T Nation

Design a Program for a Beginner


I'm 6'1" 145 pounds.
A program for strength.

Requirements -- squat three times per week or every workout (Front, box, or back) I'm enjoying front squatting at the moment.

Other than that I'm game for anything. I'm tired of designing my own without any criticism.

Strength-- Upper back and core strength for compound movements and my body awareness in my movements and my willingness to due the hard shit to get strong.
Weakness-- Chest, shoulders, arms.
Also if you're familiar with anterior pelvic tilt, that help, that's the main reason I front squat.

Anyone's input is highly appreciated.

Two-three days per week, possibly four.
I wouldn't care to incorporate hypertrophy training as well.


Is the goal to gain strength or to squat every workout? I am confused at the moment.


I want to get stronger, but I love to squat. I want to be the guy with biggest squat in my gym. I weigh 140 pounds, I understand that's a stretch. I want a strength program designed around squatting three times per week. Rep scheme, number of sets, exercises.


Designing a program around squatting is definitely manageable, especially for a beginner.

Science and experience tells us that a 3 day split is one of the best beginner workout routines. It will assist in getting your muscles, joints and central nervous system in sync with each other. You make crazy gains in strength and muscle size, as long as you're in a calorie surplus.

As for the rest of the exercises, choose compound lifts. Because of the increased muscle stimulation, compound lifts will give you better gains than isolation exercises.

Squat, Deadlift, Barbell Row, Overhead Press, Pull Ups, Flat Bench Press, will all blast your body into a strength machine. Perform each lift 3 times a week (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

Because these are all compound lifts, each exercise uses several different muscle groups. Combining these to your workout will create a balanced strength to your body and synergistically help your gains overall.


Madcow 5x5. You can also do it with front squats instead of back squats.


You want to get stronger for what? "Get stronger" sounds like a specific goal, but it really isn't. Training for strength will be different for a strongman than a climber, and different again for a power lifter.


If you want to squat the most in your gym, then at your body weight, I would suggest joining a planet fitness. There is a greater change of you accomplishing your goal there.


This reminds me of a great quote, I don't remember who by:

"If you want to succeed, either raise your game or lower your expectations, either will work"

Back to the OP though: your goal is a great one, I would never knock anyone for wanting to improve their squat. I think it's important to be aware of the realities of the situation though, hence my reply in your other thread.


Well, I've never been one to quit on a challenge. I'd venture to say I'm probably the most persistent little bastard. I figure it's a more genetic disposition more than anything; however, the good news, my father was my size until 25 and gain 40 pounds in a year and weighed 220 at 30. Possibly, I have to patient in that category, which I'm completely okay with considering I compete in sports that require that I stay lean. I will mention this, I usually, and I say usually, because occasionally there is a genetic freak I compete with, I'm usually the most athletic, considering I have such a low body weight. I'm assuming, that because not many athletes squat outside of football, and I'm almost certain none squat two - three times a week as I do.

I also was curious, since I'm squatting that often, would it be more beneficial if I focus on dip and chin up for my upper body work? I always feel more athletic after I finish doing supersets of those. Plus, I notice, I don't have much capacity for a lot of other exercises after squatting that frequently.


Um, dude, if there's one thing you've gotten in all of your previous threads, it's plenty of valid criticism for your thoughts on training programs.

What does your current training look like? The days, exercises, sets, and reps. Knowing your current plan will give better insight about what to do next.

Harsh truth you need to understand: At your current size and ability, you have no strengths and more than a few weaknesses. But it's good that you mentioned your "willingness to due the hard shit to get strong", because...

What, exactly, do you think is "hypertrophy training"? Would you still be against it if it helped your squat?

As was said, "get stronger" is the same at not having any goal at all. You "get stronger" each week (most people, at least) so, technically you've already won. Aim for a concrete goal with a concrete deadline.

Is there a guy in your gym who, in your mind, is already "the man"? What'd he squat last time you saw him train? You'll get farther faster if you can say, "I'll squat 365x5 on April 6, 2016" instead of "I'll squat, like, a lot more than I do now, eventually."


TC, I feel like you are approaching training backwards. It looks like you have certain movements you want to do, and are pursuing the goals that allow you to do these movements, rather than having certain goals you want to achieve and using the movements that allow you to get there.


Why squat 3 days when you can squat 4 days?



Hey my name is so and so and I have no idea how to use google or do any research at all. So would you please just spend your time for free mind you to write a program specifically for me so I don't have TO DO ANYTHING... Oh and I REALLY LIKE SQUATTING.

Thats what I read.


I absolutely applaud this, my only criticism would be that you don't have a challenge, you have a vague idea you want to get stronger, probably at squatting. Set yourself a challenge to be squatting 3 plates by your next birthday, or something similar.

I would hazard a guess that between 25 and 30 your dad started eating a lot more calories.

What sport do you compete in that requires you to stay lean? And how lean?

This feels like internet bragging, which is pretty pointless.

Do chins and dips allow you to hit your upper body goals? If so, keep doing them, if not, do something else.

I would also say that squatting 3 times a week should not be that challenging to recover from, depending on the programming, particularly not at the weights you're lifting. I think you may have something fundamental wrong with your recovery, probably not eating enough.


In what sport is it a benefit for a 6'1 guy to weigh 145? I can't think of any outside long distance running, or maybe some other track/field events.


also, I think Starting Strength fits the bill, and since our OP is extraordinarily weak, Starting Strength is probably appropriate.

I find it funny that Starting Strength, one of the most popular beginner weightlifting templates on the planet, involves squatting multiple times a week, and yet the OP suggests that basically nobody squats as often as he does. It sounds like the OP resides in a very, very small pond.




David Beckham's 6'0, 165, and he's about as skinny as I've seen. I can't imagine being 1 inch taller and 20 lbs lighter being advantageous.


I wanna punch this kid in the face


I think the only sport, and I say this lightly, would be horse racing. Where the goal is literally have a jockey be as small as possible.