T Nation

Weight Training Questions

I would like to ask a couple of questions. It seems I am always looking for the perfect workout and all I get accomplished is frustration.

  1. Which is better - a full body workout or separate body part workout? I have some bodyfat to try to get rid of, so I thought maybe this would help.

  2. I have read on other sites that if you have a small wrist measurement (mine is 7") gains in size are harder to come by, is this true?

I have had golfer’s elbow surgery and I have to be careful of reinjury, so I know this doesn’t help matters.

Hey Tim,

You are in for more frustration. What is better, full body workouts vs. separte body parts? Depends on the time you have available and all your goals re: weight training.

The small wrist issue: never heard of that. Much more involved in ability to gain muscle, lose fat, get faster, etc than wrist size.

Your elbow injury…may actually get better with weight training. Golf, tennis etc lead to repetitive use problems, weight training can help to balance those out.

Rather than focussing on the perfect workout, why not get somebody with some knowledge to examine your goals and identify your weakness according to your goals. Then set up your workout to address your weakness.

Peace,
T-Ren

Timc17:

First of all no more talk about small wrists! I have 7" wrists and that did not stop me from building a 17 1/2" upper arm! I did this while mostly avoiding arm isolation movements!

It’s all about working hard and working smart. Use full body movements: Cleans, Deadlifts, Squats, Overhead press, Pull-ups and Chin-ups. Get the idea?

Ignore the single muscle movements like preacher curls, leg extensions, tricep kickbacks.

If you develop a program around the six movements that I gave you above (there are other good ones as well) you won’t believe the progress that you will make!

Try it for eight weeks along with eating plenty of good food loaded with high quality protein!

Oh, and stop looking for the perfect workout as that does not exist.

Best To You,

Zeb

PS- Prior to starting any lifting program make sure you are in good health. You might want to rehab that wrist first!

Zeb, got any example programs using those lifts? I am not that great at coming up w/ stuff like that I on my own. I was thinking a 4 day upper/lower conjugated split.

Hey, I often use a 4 day split as well, I find it works well for me…
Just gonna throw somethin out there for you, you can use whatever rep, set guidelines you wish:

Monday:
1.Squats
2.Stiff Leg Deadlifts
3.Calve Presses (sort of isolation but I have small calves, like to hit them directly)
4.Lunges

Tuesday:
1.Benchpress
2.Military Press
3.Dips
4.Incline Benchpress

Thursday:
1.Chin Ups
2.Pull Ups
3.Vertical Rows
4.Dumbell Torso Twist

Friday:
1.Deadlifts
2.Farmer Walks
3.Power Clean/ or Power Snatch
4.Shoulder Shrug

Its just a sort of collection of primarily compound movements, organized mainly but not entirely based on the similarity of the movements on each day to prevent any sort of overtraining. Hope it was a bit of help.

[quote]blam wrote:
Zeb, got any example programs using those lifts? I am not that great at coming up w/ stuff like that I on my own. I was thinking a 4 day upper/lower conjugated split.[/quote]

Look at ABBH1 and ABBH II by CW. It recommends compound movements and it’s good for gaining mass.

G

I workout in a very crowded college gym… doing supersets of any kind is impossible.

You can still do ABBH and do them as straight sets. Or, check out the Single’s Club, since you do straight sets before moving on.

Another suggestion is Westside for Skinny Bastards.

Hey, there, Tim!!! You said that you keep looking for the perfect workout, but only get frustrated. A couple of questions for you:

  • What are your goals? Bulking or cutting?

  • How long have you been working out, and what programs have you tried and what results have you gotten?

  • What has been the problem in the past with the programs you’ve done?

  • How is your elbow post-surgery? Is it still a problem; i.e., are there exercises you can’t do and do you still have to work around it?

I’ll have a few thoughts and answers to your questions once I hear back from you and have a little more information.

Welcome to T-Nation, by the way. I see it’s your first post! (grin)

Terry,

  • My goals are to gain size while losing bodyfat, although I am having a hard time doing so.

  • I have been working out for over three years. I lift at home using a leg press, power rack, lat pulldown machine, Olympic weights and Powerblock dumbbells.

  • I have used the Max-OT workout or usually workouts cobbled from routines in different magazines. It just seems I can’t gain any size and frustration sets in.

  • My elbow has been feeling good, but I have had 4 cortisone shots in the outside of my right elbow and the last one is due to wear off in October and then I face the possibility of another surgery. I can’t perform lifts like skull-crushers, right now I’m trying close grip benches for my triceps.

Thanks to everyone for their input.

Tim

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
Hey, there, Tim!!! You said that you keep looking for the perfect workout, but only get frustrated. A couple of questions for you:

  • What are your goals? Bulking or cutting?

  • How long have you been working out, and what programs have you tried and what results have you gotten?

  • What has been the problem in the past with the programs you’ve done?

  • How is your elbow post-surgery? Is it still a problem; i.e., are there exercises you can’t do and do you still have to work around it?

I’ll have a few thoughts and answers to your questions once I hear back from you and have a little more information.

Welcome to T-Nation, by the way. I see it’s your first post! (grin)[/quote]

Tim,

Forget about the notion of gaining size and losing bodyfat. It doesn’t happen for most. Absolute newbies may be able to do it for a while. Decide what your primary goal is and do it. Keep it simple man. Don’t worry about whether program “ABBH-xyz” is better than “Quattro Dynamo-rific-sensationalized-renegade-super-duper-outlaw” training. Find out what works best for you. If your goal is to get lean, EAT RIGHT and select exercises that have a higher degree of caloric expenditure. If your goal is mass, VOLUME with the heaviest weights possible is key here. Don’t worry about so-called strength coaches packaging OLD info in NICE NEW articles and offering it up as the be all end all until their next article is written. Stick with the basics. Read Tate’s beginners article. You will learn a lot. As far as putting on size, chances are you are going to have to put on a little bodyfat too. No sweat, you can get rid of it later. Eat big and clean and you will put on little bodyfat, and be more likely to maintaint the mass when you decide to burn the fat away. Keep it simple man, and find out what works for YOU.

Thanks for the additional info, Tim! You’re getting lots of good advice here, but I’d be glad to throw my two cents worth in.

Getting your BF down to a low percentage and/or increasing LBM usually requires that you get three things working for you:

  • Cardio; just enough, not too much
  • Resistance training
  • Diet

The program alone is not going to get you the results you’re wanting. And there really isn’t any easy answers because if there were, everyone that wanted it would be a lean, mean 8% BF. It takes a lot of reading and research, optimizing PWO nutrition, manipulating macronutrient ratios (fat, protein, carbs) and just learning what your body responds to.

Quick suggestions are:

  • Start reading everything, especially anything by John Berardi and Lonnie Lowery. In particular, I’d recommend that you read “7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs,” http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459493

  • Start keeping a food log to see what’s going into your body. It’s the only way you’ll be able to make subtle changes to your diet. Check out Chris Shugart’s article, “The Missing Ingredient,” http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460332

  • Optimize PWO nutrition. I’d recommend that you read John Berardi’s two articles, “Solving the Post Workout Puzzle,” I & II.

Get your BF% tested. The consensus is that you cut/diet until you hit 10-12%, and then start to bulk from there until you can’t stand it anymore – maybe 18%?

In answer to Question #1, full-body workouts are great when you’re first starting out. Beginner or experienced, I really like Hypertrophy Specific Training (HST). You can find an article here on T-Nation, and I believe Bryan Haycock has his own web site for HST, too.

It’s been said that the “perfect” program is the one you’re not doing. You need to do different types of programs and change what you’re doing every 6 to 8 weeks, or whenever the program you’re doing ends. If you’re cutting, you’d do better with a program that has a lower volume and that works with heavier weight; i.e., a higher percentage of your 1RM. If you’re bulking, you want (and can handle) more volume.

Unfortunately, Tim, once again, there just isn’t any easy answers. You’ll just have to experiment.

Re the elbow, cortizone injections for pain are destructive to the joint. You need to see about fixing the underlying problem. I had Active Release Technique (ART) done to fix my elbow problems; i.e., lateral epicondylitis. It had a strong nerve component, so it was slow to heal, but heal it did.

That ought to give you a running head start. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.