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  1. #1
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    Why beginner routines are necessary

    BEWARE, VERY LONG WRITE UP

    There has been a lot of debate and bashing in this section for awhile over the recommendation of beginner routines over other routines. So I wrote this up to give the main reasons of why its important to run a beginner routine.


    My take on it

    Beginner routines are suggested over "bro splits" for many reasons including:

    PROS
    •They are optimized
    •Have already been ran by many people
    •Builds a solid foundation
    •Works on muscle stability
    •Gets you used to the basics of lifting
    •Very straight forward and easy to follow
    •Works your entire body
    •The main compound lifts carry over to everything
    •Not time consuming
    •Teaches proper form
    •Has adequate volume
    •Builds very good strength
    •Builds muscle
    •Doesn't leave you with many weak points
    •Fast progression
    •The future

    CONS
    •May be boring
    •Doesn't tend to your end goal
    •Few exercises
    •Only 3 days
    •Little to no isolation's
    •Prioritizes legs
    •Redundant
    •No hypertrophy work
    •Cookie cutter

    Going into depth over key points:

    They are optimized-
    This one is huge, if you are a beginner you DO NOT understand how to effectively program. These programs were designed by people with decades of experience compared to something you would make up with your two weeks of knowledge. They hit what they need to hit to build a solid foundation of strength/size/muscle stability.

    Ran by many people-
    With these routines being ran by so many people and discussed so frequently, many of the flaws of the routine are known and adjusted, for example I made some changes to SL 5x5 ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=167032221) there are many modified versions out there for beginner programs that are more optimal and have rendered amazing results.

    With you picking random exercises or exercises you think may be good will just lead to you spinning your wheels. Ive been on this site for two and a half years now, and I cannot tell you how many horrible routines I've seen by beginners that look like they just picked random exercises, sets, and reps. It often leads to too much volume, imbalances, and won't produce as good of results as something already tried and tested.

    Builds a solid foundation-
    Another huge point, beginner routines are meant to build a foundation, with running the compound lifts heavily many times a week it(WITH EATING ENOUGH ) will lead to very good; strength, muscle, and stability gains.

    Think of it this way. A artist starting with a fresh canvas won't start painting in the obscure details, they start with the foundation. That would be the exact equivalent of a beginner trying to isolate a very specific head of their triceps (very common). Why would you do this if you don't even have triceps?

    Builds muscle stability-
    As a beginner not used to weights you will have little to no muscle stability, if not worked on this could lead to serious injury since you cannot positively control the weights. Since you are hitting the main lifts so frequently ,and since they hit almost all your muscles you will build muscle stability much faster.

    Used to the basic lifts-
    No matter what type of lifter you are, you will find the basic compounds (bench, squat, deadlift, OHP, BOR) time and time again having a positive effect on you. With beginner routines since they are such a priority you will quickly become very efficient with them leading to gains that will compound, and help you in the future.

    Very straight forward and easy to follow-
    As a beginner new to weight lifting you have no idea what you are doing so the best possible way to have a beginner to start is to tell them exactly what to do without and deviation. Once you start gaining knowledge and understanding how your body works then you can eventually move on to other routines or start customising them yourself.

    They are also very easy to follow you have to learn a couple exercises and do them over and over again until you perfect them.

    Works your entire body-
    Many beginners want to get a big upper body or big biceps and it will eventually lead to imbalances with a set in stone program hitting your entire body the imbalances will be minimal. Building a solid foundation for whatever you will eventually move onto.

    Compounds carry over to everything-
    Running the 5 main compound lifts will carry over to almost every exercise you can think of.

    For example: I have a 340x1 paused bench press (Video of me TnG benching 335x1 4 months ago: youtu.be/aPikKdCl6wc) I hit flat dumbbells only a couple times a year yet I can hit the 125s for 8 reps even though I never do flat dumbbells.

    If you are very good with the main lifts within a week of getting used to another lift you will be able to do it very efficiently since the main lift has a strong carry over.

    Not time consuming-
    I understand this is the teen section and many of you are still in highschool and don't really have many responsibilities but some people don't like to spend a lot of time in the gym each day. For a beginner on a beginner routine it shouldn't take long at all compared to when you are more advanced. It is fast and effective. With few days of you having to be in the gym.

    Teaches proper form-
    With you doing the main lift over and over again eventually your form will become way more efficient since you are doing the lift so frequently. There is a huge difference efficiency wise from someone squating 1 day a week to someone squating 4 days a week. This will help you become better at the lift and minimize injury.

    Has adequate volume-
    Beginner routines have a good amount of volume leading to muscle gains. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE WORKING IN THE LOWER REP RANGE DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL NOT GAIN MUSCLE. I find it beyond stupid how many people think that lifting for strength means you will stay small, if you are eating correctly you will become massive lifting for hypertrophy or strength.

    Builds very good strength-
    By running these routines you will become way stronger then running some random bro split, having good strength meaning you are progressively overloading rapidly, mixed with eating enough will give you great muscle gains as well as becoming very strong.

    Builds muscle-
    Just because you are lifting in the strength range and mainly only with compounds does not mean you won't gain muscle. I cannot stress this enough if you are eating enough with the amount of volume you are doing on these routines you will gain a lot of muscle. You can do tripples for the rest of your lift and still build muscle just because you aren't working in the hypertrophy or endurance rep range doesn't mean you magically won't gain any muscle.

    Doesn't leave you with many weak points-
    Since you are doing full body very frequently it will not lead to many muscle imbalances. I've seen so many beginners make routines where it is far out of proportion and lead to imbalances in the future.

    Fast progression
    As a beginner you will progress very very fast as apposed to an intermediate+ use this to your advantage you can make the gains that some people make in 3 years in one year just because you did everything correctly by following the routines and eating enough. I've seen people in the gym on bro splits with no progression scheme and have gone no where. The progression is very fast and will lead to very good strength and muscle gains in a short period of time.

    The future-
    Everything a beginner routine is about, is for the future. No matter if you want to be a bodybuilder, power lifter, or just a weight lifter everything a beginner routine offers, you will benefit from.


    Now that I got the Pros in, I'll give you some of the cons to beginner routines:

    May be boring-
    The biggest con I can think of to beginner routines is many people find them boring, I can definitely see why. If you can however let that go it will yeild much better gains then something you randomly made up. HOWEVER this would be the only reason I would tell someone to not run a beginner routine, if you truely hate it that much and don't enjoy lifting at all then run a bro split because I would rather you make much less progression but still be lifting two years from now. This is not effective though and if you can I would run a beginner routine for as long as you can get gains from it.

    Doesn't tend to your goals-
    People that say this isn't a bodybuilding routine are 100% correct. It's not. It's a beginner routine there is no reason to put yourself in a category yet as a beginner since your main goal is to build a solid foundation. You shouldn't be trying to get your upper chest to pop out more when you don't even have a chest in the first place.

    Few exercises-
    This goes back to the point of being boring, a lot of people don't like repetition, they like variety. As a beginner though this is all you need and there is no reason to over complicate it.

    After a few months of running a beginner routine and seeing how your body works with it, then it is fine to add in a couple isolations as long as they aren't interfering with progression.

    Only a couple days in the gym-
    This is also going back to the boring point and counter acts one of my points above. Some people have a lot of free time and love being in the gym 5+ days a week for hours a day and I understand that, but it isn't necessary, once you are past the beginner stage and realize what your body can do then chose a routine with more volume, and higher frequency so you are in the gym more.

    Little to no isolation-
    Most of these points, go back to being boring so this may be a little redundant. As a beginner you may want to hit curls often ,but many beginners tend to want to overdo it, which will lead to negative effects. As a beginner it isn't necessary to isolate a certain head of your biceps considering you don't even have biceps yet.

    However a couple months down the line once you are a little more educated and understand how your body adapts to the routine you can add in some isolations to ease imbalances and make it more fun as long as it doesn't hinde progression.

    Prioritizes legs-
    A lot of beginners want to be curl bros, but having good legs is very beneficial to not making you look stupid, for everyday functional strength, for a solid foundation, and a lot of girls even like guys with bigger legs/butts.

    Redundant-
    Back to it being boring, it is very redundant besides the fact you are hitting PRs often its something you have to get over.

    No hypertrophy work-
    I've already stated this above but just because you aren't doing hypertrophy work doesn't mean you won't become muscular. The strength rep range with adequate volume will yeild almost as much muscle growth as hypertrophy work.

    Cookie cutter-
    These routines are very generalized and are not perfect for you because it isn't tailored directly to you, but it is far more effective then something you randomly came up with yourself. If you have someone that is very good at programing with something that is effective and will meet your needs then by all means run that, but there are very very few people that are good at programming so a beginner routine is general enough to be good for you.

    Conclusion
    The pros heavily out weight the cons for reasons you should run a beginner routine over a bro split. Even though there are some reasons you shouldn't there are very few.
    Last edited by CWGame; 08-01-2015 at 02:36 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Good post srs. Don't know why no one replied after you took the time to right this novel.

    But a split can have all those pros. I don't see a difference with running a split that is 3x5 on bench, squat, DL and 8-10 or 10-12 on other compounds/isolations or doing 3x5, 5x5 on a beginner routine. You can still hit muscles at least 2x per week, just not 3. And why aren't beginners capable of adding progression themselves? It's just more weight on the bar and a surplus. Agree with you about the form. Also, a good split won't give you muscle imbalances if created properly, and I'm talking about a split not made by the beginner. Also legs is my favorite part to train and squats are one of my favorite exercise. I have a love hate relationship with them.

    But yes everything in your thread is accurate for a majority of beginners. Most beginners go to the gym 3x a day everyday just to curl and wonder why they don't progress.

    That's why I'm glad I came on the forums about 2 months before I was able to go the gym to be informed or I would have wasted my time in the gym. I think im making gains though with the way I chose to train. We'll see.
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  3. #3
    Not even my final form NZninja101's Avatar
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    I'm gonna bump this. Agree with 80% of it. Threads like these often create good discussion.
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  4. #4
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    Should be stickied. Good post bro.

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    new guys just dont have knowledge. look at things from their eyes. they believe isolations and high reps is what builds muscle and then all they have to do is compounds with low reps? thats gonna be hard to accept for them.

    - good post
    - novices need to study on their own
    - learn why things are done not just what is right


    edit- ayee sticky
    Last edited by mhong64; 08-01-2015 at 05:32 AM.

  6. #6
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    good this became a sticky.

    i would rep but always on spread for you :P

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    wow, looks like one of the "bodybuilding routines" guys has come here and said the opposite things he said on the previous thread.


    OP, good sticky
    166 x5 Squat
    155 x 5 Deadlift
    **** Bench Press

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    tfw beginner by weight
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  9. #9
    QUADZILLA CWGame's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mehhzyy View Post
    Good post srs. Don't know why no one replied after you took the time to right this novel.

    But a split can have all those pros. I don't see a difference with running a split that is 3x5 on bench, squat, DL and 8-10 or 10-12 on other compounds/isolations or doing 3x5, 5x5 on a beginner routine. You can still hit muscles at least 2x per week, just not 3. And why aren't beginners capable of adding progression themselves? It's just more weight on the bar and a surplus. Agree with you about the form. Also, a good split won't give you muscle imbalances if created properly, and I'm talking about a split not made by the beginner. Also legs is my favorite part to train and squats are one of my favorite exercise. I have a love hate relationship with them.

    But yes everything in your thread is accurate for a majority of beginners. Most beginners go to the gym 3x a day everyday just to curl and wonder why they don't progress.

    That's why I'm glad I came on the forums about 2 months before I was able to go the gym to be informed or I would have wasted my time in the gym. I think im making gains though with the way I chose to train. We'll see.
    I went over it in the main posts, but if you can or have someone that optimally programs for you then by all means go for it, but that applys to a very small percentage of beginners.

    Originally Posted by NZninja101 View Post
    I'm gonna bump this. Agree with 80% of it. Threads like these often create good discussion.
    Thanks man, yeah I really love threads that create civil discussion so we can all learn more.

    Originally Posted by BJP2k14 View Post
    Should be stickied. Good post bro.
    Thanks bro, you can tell the future haha.

    Originally Posted by mhong64 View Post
    new guys just dont have knowledge. look at things from their eyes. they believe isolations and high reps is what builds muscle and then all they have to do is compounds with low reps? thats gonna be hard to accept for them.

    - good post
    - novices need to study on their own
    - learn why things are done not just what is right


    edit- ayee sticky
    Yeah hopefully this thread will help ease some misconceptions.


    Originally Posted by basmca View Post
    good this became a sticky.

    i would rep but always on spread for you :P
    Haha thanks

    Originally Posted by ronalbak View Post
    wow, looks like one of the "bodybuilding routines" guys has come here and said the opposite things he said on the previous thread.


    OP, good sticky
    Thanks bro

    Originally Posted by Achieving View Post
    tfw beginner by weight
    I took it out because its too much of a generalization without other factors being involved, you definitely aren't a beginner haha.
    Last edited by CWGame; 08-01-2015 at 09:50 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Repped for the thread, and I figured it would've gotten stickied haha
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    QUADZILLA CWGame's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mehhzyy View Post
    Repped for the thread, and I figured it would've gotten stickied haha
    Thanks bro, appreciate it.
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  12. #12
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    Agree with everything except classifying by weight

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    Good post srs. as you know from my thread I disagree with some of it, but you list some good points. Everyone has different goals and should focus on that first. A lot of beginners do useless stuff in the gym and don't progress, but I do believe a beginner who runs a split correctly and has good nutrition and recovery can make incredible gains.
    Aesthetic

  14. #14
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    I think you should rank like this.

    Weight < Height - 100Cm

    BP < Body weight
    SQ < 1.5 BW
    DL < 1.5 BW

    This is more realistic.
    166 x5 Squat
    155 x 5 Deadlift
    **** Bench Press

  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by Mehhzyy View Post
    Good post srs. Don't know why no one replied after you took the time to right this novel.

    But a split can have all those pros. I don't see a difference with running a split that is 3x5 on bench, squat, DL and 8-10 or 10-12 on other compounds/isolations or doing 3x5, 5x5 on a beginner routine. You can still hit muscles at least 2x per week, just not 3. And why aren't beginners capable of adding progression themselves? It's just more weight on the bar and a surplus. Agree with you about the form. Also, a good split won't give you muscle imbalances if created properly, and I'm talking about a split not made by the beginner. Also legs is my favorite part to train and squats are one of my favorite exercise. I have a love hate relationship with them.

    But yes everything in your thread is accurate for a majority of beginners. Most beginners go to the gym 3x a day everyday just to curl and wonder why they don't progress.

    That's why I'm glad I came on the forums about 2 months before I was able to go the gym to be informed or I would have wasted my time in the gym. I think im making gains though with the way I chose to train. We'll see.
    Most of the split routines that noobs think always have the reps range between 8 to 12 per set.
    166 x5 Squat
    155 x 5 Deadlift
    **** Bench Press

  16. #16
    weak bench crew ronalbak's Avatar
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    Oh, and Cw, can i trans this into my language and post to another forum? I willl link it to this post.
    166 x5 Squat
    155 x 5 Deadlift
    **** Bench Press

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    Originally Posted by PLInTheMaking View Post
    Agree with everything except classifying by weight
    Yeah I took it out just because it's too much of a generalization without other factors being involved.

    Originally Posted by stabler22 View Post
    Good post srs. as you know from my thread I disagree with some of it, but you list some good points. Everyone has different goals and should focus on that first. A lot of beginners do useless stuff in the gym and don't progress, but I do believe a beginner who runs a split correctly and has good nutrition and recovery can make incredible gains.
    I agree but the amount of beginners that will effectively run a good split is very minimal.

    Originally Posted by ronalbak View Post
    I think you should rank like this.

    Weight < Height - 100Cm

    BP < Body weight
    SQ < 1.5 BW
    DL < 1.5 BW

    This is more realistic.
    I agree, I took out the bodyweight because it was too much of a generalization without other factors being shown, but will just keep it simple with the normal 2/3/4 since classification wasn't the main point of this thread, but I do think yours is more accurate.

    Originally Posted by ronalbak View Post
    Oh, and Cw, can i trans this into my language and post to another forum? I willl link it to this post.
    Yeah go for it man.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by CWGame View Post
    Yeah I took it out just because it's too much of a generalization without other factors being involved.



    I agree but the amount of beginners that will effectively run a good split is very minimal.


    I agree, I took out the bodyweight because it was too much of a generalization without other factors being shown, but will just keep it simple with the normal 2/3/4 since classification wasn't the main point of this thread, but I do think yours is more accurate.



    Yeah go for it man.
    Ok man. I ve already done it and now waiting for people to read. Next week i ll jump on Smolov Jr. . Hope i can make progress as fast as you do.
    166 x5 Squat
    155 x 5 Deadlift
    **** Bench Press

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    Very Good post, and it should be a sticky,

    however the only thing that should be changed is the classification of beginners.

    I think that distinguishing people from beginner to intermediate to advance should be based on bodyweight to weight lifted ratio. Anyways heres a website for lifting standards.

    http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...hStandards.htm

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    Originally Posted by Robinater View Post
    Very Good post, and it should be a sticky,

    however the only thing that should be changed is the classification of beginners.

    I think that distinguishing people from beginner to intermediate to advance should be based on bodyweight to weight lifted ratio. Anyways heres a website for lifting standards.

    http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...hStandards.htm
    Thanks man, I've just decided to take it out completely since it doesn't actually have much to do with the post, and seems to be the biggest issue from the thread.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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    Originally Posted by ronalbak View Post
    Ok man. I ve already done it and now waiting for people to read. Next week i ll jump on Smolov Jr. . Hope i can make progress as fast as you do.
    Sweet. And good luck with it man, its definitely not an easy routine.
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    Originally Posted by ronalbak View Post
    Most of the split routines that noobs think always have the reps range between 8 to 12 per set.
    oh, yeah I know what you're saying. most people make their own splits and put 8-12 reps on every thing and even over do the sets. What I do is 3x5 for squat, DL, bench, OHP, bent-over rows and 10-12 on accessories. strength + hypertrophy. the best of both worlds. seems to work as I'm getting stronger, my bench is skyrocketing.
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    Originally Posted by Mehhzyy View Post
    oh, yeah I know what you're saying. most people make their own splits and put 8-12 reps on every thing and even over do the sets. What I do is 3x5 for squat, DL, bench, OHP, bent-over rows and 10-12 on accessories. strength + hypertrophy. the best of both worlds. seems to work as I'm getting stronger, my bench is skyrocketing.
    Correct. The 1st time i went to the gym, i completely didnt know anything about trainning. So i did everything i could for 3 hours then went home
    166 x5 Squat
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    **** Bench Press

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    Originally Posted by Robinater View Post
    Very Good post, and it should be a sticky,
    Already is.
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    Originally Posted by KENKONG View Post
    Already is.
    why is your name green?
    166 x5 Squat
    155 x 5 Deadlift
    **** Bench Press

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    Hopefully people see this but if people actually read the stickies in this section there would literally be no threads.
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    Originally Posted by BradCathie View Post
    Hopefully people see this but if people actually read the stickies in this section there would literally be no threads.
    Exactly. Saw like 3 "help" -titled threads on the first page alone today, all of which were answered in the stickies.. smh

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    Originally Posted by ronalbak View Post
    why is your name green?
    He's a moderator lol

    Originally Posted by BradCathie View Post
    Hopefully people see this but if people actually read the stickies in this section there would literally be no threads.
    Yeah that is a huge issue that beginners rarely check them but its a lot easier to just refer them to the stickies after they ask their question then spend time to write it all out again.

    Originally Posted by bmcblinz View Post
    Exactly. Saw like 3 "help" -titled threads on the first page alone today, all of which were answered in the stickies.. smh
    Yeah it gets annoying but just religiously refer them to the stickies then until they realize half of their questions will instantly be answered lol.
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  29. #29
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    Lol the only positive thing that came out from the starting strength is a stupid routine is that it lead to this sticky

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    Originally Posted by Felipon View Post
    Lol the only positive thing that came out from the starting strength is a stupid routine is that it lead to this sticky
    Haha thanks, yeah I saw it when it started and just reiterated someone that I thought put it well, then two days later it turned into a giant mess of just bashing, and random crap. So I decided to make a end all post.
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