T Nation

Couple of Beginner Questions


Hi there, new to the site. I'm three months in to my first session of lifting weights, started at the beginning of winter.

I'm 32, 6 foot, 220lb.
Bench 264lb
Squat 400lb
Dead 330lb
Chin-up 1 (!)

I have a lot of body fat, as I like a pie and a pint, and in general feel relatively strong in the lower body but weak in the upper.
I've gone about the whole thing without any rhyme or reason; Keeping sessions down to two per week has worked well for me, and I only really do compound exercises, I haven't managed to work up the enthusiasm for isolation lifts.

I think I've come as far as I can just moseying down to the gym on a casual basis, and that I need to get a more structured lifting regime if I am to progress further. Hopefully I can learn a lot on this site.

Two specific questions that maybe someone can help me out on; Is it possible to build significant strength (e.g 1.5-2x what I am currently lifting) just doing a workout of compound exercises? Say bench, deads, squats, chin-ups, military and something for the abs? Is there a glaring hole anywhere here?

Second, I have some trouble with my lower biceps tendon connecting to the elbow. I suspect it might be coming from faulty deadlift technique, where I am jerking the bar a little with my arms. Is this a common beginner's mistake? If so, any ideas on how to avoid it?

Thanks in advance for any advice and congrats on a great site.


based on your questions and length of time training, your numbers look a little off.

if not, good work i guess. you can get plenty strong with compound lifts, just have some more "chips" mate.


how can u have a 264 bench? are there 1 lb and 2 lb weights out there?


There are small plates, but my guess is that its a 120 k bench, thats approximately 264.5 lbs. He did mention a pint, so probably not from the states.


Yeah, all the plates are metric, so its bench 120kg, squat 180kg and dead 150kg.

Not sure what is meant by the numbers being a little off, they're spot on. What seems off to me is that I find the bench really tough, 120kg was a vein throbbing, eyeball popping one time affair with the spotter yelling at me. No way can I lift more without going on some sort of workout regime. The squat though, has always seemed real natural, 180kg (actually 396lb, not quite 400 :wink:) was comfortable and I think that there's a little left in the tank there. I've been riding XC mountain bikes seriously (for a fat man) for a number of years, so maybe that helps.


Yea those numbers look pretty good for someone only working out for 3 months with spotty workouts at that. If your numbers are what you say you are naturally strong.