T Nation

Need a Fitting Program for a Beginner


I started lifting seriously in mid October after losing about 40 pounds between June and Oct. Went from 230 lbs down to 188, which I'm currently still at (more on that in a second). I've been out of shape and overweight most of my life, I've always wanted to have a nice physique but was never motivated to do so till now. 24, 5'11", roughly 23%bf according to skin calipers. Began doing Starting Strength when I joined the gym, and basically rushed into it without much knowledge on proper form, loading, etc...

Needless to say I stalled quickly, too heavy too soon. Also, my job contributed to my problem, I work 12 hour factory shifts lifting boxes and constantly walking. One week I work Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat and Sun, the next week I'll work Wed and Thur, so doing SS 3 times a week on Mon, Wed and Fri had my workouts falling on days that I work sometimes. On my off days I have absolutely no problem eating more than enough to support my lifting habit, but the days I work, or work AND lift, I think I'd need to eat 5-6k cals just to gain a bit of weight. If I gain a pound or two on my days off, it comes off soon as I work a few days.

I do feel as though I've put on a few pounds a muscle and lost a few pounds of fat, as I've read happens on overweight individuals. After I stalled on my lifting, I deloaded and changed my lifting template around a little, now Workout A consists of bench press, deadlift, dips or tri pushdowns and a few sets of curls. Workout B consists of squats, OHP, BB rows or power cleans (alternate every few weeks) and chin ups.

Started out adding 5 pounds every workout on my squat and stalled at only 120, dropped down and concentrated on form and now I'm at 90x6 solid reps. Same with bench, now I'm at 115x8 solid reps. The only lift I've had success on is my deadlift, which is at 190x6, 225 max. OHP is 80x3 solid reps, rows around 115x8. Yes I know, pitiful.

I would love to find a program where I could work out on my two off days, work two or three days and then work out on my next two off days. My diet, when I was keeping meticulous track of it, was around 3200 cals daily. Usually a 40/30/30 split on carbs, protein and fats. Try to keep it as natural as possible, basically just fruits, veggies, meat, fish, nuts and dairy. Bread and pasta maybe once or twice a week. Supplements are whey, creatine, fish oil and multivitamins. Hope I've provided enough info. Any suggestions are welcome.


here is a suggestion I think suits you because its flexible.

day1: upperbody/mp day:
militarypress: 5x5.
a row variation: 3x10-15.
chins/pulldown with underhandgrip: if pulldowns: 3x10-15., if chins: 3x max rep.
push-ups: 3x max reps.

day2: lowerbody/ squat day:
squat: 5x5.
lunges: 3x5-10reps pr leg.
legcurl: 3x10.

day 3: upperbody/ bench day:
benchpress: 5x5.
a row variation: 3x10-15.
chins/pulldown with overhand grip: if pulldowns: 3x10-15. if chins: 3x max rep.
dips: 3x max reps.

day4: lowerbody/ deadlift day:
deadlift: 5x5.
rumanian deads: 3x15.
sit ups: 3x max reps.

start with 80% of your 5rm on the big four an try to add 5pounds each session. when you get to a weight where it is not possible to
get 5reps on all sett, try 4x4 next session and progress from there. when you hit another wall, try
3x3 and progress from there. when that fails, try out wnedlers 5,3,1 or another program.

good luck :slight_smile:


Thanks for the suggestion, I might go with that setup. Would like to hear more opinions also, especially if someone is in a similar situation


Here's something similar to what florelius laid out for you, I did this for awhile and it got me up pretty quick. http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/training-articles/the-best-training-for-muscle-mass-for-beginners/


That's basically what I have been doing, I cut out squats on my deadlift day because I felt it was too taxing on me, especially if I also worked the same day where Im standing and constantly walking all night.