T Nation

Advice on Getting Big

I want to get big. What is the best training program to follow?
There is so many, I don’t know where to go. Simple things like how
many reps, how many sets and what exercises to do and on what days.
So much information I feel overloaded.

Hopefully get some answers from real people who get real results, not trying to sell a
supplement.

Thank you!!

The real magic happens in the kitchen, youll never get big unless your diet is spot on.

Im sure others will disagree with this but program really isnt nearly as important as long as it has you squatting benching and deadlifting heavy

Dcm1602 if any one disagrees with you on that statement they are full of shit.
Sam86ni- Wyatt are your current stats at this point height, weight, age, and lifts Max if you knoe any of them.

Eat a bunch of GOOD food, lift heavy, recover as best as possible. All I can give you with so little info.

Lots of food and barbell curls in a squat rack

I understand your being overwhelmed. There is a lot of information out there, and there is a lot of supplement-pushing. That’s simply a reality of how this world works.

I can think of two good places to start out. 1) go to stronglifts and get Mehdi’s free report explaining the program. AND/OR 2) buy the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. Both are ok programs with a lot of good no-BS information. You don’t have to do either program… just read, learn, and absorb what they have to say.

Once you have that basis, come back here, and discuss.

THEN, the other critical part is your diet. This is actually more important than which specific training program you’re doing. There are plenty of articles on diet on this website… the “anabolic diet”/“metabolic diet” and “green faces” are two that come to mind.

Follow the bigger guys and learn what works for you.

That’s pretty much how every other big guy did it…well, that and shutting down restaurants.

[quote]dcm1602 wrote:
The real magic happens in the kitchen, youll never get big unless your diet is spot on.[/quote]

^THIS^ Most beginners simply don’t eat enough.

[quote]dcm1602 wrote:
as long as it has you squatting benching and deadlifting heavy [/quote]

and ^THIS^

Good post!

dedication+intensity+years=BIG

I would echo the suggestions to focus on eating a proper diet, and using the bench press, squat, and deadlift as the staples of your routine. However, for bodybuilding (as opposed to powerlifting), there are other basic exercises that you also need to focus on: like the military press, barbell curl, standing calf raise, tricep extensions, and so on (in order to have a balanced body).

The general rule of thumb is to work your back and biceps together, your chest and triceps together, your thighs and calves (with shoulders, or), shoulders/traps on their own day. You should be lifting at least 4 days a week (5-6 is usually better) for about 45-75 minutes, doing mostly traditional free weight exercises, at least 12-15 sets for bigger muscle groups like back, chest, and thighs, and 8-12 sets for smaller groups. Try to go heavier or do more repetitions on the last set of each exercise than you did the previous workout (called progressive overload, this is the driving force behind muscle mass gains).

Once you have trained that way for a little while (achieving certain goals like a bodyweight bench, etc.), then you can change your routine or tweak things to your preference.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Follow the bigger guys and learn what works for you.

That’s pretty much how every other big guy did it…well, that and shutting down restaurants.[/quote]

Just want to add train as they DID, not as they DO. I can’t count the number of little guys I see following Jay Cutler’s routine and doing nothing but grinding their wheels as their strength never seems to go anywhere.

Eat till you poop 3 times a day.

[quote]sam86ni wrote:
I want to get big.[/quote]
What, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

What’s your current height, weight, and general fat level (not percentage, but are you pudgy, kinda average, sorta lean, ripped, etc.)?

There is no universal “best” because pretty much every training method will work for a while for most people.

[quote]There is so many, I don’t know where to go. Simple things like how
many reps, how many sets and what exercises to do and on what days.
So much information I feel overloaded.[/quote]
Eating:

Training:

Start these today, learn as you go, and adjust as needed.

Don’t be afraid of carbs. That is the worst enemy of anyone trying to get big.

[quote]i_am_ketosis wrote:
Don’t be afraid of carbs. That is the worst enemy of anyone trying to get big.

[/quote]

Don’t be afraid of fats either.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]i_am_ketosis wrote:
Don’t be afraid of carbs. That is the worst enemy of anyone trying to get big.

[/quote]

Don’t be afraid of fats either.[/quote]

Or girls. That’s a no win for everyone.

Just to preface this, I am a total noob… I think I may have even done curls in the squat rack at some point in time. My old workouts in my 20s were all benching, flies and curls… I could bench more than squat (not much for either heh)

Finally trying to get serious about lifting for the last 3 months and had been in the same boat as you in the crazy sea of (awesome) info on this site. Read through Starting Strength and I’ve been doing that for the last month and the strength gains are pretty good in my opinion. Get ready for some pathetic number here, heh:

Start
Bench: 145 x 5
Press: 80 x 5
DL: 150 x 5
Squat: 140 x 5

Current:
Bench: 170 x 5
Press: 100 x 5
DL: 185 x 5
Squat: 175 x 5

For me it seems like I didn’t even realize I could lift it until I put it on the bar. The in depth analysis of form that Rippetoe goes into DEFINITELY boosted my confidence to throw more weight on the bar.

Found this spreadsheet that makes it pretty easy to follow (you should definitely buy the book though):
http://whatwouldthestigdo.com/files/SS_Log_Book_Calc.zip

My plan is to start out with Starting Strength to take advantage of the beginner gains, then move into 5/3/1 once I stop stacking on weight and then add in some more hypertrophy based work outs to get the size. It seems to me like it would make sense to shoot for strength as the primary goal before focusing on size or symmetry since that will probably come easier once I can lift a lot more.

I’m not necessarily saying that’s the right thing for anyone to do but just wanted to throw that out there since I can definitely relate to the analysis paralysis all this info can cause.

And of course nutrition is paramount. This is a great article on beginner nutrition:

More oatmeal, less dounuts

Remember to get lots of sleep.
You grow when you are resting not when you are lifting weights!