T Nation

Another Beginner


Afternoon Guy's,

I have just started getting into weights around about a month or two ago and im after a bit of advice.

Firstly, I am 5 foot 11 and currently weight 189lbs (13 st 7 lbs), down from 14 st 4 lbs.

My current workout roughly consists of:


Chest & Back -

Chest Press, Deep Push Up's, Dumbbell Fly's, Dumbbell Bench Press

Bent Over Barbell Row
One Arm Dumbbell Row
Upright Row

15-20 mins of Cardio then 30 mins of swimming


Shoulders & Arms -

Military press, Dumbbell Lateral Raise, bent Over Reverse Fly, Overhead Press

Barbell Bicep Curl, French Press, Dumbbell Bicep Curls, Bench Dips


Chest & Back again

15-20 mins of cardio


Shoulders & Arms again

30 mins Swimming


Chest & Back again

15-20 mins of cardio


Shoulders & Arms again

15-20 mins of Cardio

Sunday - Rest

  • All the weights are done on a 5x5 basis
    ** I currently take a protein shake approx 5-10 mins after each workout

I currently neglect my legs a little as i have had bad problems with shin splints etc for the last few years which i am currently sorting so will start on my legs when they are sorted

My ideal weight will be around 13 stone so i have another 7 lbs to lose to get there and i want to tone up at the same time

Im just after a few tips etc from the more experienced guy's to help me along my way, and too find out if i might be dooing a bit too much for the moment,



First off welcome.

Now let's dissect this shit shall we? (I'm not going to change what you have or add lifts that might require different equipment b/c I don't know what you have at your disposal)

Not a bad set up right here. But let's tweak it so it is optimal.
-Chest Press, DB Bench, Flys, Push Ups
-Back set up looks good but how about you do a wide grip BB Row and Keep your elbow tight to your side on your DB row.

Again, not terrible...but let's tweak.
-Overhead Press (I assume this is with a BB?), Military Press, Lateral Raise, Rev. Fly
-Try changing the grip with your BB and DB Bi curls. You can do hammer curls with the DB and you can do reverse grip with the BB.

-NO need for this man. If you train hard enough your first chest/back day, that's good for the week.

Again, see above. No need.

See a pattern here? No need.

Ugh....c'mon! You're killin' me!

That's a good set up, and shakes are a good idea too.

-Shin splints don't usually cause problems with weight lifting. I'd start throwing in (at least) some bodyweight squats and lunges (depending on the equipment you have at your disposal). You could do like 200 bodyweight squats (4 sets of 25) and aim to beat your previous time. And also maybe 50 lunges per leg? toss a few books in a backpack to ass some resistance if your at home. If your at a gym; squat!

First off, where do you work out? Home or Gym? If home; what equipment do you have?

Look up "Barbell complexes" here. That article is a great one for helping lose weight. I used to use that idea as a 'finisher' after my strength workouts to cut a bit of weight.

It seems you are just working "the beach muscles" b/c your "leg problem"

There are lots of other things you can do. But first answer my questions and we'll go from there.


x2: in my experience, running/jumping/skipping rope can cause shin splints (you don't do any of them in your "cardio", do you?); squat and deadlift DO NOT cause/aggravate it.
If you're an absolute beginner, you may want to start with goblet squat (google it, all you need is a dumbell).

I basically agree with everthing else B rock wrote, but you shouldn't work shoulder and arms the day after back/chest (they could still be fatigued), and it wouldn't hurt to add some vertical pulling; from the hardest to the easiest: pull-up, chin-up (palm facing you) or lat pull down (if you can't do a single chin up...).

Do you work your abs? Elbow planks, ab rolls (with a BB or two DB), leg raises... can be useful!


Thanks for your reply,

Heres the answer to your questions,

I currently workout at home where my garage is basically a gym,

I currently have the following at my disposal. Bench, Dumbbells and Barbell, Cross Trainer, Exercise Bike, Treadmill, Medicine Ball, Punch Bag etc

Would i be best off following this plan but use the 5x5 method?


And then do cardio on the days in between?

Finally, I didnt want to aggravate my legs at all but now i agree that i should start on the legs again as it doesnt affect my legs,



In addition, during your back workout you need to include some pullups or pull downs depending on your strength level. You need to work the muscles in that plane of motion as well as the more horizontal and upward planes. Need to make sure in your pushing and pulling workouts that you work all planes of motion. Lift for movement, not necessarily muscles. Work all the movements, the muscles will take care of themselves.

To get a good base of strength and balance really try to concentrate on the big power movements first and then add some supplementary lifts afterwards. I'd try starting each workout with a power movement. Bench, BB rows, squats, deads. These lifts will get your major muscle groups working. Next add in exercises to work those main movement patterns. Push days, and Pull days work pretty well until you get to a good foundaiton. So not as much chest and back, for example, but a push day that'll work a lot of chest, shoulders, and triceps; and a pull day that'll work a lot of back and biceps. But like I said, make sure you're working all the planes, horizontal, upward, and downward.

Working movements like this first to get a good foundation will get your entire body working as a unit. After you get your motor units working you can mix things up and work some more isolation or different protocols.