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  1. #1
    Registered User aniqueakhtar's Avatar
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    Fixing my workout (7 months progress)

    Newbie here.

    Progress so far:
    (THEN) => (NOW)
    Height: 5,11
    Weight: 174 lbs => 164 lbs
    % Body Fat: 27% => 17%
    Fat Mass: 45 lbs => 28 lbs
    Fat-Free Mass: 127 lbs => 134 lbs
    (I have access to the bodypod to get accurate measurements)

    Bench press: 95 lbs => 155 lbs
    Deadlifts: 95 lbs => 245 lbs
    Squats: 95 lbs => 205 lbs

    Diet:
    I am on 2000 calories a day because I had such high body fat.
    Protein: 160 g
    Fat: under 50 g
    Carbs: Don't keep track of.
    I usually have a cheat day every 2nd week when I go out with friends.

    Workout Routine I have been on the past 2 months:
    Monday:
    Bench press (6 sets of 8 reps)
    Inclined bench press (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Declined bench press (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Barbell overhead press (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Dumbbell overhead press (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Barbell Row (4 sets of 8 reps)

    Tuesday:
    Squat (ass-to-ground) (6 sets of 8 reps)
    Leg press (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Calves exercise (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Triceps exercise 1 (EZ-bar skullcrusher) (4 sets of 8 reps)
    Triceps exercise 2 (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Abs Workout (15 minutes HIIT)

    Wednesday:
    REST DAY

    Thursday:
    Barbell Row (6 sets of 8 reps)
    Pull-ups (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Dumbbell rows (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Barbell overhead press (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Dumbbell overhead press (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Benchpress (4 sets of 8 reps)

    Friday:
    Deadlift (ass-to-ground) (6 sets of 8 reps)
    Stiffed-legged or Romanian deadlift (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Calves exercise (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Biceps exercise 1 (preacher curl) (5 sets of 8 reps)
    Biceps exercise 2 (3 sets of 8 reps)
    Abs Workout (15 minutes HIIT)

    Weekends:
    Rest days. (But I usually go kayaking, canoeing, hiking, or do some sort of cardio on the weekend.)


    ==Questions==
    Current goal: The goal was to cut until the body fat is below 13% and then try to maintain that BF % and gain muscle.
    1) Should I continue to cut given I am already underweight?
    2) How can I improve my workout routine to give better results? I am already exhausted by the end of my workout routine.
    3) Sometimes I have to go even below 2000 calories to see a drop in my weight. Is that acceptable?
    4) There's a difference in my physique but nothing like how the other people show they got shredded in 6 months. My physique has seen minimal changes. I mean, I feel like a new person and my breathing has been amazing and strength gains have been nice too. However, as far as looking myself in the mirror, I am starting to see muscles under all that fat and the belly's gone in a lot. But not that big of a difference. My goal is to look good shirtless in a years time. Do you think that's achievable with my current work-rate and ethics or would I have to up my game more (cause that would be hard)?
    5) Not seeing much strength gains lately. This would be because of my high reps or my calorie deficit diet.
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  2. #2
    Registered User bschermerhorn92's Avatar
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    OP, I’m going to try my best to adequately address all your points at the end:

    1) I would go with trying to keep your calories a little higher with a slight surplus but really work in some cardio. I know you say you do things on the weekend (and that’s great!) but look up some HIIT cardio programs online (or just PM me and I’ll tell you about mine).

    2) This is going to be a highly opinionated answer, but here’s my two cents: anything arms related (as in biceps and triceps work) I incorporate into the back and chest/shoulder days. On your day when you hit back exercises like rows you do end up engaging your biceps. On days when you press, as in bench and overhead, you hit the triceps. Move these two muscle groups into their respected workouts. Maybe consider reconstructing the plan to something like this: Mon-back/biceps, tues-chest/triceps, thur-legs, Fri-shoulders

    That’s a typical “bro split” but you can do a thing called split stacking (which is what I love to do) you basically do 3 of the main exercises from another workout and incorporate them into a different day. Here’s an example: Monday is back and biceps but I front load squats and leg press. I don’t go as heavy as I do on Thursday but this allows me to get extra volume in on each muscle group without getting in an extra workout in. The end result is 1.5 workouts per group per week. If you want more clarification on this, PM me. Again, this is just my opinion, many people completely disagree with my training methods but it works fantastic for me and other people I have designed plans for.

    3) I would recommend to try to look past the number you see on the scale. Your weight is just a number and it’s relative to the person who has it. I’m in the middle of a cut but just a few weeks ago I was around 210, but put me next to someone else who is 210 and it won’t look the same. That number is irrelevant! It’s all about how your body holds it, obviously you want to lower your BF% but don’t get too hung up on your weight and besides, it fluctuates so much each day with fluids/activity/whatever.

    4) People change at different rates but I’m going to assume you’re natural. As someone else who is natural, it absolutely sucks seeing some people who are enhanced progressing so much faster, but don’t get discouraged! You will reach where you want to go, just keep your head up and keep pushing forward. Try and enjoy your time training and making yourself healthier.

    Also, I don’t know you so I can’t attest to your actual level of dedication to your goal. How serious is your diet? Do you sleep enough at night? Do you ever miss workouts? These are things that you need to sit down and really think about. Personally I always struggle with diet, I know I could use a lot of improvement with a lot of things. Sit down and see what more you can do!

    5) I’m going to agree with you on what you said. For me, the higher volume programs didn’t equate as much strength gain when compared to a more traditional powerlifting program. One idea for you: keep all your compounds at a 5x5 or insert other powerlifting esq routine you like and keep your support exercises at the high volume and intensity. I personally do this and I love it and it works great for me, but know that everyone is different and what works for one does not mean it will work for another!

    Hope that helps, wish you the best.
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  3. #3
    Registered User aniqueakhtar's Avatar
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    aniqueakhtar is offline
    Originally Posted by bschermerhorn92 View Post
    OP, I’m going to try my best to adequately address all your points at the end:

    1) I would go with trying to keep your calories a little higher with a slight surplus but really work in some cardio. I know you say you do things on the weekend (and that’s great!) but look up some HIIT cardio programs online (or just PM me and I’ll tell you about mine).
    Thank you. I do get a cardio workout at least once a week. I also do a HIIT workout for my core/abs twice a week. I think it is a good suggestion to up my calorie intake and do more cardio.

    Originally Posted by bschermerhorn92 View Post
    2) This is going to be a highly opinionated answer, but here’s my two cents: anything arms related (as in biceps and triceps work) I incorporate into the back and chest/shoulder days. On your day when you hit back exercises like rows you do end up engaging your biceps. On days when you press, as in bench and overhead, you hit the triceps. Move these two muscle groups into their respected workouts. Maybe consider reconstructing the plan to something like this: Mon-back/biceps, tues-chest/triceps, thur-legs, Fri-shoulders

    That’s a typical “bro split” but you can do a thing called split stacking (which is what I love to do) you basically do 3 of the main exercises from another workout and incorporate them into a different day. Here’s an example: Monday is back and biceps but I front load squats and leg press. I don’t go as heavy as I do on Thursday but this allows me to get extra volume in on each muscle group without getting in an extra workout in. The end result is 1.5 workouts per group per week. If you want more clarification on this, PM me. Again, this is just my opinion, many people completely disagree with my training methods but it works fantastic for me and other people I have designed plans for.
    This is a good option. I'll look into this. The reason I have my workout the way is that I am skinny and I look a bit tall for my height. From other people looking at me and how I see myself in the mirror, the part of my body that I need to work most on are these (in order of importance): (1) Legs, (2) Core, (3) Chest, (4) Shoulder.
    This is why I have the workout the way it is. I work my legs twice. I also work my core, shoulders, chest, and back, at least twice a week. The arms aren't that important they are getting swollen up as it is. I do need to change my workout, I guess soon. I'll write your plan down and look into this. Thank you once again.

    Originally Posted by bschermerhorn92 View Post
    4) People change at different rates but I’m going to assume you’re natural. As someone else who is natural, it absolutely sucks seeing some people who are enhanced progressing so much faster, but don’t get discouraged! You will reach where you want to go, just keep your head up and keep pushing forward. Try and enjoy your time training and making yourself healthier.

    Also, I don’t know you so I can’t attest to your actual level of dedication to your goal. How serious is your diet? Do you sleep enough at night? Do you ever miss workouts? These are things that you need to sit down and really think about. Personally I always struggle with diet, I know I could use a lot of improvement with a lot of things. Sit down and see what more you can do!
    True. I am also reaching the age of 30 soon. So I guess it should be a slow process for me but I am still glad the newbie gains are coming. I sleep for at least 8 hours every day. I don't usually miss out on workouts, if I do, I make up for it by getting an extra workout the next few days. The diet is on point, however, my protein intake is reliant on isolate whey protein supplement. So from where I see it, sleep is good, diet can be improved by getting off supplements, the workouts are about 4 to 5 times a week, 1.5 hours each. I don't think my schedule would allow more of that.

    Originally Posted by bschermerhorn92 View Post
    5) I’m going to agree with you on what you said. For me, the higher volume programs didn’t equate as much strength gain when compared to a more traditional powerlifting program. One idea for you: keep all your compounds at a 5x5 or insert other powerlifting esq routine you like and keep your support exercises at the high volume and intensity. I personally do this and I love it and it works great for me, but know that everyone is different and what works for one does not mean it will work for another!

    Hope that helps, wish you the best.
    That is an excellent suggestion. I am not sure why I never thought of that (I guess my newbness shows here). I have always been targetting for hypertrophy, therefore, really stalling on my strength gains. I guess getting the calories a bit higher and incorporating few 5x5 and not all of them should help.

    Thanks, you have really been helpful and gave me a lot to think about. I'll work on this.
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  4. #4
    Registered User aniqueakhtar's Avatar
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    ANy more suggestion on how I can improve?
    Thanks
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  5. #5
    Never accept defeat! backinthegymbro's Avatar
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    backinthegymbro is offline
    I don't see any lateral raises for shoulders. Nor any rear delt raises. Yet you have a barbell overhead press and a dumbbell overhead press on the same day? (monday) That's pretty pointless. You either do one or the other. And if you want to do dumbbells this week and barbell next week, that's fine but there's no point in doing it on the same day since it's the same exercise.

    Instead of doing 8 sets of flat bench press, i suggest doing 4 sets and then doing 4 sets of dumbbell flyes instead.

    Honestly i'm not a big fan of your routine since not every muscle group gets hit twice a week.
    But if you want to stick to your current routine, then those are some adjustments i would recommend.
    Also i'm surprised you even have strength left to do overhead press on monday after 12 sets of bench press.

    This is my current routine, maybe you can see something in it that you like.



    Monday chest & back. Tuesday shoulders and arms. Wednesday legs. Thurday chest & back. Friday shoulders and arms. Saturday legs. Sunday rest.
    Cobra Kai never dies!
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