First Time Training Properly | Beginner's Log

Hi everyone, I decided about 3 weeks ago to start lifting and training more seriously since I want to put on more muscle. So I’m very much a beginner.

I’ve decided to bulk until I reach 80kg and then reassess from there about what my next stage should be. I’m currently following a PPL program for beginners from Reddit and working out 6 days a week. I’m in holidays now, so I have the extra time and decided to do this more intense program until I get back to university in Feb where I’ll transition to a 4/5 day program.

I’m currently eating at around 2800 - 3000 calories. My maintenance is 2500. I’m 183m and 74.5 kg.

Currently my 5 rep lifts are as follows:
Deadlift 65kg
Bench 50kg
Squat 40kg
Overhead press 25kg

My overhead press has been pretty stubborn and does not want to move beyond the 20-25 kg region. Not sure how to deal with this?

Some photos of my physique from today:



As a Beginner, I’d appreciate any advice you have on my routine and general progress. I want to make the most out of my first year and learn alot! Here’s to the next few years if lifting, getting bigger and getting ripped.


The press is always stubborn and moves slowly for everyone, don’t worry too much about that.

Welcome to the logs section mate.


3 Jan - Push

2x5 40kg
3x5 50kg

Overhead press
8-9-8 20kg

Incline dumbell
3x12 18kg

Tricep push down
3x10 35kg
Lateral raise
3x15 6kg

Tricep extension (dumbbell)
3x12 11kg
Lateral riase
3x15 6kg

Lat pulldown
8 reps 45kg
5 reps 50kg
7 reps 45kg

Bicep curl
3x12 8kg

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Good to know! Should my reps be high or low to improve my OHP, or is that immaterial?

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Hey, you started a log!
As others have said, OHP is quite stubborn. You will make progress some days, take a step in the wrong direction on others, but as long as you find yourself increasing weight over the course of a month or two - keep on keepin on. This rule applies to all your main lifts.

I’ll do my best to follow along!

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Yes. Both.

I think it’s worth continuing with the approach you already have for a while and monitoring results. The best way to drive Press up is to get bigger so keep following your plan but manage your expectations appropriately in terms of strength increases in the press.

The press relies on pretty small muscle groups, and you don’t move a lot of weight on it. A 10% increase here wouldn’t even have you adding another fractional plate, a 10% increase on other lifts is very noticeable.

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4 Jan - Pull

5x 60kg
5x 70kg

Iso-lateral raise
12 40kg
2x8 50kg

Lat Pull down (dropped weight from yesterday because I realised my form wasn’t good)
5 x 45kg
3 x 5 30kg
10 30kg

Seated cable Row
3x12 22.5kg

One arm Dumbbell row
3x12 11kg

Hammer curl
3x 10 at 10kg

Bicep curl (dumbbell)
12 10kg
2x 9 10kg
8 10kg

Is it normal for your bicep curl to be less than your hammer curl?

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Pretty low volume here - you could probably increase to 5x5 and do quite well with that. Not worthwhile if it negatively impacts the rest of your training though.

Irrelevant honestly. You also did DB Curl after Hammer Curl, which can easily lead to lesser weight lifted on the 2nd exercise… You might experience the opposite if you did DB Curl before Hammer Curl. Still, it doesn’t matter which lift you perform better on.

Glad to see you posting!


For the next workout should I leave the weight at 70kg and then do 5x5 or move up 5kg to 75 and do 5x5?

That depends on what you are ready for. Remember that you are increasing volume from 10 reps to 25 reps, so your “tonnage” will go from
5x60kg = (300kg) || 5x70kg = (350kg) || 300+350 = 650kg
5x5x70kg = 1750kg
simply by increasing your sets to 5x5. I would start with 70kg for the first 3 or 4 sets, then assess how you feel. If you think you are okay to increase weight to 75kg, then I would do so on your final set.

Also, don’t worry too much about “tonnage” now. It has its’ place, but now isn’t the right time - simply using the term to describe why you might struggle to increase weight AND volume.

The most important thing here is to focus on your form. Also, it is important to note the difference between soreness and pain. Pain = injury, soreness is okay and normal. If it is painful you should stop - this lifestyle is a marathon, so pushing yourself to injury is a quick way out of the race.

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No-one cares. Don’t do dumbell bicep curls for weight, do them to feel the muscle.


Thanks! Is there a way to post a video of my deadlift form on this site? I took a video in today’s workout. Pretty sure I’m doing it mostly right, but not too sure…

You can upload it to youtube then link it here. I know there are a couple of other ways but this is the only one I have used (I’ve only posted like 2 videos).

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Ah thanks, I had remembered I had used Imgur once before somewhere else to upload images once before and tried with a video: hope it works.

Deadlift video: Ah thanks, I had remembered I had used Imgur once before somewhere else to upload images once before and tried with a video: hope it works.

Deadlift video: Deadlift form check - Album on Imgur

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People can hammer curl more than they can normal curl. That’s why many of us do hammer curls.

Form looks decent - you’re still beginning so I don’t have a whole lot for critiques that would really matter much right now. You are shaky doing the lift, not that this is a problem, it is simply a sign of being new to this movement/strain (you are, and it is nothing to be concerned with); it will taper off over time… until you get really heavy, then you’ll start shaking on the way up again lol. Your lower back is a little rounded at bottom position - try getting your hips a bit lower before you lift to counteract this. If this simply feels wrong, then you might be a good candidate for heel wedges.

General stuff, pulled from this article Deadlift Perfection – 4 Easy Cues


Read the article if you want more information about this - these are simply the best way to ‘brace’ prior to lifting.

Also, try not spending so much time in the bottom position before doing your first lift - you will end up losing tension and likely negatively impact your lift strength.


Legs - 5 Jan

2x5 35kg
1x4 45kg
2x5 40kg

Romanian Deadlift
3x12 25kg

Leg Press
1x12 60kg
10, 12 65kg

Seated leg curl
3x12 35kg

Standing calf raises
2x20 52.5kg
1x18 52.5kg

Bicep curls (lowered weight to improve form)
3x12 8kg


In case you aren’t familiar, a lot of progress is usually made from the 8-12 rep range. Some even call it the 8-12 method (probably an article on it somewhere in T-Nation archives). Long story short: use a weight you can barely manage to get 8 reps on, and continue increasing intensity/reps until you reach 12 good reps, then increase weight and start over at 8 reps. Rinse and repeat. What I’m getting at is you’re probably ready to increase weight on anything you can do for 3x12.

I noticed no quad extensions here too… If your knees feel fine after squats, deads, leg press, and leg curls, I would venture to say quad extensions are a good add in here. They are one of the best (if not the best) at recruiting quad size, so long as your knees agree with the movement.

Good job not being an ego lifter and recognizing you needed to lower weight. Keep up the good work!


Thanks for that - definitely need to move up the weight on the RDL, was holding back cause I was trying to improve my form as I get used to the hip movement.

I’ll also add quad extensions the workout - my knees were fine after the workout and I’ve been wondering if I’m targeting my quads enough. Should I do 3x12?


I would start with the heaviest weight you can move for 8 reps, and do that for 3 sets. So 3x8.

you can stick with 3x12 for your RDLs if you don’t yet feel comfortable with the form - but you can likely focus on form while also adding some weight too. Choice is yours, you know your body better than I do.