isolate then intergrate?

I am having a debate on another thread and everyone seems against me…lol. There is a guy who calls himself a newbie to bb and has a routine consisting of deadlifts, goodmornings, powershrugs etc with reps no higher than 6. He is asking for opinions so, I said that he shouldn’t be doing such power exercises to start with, and that his reps should be higher. Everyone there is really bagging what I have said. I still strongly belief what I have said, but was just curious as to what other people thought.

I think that if someone is just beginning to weightlift they shoudl start with the basic movements like squats, deads, etc not stupid shit like leg extensions an machine curls etc. Rep range should definately be higher like 8 - 12.

I agree with you. Feel better?

Start reading some articles from Testosterone Magazine. You might just change your tune.

I am reading articles. So far I have printed off and read nearly every article of the first 2 years (I have only come across this site in the last few weeks). The article I was just checking out before checking to see if anyone had replied was Strength Training, Bodybuilding & Online Supplement Store - T NATION That was a great read and one of the most comprehensive (that everyone can understand) articles I have read om correcting postural problems.

any program should start with the compound movements as its foundation: squats, deadlifts, bench, rows, etc. but done with strict form and light weights that would allow the newbie to go to 8 reps (lots of proprioception to sort out). i agree that certain power-based movements should be avoided, and higher ranges or reps be encouraged (depending on how strenuous that 6 reps is) but isolation movements and compound movements should both be used to effectively build the body (or at least get a better sense of its capabilities and coordination). so, a bit of agreement, and a bit of disagreement. but, good advice to any newbie nonetheless.

As long as the guy has his techniques down I see no reason not to do what he is doing. He is going to build himself a good base physique. Many new lifters get in the gym and all they work to begin with is chest and arms.

There is nothing wrong with learning the Powerlifts at the very beginning of your training career.

As someone who Coaches athletes of all levels of ability,I make sure that they are taught how to Box Squat,Bench and Deadlift properly.
There is no reason why a newbie should not learn and use these lifts if taught by a competent coach.

In my opinion, and many others as well, it is better to concentrate on the big basic exercises i.e. squats, deads, bent over rows, bench press, military press etc as these are skills that need to be learnt and no amount of isolation or machine work can replicate these movements - they are as nature intended us to move. However, until they can be performed consistantly with perfect form
it is important not to go too heavy too soon as this may lead to a)injuries and b) learning faulty movement patterns (or engrams). It takes a reletively short time to learn faulty engrams but a very long time to unlearn them. (300 movements to learn, 30,000 to relearn!!! acording to Paul Chek)

However if the trainee has any muscle imbalances, postural issues, or flexibility issues, it may be necessary to correct these before moving onto the big movements.

In summary then, get on to the big compound exercises as soon as possible, use light weights/higher reps initially until techniques is perfect, screen for any biomechanical issues and address these prior to increasing the loading significantly, and build up to low reps gradually (possibly after a period of years in some cases)

Hope that helps!

why should he not be doing deadlifts and goodmornings? They are two of the best exercises for the posterior chain and overall strength. i wish someone had shown me them when i was starting. As for reps, depends on the circumstances.

Thanks guys for the replies. I do agree with you that they are great exercises, I am not arguing that Whetu. Or that machine exercises are better alternative for these exercises. Not trying to be nitpicky, but I’m pretty sure that PC said it was 5,000 reps to relearn the exercise (of course that depends upon how long they have been doing it wrong for). And if you believe what he says, then he also says to isolate and then intergrate. Appreciate everyone’s comments. Thanks.

I’m not sure that the advice of low weight and high reps is the only advice for a new lifter. You don’t want them to lift too heavy and hurt themselves or to use bad form. I think though, that good form sometimes requires some weight on the bar. If a person new to lifting comes in and is shown how to do a BB curl with 15 pounds, the bar might not offer enough resistance. The lifter will not learn to stabalize their core or brace the rest of their body properly.

Additionally the high reps might not be the way to go, look at most beginners during a high rep set. Rep one usually looks nothing like rep 15. I think part of this is due to what I said earlier, not enough weight leads to bad posture or body awareness.

It might just be the few people that I have started off in lifting weights, but in my experience light weight for the first 1 or 2 times a person is in the gym is alright, but a move to medium weights and lower reps seems to work well shortly after that.

I think BookerT hit the nail on the head. You need adequate weight to teach proper form and get the best results (strength and size). Of course newbies should be using less weight/more reps than experienced lifters, but I think there is some misunderstanding about what that means. Experienced powerlifters use sets of 1-3, and sets of 6 are very very different than sets of 1-3. To me, sets of 6 seems like a good place to start. Not too heavy, not too light.


You are 100% correct! Someone who is new to lifting weights can start out with a higher rep scheme and gain plenty of strength. Remeber how fast we all gained when we were newbies?

In addition to this the new trainee gets the opportunity to get a better feel for the new motions, avoiding strain and potential injury.

When I am assisting someone I never recommend that they begin with a rep scheme of less than 12-15. If I am in error, I am erring on the side of caution! There will be plenty of time after the initial introduction period to ramp up the weight and hit the lower reps in this great exercises.

What thread are you on? I will go over there with you and give them what for! Haha.

Just to clear things up, I wasn’t meaning that one should start off with leg extensions, concentration curls, lateral raises etc, but more a case of not all power movements. More a mixture of something like squats, leg curls, lunges, bench press, flyes, shoulder presses etc. Also, I am not a fan off having much weight at all when first doing the exercise. An example is if I put weight on a bar for someone to squat then they loose their form e.g. knee falling in medially, rotation to one side when coming up etc. Because you should be teaching proper technique then you need a lighter weight, hence higher reps. Plus everyone gains when they first go to the gym anyway (as already stated) as most of the gains are nueral. Therefore it is easy to use a linear progression for newbies and have them still get great results. Keep the comments coming. It is good to see more indepth reasoning.

For a beginner: 2 or 3 workouts per week splitting properly these exercises: Deadlift,Squat,Bench Press,Pullups,Military press,Barbell row
3 sets, 8-12 reps.