T Nation

Beginner Question


been lifting on and off for years, just curious if anyone could suggest a good program on this site to start with?
Want to lose some fat around the waist and I was thinking of using Meltdown I.
Any suggestions?



start off with the 5x5 program to develop a good strength base. After that, the 10x3 for fatloss or fat to fire would be a good program to continue with


where would I find the program you are speeking of? 5X5?

I am really new to this site and just curious if there is a portion of the site that has maybe workout templates to all the the workouts?

I will keep on reading...

thanks again,


Search through the Training Article section, or use the "search" function.


The 5x5 is a simple program where you do 5 sets of 5 reps. There are many variations of the 5x5, including the 1x5 where you use progresive weights. I don't believe any one 5x5 program is better than the other and they all use different specific exercises. Stick to your core work and you should be fine.


For training templates, look to the bar on the left. Under the section, there's a subsection for . All of the articles there deal with training, and most of them have sample programs for you to follow.

So far, I've found Chad Waterbury's and Christian Thibadeau's training programs to be great for general-purpose bodybuilding (hypertrophy and stuff). Dave Tate has good powerlifting articles. Staley, Davies, etc. have good articles on becoming more athletic. I'm sure I've missed a few authors, but it's at least a place to start looking.

To look for info on 5x5, I remember Dan John (a.k.a. Danny John) wrote an "Iron John" column about the 5x5 a few months ago. There's a search button at the top of the page. Search for "Iron John" and "5x5" under articles, and it should be one of the first ones to pop up.

If you want more people to help you in the forums, you'll probably need to post more info about yourself. How long have you been "on and off" for? What exactly is "on and off?" Do you have experience athletically in the past? Do you have experience with the big lifts (squat, deadlift, bench)? Etc.

Oh, and keep reading. There's more stuff on this site than you'll ever need to build a great physique.

Good luck!


Before choosing a 5x5 program, go deeper into it, check out http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=171cheat2.

"Training Age and Rep Selection

"The more advanced you become, the lower the number of repetitions that will give you the best response."

We?ve all heard the "rules" when it comes to rep selection: one to four reps for strength, around eight to twelve reps for hypertrophy (muscle growth) and over twelve reps for endurance. For the most part, these rules are pretty accurate, although the specific numbers can vary to an extent based on genetics, muscle fiber type and a few other factors.

Then Ian comes along and lays a pretty profound idea on us: the longer you?ve been seriously training (training age) the less reps you?ll need for hypertrophy! In other words, if you used to grow like a weed on ten to twelve reps as a beginner, then your ideal hypertrophy range may be four to six reps now that you have several years of experience.

Here?s how Ian breaks it down:

If your main goal is muscle growth:
0-2 years of experience: 10-15 reps
3-6 years of experience: 8-12 reps
6-10 years of experience: 6-10 reps
>10 years of experience: 4-8 reps

If your main goal is maximal strength:
0-2 years of experience: 4-8 reps
3-6 years of experience: 3-6 reps
6-10 years of experience: 2-5 reps
>10 years of experience: 1-4 reps

And if you want the best of both worlds (size and strength):
0-2 years of experience: 6-12 reps
3-6 years of experience: 5-10 reps
6-10 years of experience: 4-8 reps
>10 years of experience: 3-6 reps

Perhaps this is one reason why gains slow down as the lifter becomes more experienced. Lifting heavier and lowing the rep range may keep the gains coming according to this theory. Pretty interesting."

Given that, I've had a lot of success in the days after I decided to be "off and on", by using Ian Kings' programs. He is an incredible coach. Another great coach that has programs on this site is Coach John Davies.

In health,



Thanks guys..
just curious if I input myself intro here or is there a specific area for intros? I will check around.

I want to trim down, get lean and show some abs. I am about 6', 204lbs, been working out on and off now probably for almost 10 years now. Been through all the programs. I am thinking of doing the full body workout for a couple of weeks because I find that my body adapts quickly and I get stronger the more frequent I work my muscles.

I am going to try the Meltdown program for a bit, I just did Day#1 of the meltdown program this morning and it nearly killed me. I think I may of used too much weight on some of the weight resitant exercises such as squats, deadlifts, because after the 1st set I couldn't get to the 10 rep range.
anyway, thanks again and I look forward to learning and sharing.