T Nation

Beginner Seeking Review

Hey guys,

I don’t have many people in person to review my routine, so was wondering if you could help out. I’ve pretty much taught myself everything from lurking various forums, and finally posting here because I really like the no bullshit approach most of the users here take.

Anyway, here it is:

Age: 27
Weight: ~160
Height: 5’10”
Target Weight: 180

Calories: 2522
Carbs: 221
Protein: 189
Fat: 98

I started this journey 54 days ago starting at 145. It’s taken some playing around with my macros, but this is currently the number that is steadily adding weight without too much excess fat. I readjust and observe every 5 lbs or so. I eat clean, sustain from drinking and sugar, and eat very little processed foods.

Fish Oil
Whey (only 1 shake post workout - the rest of my macros come from solid food sources)


Day 1:
Bench Press
Incline DB Press
Incline DB Flyes
DB Shoulder Press

Day 2:
Leg Extension
Leg Curl
Leg Press
Calf raises

Day 3:
DB rows
Lat pull down
Pull ups

Day 4:
DB Curl
Hammer Curl
Wide Grip Barbell Curl
May throw in a misc exercise

Typically I’ll rest 2 random days and start the routine over again. So in essence I never have a set day of doing a certain muscle group it just rotates as I go through it.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

That’s just a list of (mostly redundant) exercises, not a routine. Certainly not a program.


What are you wanting to achieve?

Would you recommend something like this (6 day training schedule)?


I want to put on size and strength. I’d classify myself as scrawny so I’m definitely looking to bulk up.

Never seen that particular program before, or heard of that author so I can’t make too much comment, but it looks very similar to what you posted. So my original comments stand. I can’t see a progression scheme, or loading scheme from a skim read. It also seems to have massive amounts of redundant exercises and volume.

Ok thanks. I’ll keep looking around the forum for something. No sense in me posting routines and keep asking when I’m sure there’s plenty of feedback elsewhere.

I’m going to do Stronglifts 5x5 I think. I go to planet fitness now so today I’m going to find a gym with an actual rack. This program calls for only being at the gym 3 times a week. I figure I could throw in 2 days of going in and doing very light cardio (20 min walk/jog) and throw in abs with 1 true rest day. Any thoughts?

What are your current lifts? If you do use StrongLifts 5x5, don’t stick onto it for too long. Also, you should know that that routine isn’t really geared towards your goal of hypertrophy.

Honestly my current core lifts are shit. I started off with a bro lift routine with dumbbells and cables only that still had a lot of volume - even more so than above. I benched 160x4 yesterday (on a smith machine so that’s just plate weight). I just started doing squats so I’m keeping it semi light to practice form and same with deadlifts.

I see. Yeah don’t do SL for too long. After 5x5 became taxing, I went to 3x5, then shifted to 5/3/1. Didn’t go 3x3 and lower anymore. You could also look into 5/3/1 5’s pro or 5/3/1 for Beginners.

I’ll look into that. I’m going to try and find a new gym today, and probably try the 5/3/1 since it seems to be the most touted program. Once I find a gym with a real rack I should find my 1 rep maxes, record them, then begin the program. Does that sound like a good plan?

Before I explain, keep in mind I’m just a beginner too. Other members here may have better answers.
I think better way to do it is to get your 5 rep max for a specific lift. That 5 rep max should have good form, with just minimal breakdown towards or on the last rep. You could also do a 3 rep max perhaps. Plug that into a calculator to get your estimated 1 rep max, and take 85% or 90% of that as your TM for the lifts.

If you use SL for a while like 2 to 3 months, you’ll be very familiar with your 5 rep max. I don’t think beginners like me should be messing around with 1 rep maxes yet, so that’s what I did.

This makes sense. I’m reading about the program now, and going to start using a log book to record lifts and really try to get on track with the routine.

Would you recommend going in on off days to do some ab work or very light cardio (walk or 20 min light jog)? I think I just have it stuck in my head that I don’t want to only go to the gym 3x a week which is more than likely the wrong mode of thinking.

Not sure which program you’re referring to, but I know 5/3/1 recommends some conditioning work in between. Jim’s favorites are prowler pushes and uphill sprints. Can’t remember for SL if Mehdi said that too. I doubt it would hurt though.

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5/3/1 for Beginners is the routine I was referencing, sorry.

Yep, some light cardio work in between would be good and doable

If you’re gonna do 5/3/1, I encourage you to get a copy of 5/3/1 2nd edition. It’s really worth the money.

I’ll definitely grab a copy. Think it’s ok to start the program and read it as I go? I don’t want to hold off and continue my shitty routine, but if you think I should read the entire book pre-program then I will as I don’t want to be overly misinformed beginning it

Edit: I read on the train to work and it’s only 100 pages. I can finish this in a day, but wondering if I can start while it ships?

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Assuming you follow the template well, then yes. Reading the book will make you understand the reasoning behind what’s laid out and consequently how you can tweak it a to suit it to your own goals and how much tweaking is too much.

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Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.

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