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  1. #1
    Registered User sevun7's Avatar
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    Smile Advice for Beginner PLZ

    Hi everyone,
    A few days ago I went to do my first gym workout with a few friends.
    I am turned 18 recently, around 50-55 kg and skinny for as long as I can think of.
    My main goals would be to gain muscle overall to look healthier/more normal and to improve my frame. To me, this involves targeting the back, shoulders, chest, and legs.
    I have seen on this forum that Rippetoe's Starting Strength and AllPro's Beginner Routine are two popular programs to follow for a novice.
    However, they require free weights and I don't know if I should start with machines first, because they're easier to begin building muscle with and then I can transition to free weights later.

    My questions are:
    1. Start with free weights or machines? If the answer is machines, how long do you reckon I should continue this for?

    2. Do you recommend Starting Strength/AllPro routine to build my frame (back, shoulders, chest, legs) and build muscle all around? Any additional exercises you would add to them?

    3. Do I need to track macros/calories, or should I just aim to eat enough so I have a calorie surplus? I read on the "Answers to Every Beginner Thread Ever" that if you're starting out at lifting, you only need to eat more than usual for gaining muscle and not worry to much about tracking using an app or whatever.

    4. Any other tips to stay motivated? Keeping a personal workout log?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    1. You can start with free weights immediately. The best novice routines all use them. You just have to be careful and don't "ego lift" using more weight than you can correct execute good form with.

    2. I recommend Fierce 5 or All Pros. Don't add exercises, they weren't designed to be incomplete, adding stuff usually makes them worse not better.

    3. If you can't consciously eat enough to gain 2-3lbs a month then you may need to count calories to make sure you keep your intake up. You could try without at first. Just add 2 big bowls of cereal with lots of extra milk each day on top of what you normally eat (for example).

    4. I'm not the best at answering this but if you feel like you want to keep a log then do so.
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  3. #3
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    ^ In addition to SP's advice:

    1: That's a tough question. Beginners want a pump, they want to feel sore, they want quick progress, they like the endorphin and adrenaline rush from moving lots of metal in the gym. Machines give you all that temporarily because they're easy to use. However, free weights are far better for overall strength and muscular development long term. Their big drawback is that they require you to be more patient, but their payoff is much more. Definitely start with free weights, specifically the barbell. Machines are for accessory work (curls, flyes, triceps, calves, quads, hams).

    2: Don't add to a pre-written program. Just choose a good program that has everything you like, and stick to it. Starting Strength and AllPros are opposite ends of the spectrum. SS is 3x5 for a handful of lifts, grinding up through linear progression. AllPros is a more variable rep scheme. Look for something in the middle and decide which end of the spectrum you prefer. Other good beginner programs are: Candito Linear, Vikings (lots of pump work), Fierce 5, Greg Nuckols (28 programs or Average to Savage), Stronglifts.

    3: No need to track, just eat a lot of real food. Make sure you're getting around 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Protein powder is good to use.

    4: Keeping a log is good for many reasons. Yes, keep one.
    Currently running Calgary programming again: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1618375061&viewfull=1#post1618375061
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  4. #4
    Registered User sevun7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    2: Don't add to a pre-written program. Just choose a good program that has everything you like, and stick to it. Starting Strength and AllPros are opposite ends of the spectrum. SS is 3x5 for a handful of lifts, grinding up through linear progression. AllPros is a more variable rep scheme. Look for something in the middle and decide which end of the spectrum you prefer. Other good beginner programs are: Candito Linear, Vikings (lots of pump work), Fierce 5, Greg Nuckols (28 programs or Average to Savage), Stronglifts.
    Thank you ECGordyn and SP for responding!
    This is a dumb question, how does AllPros differ from SS in terms of linear progression? Is it because AllPros is more cycle-based?

    I also remember reading that SS was more for strength, and AllPros focused more on building muscle mass. Would you agree with this?
    Out of the other beginner programs, do you know which are a good blend of SS and AllPros + aim at building muscle mass? (although, AllPros is appealing since there are a variety of movements, like you said)
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  5. #5
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sevun7 View Post
    Thank you ECGordyn and SP for responding!
    This is a dumb question, how does AllPros differ from SS in terms of linear progression? Is it because AllPros is more cycle-based?

    I also remember reading that SS was more for strength, and AllPros focused more on building muscle mass. Would you agree with this?
    Out of the other beginner programs, do you know which are a good blend of SS and AllPros + aim at building muscle mass? (although, AllPros is appealing since there are a variety of movements, like you said)
    Strength vs. muscle mass is just an old myth. They're the same thing. Basically, a big muscle is a strong muscle, and a strong muscle is big. SP has a really good thread about that. https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...5493881&page=1 There is a temporary difference because higher reps give a bit more pump and store more glycogen in the muscle, which makes you look bigger, but it's just a temporary trick not worth worrying about IMO.

    AllPros and SS are different training styles. SS gets to the point where it has you training at or near your max weight every workout, every week. This can be really tough because you get to a point where you need more recovery before hitting your max again. AllPros has this recovery built in with heavy, medium, and light days. Let's say Monday is your heavy day, you lift your max weight for 10 reps. Then on Wednesday you lift 90% of that max weight, and on Friday you lift 80% of it. Monday is your toughest day, then Wednesday and Friday let you recover a bit by training with lower weights. In the long term, that's more sustainable and more motivating.

    Somewhere between SS and AllPros would be Vikings Fullbody or UL, Candito Linear, and Fierce 5. Many people on this forum know F5 and can give detailed guidance on it.
    Currently running Calgary programming again: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1618375061&viewfull=1#post1618375061
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  6. #6
    Registered User sevun7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Somewhere between SS and AllPros would be Vikings Fullbody or UL, Candito Linear, and Fierce 5. Many people on this forum know F5 and can give detailed guidance on it.
    Hi everyone, I decided to go with Fierce 5 in the end!
    I am struggling to maintain or even use correct form + technique when doing these exercises. Normally I watch videos the night before and try to remember them. However, by the time I get to the school gym during a free period, I have forgotten a lot of what was said and since I don't have much time to work out (free period lasts less than an hour), I haven't managed to fit in all five exercises for a certain workout day and can't watch videos about proper form if I want to fit in as many of the required exercises as possible.

    Any tips for retaining information about correct form? Do I just need to practise mind-muscle connection?
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  7. #7
    Registered User filtheboss's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sevun7 View Post
    Hi everyone,
    A few days ago I went to do my first gym workout with a few friends.
    I am turned 18 recently, around 50-55 kg and skinny for as long as I can think of.
    My main goals would be to gain muscle overall to look healthier/more normal and to improve my frame. To me, this involves targeting the back, shoulders, chest, and legs.
    I have seen on this forum that Rippetoe's Starting Strength and AllPro's Beginner Routine are two popular programs to follow for a novice.
    However, they require free weights and I don't know if I should start with machines first, because they're easier to begin building muscle with and then I can transition to free weights later.

    My questions are:
    1. Start with free weights or machines? If the answer is machines, how long do you reckon I should continue this for?

    2. Do you recommend Starting Strength/AllPro routine to build my frame (back, shoulders, chest, legs) and build muscle all around? Any additional exercises you would add to them?

    3. Do I need to track macros/calories, or should I just aim to eat enough so I have a calorie surplus? I read on the "Answers to Every Beginner Thread Ever" that if you're starting out at lifting, you only need to eat more than usual for gaining muscle and not worry to much about tracking using an app or whatever.

    4. Any other tips to stay motivated? Keeping a personal workout log?

    Thanks!
    watch Jason blaha video about how to gain muscle quickly. This is the best advice I can give you. Good luck my man
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  8. #8
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    5x5; free weights

    Originally Posted by sevun7 View Post
    Hi everyone,
    A few days ago I went to do my first gym workout with a few friends.
    I am turned 18 recently, around 50-55 kg and skinny for as long as I can think of.
    My main goals would be to gain muscle overall to look healthier/more normal and to improve my frame. To me, this involves targeting the back, shoulders, chest, and legs.
    I have seen on this forum that Rippetoe's Starting Strength and AllPro's Beginner Routine are two popular programs to follow for a novice.
    However, they require free weights and I don't know if I should start with machines first, because they're easier to begin building muscle with and then I can transition to free weights later.

    My questions are:
    1. Start with free weights or machines? If the answer is machines, how long do you reckon I should continue this for?

    2. Do you recommend Starting Strength/AllPro routine to build my frame (back, shoulders, chest, legs) and build muscle all around? Any additional exercises you would add to them?

    3. Do I need to track macros/calories, or should I just aim to eat enough so I have a calorie surplus? I read on the "Answers to Every Beginner Thread Ever" that if you're starting out at lifting, you only need to eat more than usual for gaining muscle and not worry to much about tracking using an app or whatever.

    4. Any other tips to stay motivated? Keeping a personal workout log?

    Thanks!
    A good beginner program is the 5x5 program by ICF/ Jason blah. Not only is it recommended by many people on here, but it is proven time and time again to be effective for building a solid strength and size base for anyone.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAuARgqS6aQ


    -The video link should go over important information on the workout schedule, exercises,etc.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94fe6xvYbVY
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