T Nation

Starting Over and Need Advice

its a bit of a read. sorry but thanks in advance

so some background. always a fatter kid. around 16 (i’m 23 now) or so I got to be around 300lbs and couldn’t tie my shoes. decided to do something about it or I was gonna die. over a year and a half took off 140lbs down to 160. then wanted to add muscle for the next 4 years I did the bodybuilder everybody part split. didn’t make any gains really. this past year I’ve been plagued with various injuries not from lifting. now i’m 6’2 155lbs and around 11%bf. i’m very weak as well. my health is back in order and have learned a lot.

so 1st question. i’m planning on working out every other day with an a/b full body workout. plan to up the weight twice a week. my a workout is squat,bench,dead,seated calf,t-bar row,overhead press. I have trouble with the movement of a squat so my plan is 3x5 for all but 5x5-5x8 for squat to work on form and the movement more and aim to add reps to the squat before weight. add weight/strength through the b workout v squats. calf is going to be 3x10. I workout around 11 am but live a pretty sedentary life so plan to at home at night do some curls and bodyweight dips.

b workout is v squats,incline dumbbell press,step ups,pulldowns,upright row, standing calf raises.

next question. i would like to do active rest days. is 20minute jog/walk/run, some balance exercises, core ab work. and stretching/yoga to much on a rest day?

my diet is a clean whole foods varied diet with an iifym treat that is usually ice cream on the weekend. with a goal gain of .5-1lb a week in bodyweight. macros will be constantly adjusted but are currently around 170 protein, 230 carbs, 85 fat.

my goal is strength and lbm gain

thank you very much for your time and advice. i appreciate your help

with your desire to do full body 3x a week why don’t you just do Starting Strength? Maybe add in upright rows, bicep curls, and calf raises to it if you wanted. Shoot, your plan looks very similar to it anyway.

For your off days, that is fine. a little cardio and some stretching will be good for you.

You’re adding too much. Do three exercises per session - if you have issues with squats, do A: box squat 5x5, bench 5x5, row (any type) 5x5 / B: box squat 5x5, military press 5x5, deadlift: a few warm up sets, then 1x5. Yes, this is essentially stronglifts; add weight whenever you can. For active recovery, do yoga and walk. Lose the calf work, the ab work and ‘some curls and dips’ sans method - these will do little for you right now. Simplify; do not come up with the ‘perfect plan’ that is pointless because there is too much in it.

The diet looks ok - just realise that getting a specific number like ‘85g fat’ is very hard to hit with iifym. I’m not bashing the concept per se, though.

Work on those five basic lifts and focus on box squatting two plates for 5 reps as well as increasing the other lifts while eating enough healthy food, and you will be bigger and stronger in a few months. Again, keep it very simple for now.

I don’t so much have a desire to do 3x a week. would like more actually, but was learning about the basic/beginner programing and it seems to be appropriate. having been obese and living a sedentary lifestyle outside of the gym I like to add volume and extra exercise I can do at night. and yes I understand the difference between exercise and training and I mean exercise at night, I want to train during the day when I have more energy.

I can understand not doing dips. but practically, why not do curls. for picking heavy stuff up off of a table it seems like increasing curl strength would be helpful. no?

my diet isn’t that spot on each day is different it ranges with about 10 grams here or there each day. I also only do iifym for my treat on the weekend. besides that I eat clean. lots of veggies. some fruit, various types of grains, avocados, olive oil, nuts, grass fed dairy, lean proteins, salmon, eggs.

again thank you very much for your input and advice.

First, great, great work on the weight loss. I can only imagine how much it affected your life to be that size at that age.

You dropped the weight on your own. If nothing else, that shows that when you want something, you’ll work your balls off to get it. If we can channel that level of discipline into a well-designed plan, you’ve got nothing but more good things on the way.

[quote]asrsxs1 wrote:
next question. i would like to do active rest days. is 20minute jog/walk/run, some balance exercises, core ab work. and stretching/yoga to much on a rest day?

my goal is strength and lbm gain[/quote]
Always keep your goals in mind when deciding nutrition and training. 20 minutes of interval cardio is contradictory to your stated goals. Cardio is primarily for fat loss and, based on your current weight and estimated BF%, you don’t have any fat to lose. Though I do understand that it might be hardwired into your system that you believe there’s a need to do some kind of cardio at all times.

I don’t know what purpose “balance exercises” would serve, other than being an alternative to sitting on the couch. Stretching, yoga, foam rolling, those are fine pretty much whenever (depending on the yoga intensity and duration).

I totally agree with the other guys. You’d be much better served sticking to a pre-designed routine instead of whipping one up on your own. There are tons on the site here. This is just one worth considering:

This is a nice progressive add-on to most programs:

This sounds like a great plan, on paper. Just make sure that you are sticking to it. A lot of times, people say (and think) they’re eating great, but after a while realize results aren’t what they hoped for and a re-examination of what they’re actually eating can be an eye-opener.

1st) Amazing job on the weight loss. Seriously you should be extremely proud of yourself.

2nd) I’m glad you found this site and I hope you stick around. If you read and learn from this site, amazing things will happen.

Other stuff:
-Pick a program from here.

-focus on recovery on your off days. I’m not sure what you meant by cardio, but I found walking helps me recover quite a bit. Yoga/stretching & foam rolling as well.

-Have fun. Lifting is awesome.