T Nation

Returning To Training With Big Problem


Hello everyone. First post, long time reader (lurker) on T-Nation.

I have been training on and off since I was 15 years old and due to illness have not trained for the last 4 years or so. I have some knowledge of training methods (and lots more since reading everything I could here on T-Nation) but I am stuck with a problem I can't seem to figure out.

I have always trained very hard, very heavy and almost to failure and now I am basicly beginning new again I am finding it very hard to start. When I train I find my muscles so sore and tender that I can't train that group again for 4-5 days.

Most beginning information I have read suggests doing whole body routines 3 times a week. For me this is massive overtraining with how hard I lift. I physically can't train the same muscle 3 times a week with the intensity I train at anyway. I do mainly compound lifts and oly lifts with maybe one or two supplemental isolation lifts.

I guess I just want to know how I should structure a real beginners program given that I train with a competition level intensity. I don't feel like I've worked at all if I haven't gone all out. Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.


The key is to avoid going to all out failure except for the last rep of the last set of a particular exercise.

You can still have an intense, ass kicking workout without going to failure on every set.

The only full body routine I've ever done was CW's TBT but it was more than enough intensity. After my last set of squats each day, I could barely stand up but I was ready to go two days later.


I think my recovery capacity is fairly low then because I only hit failure on the last set also, sorry for misunderstanding there.

Also, I have no doubt that his program is intense enough. The point I was making is that I always want to lift so heavy and hard that those whole body routines seem too intense for me to maintain 3 times a week like they suggest.