I've recently joined the forum and, aside from my introductory post, have been lurking around, doing as much reading as I can---trying to get my questions answered by previous posts like a good member. It's been worth my time, and I've gotten a lot of good information. Thanks to all who regularly post, and share their knowledge.
I'm writing because I'd love to get some feedback on my workout plan, such as: Is this sane? and Is there anything I missed, or got messed up?
As my intro post stated, I'm new to bodybuilding. I started out at 135, and I'm up a touch past 160. Though I started working out regularly about two years ago, I've only been working out seriously with weights for about six months. After long bouts of trying to figure out precisely what I should be doing (full body, upper-lower splits, one body part per week, &c.)---from reading books, talking to trainers, and reading online---I've basically come to the current conclusion that there are many ways to achieve progressive overload, and the best thing for me to do is go a little mad scientist on myself, and experiment to find out what works best for *me*. Hence the proposed program.
I've decided to take the next 18 weeks (a bit of an arbitrary number, but it's based on what I've read about reasonable durations for full body workouts), and try out three different training protocols: Full body, split, and body part---to see which one gives me the most gains. I haven't plateaued on my progressive increases for most of my exercises yet, so I'm guessing I'm not at an intermediate level (this is my guess from what I've read as to when someone moves from being a beginner to an intermediate). I'm starting with full body workouts, Rippetoe style. Given this, I'm scheduling three workouts per week. Here's how it breaks down:
Lighter workout on Monday
Heavier on Wednesday
Balls to the wall on Friday
Rest. Recover. Recuperate. Repeat.
After 6 weeks of measuring my progress on that (weekly), I'll switch to four upper-lower splits per week. Mon-Tue and Thur-Fri, with rest in between.
Finally, I plan to do 6 weeks of body part training using a plan from a trainer at my gym (I have a bet with the trainer, who swears that this is the *only* way to get massive gains, that the full body method will give me better gains than his body part plan).
At the end of this, I hope to have a coherent plan for what is the best method for me to focus on training for a while, so I can relax my brain, work my body, and start gaining.
Given that I'm at 160, and moderately exercising (whatever that means), my maintenance calories are 2150 (according to the calculator I found online). Given that my maintenance cals are 2150 kc/d, I'm consuming 2700 kc/d (an increase of 550 kc/d). I'm doing 350 g CHO/d (mostly whole grain), and a little bit lower than the standard 1g/lb protein. Given what I've read about calcium depletion and long-term kidney concerns, I'm doing about 130 g/d of protein - 1.8 g/kg/d; and I'm doing all the magic protein and glucose window stuff, as well as resting like a lazy fool, and sleeping like a college student in between bouts of intense exercise. I'm on two supplements only: Whey, and creatine (monohydrate)---I cycle the creatine. I take my whey with goat's milk (can't do cow's for some reason, but whey doesn't bother me) at night. I tried cottage cheese, and couldn't stomach it, and I couldn't find a casein sup without sucralose.
That's the plan. Any feedback you can give me would be awesome.
Even if one of those routines seems to work better this time around, it doesn't mean you should disregard the others. It is good to have different tools in your tool box. Body part splits can be great if you are beat up and looking to get in some more volume work, where as Starting Strength is an excellent way to build a firm base and a great program to come back to again when you need to keep things simple.
Regarding your caloric intake, remember as workout demands change and bodycomp changes (hopefully with some lean mass gains) that number may need to be adjusted.
That said, enjoy your experiment. I would actually recommend milking the initial phase for all it's worth and only moving on to upper/lower once you seriously plateau on the big lifts.
Doesn't 2100 in maintenance calories for 160 pounds seem low to anyone? I thought it was more like 3000 for that weight...
I ran two calculations online, and got a range of between 2150 and 2486, depending on what calculator I used. Based on that, I'm revising my kc/d to roughly 3000.
Also, I'll take what you said about having a toolbox into consideration. Thanks for the feedback, everyone.
Don't put too much stock in calculators to determine caloric intake. A much more reliable method is to track your current intake, activity and scale weight over a period of time. Naturally, try to keep intake and activity constant, if scale weight is maintained, then you know your maintenance needs. If it goes up or down, you can adjust accordingly.
Here is my opinion:
Day 1: move the deads up the order, need a lot more strength. Maybe won't need SLDL every workout, especially if doing regular deads
Day 2: if you are doing 25 wide pull-ups you need to add weight. Get a dip belt, they help a lot! You will find pull ups are the best at building exercise (as well as shoulder and arms) so make the most of it!
Day 3: train shoulders first, they are a bigger muscle group. Don't forget rear delts (bent over laterals) Again with dips and chins, these are the BEST compound exercises. Exercises that move the body in that fashion engage a lot more me.
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