T Nation

First Workout Advice

Looking for some sage advice here. I have got the eating down to an art thanks to all of your help I am packing away about 4k calories a day.

My trainer has started me on the bb'ing program that he has designed, I am kind of concerned with it though. The guy doesnt look like a bb'der. Can you guys give me some advice? I am paying this guy hard earned money so I want to make sure that I am getting my monies worth. I went too him asking for a workout that is dense with compound lifts, this was the first hour, concentrating on legs. (Bear it in mind this is my first time lifting any weight, so the numbers are girlieman and embarressing)

3x10 Lunges (Body Weight)
3x10 CalfRaises (Body Weight)
3x10 Squats (Body Weight)
3x10 Front Step up (Body Weight +10 pounds)
3x10 Side Step up (Body Weight +10 pounds)

Squats 3x10- 200 lbs (Smith Machine) - To failure
Hack Squats 3x10 - 200 lbs(Smith Machine) - To failure
Lying leg curls 3x10 - ?? it is marked in numbers, weird eh? (Smith Machine) - To failure

Core Stuff: (ehh?)
Crunches/twists (10lb medicine ball)
(The rest calensthetics)
Some other ab stuff
Some back stuff more abb stuff... (I boxed for 5+ years, I won't go into the abbs stuff, but it was not difficult)
Some standing on a piece of wood and balancing.. eh? dont know what this is for.

I felt like I was getting aerobically exhausted on the smith machines and
that I could push more weight on lower reps. Should I be doing such high reps
when I am wanting to put on size + strength?

I am guessing that all of the warmup stuff is ok? But a bb friend of mine used to tell me that he warmed up using 12 (1/2 weight for set) - 8 ( 3/4 weight for set) - 4( Set weight -10lbs)
and then do the set, it felt like the majority of my workout was warming up.

After the workout, I felt like I do after a really long run, like that adrenaline/jittery feel.

Anyways, your help is always appreciated, and sorry for the rant, I just want to know that my money is buying something worthwhile,and this is the only place I can turn to for critque.

(I am not sure if the above is all the info you need, let me know I can fill you in.)

Thanks in advance.


As a rank beginner, you probably don't want to focus on strength right away, you need to learn form and avoid injury. Also, don't worry about not lifting a lot of iron to start out.

However, I'd strongly suggest getting the heck away from the smith machine. If you are going to learn correct form, that isn't the place to do it.

Since you are paying bucks, get the guy to teach you good form on various compound lifts. I mean, you can read all about it by searching out the information here, but it can be helpful to have someone correct you while you do the lifts.

After you have gotten the form down on the compound lifts, and done them for some period of time, say a month, then pick your own programs based on your own goals. There are plenty of great programs to choose from on this site.


200lb squats for 10 reps is pretty amazing for a first workout, even in a smith machine. However, if you're paying someone to teach you these lifts, tell him you want to learn them free style. The smith machine is a bad joke. BTW, how do you do lying leg curls in there??? Try straight-leg deadlifts for the hamstrings, finish off with some leg curls if you feel the need.

No offense to the PTs out there but I would limit the number of sessions with them to 3 or 4. Just learn the basics then do it on your own with help from books and sites like T-Nation. You'll get a broader view and more perspective that way.

It sounds like you have a good idea of what's required already. Eat healthy, lots of water, focus on compound lifts and get plenty of rest.

You're on the way future T-man!


Just chiming in to echo the fact that the only thing the smith machine is good for is to hang your jacket on it. Stay away from the Smith Machine or injuries will come later when you're trying to squat without it.