T Nation

I'm a Beginner... I Think


I used to work out thought my whole high school years and like 2 more years after i graduated but really didnt know what i was doing and made little progress. During the first 2 years or so i hit a plateau do to my ignorance, and since my mentality at the time was "the harder you train the more results you'll get" i was expecting to get huge.

Soon after i was under the influence of massive depression and other social problems which were affected even more by this plateau. So after like 7 yrs of frustration i decided to stop working out (around October/November 05. Now 2 yrs later i decided to start again (september 28/07) and w/ a little more knowledge do to the fact that i've been reading alittle.

Now, my question are...1)When i change the training split after 5-6 weeks do i have to choose completely new exercises for each body part?

How often can i perform advance techniques like drop sets, rest pause etc.? 3) Do i stick w/ the same exact exercise for 5-6 weeks or are variations of the same exercise needed? 4) When i'm done with the 5-6 week routine do i start the new one using light weight and less reps?

Sorry for these questions, i just cant find the answers and some of the articles ive read are too complex too clearly understand since i really never new how to work out properly. One more thing, am i considered a bigginer?


First off, you are still a beginner because you can't spell it haha, just kidding man.

For your first question you don't necessarily have to change up a whole routine based on some set number of weeks. Keep doing what is working, if some exercise or technique isn't then change that, but you don't need to throw the baby out with the bath water. Advanced techniques are just that, advanced, so you likely won't need or really benefit to much over regular straight sets at this point. You can have different variations of exercises, but they aren't required really.

I don't think starting over a routine from scratch is beneficial. If you are doing a program that requires 10 rep squats and you start at say 135x10 and over months and months build up to 295x10 it would be silly to start again down much below 250ish at the lowest. Progress on weights in basic exercises in whatever fashion you deem best for you at this point and be consistent, that's all that really matters.


Normally your body adapts to reps faster than to exercises so you should change that first. If your exercises are basic exercies, squats, deadlifts, presses and rows, change from 10 to 5 reps before changing exercises. If you are mainly doing isolation exercises, change everyting.


I personally think that people get to caught up in the whole I need change my routine ever something weeks. If has been 6 weeks and it is still working then don't change it. If it has been 3 months and you are still making progress then don't switch it. If you stop making progress for 1-3 weeks then it might be time to switch.


That helped a little bit, i'll just keep on reading more articles on magazines and on here. thanks for the answers.