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  1. #1
    Lifelong Nattie N@tural1's Avatar
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    My advice for all beginners and first time readers by Natural2.

    I see on these forums more and more programs with the question "What do you think?"

    Its great that so many, especially youngsters want to get in shape and develop their physiques! And many are fully prepared to put in the time, sometimes too much time, to get there. I would like to outline 3 basic points that I personaly belive is important for beginners to consider when putting together a workout routine. Most of these things have been mentioned many times on the board but I hope it'l help some beginners who are here for the first time browsing the forums.

    1/ Don't copy the workout routines of advanced guys that are already big, and strong

    The training style of someone who is already strong, and has experiance under his belt maybe very different to a newbie. Don't look at these guys training styles and think that you need to train their way straight off. These guys have built up their work capacity, and also through experiance, know how to fine tune a workout to address their own personal strengths and weaknesses.

    2/ No one training style is the best

    There are many styles of training and while a training system maybe optimal for someone at a given time, no one training style is the best, for everyone, at all times. We must experiment and find what works for us as an individual, because thats what you are, unique, so while somebody else may gain on style A, style B may be more suited to you. The best way to find out? Try!

    3/ Keep your routine simple, basic and focus on getting stronger

    The best thing a newbie can do is train to get stronger on the core lifts, compound (multi-joint) movements

    Squats
    Deadlifts
    Bench
    Rows
    Dips
    Chins
    Overhead pressing

    These are the things to focus on, and get good at. Think how much bigger you'd be if you concentrated on the above lifts for a year or two and added significant amounts of weight to each! All without tricep kickbacks and side lateral raises! I'm not saying don't perform any isolation (single-joint) exercises but the above movements and their variations are the money makers!

    A routine that is highly respected and held in high regard around here is to be found here:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=998224

    It has given many beginners great results. Notice its very simple and basic, thumbs up!


    Another very respected site with great info is found here:

    http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow...nts_thread.htm

    Much to be learnt there with two great routines.


    Another very good routine based around the basics is to be found here:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=4195843

    all pro is a very experianced long time poster here with a great reputation.



    I'd like to share a few routines that in my experiance, I have found usefull.


    A simple 3 day routine. Each bodypart once per week. Each exercise 2-4 sets, reps 5-8


    Back/Bis
    Deadlifts
    A Row
    Chins or Pulldows
    Bicep Curl

    Chest/Tris
    Bench
    Inc Bench
    Chest Dips
    Triceps Isolation

    Legs/Shoulders
    Squat
    GHR (Glute Ham Raise)
    Military Press
    Calf Work


    A rotation that hits each bodypart once every 4-5 days (3 times every 2 weeks)


    WEEK 1

    Monday
    Squat 2-3 x 5, 1 x 10
    Ham Work 3 x 8
    BB Row 4 x 6
    Bicep Iso 3 x 8

    Wednesday
    Bench Press 3 x 5
    Dips 3 x 6-8
    OH Press 3 x 6-8
    Tricep Iso 2 x 8

    Friday
    Deadlift 2 x 5, 1 x 3
    Leg Press 2-3 x 10
    Wide Grip Pullups 4 x 8
    Bicep Iso 3 x 8


    WEEK 2

    Monday
    Bench Press 3 x 5
    Dips 3 x 6-8
    OH Press 3 x 6-8
    Tricep Iso 3 x 8

    Wednesday
    Squat 2-3 x 5, 1 x 10
    Ham Work 3 x 8
    Pullups/ DB Row 3 x 8
    Bicep Iso 3 x 8

    Friday
    Bench Press 3 x 5
    Incline Press 2-3 x 10
    OH Press 3 x 6-8
    Tricep Iso 3 x 8

    Repeat


    A favorite of mine that hits each bodypart twice per week but without using tons of volume


    Day 1
    Legs/ Back/ Bi's


    4x Squats: 5 reps
    3x Ham Curl: 8 reps
    3x A Row: 8 reps
    2x Bicep Curls: 10 reps

    Day 2
    Chest/ Delts/ Tri's


    4x Bench Press: 5 reps
    3x Military Press: 8 reps
    3x Tricep Isolation: 8 reps
    2x Calf Work: 15 reps

    Day 3
    Legs/ Back/ Bi's


    4x Deadlifts: 5 reps
    3x Pullups: 8 reps
    3x Leg Press: 8 reps
    2x Biceps Curls: 10 reps

    Day 4
    Chest/ Delts/ Tri's


    4x Incline DB Press: 5 reps
    3x Chest Dips: 8 reps
    3x Side Lateral Raise: 8 reps
    2x Calf Work: 15 reps

    Day 1: On
    Day 2: On
    Day 3: Off
    Day 4: On
    Day 5: Off
    Day 6: On
    Day 7: Off


    A couple of examples of 2 day per week training (yes it does work for some either pressed for time or with poor recovery)


    Each bodypart 1x a week

    Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
    Bench or Dips
    Incline Bench (optional)
    OH Press
    Side Laterals
    Tricep Isolation

    Legs, Back, Biceps
    Squat or Deadlifts
    Leg Press (optional)
    A row
    Pullups
    Bicep Curl


    Hitting each major bodypart 2x per week

    Workout 1
    Squats
    A Row
    Bench
    Incline Bench
    Bicep Curl

    Workout 2
    Deadlifts
    Pullups
    Dips
    OH Press
    Tricep Isolation


    ^^^ They are just a few routines Iv used before either myself or with others.

    A routine to get you big and strong doesn't need to be filled with loads of "stuff" just heavy work on the important lifts at a frequency that you personally can recover from.

    If you decide to put together your own program remember to keep it

    Simple
    Basic
    Focus on big lifts
    Get strong

    Add to this a decent diet, and you'll get the gains you want!
    Last edited by britlifter; 05-14-2008 at 01:38 PM.
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  2. #2
    Yea I'm Different PLANETGETLOW's Avatar
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    Nice......should be pinned
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  3. #3
    Time to Grow Justin-27's Avatar
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    VERY good advice, this should be stickied for newbies. I'm going to start linking all of them to this thread. Kudos bud.
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  4. #4
    Registered User skarotum's Avatar
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    Sticky sticky sticky!!! Repped.
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  5. #5
    Yea I'm Different PLANETGETLOW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Justin-27 View Post
    VERY good advice, this should be stickied for newbies. I'm going to start linking all of them to this thread. Kudos bud.
    Yea, me too.
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  6. #6
    Registered User jgood's Avatar
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    Good post .... to often do newbies fall into doing all isolation exercises when they should be getting their strength high first.
    =============================================
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    new log soon!
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  7. #7
    I NEED NOT THE 'NORMALS'! Hellbent1100's Avatar
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    nice , ill rep ya in 24 houres lol
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  8. #8
    Registered User espm1000's Avatar
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    Here's what I'm doing. The scheme on the compound exercises goes 3x8, 4x6, 5x4 monthly to increase the volume followed by a soft deload and jump to a 5x5 program for a month.

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the main focus is on the compound lifts and the lifts aren't necessarily in order. I can't squat 3x a week anymore due to an MMA related knee injury so I switched to this split.

    Tuesday Back/Bis
    Barbell Row 3x8
    Seated Row 3x8
    Pullups 4xFailure
    Lat pulldown 3x8
    Shrugs 3x8
    Hammer Curls/Barbell Curls 3x8, 8, 10

    Wednesday Chest/Tris/Shoulder
    Incline Bench Press 3x8
    Bench Press 3x8
    Dips 4xFailure
    Military Press 3x8
    Lying Lateral Raises 3x8
    Tricep Extensions 3x8, 8, 10

    Saturday Legs/Abs
    Back Squats 3x8
    Front Squats 3x8
    Deadlift 3x5
    Good Mornings 3x8
    Calf-Raises 4x10 seated/standing
    Cable Crunches
    Wood Chops
    Last edited by espm1000; 05-14-2008 at 01:32 PM.
    This is SPARTA!!!

    True Spartan 250 of 300!!!

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  9. #9
    Ace Orlando1234977's Avatar
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    Great thread Britlifter!
    One thing I'd like to add is to have a mindset of progression. Try to add 5 pounds to your lifts every session or at least once/week. Repeating the same lifts with the same weight will not yield results. Also, don't be afraid to take a few days to a week off every once in a while, you'll probably come back a bit stronger.
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  10. #10
    Lifelong Nattie N@tural1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by Orlando1234977 View Post
    Great thread Britlifter!
    One thing I'd like to add is to have a mindset of progression. Try to add 5 pounds to your lifts every session or at least once/week. Repeating the same lifts with the same weight will not yield results. Also, don't be afraid to take a few days to a week off every once in a while, you'll probably come back a bit stronger.
    Indeed, good points

    Repping out the same weight week in week out won't make you stronger, give your body a reason to change/adapt. Add either weight or reps regularly.
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  11. #11
    Lifelong Nattie N@tural1's Avatar
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    I would like to add

    The routines and information in the original post really aren't just for a true beginner. Many have been training for years but perhaps due to poor diet and/or programs, haven't made the progress they would had hoped for.

    Also many intermediates would do well on on a basic, strength based routine. To sum it up, IMO they are good routines for anybody wanting to get stronger.

    And stronger = neural adaptions, hypertrophy, and the future potential for more hypertrophy.
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  12. #12
    Registered User GuyJin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Excellent post, britlifter, and a rep to you for this.

    As well as progression, the idea of deloading (for ANY level) should also be emphasized. While it's all well and good to train hard, you DO need some measure of rest. Many guys, newbs and veterans alike, sometimes don't know when to stop pushing. Deloads are a MUST!

    Once again, fine post of the established programmes.
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  13. #13
    Food?? Where?? twinnett's Avatar
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    Great article!!! Could maybe add some advice for newbies about preworkout/postworkout nutrition, etc!
    "Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe. ": Saint Augustine

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  14. #14
    Lifelong Nattie N@tural1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by twinnett View Post
    Great article!!! Could maybe add some advice for newbies about preworkout/postworkout nutrition, etc!
    You seem to be knowledgable from what iv read twinnett, feel free to post some diet/nutrition advice
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    Registered User UsurperDave's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by britlifter View Post

    A rotation that hits each bodypart once every 4-5 days (3 times every 2 weeks)


    WEEK 1

    Monday
    Squat 2-3 x 5, 1 x 10
    Ham Work 3 x 8
    BB Row 4 x 6
    Bicep Iso 3 x 8

    Wednesday
    Bench Press 3 x 5
    Dips 3 x 6-8
    OH Press 3 x 6-8
    Tricep Iso 2 x 8

    Friday
    Deadlift 2 x 5, 1 x 3
    Leg Press 2-3 x 10
    Wide Grip Pullups 4 x 8
    Bicep Iso 3 x 8


    WEEK 2

    Monday
    Bench Press 3 x 5
    Dips 3 x 6-8
    OH Press 3 x 6-8
    Tricep Iso 3 x 8

    Wednesday
    Squat 2-3 x 5, 1 x 10
    Ham Work 3 x 8
    Pullups/ DB Row 3 x 8
    Bicep Iso 3 x 8

    Friday
    Bench Press 3 x 5
    Incline Press 2-3 x 10
    OH Press 3 x 6-8
    Tricep Iso 3 x 8

    Repeat
    Couple of questions:
    1) Squat 2-3 x 5, 1 x 10; what is this last set?
    2) Ham Work, is that like a Hamstring curl? Or is there something better?
    3) Tri/BI Iso - How does this play into the part of just working core routines?

    Thanks
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  16. #16
    Lifelong Nattie N@tural1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by UsurperDave View Post
    Couple of questions:
    1) Squat 2-3 x 5, 1 x 10; what is this last set?
    I usually perform 2-3 heavy sets for squats followed by a lighter sets of 10-15 reps when doing this routine.

    Originally Posted by UsurperDave View Post
    2) Ham Work, is that like a Hamstring curl? Or is there something better?
    Glute Ham Raises is the movement of choice for me personally, sometimes I use romanian deadlifts and yes, ham curls.

    Originally Posted by UsurperDave View Post
    3) Tri/BI Iso - How does this play into the part of just working core routines?
    Answer

    Originally Posted by britlifter View Post
    I'm not saying don't perform any isolation (single-joint) exercises but the above movements and their variations are the money makers!
    Last edited by britlifter; 05-22-2008 at 05:12 PM.
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    Registered User UsurperDave's Avatar
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by britlifter
    I'm not saying don't perform any isolation (single-joint) exercises but the above movements and their variations are the money makers!

    __________________

    Ahh, lol, yea, I remembered reading that... damn... wish I would've remebered before I asked it... lol.
    Thanks
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    nice write up bro! reps 4 ya.
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    Would you advise same weight for each set or pyramid the weight up?
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    Originally Posted by Skwidward View Post
    Would you advise same weight for each set or pyramid the weight up?
    depends what works for you. both work well.
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    Originally Posted by KENKONG View Post
    depends what works for you. both work well.
    Yep. Spot on.

    Me personaly, I like to use a set weight, nothing set in stone though try it both ways, see what suits you better
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    Originally Posted by KENKONG View Post
    depends what works for you. both work well.
    I've used both and they both do work well.

    Just curious what the OP would suggest for beginners.
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    Originally Posted by britlifter View Post
    Yep. Spot on.

    Me personaly, I like to use a set weight, nothing set in stone though try it both ways, see what suits you better
    sup bro. yeah, too many come on here with
    "what will work best?" without trying anything.

    Fact is no one knows what works BEST for someone
    else, you need to try routines, log the data and look back
    and decide which one suits your goals.

    Originally Posted by Skwidward View Post
    I've used both and they both do work well.

    Just curious what the OP would suggest for beginners.
    that good. did you keep detailed logs of each? how long did you run
    each routine before changing up?
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    Originally Posted by Skwidward View Post
    I've used both and they both do work well.

    Just curious what the OP would suggest for beginners.
    Depends on how much workload you can tolerate, straight sets usualy = more overall workload, if thats too tiring, work up to a top set but I think either works well.

    If using straight sets I wouldn't suggest going to failure until (and this is optional) the last set
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    Originally Posted by KENKONG View Post
    that good. did you keep detailed logs of each? how long did you run
    each routine before changing up?
    Yeah, I did.

    I did the pyramiding for 9 months a while back, and I've done straight weight through all for the last two years.

    Originally Posted by britlifter
    Depends on how much workload you can tolerate, straight sets usualy = more overall workload, if thats too tiring, work up to a top set but I think either works well.

    If using straight sets I wouldn't suggest going to failure until (and this is optional) the last set
    Great point. I'd never thought of that, but that's it. Pyramiding always seemed more like working towards that big weight for the final set.

    I like the simplicity of straight weight. When you get the reps for all sets, up the weight. Can't go wrong.

    EDIT: Also, I do less exercises per workout now with straight weight. Must be due to the increased work load.
    Last edited by Skwidward; 05-24-2008 at 04:43 PM.
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    Hi. Complete newbie here.

    Can you tell me the right way to do these lifts please?

    Squats
    Deadlifts
    Bench
    Rows
    Dips
    Chins
    Overhead pressing

    How many sets/reps should I do etc...

    Is there anything else I should be doing?

    I've been trying to get fit for a couple of months now and have lost some fat and would now like to pack on some muscle.

    I'm 28 years old
    5' 8"
    11stone 11lbs (74.8 kg)

    I'm ready to dedicate myself fully to this. I have a set of dumbbells and gym membership, though I've not used the free weights yet (don't want to do it wrong and look like an idiot)

    Any advice would be very welcome, thanks.
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    Originally Posted by Rockadood View Post
    Can you tell me the right way to do these lifts please?

    Squats
    Deadlifts
    Bench
    Rows
    Dips
    Chins
    Overhead pressing
    To explain those lifts in a post would require a small book. Best thing would be for you to "google" each movement, for example if I google "deadlift" I find this site

    http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...BDeadlift.html

    Do the same for the above exercises and read up on them.

    Originally Posted by Rockadood View Post
    How many sets/reps should I do etc...
    The programs outline how many sets/reps.

    Originally Posted by Rockadood View Post
    I'm ready to dedicate myself fully to this. I have a set of dumbbells and gym membership, though I've not used the free weights yet (don't want to do it wrong and look like an idiot)

    Any advice would be very welcome, thanks.
    Congrats on your dedication
    I really would spend a little time reading and learning the movements, a little personal study is well worth the effort.
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    Registered User Rockadood's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll google those lifts.

    I'm really worried about looking like a complete newbie in the gym, but I suppose everyone has to start somewhere.

    You mention following this routine for a year or two. How long before you start to see results?
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    Originally Posted by Rockadood View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I'll google those lifts.

    I'm really worried about looking like a complete newbie in the gym, but I suppose everyone has to start somewhere.
    No friends or someone you know with weights so you could practice at home?

    Originally Posted by Rockadood View Post
    You mention following this routine for a year or two. How long before you start to see results?
    This routine? Which one? There are a few in the original post.

    Iv not suggested any one routine for a year or two.
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    My advice for beginners:
    Buy Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. Not only will it teach correct form, but it will also show you WHY compound based routines work. It will also teach you the fundamentals you need to build your own routine properly when you become more advanced.

    "Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime."
    Last edited by liftsmart709; 05-25-2008 at 01:49 PM.
    My log http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?p=340494691
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