T Nation

Just Starting Out, Need Advice


#1

Hey guys, I need some advice. I'm 20 years old and have been lifting on and for about six years .
I'm 5'10 and 210 pounds. Was wondering if I'm heading in the right direction in using Strong lifts 5x5 to start out.
Also I've never really paid attention to my nutrition before, if anyone could point me in the right direction, the would be fcking awesome.
I've used google to look up nutrition among other things, but id rather get advice from second that has been doing well, someone that has learned by trial and error.

I don't need to plan written out, just pointers.

Thanks.


#2

A 5x5 program can be a fine starting place. Some people can also make very long term gains in strength on these programs.

Don’t start at the bar with the lifts as recommended because it sounds like you have experience.I started lifting with SLs with virtually no previous barbell experience and still started with a 50kg load for the squat and 40kg load for the bench press (@68kg BW). But still be conservative because the weight climbs quickly.

I would also add in different kinds of back work. Pull-ups, dumbell rows, increasing the deadlift work, machine work if you have access… The program lacks a decent amount of pulling. The recommended Pendlay rows can also be difficult to pull of properly (and most people put too much weight on the bar) so they might not be very useful in the beginning.


#3

Focus on the big three lifts, Bench press, Squat, Deadlift, also standing overhead press, and pullups are important, do all of your assistance work to compliment these lifts. This is essential whether your goals are centered around powerlifting or bodybuilding. I would personally recommend 5/3/1, but when I started out I had great success with a 5x5 type program. Nutrition is too large of a beast to tackle in a post, basically eat whole foods and make sure you’re eating enough to sustain growth. There are tons of articles on Tnation that can point you in the right direction. Matt Kroc has the best article when it comes to eating that I have seen, look that up. Good luck!


#4

I think 5/3/1 is too slow for a beginner, a basic 5x5 linear progression program is the best for a beginner. So yes you’re heading in the right direction doing Stronglifts. If I were you I would also throw in some pullups and dips, just 3 sets of each at the end of your workouts. Pick a rep range you want to achieve, whether that’s 3x8, 3x10 etc. and once you achieve that rep range add a bit of weight to your body and do it again.

I did Starting Strength when I started out. If I could go back I would do Stronglifts. When you have stalled out on Stronglifts (this means you’ve reset a few times and not just gotten bored of the program) I would recommend the madcow intermediate strength routine.


#5

SL 5x5 should be fine. Work it as written and run it out til you stop seeing gains.

There’s a whole forum for nutrition, but I’ll try to give you something short and simple: hit a protein and good carb with every meal. Should be getting 200+ grams of protein in a day at your current BW, and whole food sources are always best. Simple carbs are best right when you wake up or right after you train. Try to get complex carbs and good sources of fiber (think whole grain products, beans, brown rice, vegetables like carrots and broccoli) in at the other meals. Also try to get plenty of green leafy vegetables, and healthy fats (nuts, peanut butter, fatty fish, most oils etc.).


#6

I need to hear any numbers before I can advice on what program you should follow. How much is your squat, bench and deadlift?


#7

One last thing on the nutrition: If you want to get stronger, eat a lot of everything. I probably should have put that first and foremost.


#8

One last thing on the nutrition: If you want to get stronger, eat a lot of everything. I probably should have put that first and foremost.


#9

Strong Lifts and Starting Strength are both great programs. Either will work. I used Starting Strength and made some great gains with it. I am currently using the Practical Programming Advanced Novice Program, also created by Mark Rippetoe. I am enjoying it right now and all my lifts are going up.


#10

Deads are at 300 5x5 and because I don’t own a squat rack and have to clean the weight before I squat it it’s at 135. I’m still working in it.
Plus I’m getting a gym membership next week so I hope I can get the actual numbers that I can do


#11

Don’t know my bench max either, because I don’t own a bench.


#12

[quote] usernameistaken wrote:
Don’t know my bench max either, because I don’t own a bench.[/quote]
Basically I’m restarting after 8 months of inactivity outside of work. Just a whole lot of sitting on my ass.


#13

[quote] usernameistaken wrote:
Deads are at 300 5x5 and because I don’t own a squat rack and have to clean the weight before I squat it it’s at 135. I’m still working in it.
Plus I’m getting a gym membership next week so I hope I can get the actual numbers that I can do [/quote]

If your gym thing doesn’t work out make something like this.


#14

[quote] usernameistaken wrote:
Deads are at 300 5x5 and because I don’t own a squat rack and have to clean the weight before I squat it it’s at 135. I’m still working in it.
Plus I’m getting a gym membership next week so I hope I can get the actual numbers that I can do [/quote]

You’re only supposed to do 1 set of 5 with your top weight for deadlift with stronglift 5x5.

But if you can do 5x5 deadlifts with 300lb with good form, then your actual 5 rep must be closer to 400.


#15

[quote]magick wrote:

[quote] usernameistaken wrote:
Deads are at 300 5x5 and because I don’t own a squat rack and have to clean the weight before I squat it it’s at 135. I’m still working in it.
Plus I’m getting a gym membership next week so I hope I can get the actual numbers that I can do [/quote]

You’re only supposed to do 1 set of 5 with your top weight for deadlift with stronglift 5x5.

But if you can do 5x5 deadlifts with 300lb with good form, then your actual 5 rep must be closer to 400.[/quote]
That sounds incredibly optimistic. Deadlift is probably one of the least consistent lifts as far as translating rep maxes to real maxes, but I would be surprised if 300 for 5x5 translated to much more than 365 for a 1RM, especially if OP hasn’t been trying to pull heavier weights.

Of course some of it depends on how much rest you take between sets, but most people can get 5x5 with a weight that they can only do 6 or 7 with for a single set. Leaving one or two in the tank means you can get another solid set a few minutes later.