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Help out a new guy ;)


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Hi all,

This is my first post on what seems to be a pretty good forum. A lot of you are having great results! I'm relatively new to bb, but have a decent frame (plenty of room for improvment mind you).

About me:

I'm 21 y/o, 6ft, 80kg. So far I've been doing an upper body / lower body split, upper body about 2 - 3 times a week and same for lower. I've had good results over the last 6 months with this program - dispite controlling my carb intake to prevent getting too fat. Decent growth in chest, arms and back (as well as shoulders, but definately my 'trouble' area).

My abs are somewhat visible at the moment, leading me to suspect my bf% is around 10%. I've recently upped my carb intake (while still maintaining a clean diet) in the hope of adding more muscle mass.

For those still reading, my question is basically this: what exercise regimen would you recommend to a person in my position to really increase my gains? I was thinking of splitting my (upper) workout into subparts (ie chest / bi / tri).. but I have little experience with exercise programs outside the one I'm currently on.

Supplements wise, just finished my first cycle of creatine (I know some reckon it doesnt need to be cycled, but I'm just testing atm) and have been using musashi products (bulk shakes and muscle recovery slices). I drink sh*t loads of green tea and take a good multivitamin along with flaxseed oil in the morning.

ANY suggestions from you guys welcome.. I have a lot to learn.

ps. sorry for the rambling ;)

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IMO if you're worried about adding fat from carbs then have the bulk of them from slow digesting carbs. Keep your high carb meals to breakfast, lunch and before/after your workouts. You can have simple carbs before/after workouts as well as the majority of them will be used as fuel for workouts and stored as glycogen in the muscle cells. You can also add 3 30 minute low intensity cardio workouts each week in the morning. I've found this to work well for adding muscle and limiting fat gain.

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Push / Pull / Legs

worked wonders for me when I first got serious as around your stats too.

Push:

Chest/Shoulders/Triceps

Pull:

Back/Biceps/Forearms/traps

Legs:

Quads/halms/calves

Focus primarily on heavy compound lifts.

Vary your rep range.

keep squatting/deadlifting/benching.

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Thanks guys.

Diet. This is a toughy. I'm a student and as such my routines can vary quite a lot, although I'll try and sum it up the best I can:

Morning:

1 Musashi protein shake w/ flaxseed oil.

1 multivitamin

1 cereal + 2 weetbix

Early morning:

Tuna sandwich w/ avacado (or ham or chicken)

Apple

Bananna

Afternoon:

Often eat something substantial, perhaps sandwiches (More tuna :) Protein shake, fruit. Difficult to say as each day varies. Yogurt, maybe even some biscuits (this is all packed as I'm usually at uni during this time) - half my bloody bag's food :D

Dinner:

Always homecooked. Always some form of meat (being chicken / beef and rarely fish or pork). Always some form of carbs (potato, rice etc). Once again, varies emensely (might have the same meal once a month).

Evening:

Protein shake (often hour before bed). Fruit, various snacks etc.

In addition to this, I have about 10 green teas a day. Quite a lot of milk (not too sure if this is a good thing). Sorry if you guys were after a more scientific sumamry (daily protein / carb values etc), but given the variability in my diet I thought it somewhat irrelevant.

That is for a non-workout day btw. On a workout day I would have a decent amount of protein / carbs about 1 - 1/2 hours before (whatever I can get my hands on), a protein shake during (yes - another - is it a good idea to eat during workout btw?) and a protein recovery slice immediately after (30g protein if I recall). This usually precedes dinner by about 30min to 1 hour..

In terms of cardio, used to do quite a lot (early morning 8km runs on the treadmill on empty stomach every second morning) - needless to say I didnt build much muscle then). Cut this out several months ago. Now, I basically only have a warmup run prior to weights (good idea or not?)

What's the concensus on alcohol btw? I've not had a drink for about 1 or 2 months now (which has been pretty difficult) - is it really as damaging as I've heard?

Also, Varven, how would you implement this push / pull / legs program? 3 consequtive days? one / two days off?

Sure theres more to add / ask, but I can't think of anything atm. Looking forward to input. Please ask if theres anything I've neglected to add (which Im sure there is).

Cheers

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Doing cardio will not take away from gains. And yes I would recommend doing cardio, it is always important to train your cardiovascular system.

Here's an article about cardio.

Tom Venuto

It's a scientifically proven fact that muscle proteins are broken down and used for energy during aerobic exercise. But don't worry, you are constantly breaking down and re building muscle tissue anyway. This process is called "protein turnover." Your body is constantly alternating back and forth between anabolic (building) and catabolic (breaking down) cycles. That's just a normal part of life. Your goal is simply to tip the scales slightly in favor of increasing the anabolic side and reducing the catabolic side just enough so you stay on the anabolic side and you gain or at least maintain muscle.

This fact of human physiology has often been taken out of context and used to scare people into not doing cardiovascular exercise for fear of losing muscle. When you fast overnight as you sleep, you lose muscle too, but that doesn't mean you should stop sleeping! Sure, it's possible for you to lose muscle from doing too much cardio, but it's highly unlikely. Shying away from cardio completely because you think you'll lose muscle is a huge mistake. Only excessive amounts of cardio would cause you to lose muscle because over-training tips the scale towards the catabolic side. It's difficult to generalize and pinpoint one specific amount as too much, but I think it's safe to assume that just about anyone could do up to 45 -60 minutes of cardio a day, 6 to 7 days a week without losing any muscle - as long as the proper nutritional support is provided.

Trainer John Parillo has always been an advocate of lots of aerobics, even for his bodybuilder clients who are trying to gain muscle mass.

"Aerobics can enhance your recovery from weight training by promoting blood flow and oxygen transport to your muscles," says Parillo. "Aerobics forces oxygen through your body, increasing the number and size of your blood vessels. Blood vessels are the 'supply routes' that transport oxygen and nutrients to body tissues, including muscles, and carry waste products away for muscular growth, repair and recovery. The expansion of this circulatory network is called 'cardiovascular density.'"

So, according to Parillo, aerobics can actually enhance recovery from weight training and increase muscular growth by developing the circulatory pathways that provide nourishment to the muscles. Cardiovascular training is important for fat burning, for good health and for muscle-building.Losing muscle has more to do with inadequate diet than with excessive aerobics. If you suspect you are losing muscle there are four likely causes:

1. You are not eating enough protein. Protein is the only nutrient that is actually used to build muscle. To stay anabolic you must eat five to six protein containing meals. Each meal should be spaced out approximately three hours apart. Research has proven that if you are physically active, you need a minimum of .8 grams to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

2. Your carbohydrates are too low. Low carb diets are often used for fat loss, but it is a mistake to cut your carbs too drastically. Carbohydrates are protein-sparing, so even if you are eating large amounts of protein, you can still lose muscle if you your carbs are too low.

3. You are not eating enough calories to support muscle growth. This is the most common cause of muscle loss. When your calories are too low, your body goes into "starvation mode." Your metabolism slows down and your body actually burns muscle tissue to conserve energy. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, requiring a great deal of caloric energy just to maintain it. That's why your body will shed muscle if it thinks you are starving.

4. You are not training with weights. It is a common misconception that if you want to lose weight, you should start with cardio only and add the weights later - another big mistake! It is the weight training that keeps you from losing muscle while you are dieting.

You are much more likely to lose muscle from not eating enough than you are from doing too much cardio. All too often, people are afraid to eat a lot and do a lot of cardio at the same time. It doesn't seem to make sense. Logically, it seems like the two would cancel each other out - but the opposite is true. Many people believe they must "starve" the fat by drastically lowering calories. Unfortunately, this approach can cause you to lose muscle along with the fat. The only way to maintain your lean mass while losing fat is to feed the muscles with plenty of nutritious calories and at the same time, burn the fat off with cardio.

Whether your goal is muscle development, fat loss or both, you should always include some form of cardiovascular activity as part of your training program. Unless you're doing some kind of ultra-endurance regimen, AEROBICS DOES NOT CAUSE MUSCLE LOSS, in fact it supports the pathways that help you build it!

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Hi Dworsf01. Welcome!

The push/pull/legs split that Varven suggested is a classic - an oldy but a goody. Typically it's just a 3-day split:

Mon - Back / Biceps

Wed - Legs

Fri - Chest / Triceps / Delts

If you feel your shoulders (delts) need a bit more work, you could try something like this:

Mon - Back / Biceps

Tue - Chest / Triceps

Thurs - Legs

Fri - Delts / Abs

Hope that helps.

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Good luck bro,

heres a template I had used:

Push

Flat Bench 4x 6- 8

Incline dumbell press 4x 8-10

Dips/Close Grip Bench press 3x10

Skull Crushers/dumbell extensions 3x10

Note the tricep work for 6 sets maybe overkill, if your intense enough on the first chest sets they would already be pretty slaughtered. so gauge your body.

Pull

Deadlift 4x 5-8 DO NOT deadlift week in and week out, as if you both deadlift AND squat, your cns system will be fried. Trust me, I used to go crazy with both squats and deads everyweek pushing low reps( <5) and wondered why I kept getting ill/couldnt gain weight/lifts wouldnt progress etc. So maybe Deads twice a month is more than enough.

Bent over Barbell row

3x 8 - 10

Wide grip Chins/Let pull downs

3x 8 -10

Standing bb Bicep curls 3x10

seated db hammer curls 3x10

biceps should be pretty bloated after the back work anyway, so you might find even a total of 4 sets is enough to cane them?

Legs.

SQUAT :grin: 4x 6-10

Leg press 4x 8-12

Lying Leg curl 4x8-12

abs: crunches/hanging leg raises, oblique twists etc.

Points to note: vary your rep range, say after 6 weeks alter the rep scheme.

Vary your ex selection, it is impossible to keep indefinitely adding weight on the bar for the same ex, sooner or later you will peak out.

and cardio really is your friend :)

ex options:

push: Incline BB/Decline BB ( or Dumbells), Weighted dips(I love this one), Flyes

Pull: Rack Deadlifts, T bar rows, rack chins, 1 arm db rows.

Legs: Front Squats, Stiff legg deads, Hack squats, box squats.

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DO NOT deadlift week in and week out, as if you both deadlift AND squat, your cns system will be fried. Trust me, I used to go crazy with both squats and deads everyweek pushing low reps( <5) and wondered why I kept getting ill/couldnt gain weight/lifts wouldnt progress etc.

Sorry to butt in.

I've been squatting and deadlifting back to back for a couple of weeks and making steady gains.

Having said that I'm probably not lifting anywhere near as much as you.

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Hey bro,

it does work for a while, I would deadlift on monday.. for about 5 sets of below 5 reps... then I would do rack deadlifts for like a weight that I could barely get 3x3.. sure my back got strong.. however.. come friday and if i killed myself at squats again.. after about 4 weeks.. i wud keep getting colds/flu/extreme tiredness/shitty moods/ typical fried cns sorta symptoms...

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