T Nation

Starting Over

Hi guys, as you can tell I’m new. Heres some information about me: I’m 6’4 195 pounds, I don’t know what my body fat percentage is but I really don’t care, whatever looks good to me in the mirror, I’m 18 years old and I have been “training” for a couple of years.

I know now though that I have been really wasting my time without doing squats or dead lifts. I always avoided those types of lifts because I have always had trouble getting low enough. I also can’t do a wide grip chin up, so I use Lat Pull downs.

I’ve been reading articles here at T-Nation for some time now. My diet is pretty clean, mostly eggs, turkey, oatmeal, sweet pattatoes, protein shakes, chicken, brown rice, pasta, some steak, tuna, water, green tea, broccoli, cottage cheese, etc.

My routine before just involved incline bench, flat, weighted dips, military press, rows, and pull downs. Another thing is I have a slight case of pubertal gyno, and yes there is a gland, so I’m waiting on some nolva to get here to see if it will help.

The main muscle I want to get bigger is my chest, but I realize without other heavy lifts there is really no point. So I have come up with a new routine and I would like some advice, opinions, criticism, randomness, etc. Here it is:

Monday
Bench 4 x 8
Military Press 4 x 8
Rows 4 x 8

Wednesday
Squat 4 x 8
Dead lift 4 x 8
Lat Pull downs 4 x 8

Friday
Incline DB Bench 4 x 8
Weighted Dips 4 x 8
Seated Rows 4 x 8

The only supplement I take is whey after my workouts.

At my house I have access to a smith machine, dumbbell bench, dip stand and chin stand, and some barbells. At my job we have a regular flat BB bench, and a barbell. I tried to split it so that Monday I can workout at my job, and Wednesday and Friday at my house. So what do you guys think?

~Alex

Total body work outs are a great way to start out as a begginer. However, It doesn’t seem to me you are properly setting up your work outs.

Here’s my critique.

On mondays and fridays you are not hitting your lower body at all. On wednsdays you are not hitting your upper body. Total body work outs dont work unless you actually hit the entire body every day. The key here is training frequency. And without hitting everything every training session you won’t get the effect you want, which is overall mass and central nervous system efficiency.

CNS efficiency means your body is being conditioned to later add more volume (more excersices per body part) which has been shown to add muscle size.

A good TBT program would look something like this.

Monday:
Deadlift
Dumbell Bench Press
Pull Ups / Chin ups
Lunges (db or bb)

Wednsday:
Back Squat
Incline Barbell Bench Press
Romanian Deadlift
Pull ups / chin ups

Friday:
Front Squat
Deadlift
Dumbell Bench Press

Now an explanation:

This is set up so that you hit your entire body with big compound lifts every time you train. Cycle through rep ranges every 4 weeks. Example: 5x5, 3x3, 3x7, 5,4,3,2,1.

Why nothing above 7 reps? The simple reason is that all of these excersices are designed to lift heavy heavy weights, and form goes to shit, especially on the front squats and deadlifts after 6 or 7 reps. Your goal here is gain as much strength as possible training frequently while being very taxing on the CNS. Believe me, you will gain muscle size due to strength gains.

After training this way for around 6 or more months (or till you stop seeing gains for a few weeks, which wont be in the first couple months, you will be able to handle more volume in your workouts, which you implement by splitting areas of your body into different days. Such as the classic upper lower body split 4 days a week.

Why start Total body training if a split will lead to more muscle mass in the long run? The Total body work out allows you to build the capacity to do multiple excersices per body part with heavyier weight, and heavy weight is needed to build muscle.

You are new to lifting, I don’t reccomend messing with smith machines and all that shit. Some may not agree, but there is no reason for a young healthy male to be using a fixed ROM bar to squat.

I wasn’t aiming for a full body workout, but thanks for the suggestions, I’m gonna give mine a try to see what happens.

Started today (Sunday)

I couldnt get to the barbell bench so i did dbs instead

DB Bench- 120 pounds (60 each hand) 8 reps,8 reps,7 reps,6 reps

Military Press- 100 + however much an ez bar weighs 6 reps
95 + ez 6 reps
90 + ez 7 reps
90 + ez 6 reps

Barbell Rows- 90 + ez 8 reps
95 + ez 8 reps, 8 reps, 8 reps

feels weird not feeling a huge pump in my chest, i guess its expected with one chest movement, all my other routines I did flat bench, incline and then dips in one workout

also, ive always been worried about favoring one side when i bench using dbs or bbs, is this something to be worried about using dbs? any tips? also have a hard time keeping my shoulder blades tucked back, any tips on that? lol i wish i could afford a personal trainer

[quote]mthomps wrote:
Total body work outs are a great way to start out as a begginer. However, It doesn’t seem to me you are properly setting up your work outs.

Here’s my critique.

On mondays and fridays you are not hitting your lower body at all. On wednsdays you are not hitting your upper body. Total body work outs dont work unless you actually hit the entire body every day. The key here is training frequency. And without hitting everything every training session you won’t get the effect you want, which is overall mass and central nervous system efficiency.

CNS efficiency means your body is being conditioned to later add more volume (more excersices per body part) which has been shown to add muscle size.

A good TBT program would look something like this.

Monday:
Deadlift
Dumbell Bench Press
Pull Ups / Chin ups
Lunges (db or bb)

Wednsday:
Back Squat
Incline Barbell Bench Press
Romanian Deadlift
Pull ups / chin ups

Friday:
Front Squat
Deadlift
Dumbell Bench Press

Now an explanation:

This is set up so that you hit your entire body with big compound lifts every time you train. Cycle through rep ranges every 4 weeks. Example: 5x5, 3x3, 3x7, 5,4,3,2,1.

Why nothing above 7 reps? The simple reason is that all of these excersices are designed to lift heavy heavy weights, and form goes to shit, especially on the front squats and deadlifts after 6 or 7 reps. Your goal here is gain as much strength as possible training frequently while being very taxing on the CNS. Believe me, you will gain muscle size due to strength gains.

After training this way for around 6 or more months (or till you stop seeing gains for a few weeks, which wont be in the first couple months, you will be able to handle more volume in your workouts, which you implement by splitting areas of your body into different days. Such as the classic upper lower body split 4 days a week.

Why start Total body training if a split will lead to more muscle mass in the long run? The Total body work out allows you to build the capacity to do multiple excersices per body part with heavyier weight, and heavy weight is needed to build muscle.

You are new to lifting, I don’t reccomend messing with smith machines and all that shit. Some may not agree, but there is no reason for a young healthy male to be using a fixed ROM bar to squat.
[/quote]

I dont agree with u when u said there is no reason for him to be using the smith machine for squats. He is 6’4. im also 6’4 and using the smith machine has given me tremendous quad growth.Normal squatting works great but for most tall lifters it will give u a big ass more than big quads.

By the way you have your program set up, I just assumed you were trying for total body.

Good luck though.

[quote]King of Kings wrote:
mthomps wrote:
Total body work outs are a great way to start out as a begginer. However, It doesn’t seem to me you are properly setting up your work outs.

Here’s my critique.

On mondays and fridays you are not hitting your lower body at all. On wednsdays you are not hitting your upper body. Total body work outs dont work unless you actually hit the entire body every day. The key here is training frequency. And without hitting everything every training session you won’t get the effect you want, which is overall mass and central nervous system efficiency.

CNS efficiency means your body is being conditioned to later add more volume (more excersices per body part) which has been shown to add muscle size.

A good TBT program would look something like this.

Monday:
Deadlift
Dumbell Bench Press
Pull Ups / Chin ups
Lunges (db or bb)

Wednsday:
Back Squat
Incline Barbell Bench Press
Romanian Deadlift
Pull ups / chin ups

Friday:
Front Squat
Deadlift
Dumbell Bench Press

Now an explanation:

This is set up so that you hit your entire body with big compound lifts every time you train. Cycle through rep ranges every 4 weeks. Example: 5x5, 3x3, 3x7, 5,4,3,2,1.

Why nothing above 7 reps? The simple reason is that all of these excersices are designed to lift heavy heavy weights, and form goes to shit, especially on the front squats and deadlifts after 6 or 7 reps. Your goal here is gain as much strength as possible training frequently while being very taxing on the CNS. Believe me, you will gain muscle size due to strength gains.

After training this way for around 6 or more months (or till you stop seeing gains for a few weeks, which wont be in the first couple months, you will be able to handle more volume in your workouts, which you implement by splitting areas of your body into different days. Such as the classic upper lower body split 4 days a week.

Why start Total body training if a split will lead to more muscle mass in the long run? The Total body work out allows you to build the capacity to do multiple excersices per body part with heavyier weight, and heavy weight is needed to build muscle.

You are new to lifting, I don’t reccomend messing with smith machines and all that shit. Some may not agree, but there is no reason for a young healthy male to be using a fixed ROM bar to squat.

I dont agree with u when u said there is no reason for him to be using the smith machine for squats. He is 6’4. im also 6’4 and using the smith machine has given me tremendous quad growth.Normal squatting works great but for most tall lifters it will give u a big ass more than big quads.[/quote]

lol we should make a club haha

Search ‘The tall guy thread’

First day with dead lifts and squats!
…woah i suck really bad lol

Dead Lifts
135 Pounds - 8 reps
155 pounds - 8 reps
175 pounds - 8 reps
185 pounds - 8 reps

I really felt it in my quads as well as my back
last set had me huffing and pausing between reps

Lat Pull Downs
70 pounds - 8 reps
80 pounds - 8 reps
80 pounds - 8 reps
80 pounds - 8 reps

now this is where it gets very sad.

Squats
70 pounds + smith machine bar - 8 reps
90 pounds + smith machine bar - 3 reps
80 pounds + smith machine bar - 6 reps
80 pounds + smith machine bar - 6 reps

I have about as much strength in my legs as a 7 year old girl.

on the 2nd set i just felt like I was going to fall back.

blah

How long have you been at this (and avoiding all the good exercises)?

[quote]BigGuy490 wrote:
First day with dead lifts and squats!
…woah i suck really bad lol

Dead Lifts
135 Pounds - 8 reps
155 pounds - 8 reps
175 pounds - 8 reps
185 pounds - 8 reps

I really felt it in my quads as well as my back
last set had me huffing and pausing between reps

Lat Pull Downs
70 pounds - 8 reps
80 pounds - 8 reps
80 pounds - 8 reps
80 pounds - 8 reps

now this is where it gets very sad.

Squats
70 pounds + smith machine bar - 8 reps
90 pounds + smith machine bar - 3 reps
80 pounds + smith machine bar - 6 reps
80 pounds + smith machine bar - 6 reps

I have about as much strength in my legs as a 7 year old girl.

on the 2nd set i just felt like I was going to fall back.

blah
[/quote]

Well doing deadlifts pre-squat is going to bring your squat numbers down quite a bit, especially if you aren’t conditioned for that kind of training.

[quote]Brendan Ryan wrote:
How long have you been at this (and avoiding all the good exercises)?[/quote]

been working out off and on without deads and squats for atleast 2 years, i went from 170 pounds to 195 without squats and deads…

what would you switch around in my routine?

What is your ultimate goal? If it’s to look like a bodybuilder (doesn’t have to be ronnie, could be zane, arnold etc…) then maybe consider a bodybuilding routine rather than a 3 a week full body workout.

my goal, i want to get around 220 pounds, and a 300 bench, I want to have a big chest, i want people to look at me and say hes big he must workout.

i dont have a ton of time thats why i tried to reduce it to 3 times a week

i want to look like a football player, ive always admired guys like Mike Alstott, Jeremy Shockey, T.O., im a big football fan, but yeah, thats what im aimin at.

[quote]BigGuy490 wrote:
my goal, i want to get around 220 pounds, and a 300 bench, I want to have a big chest, i want people to look at me and say hes big he must workout.

i dont have a ton of time thats why i tried to reduce it to 3 times a week

i want to look like a football player, ive always admired guys like Mike Alstott, Jeremy Shockey, T.O., im a big football fan, but yeah, thats what im aimin at.[/quote]

Look at the way football players train when using weights then maybe. I think just a big chest would look silly, you need big lats to get that look properly (even if you neglect arms, legs, shoulders etc…)

[quote]eigieinhamr wrote:
BigGuy490 wrote:
my goal, i want to get around 220 pounds, and a 300 bench, I want to have a big chest, i want people to look at me and say hes big he must workout.

i dont have a ton of time thats why i tried to reduce it to 3 times a week

i want to look like a football player, ive always admired guys like Mike Alstott, Jeremy Shockey, T.O., im a big football fan, but yeah, thats what im aimin at.

Look at the way football players train when using weights then maybe. I think just a big chest would look silly, you need big lats to get that look properly (even if you neglect arms, legs, shoulders etc…)[/quote]

well i mean yeah, i want big lats too, i want everything to be big, i was just making a general statement

Incline Bench:
110 pounds (55 each hand) - 8 reps, 6 reps
100 pounds (50 each hand) - 7 reps, 7 reps

Weighted Dips
10 pounds - 8 reps
15 pounds - 8 reps
17.5 pounds - 8 reps
20 pounds - 8 reps

Seated V-Rows
80 pounds - 8 reps
90 pounds - 8 reps
90 pounds - 8 reps
90 pounds - 8 reps

on the incline bench i really seemed to feel it in my shoulders…maybe im sitting too far up?

A. Standing BNP or Military press 4x8
Squats, power style 4x8
Bench Press 4x8
Bent Over Row BBL or power cleans 3x6

B. Conventional deads 4x6
Squats, high-bar, close stance 2x12
Incline db press 3x8-10
Dumbbell row 3x8-10

Calves, Biceps and abs both days, maybe 3 sets each?

I came up with this in another thread and I thought it may be something you’d like to see.

And don’t worry about your squat weights. I mean, you’re only getting stronger right? You have nowhere to go but up!

[quote]derek wrote:
A. Standing BNP or Military press 4x8
Squats, power style 4x8
Bench Press 4x8
Bent Over Row BBL or power cleans 3x6

B. Conventional deads 4x6
Squats, high-bar, close stance 2x12
Incline db press 3x8-10
Dumbbell row 3x8-10

Calves, Biceps and abs both days, maybe 3 sets each?

I came up with this in another thread and I thought it may be something you’d like to see.

And don’t worry about your squat weights. I mean, you’re only getting stronger right? You have nowhere to go but up![/quote]

hey thanks alot dude!

what does BNP, Power Style, BBL and high-bar mean though?

to be honest though I really like the way my 3 a day, i do want to switch military presses and deadlifts to different days though but im not sure how to go about it

[quote]BigGuy490 wrote:
hey thanks alot dude!

what does BNP, Power Style, BBL and high-bar mean though?

to be honest though I really like the way my 3 a day, i do want to switch military presses and deadlifts to different days though but im not sure how to go about it
[/quote]

Oh, BNP is behind neck press (seated or standing), power-style squats is wide stance and the bar situated lower on the traps. High-bar squats are closer stance with the bar up higher on your traps.

Power style means more hips/glutes, high-bar/close stance means more quads.

gotcha, and what do you think of the angle my bench is set at for incline?