T Nation

Trying to Continue Great Gains


#1

Hello,

I just started lifting weights about 4 months ago. This is after a 4 year hiatus following shoulder surgery during high school. So far, the results have been amazing. I work out with twice as much weight if not more in many of my lifts now than I did when the workouts began.

I am 6'3" 230 lbs 18% body fat. The only number that has changed in the last 4 months is that body fat is down 7-8%. So, I have gained about 18 lbs of muscle. I lift each body part 2 times a week except my abs are worked 3 times a week. The workouts last 1 hour and 30 minutes and are begin within the first 2-3 hours of when I awake. This puts me in the gym 6 mornings a week. I have just started law school and studying for a professional finance exam. The workload for me to succeed in these two programs will take a significant amount of studying. For the first two weeks I have kept up with both exercise and academics without drinking more than 16 oz of coffee. I am worried that excessive amounts of caffeine/coffee will prevent me from maximizing my gains in the gym. However, my academic performance will be much better if I drink about 60 oz of coffee a day. Am I right to be concerned about excessive caffeine intake? How about if I take in enough water to counter some of the negative effects? What are some alternatives to caffeine that I should consider?

Thanks.


#2

Sleep is a pretty good alternative.

If you time when you drink your coffee correctly you might not need to drink as much.

Good with the weightlifting....what's the routine like?


#3

I have 3 different routines to cover my muscle groups. They are as follows:
(1) Legs
Squat
Leg Extension
Leg Curl
Lunges
Calf Machine
Standing Calf Raises
Glue Machine

(2) Chest, Shoulders,Tris
DB Flat Bench
DB Incline Bench
DB Decline Bench
Shoulder Press
Flat Bench Flys
Skull Crushers (Tricep exercise with bent bar)
Lateral Raises
Front Raises
Tricep Pull Down
Shoulder Shrug
Dips

(3) Back, Biceps
One Arm Dumbell Row
Wide Grip Pull-Up (weight assisted)
Narrow Grip Pull-Up (weight assisted)
Hyperextension
Bent Bar Curl
Reverse Bent Bar Curl
Low Pulley Row
Rear Delt
Hammer Curl

Each exercise is governed by the following rules
Attempt to do at least 3 sets of 8 reps. If fail then do 4 sets of 5 or 6 reps. In some cases 8, 7, 6, 6 seems alright because I am still doing a similar number of reps. Attempt to do more reps in each set then was done last time. If form feels off then go down in weight. Once I can do 12 reps then I try to go up in weight.


#4

16oz isnt gonna hurt you but 60oz probally will. You might want to try drinking more water when you wake up. A lot of people mistake being sleepy or tired with dehydration from not drinking all night. I workout in the morning and i always drink a gallon befor i hit the gym. But i used to drink about 32oz coffie and a redbull.

It keeps you awake and thinking but you feel like crap later, and you become dependent on caffeine. The water actually got me "up" quicker; my lifts were much better and heavier. I feel that energy all day because i dont need the caffeine anymore.


#5

Caffeine is a drug. When your body gets used to a particular dose, you have to up the dosage to get the same effect. Soon it will be 128 oz. of coffee!

I agree with Zephead. If you need coffee to carry you through classes and studies, you should free up one or two more hours per night to sleep. Then hopefully you can get away with drinking the same amount or less coffee.

Good luck with law school. I have friends who went there and they didn't have much free time. Glad to read about your progress.


#6

I think each of your suggestions are worth a shot. Thanks for the advice. I plan to continue bulking until late January/February and then start cutting with fat burners. Fat burners are rumored to have an energy effect. Will this work?

Thanks.