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
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.