T Nation

Time To Get Somewhere!


Hi everybody,
I'm 18 and i've been lifting for nearly 18 months and got pretty much nowhere. 6 weeks ago I weighed 195lbs, most of which was fat. My bench was at 70kg for 3x5, my squat was appalling at just 60kg for 3x5 (My old gym didn't even a squat rack, just a smith machine, still I didn't really seem to get as much out of it as I could of) and my deadlift was at 90kg for 3x10. Since then I have now joined a gym, less commercial and more about pure hard work.

I have just finished the Velocity diet and am now down to 170lbs, not completely lean, probably about 10-12% body fat, but alot better then I was 6 weeks ago. I have tried the Starting strength programme in the past but to no surprise failed it pretty badly. With the change to the gym I have a whole new outlook. I've done my research into nutrition and now know 100 times more then I used to. I'm looking to implement the following 4 day upper/lower split routine and was looking for some critique:


A1.BB Bench: 4x6
A2.DB Incline: 3x8-10
A3.BB Decline: 1x15, 1x12, 1x20 (I know this bit may look a little bit funky but it's the one thing i've learnt to work with my body over my 18months of training so far)
B1.BB Curl: 3x8-10
B2.DB Hammer Curl: 4x6
C1.Cable Lateral Raises: 4x8-10
C2. Front Raises: 3x6-8


A1.Deadlift: 4x6
A2.Front Squat: 3x8-10
B1.Reverse Lunge: 4x6-8
B2.Seated Calf Raise: 3x15
C1.Pulley Crunch: 3xfailure

Wednesday: Rest


A1.Pull-Ups: 3x10
A2.Single Arm DB Rows: 4x6
A3.Single Arm Lat Pulldown: 3x10
B1.Standing DB Shoulder Presses: 5x5
B2.Cable/DB Rear Delt Raises: 3x8-10
C1.Close Grip Bench: 4x6
C2.Tricep Extension: 3x8-10
C3. Dips: 3x10


A1.Back Squat: 4x6
A2.Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 3x8-10
B1.Leg Press: 4x6(-8)
B2.Standing Calf Raise: 5x5
C1.Hanging Leg Raises: 3x10

Saturday and Sunday: Rest

Thanks in advance!


Sorry if I missed this, but what is your main goal?


First and foremost strength. I didn't really specify this in my first post. The reason for including the 10, 12, 15 and 20 rep sets is to stop it from becoming a completely rigid programme and to try and 'keep my muscles guessing' for as long as possible. Is this my first mistake? I know the whole 'stick to one goal' argument is to be made, but i've also read that a small amount of high rep work has some strength benefits as well. I play rugby so any carryover into that is also appreciated


Go back to doing starting strength. And this time eat enough.

Not that the routine you've written is that bad- it's pretty balanced, and you're squatting and deadlifting, which is all I really look at in a beginner's program.

Starting Strength is much more focused though, and so you'll see better results faster. And progress is what you're after, isn't it?


this was my main problem the first time. i looked back and was probably eating only about 2200kcals. now im looking more at 3500kcals on lifting days, and monitoring it to see if i need to increase as i go along instead of assuming its working and then all of a sudden realising its not


It's hard, because I too had a bad case of spinning my wheels for about 1 year. I had to humble myself, admit that I was relatively weak with little muscle, and had to start off with the basics.

I was always eating right, but even though I was eating ~3200 clean cals, it still wasn't enough to grow, and I was making progress VERY slowly. It wasn't until I almost double my intake that I started to really grow.

It's great that you are realizing this now though, and not continuing to get nowhere.

Good luck man.

Starting strength + rest + lots of good, whole food = growth.


Lift weights to get stronger, eat to get bigger. Pretty much all it boils down to.


I agree but you will have to substitute squats with front squats, learn how to do them.

Your current plan has way too much volume for you current ability and is not a strength program more like functional hypertrophy.


"on lifting days"
The days you lift aren't the only days you grow. Your body recovers on off days, too. Eat an excess all the time.