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Blah Blah Beginner Thread - Too Much Time, Not Enough Muscle

Nouveau Pauvre

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Hey guys, would really appreciate some help on my program from some of the more experienced health nuts. Quick background: I started training seriously about 3 months ago. I had been in good shape in high school when I ran cross country but always hated distance running and havent been physically rigorous except in short spurts since then (until 3 months ago). Im 21, full time college student. My diet is very clean except for alcohol (1-2 nights of hard drinking +1-2 nights of moderate) I'm a pescetarian and aside from occasional cheat meals I don't eat any bread, pasta, crackers or whatever. I eat a lot of eggs, tuna, quinoa and fresh veggies. aside from the booze I only drink black tea, coffee and water. Im not even going to mention my numbers because they are embarrassingly light even for a beginner. I'm a little under 5'11'' and about 171 lbs. I guess my goals, in descending order are 1)overall fitness and conditioning 2)being lean (ideally 10-11% bf) 3) hypertrophy (vantiy alert!) 4) strength I drink a pwo shake of whey and creatine. I usually mix it with orange juice or soy milk (ironic I know, but Im sensitive to lactose) Anyway I really have too much time on my hands so I try and get to the gym at least 5 days a week and do something every day. I'm also pretty disciplined so that shouldn't be a problem either. Day A - Chest and arms: bench, incline bench, decline bench, dips, skullcrushers, Day B - Legs: squat, wall sits, hamstring pops, weighted incline sit ups Day C - Back, shoulders, lats - Lat pull downs, db row, deadlift, db seated press, db shoulder raises I was then taking 1-2 days off of lifting and just doing cardio but since Im such a noob I dont see any real reason why not to start the cycle right over? so thats what ive been doing Also every day at a time seperate from the workout I'll do some cardio. either hill sprints or distance cycling. usually 4 days of hill sprints and 3 days of cycling, with one of the days being a long haul.
 

Nouveau Pauvre

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Originally Posted by Prada_Ferragamo
If I were you, I would do a five day split.
Thanks, can you provide any links? or references for good programs like this?
 

phreak

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It looks like you have enough protein from your diet, not sure why the whey is needed. All I would say is to just keep it up and keep pushing yourself. There is no reason you shouldn't be attaining your goals with what your doing.

*not an expert, just in a similar situation with less time lol
 

Eason

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Eat a lot, do Starting Strength 5x5 until you get to where you want to be. Then keep going.
 

Prada_Ferragamo

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I won't say that I am the most knowledgeable person when it comes to fitness and nutrition, but I think I have a few things done, since I am in pretty decent shape. 5'10 190, and about 11% bf

here is what I would recommend:
Day 1 chest: 3 heavies and 3 moderates exercises
Day 2 back: hit your upper, middle, and lower back
Day 3 arms: your bis, tris, etc etc
Day 4 shoulders and traps: start with compound exercises and finish with isolation exercises
Day 5 Legs: squats, hamstring curls, donkey raises, seated calf raises, etc etc

Do cardio every other day, and if you want, do cardio on day 6 as well.

I would highly recommend you focus on forms of each exercise. Don't worry about throwing down the heavy weights, that'll come gradually. Also make sure you have adequate nutrition and enough sleep to recover.
 

indesertum

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i would rather recommend 3xweek fasted lifting with 30 min low intensity cardio afterwards.. you're going to die on 5xweek training and quickly overtrain.
 

Prada_Ferragamo

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I don't think OP is starting from scratch. If he was a distance runner before, I think he'll be fine doing a 5 day split.
Or
Lift every other day using a split routine. In that case he has enough time to recovery
 

East2West

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I respectfully disagree with the 5 day split recommendation. You are a beginner and should stick with full body 3x|wk workouts. Or do upper|lower split. Stick with compound exercises.
It wont do much good to do a proBB routine until you are that experienced.
Follow a workout plan that isnt made up.

Dont workout five times a week. As important as workout are, so is rest and you dony want to injure yourself or go in to a workout already fatigued or you wont be maximizing your time.
 

Prada_Ferragamo

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People respond differently to stress/injury which is what working out is. I think OP should take a few weeks to figure out how he responds to stress and then have definitive plan.
 

APK

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I've been lifting with good programs for the better part of four years. Allow me to spare you some of the mistakes I've made to slow my progress to a glacial pace.

1) Don't complicate things with your routine. Pick a program that's centered on the big lifts (squat, bench, DL). I wasted a lot of time with specialization programs, which are fine if you've already got a good foundation. Until then, pick a basic strength program (I'm doing this and I love it) and just keep at it progressively adding weight to your lifts.

2) Don't complicate your diet. Decide whether you want to wane or gain and then eat according. Figure out your BMR (look it up) and then use the Harris Benedict Equation to figure out what your maintenance is calorically. Once you've done that, either lop off 400-500 calories or add on as many. Stick with that for a bit and tinker when necessary. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach, but it's a good starting point that allows you to make some modifications.

3) Be patient, but don't get complacent. It takes time to see significant results, but if you aren't seeing anything after a month or two of following the above, then change something.

4) Take measurements and pictures; ignore the scale. The first two are your best bet to accurately charting progress. What's the point of being a certain number on a scale if you don't look and feel how you want to?
 

Prada_Ferragamo

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Originally Posted by APK
3) Be patient, but don't get complacent. It takes time to see significant results, but if you aren't seeing anything after a month or two of following the above, then change something.

Another very important point.
 

thekunk07

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i really, really hate to say this, it's so cliche, but starting strength is your friend. wish i would have stuck to basics when i was starting out
 

jarude

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I'm going to recommend against doing a 5 day split for reasons described by APK. Everyone does it - they go through a "I don't care how much I lift, just how I look" phase, they spin their tires doing bodybuilder workouts, and go nowhere. You will get bigger by getting stronger. This means a 3 day/week program like Starting Strength, or IA's simple power-based routine like APK recommended. Once you've built up a base level of strength, you can do as you please, but you don't really need an arm day if you cannot squat at least 1.5 times your bodyweight. Considering your first goal is overall fitness and conditioning, blasting your gunzzz is the last thing you need. It sounds dogmatic, but I'm really just trying to save you from making mistakes that took me years and years to figure out. Countless people have gotten awesome physiques by doing 3 day/week programs. Break out of the mindset that 5 day split is necessary for nice aesthetics and 3 day split = strength. Either way, at your level, strength will be size. Also, I really really really hate to say this because I'm becoming a self-parody of a broken record, but...
www.ironaddicts.com
I promise you, if you educate yourself there, and keep it simple, you'll find success. Don't overcomplicate, be consistent, log your progress, and you'll be a dapper motherfucker in no time.
 

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