T Nation

Beginner Template v Standard Template?

Hey Jim, i bought your book recently and am trying to decide between doing the beginner template or just do the original template. I have not done anything in years after suffering from injuries. I am injury free now but I am a fat weak fuck.

I need to get north of vag and fast. One of my main concerns is putting on some mass, having said that as a beginner will squatting once a week be okay or isn’t it enough volume? What template would you reccomend for someone with quite a lot of fat to lose?

In my opinion, getting north of vag FAST, will have you suffering from injuries again especially since you have done nothing in years. I’m not up to speed on all the new templates that Jim has laid out for people, but originals always work.

You say your concern is putting on mass but ask for a template to lose alot of fat. You need to understand that doing both to an extreme like most people want to do is not going to happen. So let me give you some simple advice that most will not follow, especially those that need it fast and need it yesterday.

Pick the template that suits your lifestyle first and foremost. Most people starting out or starting over are just like people that start eating salads every January, they want to go to extremes instead of just cutting back on the 10 Mountain Dews they drink per day. I’d advise doing a 2 day per week program. This will allow for recovery and plenty of time for doing the other stuff.

Diet does not have to be complicated. Just eat 3-4 times per day and eat good food that you fix at home. You’ll be amazed at what simply eating at home and staying away from eating out can do for you. Eat until you are full and satisfied at each meal. Focus on good meats/eggs/cheese with plenty of potatoes, rice, fruits and veggies(ones that agree with your gut and palate). Its that easy. Don’t be afraid of carbs. Potatoes and rice are your friends. One of the worst things I ever did was Paleo. Made me weaker than piss and couldn’t do anything worthwhile athletically.

Do easy cadio. If you have the means to measure, keep your heart rate between 120-150bpm for 45 minutes 3x per week and you will be golden. If not, when you have to breathe through your mouth just slow down until you can breathe through your nose again. I had not performed any HIIT type cardio in nearly a year and decided to do 100 burpees as fast as possible. I did them under 10 minutes fairly easy while my record when doing the HIIT and nothing else for aerobic work was 11:25. Aerobic base comes first.

Last, don’t focus on that outcome(like get to north of vag fast) focus on the process and everything will happen much quicker than you realize. Probably not what you wanted but its the advice I have for you.


This is insanely good advice, wish it could be stickied as it would apply to at least a third of the questions here.

Don’t forget to push, pull and drag stuff around.

General “work” will help build up some of the muscles you lost during the lay-off.

I am currently in love with the sled.

Other guys get great results from the Prowler.

Thanks man. One of the things that it took me forever to figure out is that you can’t be in build mode in one area and tear down in the other. Its like training your body hard as you can while eating like you’re preparing for a photo shoot. I did this same thing and it has cost me years upon years of gains. I think that the majority of the time you should be eating to build. One or two 6-8 week periods per year of reducing the little fat you gained while building is all you need. If you train and eat like an athlete 90% of the time, and that means running, biking, lifting and doing sport, you most likely won’t have to worry about it anyway.

That first reply from FirePlug is golden advice. Listen to that man. Such a shame the majority cannot think this way.

The template doesn’t matter as much as how long you can stick to the template. I’ve been guilty of this myself. I’ll have a bad day and decide, this must not be a good template for ME. I had to get over the fact that there isn’t a perfect template. Finding the perfect template left me stuck and not making progress. There are definitely templates that I enjoy doing more than others. For me, lifting is fun, do the template that you really like doing. You’ll stick to it for longer.

The full body, 3 day a week template on the original 5/3/1 worked great for me. There’s a lot of good beginner templates in this forum. You just have to sift around a bit to find them.