Help ME GET A ROUTINE, END MY CONFUSION
Hi all, new on here.
Some info: I'm 23 years old, 5'5, 148 lbs, natural lifter no steroids.
I've followed a few different routines, starting stregnth, upper/lower split, bodypart splits, etc.
I wanted to know what people feel is the best optimal way to train if my goal is pure size and mass ( i mean I want to be cut too I don't want to be fat either).
I am currently doing a 5 day bodypart split that looks like this:
Mon - Quads, Calves
Tues - Shoulders, Traps & Hams
Wed - Bi's, Tris, Abs
Thurs - Back
Fri - Chest, Abs
3 days of cardio.
How are my results? I'm really not sure, I mean I can't tell much of a difference, but I don't really know for sure. I don't know I look a little more cut then usual, but maybe thats cuz my rest time inbetween sets is a minute or less usually. I perform about 3 exercises per muscle, and 3 sets, 8-10 reps. My confusion comes in here: I have read that training a muscle group once a week doesn't work well for NATURAL lifters, that its more optimal for guys on gear. I've read that natural lifters would do better hitting a muscle more freqntly like doing an upper/lower split 4 days a week. I don't LOVE this split because i am in the gym 5 days a week, plus with the cardio I feel like im there all the time, its a big commitment. I work a fulltime job, so its not easy. But then again whatever is going to get my the results I want, then I will go for it.
What do you guys would be the best routine? SHould I keep doing a 5 day body[part split, or is that not good for natty lifters? Should I do an upper/lower? Or something else? What can you guys recommend to help me end my confusion. I just want results, i want to be bigger.
ALSO- the 1 thing I did notice is from doing the 5 day split is my arms did grow a little, i don't know if that helps at all.
any advice would be truly appreciated. i dont want to waste my time in the gymn!
A few questions you didn't answer.
How long have you been lifting? Franklin wasn't blowing wind when he said, "Patience is a virtue."
What does your diet look like? My observation is that most of us tend to one or the other extreme. Lean guys/ gals tend to over estimate how much and what they eat and those who are heavier tend to under estimate. Get an accurate record, because diet does play a part.
This will give us all a place of reference to start with today.
Bodyweight (before starting) and (after starting)
Bodyfat, at least approx (before) and (after)
Numbers on key lifts, i.e. bench, squat, deads, military press, barbell rows, cleans, etc., how much have you been added to the bar on these lifts since you started.
Before and after pics.
Regarding "best routine" ... there isnt any. To each his own. But what you get out of a routine depends on what you put in. IMO full-body routines are very effective - and being 3x week, you dont spend that much time in the gym either. But whatever routine you go with, the key would be to have a good progression.
For starters EAT my boy, EAT!
Also, Keep it simple. Stay away from complicated routines.
This is kinda what I do, its not written in stone. There are a lot of informative people here. Be receptive and keep an open mind as to what you want in training. If you are patient, you will find it here.
Thanks for the quick responses guys.
Here is the info you guys requested. My lifts about 5 weeks ago when I was doing more of a strengthed based routine were as follows:
Bodyweight - 148
Bench - 240 x 3
Squat - 255 x 5
Deadlift - 300x3
My Diet looks like this:
Meal 1 - 4 Egg Whites, 2 Whole Eggs, 12 oz Orange Juice, 1 tbsp peanut butter
Meal 2 - 2 slice whole wheat bread w/ chicken
Meal 3 - 2 scoops protein powder pre workout
Meal 4 - 1 cup brown rice, chicken, maybe sum veggies or salad
Meal 5 - 4 egg whites, 2 whole eggs
Meal 6 - 2 scoops protein powder, 1 tbsp peanut butter
After hitting 300 lbs on the deadlift, it got really tough for me.. and my stregnth routine allowed my numbers to go up, but I didn't see much size..
I think the split will not serve you well as a natty bodybuilder who also wants to build mass. That's not to say that you have to do a whole body workout, although I'd say that full body 3x a week will be better compared to the strict bodypart split that most juiced bodybuilders use. Somewhere between the two will probably be best. In the 80's it was popular among bodybuilders to hit everything twice a week, which would be a good base upon which to make your own training program.
Remember, the bigger the muscles you use, the more testosterone will be released.
The workout program you use actually isn't as important as diet when it comes to bulking versus cutting. The same well-designed program will work for cutting or bulking, so choose one, buy into it, and stick with it for a while.
The truth is that if you're a bodybuilder, diet is far more important than the way you program your workouts. If you want to build mass, then you're going to need to eat over maintenance. You need to find out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, and add 200-500 calories a day in a controlled, planned manner. 500 calories a day added to your maintenance diet will result in about 1lb gained per week, which will almost certainly be mostly fat, so start easy with around 200 extra calories a day to see how your body reacts to increased intake. If you're strength is going up and you're muscles are filling out, try increasing the extra calories.
I'm a believer in cycling carbs, which is a complex concept that I've simplified to these rules;
1. Eat as few carbs as possible most of the time.
2. Eat lots of proteins and good fats most of the time.
3. From 1 hr before training to 2 hr after training, eat lots of proteins and carbs with very little fat.
These rules apply all the time, bulking or cutting. The only difference is the number of calories, which is over maintenance for bulking and under maintenance for cutting.
Whether you follow this plan or not is up to you, my point is that diet is WAY more important for a bodybuilder than training splits and programs.
getting stronger without size means good training, but not enough FOOD! :chow:
Thanks soldier. So correct me if im wrong but, your advise is go with a full body workout, or an upper/lower split (maybe one such as Lyle McDonalds Bulking Routine?)BECAUSE im a natty lifter? And if I were to go w/ a full body routine which would you suggest? Madcows 5x5?And focus on hitting 8-10 reps the hypertrophy range while trying to increase my numbers as often as possible? And stop with the 5 day split unless I plan on roiding ?
And Eat more?
Any other advise?
The reasoning behind full body workouts is that you will use your legs and back pretty much every time you go in the gym. When you use those big muscles, your body reacts by releasing testosterone and lots of other goodies that help your body get bigger. Hitting only smaller muscles in a training session means you won't get that response from your body, or atleast won't get as much of one.
Pros don't need to get their bodies to release test, because they are getting it from the end of a needle, so they can use longer workouts with more isolation work to stimulate growth in specific muscles. (In all fariness to them, they've also spent years and years building themselves up to handle those longer workouts as well)
As for rep range, you'll need to try different programs to figure out what will give you what you want. Some find that strength based routines that keep them under 5 reps work great for hypertrophy, while others respond better to higher reps. I'd theorize that the fact that you stalled in your strength and didn't get increased size is completely due to undereating. You'r diet looks great, so don't start binging on Burger king. Just eat more of the good stuff you're already eating.
thanks again soldier.
Ok, so then full body 3 days a week over 4 days upper/lower is the best way to go cuz of the testerone? I'll see better results like that? Which program would you reccommend for sure? The reason i'd think an upper/lower is good is cuz i'd be hitting evereything twice and those big muscles like legs would get hit twice and back.. but im open to new ideas
And i'm glad you like the diet, I guess i'll stick with that (tho man I miss my grilled chicken ceasar wraps on whole wheat and beef patties)
Anyone else please feel free to chime in.
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