T Nation

Where to Go from Here?


Hey guys,
So some background info here, I am 19 years old about 148 pounds at 5’6" My best lifts were a 215 bench, 145 overhead press and 415 sumo pull at 162 lbs, but I, unfortunately, lost a lot of weight and with it strength. I have recently been able to start squatting but have no idea where my squat strength is at and was wondering if it would be a good idea to just restart with the starting strength program.

The past few months I have been in a perpetual state of program hopping and constantly cutting, being in a caloric deficit. Currently at 1900 cals with 150 protein, 225 carbs, and 45 fat. My end goals is not necessarily to be “strong” but is more physique oriented. However, I realize that as an unassisted athlete strength is part of the equation. I guess I am just looking for guidance as to what is the best option for me right now in regards to my training and nutrition.e.

Thanks, guys!


Monday: Squat
Tuesday: Bench
Wednesday: Deadlift
Thursday: Bench
Friday Squat
Saturday: Repeat


Breakfast: Eggs, fruit, coffee
Lunch: Salad or leftovers
Dinner: Chicken, Steak, or Fish with veggies

Lift some heavy shit for a few reps, then some light shit for more sets and more reps. Do an assistance exercise or two if you feel up to it. Or don’t. Once you can bench 300, squat 400, and deadlift 500 you will look like you lift.


@pitbull97 how long have you been lifting?

Your young, so not knowing what your squat strength isn’t a huge problem. Start light and pay attention to your knee injury as it heals (it will take longer than you think). Getting injured again will be more detrimental to gains than putting 100lb on your lift in 2months.

Consider other leg exercises (maybe single leg) if squats don’t feel great on your knee.

IMO you are waaay too light to be in a calorie deficit. Your body needs to recover and if you are lifting these heavy weights at your size you need to sustain it.

Increase your (good) fats! Good for joint and heart health.


@Irishman92 My first proper program was stronglifts 5x5 when I was a junior in high school, I had lifted before that but it was garbage as it was your typical bro-split without any knowledge of progression.

My problem is that those years in high school I would lift and get stronger but then cut massive amounts of weight since I was a wrestler, then simply start all over.

The reason I ask the question now is I am no longer wrestling and can finally take the time to achieve my physique goals, which is to have that men’s physique look.

I just feel a bit lost in terms of what to do as I have run lp’s as really my only routine up to this point because i would make my progress and then reset due to the weight cutting.



I’ve never understood this about wrestlers. I used to train with them at school and it made no sense why they would try and “bulk up” (an excuse to add fat to add more strength) and then cut down so hard to make weight just to realize they haven’t gained any strength. Just get bull fucking strong in your weight class and stay around there ~5-7 pounds.


Wanted to add that you should just hop on another big strength program, eat a good bit of food and keep your conditioning in check. You sound like you’re on the right track, you just need a good program to get you farther. Go with 531, cube, WS4SB, Juggernaut, etc.


@oldbeancam yea looking back its kind of silly to think about logically, but unfortunately its part of the culture i guess.

However I am done with wrestling and can finally just try to pack on mass