
face pulls
curls

Thursday:
snatch
Squat
beltless close stance boxsquat

Friday:
speed bench
dumbell bench
jerk press
DB row
chins

however I get a MRI when I get back from vacation. I may have torn part of my delt. I haven’t been pressing in a few weeks, and pulling may not be an option either. I may end up doing Smolov if I’m not allowed to pull. I was looking for a higher volume cycle. The last few weeks have been extremely low volume high intensity sessions.

Recovery on smolov or this (without the pressing) shouldn’t be bad with 4000-4500 calories a day, and using creatine again. I hover at around 182ish these days, and I want to be 190 with the same or less bodyfat by summers end. Which is going to be hard with my atrophying upper body. I was looking forward to the coan DL cycle. If you want to talk about my/your training, just pm me.

Duh. I was looking at it all wrong. That’s just one day a week.

[quote]burtw wrote:
Off topic, but awesome username. Sometimes you eat the bar, and, well, sometimes the bar eats you.[/quote]

LOL I’ve got the best of both worlds - awesome movie and awesome avatar (The Tick).

nice progress so far, keep it up.

“it’s like lenin once said…”
“i am the walrus?”


Quick update. I’m on a new routine right now because it’s beach weather and I want, above all, to see my abs for the first time in my life. I can post all the details if anyone wants to see it, but I’ve been on a new diet for a week and lost nearly 3 pounds with my new exercise routine.

So far so good. I took a snapshot today to show my progress, and I plan to post one every week. This is fully flexed and at an angle, but eh, I’m still pleased so far.

And yes, I know I should not be leaning out just yet, but I can’t afford a bulking diet right now so it’s worth it to make the best of it by cutting a little bit.

Week three of the diet, 5lbs lost on the road to leanness.

At this point, I’m starting to look the part, but there’s a ring of fat around the lower midsection that obscures my abs and gives me a wretched hourglass figure (love handles…).

I’m on a 500cal deficit, getting less than 20grams of carbs on rest days and about 70 on lifting days. Lots of veggies, and yes, still getting more than enough protein. Suggestions?

PS, those abs are fully flexed of course. When I relax they disappear. When can I expect to see them stick around unflexed?