T Nation

"Beginner" Needing Advice


So I’m not exactly sure what to call myself. Im 17, 5’11, and 145lbs, I’m by no means big, but im also not the skinniest guy you’ve ever seen. Im at a generally low body fat level, probably between 10-12%, my abs are visible but not particularly defined. I have been in crossfit since i was 13, started out over weight, but quickly got that fixed with a combination of growing and crossfit. But I got to a point where I wasnt getting anymore results, and my lower body was drastically stronger than my upper body. My squat was at about 200lb and my deadlift about 260lb, but my bench press was 95lb, and that was just too uneven for me.

So in a way I am a beginner, but i know a variety of lifts and movements. I am now at another gym, but clueless as to what to do because crossfit had pre-made workouts. So i guess my essential question is, what would be most beneficial for me to build muscle?

Also, because i started out over weight, I have a pretty hefty mental barrier against gaining any fat. So im hoping to keep my fat down, and maybe even lower it as well. So any advice would be much appreciated!


Basically any good 3x5, 5x5 program, 5/3/1 BBB challenge or periodization bible templates etc. With those lifts, I would probably run the 5/3/1 novice version for a while first.

As you are terrified of getting fat again, aim to eat as much as you can while still maintaining your weight. When you have pinpointed your exact TDEE, add just a bit weekly to minimize or even eliminate fat gains.

Edit: ah damn I forgot the no links to other websites policy. Google 5/3/1 for novices and check Wendler’s own website for the basic layout of the program.


5/3/1 for Hardgainers. Squat, press, deadlift, pushups, chins, core/lower back work. Agile 8, box jumps, med ball throws, hill sprints. Forget about curls, tricep extensions, leg extensions, that kind of shit for a while. Get in the gym 4x/week for at least 6 months straight, make that a goal.

Eat a piece of meat, with a carb and a fruit/veggie every meal. See how you progress in body weight, and add more if you’re not gaining weight. You’re going to have to be getting 3,500 calories a day to gain weight and progress your lifts, maybe more based on how active you are or how fast your metabolism is.


Just read pretty much any 10 articles on the t-nation site especially some by Dan John like this…

145 at 5’11 is skinny, you will prob need to get to 165 just to look like you even lift. -Basically start pounding down clean food. At 17yo if youre training hard you will not get fat at all as long as youre not eating like a total slob