T Nation

Guide to a Beginner's Post


It's an unfortunately common event that beginning lifters don't provide enough information in his/her first post. Such posts are often met with short, often sarcastic responses, which can be discouraging to the OP. By the time the OP has managed to list all his/her relevant information, only a few members have stuck around to give any useful advice. So here's a basic guildeline if you're not sure what to post:

  1. Sex

  2. Age

  3. Height

  4. Weight. Note to all those posting from outside US: if you could be so kind to us slower 'Merican folk, please take the second to convert kg to lbs and cm to feet and inches.

  5. Body Composition. Even if you haven't had it measured precisely, give us a general idea.

  6. Total years training

  7. Total years seriously training. If you have to ponder the difference between 5 and 6, you should put a zero here.

8.Strength stats. Squat, Deadlift, and Bench. If you have never 1RM tested in your life then give us the most weight you've done on the lift and the most reps you've lifted it for. There is absolutely no reason to fabricate your numbers here. None of the experienced members worth listening to are going to criticize you for your current strength levels.

  1. Current routine (if you have one). Feel free to give as much detail as you see fit, but at bare minimimum: how many times per week are you training? what is your typical set/rep scheme? how are the days split up?...i.e. upper/lower, total body, chest/back/legs/arms/shoulders, etc.

  2. Goals: Think quantitative over qualitative; i.e. you will get much better feedback if your goal is to add an inch to your arm, add 40 lbs to your squat by christmas, or just add 30 lbs overall as opposed to wanting to look like Daniel Craig, or "toning up."

  3. Diet: At bare minimum give us a rough estimate of how many Cals you are taking in each day as well as how many g of protein, carb, fat. If you haven't taken the time to count this, learn how to do it before your first post.

  4. Pictures. (optional, but highly recommended). Just to give us a complete picture post one of your front, one of your back, and one of your legs. This isn't "Rate My Physique," so any pose you desire will suffice.

If anyone can think of anything I'm missing, please comment!


great post



Jsk, defender of the inter n00bz.


tl;dr - mesmerized by bouncing boobs


They speak to my soul!


Good post. I think age is important too, youthful naivety is much more easy to forgive and develop than some overread adult that just needs a reality check.


I added it.



Post your question. Once.

If you didn't get the answer you wanted to hear the first time, don't start 3 other posts asking how to tone up.


Or how about bumping your own thread an hour after you posted it?


Sticky this thread PLEASE!


Great post overall, should be stickied, but I disagree with 8. Those calculators are mostly wrong. If you can press 120 for 9 reps, write that instead of a max you've never even attempted and therefore have no real idea if you're capable of lifing. Let the more experienced people intepret what level of strength a rep max means.


Very good point. That's typically a good calculator for me, but, it really only means anything if you've actually attempted a 1RM. I've edited it.


I don't think we're going to have to worry about that if they provide all the information listed. They will get positive constructive feedback much sooner if they give us everything they're working with.


I don't normally bump things, but I figure it's for a good cause.


Just bumping, this should be a sticky post. Although there are a few already.


Yes here's one:

Before posting, please read at least 2 or 3 standard published bodybuilding/strength books like from Amazon or something (no, not those stupid over-hyped opinion based/biased ebooks from clickbank that some skinny internet marketer simply wants to make money on).

Article don't count!

It really amazes me the lack of basic knowledge some have.

Reading posts here and there, or asking the most basic questions just isn't productive. Even a beginner should understand most of the fundamentals - questions on here should be for things that they aren't clear on/don't get, not for a whole re-education.

People need to read more


Here's a nugget of wisdom to help save years of frustration:

Every newbie wants to find the "secret", the anti-typical way of doing things. They want to do everything EXCEPT what all the big/strong guys have been doing for years...


The basics done over and over again is THE secret. There is no secret!

If you can't stick to your diet, if you can't lift heavier and heavier weights month after month (or maintain/build a little strength when losing fat), you aren't going to get anywhere.


An interesting paradox being that the most common response to beginners is "Read the fuckin stickies" so the ones that already read them are posting well already, the ones who aren't wouldn't read this one either.


Good point. I believe there are well-intentioned newbies out there who are just a bit overwhelmed at just how much information there is around here. I don't think setting up such a guideline was done in vain.


Stickying this thread might not work, but it sure would help if people read it before starting a thread.

Yes, that's another way of saying BUMP!