T Nation

Beginner Questions


I'm looking to start weight training and have a few questions maybe you guys could help me with.

I'm currently 140 pounds at 6'0 and I'm looking to eventually get up to 200 pounds and still keep a low bodyfat percentage (I want to keep as much of those 60 pounds muscle as posible so I won't gain too much fat.)

  1. Would it be better to join a gym or workout from home? What would be the major pros and cons of either one?

  2. Is it worth it to hire a personal trainer, or would it be better for me to get all my own info from this site?

  3. What would be some diet and training articles on here you'd guys recomend for a beginner?

  4. Anything else you would reccomend a beginner to do?

thx for the help


Basically, start reading. There is all kinds of good information here.

More specifically... get someone to show you the proper form on the compound lifts. You can read up on them and practice them, but it can be good to get some feedback on what you are doing.

As for the gym or the the home, do what works for you. Personally, I don't have the equipment or space at home, nor the ability to avoid distractions, so I go to the gym when it isn't so busy that I can't stand it.

Also, if you are working out diligently, and haven't had any problems with obesity, you should be able to do a good job of putting on predominantly muscle -- especially as a beginner. Your biggest problem might be learning to eat enough to support muscle growth.

Read up on the dietary and nutrition stuff, but don't go nuts about it, just be sensible.


Ill try to answer your questions specifically but I think vroom gave you the basics you need to know

1)I think you should join a gym first, unless you have adequate equipment at home(power rack olympic, weight set, bench) and a person to help you out thats been training for some time. The gym will give you a good environment and be full of people who can give you sound advice if you ask for it. Training at home will obviously give you freedom to workout whenever you want and never have to wait for a bar or rack.

2)A good personal trainer could be very valuable for a beginner but a bad one could start you off on the wrong path. Check some out if you have the extra money but if they dont mention the words squat deadlift or press at any point, run away. This site is a valuable tool for learning and interacting with people but nothing replaces hands on experience with a person showing you what to do.

3) Regardless of your goals you should try adapting your eating habits to Dr Berardi's 7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutrition Programs and then adjust the calories accordingly. Once you can get almost all your meals to be healthy and protien based you will be miles ahead of the average weight trainer

As far as training goes, any workout from here that uses multi joint compound movements will be fine as long as your perform them with proper form. Maybe check out Big Boy Basics by Chad Waterbury, http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459533

4) As far as general advice, consistency is the key for anyone here, learn to eat for your goals, train hard in the gym a few times a week and be patient, the results will come. Good luck and come back with any additional questions


Set yourself up for a year of dedication to a certain degree.... thus Consistency is crucial- so make sure after reading articles/advice you are doing a disciplined routine you will adhere too for the long run. Don't burn out too fast or have to light of a program that produces no enthusiastic results. So it won't be just the exercise routines either you need to pay attention to - it'll be what you eat/how much you eat/ when to eat/ what type of nutrients to eat around work outs and rest. Keeping on top of all these things will enhance your success early. Good luck.


BY GOD 140 and 6'

Keep it simple eat a TON opf good food all types. go to the gym and LIFT using heavy weight and BIG compound lifts get a trainer to show you them if needed.

Then eat some more. You are in DIRE need of some fork and cup curls.

Not trying to be a dick but MAN at 6' 170 I was silky thin and that lead to health probs 140 I would have to be dead.


  1. Just in my case, a gym is miles far beyond better than working out at home. I wouldn't stick to it at home or push myself nearly as much. But do what works for you. A lot of times, it's hard to replicate the equipment that even a crappy gym has, at home.

  2. Get ALL you can from this site! This site is full of good accurate information. It would be ideal to get a personal trainer who follows this site but unfortunately those are rare. As long as you set your goals, read all you can, and don't get bogged down with muscle magazines' crap, I see no need for a trainer.

  3. For diet...EAT ALL YOU CAN. 6 times a day or more. Just eat my man. At that weight there's not much harm you can do just by shoveling down everything you can.

  4. Squat, Deadlift, Bench, chins, weighted dips, overhead presses...Stick to the basic compound multi-joint lifts and hit those hard.

Hope that helps.


Anything else I should know starting out?


Yes. Your action is worth more than talking about it. That means, hopefully you are now working out having either already started or on your way to the gym today. Hopefully you have also already eaten 2-3 times by now. Otherwise, sitting here asking what you should be doing will not take the place of you actually doing something.