T Nation

Beginner Questions

I’ve recently started lifting with some friends of mine, and I have a few questions. One of my friends has been lifting for a few years now, and recommended a program for all of us. However, he is a much bigger guy with a lot more experience. I’ve been reading some articles here on T-Nation and I am having trouble deciding on a good program for me.

I’m 18 years old, 5’8" and 130 lbs. I’m a pretty small guy and I’ve never really played sports or anything, so I’m in that great shape.

My program is:
Monday: lower body workout
Tuesday: Upper body
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: Lower Body
Friday: Upper Body
Saturday/Sunday: Rest

The program calls for 5 sets of 5 reps per exercise with relatively high weight for my strength. I’m mostly interested in getting bigger and stronger, but size is a little bit more important to me. I was wondering if I should stick to this program or move on to one better suited to my own goals.

This program is not bad for a general purpose program. It has a good balance between volume and frequency. The 5x5 will help both in size and strength. I’m assuming it’s mostly squats, bench, rows and deadlifts. Size will come if you work on strength. Eating will make the difference. Once you have a couple of years of this type of training behind you you can start carving up the muscle. You could do a lot worse than this. Having an experienced friend will help you far more than having the most precise program that you could come up with.

Pick the weight that YOU can manage and make progressive increases. Don’t try to do a weight just because somebody else lifted it, that will only lead to injuries. Park the ego outside the gym and use your head.


very similar to what I am doing as far as the split goes. I shoot for 5x5 on the main lifts and experiment with slightly higher reps on super sets and misc stuff after the main ones are done. Just really now getting into it
I also try to get some running in on my off days but I’m older, battling marginal hypertension and need the extra work for my heart and lungs.

There is so much info here that it can be very daunting for beginners like us.
Listen to people like Stu, don’t OVER complicate your time in the gym, eat as much GOOD food as you can handle and I’m sure you will make good gains.

Thanks for the advice guys. I’ll definitely stick with this program and try to eat as much good food as my college campus offers (which sadly isn’t too much).