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  1. #1
    Registered User Onyl's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Changing My Life & Grand Plans For The Future

    Hi,

    I am in my early twenties and a relative beginner who has only been going to the gym for a few months. I am an average weight for my height/age - 73kg and 181cm.

    I know many of you here are very experienced and knowledgeable with a lot of wisdom regarding gym-going, so I would really very much appreciate it if you could have a look at my goals & plan and make any comments or suggestions.



    GOALS:

    I'm not aiming to be a bodybuilder, I just want to have some decent visible muscle on my upper body and flatten out my belly/abs. Think more Brad Pitt in Fight Club as opposed to The Rock.

    I can only commit 2-days-per-week to the gym (usually Monday and Friday). I know this isn't ideal, but it's the reality of my schedule.

    I know this may take a lot longer to get to my ideal physique, but I'm willing to play the long game and hopefully keep it at that level throughout my life.

    I will also go a run 1-day-per-week for cardio, and I go regular walks, and hiking in the mountains on average once a month.



    CURRENT WORKOUT ROUTINE:

    I do this same workout every time I go to the gym. This is the correct order in which I do it.

    I know I would be better changing it up completely every so often, but I find it very difficult to learn full new workouts/routines/form etc. Ideally I'd like to keep as much the same as possible.


    1.) Abs: All of this TWICE [25 crunches, 15 sit ups, 30 raised leg crunches, 30 crunches with leg extension, 44 alternating heel touches, 50 scissor kicks (criss cross), 50 scissor kicks (up & down), 30 russian twists with 9kg kettlebell, 44 mountain climbers, 44 mountain climbers (2nd time)]
    2.) 3 x 15 [30kg] Barbell Squats
    3.) 2 x 10 Assisted Pull Ups (20kg counterweight on machine so bodyweight minus 20kg [approx 53kg lifed])
    4.) 2 x 10 Assisted Dips (20kg counterweight on machine so bodyweight minus 20kg [approx 53kg lifted]) (I try to focus more on tricep dips)
    5.) 2 x 10 Assisted Chin Ups (20kg counterweight on machine so bodyweight minus 20kg [approx 53kg lifted])
    6.) 2 x 10 [12kg per dumbbell] Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press/Military Press
    7.) 2 x 10 [12kg per dumbbell] Standing Dumbbell Curls
    8.) 2 x 10 [16kg per dumbbell] Dumbbell Bench Press
    9.) 2 x 10 [Approx 28kg] Cable/Rope Tricep Extension/Tricep Pushdown
    10.) Abs: 60seconds front plank, 30 seconds side plank (right), 30 seconds side plank (left)



    DIET:

    Immediately after each gym workout I eat approximately 35g protein (in 130g chicken with 4 slices of wholegrain bread sandwiches), a 15g protein protein bar, and an apple.

    Every morning for breakfast I have 2 Weetabix with some muesli, branflakes, a banana and about 30g mixed nuts.

    The rest of the week I don't consume protein products specifically but have a fairly healthy and balanced diet with a mixture of meat, carbs, fruit and vegetables. My diet isn't perfect but is reasonably healthy.



    What I am pretty much looking for is literally any suggestions to improve this workout routine (or diet) and achieve my goals as specified above, within the confines of my schedule.



    Any comments or suggestions or answers are welcome, no matter how critical, I don't mind. If you think my full plan/strategy is completely wrong then I am happy with this and glad you have told me.

    Thank you very much in advance for all your help.

    Cheers,
    Stephen.
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  2. #2
    Registered User cmacken's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Registered User Onyl's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for the reply! I'll definitely check out the links you have recommended.
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  4. #4
    Registered User DCSpartan's Avatar
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    If you want to be small and skinny that routine will work. Otherwise use one of the beginners programs found in this forum. Dont worry, you arent going to blow up with muscles overnight. Or even over the next 3 years. You will develop some muscle that when you diet down a little will help you get that lean look you want. But barbell squatting with a weight others curl isnt going to get you anywhere.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Onyl's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DCSpartan View Post
    If you want to be small and skinny that routine will work. Otherwise use one of the beginners programs found in this forum. Dont worry, you arent going to blow up with muscles overnight. Or even over the next 3 years. You will develop some muscle that when you diet down a little will help you get that lean look you want. But barbell squatting with a weight others curl isnt going to get you anywhere.

    I really appreciate the response very much. If I continue to work on upping the weight often and making progress, are those exercises okay? Is it the weight I'm lifting that's the problem or the actual exercise/routine itself?

    I do intend to keep upping the weight over time.

    Thanks again.
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  6. #6
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Onyl View Post
    Is it the weight I'm lifting that's the problem or the actual exercise/routine itself?
    Both.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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  7. #7
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    There are many nuances that go into program design.

    A good routine will give you guidelines of what initial weight you need to use - and then progressively push you to increase the amount you do (weight used and/or reps achieved in each set)

    For this reason, we never recommend someone without lots of experience and knowledge tries to make their own routine. Just sidestep all the pitfalls that catch out novices who try to run their own routines. Instead, lean on the decisions made by experienced program designers.

    Fierce 5 or All pros simple beginners routine.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Onyl's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    There are many nuances that go into program design.

    A good routine will give you guidelines of what initial weight you need to use - and then progressively push you to increase the amount you do (weight used and/or reps achieved in each set)

    For this reason, we never recommend someone without lots of experience and knowledge tries to make their own routine. Just sidestep all the pitfalls that catch out novices who try to run their own routines. Instead, lean on the decisions made by experienced program designers.

    Fierce 5 or All pros simple beginners routine.
    This is a very good point and really helped my understand why it would be beneficial for me to follow a pre-planned workout routine instead of making my own.

    Are these the correct links for Fierce 5 or All Pros:

    forum.bodybuilding .com/showthread.php?t=159678631
    allpro-sbr.fandom .com/wiki/AllPro_Simple_Beginners_Routine_Wiki

    So I just follow those routines exactly as described and it won't hurt that I suddenly stop doing many of the exercises in my current routine?

    I also would likely have to do these workouts on a twice-weekly basis, so it'll take me a little longer to see gains, or in the case of AllPro I'd just do a heavy and medium day and follow the 5 week cycle as planned? I understand gains will be slower, but will this still work fundamentally?

    Thanks for your help.
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  9. #9
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Yes, that all seems fine. It's easy to get attached to a routine you made yourself. So it's good that you are keeping an open mind.

    As for the number of exercises, it's a classic novice error to believe they need every exercise going in their routine. Actually, a balance is required between variety and "directed adaptation" (doing the same thing repeatedly). As a novice, the latter is more important. Later on, you'll have more variety.
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  10. #10
    Registered User TheShadowMan's Avatar
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    I'm all for high volume, it's one of the only things that's ever worked for me - but that seems like an excessive amount of ab exercises. 1 or 2 would suffice, with 5 sets each is enough for me. I like to devote the bulk of my time and energy to my main lifts. I'd trim the fat and change it up to a good full body routine if you're just starting out.
    Back to basics full body routine: https://pastebin.com/5BgKgrMv

    Training journal: https://igoodies.000webhostapp.com/?viagra=showthread.php?t=178059671&p=1598034261#post1598034261
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  11. #11
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    OP, it's good advice to get on a proper novice routine and not create your own. But if you want to look like Tyler Durden, diet will need to be your focus (calorie deficit), as he wasn't that muscular, just ridiculously lean. You may want to wait until you put on a decent amount of muscle before you try to cut to achieve that bodyfat % though, and you don't really need to be that lean to look good anyway.

    In case you're interested, Brad Pitt's supposed workout to prepare for FC is below. Note that he already was lean and in great shape at the start, and would've had to lose even more bf % via diet. I wouldn't recommend this for you, or anyone really. Note there's no ab exercises. Bro split, no legs.

    Monday – Chest
    Push-ups – 3 sets of 25 reps
    Bench press – 25, 15 & 8 reps @ 165, 195, 225 lbs
    Nautilus press – 15 reps @ 80, 100, 130 lbs
    Incline press – 15 reps @ 80, 100, 130 lbs
    Pec deck – 15 reps @ 60, 70, 80 lbs

    Tuesday – Back
    25 pull ups – 3 sets to fatigue
    Seated rows – 3 sets @ 75, 80, 85 lbs
    Lat pull downs – 3 sets @ 135, 150, 165 lbs
    T-bar rows – 3 sets @ 80, 95, 110 lbs

    Wednesday – Shoulders
    Arnold press – 3 sets @ 55 lbs
    Laterals – 3 sets @ 30 lbs
    Front raises – 3 sets @ 25 lbs

    Thursday – Biceps & Triceps
    Preacher curls – 3 sets @ 60, 80, 95 lbs
    EZ curls cable – 3 sets @ 50, 65, 80 lbs
    Hammer curls – 3 sets @ 30, 45, 55 lbs
    Push downs – 3 sets @ 70, 85, 100 lbs

    Friday & Saturday – Cardio
    Treadmill – 1 hour at 80-90% MHR

    Sunday – Rest
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  12. #12
    Registered User Onyl's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for the replies. I do think I'm now realising more that I just need to focus on gaining muscle with compound movements at increasing weights and my body fat percentage will drop naturally so long as I keep my diet in check also.

    Would halving my current abs stuff and doing this last, adding in deadlifts and seated cable rows, working in a 6-8 rep range with 3 sets, and constantly working on upping my weights so I can barely squeeze out the last rep be sufficient? As a way of improving my current workout?

    Or would it be considerably better to do one of the above beginner workouts?

    I would rather keep things as similar as possible so add to my current workout, even if it was a little bit less efficient. Even if it's not necessarily true I'd feel bad not doing my dips/pull-ups/chin-ups I've been working on for months.

    But, if my current workout truly fundamentally flawed even with the above suggested changes, I could just put the effort in and change completely to one of the two beginner ones listed.

    Again, thanks very much. And I do agree the realities of that Brad Pitt workout doesn't look ideal for me haha.
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    Ask and answered. But it's clear in the end you're going to stick with some version of your own routine, so good luck!
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  14. #14
    Registered User Onyl's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all the useful replies. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it and I think I will go with the All Pro's beginner routine with a couple of minor changes/additions.

    One major challenge would be adapting to a nearly exclusively barbell focused workout routine - when in the past I have used almost exclusively dumbbell variations (DB Bench Press, DB Overhead Press, DB curls etc).


    My changes would be:

    1.) I would do the barbell curl as opposed to the upright row.

    2.) I would only do this workout twice-per-week instead of three times but focus on intensity during my sessions. I would still progress in 5 week cycles as instructed.

    3.) I would only do the calf raises once per week.

    4.) On Day 1 I would add in 2 sets of Pull-Ups, on Day 2 I would instead add in 2 sets of Dips - alternating. So once a week an extra 2 sets of pull-ups, once a week an extra 2 sets of dips. This is because I don't want to cut these exercises out entirely.

    5.) I would still add in 1 circuit of my current ab routine at the end of each workout (so half of what I'm currently doing abs wise as I usually do everything twice).


    Hopefully the extra pull-ups/dips and extra abs is okay considering I'm only doing 2 sessions a week instead of the recommended 3.

    If this looks okay then I think I have a solid plan and my initial question is answered and I can now go forward with my new workout routine for the coming year at least.

    Again, if I am wrong, I am happy to listen to any advice and change what is needed.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    You seem to want a routine you can call all your own, so give it a try and see how it goes, and adjust as necessary - good luck!
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  16. #16
    Registered User Onyl's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all the help. I will have to do some dumbbell variations of some of the exercises in the All Pro's plan at least some of the time (other times I'll have more access to barbells). But unless anyone thinks my plan is a bad idea, I'll go for it and update with results. Thanks very much!
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    Originally Posted by Onyl View Post
    But unless anyone thinks my plan is a bad idea, I'll go for it and update with results.
    It's a bad idea but you don't seem to care.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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  18. #18
    Registered User WakingOp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Onyl View Post
    Thanks again for all the useful replies. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it and I think I will go with the All Pro's beginner routine with a couple of minor changes/additions.

    One major challenge would be adapting to a nearly exclusively barbell focused workout routine - when in the past I have used almost exclusively dumbbell variations (DB Bench Press, DB Overhead Press, DB curls etc).


    My changes would be:

    1.) I would do the barbell curl as opposed to the upright row.

    2.) I would only do this workout twice-per-week instead of three times but focus on intensity during my sessions. I would still progress in 5 week cycles as instructed.

    3.) I would only do the calf raises once per week.

    4.) On Day 1 I would add in 2 sets of Pull-Ups, on Day 2 I would instead add in 2 sets of Dips - alternating. So once a week an extra 2 sets of pull-ups, once a week an extra 2 sets of dips. This is because I don't want to cut these exercises out entirely.

    5.) I would still add in 1 circuit of my current ab routine at the end of each workout (so half of what I'm currently doing abs wise as I usually do everything twice).


    Hopefully the extra pull-ups/dips and extra abs is okay considering I'm only doing 2 sessions a week instead of the recommended 3.

    If this looks okay then I think I have a solid plan and my initial question is answered and I can now go forward with my new workout routine for the coming year at least.

    Again, if I am wrong, I am happy to listen to any advice and change what is needed.
    You can do all pros routine 2x per week. Do 3 sets each day instead of 2.

    You can, and probably should swap pullups for curls. If you can do enough to follow the program. It's been said numerous times in the threads devoted to it. Most beginners can't do that though

    Don't do dips. That's gonna be a lot of stress on your shoulder. And it's gonna throw off your balance, further leading to shoulder distress. You aren't going to get weaker at them. One day you can do them again in a program that shows/ needs it. You will be stronger when you do.

    And idk why you are talking about upright rows
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  19. #19
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    Full mismatch routine. I am tried too much to adjust my routine but it doesnt happen
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