T Nation

Starting Again After 1 Month w/out Iron

Alright, so I posted at the end of a dying thread and got no response so hopefully I’ll get a little more feedback (and maybe even some flaming) here.

Background: I returned home from a 2-week+ trip to Bangladesh to study global climate change on June 4. I planned to work out in the “gym” in my hotel over there, but it turned out that it was just an extra room with a tread mill and an ab-rocket.

Basically, I did 5-6 body weight workouts over the course of about 16 days, doing things like push-ups, dips between chairs, pull-ups in the door frame, and reverse rows hanging from the treadmill.

My nutrition was also horrible, as protein sources there are scarce (the beef was always fatty as hell and the fish and chicken were really bony) and since the airline lost my bag, all the protein bars/powder and supplements I packed were lost. Also, the main course of EVERY meal was white rice. Yum. All told, I lost about 10 lbs. and I think my body fat % went up (just speculation).

I am still feeling adverse effects from the malaria medicine, and definitely don’t feel 100% strength wise. I went to the gym yesterday and tried to do a back workout. Not only was I significantly weaker than when I left (which was expected), I felt unusually light-headed and dizzy to the point I didn’t feel I could push myself as hard as I usually do.

It was a hard thing for me to walk back into my usual gym and feel defeated when I left. My nutrition is back to normal since I’ve been home, but I feel that this is as good a time as any to alter my training. I’ve posted this in hopes of getting some suggestions. Here’s how I’ve been training for about the past year:

Quads/Hams/Calves (main movements- back squat, RDL)
Back (main movements- pull ups, rows)
Chest/Triceps/Calves (main movements- db bench, incline press, dips)
Shoulders/Legs/Calves (main movements- deadlift or cleans, military press or db shoulder press)

I chose not to post the full training log, but for main movements, I usually do a warm-up set, then 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps. I don’t worry too much about counting sets and reps- I just try to hit at least 30 total reps for main movements.

I wasn’t using any supps outside of fish oil, but I plan to load up on creatine before I start hitting it hard again. Before I left for Bangladesh my stats were:
Height: 5’10"
Weight: 178
Squat: 355, Dead: 425, Bench: 290

I was thinking a 5x5 (ala Bill Star or Reg Park) program might be a good change of pace. Basically my goal is to get back the strength and size I lost as quickly as possible. After that my goals are pretty much consistent with a lot of people here: add more lean muscle. Thanks for any suggestions guys-