Program Advice Needed

Hello all. I’m new to T-Nation and fairly new to lifting. I’ve been reading posts here for a couple of months and have come to realize that it’s time to dump the crappy lifting program the trainer at the gym gave me. Unfortunately, I have a few issues with most of the beginner plans and am looking for advice.

Before going in to that, though, let me back up a minute and tell you about me: I’m 42 and in lousy shape. I have been making progress, though. I started out the year at 272 pounds and 44% body fat. I’m currently at 239 and 29% BF. I eat clean (for the most part), and am supplementing right now with HOT-ROX and whey protein.

My primary goal at this point is obviously fat loss, but I also want to get strong. Mass gains are secondary for me right now till the fat is gone. At 42, obviously, I don’t have designs on becoming a competitive bodybuilder or powerlifter, I simply want to get strong, be healthy, and look good nekid.

OK, with that in mind, I’ve been looking into the various plans here, but it seems too many of the beginner plans call for a 3 day a week full body workout. I’ve tried this type of plan, but was not recovering quick enough with only 48 hours turnaround. I assume this is partly a function of my age. I thought perhaps a split routine with more like 72 hours in between primary muscle groups would be better suited to my current ability and age.

So, what do you think? Can you point me toward a workout that would be appropriate for a relative beginner like me that also needs a bit more time to recover? I don’t mind going to the gym every day or even twice a day if that’s what it will take, I just don’t want to be wasting my time.

Thanks in advance,

What does your current program look like?

Chad Waterbury’s 10x3 for Fat Loss has you do just 2 total body workouts per week.

I don’t know if your schedule restricts you from lifting on certain days or at certain times, but you could also do whichever 3x a week total body program you fancy, and just stretch it out a little bit. For example, you could just always give yourself 2 days in between: lift mon/thurs the first week, sun/wed/sat the second week, tue/fri the third week, and repeat.

Or, you could switch back and forth between morning and evening workouts - you could go monday morning, then wednesday night (giving you 60 hours rest in b/w), then saturday morning, that kind of thing.

[quote]chewie wrote:
What does your current program look like? [/quote]

Well, the trainer gave me a tri-set routine using all machines. It looked something like this with antagonist movements, then an ab exercise as the third movement: (All lifts 3 x 12)

A1 Lat Pulldown
A2 Shoulder Press
A3 Ab Isolator

B1 Chest Cable Pull
B2 Chest Press
B3 Hyperextension

C1 Leg Press
C2 Leg Curl
C3 Crunch Machine

I got tied of that pretty quickly and was having the recovery problems I mentioned, so I modified it to a split that looked like this doing 4 x 8 or 5 x 5:

Monday and Thursday - Upper body:
A1 Incline DB Curls
A2 Lying DB Tri Ext
A3 Dec Crunch

B1 Lat Pull-down
B2 DB Military Press
B3 Reverse Crunch

C1 Cable Rows
C2 Flat Bench Press
C3 Leg Raises

Tuesday and Friday - Lower body:
A1 Leg Curls
A2 Leg Extensions

B1 Hack Squat
B2 DB Lunges

C1 Leg Press
C2 Calf Press

D1 DB Good Morning
D2 DB Side Bend

That’s about it right now. I know it could be better, but I’m doing better as far as recovery on this latter plan. That’s why I’d prefer some kind of split.


It looks like you’re doing your isolation work before your compound movements, i.e. curls and tricep extensions before bench press, leg extentions before squats. I don’t know if pre-exhausting like this will inhibit recovery, but your performance on the big lifts will suffer because of it.

Check out the Waterbury method:

Three total body sessions, going 10x3 for one lift each session, 4x6 for the rest. You could easily pare that down, by, say, dropping to 8x3 and doing 4x6 for the first pair and only 2x6 on the second pair.

I goofed on the last post - I forgot that you were looking for a split and not a total body. Try Chad Waterbury’s big boy basics (2 days of 3x8, 2 days of 8x3, upper/lower split):

Thanks for the reply Dan. I stumbled across Christian Thibaudeau OVT and thought it looked good as well. What do you think, BBB or OVT?