T Nation

A New Beginning, Advice Needed

Hello guys, I’ve just registered but I’ve been a lurker for a couple years (im a sick, sick person :X)

I’m 5-9, 178 lbs. I have back pain and im pretty tight, and I want to begin working out properly.

After reading several articles and ordering a couple DVD’s, I’ve made myself a pretty decent routine but I still have questions. I’ve hurt myself in the past and I don’t plan on hurting myself anymore…

Since I’ve got pretty tight hamstrings and a ‘slouch’, I decided that my warmup will be a bunch of jumping jacks/burpees and then static stretching. I’ve learned static stretching hinders strength gains, but what I’m most worried about is correct patterns and full muscle fiber recruitment when I perform exercises.

But that brings me to something more important. I’ve never really squatted before nor have I deadlifted. I was formerly the ‘bench press’ guy… once my chest felt huge and pumped the rest of my exercises were pretty much crappy and I never paid attention to anything else. Bench press made my chest hard and my ego bigger, so what’s the point of doing anything else?

Many workouts later, the muscle imbalances would come through and my hips/hammys getting tight and my back weak, I stopped working out and started to find out how to not screw up myself. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that I’m not working out correctly, and I shouldn’t jump to important exercises like the squat and deadlift.

I remember reading an article awhile back that showed a routine full of isolated exercises; yes the ones that usually only benefit bodybuilders but would be of great benefit to people who don’t have correct motor recruitment while doing squats/deadlifts and would be better off doing the iso-work first.

That and I’ve read that bodyweight exercise would be better to start out with until I can control my weight better, prior to adding external resistance.

I need advice fellas, I’ve not afraid to lift the iron but I don’t want the iron to destroy me instead of building me :slight_smile:


Your flippin nuts dont use important exercises that you suck at like DL squat etc… Youve avoided them in the past where did that get you??

Drop the ego and the loads along with it even if it means the bar or body weight and learn the moves and make slow SLOW stead progress adding weight to the bar or reps etc.

Get a good basic program going a balanced one and main thing do the damn thing and stick to it.

You would benefit greatly from getting Mike R and Eric C’s Magnificent Mobility DVD. for the activation etc.

Id say do either full body or upper lower split to start. get going and do It and ease into it do things right this time fix the probs you have and progress.


Stretch before and after.

I appreciate the replys fellas.

My most important question now; is there a ‘base’ bodyweight program to use? I’ve seen one from ross-boxing but I think that might be more than I’m looking for. What is important to do first? Lunges - Pushups - proper Sit-ups? I’ve searched T-Nation and didn’t come up with anything.

In your original post you said you were doing static stretching. In my opinion I would stick to dynamic and mix static in a little. I’m so inflexible and I got nothing out of static stretches. Just something to consider. It is good you realized you have tight hips and hamstrings, stretch away.

There is no possible way to guarentee you aren’t going to get injured, but there is a lot of precautions such as warming up. And don’t be stubborn like me, listen to your body. If something hurts, don’t push through it. There is a difference between a hard lift and pain, sometimes it is hard to distiguish between the two. Good luck, it is good you are correcting your imbalances now.

In my opinion, as you are just starting to workout, and are starting with tightness and backpain, there are no magic exercises. That is, you can do bodyweight, free weight, or machines. The important point is that you progress and push at a speed that is appropriate for you.

Although a squat may in the long run be a better exercise then a leg press, in the short run for you all that matters is that whatever you choose you are able to get a good workout without hurting yourself. Before even asking anybody what the correct routine is, you need to find out for yourself what you like to do. If squats are the greatest thing since sliced bread, but you can’t tolerate them now, then they are useless to you.

As you can probably tell, I don’t agree with the philosophy that all people should have the same set of exercises regardless of their experience, strength, age, and injuries.