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Thread: New to Forum - Workout Critique Request

  1. #1
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    New to Forum - Workout Critique Request

    Good day, eh?

    I'm new to the forum but I like what I see so far here and throughout WBB, seems like a good group here, so I'd like to throw my current workout up, see what you folks think.

    Me:
    29yr old Canadian, 6'1", 219lbs, down from a high of 245 when I was becoming a lazy old married guy and got disgusted with myself for letting things go. Never been naturally athletic, I've had to work hard at playing football and training in the gym. I've always been decently strong for most things though. Endo-mesomorphic, linebackerish build. People never believed I was 245 when I was...

    Workout history:
    Been in the weight room on and off since age 16, but coming back to gym hardcore now after about a 3 year hiatus and much fat gain. Ugh. Been solidly back in for about 3 months now and starting to plateau a bit, having recovered all the muscle I used to have, plus some new growth. Given my schedule, I schedule most workouts around lunch, with about 75 mins or so max in-gym time available per weekday (not including transit time to gym/shower time/etc.). I've dropped a lot of bodyfat and gained muscle, but I have a ways to go before I start to be truly happy with progress. (I want the sixpack AND the mass!).

    I workout in a gym mostly filled with yuppie pukes doing 3 sets of 10 with weights my wife could lift, but it at least has everything I need and it's close to work.

    Goals:
    Get bigger. Get stronger. Decrease bodyfat. Be in better shape by age 30 than I've ever been before. Look good on the beach, etc. Maybe I'll even look into some amatuer competing; we'll see how my progress goes.

    Some Subgoals:
    Bench more than I weigh (reached this last month; now I'm working towards 300, despite always having had weak pecs)
    Leg Press 1000 (up to 810 now). I just like the idea of shoving a half ton around. My quads are pretty strong for someone my size, I think.
    Squat 500 for 6-8 reps (almost to 400 . . . I'll get there, baby!)


    Diet/supplements:
    Follow the 'Eat Right 4 Your Type', slightly modified by me. Mostly solid proteins, veggies, healthy carbs. Prime meats are venison/mutton/rabbit, some beef. (no chicken breasts anymore...*sigh*). Lots of tuna/other traditional fish. No wheat. Shooting for AROUND 2700-3000 calories/day with as much protein as possible. I eat about 6 times a day, including pre and post-workout protein 1/2-portion shakes (~350 cals each, ~20gms protein each). I also am trying an ephedrine supplement for thermogenic purposes (it seems to be working so far).


    The routine:
    modified split routine, Day One (Mon/Thurs), Day Two (Tues/Fri) with cardio Weds/Sat/Sun and extra training on Saturday for arms/traps. I mostly do 45-minute stints on elliptical trainer for cardio though I will substitute 2-3 hours of football with the lads some Saturdays, depending on time/weather. I also erratically participate in skating/basketball/etc. some evenings, though this varies wildly.

    For most exercises, I do a warmup set with a 50% 1RM or so weight, for 15-20 reps (i don't count these in my journal). I'll sometimes skip warmup set if I've already worked that muscle and it feels OK.

    'Power' set is next, with 1 set at 6-8 (80-90% of 1RM), and finish with two more 'working' sets of 12-15 (65-75% 1RM) to flush the muscle, recruit additional fibres, etc.

    I will usually superset SOME (not all) exercises to get the most lifting in in the shortest time. (i.e. I can't really superset w/ squats or heavy leg press or I'll hurl. . . . but supersetting shoulders and leg curls is easy)


    Day One (Chest/Back)
    Pec Dec 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Lat Pulldowns 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Bench Press 6-8, 6-8, 12-15
    Seated Row 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Heavy Incline DB Press 10-12, 8-10, 6-8 (all w/ same weight)
    T-Bar Rows (12-15, 8-10, 6-8, increasing weight each set)
    Hyperextensions (or whatever you call the flexing of the spinal erectors) 10-12, 12-15, 15-20
    Machine Flyes 6-8, 12-15, Dropset from 6-8 weight

    Day Two (Legs/Shoulders)
    Leg Extensions 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Shoulder Press 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Leg Curls 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Arnold Press 6-8, 6-8, 12-15
    Leg Press 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Around the World 6-8, 12-15, 12-15 (sort of a modified lateral raise, where I start with DBs at small of back and bring arms up and around to meet at front/above head, and back again)
    Squats 6-8, 6-8, 12-15


    Saturdays (Arms/Traps)
    Sailor Press/Upright Row 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Tricep Pushdown (rope) 6-8, 8-10, 12-15
    Incline DB Curls 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Shrugs (6-8, 12-15, 12-15)
    1-H reverse pushdowns 6-8, 12-15, 12-15
    Preacher EZ bar Curls 6-8, 12-15, 12-15

    Abs 3-4 nights a week

    I think that's about it. Any feedback/comments would be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Callahan

  2. #2
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    looks good to me, make sure you get some cardio in there, and welcome to the board

  3. #3
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Well, first off, welcome to the board.

    Few suggestions:

    Drop the 12-15 rep range set. Really worthless, considering your goals. 8-12, at the very most.

    On all your days, prioritize the lift you want to work on, that means the big, compound lift. Chest day, start with the bench press. Leg day, put squats first. No sense pre-exhausting if you're looking for maximum force production.

    Chest/back day: Why pec deck AND machine flyes?

    Shoulders/legs. Like I said, put squats first.

    Arms/traps: Looks fine. I'm not a big believer in giving so few muscles equal time, but...



    If you ask me, five days of lifting is a bit too much, considering how active you are. Your triceps are getting hit 5 days a week, as are various parts of your delts. It seems a bit like overkill... I would reduce the total number of days, and definitely give your arms a break (at the very least).

    Just a few suggestions, I gotta run, but I'll have more for ya later.
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    Originally posted by Belial
    Well, first off, welcome to the board.
    >>Thanks, eh?

    Few suggestions:

    Drop the 12-15 rep range set. Really worthless, considering your goals. 8-12, at the very most.
    >> I've heard this from others as well. Hard to kick the habit of wanting a good pump with more reps. Do ya think it's even worth keeping 2 additional sets at the end? Maybe cut down to 1 'polishing' set after the core heavy lifting set?

    On all your days, prioritize the lift you want to work on, that means the big, compound lift. Chest day, start with the bench press. Leg day, put squats first. No sense pre-exhausting if you're looking for maximum force production.
    >> Normally I would, but I'm working without a partner here. I tend to push the limits on every set and I'm reluctant to put the most 'dangerous' exercises (bench, squat) up front where I know I will do more weight and faster. (whatever I do early in a workout tends to go up faster...). Anyway, by pre-fatiguing, I am trying to get a decent workout on these exercises with minimal risk and lower weight . . . dunno how smart this is, I guess. I also DO vary the order of things, depending on mood and on equipment availability.


    Chest/back day: Why pec deck AND machine flyes?
    >>I like to start with pec Dec for some reason... I find it seems to hit the inner pecs really well. I always finish chest day with machine flyes both for the stretch (I extend arms as far back as I can on each reP) and for the pump (I always end on a dropset and on every rep of machine flyes I SQUEEZE the grips together at the top of the motion.

    Shoulders/legs. Like I said, put squats first.
    >> See earlier comments. Normally I'd agree, but I feel I'm playing it safe by doing it later.

    Arms/traps: Looks fine. I'm not a big believer in giving so few muscles equal time, but...
    >>well, I don't exactly give them equal time . . .I tend to superset the arms/traps and blow through the exercises at a pretty rapid clip without sacrificing form.

    If you ask me, five days of lifting is a bit too much, considering how active you are. Your triceps are getting hit 5 days a week, as are various parts of your delts. It seems a bit like overkill... I would reduce the total number of days, and definitely give your arms a break (at the very least).
    >> I've actually been thinking of dropping the Saturday lifting altogether and trying to notch some traps in on one of the other days. if I cut back the total sets per exercise to warmup +2 I can find the time.

    [/B][/QUOTE]
    Just a few suggestions, I gotta run, but I'll have more for ya later. [/B][/QUOTE]
    >> Thanks for the suggestions, bud.

  5. #5
    Little Asian fatsoPanda's Avatar
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    Looks good....got a plan, ready to go. umm, make sure you throw in some cardio, since your trying to lean up
    "Plan for difficulty when it is still easy, do the great when it is still small."
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    For your three work sets you might try putting the heaviest first (then decrease weight), pushing all sets to failure so that you get: 3-5, 5-7, 8-10. Seems to be working for me on this split (with a maximum of 5-8 sets ber bodypart):

    1: chest/back
    2: rest
    3: abdominals
    4: shoulders/triceps/biceps
    5: rest
    6: legs
    7: rest

  7. #7
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    Re: New to Forum - Workout Critique Request

    Originally posted by Callahan

    I workout in a gym mostly filled with yuppie pukes doing 3 sets of 10 with weights my wife could lift
    Hey.... that's from all the yuppie pukes (whereever they may be)
    Now if you'll excuse me I need to work on the lower left section of my right pectoral muscle
    Last edited by Bax; 03-19-2002 at 07:23 PM.
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    Re: Re: New to Forum - Workout Critique Request

    Originally posted by Bax

    Hey.... that's from all the yuppie pukes (whereever they may be)
    Now if you'll excuse me I need to work on the lower left section of my right pectoral muscle
    Yeah, yeah.

    I know it's a sin to criticize others for their workouts (without being asked), but I have to bite my tongue when I see the same people lifting the same weights for the same number of reps, week in, week out. I want to ask them, earnestly, why they are pissing away their time. But I don't. I know it'd be insulting.

    I mean, I know I had to start somewhere, too (with a workout from Arnold's Encyclopedia, if I recall correctly)... but I NEVER did the same weight all the time. PROGRESSIVE resistance, baby.

    For the record, I could be considered a yuppie too, I guess. I wear a suit to work and my wife's a professional as well. Hm. Actually I think that makes us DINKs. But I don't identify with the yuppie culture. I'm just a redneck with a new coat of paint and some edgimication.

    Thanks again for the input though.

    Cheers,
    Callahan

  9. #9
    Party of "No." Tryska's Avatar
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    are you Type O callahan?
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    Originally posted by Tryska
    are you Type O callahan?
    Nope. Type B.

    And let me tell you, trying to find mutton, venison and rabbit without actually killing the damned things yourself is hard work.

    Most places don't carry it and those that do stiff you for it. Well, lamb/mutton isn't THAT hard to get, but venison is. I paid $26 a pound for some venison and I didn't even like it that much (too tough).

    I think I'll take my next $26, invest it in some .30-06 ammo and get a deer the cheap way.

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    The fitness instructors at my gym, when you join, try and push the personal trainers on you and in your initial meeting tell you how lifting heavy weight isn't going to help your goals. I laughed. They were telling me to do this crazy routine. I'm sure it's the same one you see people doing. Very sad
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  12. #12
    Party of "No." Tryska's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Callahan


    Nope. Type B.

    And let me tell you, trying to find mutton, venison and rabbit without actually killing the damned things yourself is hard work.

    Most places don't carry it and those that do stiff you for it. Well, lamb/mutton isn't THAT hard to get, but venison is. I paid $26 a pound for some venison and I didn't even like it that much (too tough).

    I think I'll take my next $26, invest it in some .30-06 ammo and get a deer the cheap way.
    makes sense to me. you should start hunting. *lol*

    i'm type O. i actually got the book on advice of my massage therapist a few years back...and read it, found it entertaining and then disregarded it.....as lifes panned out and moved on, though..i'm starting to appreciate the what's being said in it. I think it might be time for a refresher.

    has this style of eating been good for you? if so, how?
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    Originally posted by Tryska


    has this style of eating been good for you? if so, how?

    I think the number one effect of following this or any other 'plan' is essentially helping to make you more aware of what you're eating. For those that don't already count calories, monitoring food types is a good introduction to monitoring your diet, IMHO.

    That said, I've found the following effects from following the blood type diet:

    1) increased energy. I was on this diet before I got back in the gym hardcore, and I believe that it was part of the reason I felt able to get back in the gym.

    2) decreased irritation from allergies (I used to get fierce attacks from dust/pollen. not so now)

    3) A 'feeling' of health. Hard to pin down, but generally I am more body-aware when it comes to the effect of foods. If I eat 'negative' foods (chicken/wheat/tomato, primarily) I feel logy and blah. OTOH, I can eat an entire rack of lamb and then be hyped and ready to kick @$$.

    4) More positive mood. I am normally kinda dysthymic (not clinical levels, but generally cranky enough that I'd be on prozac if I was the kind of person that believed in medicating for such things) but I have been very positive and upbeat since going on the diet.



    Overall, it makes mealtimes kinda hard, because my wife is type A and she eats mostly soy and veggies. She's supposed to eat fish too, but she hates fish (some people are just WEIRD). However, I'm quite happy on this style of diet and plan to continue into the forseeable future.

    Cheers,
    Callahan

  14. #14
    Party of "No." Tryska's Avatar
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    the allergy part is quite interesting, actually.

    i mean...not to burst your bubble in any way...but the other stuff could, if one were so inclined, be chalked up to placebo or better nutrtion or increased awareness or something...but that allergy thing could be considered somewhat quantifiable.

    i actually went back and read the book again last night....picked up on some stuff i either missed or disregarded the last time around. I'm still trying to sort it out though....either way..i'm rerally glad it's working for you.
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    Originally posted by Tryska
    the allergy part is quite interesting, actually.

    i mean...not to burst your bubble in any way...but the other stuff could, if one were so inclined, be chalked up to placebo or better nutrtion or increased awareness or something...but that allergy thing could be considered somewhat quantifiable.
    Yeah, yeah, I know. I was a Psych Major in college.

    As I said at the beginning of my last reply, I think the most important factor was diet-awareness and monitoring. As for the placebo-potential, I honestly don't give a crap. I'd smear honey on my belly and dance naked in the rain on a rooftop if I believed it would help me get bigger and leaner and it worked.

    For the record, the naturopath I'm seeing recommended the diet to me to try and my chiropractor wife and I both love it. Which is good enough for us.

    Callahan

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    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    Hey man, I missed this thread. Whereabouts do you train in Toronto? There are tons of canucks on the board but i don't know many that have said they are from T.O.

    Anyway, welcome to the board...it's a great resource. Were in the same weight group too, and coincidentally I'm seriously entertaining the idea of joining the reserves for some additional fitness challenges.

    Cool to see another torontonian...being a DINK rocks! I just need to find a nice wifey that makes some good cash and I can be a DINK too...
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  17. #17
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    Weight training for mass and weight training for cuts are the same thing. It's the diet and amount of cardio that's different. Even them, I wouldn't go too psycho w/the cardio as it's catabolic if done too much and/or too long. Remember that muscle is metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the higher your metabolic rate. Doing an hour or more of cardio every day will reduce the amount of muscle you have and make matters worse. You might get smaller, but basically you'll become a smaller person with a higher bodyfat percentage. I'd limit my carbs to 100 grams a day or less (in other words don't go totally Atkins, your BRAIN needs some sugar to work properly. Just make sure it's complex carbs), no sugars, white bread or highly processed foods, eat a lot of protein, a lot of fiber and drink a lot of water. As far as cardio goes, and I hate to say this, but Bill Phillips had it right when he recommends HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). If you have a problem with overeating, I'd recommend a 3 day fast (liquid diet)/cleansing cycle to help eliminate waste products in the body and shrink your stomach (the organ not your bodyfat).
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  18. #18
    Party of "No." Tryska's Avatar
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    callahan...that's ace......the more i think about it, the more it makes sense to me actually. it's funny how i intuitively arrived at a similar diet as the one prescribed for my type. i wish i'd paid closer attention 2 years ago. *lol*
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    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    Bump for the toronto mofo!
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  20. #20
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    Originally posted by ElPietro
    Hey man, I missed this thread. Whereabouts do you train in Toronto? There are tons of canucks on the board but i don't know many that have said they are from T.O.

    Anyway, welcome to the board...it's a great resource. Were in the same weight group too, and coincidentally I'm seriously entertaining the idea of joining the reserves for some additional fitness challenges.

    Cool to see another torontonian...being a DINK rocks! I just need to find a nice wifey that makes some good cash and I can be a DINK too...
    Good day, ElPietro!

    I train at the Good Life fitness club in downtown Toronto. It's kind of lame, and my truly buff friends scorn it as a 'yuppie hole'. But it'll do for now, until I get big enough that it can't serve my needs anymore. I also commute from Barrie, so I can work out at the GLF in Barrie on days I'm at home, which is nice. GLF also has branches in most other Canadian cities that I spend time in with work/relatives.

    The major drawbacks to the club are the crappy lockers and the shortage of olympic 45s in the freeweight area (when I drop 18 plates on the leg press, I get good doses of stink-eye from others who need 45s...), but they have a decent selection of equipment and they usually aren't too busy. Heaviest DBs are only 100s.

    I wouldn't bother joining the reserves if I were you, unless you want to get something other than physical fitness challenges. I've been there, done that. I was a reservist weapons technician for 3 years. The pay sucks, the job is mostly boring and the physical aspect isn't that challenging.

    Keep in mind that today's army has had the physical training element reduced to allow the lowest common denominator to pass. Unless you go in for something like a dirt-tech (infantry) or something, where there's lots of humping an 85-lb ruck around in the mud, it's pretty light physically.

    It's also a different kind of training that isn't necessarily good for maintaining body mass. You have lesser control over your diet, your schedule and your training opportunities when you're a soldier. Did I mention that 10km route-marches in full battle dress are also crap for your knees and ankles? My ankles pop like firecrackers when i walk now, and I attribute this solely to joint problems gained from too much of this silliness when I was a soldier.

    Sidebar: I seem to recall an article in a fitness magazine recently about the difficulties combat soldiers had in keeping fit. There was a pic with some marine in afghanistan doing curls with sandbag or something... but he complained that the long hours of guard duty and other aspects of being in-combat were detrimental to his weight training. Anyway, the real thing with being 'fit' in the army isn't about being able to bench 350lbs... it's about being able to remain combat-ready over extended operations, which is mostly endurance and toughness. "Extra" muscle bulk actually becomes a liability over the longer term as you have to haul more of you around while dodging bullets and stuff.

    Of course, it can also teach you things like discipline, honour and how to drink a LOT of BEER, so there are other things you can reap from it as well.

    Cheers,
    Callahan

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    I thought I'd enter my opinion since you replied to my thread. To me, your plan sounds pretty good. It actually sounds like you and I have similar goals to achieve. I think you're way ahead of me, though. In any case, the thing to remember is that you can't work toward both goals at the same time. Sure, if you're lifting heave and building bigger muscles, you are going to lose some fat along with it. Alright, a lot of fat. But for the 6-pack abs, you're going to have to sacrifice some strength, and possibly some muscle mass, because cardio is the key. I know, I hate it, too. There's nothing I hate more than running, but you have to strip the fat off your body before you're able to truly see the muscles underneath. I suggest you get as big as you want with a high carb diet, in which you take in 150% carbs in comparison to your protein intake. For example, if you eat 200 grams of protein per day, eat 300 grams of carbs. Make sure they're good carbs, though, derived from foods like sweet potatoes or brown rice. Once you reach your size goal, then you concentrate more on intense cardio to shred the excess fat. That should reveal the six pack, as well as add definition to the rest of your body. Just remember, a mass phase and a cutting phase do not work together.

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    wake up in the morning, and do ur cardio on empty stomach. keep carbs to minimum.

    day 1: a.m. cardio
    p.m. chest\biceps or chest\triceps
    day 2m legs
    day 3:shoulders\ traps\biceps or shoulders \traps\triceps
    day 4: am cardio
    day 5: pm back
    day 6 rest\ pickup basketball, etc.
    repeat

    keep each workout to under an hour and morning cardio can be done in 20 minutes if intense

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    Originally posted by Shamik
    In any case, the thing to remember is that you can't work toward both goals at the same time. Sure, if you're lifting heave and building bigger muscles, you are going to lose some fat along with it. Alright, a lot of fat. But for the 6-pack abs, you're going to have to sacrifice some strength, and possibly some muscle mass, because cardio is the key. ... Just remember, a mass phase and a cutting phase do not work together.
    Thanks for the response, Shamik. Yeah, I know you can't REALLY do both at the same time... I am primarily in a mass building phase right now and I'm losing fat mostly because I was carrying too much of it around. I also found back in the day, when I was lifting hardcore all the time, that I had my best strength and size gains in the spring (must be the mating instinct fueling hormones or something) so I'm capitalizing on that.

    I plan to spend may and early june cutting up on a reduced-carb, bit-more-cardio program and see what kind of beach shape I can get into.

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    If you're like me, it pretty hard to get those cuts. In fact, I still haven't achieved the look I want. I'm 5'11, and my weight right now fluxuates between about 190 and 200lbs. I'm not really fat now, (I was up to 215) but I'm not as cut as I'd like. I put on mass very easily, and fat even easier. I think you and I are in the same boat, because I'm wanting to add about 25lbs of muscle before I start a cutting phase. But I think I'm at a plateau now. I've been on this routine since mid Dec. and I think the gains are just about finished with it. I guess it's time to go heavier. Anyway, you sound like you have a good plan. Stick to it and let us know how it works for you.

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