T Nation

Returning to the Gym

hey guys,

Ive decided to return to working out and would just like to ask several questions and get some advice.

I’m 18, I’m not very active, i don’t play any sports, i am at uni most days and I hate being unable to play ball sports. I have terrible eyesight so my hand eye coordination is really bad. Although, i have specs and contact lenses my eyesight is still poor. So I’ve decided to stick to gyming.

I want to look like a sprinter or have a similar physique. I’ve never looked athletic, so that would lead to a big increase in my self-esteem and confidence because i rarely think good things about my body, even though I’m not a bad looking guy. Anyways onto the question.

First, What is the best way to ease back into training? i am unconditioned, my muscles look soft, although i look thin with clothing i tend to carry a lot of fat around the stomach and hips.

During my end of school break before uni i started doing high intensity interval training, although with no weights, i still lost 5 kg, however, none of it seems to be stomach fat, perhaps muscle and some fat off my hips.

Currently, ive been winging it at the gym, going four times a week and doing compound movements. Ive always looked very soft even when i trained consistently for two years, during years 10 and 11. Although, i gained muscle and strength i tended to look fat and soft.

Second, any program recommendations? i tend to get bored really easily and i am thinking of creating a program with varying reps and sets in each workout, and maybe even a variety of different training equipment throughout the week. Maybe gym + home workouts + heavy band training? just refer me to an article or perhaps a good book.

I have the book starting strength and i do deadlift, overhead, rows and squat, however, I’m afraid to learn and perform the Olympic movements on my own. It also takes me a while to increase my poundages and strength.

Third, this may seem like a strange observation but I’ve always felt that my shoulders, particularly my left, feels very lose and flexible and is difficult to stabalise. Like, when i do supinated chins my shoulders feel uncomfortable and i sometimes gets pains in my left shoulder. However, if i do pullups they seem fine but i still cant stabalise them properly when doing the exercise.

It was even worse when i tried dips today, i lifted myself up comfortably, but it felt so unstable and i just kept shaking, and whenever i slightly leaned forward to do the exercise after my reps were finished and i got of the dip station i would get this sudden pain in my shoulders after each set.

Additionally, i always hear popping and clicking sounds in my shoulder. The strange thing is - I’ve had an x-ray and ultrasound of both shoulders and they are perfectly normal. Perhaps its because my muscles grow at a faster rate than my tendons and my tendons and joints aren’t use to the stress so i should do more tendon strengthening exercises if there is such a thing or spend more time on a given poundage before i add more weight?

Fourthly, Can i get linked to a proper warm up and stenching program i can perform in confluence with my routine.

Thanks in advance and sorry for such an extensive post.

Nothing unusual there. My suggestion is:

Buy Schuler/Cosgroves “New Rule of Lifting”. It is not expensive. Follow the programmes towards the end of the book. “Eternal Beginner” seems to fit you well. Once you start, follow through with the programme. Rest periods are scheduled, so no need to insert them yourself.


What is your diet like (give an example day or something) and what have you been doing for your workouts. Upper/Lower split? Total Body? Give more info on that too.