T Nation

Strategy for Beginnger


I'm 5'11'', 180lbs and my fancy new scale says i'm ~22% bodyfat. I carry almost all of it in my stomach.

I've been at the gym 3-4 times a week
~10 minutes on the treadmill around 7MPH

then the best workout I can do at the gym in my building (no barbells, just DBs & machines):
12,8,5 Pull Downs
12,8,5 Chest Press
12,8,5 Tricep Extensions
12,8,5 Cable Curl
12,8,5 Incline DB flys
12,8,5 DB Press
12,8,5 Lat Raises

I've been very low carb since I started this 2 weeks ago (<20g a day, except carb up days ~100g). Consuming ~200g protien a day. Creatine, Fish oil, finished 2 weeks with a fat burner (about to switch to HOT-ROX) just started phosphatidyl-serine. My workout drink is scivation xtend.

I've always been a "skinny" guy, but I developed a gut over the past few years. My goal short & long term is to transform my body into something I'm not embarrassed about a day club pool type place.

Am I going about this the wrong way?


OK first, how long have you been at this routine?

What's the goal? Leaner, stronger, lose fat?

And finally, why aren't you training your legs?


About 2.5 weeks now. My goals are mostly visual, I was thinking, first lose the gut, then start packing on the muscle.

There's a leg press machine at my gym, but I'm from a family of runners, so my legs are already in pretty good shape. I could add that in though.


OK, keep in mind being a runner in this case may work against you.

It means your body is pretty efficient cardiovascular wise and thus efficient in storing fat in order to oxidize during running. what you want to do is get inefficient with your workouts. Make sense?

So yes you want to train legs but not on the leg press

Granetd this is a general framework, so I am guessing in regards to limitations. I would recommend something like this:

Light warm up
bodywgt squats
single leg deadlifts with very light weight
pushups on the knees
jumping jacks

or something like that to get the body moving and circulation going

Then a workout could be something like

A1)Goblet Squat
A2)Single Arm DB Row

B1)Pushups (feet elevated)
B2)Seated jacknifes on the bench or floor

C1)Lat Pulldown
C2)Split Squat (both feet on the floor for starters)

A1)Step Up
A2)Cable Row

B1)DB Deadlift

C1) DB Military press
C2) Split Squat
C3) Ab bicycles .

Again this is just an example, but hopefully you get the idea.

No straight sets. superset, or triset when possible.

Also hit the major muscle groups. If fat loss is the goal I don't worry too much about arms or calve in the beginning.

You also want to check out some of the articles here on the subject.

I recommend starting with these:



Keep in mind there is 10+ years of articles and information here. So you will need to read around to find how to best customize for yourself.

And if you like your info short and sweet, check these out.

OK, have to train a client.

Will check back later for questions


ditch that crappy weight circuit - the best you can do there is
DB swings, 1 leg deadlifts
Goblet squats, 1 leg squats, lunges
1 hand DB overhead press, DB bench
DB rows, DB cleans and Snatches
Bodyweight stuff - google beastskills


I'd use a leg-press any day before resorting to one-legged movements


I find that a dumbbell deadlift is a completely new challenge compared to a barbell deadlift. Pulling 180 lbs off the floor is a lot easier for me than pulling two 90s off the floor. Consider that.

Track your waist, chest, and weight once a week after using the bathroom, before eating/drinking anything. When I do it it reassures me that I'm on the right track even while I don't notice changes in the mirror immediately.


I know most people are giving suggestions for getting around the lack of equipment, but in all honesty I would find a better gym. This might be hard on you financially, if this is the issue, but it will pay off in the end.


Running is not going to get your legs in good shape. Just because your family runs does not mean you can ignore your legs and lower body.

You should ditch this program and get on a good premade one like a Pavel 3-5, Starting Strength, 5/3/1, etc.. Also start going to a real gym that has the proper equipment and stop limiting yourself by the poor selection offered by the place you are now.

A ketogenic diet (like the low carb diet you are describing) is not ideal if you want to build any sort of muscle. In the long run, it will cause you to lose muscle and will deplete your energy in the gym. If you are going to be doing intensive exercise, look into carb cycling. Also, I would not bother with the supplements besides the fish oil and creatine. All you need for a post-workout shake is some whey protein and carbohydrates (dextrose and maltodextrin are good choices) mixed in water.