T Nation

Suggestions on Workout

Hello, I’m a 23 year old male just starting lifting again after not having lifted since HS football, been at it for about 6 weeks. I’m looking for some advice on what particular exercises I should be doing.

I’m 5’10" and about 240 pounds.
unkwn body fat %, but I’m pretty fat =\

I’ve been trying to do a push/pull split and workout 4 times a week. Everything is pretty much 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Push:
Squat
Bench
Incline Bench
DB Military Press
Leg Extension
Seated & standing calf raises
Pec Fly Machine
Cable Tricep Pushdown (dips still out of my strength level)

Pull:
Deadlift(didn’t know where else to fit this in)
Seated Leg Curl
Lat Pulldowns(pullups still out of my strength level)
DB Bentover Row
DB Shrugs
Preacher Curl
DB Rear Delt Flys
& Random Core Work again because I didn’t know where to fit it in

In addition to that, I do 30min of cardio 3 times a week. Over the 6 weeks I’ve lost about 20 pounds and gotten some noticeable strength gains. Any suggestions you might have as to how to split or what exercises I should be doing would be more than welcome. Thanks.

That is already a pretty well-conceived program by someone new to training, not bad thinking at all.

The most serious error I think is that separating out squats and deadlifts and training both twice per week, on theory one is push and one is pull, is generally speaking hitting the same muscles too frequently, resulting on at least one occasion per week and perhaps twice, two days in a row.

Now it is possible to get improvements from doing this, as you’ve already done, but it’s unlikely to be optimal. Either do squats and DL’s on the same day, or if differing days only one day per week each.

Alternately DL’s might be done once per week and squats twice, with one of the squat workouts probably but not absolutely necessarily being on a DL day. The day without DL’s can have more squat work than the day with, or the pattern might be different, e.g. lighter weight and higher reps on DL day, and heavier weight on no-DL day.

Same applies in that leg curls really shouldn’t be on different days than squats when training each 2x/week. That results in the hamstrings being hit two days in a row.

Devising a split is I think mostly about avoiding hitting anything twice in a row or too frequently or at least minimizing this problem. The main conflict areas are that shoulders (front and medial heads) are worked with chest work, rear delts are worked with back work as well as overhead work, and midback gets worked with shoulder presses, as well as the above-mentioned part that the lower back and hams get worked with squats as well as with deadlifts and leg curls.

Conflict is easier to avoid when training bodyparts 1x/week but at this point you’ll do better as you’ve already planned, training most things 2x/week.

Your 24 sets per workout figure can be fine provided you can work this into 60 minutes pretty much sharp. If not, it may be too much. (Not absolutely necessarily, may be.)