T Nation

Beginner Routines?

Don’t know what you are using, but try Joe DeFranco’s Westside for Skinny Bastards.

Its what I’ve been doing for a few months, and seems to be working just fine.
http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles/38-articles/60-westside-for-skinny-bastards-part1.html

I use the original version, but he has expanded it in other articles.

Good Luck.

[quote]WaxyLizard wrote:
I just don’t understand how a program with no intensity and not enough exercises in it will even rip the muscles or encourage them to grow? I honestly left the gym feeling like I wasted the night.[/quote]

I dont know what youre routine is, but add more weight and another set to each exercise if its just not enough.
Be honest with yourself in the gym, if you aint workin hard, WORK HARDER! it aint rocket science, increase youre intensity.
If you really dont like the routine youre doing check out this thread:

ram, thats what im saying… i jusr dont feel like im doing anything near what im capable of doing. Ive looked at full body workouts, ectomorph friendly workouts and beginner workouts but none of them seem good for me even though ive been told they are good for me.

Ive been doing long workouts that included ablot of sets, reps and exercises from day one and have become used to that. dropping doen to such a small and short sessions seems to leave me thinking ive wasted an hour of my life.

post you current training routine

just get stronger

Well I was doing, day 1; chest tri- bench 4x8, dumbbell incline 4x10, decline bench 4x4, flies 3x10, dips x 10, skull crushers 5x10, cable tricep pull 4x12. Day 2; biceps and back; barbell curls 4x10, dumbbell curls 4x8, preacher curls 3x10. Day 3; shoulders and legs- squats 5x6, leg extensions; 4x10, leg press 3x8, military press 4x10, barbell military press 2x10, lateral raise 4 x 8, forward raise 4x10, shrugs 4x15

[quote]WaxyLizard wrote:
i jusr dont feel like im doing anything near what im capable of doing.[/quote]
Once again…

What, exactly, did your workout look like? What exercises, weight, sets, and reps did you do?

That still doesn’t mean you’ve been doing good workouts.

Remember in one of your previous threads, when you said:

You’re a 6’2", 170-pound dude with a manual labor job. (No offense, just reviewing the facts). High volume training is not the answer, especially since you’re still tweaking your nutrition.

P.S. - That program you just listed is ridiculous, for a few different reasons.

Well for the sets an reps I followed the the program exactly. I bench 70kg, squat 90kgs, only just started deadlifts but was doing 70kgs

[quote]WaxyLizard wrote:
Well for the sets an reps I followed the the program exactly. I bench 70kg, squat 90kgs, only just started deadlifts but was doing 70kgs[/quote]
In your recent workout, you squatted 3x5 (15 total reps) with 90kg, and then bench pressed 3x5 (15 total reps) with 70kg, and then deadlifted 1x5 (5 reps) with 70kg?

Yep…

[quote]WaxyLizard wrote:
ram, thats what im saying… i jusr dont feel like im doing anything near what im capable of doing. Ive looked at full body workouts, ectomorph friendly workouts and beginner workouts but none of them seem good for me even though ive been told they are good for me.

Ive been doing long workouts that included ablot of sets, reps and exercises from day one and have become used to that. dropping doen to such a small and short sessions seems to leave me thinking ive wasted an hour of my life. [/quote]
Lift more weight. At a guess I’d say a lot more weight.

The word ‘hardgainer’ is miss-used in so many ways.

  1. People who don’t eat or train right put themselves under the hardgainer umbrella

  2. The one I hate the most, because it insults true hardgainers and is partly to blame because of the crew above (1), are the ones who say that you are “being a pussy and need to train exactly like them!”

Training is individual - people’s ability to tolerate volume differs.

Chris Colucci sounds like he trains quite a few people (hence a rounded opinion), and like other people who train others and don’t have a closed mind, they realise that not everybody is the same and that hardgainers DO exist.

Hardgainer is not a handicap (lol), it just means that you need to train according to your body type in order to spur on growth (to a much higher level than you would grow at if you followed unsuitable advice). Also, hardgainers aren’t ALWAYS ectomorphic (skinny frames with fast metabolisms). Hardgainers can be skinny fat, chunky etc…but respond to what I’m about to say next…

There are people out there that say the training program doesn’t matter, and all that matters is hard work…well I’m saying that they are only partially right! A program that has a true hardgainer (natty) doing a typical high volume “bodybuilding” routine of 12+ sets/bodypart/week would be crap for them (just give a cosmetic pump and that’s it).

Food is always a constant when it comes to different people - EVERYONE needs to eat enough (however this doesn’t mean that somehow food is THE answer to a hardgainers problems…although in general, they do tend to underestimate their metabolism). Not everyone responds to the exact same training stimulus. A hardgainer usually responds to brief routines, done less frequently, in other words, short workouts (less exercises per bodypart or fewer sets, or both) with more rest days (to allow their “fragile” nervous systems to rebound better).

Even if eating enough to gain weight, a hardgainer putting in 100% effort would reach a point of diminishing returns after 3-4 weeks of training 5+ days per week. The exception to this “rule” would be if only 3 of those days in the week were intense (pushing the intensity on 3+ multi-joint movements), if the other 2-3 days were only sessions with a few small isolation exercises, this would be more manageable (in effect, your isolation days are like days off because they have little impact on the nervous system).

OP - If none of that ^ rings a bell with yourself, are you really a hardgainer? Either that, or you just aren’t pushing the exercises as far as you can do (near failure, and adding weight every time you can)…and eating enough

For those not interested in my girly rant above :slight_smile: here’s the cliff notes

Train according to how your body responds

Work a muscle - get a good balance between intensity and volume/pump - train it again when you are stronger

OP, you do obviously need to get stronger, but no you do not have to follow a “strength program” or do “starting strength” or listen to the advice of people who don’t even look like they lift weights, much less have the body you want to have.

My advice would be to read the Best of T-Nation sticky in the bodybuilding forum (threads by and about people that are actually big), especially the “Do This Routine Instead of That Dumb One” thread, and then either follow one of those or make your own routine out of a few basic freeweight exercises for each muscle group.

If you want my recommendation on a routine, it would be: chest&triceps, back&biceps, shoulders&traps, thighs&calves, rest, rest or repeat

Flat, incline, and flyes for chest; Lying and overhead extensions, and pushdowns for triceps. Pullups or pulldowns, barbell rows, T-bar rows for back. Barbell curls, concentration curls, and hammer curls for biceps. Seated DB or BB press, DB side raises, and DB rear raises for shoulders, barbell shrugs for traps. Back squats, stiff-leg deadlifts, leg extensions and leg curls for thighs, standing and seated calf raises for calves.

3-5 sets, 8-12 reps for the big stuff, 12-15 reps for the little stuff. Working up to one or two sets of non-stop reps to failure for each exercise in whichever rep range. Fighting to add reps or weight to the big stuff every session, the little stuff should be going up in weight at least every month.

That is honestly the routine I would do if I could fly back in time to when I was underweight and benching 155lbs. Just putting that out there.

  1. Listen to Colucci.
  2. Consume more quality calories -peri work out nutrition is HUGE-
  3. Stop thinking and start lifting. The program you listed has a ton of ‘variety’ but WAY too much accessory work. You might as well go buy P90X.
  4. Stick with a simple plan for 6 months and log your results.

Be sure your plan includes complex lifts as the basis of most training days and you will build more muscle faster. If you really don’t want to think about it, do JW’s 531 for 12 months and evaluate your progress then.

[quote]WaxyLizard wrote:
Yep…[/quote]
Okay, cool. So next workout, it’s:

Squat 3x5 95kg
Overhead press 3x5 50kg (presuming that’s doable)
Power clean 3x5 65-70kg (presuming that’s doable)

Workout after that:
Squat 3x5 100kg
Bench 3x5 75kg
Deadlift 1x5 80kg

Continue progressing for at least another 3 or 4 weeks before forming an actual opinion on the program.

Also… crucial pop quiz… what, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

I eat the same things everyday… 100g oats with honey, 4eggs blended with milk and honey, 2 peanut butter sandwiches, 100g almonds, apple, kiwi, chicken breast an broc, steak pasta and veg. Sometimes I eat a beef burger too

[quote]WaxyLizard wrote:
I eat the same things everyday… 100g oats with honey, 4eggs blended with milk and honey, 2 peanut butter sandwiches, 100g almonds, apple, kiwi, chicken breast an broc, steak pasta and veg. Sometimes I eat a beef burger too[/quote]
Yesterday, did that break down into something like:

Breakfast: 100g oats with honey, 4eggs blended with milk and honey

Snack: 2 peanut butter sandwiches, 100g almonds, apple

Lunch: kiwi, chicken breast an broc

Dinner: steak pasta and veg

Snack: beef burger

What are you having before, during, and after your workout?

Also, in the almost-two weeks since you started asking questions about your training and nutrition, how much has your bodyweight increased? Learning, reading, and fine-tuning is great, of course, but in the meantime, make sure you’re still taking some kind of steps towards the goal.

Yeah that’s pretty much it. Before I go to the gym I usually blend 4 eggs with Milo and milk and have a handful of almonds. After I have steak, fruit, veg and pasta

100 grams of almonds in one sitting? Thats commitment right there lol. Dry mouth.