Hey Everyone

I am in need of some advice as I cannot seem to advance much beyond my current point. My progression has been so slow that I think I may be doing something wrong...

Background: I am 24 years old and I have been lifting weights religiously since January. Before that I was always in shape. I did a lot of calisthenic exercise, always ran, and did Stew Smith's Navy Seal training program. However, I never was much of a weightlifter... I was about 130 plus or minus 5 lbs all through college. Currently I weigh 143 and have been stuck at that for several months. I am pretty sure that I qualify as the ectomorph body type.

I am a professional pilot so I travel often, but I usually have access to a full gym so I am in the gym at least 6 days a week. I have not missed two days in a row since January.

Here are the two programs which I have used since January.

Utilized from January to June
Program 1
Day 1
- Abs (Primary focus)
o Hanging Leg/Knee Raise (upper/lower abdominals) 4x12
o Double X Crunch (obliques) 3x20 (10 per side)
o Straight Leg Cycle Crunch (upper/lower abdominals) 3x20 (10 per side)
o Side Jackknife (obliques) 3x10
- Chest
o Incline DB Press (upper pectorals) 4x8
o DB Fly or Chest Fly Machine (pectorals) 3x10
- Cardio
o Bike 30 – 45 minutes (lungs/legs)

Day 2
- Legs (Primary focus)
o Squats 4x12
o Leg Press 3x10
o Leg Extension 3x10
o Leg Curls 3x10
o Calve Raise 3x10
- Arms
o Bar Curls (biceps) 3x8
o Close Grip Skull Crusher (triceps) 3x8
- Back
o Pull-ups 3x15 (or max pos.)
o T-Bar Rows or BB Row 3x10

Day 3
- Cardio (Primary focus)
o Bike 30 – 45 minutes (lungs/legs)
- Chest
o Flat Bench-press (pectorals) 4x8
o Incline DB Press (upper pectorals) 4x8
- Abs
o Russian Crunches (obliques) 3x20 (10 per side)
o Ball Crunch (upper/lower abs) 3x10 (slow)

Day 4
- Back (Primary focus)
o Pull-ups 3x15 (max pos. after failure)
o Shoulder Blowout x2
o DB Shrugs 3x10
o Cable Rope Rear-Delt Rows (?) 3x10
o Lat Pull-downs 3x10
o Dead-lift 4x10
- Legs
o Leg Press 4x10
o Calf Raises 3x10
- Arms
o DB Curl 3x8
o Triceps Rope Pull-down 3x10

Day 5
- Chest (Primary focus)
o Pushups (warm-ups) 3x10
o Bench Press 4x8
o DB Incline Press 3x10
o DB Chest Fly 3x10
o DB Flat Press 4x6
o Cable Cross 3x10
- Abs
o Oblique Raises 3x20 (10/side)
o Ball Crunch 3x10
- Cardio
o Bike 30 – 45 minutes

Day 6
- Arms (Primary focus)
o DB Curls (warm-up light) 2x8
o Preacher Curls 4x8
o Alternate DB Curls 3x8
o Rope Pull-down 4x10
o Bar Skull Crusher 3x10
o Dips 3x15 (or max pos. after failure)
- Legs
o Leg Extensions 3x15
o Leg Curls 3x15
- Back
o Pull-ups 3x15 (or max pos. after failure)
o Rows (?) 3x10

The idea of this program was to work each muscle group 3 times a week with at least 48 hours between muscle group. Once a week the muscle group was worked hard (primary focus) the other two times a week the muscle group was worked it was less work.

Progress (this may be mostly beginner's increase... I did not gain much body weight over this period...):

Bench Press
- February: 1RM = 145
- June: 1RM = 175

Squat (before January I had never done a Squat)
- February: 1RM = 165
- June: 1RM = 206

Bar Curl
- February: 1RM = 74
- June: 1RM = 92

Utilized from June to Current
Program 2
All Exercises either 3 or 4 sets (3 for isolation, 4 for compound) of decending reps and increasing %1RM.
Set 1, 12 reps at 65%
Set 2, 10 Reps at 75%
Set 3, 6 Reps at 85%
Set 4, 2 Reps (or most possible) at 95%

Essentially as found here:

Day 1
-BB Shoulder Press
-Lateral Raises
-Military Press Machine
-Close Grip Bench Press
-V-Bar Pulldown
-Triceps Extension (DB)
-Oblique Leg Raises
-Ball Crunch

Day 2
- Deadlifts
- Pullups
- Rows
- Bent Over Long Bar Row
- DB or BB Shrugs
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Bike 30 Minutes

Day 3
Cardio Only Day
- Run 30 to 40 minutes

Day 4
- Squats
- Leg Press
- Calve Raises
- Palm Up Forearm Curl
- Palm Dn Forearm Curl
- Ball Crunch
- Hyper-extentions

Day 5
- Flat Bench Press
- Incline DB Press
- Decline Bench Press
- EZ Bar Rev. Curl
- Hammer Curl
- Bar Curls
- Knee Raises
- Side Crunches with Weight

Day 6 and 7
Cardio... either Bike or Run 30 minutes each day.
Abdominals... varied from week to week on these days...


Bench Press
- June: 1RM = 175
- Present: 1RM = 175 (maybe less... I've been hovering, I really want to improve here... my chest is my weakest point)

- June: 1RM = 206
- Present: 1RM = 250 (good amount of increase here for 1 month!)

- June: 1RM = 218
- Present: 1RM = 256

Bar Curl
- June: 1RM = 92
- Present: 1RM = 95 (I have felt like I have not improved here at all....)


So... here is my question? What should I do next?! I am not developing bulk.... My goal is lean figure, but I want some bulk as well.... I am not developing strength like I would like and in some areas I haven't improved at all. I was researching periodization and was going to go to a program with high reps and sets (4x12 for example) and low weight (50 to 65% 1RM)... and do this for a couple weeks... Is this a good idea? I don't build muscle easily... I have only gained maybe 10 lbs max since January, and I am not sure how much of that is fat. What is my ideal set/rep/weight mix? Suggestions on a good program for someone with my body typethat includes cardio?