T Nation

I Need Program Suggestions


Ok, so I consistently started working out in January. My program then was Monday Deadlift with accessory work and Tuesday a pressing exersise with accessory work. I switched off between 3x3, 5x2, and 6x1 then deload each week. On Fridays, I did a full body hypertrophy workout. This summer I have done a strongman oriented routine and it almost seems like I have lost some mass.

Now I really really want to gain weight, gain muscle, and get bigger. I have gained over 10 lbs of muscle this year and now I want to do a dedicated BB routine to try to get bigger. I am not very well versed in BB programming. It seems like there are thousands of BB routines on the internet, so it's hard to choose off there.

I have access to Franco Columbo's and Arnold's book. Franco's says to do 21 exersises (three for back, abs, and thighs) and the rest of the muscle groups 2 in one full body routine doing 10-20 reps 2-4 sets. Arnold's intermediate routine says to do one exercise per a muscle group for
8-12 reps of 3-4 sets. Ok, so I feel like Franco's is too much volume, and Arnold's, idk.

Anyway, what do you guys suggest what I should do. I am willing to work my butt off and eat good, clean food. I seriously want get bigger (more of a BB look) although, I look pretty good now (my friends can tell I even lift). But I want to work to get huge right now, until training for strength in February. Please help!!!

Thanks, I really want a good program to follow for right now in my lifting career!!! I am 5'9" @180lbs right now, my goal is to get bigger right now, with all the programs out there, I can't choose one. I want to find one that won't burn me out, but still challenge me and help to grow a huge balanced physique.


What is your general bodyfat level and what weights do you put up on the basic lifts? (yes, I think this is relevant to your question)


so the workout I wrote out for you in the other thread you started wasn't good enough?

I'm taking my ball and going home!


Deadlift 370, Bench 210, Squat 240, I haven't maxed out on OH press in a while

Looking at the chart of bf percentages I look to be around 17 percent


No offense, but I want a dedicated hypertrophy program




With stats like these, a 'dedicated hypertrophy program' will not be the most efficient way to get you looking like a bodybuilder. You need to get significantly stronger to accomplish your goals. A dedicated hypertrophy program would make more sense if you were deadlifting 500+, squatting 400+, and benching 300+. But to each his own I guess.


:wink: Except, I can't go home.

$5 says this was due to inadequate nutrition.

Maybe just pick one program, pretty much any one, do it for three or four months, and see what happens? Seems like that'd give a better idea of whether a program is "good" or not, especially if you're just guessing and have little to no point of reference.

Quick Side Note: With seven months of training, and having jumped between a few different routines in that time, I'd say you're not yet intermediate.

What if I told you... it doesn't have to be an either/or. There's no rule that say you have to "train for size" or "train for strength."

Growing huge and not getting "burned out" will have much more to do with your nutrition than your training plan.


Well Arnold's beginner program consisted of pushups, dips, and situps, and I felt like I was beyond that. I know that I am a beginner. This summer I think I was getting around 130 grams of protein a day, and I know I could make improvements with my diet, which I will. So I guess I won't do a strict BB routine. I will probably do some sort of 5/3/1, like Yogi suggested (sorry for doubting you).

I Just noticed that my rear lat spread got somewhat smaller since May and it made me feel like I had been wasting time and not doing the best routine and utilizing my time, so then I felt like I had to make up for the mass lost. I know I am doubting programs too much, but I want to make sure that I am doing the absolute best thing while I can still make newbie gains. I know you can gain muscle training for strength (I did), but I wanted to do more. I guess I was getting a tad greedy like I should or could be getting bigger rather than doing a strength routine.

Once I decide on what I am doing (probably the one Yogi suggested) (again sorry man) I will stick to it at least 3 months. I don't have a problem staying dedicated, I always went to the gym 3 days a week, but right now I am motivated as ever to get bigger and to make the absolute most gains that I can which will probably be by training for strength as you guys suggested or I guess both at the same time with the assistance work.


This is one of the problems with reading too much. There is a lot of info out there. Read enough and eventually even the same person will contradict themselves.
Arnold's Golden Six is solid for a beginner:

The Level 1 Beginner plan in Arnold's Encyclopedia is chest-back/shoulders-arms/legs six days a week. Not sure where you read his bodyweight-for-beginners plan.

I'll put another $5 that says your 130g was closer to 100g more days than not. Happens very often when people guesstimate their intake. So, yes, inadequate nutrition. It's definitely good that you recognize you need to crack down on that, but I suggest a food journal for at least a little while to make sure your diet really is on point.

The only real best thing a beginner can do is stick to one plan and run it into the ground, squeezing out every possible bit of progress. Frequent program-jumping is probably the number one cause for slow, inefficient gains. Crap nutrition coming in a very, very close second.


ok here's what you should do;

read the program properly, do exactly what he wrote, and say 'thank you'.


Thanks to everyone, especially Yogi for the advice and the routine. I will get back on here in 3ish months to update on my progress. For now, I am going to start this and get back to gains. You guys stressed the importance of diet, how does this look? Breakfast-4 eggs on toast or tortilla, Lunch-Chicken breast cooked in olive oil with 1 cup of brown rice and one cup of brocalli, after school snack-greek yogurt, Dinner-Usually whatever my mom makes. Glasses of milk thrown in throughout, chocolate milk after workout. I want to make all the progress possible that I can.


For the assistance work not including the BBB, what sorta sets and reps should I do?


re: diet - try and get 1g of protein per lb of your bodyweight. Supplement with protein shakes if you have to (or just drink milk like you'd planned). Don't just guesstimate it though, actually track the protein. I know that living at home you have to eat what your mother makes (and so you should!) but try and get your protein in no matter what. Other than that eat good, nutritious foods, and don't be scared to eat a little junk every now and then. Remember - you've got to eat big to get big!

re: assistance work - 8-12 reps for the most part, but don't be afraid to go higher if you want. It's up to you really. Certain exercises (shoulder raises, quad accessory stuff) I think do better with 20 reps or so, but everyone's different. Just pick a rep range and try and get stronger in it.

Good luck! And try and be patient. I get that you want it and you want it RIGHT NOW but getting big and strong takes time. Learn to enjoy the journey and you'll be set for life.


Thanks a crap ton for all of the advice, I will take it and run the heck out of it! I will come back on here in a few months to update and thank you for all of your generous advice! As far as it's a lifelong process, I agree, but I was just a little afraid I wasn't maximizing on the newbie gains I could make. I will definitively do the routine you have given! Thanks again


happy to help mate! Come back and show us all how well you're doing.


Man, I wish I spent more time with this objective rather than obliterating muscles on mountaindog splits