T Nation

Training + Hobbies



I am 27yrs old, 6'0", 160lbs
I am not gonna post lifts or body fat because i have seen the fiasco that can turn into on here...haha Lets just say im about average strength for someone that doesnt lift often and bodyfat is below 10%.

I have read about some of the westside for skinny bastards programs and other beginner programs on this site. most seem to be 4 day split routines. My concern with lifting 4 days a week is whether or not this allows for proper recovery when i also surf 3 days a week. and play basketball for about 3 hours twice a week. I am not gonna give up surfing or playing ball in the name of lifting weights. Getting better at those is a big reason why i lift.

Would it be a good idea to go to 1 upper body and 1 lower body lifting day plus count surfing as upper body and basketball as lower body repitition lift days? Or do you guys think i should just tough it out and do the 4 days of lifting along with the other stuff? I get 6-8hrs of sleep a night and my typical diet is as follows:

6am wake up - a protein shake, fresh fruit smoothie (homemade) and 2 hard boiled egg whites.

8am at work - eat 2 packs of instant oatmeal.

11am at work - usually a 12" sub or meat, rice and tossed salad.

2pm at work - PBJ sandwich on whole wheat.

4pm get home from work - protein shake and a small snack like a roast beef sandwich or similar.

7pm dinner - varies, depends on what my girlfriend wants to eat usually.

10pm before bed - dinner leftovers then a bowl of ice cream.

My main goals are just to gain about 20lbs, run fast, and jump high. Sorry, i dont have any pics with legs and my camera is busted right now. I do deadlift and squat regularly though. thanks in advance.


Because you are burning a lot of energy with your other pursuits, gaining BF probably won't be an issue for you. I'd say increase the feeding even more if you intend to gain weight.


I think the 2 day/week program probably works best for you at the moment. Gains won't come fast, but you'll save the energy for your passions, and that is ultimately what is most important.

Start with a lower body day and an upper body day. After a few weeks, add in a whole body day and see how you feel and how much time you want to dedicate to lifting. Just make sure you have your bases covered as far as heavy compound movements and lots of healthy food.

Training is supposed to enhance your life. If it doesn't, you're doing something wrong. Good luck.


Only you really know your own recovery ability.

Having said that, I would shoot for three workouts a week. ME upper body, ME lower body, and repetition upper body. When you are tired or short for time, reduce the volume but keep the weights heavy. This will give you the most 'bang for your buck'. I play/practice rugby 2-3 times a week, mountain bike about one hour every day, and lift four times a week. I'm 35. I'm sure you can handle your workload if you eat right and sleep a little more (instead of 6-8 hours a night, shoot for 8 hours plus).


So is soreness a good measure of recovery???
Sometimes I am pretty sore after leg day due to heavy DL or squats. So I have been doing legs in the beginning of the week since i play ball on thursday and sunday. Doing legs the day after playing ball seems to bother me a lot less than playing ball after doing legs.

As far as upper body reps from surfing, its about a 10min paddle out to the reef but then you mostly sit there and wait for your turn, then about a 10min paddle in so it doesnt kill me. I gonna shoot for this and see how it goes:

Monday: ME lower body
Tuesday: ME upper body
Wednesday : surf
Thursday: basketball league
Friday: Upper Body Rep
Saurday: surf
Sunday: basketball pickup games 3-7pm

The only reason i do legs monday and upper body tuesday is because monday seems to be national bench press day and i have to go during peak hours due to my schedule. I go to 24 hour fitness and i cant stand waiting 1/2 hour for a bench. thanks for the input guys.


Monday is National bench day, so doing your legs that day isn't a bad idea.

Your legs will also adapt to the load you place on them, and soreness is not really a benchmark (although many of us will always connect it to a "good workout", and this can't be helped).

Look up Joe DeFranco and the Westside for Skinny Bastards if you're looking for a template, as its helped me alot.

Good luck man.