T Nation

Starting Again


A while ago I was active on this board. I trained for six months and put on 25lbs and got stronger. However, at that six month point I looked in the mirror and wasn't happy with what I saw. After that, my training just started to slip, because I felt like I should have had better results. Eventually I stopped going to the gym and spent all my free time in front of the computer.

Over the Christmas holidays I had vacation time off and I spent most of it sitting at home playing video games and eating crap. After a few days like this I started feeling chest pains just sitting at my computer. I get these pains from time to time when I don't workout.

On top of that, I'm a software developer so I spend tons of time in front of a computer at work too. Long story short, I got fed up and realized I needed to stop doing what I was doing.

A month ago I got a gym membership and started just doing cardio. What I realized after doing high intensity cardio on a consistent basis and eating better is that my anxiety dissipated a lot. I've struggled with anxiety since Junior High School, but I've been feeling really good ever since I do cardio, where I hardly get anxious. It's been fantastic.

The thing is, I realize now that I must do cardio on a regular basis. Moreso to control my mood, because if I don't do it my anxiety will come back. My plan now to get back into the "game" is to do a full body workout three times a week and on my off days I do high intensity cardio.

I'm just wondering if this is too much of a load? I know that cardio and lifting don't necessarily mix, but again, I'm doing the cardio more to controly my mood. Thoughts??


That avatar is friggin hilarious.

Anyway, I'm not a big fan of TBT. Upper/lower splits rock, but either way it shouldn't be too terribly much for you if your goal is just to look better. If you want more muscle I'd try a split routine with complexes for your cardio on off days. Who am I to say though? TBT with high intensity cardio might work fine for you.


Yes, I constantly get complemented for that avatar. It's pretty hilarious. First time I saw it I nearly died laughing.

I'll try TBT, but probably just for a month or two. After that, I'll see what I'll do. I just feel like all the cardio will hinder me in the muscle building area and I wonder if ultimately it'll have a negative effect. Having said that, I almost feel like the cardio is a must to help control my mood, etc. I feel like my body chemistry is messed up without it.


You guys think that avatar is FUNNY?

It makes me want to cry. Haven't you guys ever owned a dog? How does that not make you sad?


Can't tell if you're joking, but seriously, how the fuck is that avatar FUNNY..


I decided I need to scrap what I'm doing and go with the Starting Strength program. Last time I started weightlifting the gym I used didn't have a squat rack. All I had was the f'in smith machine. However, that's no longer a problem. The gym I'm at now has three squat rack, so I can finally do the program legitimately. I'm going to go back to eating a lot and trying to lift big.

My big issue now is that my technique sucks. My squat form is bad and my deadlifts are questionable. It all needs work. For the next week or so I'm going to just practice the technique of all the different moves and once I feel I'm ready I'll start doing it for good.

I'm iffy about doing power cleans. I've seen a lot of different alternative twists to the basic Starting Strength program. What are some variations you think are good?


It should be fine, you need some sort of Rowing motion in SS. So make sure that if you replace cleans its a row. I find SS to be a great way to get your feet wet in the gym.


I was going to go with this (taken from Starting Strength wiki):

3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench press / Press (Alternating)
Chin-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps

3x5 Squat
3x5 Press / Bench Press (Alternating)
1x5 Deadlift

3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press / Press (Alternating)
Pull-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps


May I suggest, on Wednesday, you do 3x5 Deadlift instead of squatting, then do your bench, and after that I'd say some sort of rowing?


Actually, I was thinking of replacing the Pull-Ups with Pendlay Row.

I'm also thinking of going with 3x5 on deadlifts until I get the technique down solid and once I'm comfortable with it and I feel I'm doing it close to 100% correct I'll switch back to 1x5 trying to go max. What are your thoughts on that? Please note I also added Sprints on the weekends. My logic being that I get two days off from doing lifts so I should be able to get in some sprints without hampering recovery too much.

It would look like this:

3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench press / Press (Alternating)
Chin-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps

3x5 Squat
3x5 Press / Bench Press (Alternating)
3x5 Deadlift (until I get technique down then go to 1x5)

3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press / Press (Alternating)
3x5 Pendlay Row

Sprints/Hill Sprints - 20 mins

Sprints/Hill Sprints - 20 mins



I'm going to try and do squats three times a week. If I can't handle that much volume then I'll probably go with something similar to what you're suggesting.


I'm not trying to offend you but more than likely, if you can squat 3 times a week, you aren't squatting heavy enough. That's another reason why I tried suggesting a different compound exercise for Wednesday. On the other hand, if you can squat 3 times a week, seeing results and recovering well, then damn.


I thought squatting three times seemed a lot too. I guess I should at least try it. Anyway, I know squats take a lot out of a person, so I don't take any offense to that. However, that's the very reason I want to try and do as much of them as I can. We'll see how it goes.


I don't like upright rows due to the potential of shoulder issues.

I'd rather see someone do lateral raises to hit the lateral delts.

If you want to do rows, you should add one arm db rows or bent over barbell rows. I don't think you'll be doing too much volume if you add these in addition to your pullups/chin ups. Maybe alternate bent over rows and one arm db rows on your pull up day, and do seated rows on your chin ups day.

If you're doing squats 2-3x a week, then space them out better.

I.e. do squats mon/fri instead of mon/weds or weds/fri. You should be able to handle that unless you're really pushing your weight.

If I understand, starting strength right, I don't think you have enough on there.

Have you looked at stronglifts 5x5? If you start off with just the bar or 50-60% of your 5RM, then you would be better for full body style training. I would sub bent over rows or 1 arm db rows to their recommendation of inverted rows. Add some direct arm work to the program (bicep/tricep work), and I think you'd be good for a full body workout.

I'm not criticizing starting strength, I just think that your template is pretty lacking in terms of full body stuff.