Originally Posted by allpro
A Simple beginner's Routine
You will do 3 work outs per week on non consecutive days. The first work out is your heavy work out. The second work out is your medium work out, use 10% less weight for your work sets. The final work out for the week is your lite work out, use 20% less weight.
Do a lite warm up with 1/4 of your work sets weight. Do a medium warm up with 1/2 of your work sets weight. Do 2 work sets with the same weight. Choose a starting weight and start light.
These are the seven exercises you will be starting with.
Overhead Barbell Presses
You will be running this program on a five week cycle as follows:
The first week do all 4 sets for 8 reps.
The second week do all 4 sets for 9 reps.
The third week do all 4 sets for 10 reps.
The fourth week do all 4 sets for 11 reps.
The fifth week do all 4 sets for 12 reps.
If you got all of the required reps on the fifth week then increase the weight by 10% and
repeat the cycle. If you didn't get all of the reps on the fifth week then repeat the cycle with the same weight. You shouldn't need more than one minute rest between the warm up sets and you shouldn't need more than one minute thirty seconds between the work sets.
Do some cardio and abs work on non weight training days.
10-05-2015, 07:53 AM #1
AllPro: A Simple Beginner's Routine part VI
Last edited by nightanole; 10-05-2015 at 08:05 AM.
10-05-2015, 08:01 AM #2
Question 1: So how many sets am I doing exactly?
Answer: You are doing exactly 2 work-sets for each exercise. In addition, you are doing 2 warm-up sets for the first three exercises only (Squats, Bench Press and Bent Over Rows) - the remaining four exercises do not require warm-ups, however you can do them if you feel the need to. Here is a blue-print for all the sets you should be doing, in that order:
Squats: warm-up, warm-up, work-set, work-set
Bench Press: warm-up, warm-up, work-set, work-set
Bent Over Row: warm-up, warm-up, work-set, work-set
Over Head Press: work-set, work-set
Stiff Legged Deadlifts: work-set, work-set
Curls: work-set, work-set
Calf Raises: work-set, work-set
Q2: How do I know what weight I should get started with for each exercise in the routine?
A: This is explained in detail here: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...#post928710923
Q3: Will I gain muscle mass on this routine?
A: despite what you may think, gaining muscle mass is not just about lifting weights; the training is just a catalyst, which will create the conditions necessary for new musclee to be built. However, to actually build that muscle, you need to eat at a calorie surplus (consume more calories than you burn). There is no way around this, and you will not be able to avoid having to do some simple calculations if you want results. To understand this, visit this thread: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=121703981 and make sure to read and understand the entire first post by Emma. If you have any questions regarding diet, ask them in that thread. This is possibly the single most important thread you can read over here - if you will only read on thread, let it be that one.
Q4: I have never lifted before and I am completely out of shape. Is this routine appropriate for me?
A: All Pro designed this routine with EXACTLY you in mind. It's perfect for you.
Q5: I have tested my 10 rep maxes for each exercise. I have already completed two full weeks of the first cycle, and the weights seem too low for me, I feel like I could lift much more! Should I increase the weight?
A: first things first - avoid increasing weight mid-cycle and only do it with the beginning of the next cycle if necessary. Second, the routine is designed so that the first 2-3 weeks will feel relatively easy - this is true for everyone, and you are not superman for feeling the same thing. Finish the first cycle completely (full 5 weeks) without adding any weight to any exercise, even if it does feel too simple. If at the end of the 5th week of the first cycle you still feel that some of the weights are way too low, you may attempt to increase the weight by slightly more than 10% for the next cycle - however, this only makes sense if it was REALLY too easy for you. if it was just a "little" easy, you're better off sticking with the program. All of these dilemmas can be avoided if you simply test your 10 rep maxes for each exercise properly, so make sure to take your time doing that properly.
Q6: there is no triceps exercise in this routine, what gives?
A: your triceps are being hit quite hard during both Bench Presses and the Overhead Presses - as a beginner, you do not need more than that. Do not add any extra triceps work or you are almost guaranteed to fail on either the BP's or the OHP's, or both.
Q7: I like doing pull-ups, push-ups, and standing on my head. Can I add in those exercises into the routine?
A: do not add any extra exercises until you have completed a minimum of 3 cycles. Once you're going into the fourth, and you feel like you need to do some extra work on certain muscles, you can add an isolated assistance exercise for them - do only one set and at the very end of your routine (after calf raises). The assistance exercise follows the same rep scheme as all the other exercises. And do not ever add more than one assistance exercise per cycle - if you do so, and some of your other lifts stall, you won't know which of your new additions might have caused that stall. Stick to only adding one extra assistance exercise per cycle, up to a maximum of two (though I believe that is already pushing it). Only do this if you know and have solid reason to believe that you really do require that extra assistance work - if uncertain, ask in this thread, someone will surely help you out.
Q8: Why are there no regular Deadlifts in this routine, only stiff-legged deadlifts? I feel like a boss doing deadlifts
A: there are two reasons for that:
1) Neither squats nor regular deadlifts address the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors complex) properly. By doing squats + stiff-legged deadlifts, this problem is solved, and a balance is introduced.
2) Squats and regular deadlifts are two exercises that are very taxing to the central nervous system. As a beginner if you did both of those exercises on the same routine, you are more likely to burn out sooner than later. Stif-legged deadlifts solve this issue.
Q9: what type of extra cardio should I do?
A: it is best that you do not overdo your cardio on this routine, since it can get you fatigued enough to hamper your performance in the gym. Two 30 minute jogging sessions (moderate heart rate or HIIT) per week should be enough. I would make sure that none of your cardio takes place on the day right before any of your heavy days. Do any cardio you want to do on rest days. Remember though that cardio is primarily good for your cardiovascular system's health - for fat loss, your diet will be far more important than any cardio that you do.
Q10: What type of ab workouts should I do?
A: seems like everyone responds to different ab exercises, so you will just have to try for yourself and see which one works best for you. you can do cardio either on your off days, or on your work-out days right after the work-out, assuming you still have enough energy for them. if you go for crunches or similar, make sure to do them with extra weight - aim for 15 reps on the first week of the cycle, and add 2 extra reps per week for a total of 25 reps on week 5 of the cycle. Ab workout is not necessary for everybody though - your midsection is getting tons of workout in this routine since it acts as a stabilizer in basically every single exercise. So up to you to decide, though it's probably a good idea not to introduce cardio until after you've completed the entire first cycle. Start with one set, and if it does not hinder your performance in the other exercises - add a second set at the start of the next cycle.
Q11: Are there any videos that show how each exercise should be performed?
A: there are tons of them online. A good place to get started is this playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8FAF74A332E11464
Q12: Can I substitute any of the exercises in this routine for other exercises?
A: as a general rule, no, you can't (barring certain situations where an injury may prevent you from doing a specific movement). One exception being the curls, which can be substituted for standing upright rows (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...prightRow.html). This is more of a compound exercise and it actually fits the rest of the routine more nicely. Curls were added by all pro mostly because "everyone would want to do them anyway", so if your ego will survive it, go for the upright rows instead of the curls - it's a far better overall body exercise. Up to you though.
Q13: Can I use dumbbells instead of a barbell to perform the exercises in this routine?
A: Yes, you can. However, keep in mind that the program was designed with a barbell in mind; some of these exercises are more difficult to perform correctly with dumbbells, not to mention that as the weights you lift increase, your grip on the dumbbells will become a limiting factor (not so with a barbell). Do everything you can to get your hands on a bar, and only use dumbbells as a last resort.
Q14: damn, I missed my medium training day due to [insert any reason here]. What should I do?
A: if for some reason you are not capable of performing three exercises on a given week, you can perform only two, however both will then have to be heavy days. Allow a minimum of 2 rest days both before and after your second heavy day on such a week. However, doing this too often will hinder recovery - the routine was very carefully designed for 3 weekly workouts, and changing that should only be done in extreme cases.
Q15: So I managed to complete all reps for both work-sets for all exercises on my "test day" (heavy day of week 5). How much should I increase my weights for those exercises?
A: You should add 10% to each exercise that you passed, and don't forget to include the weight of the bar. For example, if you use an Olympic 45 lbs. bar, and you load that with 55 lbs. for squats, you would increase the weight up to (55 + 45)*1,1 for the next cycle, which would make it 110 lbs (again, this includes the barbell).
Q16: So I have managed to complete all reps for all exercises on all workouts, except for the overhead press... I only managed to get 11 reps on the second work-set of week 5 heavy day for those... can I bump the weight up anyway for the next cycle? I mean come on, I only missed one rep... pretty please?
A: You can already see by the sarcastic way the question above was phrased that the answer is going to be "no" you can only increase the weight for the next cycle by 10% if you manage to complete 12 reps for each work-set on heavy day of week 5. Not a single rep more, and not a single rep less. If you failed even a single rep, you will need to repeat the weight for that failed exercise for the duration of the entire next cycle (5 week period). This is a safe-guard designed to make sure you do not keep infinitely stalling on the same exercise and to give the involved muscles enough time to rest and recover for some more banging.
Q17: How do I know if I am a "Beginner" or not?
A: A beginner is, generally speaking, anyone who cannot squat twice his body weight, and bench press 1,5 times his body weight, for one repetition. So if you weigh 200 lbs for example, you should be able to squat once for close to 400 lbs. and bench press once for close to 300 lbs, in order to be considered to have moved beyond the "beginner" stage. It has nothing to do with how long you have been lifting weights - there are many people who have been going to the gym for a few years and who are still considered beginners. As long as your lifts are noticeably below the threshold described above, you are still a beginner and you'll benefit greatly from this routine.
Last edited by ironwill2008; 10-05-2015 at 09:36 AM.
10-05-2015, 08:03 AM #3
Video Instructions On How to Do Each Exercise
It's in the FAQ but Embeded for your convenience
Barbell Bent Over Row
Barbell Shoulder Press
Stiff Legged Deadlift
Last edited by ironwill2008; 10-05-2015 at 09:37 AM.
10-05-2015, 09:41 AM #4
Today was heavy day week 3 of cycle 2. I'll preface this with the following. I've lost 3 lbs this week, and I had to help move a bunch of 75 lb bags around for the parents at their house before I lifted.
My worry is my hardest exercises were bent over row and biceps. I passed both.
Now, my weights if you recall are
135 squat, 120 bench, 110 SLD, 85 Row, 75 OHP, and 65 curls. (and 120 calf raises).
I don't care about biceps too much, they are pretty good compared to my other lifts, but I am very worried about the rows being challenging when I banged out the bench press so easily. I also know that because I'm in a cut, and a pretty decent one at that, I'm not building too much muscle, so if my chest is more developed than my back that is unlikely to change too much while i'm losing weight.
I'm hopeful that lifting those bags just before kinda tired out my back a bit and it was just an off day. I don't know if I could have done 2 more per set for rows (I would have failed curls).
Any ways to better prepare my back? If I fail rows but pass bench, they'll be really, really off the recommended lifts.
10-05-2015, 09:50 AM #5
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10-05-2015, 11:07 AM #6
10-05-2015, 01:30 PM #7
Iv been doing this routine for years now. I take huge breaks every summer because I'm a land scaper and I'm 50. That combination doesn't leave enough energy and recovery for this routine. Nitanole iv been looking into your self regulating version of this. Iv also been looking into some of the other workouts you've recommended.
10-05-2015, 01:52 PM #8
10-05-2015, 02:19 PM #9
10-05-2015, 03:55 PM #10
10-05-2015, 03:59 PM #11
Fuark I'm on my 4th week of the first cycle and it feels like I took a step backwards from the 3rd week. I hit 10 reps with relative ease last week but cut down around 5lbs+ in preparation for another two weeks of heavy eating. Today I went in for my 11 rep 100% day and performed terribly.
Had eaten barely anything today too. I really should have loaded up, waited 2hrs, and then hit the gym.
10-05-2015, 04:20 PM #12
10-05-2015, 05:55 PM #13
Honestly there is not much difference between a modern romanian and a modern SLDL, the only difference is moving the bar away from the body a few more inches in the SLDL. If your rom sucks at one, it will suck at the other. The romanian will help teach how to load the hams, and the SLDL will put the sticking point on the back. Putting the sticking point on the back means that if your back cant take it, the bar wont move. On the other hand with the romanian, Its easy to over load the back with the legs, so you need to be careful. An even more drastic version for putting the sticking point on the back is the "good morning". However just doing good mornings means very little grip work on the program.
10-05-2015, 06:50 PM #14
10-06-2015, 01:36 AM #15
10-06-2015, 04:31 AM #16
10-06-2015, 04:32 AM #17
10-06-2015, 03:14 PM #18
First day went well though i ended up miscalculating my warm up set #2 weight on bench press, and i failed halfway through my second set of stiff legged deadlift and standing press. Though i went back and knocked out the missed reps.
For tommorow, second workout, do my 2 warm up weights stay the same but all my work sets will be with 10% less weight?Starting Weight: 148lbs
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10-06-2015, 04:52 PM #19
10-06-2015, 06:36 PM #20
I've been doing the self-regulating version of AllPro and so far it is working well. Squat and SLDL seem to progress much more rapidly than the other exercises (I'm still at super noob level in terms of strength & overall fitness)
I still can't figure out if I'm doing BORs correctly. In particular, I feel like I'm working my arms more than my back. I tend to bend further than 45 degrees. Maybe about 70 degrees. The cue that I've read about to prevent "all-arming" the BOR is to imagine that I'm trying to elbow someone or whatever, but I still feel a burn in my arms more than anything else when I BOR. Any advice?
10-06-2015, 07:40 PM #21
10-07-2015, 04:34 AM #22
Only advice is to loose the shoulder blades at the bottom of the movement, and contract them starting half way once the momentum is going.
You also might want to lower the bar, have it ride up your quads if you are currently hitting the same spot as you bench.
Alan thrall has a nice youtube video on it, even if he does the only school back parallel with the floor angle.
10-07-2015, 09:37 AM #23
Thanks for all the information in this thread.
I had a question. I am helping someone out who is just starting with this routine and using lower weight numbers for each exercise. They have their setup at home to do this work out (weight plates, bench, bar, and dumbbell handles). But, while trying to help them come up with their weight numbers for their first cycle, I was having some difficulty fine tuning them.
I apologize for the length. But, I wanted to be as detailed as possible to get the proper response.
They’re currently doing their bench press with dumbbell handles due to not having a rack currently (which is their next investment). I’ll use the bench press as an example of my dilemma.
Their heavy day for the bench press is supposed to be 24 pounds. Which I achieved with two ten pound weights on each side of a four pound dumbbell handle, for each handle.
So, for their medium day, they’re supposed to 21.6 pounds. But, I can only get the weight to 19 pounds. They have 2.5, 5, and 10 pound weight plates. I get 19 pounds using one five and one 2.5 on each side of a 4 pound handle. The light day is even worse, with it supposed to be 19.2 pounds. But, this weight is already more than the medium day so I wanted to go lower, but the closest lower weight I could achieve was 14 pounds, with one five pound plate one each side.
The difference between the 21.6 pounds it’s supposed to be for the medium day and the 19 pounds that it is, is only a 2.6 pound difference. But, those 2.6 pounds is another 10 percent off the heavy weight for a little over 20 percent less in total for the medium day. The light day is even worse in terms of percentage.
So, I was wondering if there’s any suggestion on what to do when dealing with low starting weights where the weight changes from heavy to light days are very slight and difficult to achieve exact numbers, but where being off by a couple pounds is nearly 30 percent off the suggested weight?
I had considered one solution. But, I thought I’d get some feedback first.
Example, to start with 8 reps for the heavy day at 24 pounds. The medium day is then supposed to be 21.6 pounds at 8 reps, which is a max single rep of 27 pounds. Is it fine to instead do 12 reps of 19 pounds, which is also equal to a single max rep of 27 pounds? And to do the same for any other exercises where fine tuning the numbers are difficult.
Thank you for any assistance, and I apologize again for the length. Maybe I’m just focusing on exact numbers too much.
10-07-2015, 10:56 AM #24
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Edit - I round some of the decimals....as those are not changing my ability to put up the weight. But I use the micros to get to within ~1lb of the correct weight - and I don't alter reps on a program like this (where it is really specific about the progression).AP Log - http://goo.gl/PQzjzt
Jun-Aug 2016 Cut (SW-217:GW-199) | http://goo.gl/9KAYr2
Apr-May Cut 2016-03/28-228#|05/31-217#
Aug-Oct Cut 2015-08/01-226#|10/31-210#
Jun-Aug Cut 2015-06/28-252#|08/01-226#
10-07-2015, 11:27 AM #25
10-07-2015, 01:36 PM #26
Help evaluating progress
I have been doing this routine since April this year. At first I used adjustable dumbbells, but after setting up a power rack in my home in June, I have been able to do the routine with barbell. I would consider this my first serious experience with weightlifting and chose this program because it would give me opportunity to practice the movement of the lifts with a lot of repetitions.
At the moment, I don't see a lot of progress in the mirror. Unfortunately my progress pictures are not good enough to clearly show me any clear differences between the months. My girlfriend tells me she thinks I look great but however sweet that is to hear, it is not really helpful with regards evaluating progress. Since I am now gaining weight on the scale, I am worried that I might not be progressing with this program in the best way. Maybe I'm not lifting heavy enough. Maybe I'm eating too much or too little? Any advice is appreciated.
A little info about me, my diet and progress:
- I'm 31 years old, 1,77 cm (between 5'9 and 5'10) tall and currently weighing in around 80 kg (176 lbs).
- I've lost around 40 kg (88 lbs) in the last 3 years.
- While doing this routine with dumbbells, I was eating around 1600-1800 kcal a day and losing weight.
- I changed my diet when I hit 76 kg (167 lbs), which is when I started working out with the barbell.
- I slowly increased caloric intake and my new diet is around 2400 kcal a day (80 g fat, 150 g protein, rest carbs) which results in me gaining around 1 kg (2.2 lbs) a month (0,25 kg (0.55 lbs) per week).
Cycle 1 - Week 1 - Heavy Day:
- Squats 55 kg (121 lbs)
- Bench: 50 kg (110 lbs)
- Rows: 40 kg (88 lbs)
- OHP: 35 kg (77 lbs)
- SLDL: 55 kg (121 lbs)
- Curls: 35 kg (77 lbs)
- Raises: 80 kg (176 lbs)
Cycle 4 - Week 5 - Heavy Day:
- Squats 70 kg (154 lbs)
- Bench: 60 kg (132 lbs)
- Rows: 55 kg (121 lbs)
- OHP: 40 kg (88 lbs)
- SLDL: 75 kg (165 lbs)
- Curls: 40 kg (88 lbs)
- Raises: 110 kg (242 lbs)
I am a bit dismayed about these numbers because they seem so low compared to what people discuss lifting on forums such as this one. But they feel about right to me when I need to lift them. I have tried adding a bit more than 10% on some lifts after a successful test day but this has most often proved to be more than I could handle.
Now I'm curious about the following:
1) Am I doing this right? Does this progress look typical?
2) How do beginners such as myself experience progress on this program? Like, do you notice increasing numbers to begin with and size later, or something else?
3) What sort of weight do beginners like me start out with and what do they progress to (and how fast)?
4) If I am able to continue progressing normally to cycle 8, my big lifts would be squat 95 kg (209 lbs), bench 80 kg (176 lbs), SLDL 100 kg (220 lbs). Would that be a good time to graduate to another version of AllPro (or another program altogether)?
Thanks in advance for any help!
I have also created a Google spreadsheet which makes it easy to plan cycles. Unfortunately I cannot share this because I'm new to this forum (long time lurker, first time poster). In time I will share this, I guess.
10-07-2015, 04:06 PM #27
Question about the 10 rep max : is it the weight that we start with for the program ? Also, how should it feel ?
In my case I can do OHP with a 60 lbs BB no problem, but doing 65 lbs makes the 10th rep hard to do without cheating a bit (takes me more time to get the last rep done). Should I pick 60 lbs as the 10 rep max or 65 lbs ?
Last edited by SmackBang77; 10-07-2015 at 04:35 PM.
10-08-2015, 04:10 AM #28
Hey, i talked to you before about the intermediate v2 program
I'm still doing the novice one and i'm about to finish cycle 8. next saturday is test day, i wanna start the intermediate program the saturday after that
I wanna know what weights to start with for the new program? here are my current main lifts
bench 85 kg
rows 75 kg
ohp 45 kg
squat - don't get me started on that
so i wanna know should i just increase 10% like normal and use that new weight for the intermediate program?
10-08-2015, 05:01 AM #29
squat is 2 plate
bench is bw for 1
real deadlift is around 3 plate
That is great progress for a 6 month lifter. At the 1 year mark the great people can get a 3 plate squat, 2 plate bench, and 4 plate dead, and those people are normally around 180bs or more @ 15% (rippetoe likes to see them at 18% and over 200lbs).
You are on the right track, since you are not hold back (15% bumps kill you). If you want to play with the numbers, adding 4 reps to those 1 rep maxes i calculated (to turn them into 5 rep maxes) takes only 10% more strength. So almost every cycle your 1 rep max is turning into a 5 rep max, that is dam good progress in my book.
The next 2 phases you can try if regular allpro is too fast, is novice which is switching up to the first 3 lifts to 3 sets of 4-8 reps (same 90 seconds or less rest) or my autoregulated version i posted (need to update the sticky).
10-08-2015, 05:07 AM #30
PS: V2 is an off season program, and not sustainable, you get a cookie if you last 3-4 months without killing yourself. is meant to be cycled with other programs, just like the 20 rep squat programs.