T Nation

Thoughts on Total-Body Training


Hi, I want to start working out again and was wondering if this routine is appropriate for a beginner? In it Chad describes taking set to near failure and it's hard for me to know my limits since i'm just starting again. Is this routine to complicated for a newb and should i do something more simple?

LInk to the article : http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/totalbody_training&cr=

Here's some more info about me:

  1. Sex - male

  2. Age - 35

  3. Height - 6 foot

  4. Weight - 230

  5. Body Composition. - about 30% Body fat which was taken on a electronic scale 3 weeks ago when i weighed 246

  6. less than a year of total training

  7. Total years seriously training. 0

8.Strength stats. - Did some routines a while back, got to squat 285 3x5, deadlift 315 1x5, Bench 185 3x5, Press 105 3x5

  1. Current routine - none

  2. Goals: - Get rid of the fat and bring out some muscles. I just want to look good, don't care about the numbers on the bar. I know that's general but that's exactly what i want. I would love to look like a bodybuilder. I don't care if I'm squatting 135 lbs as long as it ends up making my legs look muscular I'll be happy. I do understand the importance of strength thought.

  3. Diet: pretty good right now. I cut out carbs almost completely. Lost about 17 lbs in 3 weeks and feel very good. I think i have some gluten allergy or i'm just super sensitive to carbs, because since i cut them out I feel awesome.

Thanks for any input


alright , sorry if i ramble but thats what i do..you see a golden nugget then throw it in your knowledge bank....

few problems already, one main one....you say you have cut carbs almost completely out.
please dont do this...yes you will drop weight quick but itll come back quicker...this isnt
atkins so imo fuck what he said...thats for extreme situations only...for your case and age..
much better and healthier way to do it...reason i say this is because carbs are nuggest of energy...
you deplete and what the hell you gonna burn? if your glycemic levels arent in check your gonna go
from fat fat...to skinny fat..and thats not the look you want...
im not sayin you want to be ripped but just healthy im guessing.

230 lbs is your start...lets say you want to weigh in around 210...idk so im just saying that cause
its what i weigh and i know the numbers yet you will get the drift...
210 being the goal...eat like a 210 pounder...say moderate activity with 4 workouts a week...u need roughly 12 to 13 cals per lb...BUT good cals...no burger king shit...
so if you look at it that way....12 x 210 = 2600 cals with 100 cals leeway on either side...

now all the diet articles you have read...40 percent protien 40 percent carb 20 percent fat is balanced....
fuck that as well...55 percent protien and 35 percent carbs with 10 percent fat. thats where you want
to live 6 days a week for id say the first month and see how far that gets you. once you see changes and
your getting more motivated kick it up a notch to 60 percent protein 30 percent carb then 10 fat...
i wouldnt go further than that ...when at this point...up the cardio and intensity during workouts to burn
down the flab...

if you wantmore info or have questions you want me to explain pm me....im glad to help...

as for the workout...

full body circuits are great for intensity reasons...makes sure you have you big three lifts on diff days
and always super and tri set...all the routines set for people on sites are what works for most..not all...
so take the routine and try it for 2 weeks...if you feel its too advanced...study up and tweak it to your liking...half the battle is just getting your ass there...

i bulked to 240 and now back down to 210 and going lower for competition reasons...so i know you can do it and
i have been there...

last note...15 minutes of cardio before and 15 after for the first 2 weeks...then bump that to 20 before and after and stay there but start being more intense...shoot for 200 cals burned per run..so 400 cals per workout done on the cardio side plus another 400 if you workout hard as hell for an hour...youll get to where you want...


Jesus Christ. We just finally booted HaveIron out of the beginner's forums and we already have to deal with this bullshit again?


Lmao....I'm confused...how does the beginner forum work then....
Beginners talk to other beginners about complete bullshit n stuff that doesn't work...
Was under the impression beginners want advice from people that r a bit experienced
And can point in the right direction...clearly you're an enigma yourself...

seems u r on a site
That is purely for info ...so when info is presented I would think its expected...yet u r saying its too
Long I'm guessing...and how would that bother u when the info wasn't for you...
Props on the spam post...pointless


No, he is saying you are clearly in no position to be giving advice.

Predict you will reply with the fact you bulked up to 2540 ... can bench 800lbs etc.

I reply: Please post pics.

Ps. Fuck Atkins.


Look at revenge of the nerds on patrol...

I don't know who haveiron is...so its impossible for me to know what he was saying...
And now I have thing 2 trying to translate what thing 1 said...
Question to you "big" guy....y would I respond with what I bulked up to
When posting on a losing weight thread? I did say I bulked but point being I was heavier than
Him and did what I told him to do to get where I am now...also why post
What I lift when its irrelevent in the thread??
I think u are a little too bright for the crayon box my friend...remind me of
The guy on planet fitness commercials...

Lemme guess....u lift things up and put them down right


I have another question about this routine. It says to pick 6 exercises to do. Do i do the same 6 on each of the 3 weekly workouts?


Different exercises each day. If you look at the discuss forum that follows the article, about halfway down someone asked the same question and CW recommends this.


Obvi troll is obvi. Not even 10 posts on this site and you've managed to spew several things that contradict everything any expert on this site has said with NOTHING to back up your claims, and, most notably, you have already resorted to personal attacks. This is a serious question. What do YOU gain from fucking with well-intentioned newbies here?


Thanks a lot for the post. I didn't realize there was a discussion forums on this. After reading your reply i went to the article and found the tiny little discuss button on the bottom. lol


I would really like to know how everything I said contradicts what pros say. You have to be a noob
Yourself if u r sucking guys off on this site or any site. Please tell me in what way I'm miss informing him.
Lemme guess...ure a zero carb believer aswell? No where in anything I said to him was misleading.
For that matter , what exactly was wrong? Lee priest doesn't train abs...guess he's a noob also. Dexter
Jackson doesn't eat 6 whole meals a day. He's a noob too in ur book right? All cuz the pros on this site
Don't agree with their methods...smh...I didn't start shit til ur little e thug / wanna be lifter as came.
Y even comment at all


Sorry bout all the crap forbins...I would suggest pick ur exercises and when you hit
A wall in gains...drop that exercise and use another for the muscle then come back
To the original exercise later down the road....

Waits for the "big" guys to say I'm misleading because the yuppies only believe
Its true stuff if the pros on this site say it...


Let's see, there's the fact that you recommended a diet that's only 10% fat to someone who's 30% body fat. The OP mentioned feeling great since switching to low carb and his diet had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FUCKING ORIGINAL POST, yet you felt a need to give him ass-backwards "advice." And why? Because you fuckin' said so. There's nothing wrong with contradicting a "pro" on this site; however, when you did in such a way: "So you'll read everyone on this site says do this, well fuck that...do it my way" with NO FUCKING EXPLANATION you are misleading a well-intentioned newbie!!

Like I said, obvi troll is obvi. In just this post, you have 2 personal (and very uncreative) personal attacks. You've also made irrelevant and false assumptions about what it was I was disagreeing with as well as my own beliefs on dieting. I have yet to give advice on diet, because OP WAS NOT LOOKING FOR ADVICE ON HIS DIET.

I'll tell you what. Prove that you are not a troll by responding to this post with an actual argument to support your claims WITHOUT personally attacking me. I bet you can't do it =)

Until then, I have to go meet with all the T-Nation experts. It's my turn to suck them off :wink:


You're right jskrabac that I wasn't asking about the diet. I've read a lot on this site before I posted this and even some more after posting. I guess what I've learned is that nothing on here is for true beginners. Even though it was some good reading and I like a lot of the stuff I learned here, I do believe that pretty much every routine on here is way to complicated and I think I'll be better off with something simple for now. With that in mind I decided to do a Upper/Lower split that's done every other day, weekends off.

The plan is to stick with this routine until it no longer works, at which points I'll switch a few things around such as reps/sets/ and the exercises used. Once I feel I'm no longer a newb, I'll work on some the routines I read here. I've bookmarked a lot of stuff, and should have enough routines to last years lol.

Anyways here's my routine and I think it's pretty good. One other thing I learned is that it doesn't really matter what the hell I do at this point as long as it's not completely ridiculous.

A. Upper
-Bench Press 4x8
-Pulldowns 3x10
-Military Press 3x6
-Tricep Rope Pushdown 2x15

Day off

B. Lower
-Squats 4x6
-Deadlift 4x10
-Leg press 2x15
-Seated Calves 3x20
Day off

Day off

C. Upper
-Bent Over BB rows 5x5
-Incline Bench Press 4x10
-DB flyes 3x10
-BB curl 3x12

Day off

D. Lower
-SLDL 4x8
-Squat 4x10
-Leg curl 3x10
-Calves 3x15

1 or 2 days off


I actually started with CW's TBT when I first got into weight lifting. The switching up of exercises is a bit confusing, especially for someone with no experience. To be fair, TBT really helped me learn a lot of exercises that were unknown to me at the time and gave me a good base to move onto a new program. Because you're switching the exercises up all the time, you really get to know which exercises work for your body.

Personally, I like TBT as a program to keep in good shape and maybe gain a little muscle and endurance in the process... but for the purposes of body building I'd say there are probably better ones out there.

However, I think TBT is a really good program for a noob. Especially someone whose main goal is to get into better shape. After doing a few cycles of TBT with a proper diet in place, you should have shaved quite a large chunk of that fat out, and gain a decent amount of muscle. At that point, you could decide if you want to keep doing TBT or move on to a more body builder oriented program, based on your goals and what you want your physique to look like.

So, to answer your original question, yes I think it is a good program; and no, I don't think it is too complicated. The best advice I heard as a noob was "as long as you diet is in check for your goals, and you put forth a real effort, any respectable program will deliver results".


By the way, your "B. Lower" seems like a low back injury waiting to happen. Squats, DL and Leg Press all in one workout? My lower back would be fried.

Maybe I'm a sissy.


Personally I think its a fantastic leg day. It will be by far the most beneficial day he has in terms of muscle growth stimulus. It will be a struggle, but then again it will teach the value of hard work. The only thing I would do is drop calf work and stick some hamstring isolation after the leg press, like pull throughs or something. And do the same with a quad isolation movement on the other leg day.

People worry way too much about overworking their lower backs. What do you do to get something stronger? You work it. What do people do when trying to avoid low back injury? Avoid it. And why are most people victims of low back injury? Because it's weak. See above. Powerlifters almost never have serious lower back injuries, or strongmen, unless there was a traumatic accident of some kind.

Shit gets sore while it adjusts to being worked more often or more intensely than it is used to. For some reason people accept this with biceps, chest, and shoulders but totally freak when they have a sore low back.

As long as your form is good and your abs are clenched hard to stabilize, it will be ok. That is how you make something strong.


Point taken