T Nation

A Challenge To Gym/T-Nation Newbies.

Due to recent events unfolding with the forum, I recently had my thoughts on how some people take the articles and/or specific author’s words as absolute truths that should be followed as if it were religious text (I’m sure I can hear an “Amen” from Professor X).

I’m here to try to put an end to that, and round the newbies up, pack their bags, and kick 'em out of the house to the streets. Okay, that came across a little harsh, but what better way than to make them learn on their own-Hell, maybe even [i]THINK[/i] on their own! It’s a quite simple challenge for the new guys, too. Here goes.

[u]SHINE ON, LIGHTBULB.[/u]

Okay, new guy-you’re on your own. Right now you have no article to tell you anything. What do you do? Do you panic because you don’t have a program on specialized periodization (even though you’ve only been working out for two months)? No, you don’t. This is what you will need for the challenge.

-An illustrated strength training book, showing exercises, the muscles used, etc. I recommend Strength Training Anatomy.

-A gym that has a squat rack, a bench press, a pull-up bar, olympic sized barbell, olympic weights, dumbbells (10-60+lbs) as the minimum.

-A source to see how to do exercises that are listed in the book (whether it be video on the internet or a person in real life-just make sure each exercise is done correctly).

-A good split routine, with at least 3 exercises, 12 sets, and 8 reps per set per body part. Make sure to work chest, back, biceps, triceps, lower back, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abdominals, and shoulders.

-If you are gaining muscle, eat around 20% more calories above the daily amount you need (you can figure out by knowing your daily calorie expenditure), making sure your diet contains fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and other whole foods.

-Do not make a routine without having squats, deadlifts, and a bench pressing in it. Stay consistent and work damn hard for five months (feel tired and like you can’t go on when you’re on the eighth rep? Do one more rep-it’ll pay off).

Once you have those six things, spend, at the minimum, 3 hours per week in the gym. Do this for five months, and then begin to apply special routines that you find in this website. Hell, by that time, you should be able to start Total Body Training, if you want to try it out!

I must not that this challenge IS ONLY FOR BEGINNERS with 3-5 months or less gym experience. After your five months of doing this challenge, feel free to post your pictures in the “Physique and Performance Photos”, because you worked damn hard to get where you will be at.

As for the vets, I’d love to hear you comments on this challenge-Did I go to far? Is it stupid? Did I leave something out? Need to take something out?

I can’t wait for the replies, and maybe the brave ones who actually do this.

I would state that at least one over-head press movement such as push press or mil press be included.
Apart from that great article.

I’m not sure why it bothers you that some of the trainees follow certain coaches to a ‘t’. If someone is insecure about their ability to write their own programs or if they would rather not take the time to sketch everything out, then they conveniently have the authors here writing programs.

Besides that, didn’t you just basically write out how someone should structure their program? And if they follow what you wrote, they are following your protocol.

May not be a full written up X named program by X named strength coach, but what you wrote out still carries with it parameters to follow=a program.

[quote]Fulmen wrote:
Due to recent events unfolding with the forum, I recently had my thoughts on how some people take the articles and/or specific author’s words as absolute truths that should be followed as if it were religious text (I’m sure I can hear an “Amen” from Professor X).

I’m here to try to put an end to that, and round the newbies up, pack their bags, and kick 'em out of the house to the streets. Okay, that came across a little harsh, but what better way than to make them learn on their own-Hell, maybe even [i]THINK[/i] on their own! It’s a quite simple challenge for the new guys, too. Here goes.

[u]SHINE ON, LIGHTBULB.[/u]

Okay, new guy-you’re on your own. Right now you have no article to tell you anything. What do you do? Do you panic because you don’t have a program on specialized periodization (even though you’ve only been working out for two months)? No, you don’t. This is what you will need for the challenge.

-An illustrated strength training book, showing exercises, the muscles used, etc. I recommend Strength Training Anatomy.

-A gym that has a squat rack, a bench press, a pull-up bar, olympic sized barbell, olympic weights, dumbbells (10-60+lbs) as the minimum.

-A source to see how to do exercises that are listed in the book (whether it be video on the internet or a person in real life-just make sure each exercise is done correctly).

-A good split routine, with at least 3 exercises, 12 sets, and 8 reps per set per body part. Make sure to work chest, back, biceps, triceps, lower back, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abdominals, and shoulders.

-If you are gaining muscle, eat around 20% more calories above the daily amount you need (you can figure out by knowing your daily calorie expenditure), making sure your diet contains fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and other whole foods.

-Do not make a routine without having squats, deadlifts, and a bench pressing in it. Stay consistent and work damn hard for five months (feel tired and like you can’t go on when you’re on the eighth rep? Do one more rep-it’ll pay off).

Once you have those six things, spend, at the minimum, 3 hours per week in the gym. Do this for five months, and then begin to apply special routines that you find in this website. Hell, by that time, you should be able to start Total Body Training, if you want to try it out!

I must not that this challenge IS ONLY FOR BEGINNERS with 3-5 months or less gym experience. After your five months of doing this challenge, feel free to post your pictures in the “Physique and Performance Photos”, because you worked damn hard to get where you will be at.

As for the vets, I’d love to hear you comments on this challenge-Did I go to far? Is it stupid? Did I leave something out? Need to take something out?

I can’t wait for the replies, and maybe the brave ones who actually do this.[/quote]

I’m not professor X but you will get an Amen from me. I think what would help newbies is looking at articles and seeing them as advice, that how I see them and the workouts provided are just examples that show how the principals from the articles can be used.

Also I think you would also add to vary the reps as I have found that after 8 years of sticking with certain set/rep pricipals, varying my reps withing workouts and weeks has helped the most.

I like this a lot.

True, I should have been more loose on the sets, reps, etc. The main point is for newbies to EXPERIMENT-one of the best ways to learn.

[quote]Fulmen wrote:
True, I should have been more loose on the sets, reps, etc. The main point is for newbies to EXPERIMENT-one of the best ways to learn.[/quote]

I agree with the experimentation, but with a caveat. Whatever set/rep volume they choose, it needs to be stuck to long enough to give it a chance to work, which for a beginner will be longer than for someone who has been training awhile. To (badly) paraphrase something CW said, do it until it doesn’t create gains anymore, then come back and find something else to try.

[quote]kingfinny wrote:
Fulmen wrote:
True, I should have been more loose on the sets, reps, etc. The main point is for newbies to EXPERIMENT-one of the best ways to learn.

I agree with the experimentation, but with a caveat. Whatever set/rep volume they choose, it needs to be stuck to long enough to give it a chance to work, which for a beginner will be longer than for someone who has been training awhile. To (badly) paraphrase something CW said, do it until it doesn’t create gains anymore, then come back and find something else to try.[/quote]

Definitely agree, hence me tellin them to stick with it for at least 5 months.

[quote]Fulmen wrote:
I must not that this challenge IS ONLY FOR BEGINNERS with 3-5 months or less gym experience. After your five months of doing this challenge, feel free to post your pictures in the “Physique and Performance Photos”, because you worked damn hard to get where you will be at.

[/quote]

Reminds me a lot of Vroom’s beginner thread.

I liked the post except for this part. After five months of hard work, a newbie deserves a high five for taking their first baby steps. However, I think in a perfect world, the PPP forum should be only for those people who have actually accomplished something significant.

Something that takes more than a mere five months.

[quote]Fulmen wrote:

-A source to see how to do exercises that are listed in the book (whether it be video on the internet or a person in real life-just make sure each exercise is done correctly).

[/quote]

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

good post. I’m a beginner with a bit over 6 months consistant training, and I wish I had done this when I started. But basically I did the same thing: just go in the gym, kick your own ass for an hour, get out. Get place to start. Sometimes I wonder if stuff will work, so i try it out for a while. Or read up on it here, and ask questions when I need to.

I really enjoy reading this forum and the articles, but most of it is way beyond me right now. As a beginner, I think it’s important to realize that.