Back in the Saddle

I was in the army for 8 years and was convinced to go into bodybuilding by some friends, since I had the wide shoulders and small waist look already. I really enjoyed it and made great strides, but once I got married and left the army, that all ended, heh. I went from 6'1" a ripped 225 lbs. to about 275 flabby ones over the last 12 years.

A few months ago, I decided I was tired of getting old and fat (instead of just old), so the wife and I joined a new gym in our small town here in Maryland. I have altered my diet, use an online site to keep track of nutrition and my exercise logs as well. I looked around on a bit, read up and started back into the weight game with a basic powerlifting scheme of 3 days a week, 3-4 compound lifts per day with a 5x5 scheme. Just to try to gain back some lost strength, and start making some lean mass gains.

Did that for a few weeks and found you, read a lot of the articles on the blog, and on other sites, and dove in, buying all 3 books on Amazon. Since getting them, reading and rereading a couple times to absorb more, I decided to work on your Neo-Classical routine. I finished 5 ho-hum weeks of the basic powerlfiting beginner type routine to get back into some basic shape and started on yours from the 2nd book.

I am a couple weeks in and am thoroughly enjoying lifting again. The totally different types of workouts are breathing fresh air into me, and I can't wait to go back to the gym a couple hours after getting home from that day's workout (oh, and you are right about not being able to walk for a week after one of the calf workouts, along with the quads triset with the breathing squats).

Back in the old days, I was doing a basic push/pull/legs split, 3 on 1 off. Rinse and repeat. It did get tedious at times, and I did change stuff up, take an extra day off here and there, etc. Also, at that time I was most assuredly overtrained constantly anyhow, since I did PT at 5 A.M. with my unit every morning, then went to work and then hit the gym in the early evening. I ate like a horse and was ripped to shreds still.

Anyhow, I guess I am getting off-topic some. I am writing not to ask you for anything (you have provided plenty for us wanna-be's already with the articles here and the books), but rather to say I appreciate your effort. And although the 4th book about busy folks probably doesn't fit me exactly (I have stuck to a new routine of getting up at 4:30 in the morning to eat something, so I can hit the gym at about 5:15 and get back in time to shower and hit work), I will be buying it soon anyways. Just to see if there are any new ideas and such I can learn in case I ever do get tired of the 'early to bed, early to rise' thing.

To wrap up, just saying thanks for the work and research put into your books and looking forward to more new articles in the future.

- Brent Taylor

My Answer: Thanks bro! I'm getting all teary-eyed now (sniff!).

Seriously though I appreciate the kind words, and I'm glad that my books and articles have helped you out and given you renewed zest in the gym. Maintaining that enthusiasm to workout consistently is hard to do unless you keep learning and trying different things.

Believe me, I tested out a lot of different workout programs, exercises and diets. There is a wide variety of information out there, and most people (including trainers) only test a tiny cross-section of that knowledge. It took me a good 10 years of researching and testing in the gym before I said, "There's nothing else for me to learn."

So keep at it my friend. There is always something useful that you can implement in the gym that you haven't done before. As long as you are willing to push the limits, then you'll always have some motivation in the gym.

Hello! I am writing again because I have thought about how to train using this routine for 3 days. I decided, maybe I can combine Day 4 and Day 5 together? So the workout for Friday would look like this:

* Bench Press: 6 sets of 5, 4, 3, 5, 4, 3 reps (3 minutes rest)
* Deadlifts: 6 sets of 5, 4, 3, 5, 4, 3 reps (3 minutes rest)
* Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 5 sets of 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)
* Incline Dumbbell Curls/Skullcrushers: 5 sets of 6-8 reps (90 seconds rest)

Benches and deadlifts would be for maximal strength, and then shoulders, biceps and triceps to work my arms. Could this be the option for the workout?

However, if my body won't deal with it well, then I could try another option for this routine (one of these two that you recommended for me on your last blog topic).

Thanks for help!


My Answer: The workout is way too long now. I've written the program as is for a reason. The maximal strength program alone would take 40-45 minutes to complete. Adding the physique exercises would add another half hour to your workout. You will overtrain if you continuously workout beyond 45-60 minutes. Go with the other options I provided you.
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