Help transitioning from beginner/intermediate to intermediate/beyond
Hello, and first of all thanks for the read and future help/criticism. I consider myself a mostly-dedicated lifter, and have been the past few years. I'll give you a little history about myself in this section. I started out the "runt" of my group of friends - just a little guy with zero muscle on my entire body. I doubt I weighted 135-140lbs, but I was just a little under 6' tall, so you can imagine my thin-ness. At some point during my junior year of highschool, I decided I was tired of being the little guy. The problem is, the only sport I ever really played in highschool was track, so I didn't have much knowledge of weightlifting. Still, after grabbing a membership to the local YMCA, I started working out with a few friends before school during my senior year. I haven't stopped lifting since, and am entering my sophomore year of college. That means I've been working out a solid two years, my only breaks being one two week vacation to the beach, and maybe a week very sparingly here and there for a family trip. This has caused me to gain about 30lbs over the past two years, to the point I'm now the largest & strongest in my group of friends.. yet, I still feel like I'm virtually knowledgeless in the sport of bodybuilding. I would really like to call myself an intermediate lifter, but I know that's really not the case.. however I'm looking towards gaining this status and eventually progressing into the healthy lifestyle of an advanced lifter at some point in the upcoming future.
About My Body
I know that advice can only come from afar via the internet, without really knowing anything about my body, my routine, rest times, etc. I know all any of you can really do is guess when it comes to advice, but I welcome any sort of feedback to this and hopefully the information I give you to work with allows you to at least make those guesses educated. Anyways, I'm now 19 years old - going on 20 in October. I'm 6' even and weigh between 170-175 (it fluctuates). My metabolism is a beast.. I'm that skinny kid who can literally eat whatever I want, and any sign of the fat is gone from my body by the next morning. It has been an uphill battle since the beginning of my lifting to gain the precious pounds that I have, however my diet hasn't been dedicated to say the least. I'll get to that later though. I have horrible arm genetics, but my legs are naturally strong and muscular. I've always felt I have broad shoulders, which have lead me to a wide back and chest - but my arms seem to stay comparatively small. I wish I could give accurate measurements, but I honestly haven't measured anything since the very beginning. The weakpoint and holes in my routine come down to three things I can pinpoint.. the first is my legs. I used to work out six days a week instead of five for the first six months of my training, including a leg day as that sixth day. Again, very good leg genetics, and I was quickly squatting a legit 315 (again, this was only 6th months after never working out in my life). However, as any vain lifter comes to find out.. not many people notice leg gains. So, since I didn't have pencil legs or whatever, I slowly stopped doing legs. This has to change. Next, my stamina is horrendous. I haven't really ran consistently since starting to lift because my metabolism keeps me naturally cut and thin, but my stamina has suffered drastically. And finally, my abs are another hole - again, my metabolism helps.. even doing abs sparingly I can still see definition and get the "oohs" and "aahhs" from people who haven't really seen a well-trained six pack.
Also, a reason I haven't jumped into one of the premade workouts listed around the site is because I'm scared I'll lose the size/definition of my smaller muscle groups by focusing solely on the larger ones.. and its taken me so long to gain that little size on my arms that I now have.
So, where do I want to go from here? Well, first of all I'd naturally like to get bigger. I'm going to go ahead and say "as big as possible", just for the hell of it. I want to call myself a member of the 1000lb club - I shouldn't be very far off at all, as my 1RM is likely close to 300 and I'm progressing quickly with deadlifts, but squats.. brings me to my next point. I want to be well rounded, which means incorporating legs into my workout once again as an integral part, as well as working on some cardio to at least allow me the average stamina for an ex-athelte. Most of all, I want to lead a healthy lifestyle throughout college and into my life beyond. I don't know if I've officially tasted the "lifestyle of a bodybuilder", but what I've done so far has greatly - and I mean GREATLY - improved my quality of living.. and I want to improve and increase this with a better appearance and more well-rounded body.
I want to start this new chapter of my life in two weeks. That's when I move back into my apartment at school - meaning I have more control over what I buy/eat, and a much easier time getting to the gym. I'm looking for a routine that will allow me to accomplish these goals, but will still let me workout between 4-5 days a week. Three seems like far too little (honestly, so does 4), but six is too much for me to manage with all of college's other responsibilities.
I'm in college, so, alcohol is a part of my life. Its usually only friday-saturday night social thing, but I can put amounts down just like any other college kid on these nights. I'd like to not cut back on this too much, but am more than willing if needed - although I won't completely quit. It's a social thing, you know? Anyways, another constraint is classes/sleep. I aim to get at least 8 hours every night and 10 on weekends, but its not -always- possible.
Diet and Supplements
To be honest, my diet blows. I know. I've read and am reading up on it, and plan on turning over a new leaf in two weeks. But for now, my diet really consists of crap. I eat out alot - not necessarily fast food, although KFC/Taco Bell is on the menu at least twice a week. I eat alot of Chilis, cheap mexican restaurants, O'Charlies, stuff like that. But again, in two weeks, this will drastically change. The good parts of my diet are the fact that I really don't eat many sweets or desert - I've lost the taste for it over the past two years. I also don't drink carbonated drinks outside of a mixed drink here and there for alcoholic purposes, and haven't for years. I probably haven't had one sober in at least 7-9 years. I also drink 128oz of water every day, without fail. Water and the occasional sweet tea or koolaid thing is really all I drink. Supplement wise, I take a GNC brand Iso-28 protein shake (28g of whey protein, 4g of carbs, 140 calories) immediately before AND after I work out, as well as a serving of GNC Amplified Creatine 189 each day (on a 6 on, 4 off cycle).
Workout Routine (all weights in lbs)
This is more or less the exact same workout routine I've followed in the gym for the past two years, or my entire weightlifting career. I don't think its working anymore - the gains are minimal if at all, although it has single-handedly taken a scrawny little boy and turned him in to a well-muscled man. I've also NEVER deloaded (I've always been to confused/scared to try it), although that's what will happen if that's what needs to happen.
-Close-grip Bench Press 4x8
-135, 165, 185, 205
-Unweighted Dips 4x25
-Skullcrushers (flat & inclined, alternating weekly) 4x8
-70, 75, 80, 85
-V-bar Cable Pulldown 4x8
-160, 170, 180, 190*
-Palm-down Cable Tricep Pulldowns (one arm at a time) 4x8
-65, 70, 75, 80*
-Deadlift 4 sets, 8-6-4-2 reps
-135, 185, 205, 225
-Wide-grip Pull Ups 4x8
-Lat Weighted Pull Downs (not cable, machine you load weight on) 4x8
-120, 140, 160, 180
-Seated Cable Rows
-130, 140, 150, 160*
-Lat Cable Pull Downs
-130, 140, 150, 160*
-Incline Barbell Press 4 sets, 8-6-4-2
-135, 165, 185, 205
-Dumbell Seated Shoulder Press 4x8
-50s, 55s, 60s, 65s
-Shoulder Press Weighted Machine (not cables, load weight onto) 4x8
-90, 140, 160, 180
-Seated "Birds" (two dumbbells at sides, raised outwards arms straight) 4x8
-Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (raising straight arms one at a time palm down, weight coming above shoulder)
-Smith Machine Shrugs (Front & back supersets) 4x12
-120, 140, 160, 180
-Seated Ez-bar Curls 4x8
-70, 75, 80, 85
-Inclined Dumbbell Curls 4x16 (alternating one arm at a time, 8 reps per arm per set)
-35lb dumbbells (unless I can't finish a set, in which case I take a few seconds then finish that set with 30lb dumbbells, continuing the next set with 35lbs - usually only happens on second to last or the last set)
-Arnold Curls (standing weights in hands, pulling it across body to touch upper chest) 4x16 (alternating one arm at a time, 8 reps per arm per set)
-Palm-up Cable One-armed Curls 4x16 (alternating one arm at a time)
-60, 65, 70, 75*
-Forearm Behind the Back Barbell Curls 4x15
-Flat Barbell Bench Press 4 sets 8-6-4-2 reps
-185, 205, 225, 245**
-Flye Machine 4x8
-not sure the weight, I just start on the 4th rung from the bottom and end up maxing the machine
-Flat Dumbbell Press 4x8
-65lb dumbbells, 70lb, 75lb, 80lb
-Chest Press Weighted Machine 4x8
-120, 140, 160, 180
*Weights probably not accurate, merely what is listed on the cable/machine.
**I've experienced a recent decrease in my bench weight since I came home from college and reverted back to my highschool-era gym. It was fine for the first year I worked out, but I grew accustomed to my college's fitness center and I thought that was the problem at first.. except I never got back into my groove over the summer. At my peak, right before school got out, my best bench routine was 205x8, 225x8, 245x4, 275x3. I never got a chance to max at this strength, unfortunately.
All in all, I'm really just looking to put on more muscle and go from above-average into the extraordinary. I want to be big, but healthy.. and strong, but smart and well rounded. I will completely understand if all I get as a response to this is "your routine blows", and if that's the best you can give me then that's what I'll take. I'll also accept -ANY- criticism, but I'll be twice as thankful if it's constructive.