T Nation

Beginner TBT Training

Hello,

I’m 34 and got into lifting weights approx 1.5 years ago, when I lost a whole lot of weight (5’10" - from 187 lbs of mostly lard skinny fatness to 145 lbs). Didn’t lose much muscle since I didn’t have anything to start with after 20 years of sedentary living.

Perhaps not too clever, but at least it got me to start training and eat good stuff.

I’ve stayed on that weight for a while, but realized that muscle is what I really need to look better. With some half-assed training on home-made programs, and four weeks serious going on CW’s TBT program I’m now up on 161 lbs with the same body fat level (15-16% something)- looking better but far from good enough for my taste.

Chad recommended four compound and two isolation exercises, but I figured as a newbie I’d do better with more compounds…

This is what I ended up with:

  • Deadlift
  • Leg press (would love to squat but my knees won’t allow it)
  • Pull-ups (pulldowns at higher reps)
  • Shoulder press (military press)
  • Bench
  • Seated rows

So, my questions: Are the exercise choices good enough? Is it important also for beginners to change exercises every two weeks, or am I better off just focusing on doing these right? Should I stick with the whole body training (I really like it) or start something else after completing the TBT?

Other good advice is also very welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read this essay.

i guarantee you can squat

[quote]Fred129 wrote:
Hello,

I’m 34 and got into lifting weights approx 1.5 years ago, when I lost a whole lot of weight (5’10" - from 187 lbs of mostly lard skinny fatness to 145 lbs). Didn’t lose much muscle since I didn’t have anything to start with after 20 years of sedentary living.

Perhaps not too clever, but at least it got me to start training and eat good stuff.

I’ve stayed on that weight for a while, but realized that muscle is what I really need to look better. With some half-assed training on home-made programs, and four weeks serious going on CW’s TBT program I’m now up on 161 lbs with the same body fat level (15-16% something)- looking better but far from good enough for my taste.

Chad recommended four compound and two isolation exercises, but I figured as a newbie I’d do better with more compounds…

This is what I ended up with:

  • Deadlift
  • Leg press (would love to squat but my knees won’t allow it)
  • Pull-ups (pulldowns at higher reps)
  • Shoulder press (military press)
  • Bench
  • Seated rows

So, my questions: Are the exercise choices good enough? Is it important also for beginners to change exercises every two weeks, or am I better off just focusing on doing these right? Should I stick with the whole body training (I really like it) or start something else after completing the TBT?

Other good advice is also very welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read this essay.[/quote]

Looks like an awesome way to start out but what could possibly be wrong with your knees that you can do leg press but not squats? Squats, when done properly, should be easier on the knees then leg presses.

Why not bent over rows?

When you say deadlift, do you mean all the variations or just one specific type?

CW had a long list of good compound movements and you seem to have removed a number of them.

[quote]Arioch wrote:
Why not bent over rows?

When you say deadlift, do you mean all the variations or just one specific type?

CW had a long list of good compound movements and you seem to have removed a number of them.[/quote]

Just out of curiosity and the need to change up my work out a bit, do you happen to know where that list is?

[quote]JaysonVirissimo wrote:
Looks like an awesome way to start out but what could possibly be wrong with your knees that you can do leg press but not squats? Squats, when done properly, should be easier on the knees then leg presses.[/quote]

Windmill and JV…

I’ve had problems with my knees for quite some time, and my doctor diagnozed it as patellofemoral pain syndrome. He told me to try to minimize the pain, but keep on lifting to strengthen the quads with “better” exercises. For some reason it becomes much worse when I’m squatting then leg pressing, especially at lower rep training.

Perhaps my technique is wrong but I’ve had it checked by the “local experts” at the gym (= the big powerlifter boys). If squats should be easier on the knee perhaps I should try to improve the technique even more.

Thanks for the advice!

[quote]Arioch wrote:
Why not bent over rows?

When you say deadlift, do you mean all the variations or just one specific type?

CW had a long list of good compound movements and you seem to have removed a number of them.[/quote]

For now I’m doing deadlifts only sumo style, mostly because it feels much more natural for me than conventional and that I can handle more weight that way.

I am trying to vary the other exercises… e.g. pull-ups/chin-ups, bench/incline bench/narrow grip bench, standing/seated military press. Perhaps I should do that with the rowing too between the seated version and bent over rowing.

Thanks!

Hi there,
I thought I’ll add a bit from my own experience. I’m a beginner as well (about 3 months into weight training)

After my Gym trainer’s template plan, I started CW’s TBT. CW doesn’t recommend the plan for beginners but I loved the plan and it fit with my schedule so I gave it a shot.

I am very happy with the results. I have put on 4 kilos in less than 2 months! (I know some of it might be fat, but I can see visible changes in my muscular structure!)

So my advice would be to follow CW’s instructions to the T. Don’t tweak it.

[quote]bronx_marauder wrote:
Hi there,
I thought I’ll add a bit from my own experience. I’m a beginner as well (about 3 months into weight training)

After my Gym trainer’s template plan, I started CW’s TBT. CW doesn’t recommend the plan for beginners but I loved the plan and it fit with my schedule so I gave it a shot.

I am very happy with the results. I have put on 4 kilos in less than 2 months! (I know some of it might be fat, but I can see visible changes in my muscular structure!)

So my advice would be to follow CW’s instructions to the T. Don’t tweak it.[/quote]

That’s good to hear. I’m not planning to tweak it more than at least for the moment not squatting. So far after four weeks, I’m up in lean mass (3.5 lbs) and down in fat (1.5 lbs), which probably is a sign that I’m eating too little.

Took some of the advice I got in this thread to heart and started working. I’m now finished with TBT, and currently doing the Art of Waterbury, into the third week now.

So… now I’m squatting again… started with higher reps, and going towards heavier weights and I don’t feel more in my knees than when leg pressing. Great advice #1. Incorporated bent-over rowing as well. Great advice #2. Thanks for helping out.

The results so far after 12 weeks: My weight now: 168 lbs. Waist measurement is the same, no net fat gain. I’m up almost 8 lbs in lean mass and I can see a visible difference (not going to bother you with another beginner picture though).

Quattro Dynamo… here I come…

Excellent! Keep up the hard work.

Glad to hear that you got some good advice and have incorporated it. Be sure to keep us informed of your progress. We’ll hold you accountable and keep you in the gym.