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Thread: New here. Need advice on routine & diet

  1. #1
    Wannabebig New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    New here. Need advice on routine & diet

    Hello everyone,
    I'm a 30 year old male and I started lifting weights only about 1.5 years ago. Why I started lifting, in a nutshell, is because I used to be morbidly skinny (147 lbs for 6'3") and I was very very insecure about it. I was even too embarrassed to wear goddamn short sleeves.

    Right now, I have a more human looking physique: I'm 176lbs for the same height.
    Yeah it's probably still skinny compared to some of you long time lifters, but it's better than being a walking skeleton right.
    So, you know who I am and why I'm here. I don't have easy access to a gym and with my demanding job, it's very hard to go to the closest one that is pretty far away. But I did invest in a dipping station, dumbells with various weighted plates, a pull up bar and basic home equipment.

    My routine:
    2 full body workouts per week. Usually Tuesday and Saturday. I always do 3 sets of each exercise. The added weight on my sets make it so that set 1 goes well, set 2 gets harder and I struggle at set 3.
    What I do:
    - Overhand pull-ups: 8-6-6
    - (Tuesday only) Weighted push-ups with feet elevated, 12-10-9
    - (Saturday only) Weighted dips, 12-10-9
    - Weighted split squats, 15-12-10
    - Dumbell bench presses: 13-10-9
    - Dumbell shoulder press: 12-10-9

    Since I feel like some smaller muscle groups are not getting a thorough hammering with these, I also do some isolation:
    - Hammer curls: 10-8-7
    - One legged weighted calf raises: 15-15-13
    - Wrist rollers: 3 reps, one rep being rolling all the way up (using the "back-side" of the forearms), back down, back up (using the "belly side") and back down.

    On the other days, I do 2 HIIT workouts per week, finishing those up with planking exercises. These strengthen the core which is important for my main sport (rock climbing) and the climbing also explains the wrist rollers that I do. Believe me, your forearms get lit on fire during rock climbing.

    My diet: I went to a nutritionist. Explained my goals.
    I now have a surplus of 400-500 cal per day, mainly coming from carbs and protein and to a lesser extent from fat. I ditched all the junk food: no more Big Macs, no more cola, no more pizza, etc. I literally never drink soft drinks, eat pizza or burgers or fries or junk any more. Well I do eat a pizza once a month or so but I suppose we might as well ignore that.
    My diet consists of:
    - 4 Slices of bread in the morning with coffee and a banana and a glass of soy milk (250ml). I'll get back to it later as to why I drink soy milk
    - 10 am snack: another banana and a glass of 250ml of skimmed milk
    - Lunch: baguette with cheese and ham. No salad or mayonnaise or stuff
    - Afternoon snack: a glass of 250ml of soy milk and some dry cookies (no chocolate on it or stuff like that, just dry cookies)
    - Early evening snack: a handful of peanuts (25gr)
    - Supper: 62gr of rice, veggies (carrots, sweet corn, spinach or tomatoes) and 300gr of fish (codfish, mackerel, salmon, tuna, etc)
    - Later night: one yoghurt with pieces of fruit in it, a kiwifruit and a glass of skimmed chocolate milk

    Just after a workout, while the sweat is literally still dripping, I drink one of these "meal substitutes". They don't actually substitute a meal for me, but they contain lots of protein, minerals and moderate amount of carbs.
    I have sensitive guts and I have a touch time digesting high quantities of lactose. And eggs basically turn me into a chemical weapon if you see what I mean so I stay away from that.

    My goal: I'm a rock climber. I do indoor climbing once a week. So I'm not trying to look like Arnold Schwarzie in his peak days as being TOO bulky will simply hinder the climbing. This is an important part: I'm not looking to become as huge as a professional bodybuilder.
    My goal is to look muscular above average, low bodyfat %age and fit.
    I know it sounds cliché and silly, but imagine Ryan Reynolds in Blade Trinity or something like that. Not a huge tank, but still pretty lean and buff.
    Now I know that these guys have coaches and supplements and money to basically get to that shape. And it requires a very low body fat %age, but it gives you an idea.

    What I am now: as said, 30 years old, tall and slightly less muscular than your average fit guy. 15% body fat and a 21.7 BMI. I have some subcutaneous belly fat, but for the rest, my fat storage is pretty low.
    I was severely skinny (if it wasn't for my length, I'd have been downright puny) as a kid.

    My questions:
    1) I'm still not sure what's better for chest development: feet-raised weighted push-ups or dips, assuming I add enough weight to stay in the 8-12 rep range? For the moment I alternate.

    2) I have mild form of Pectus Caritanum. This is the chest deformity where the chestbone sticks out a little. Not to be confused with Pectus Excavatum where the chestbone is sunken in.
    But in order to hide the caritanum, would it help to build more chest muscles? Can I basically have a nice looking chest despite this deformity?

    3) As I said, my goal is not to look like the Hulk. I'm trying to build some mass and minimise fat gain (or even burn some). Is it good to do some HIIT on my non-workout days? Would this help in getting rid of the subcutaneous belly fat? I know that kinda fat is stubborn as hell... I heard that if you're looking to bulk, you should eat everything, including junk, to grow. That somehow sounds... strange.
    Would my diet basically be enough to make some clean muscle gains and minimize fat gain?

    4) Would going climbing the day after a workout or workout the day after climbing overload my body and cause overtraining?

    5) About the milk... I heard that soy milk can even have negative effects on muscle gains because of estrogen and whatnot. I'd go for more cow milk, but I'm slightly lactose intolerant. if I drink too much of this, I get cramps. Is soy milk bad or is that estrogen story bullshit?

    5) Any other comments about my routine or diet?

    Sorry for the long read and sorry if some of my questions are stupid. Also don't shoot me if you see mistakes in my routine.


  2. #2
    Moderator Matthew Bryduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    I'm gonna kick this off with you diet. Pretty much from what I've seen you eat like a baby bird. Take you current diet and quadruple the amount of food you're eating. For your training may I suggest you look into Crossfit, I would see this being very beneficial to your sport of rock climbing. I would suggest changing the soy milk to almond milk or coconut milk. Let me know what you think about my ideas.


  3. #3
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Charlottesville, VA
    Your training does not suit your goals. You need absolute strength and strength endurance. Your training really doesn't address either.

    CrossFit would be a great choice for your. It would give you the build you seek and the strength endurance that can help your climbing.

    In terms of your diet, the idea you are 500 cals in surplus is ridiculous. You don't know what your daily burn really is, and it changes constantly.

    Find a CrossFit box near you and join.

  4. #4
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Snowbat, your caloric intake is probably too low for the level of activity you are doing. As other members have said, start by getting your caloric intake higher and focus more on strength focused programs.

    Cut the isolation and go with the big lifts: squat, deadlift and bench press.

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