T Nation

I,BODYBUILDER for Beginners


Hello everybody,
could I start this program even if I'm a beginner?
Thanks in advance.




So, what do you suggest me to do?


Read this: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/the_bodybuilding_bible_free_of_charge


Why does every newbie think that they need something advanced?

I've seen newbies on here looking for THREE years for the "best" program to give them the biggest gains.

That's the definition of irony lol


I was not looking for any advanced programs: just your opinion. I'm 190cm tall (74kg of weight) and I would like to look a little like Christian Thibaudeau.


Are you currently running a program?

Give us some back ground, and how often you are looking to lift. I mean 3 days, 4 days, 12 days a week, etc tec etc.

We need more info dude.


I'm not running any program, just working out few times a week. I set up a little gym in my basement (power rack, lat-machine, loadable barbells and dumbbells, strength bands) and I can lift whenever I want.


<---Back in before 18 people recommend Starting Strength.


Dude, if you put as much effort into lifting as you do giving us detailed information to work with in order to give you advice, you are destined to look Arnold in no time.

ANy specific advice someone has for you outside of "you are not ready for an advanced routine" will be irresponsible because we don't know shit about you other than you lift in your basement and your goal is to look like a bodybuilder.

So, the best I can do is give generic advice: Find a 4 way that focuses on the big lifts, ramp your sets, and get stronger while eating a reasonable caloric surplus.


I'm 25 years old and probably it's too late to start building an "Arnold physique". But I don't care. I'm focused on this target. I suffered from eating disorders (anorexia) for long time and now I would like to reshape my body.


Like everyone else with the goal of getting bigger, you need to eat for it. Too many people look around for the ideal workout program without giving the diet enough attention (growth will not happen if you aren't putting on weight...especially given your background). Shoot for around a pound extra a week, give or take some (1-2kg a month).

Start to introduce more foods into your diet and focus on protein/fats. Carbohydrates are easy to get in, but they fill you up too soon without getting in enough calories (not good for someone like yourself who's stomach likely has shrunk). Have your meals, then fill in the gaps with shakes (e.g. 3 meals a day plus 2 shakes in-between).

It may feel a little uncomfortable to start with (sickly), but if you do it gradually it'll be fine. As your stomach expands, and appetite increases (this happens when you start eating more quantity of food, more frequently), it will be easy to eat a reasonable amount of food for growth.

As for your training routine, don't get distracted by articles etc. Go by your own progress and needs. Progress is the key! If in a year, your bench press went from 6-8 reps at 60kgs, to 6-8 reps at 100kgs...guess what? Your chest/triceps/delts got bigger. So you need to train a muscle part as often as you can, making it stronger, without neglecting other bodyparts.

Start off by assessing how your body recovers. Most people can train a bodypart every 5-8 days (e.g. train chest on Monday, train it again on Fri...or for the less frequent trainees; train chest on Monday, train it again next Monday). Whichever plan allows you to recover and get stronger on for reps is the one to go with.

As for volume, a good middle-ground approach/starting point is to do 8-12 working sets per bodypart per week. E.g. 2-3 sets of flat bench press, 2-3 sets of incline bench press, done twice a week = 8-12 work sets for chest/week. Or for legs (which often takes longer to recover and more rest days between training), you may do 12 sets worth of training all in one session done once a week.


Diet tips:

Keep it simple, no need to worry about "optimal" macronutrient ratios blah blah blah, just get a good balance. The ratios etc matter more when you are dieting.

Knowing you Italians (haha), your meals probably consist mostly of carbohydrates (pasta etc). This is fine for gaining muscle and you can keep your meals stable/constant (eat whatever your wife/mother cooks you lol). But to balance it out more, make your shakes higher in protein/fats.

Example ingredients for shakes:

Protein powder and milk/water (the base ingredient)
Peanut butter
Ice cream

You get the gist. If it's high in calories, and edible, blend it :slight_smile:

When your weight stabilises and doesn't increase, adjust the calories of your shakes upwards...or get your slaves (erm...I mean wife/mum) to cook more.


I have been lived with the continuous fear of getting fat, but to achieve my goal I must get over it.


exactly. dont be afraid of losing sight of your abs in order to put on some quality muscle. at the end of the day you can always diet down and see them again whilst maintaining the size you've built


It's not like one day you'll just wake up fat.

Even if you WANTED to get fat, it would be extremely difficult while training because your muscles will just "soak up" all the food - your metabolism will be crying for food, and because you've deprived yourself for so long, your body will put most of it towards muscle building.

Plenty training + being really lean + eating = large increases in muscle mass vs. fat increases

It may take some time before you get into a gaining grove though, because it's hard to get things going again when you've starved for so long.

Just for you information, if you did ever get to an uncomfortable level of "fatness" (which would take plenty time and ignorance), losing fat is EASY when you do it right (not as easy if you had 40+lbs of fat to lose mind you). My advice to you would be to post on here if you THINK you are too fat to gain (if ever you got paranoid) because others will give you it straight since you won't be in a position to judge it properly by yourself.


I used to be in your boat at 115. I will tell you that in my experience I put on some flab temporarily because I went from 1200 cal/day to 2700 and my body was just running too slow for it. But after a couple of weeks of lifting, eating, and singleness of purpose to put on muscle, my body 'recompositioned' itself and my six-pack is back at 140.

Tracking my progress helped me a lot. As I saw my weight, chest measurement, and strength all increasing, while my waist stayed under 30", I was really encouraged to keep going. The mirror could lie to me but the measurements could not. Set goals and avoid toxic people that tell you shit like 'you'll get fat' or 'it's unsustainable'. These people are 99% of the time horrendously out of shape to begin with.

And, don't be afraid of carbs.


no, you are beginner.

This is a good place to look up to



I think that my body has been starving for very long time. Since I started to eat again I have accumulated fat aroung my navel, but arms and legs are still thin.
I don't want to measure my meals but is is hard to lose old bad habits: now I have to do it in the opposite way.


It will take several weeks before your body "switches" on so to speak. Give it the stimulus and food and results will follow.

Any increase in calories will be put to use, no need to do it all at once (e.g. jumping from no eating to suddenly "bulking"). The tips I gave you above are more something to put into practice once you've gotten used to eating regularly/properly and you are in a routine. Start off with 3 small meals a day and build up from there. Give your body time to adjust.

Any midsection expansion will just be your body adjusting to the increased food intake (albeit a low increase). Pace yourself 2 weeks at a time, and don't make any rash decisions/or get paranoid (stop looking in the mirror!)

What do you intend on doing for your routine by the way?