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Beginning Training


i'm going to start workout out on monday . what i will do is workout monday thur saturday, each day a different body part.chest, biceps, triceps, back, abdominals and legs together, and shoulders.any tips some experienced people can give me?

18yrs old
5' 7"
about 10-14% BF


I would start out with a full body w/o.
I would not use a split program for sometime. Maybe when you become more advanced.


I agree w/ MNguns. After a year and a half of mild success I have switched to total body training from the W. file and and seeing great gains in strength and size. Next month I am going to do the triple training and can't wait. Not only is this a personal benefit but some of the more intense people have noticed me and started giving tips and props.


Check out full body training from Chad Waterbury. It's good to introduce you to weight training, also good for experienced guys to switch back to once in a while for a change up. It's especially effective for beginners to gain muscle and strength. Chad's a great coach.

Regardless of what you do, remember two things:

1) balance your training front to back, up to down. What I mean is if you perform 3 sets of 10 in the bench press on chest or tricep day, do 3 sets of 10 in bent over barbell/dumbbell row on back day (not cable row, and keep the form absolutely strict). However many sets you bench, do AT LEAST that many in rowing variations, striving to use the same weight in rows that you did for bench. Won't happen for a while, unless you're a freak, but you need to make it your goal. Always work your bent over barbell/dumbbell rows first and almost to exhaustion before going to cable rows. Cable rows aren't even in the same ballpark as bent over rows (barbell or dumbell)Same thing goes for overhead pressing and chin-ups (not lat pull downs, unless you've already exhausted yourself chinning). Only in this one you probably will not be able to use any additional weight on your chin-ups/pull-ups to start, or for quite a while.

example: 40 total repetitions benching in a week ---> 40 reps rowing in a week

(incline/decline bench counts toward rows too)

2) Train your legs with perfect form first, and hardcore effort second. Never change this order of priorities. You'll become an injury waiting to happen.


You need more than 1 day of rest a week. You can't train hard if you're not recovered from your last workout. And this can (and does) sneak up on you. Training hard is limited by recovery. That's one of the reasons I suggested, and the other guys suggested, the full-body workouts. Taxing, but not localized over-fatigue (which you don't need at your level), and it allows you to rest more each week.

A few things I've learned over the years:

1) Never stop learning. You have to read everything and learn to think for yourself. If you don't think for yourself, you're doomed to failure, and at the mercy of everyone with something to sell you. If you stop learning, you're doomed to failure. This goes for every aspect of your life, even (maybe especially) outside your training.(trust me, I've learned the hard way several times).

2) Don't quit just because you're not sure what to do. This goes with 1 above. Suffer from analysis paralysis, you're doomed to failure. Train, modify as you go. If you're confused, stick with what's working. If it's not working, there's a reason, maybe one you don't want to hear. Find it and fix it.

3) with 2 above. Don't make excuses for yourself. If you do, you're doomed to be limited by your mind and be one of those sad sheeplike follower people stuck with something they hate. Success relies on ethics, hard work and hard thought. Sure, sometimes you can't achieve something (like win a Nobel Prize), but never stop trying.

4) with 3 above. Control what you can. Let the rest go. You can't do anything about that.

5) Don't seek fatigue, manage it. (sorry for stealing Mr. Staley!)

6)If you do the same thing you've always done and expect a different result, you are doomed to failure. Keep an open mind.

7) At the same time, there's such a thing as having a mind so open it just....leaves. Don't do that.

8) Know why you believe what you believe. Without understanding why you believe something, you will never be able to know if you are on the right path, or what to fix and change. This is extremely important, in every aspect of life from religion to ethics to politics to school (don't just blindly believe your instructors) to training to relationships. In the case of religion, rational faith not blind faith. In the case of ethics, integrity but not blindness/stubbornness. In the case of politics, consistency and reason not partisanship. For school and training, extend your knowledge, don't just be content with "knowing" factoids and routines. For relationships, well that varies depending on lots of things. You get the point.

9) Do not under any circumstances deviate from what you believe to be true, right and virtuous. You pay with a little slice of your soul.

10) Distance running is overrated for burning fat. It is also overrated for building endurance, unless you run competitively or for some sort of test. Shorter sprints, 400m runs, interval running, and strongman training can do wonders for endurance and fat loss. As can fast walking for 40min immediately after getting up and before breakfast (no superspeed panting and sweating walking. Just brisk walks). Also doesn't drain you for weight workouts later in the day.


I would also rec. 3 training days a week.

If you need books. Ian Kings Get Buffed book I and Ian Kings How to write strength training programs book.


No one has mentioned diet yet. Its as important as lifting weights if you want to get in good shape. Read Dr Berardis nutrition articles on this site.


some really great tips! About the Learning part, I have been physically active all my life(sports,mma,bodybuilding etc), trained all my life and I still know very little about bodybuilding, so to follow up with the guys point above, it is a commiment to life long learning as well as training.

ANother thing to add though is if you have the money Hire a trainer for a few weeks. A good Trainer if possible so you learn the excersises properly and he/she can also help a great deal with your nutrition too.

It may be one of your best investments to put you on the right track for best gains and safe workouts!
Good Luck
and keep us up to date on your progress too!


These are musts:

  1. Keep a training log/diary

-Advanced training tips: Log total training time. time of day training. log how you felt walking into the gym & log how you felt after you finished your last set. Log soreness. Log speed of movement. Log down any discomfort. Log down amount of time you used pre and or post w/o stretching.

  1. Have a light snack/meal before training.

  2. Sip some sort of carbohydrate/protein drink during w/o.

  3. Eat something 45 mins after w/o.

  4. Drink water all day everyday.

  5. Get a good multi-vit.

  6. Never train 3 days in a row.

  7. Do everything you can to get good quality sleep.

  8. Eat breakfast!!!!!!!!!!!!


Damn must be doing something wrong then. sometimes I train 5 times in a row without taking a day off. Then again I also train on a bodypart split. Hmmm guess the reason I've had so much sucess is genetics seeing as I'm obviously doing something wrong...


i know my body needs to rest an all but this is what i'm trying to say

MONDAY: work only chest
TUESDAY: work only biceps
WEDNESDAY: work only back
THURSDAY: work only triceps
FRIDAY: work only shoulders
SATURDAY: work only legs/abdominals
SUNDAY: rest whole day

this way each body part if worked to almost failure with one whole week to recover before having to do it again.


As a beginner, you don't have a solid foundation of muscle to build from. You need to start with a basic strength training regimen (full body 3x/wk [M,W,F]) before you start splitting your program.



How are you going to do an entire workout for ONLY your Chest without working your triceps (or biceps for that matter) which you are gong to work the next day.

How are you going to work your shoulders without working your back?


You say you're giving your body parts an entire week to rest. But are you really?


Maybe a body builder would benefit from your outlined training regimen.

But I would strongly discourage you to do this. Maybe in the future. But not as a beginer.

You would be amazed at how much you gain from a 3 day full body workout.

Again I would strongly encourage you to pick up Ian Kings Get Buffed and How to write strength training programs!


this full body 3X aweek workout thing is just about as overdone as anything I've ever seen. Sure, it's a good workout, but it sure as hell ain't the only way.

For those of you who don't think you can recover lifting 6 days a week, think again. The volume is such that overtraining is damn near impossible.

I'd be very interested in seeing each persons lifting history, because everything is just regurgitated nonsense.

Like everything in lifting--'everything works for a while'
try it for 3 months. Who cares. It's 3 months out of your life. People spent decades building quality physiques with 5-6-even 7 day training.


I hope you opt for a 3-day/week Full-Body Program, as it will almost certainly outperform the schedule you've listed.

Each training day, do one of each:

Lower-body Quad Dom.
Lower-body Hip Dom.
Upper-body Compound Push
Upper-body Compount Pull
Elbow Flexion
Elbow Extension

Throw in ab work, shrugs, calf work, grip work, etc...as desired.

Mix up the rep ranges, say alternate between an (A) day and a (B) day...on the (A) day do 5x5, on the (B) day do 3x12. Something like that.

Beginners (and intermediates) need to squat and pull frequently. Use a different squatting and/or pulling variation each training day. Avoid training to failure, and most importantly, log your workouts and increase your weights over time. Your training must be progressive or you are spinning your wheels.

I sincerely hope you take this advice...the longer you stay in the iron game, the more you realize the importance of basic, hard training. You're just starting...you have to acknowledge to yourself that you know very little about training. Whatever rationale you have telling you how brilliant your 6-day split is, just let it go. There are much better ways to do it.

Best of luck


what i menat was every day that i lift do exercises for a different part of the body. this doesn't seem like a good thing so i changed it up

MONDAY- chest, biceps, two exercises each

TUESDAY- legs, triceps, two exrecises


THURSDAY- swhoulders, abdominals, two exercises each

FRIDAY-back two exercises maybe three


how about this one? this is almost like some of the one people have posted, but to me it seems like there won't any gains since i'm waiting a whole week to do it again.


We understand what you meant. Some people were trying to point out that you can't do pure isolation work very easily. Bench is a heavy tricep/ anterior shoulder movement, in addition to pecs. Bent over rows are hamstring and biceps intensive as well as back work. That's what we're saying. Anyway, You'd be waiting a whole week to blast a body part in your other scheme too. If you're going to do a body part split, I like this one a lot better. Still, some things to think about changing, now or in the future:

Switch your biceps and triceps around. Tris Monday, Biceps with legs. Chest will likely be triceps intensive, as will shoulders (if you do any overhead pressing at all).

Or, train back with your legs and switch biceps and triceps isolation work to Friday.

Also, if you decide to keep back on Friday, I'd opt for three exercises, done hard and heavy. This is because you have the entire weekend to rest and eat.

Just some stuff off the top of my head.


Hey, it's the "IN" thing to do and you clearly are not part of the clique.


Nobody asked for you to make a smart ass comment.