Am I doing something wrong?

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Neb154
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Am I doing something wrong?

Post by Neb154 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:32 pm

Hi all,

For the past two months I've been training 6 days a week in the gym, and I have not been seeing the results I believe I have been training for.

This is my routine:

Monday: 30' Cardio + 30' Ab Circuit

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Push
Bench Press w/ Dumbells - 4s x 8r
Incline Bench Press w/ D - 4s x 8r
Shoulder Press w/ D - 4s x 8r
Chest Flys w/ D - 4s x 8r
Tricep Kickbacks w/ D - 4s x 8r
Lateral Raises w/ D - 4s x 8r
Assisted Dips - 4s x 8r
Back Extensions - 4s x 8r

Thursday: 30' Cardio + 30' Ab Circuit

Friday: Pull
Lat Pull Down - 4s x 8r
1 Armed Dumbell Rows - 4s x 8r
Rear Delt Flys w/ D - 4s x 8r
Shrugs w/ D - 4s x 8r
Curls w/ D - 4s x 8r
Assisted Pullups - 4s x 8r
Back Extensions - 4s x 8r

Saturday: 30' Cardio + 30' Ab Circuit

Sunday: Legs
Squats (free) - 4s x 8r
Standing Calf Raises (In Cage) - 4s x 8r
Seated Calf Raises - 4s x 8r
Hamstring Curls (Seated) - 4s x 8r
Back Extensions - 4s x 8r


For awhile I was trying to bulk up, and was not making much progress, even though I had been stuffing myself and making sure to get protein within an hour after each day of lifting. I've been increasing the weight as I go, but I've been plateauing in some exercises (notably the shoulder press). I recently got my body fat remeasured at the gym via calipers (came in at around 12%, as opposed to the 6-8% I had measured with calipers at home), and have been trying to cut down the weight.

Basically, I want to lower the fat, and build up my muscles, and I feel like I'm doing everything right, and not getting much out of it (bit of frustration..)

I would really appreciate anything this community can offer to help me out.

Thanks in advance.


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Post by caangelxox » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:09 am

What is your goal? If you tell us your goal, some of us may be able to help you out better. If your goal is to bulk up, keep in mind that it is easier to get muscle inbalances. If your goal is to be strong and not bulk up like a body builder, train movements. Training movements will balance out your body and keep you strong and feeling good. Training movements is full body routine and they are all multijoint (compound) exercises chosen. ex. deadlift, squat, RDL, pull up, push up, inverted rows, bent over rows, seated rows, lunges, overhead squat, overhead lunges, dips, etc.

upper body horizontal pull
upper body horizontal push
upper body vertical pull
upper body vertical push
Quad Dominant
Hip Dominant

You could also add extra stuff like shoulder work, wrist/forearm work, rotator cuff work, abdominal work, anything you like to meet your goal... Whatever you think you may have a weakness in and needs strength.

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Post by Ironman » Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:23 am

You should drop it to 5 days a week. You are overtraining a little.

Wednesday
drop flys
drop kickbacks
drop back extensions
go down to 3 sets on dips
go down to 2 sets on shoulder press
go up to 5 sets on bench
go up to 5 sets on inclines
leave lateral raise as is

Friday
go down to 3 sets on pullups
go down to 2 sets on pulldowns
do some of these underhand
go up to 5 sets on dumbbell rows
drop rear delt flys
add rear delt rows 2 sets
leave shrugs as is
go down to 2 sets curls
add hammer curls 2 sets
drop back extension

Sunday
go up to 6 sets on squats
go up to 6 sets on standing calf
drop seated calf
add Romanian or keystone deadlift 6 sets
drop hamstring curls
drop back extensions
optionally add a couple sets of a wide stance squat
optionally add a set of weighted decline situps (called incline by some people)

Drop all ab circuits, that is a very big waste of 30 minutes.
go down to 20 minutes on standard cardio
before cardio add interval training 30 seconds fast/hard, 90 seconds slow start with 5, work up to 10 gradually.
But only on Thursday and Saturday. Take Monday off.



Next you will need to pick a goal, loose fat or gain muscle. Do 1 at a time. Your diet will determine that. That is probably something else we should go over. If you decide to bulk, you should take Thursday and Saturday off as well.

You can post your diet and stats in the diet section for review.

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Re: Am I doing something wrong?

Post by stuward » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:09 am

Neb154 wrote:Hi all,

For the past two months I've been training 6 days a week in the gym, and I have not been seeing the results I believe I have been training for.

This is my routine:

...
For awhile I was trying to bulk up, and was not making much progress, even though I had been stuffing myself and making sure to get protein within an hour after each day of lifting. I've been increasing the weight as I go, but I've been plateauing in some exercises (notably the shoulder press). I recently got my body fat remeasured at the gym via calipers (came in at around 12%, as opposed to the 6-8% I had measured with calipers at home), and have been trying to cut down the weight.

Basically, I want to lower the fat, and build up my muscles, and I feel like I'm doing everything right, and not getting much out of it (bit of frustration..)

I would really appreciate anything this community can offer to help me out.

Thanks in advance.
At 12% bf you don't need to lose fat unless you are going into competition. It's just a number, and not a bad one so don't get upset over it. You need a certain amount of fat to gain muscle. You need to work on your diet. Most people that are having trouble gaining muscle do 2 things: They don't eat enough and they work out too much.


Stu

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Post by Ironman » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:08 pm

No doubt, that sums up the problem with virtually every new poster that goes to any fitness or bodybuilding board. Yea "eat more and don't overtrain" is told to pretty much everyone. When you sign up for any board like that, on the form it should say "Not making progress?" "well, eat more and stop overtraining, more details available inside." lol That goes double for the young guys. They are the most notorious for being like 150 lbs, posting a diet with 3 meals and 1800 calories, and a workout that looks like Jay Cutler's pre-contest routine.


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Post by ironmaiden708 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:30 pm

If anything I'd lower the amount of reps you are doing and up the weight to put a sort of a 'shock' on your body.

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Post by Neb154 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:31 pm

Thanks very much for the input so far.

I am curious about a few things:

1. Why cut down the cardio from 30' to 20'?

2. Why are ab circuits a "waste"? (I'm an ex-rower and I've been following the ab plan from the Yale Heavyweight Team).

3. Should all the sets stay at 8 reps?

4. Any ideas on whether or not it is preferable to use dumbells for exercises?

Also, I should have added that for the 1 armed dumbell rows I alternate the sets between having the weight perpendicular (which I believe is more like a rear-delt row) to my body and parallel.


Thanks again.


Edit:

For my goal.. that I guess is one of the problems I am having.

I want to be in good cardiovascular condition while increasing my muscle mass (I think this might actually be contradictory).

I also want to lower my bodyfat so that I appear to be more "defined." I'm trying to work on registering a calorie deficit of about 400-500 calories per day to aim towards losing a pound a week right now.

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Post by Ironman » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:06 pm

1 because you don't really need regular cardio, but you seem to like it so dropping it to minimum is good, plus you can add the intervals in.

2 They are too little resistance to do anything for you. All that ab stuff is total mythology. People just do it because they don't know any better. Abs get trained much harder in squat and deadlift exercises. Plus you can add in a real ab set, where you move some heavy weight. Abs are muscles like any other and should be part of your weight routine. You can do stomach vacuums for the transverse abdominus several times a week though. Just a few minutes at a time is all you need to flatten your stomach.

3 Yea all with 8 reps is fine. Or you can pyramid. Ironmaiden brought up a good point on reps. If you have been always doing 8 reps, it might be time to do low reps and higher weight for a while. You should mix it up. I do everything between 3 and 12.

4 dumbbells are good. You should use barbells sometimes though. I think switching off weeks between dumbbell and barbell is particularly good for chest. The rest doesn't matter so much particularly because of the way you do the rows. When you do them perpendicular, do some 180 degrees different. So you have underhand as well as overhand and neutral.

You can be in good cardiovascular shape while bulking. 1 20 minute session is all you need to maintain, just eat a little to make up for it.

Go ahead and do the fat loss first then. When you get ripped just drop the intervals and most of the cardio and increase intake over maintenance, to switch to muscle building.

I would bet some real money your diet needs work. You should probably post it with macro and calories totals and your stats.

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Post by Neb154 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:17 pm

Thanks again but I have a couple more questions..

Sorry if I don't understand, but why is 20' "better" as a lower number than 30'? It would seem to me (The untrained) that it couldn't hurt, and it would burn more calories.

I was wondering if you could point me to any literature on the abdominal stuff, because I'm interested in reading more about it.

Also, my diet may need work, but I only have a small degree of latitude as I am currently at University and I eat at the dining halls. I will make a thread though in the diet section.


Thanks again

Edit:

http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=16442#16442


There is my diet thread.

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Post by Ironman » Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:36 pm

20 is just a minimum. You might as well do the minimum if you do intervals before hand. It's not going to hurt for the most part.

The thing is you don't want to do a bunch of cardio and cut calories real low all at once. Your body will adapt and then you have no where to go. Just add a little at a time to continue weight loss. Intervals are 9 times as effective as standard cardio for fat loss, so your time is better spent on that. If you enjoy doing the cardio feel free to do 30 minutes though.

This is probably the best place to look.
http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Myths.html

Your abs are just a muscle like any other. It's load and time under tension that do it, just like anything else.

Then have a look at the exercise and muscle directory and you will notice abs are listed with a great many things.

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Post by Neb154 » Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:51 pm

I've decided to follow your suggestions except for having 30' of cardio.

Also, sorry but a couple more questions:

Are you still recommending the rear delt rows in addition to the one armed dumbbell rows with shifting grips?

Why only two sets of the Lat pull downs? (Just curious here)

Also, as someone who has not done a lot of deadlifting, any good suggestions for a starting weight? (I realize this might be an impossible question to answer)

Thanks again.

(Hopefully with the diet improvements as well I'll see changes in the next couple months..)

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Post by pdellorto » Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:01 pm

I'll field the deadlift one.

If possible, set up with the bar only - so, 45#/20kg if it's Olympic, 20#/10kg or so if it's standard. To do this you need to either use a rack or put the bar up on boxes. Set it to the height of a pair of 45#/20kg plates, because that's the height you'll be pulling at when you weight it.

Practice with that, and move up. Your goal is to get good form locked down, then move to 135#/60kg - the bar and two of the largest diameter plates. Take it slowly. You can lift a lot safely with the deadlift but not until your form is correct.

Here are some links on Deadlift form I found especially useful when I learned to straight-bar deadlift properly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadlift
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1582703
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1588392
http://www.crossfit.com/journal/library ... adlift.pdf
and any of the videos here:
http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html#Power

I ended up making my own short set of cues to use when I learned it...first a long set and then I cut it down to what I really needed to remember.

I love the deadlift because I can lift the most doing it and it feels good. But learn it correctly and respect the weight or it's easy to get hurt.

Hope that helps,

Peter

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Post by Ironman » Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:44 am

Because you re doing assisted pullups also. You just need 5 sets total for vertical pull.

You were going to do rear laterals, I'm just putting in a better rear delt exercise. You're isolating front delts, so might as well do some for rear.

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Post by Neb154 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:19 pm

The plan has been going pretty well, but I feel like it might be time to throw in some variety to my workout.

Currently I am doing 8 reps for every set of every workout (though not always at a constant weight).

Any suggestions on different rep strategies I might want to explore?

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Post by aman » Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:51 am

Exercising 6 days is too much; you are not giving your muscles enough time to grow. Workouts only for 3 days in a week, work more on squats and dead lifts along with bench press.
You also have to figure out your calorie and protein requirements. You need 6 meals per day, 25 gms of protein in every meal.
Also you need to change your workouts plan every two weeks sticking to same routine, would not induce much of gains.
In addition to this , honestly speaking do you dont need cardio at all..just looking at your goals i said that.


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