T Nation

Seeking Aesthetics Workout Program (Diet + Workout Details + Detailed Background)


#1

I am a 27-year-old Caucasian male, height 5’11", weight 166 pounds, approximately 19% Body Fat, and I am on TRT (160mg Test C with 1mg Arimidex weekly, split into 2 SubQ Injections (80 mg Test C and 0.5mg Adex twice a week). I am running new TRT bloodwork in a few weeks.

I started lifting a year ago, and started seriously lifting 3-4 months ago. I have been doing a modified Starting Strength Program for a few months now. My lifts have been stalled for over a month (I am also cutting, so this is probably the reason lifts have stalled).

I am looking for a new aesthetics focused weight lifting program. I would like to continue to drop Body Fat, and then add some muscle in places that are aesthetically pleasing. Program wise I am looking for something that uses whole body (as I am still a beginner), good programming, progressive overload, etc. What are some solid programs that I should consider? Or should I stay with my current program while I continue to cut?

Current Program:

Workout A:
Barbell Squat 3x5 reps
Barbell Bench Press 3x5 reps
Chin up 3xMax reps
Close Grip Lat Pulldown 3x10 reps
Cable Elevated Rows 3x10 reps

Workout B:
Barbell Squat 3x5 reps
Barbell Standing Military Press 3x5 reps
Barbell Deadlift 1x5 reps
Cable Crunch 4x10 reps

Cardio:
Swim 30 mins Tuesday and Thursday.
Hike on Sundays.

Diet is 2100-2200 calories on rest days and 2300-2400 on weight lifting days (M-W-F). I do Intermittent Fasting 8:16 and I occasionally cut out one 700 calorie meal (but add in 1-2 scoops of protein powder to keep protein at about 1 gram per pound of lean body mass). I did a DexaScan and RMR in Dec 2018.


#2

in my own opinion, that would be everywhere. But I’m assuming that’s not what you want to hear.

Aesthetics are highly subjective. I highly recommend picking a celebrity, athlete, model, whoever that you want to look like. Doesn’t have to be something you believe is actually attainable, just whatever your definition of a perfect body is. From there, we can give you proper direction for working towards whatever physique that is.

When I’ve asked this question of people on this forum in the past, I’ve gotten back anything from a 160 lbs soccer player, to professional bodybuilders, to fat strongmen. lol. Taste is not a universal thing.


#3

@flipcollar

A bodybuilder build like this:

Basically well defined muscles (low body fat), visible abs, bigger arms, chest, shoulders, etc.


#5

I’m pretty sure that’s a young Mark Wahlberg.

So yea, I’ll go back to what I initially said, you’ll need to work on everything. That’s a really good all-around physique.

I don’t think your current program lends itself to this at all. What you should really consider is picking a program off of this site that you find in the ‘articles’ section that you like. The one above isn’t a particularly well round program, it includes no direct arm work, and the reps are generally too low, along with overall volume. It’s just not enough work, period.

Starting Strength was designed for young athletes to build a base of strength (hence the name). And in my opinion, it’s not something anyone should run for very long, if at all.

Is there a reason you think beginners should do full body programs? That’s not something I personally buy into. Performance athletes tend to benefit more from full body that physique athletes do. A body-part split would be more suitable to your goals. When I first started lifting, all I cared about was looks. And a typical bodybuilder split worked well for me. Now that I’m a strongman competitor, full body workouts are a big part of what I do, but that’s only been as a very advanced lifter.

As for cutting: cutting fat has very little to do with choice of program. It’s 90% about diet. So don’t factor that in when you pick a program. I think your diet strategy that you outlined is probably fine. Adjust calories as necessary based on your progress.

The physique you want is very attainable. I’d say a couple years of dedicated lifting could get you there.


#6

B-but his clavicles…


#7

Yeah gt off SS and run through programs off this site. Try one of these…


#8

@flipcollar

What about this program?

image


#9

@RampantBadger

I will read the articles, thanks!


#10

Honestly looks nonsense. Way too many exercises and sets.


#11

That’s a list of exercises and a rep scheme, not a program. It’s quite a long list of exercises and a fairly limited variety of rep schemes. I also feel like 5mins rest is a very long time and I can’t see a need for it in this particular program.

Edit: the more closely I read it, the less sense it makes.


#12

That’s a lot of volume for a full body session. You’ll be in the gym for 90-120 minutes. I also got my start with a body part split. Chest/Tri’s, Back/Shoulders/Bi’s, Legs, repeat. I just copied what my big brother showed me and luckily it was a balanced program. I now do shoulders with chest and tri’s.

How many days a week can you train? It seems that you’re really attached to the MWF split. It looks like you’re putting in work six days a week. I wouldn’t suggest canceling your hiking day, but you might consider lifting four to five days, or even six days per week. It really opens up the possibilities for different programs.

Go to the search function, select articles. It’ll bring up the search tab and allow you to filter further from there. Select workouts and then select a coach that you like on here. I think CT and Paul Carter would be good places to start since you’re wanting to focus on physique. Pick something that fits your schedule and follow it to a T. Don’t make any changes.


#13

OK - good to know that the “program” in the image above is crap.

I am thinking of putting this program in Jefit (Workout tracking app on Android): https://www.t-nation.com/training/strength-training-college-edition

Is this a good program to get the physique I am looking for? Focus on progressive overload (adding weight each session) or extra reps if below the rep range, with the occasional deload?

“Pull” Day

Exercise Sets Reps
A Deadlift variation (conventional, sumo, or trap bar) 3/1 4-6/6-8
B Chin-up variation (any grip) * * * * *
C Row variation (dumbbell row, barbell row, inverted row, etc.) 3 8-10
D Anti-extension core variation (rollouts) 3 8-15

“Push” Day

Exercise Sets Reps
A Barbell press variation (bench press. incline, military) 4 4-8
B Bodyweight or dumbbell press variation (push-ups, dips, incline dumbbell press, dumbbell floor press, etc.) 4 10-15
C Shoulder pre-hab (band pull-aparts, YTW’s, etc.) 4 15
D Anti-rotation core (Pallof presses, renegade rows) 3 8

“Leg” Day

Exercise Sets Reps
A Squat variation (back squat, front squat) 3/1 4-8/10-15
B Posterior chain exercise (RDL’s, single-leg RDL’s, hip thrusts, single-leg hip thrusts, dumbbell leg curls, glute-ham raises, back extensions, etc.) 4 8-10
C Single-leg variation ( rear foot elevated split squats, lunges, single-leg squats, etc.) 4 6-8
D Weighted carries (farmer’s walks, suitcase carries) 2 30 sec.

#14

@JMaier31

I highly prefer 3 days of weight lifting per week - although I could cut out 1-2 days of swimming (or move it from mornings to the evenings). I am also going to start seeing a Physical Therapist on Tues + Thurs in the AM for at least a month or 2, and they will probably have me do some stabilizer work (I have been getting back pain on my current program).

I’ll look into some additional articles, but a traditional push, pull, leg or Chest/Tri/Shoulder, Back/Bi, Leg split is likely my best bet. Thanks for the info!


#15

If the best set up for you is three days a week then fill body might be your best bet. The first program you posted was lacking volume to achieve what you want. You need more shoulder work, more chest work, and more direct arm work (plus the back work to balance all that pressing).

I’ve skimmed all of the workouts on here looking for full body splits. Every single one is similar to what you posted in your first post. They don’t have any isolation work. That’s okay unless you want to emphasize a certain body part.

I don’t have the energy to write out a program right now, but you could just follow a program from here. You might even try a four day per week program and just run it three days per week.

Mon - day 1
Wed - day 2
Fri - day 3

Mon - day 4
Wed - day 1
Fri - day 2

Mon - day 3
Wed - day 4
Fri - day 1

Mon - day 2
Wed - day 3
Fri - day 4


#16

@JMaier31 (or anyone else)

I put this this program in Jefit (Workout tracking app on Android): https://www.t-nation.com/training/strength-training-college-edition

Is this a good program to get the physique I am looking for? Focus on progressive overload (adding weight each session) or extra reps if below the rep range, with the occasional deload? Rest time 60 seconds between each exercise.

Close Grip Lat Pulldown are added to Pull day because I can only do 7 chin ups max in 1 set.

“Pull” Day

Exercise Sets Reps
A Barbell Deadlift 3 sets / 1 set 6 reps / 8 reps
B Chin-up 4 sets 10 reps
C Close Grip Lat Pulldown 3 sets 10 reps
D Barbell Bent Over Row 3 sets 10 reps
E Cable Crunch 3 sets 15 reps

“Push” Day

Exercise Sets Reps
A Barbell Bench Press 4 sets 8 reps
B Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 sets 15 reps
C Band Pull-Aparts 4 sets 15 reps
D Cable Pallof Press With Rotation 3 sets 8 reps

“Leg” Day

Exercise Sets Reps
A Back Squat 3 sets/1 set 8 reps/15 reps
B Barbell Hip Thrusts 4 sets 10 reps
C Barbell Single Leg Squat 4 sets 8 reps
D Farmers Carry 2 sets 30 seconds

#17

These programs are likely fine. Paul Carter has some 3 day splits on this site, which is what I’d do in your shoes, but I don’t think it matters that much - I’m assuming you don’t have a ton of experience lifting, so just do something someone smart wrote for 12 weeks; then you’ll have enough experience to appropriately choose something else someone smart wrote for another 12 weeks. Onward and upward you go.

EDIT: Keep in mind, not doing arm work probably won’t improve your arms - regardless of what the internet says.


#18

@TrainForPain

So the program in post 15 is fine, except I should add arm work? What about bicep/hammer curls?


#19

This is decent but I’d pick flat bench or Incline bench on the upper push day and add OHP or lateral raises (cables are my favorite).

I’d also do biceps on the pull day and triceps on the push day.


#20

@JMaier31

Something like this?

“Pull” Day

Exercise Sets Reps
A Barbell Deadlift 3 sets / 1 set 6 reps / 8 reps
B Chin-up 4 sets 10 reps
C Close Grip Lat Pulldown 3 sets 10 reps
D Barbell Bent Over Row 3 sets 10 reps
E Cable Crunch 3 sets 15 reps
F Dumbbell Bicep Curl 3 sets 10 reps

“Push” Day

Exercise Sets Reps
A Barbell Bench Press 4 sets 8 reps
B Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 sets 10 reps
C Band Pull-Aparts 4 sets 15 reps
D Cable Pallof Press With Rotation 3 sets 8 reps
E Dip 3 sets 10 reps

“Leg” Day

Exercise Sets Reps
A Back Squat 3 sets/1 set 8 reps/15 reps
B Barbell Hip Thrusts 4 sets 10 reps
C Barbell Single Leg Squat 4 sets 8 reps
D Farmers Carry 2 sets 30 seconds

#21

Looks good enough to give it a shot. Run it for 8-12 weeks and see how you like it. Assess your progress based on the mirror, your strength, and how you feel. Adjust as needed and keep going.