T Nation

The Right Direction


#1

Hey everyone, been a lurker here for a while. Thought I'd throw up my first post.

I used to hit the gym most days of the week for almost a year. I made some pretty decent noob gains but my strength and body changes halted quickly. I was never (and still am not) that strong in the first place, never being able to bench my own bodyweight. So whatever I was doing, it was wrong, and I was probably overtraining.
Four months ago, I seriously dislocated my ankle and have been unable to exercise seriously until now.
I have enough of a range of motion to do a reasonable squat, but loading the weight on will be an issue.

Some quick stats. I'm 27 years old, around 170cms tall and currently weigh 76kg. I'm not overweight, but I gain weight really, really easily.

I've read that strength and size go hand-in-hand, my goals are to gain a lot of strength and ultimately build a noticeable amount of muscle.

There are a lot of knowledgable people here, so I'd like to ask what kind program would you recommend for me to get back into it and succeed?

Cheers.


#2

First you need to be eating properly


#3

Check out and Google:
5/3/1
Starting Strength
Any 5x5 lifting routine
Westside For Skinny Bastards

Any of these will work and get you moving forward for a good while. Just choose one that you like.


#4

[quote]Evolv wrote:
Check out and Google:
5/3/1
Starting Strength
Any 5x5 lifting routine
Westside For Skinny Bastards

Any of these will work and get you moving forward for a good while. Just choose one that you like.[/quote]

This, and sorting your diet out.


#5

[quote]The_Turv wrote:
Hey everyone, been a lurker here for a while. Thought I’d throw up my first post.

I used to hit the gym most days of the week for almost a year. I made some pretty decent noob gains but my strength and body changes halted quickly. I was never (and still am not) that strong in the first place, never being able to bench my own bodyweight. So whatever I was doing, it was wrong, and I was probably overtraining.
Four months ago, I seriously dislocated my ankle and have been unable to exercise seriously until now.
I have enough of a range of motion to do a reasonable squat, but loading the weight on will be an issue.

Some quick stats. I’m 27 years old, around 170cms tall and currently weigh 76kg. I’m not overweight, but I gain weight really, really easily.

I’ve read that strength and size go hand-in-hand, my goals are to gain a lot of strength and ultimately build a noticeable amount of muscle.

There are a lot of knowledgable people here, so I’d like to ask what kind program would you recommend for me to get back into it and succeed?

Cheers.[/quote]

Hey Turv, I started the 5x5 Stronglift program as was mentioned above. From everything I have read about SL I think you should give it a crack. I have started a training log (currently in this beginners section but soon to be moved to the training logs section) that you might be interested in following? We could keep in contact and do the program together if thats something you’re interested in?

I have to agree with the others in that your diet will dictate your results. I am using trial and error on myself currently, eating very low carb on SL to see how my body reacts. So once you figure out what your goal is, find a nutrition guideline that goes hand in hand with that goal.

Cheers and all the best
Jados


#6

Thanks guys. I’m usually pretty careful with my eating, I steer clear of processed foods and mainly eat lean cuts of meat an butt-loads of fresh fruit and vegetables. I will probably have to increase my calories by about 1000 or so to create the surplus I’ll need to cater for the workouts. I eat about 1200-1800 calories a day.
I have a reasonably physical job also.

I’ll be sure to check out the starting programs. Any thoughts on Fierce 5 or ICF 5x5?


#7

[quote]The_Turv wrote:
I eat about 1200-1800 calories a day.
I have a reasonably physical job also.
[/quote]

This is a problem


#8

Well then, suggestions?


#9

This,

combined with this,

has probably resulted in this:

I recommend that you re-calibrate your nutrition entirely, as I suspect that you don’t eat enough.
Sounds like your food choices are good. Now, add in some quality carb sources (besides green veggies – wild rice, quinoa, potato, sweet potato, etc.) and get those calorie totals right.

I quite like this article: http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=811783

It could be a bit dated… but I think that all of the info is still sound.


#10

[quote]The_Turv wrote:
Well then, suggestions?[/quote]

To the fact that you’re not eating enough? I can’t think of a polite way to say “eat more”.

I would imagine that at that kind of calorie intake, with a reasonably physical job, and training hard (you are training hard, right?), you run the very real risk of metabolic damage.


#11

[quote]Fyzjin2 wrote:
This,

combined with this,

has probably resulted in this:

Absolutely yes. Turv, you weren’t “overtraining” when you plateaued. You were totally under-eating. What did you weigh a year ago before you started lifting?

Nope. It’s very possible to build strength without getting bigger. And it’s possible to get “bigger” (weigh more) without getting stronger. Gaining strength without size is either due to training or nutrition (most likely nutrition). Gaining size without strength is almost always a nutrition issue.

Have you been gaining weight on your current 1,800 calories?

First, set some specific goals in order to develop a more appropriate plan.

Second, what are your current strength levels on the basic exercises - squat, bench, deadlift, row, overhead press, row, pulldown?

Third, when you say you have “enough ROM to do a reasonable squat”, does that mean you can hold a good, deep third-world squat position for a full minute or so? If not, I’d make that the priority.


#12

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

Third, when you say you have “enough ROM to do a reasonable squat”, does that mean you can hold a good, deep third-world squat position for a full minute or so? If not, I’d make that the priority.


[/quote]

How many people can do this? I can’t even get close to that.


#13

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

Third, when you say you have “enough ROM to do a reasonable squat”, does that mean you can hold a good, deep third-world squat position for a full minute or so? If not, I’d make that the priority.


[/quote]

How many people can do this? I can’t even get close to that.[/quote]

Just for squirts and giggles, tried that earlier today for 20mins ish. So thats one count.


#14

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

Third, when you say you have “enough ROM to do a reasonable squat”, does that mean you can hold a good, deep third-world squat position for a full minute or so? If not, I’d make that the priority.


[/quote]

How many people can do this? I can’t even get close to that.[/quote]

Just for squirts and giggles, tried that earlier today for 20mins ish. So thats one count.[/quote]

I’ve never actually measured how long I can do that, but definitely much longer than a minute. Over time it gets more and more comfortable.

I have a laptop sitting on the ground that I use as a media center PC (it streams to the PS3), and most of the time I just squat like that when I use it.


#15

well shit, I guess that’s something else I have to work on.

I can’t get into that position at all w/ out either my heels coming up or having to lean back against something. Granted, asian dude in the picture had boots on, so the heels were raised, but still.

booo


#16

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Third, when you say you have “enough ROM to do a reasonable squat”, does that mean you can hold a good, deep third-world squat position for a full minute or so? If not, I’d make that the priority.
https://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1856085 [/quote]
How many people can do this? I can’t even get close to that.[/quote]
I don’t know how many can do it, but I’d say most people (and most lifters, especially) should be able to do it and I wouldn’t rank it as an unreasonable benchmark. In the OP’s case, coming back from a severe ankle injury, I’d also consider it a relatively-simple test to make sure he’s fully prepared to get back to training.

If you or whoever can’t do it, I’d double-check the article itself where it lays out some progressions/regressions to work up to a deep and unsupported squat. Being unable to hit the position and hold it for a while could indicate different issues depending on where you’re stuck. A general mobility deficit would be the most obvious, but being able to get deep and losing good position after just a few seconds would be poor strength endurance and/or muscle control.