T Nation

Beginner's Progression into Weight Training

Hello to all and a small celebration to my first post here on T-Nation. I am a total beginner to weight training (After having a short stint with weight training in high school). Being 25 and changing my lifestyle in terms of nutrition and exercise has been exciting to say the least. Because i am beginning, i am gaining strength and muscle while i am also losing fat (which is my primary goal now since i am overweight, 207 at 5’11").

But because of a lack of muscle endurance, my workouts since i started a month and a half ago consist mostly of compound exercises (deadlifts, squats, lunges, bench press, assisted dips and pulls ups), and not much else in terms of muscle isolation exercises. I do understand the importance of changing things up for your body, every 4-6 weeks, so that your doesn’t get used to exercises. But right now i feel as though i’m still building up to the the standard weight a person of my build should be moving. an example will be that i should squat one a half time my weight, but i’m not nearly there.

i’m consistently going up in weights week after week and also trying to understand proper form and gain a sensitivity to which muscles should and are being worked in specific exercises.

so in that context, my question is whether or not i should stick to those tried and true compound exercises until i come to a plateau in terms of progression. then when i get there (i assume in another 2-3 months) i should try variations with those exercises and isolation exercises once i build endurance. moving to another exercise and taking the time to learn it seems counter productive where as there is progression and results in this current workout plan.

thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.

You should stick to compound exercises like those you mentioned. You can start to learn variations on them as well though for some variety. For example, front squats, good mornings, bent over rows, incline/decline bench. 2-3 months of the exact same exercises will get boring.

This…

[quote]minnowpark wrote:
I do understand the importance of changing things up for your body, every 4-6 weeks, so that your doesn’t get used to exercises. [/quote]

… is a load of shit.

The people in the real world that see results stick to what is working, until it stops working, which is usually a lot longer than “4-6 weeks”.

Changing shit up every month is going to do a lot more harm than good to your progress.

[quote]HulkSmash7 wrote:
2-3 months of the exact same exercises will get boring. [/quote]

I know that it might get boring, but the fact that i’m progressing by putting on more volume is exciting in an of itself. But yea, i will try variations sooner than later.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
The people in the real world that see results stick to what is working, until it stops working, which is usually a lot longer than “4-6 weeks”.

Changing shit up every month is going to do a lot more harm than good to your progress.[/quote]

yes. i hear you. i think a lot of that goes for people who are advanced and need to “fool” their bodies in order to progress. i’m in a great place where almost anything works. but i want to do them properly while i am just starting off.

another question i would add to that is. since i am trying to build that base level of strength and endurance, i find that my upper body needs the most work.

a workout plan that i am deciding if i should do or not would be:

monday: upper body/core
tuesday: HIIT
wednesday: lowerbody/core
thursday:hiit
friday: upperbody/core.

because i realize my upper body is really weak compared to lower body. thoughts?

[quote]minnowpark wrote:
…i am also losing fat (which is my primary goal now since i am overweight, 207 at 5’11").
[/quote]

With this in mind, changing up the training often will produce the best results. Really every time you go to the gym doing a different rep/set range, different weight, or different exercises.

You don’t mention what you’re doing for food. This is a huge factor in reaching this goal.