T Nation

T Dawg 2.0 or 40/30/30

Hey guys, I am usually just a lurker here but recently decided to give bodybuilding my all and want some solid advice. I know this is a great place to come for it. I have been working out for about a year on and off and am not very strong. Can do only about 135 3X8 on the bench press, same with deadlifts, about 175 3X8 with squats. I tried eating clean MANY times, then got frustrated within a week or two and decided to eat whatever I wanted until the next Monday when I would start the next diet. This kind of cycle left me fatter of course.

I want to start right and stick to something. In terms of training, I am not sure which program to pick. I go to college and can work out 3-4 days a week. The gym is usually very crowded, especially now that all the New Years resolution people are still there 9but dropping). This makes it tough to do things like supersets in the gym.

In terms of diet, TDawg 2.0 seems like a good option, but what are the benefits of this plan over your typical 40/30/30 program with 500 under maintenance. Any advice to get me started would be great, thanks a lot.

What’s your body fat %? First thing would probably be to use a diet and workout regimen to get it under 10%, once that’s done you could get into mass-building.

In terms of diet, there are basically two schools of though, calories vs. macronutrients. The calorie people say reducing calories below maintenance level will cause weight loss. The macronutrient people say that it depends on the source of calories (i.e. “carbs are bad”). Fat has more calories per gram than carbs or protein, which is why low-fat diets are typically prescribed for weight loss.

It terms of workouts, vary your routine every 6 weeks or so. REALLY vary it, vary the tempo, frequency, order, volume, etc. Do web searches on German Volume Training, German Body Composition, the 1-6 Principle, High Intensity Training, and the 5x5 method. They all work during the period it takes your body to adapt to them. There are tons of workouts in the T-mag archives too.

I believe I am about 13-14%. I used AccuMeasure calipers, so it is hard to get a very accurate reading. I weigh 180 and am about 6’ tall.

I have been looking at a bunch of workouts, but things are confusing. A lot of those seem to be muscle-building workouts. Can I build muscle while dropping body fat? Can I cut using a workout designed for bulking? I just want to start off on the right foot, and learn about the stuff as well as doing it. I hate doing something without knowing WHY.

Thanks for the recommendations so far.

Try something like the GVT with dont-diet program. you can lose a bit of fat on it while getting your strength up and its not too hard to stick to. You’ve got to get a training diary and food log. they are the most basic tools any bodybuilder can have and they cost nothing, well maybe 5cents. read “food that makes you look good nekid” article and stick to these type of foods. im not sure a diet is what you need, i think you may just need to get in good habits, maybe a diet would help you with that, maybe it will put too much undue pressure on yourself if you are new to the game. find out why you break away from the good eating at the end of the week and try to eliminate this from your lifestyle or cahnge it. write down everthing you eat and lift!!

Look, no offense intended here, but if you’re 180lbs. and can only lift what you wrote, then your first priority is to put some damn strength on. Six feet tall and 180 is exactly what my stats are, and no matter what your BF% is chances are you look okay (not great, mind you, but okay) right now. On the other hand, you are, as you wrote, weak.

So I would recommend 5x5, 1-6 or some similar program to build strength. These are both at T-mag, just do a search. As for diet, use a maintenance 40/30/30 if you like, but make sure that it’s maintenance, not hypocaloric. Yes, you can build strength why dieting in some situations, but why make it harder than it has to be? If you’re worried about your BF% (and you shouldn’t be right at the moment), then throw in some cardio on your off-days.

Good luck.

I know what you mean, I am at an awkward stage between cutting and bulking. I understand I need to put some strength on, but I do have a lot of extra flab that needs to come off. Besides, as a beginner and only 19, would it be that impossible to get stronger on a hypocaloric diet? Right now Im leaning toward TDawg and EDT for Fat loss, but your post made me rethink that a bit… Im still a bit unclear, I dont want to get really fat either.

Beginners want to do everything at once. Try not to fall into that trap.

Look, I understand that you’re impatient. And it’s true that, as a 19-year-old newbie, you can probably see a lot of positive changes at once. But if you follow 5x5 with a maintenance level diet, you’ll SEE those changes. You won’t have to worry about losing fat because you’ll be putting on muscle, which will in and of itself rev up your metabolism … causing you to drop some flab. See what I mean?

On the other hand, if you try to diet while still not having a real strength base, you’re going to lose strength. Guaranteed. Your body isn’t used to lifting, and it will not retain gains very well at this point. So you’ll end up lean and weak instead of somewhat flabby and weak. (I’m assuming that this isn’t your goal…)

Start eating good food (and keeping a food log!), give the 5x5 and 1-6 a fair shot for a month each, and you’ll be happy with your results at the end of that time. I promise.

Thanks for the help char-dawg. I think I will try your advice and do a maintenance diet with the 5x5 for a month to see how things go.

Should I use a 40/30/30 breakdown for my diet?

One more thing. I did a search on 5x5 and found a lot of good stuff. But I never designed my own program before and need a bit of help. Any sites that can help me create a 4 day 5x5 training program? Thanks again for the help, its appreciated.

Yeah, www.t-mag.com LOL! This is the most informative site around, I have been on here, or snooping around since oh issue 68 I think. You can look it up, or I can help out really quickly. If you are trying to put on some LEAN mass, and strength avoid the isolation exercises. Go compound all of the way. I see you are doing deads, bench, and squats, GREAT! Add in BB Shoulder Press to the front, and Chins. Since you are trying to lean up at the same time, I recommend 1 minute of rest instead of 2. Follow the 5x5, or 4 sets of 4-6 to failure, by failure, I mean you can’t do the next rep with good form. NO SQUIRMING to get the weight up. Do all 5 exercises on one day, (full body) 3 times a week, is a great split. If that is too tiring try splitting it like this, and add in dips.
Day 1 -Squats, Bench, & Chins
Day 2 - Deads, Shoulder Press, & Dips.
Example Mon-Friday - Mon WO1 - Tue WO2 - Wed Rest - Thurs WO1 - Friday WO2 Sat- Sun Rest, or active recovery.

After 6 weeks change the order of the exercises, and rep ranges to 8-10. This will build mass, and strength. You will not need to work arms separately, they will grow from the heavy compound work, so don?t waste the energy until you get the size, and strength base you want. Another helpful hint, unless lower body is your biggest priority, I would do squats, and deads LAST. I know that this goes in the face of everything you have probably ever heard, but if you are doing them right, you will not have any energy to work out anything else after 4-5 sets of squats or deads. Trust me on this! They tax your entire CNS to the point of complete exhaustion which can render the rest of the workout sub par. If your legs, and lower trunk are your week points then do them first. Make sure to do squats, and deads one or the other no less than 3 times per week, as it has been proven to elevate testosterone levels. Now for a plug for the wonderful guys at Biotest, if you can afford it do a cycle of MAG10, or AD4, it will help with the strength / lean mass gains, and help lean you up at the same time. Well worth it! As far as diet, follow any thing you want as long as you follow it! My suggestion is try a 40\30\30 with the protein being the 40 instead of the carbs, and do your ratios by the day, not the meal. Keep your calories at maintenance, get a big breakfast a good percentage of daily carbs here and a good amount of carbs for a well timed insulin spike after your workout, and keep your carbs low to moderate for all other meals. I would also recommend 1-1/2 cups of cottage cheese for your nighttime meal / snack. It is low in carbs, (no insulin spike for night time fat storage), and Casein takes longer to digest, and will help keep you out of a catabolic state during your nightly fast, IE… sleep. If you follow these guidelines, I believe you will be on your way to your goals.

Live Hard, Love Hard, Laugh Hard, & Heal Fast!
IamBBB