T Nation

New to Training for Mass, Overwhelmed


Like I said, I'm new to all of this. I did do MANY searches but have come across so many different workout plans I just need a little guidance to get started properly.

Me... quick and dirty...
I am Male, 5'7, 175-180, very mildly overweight. I have worked out enough that I have some barely visible chest/arm size with zero definition due to a layer of body fat that is thankfully shrinking due to my increased lifting over the last month. Most of my fat deposit falls into typical spare tire zones. I still do not have the upper body strength to properly/reliably do a full set of pull ups. I have worked mostly with an old weight machine I got at a garage sale that is falling apart, and a set of dumbbells that I purchased years ago.

So I am just now getting serious in trying to transform myself. I have finally found and joined a good gym. My problem is the HUGE volume of input. The blessing and curse of the internet is that I have read way too many contradicting ideas on how to best do this. Instead of everyone trying to tell me which program is the best. I have put together a list of eight exercises that are in my very novice opinion good enough to start me off correctly. I just want opinions on what you would change and why. For the purpose of this thread lets assume my nutrition is on point.

I am a very organized person so this is very simple for me to start off on and log my sets/reps/weights on each set.

This breaks down to a Classic MON/WED/FRI Lifting with (TUE/THUR/SAT Rest or Cardio):

Romanian Deadlift
Dumbbell Curl to Overhead Press
Pullups (gotta work up to these) thankfully the gym has a assisted pullup station
Hang Cleans
Alt Dumbbell Press
Swiss Ball weighted crunch
Half Kneeling Cable Twist/Lift.

I will of course bump up my total weight lifted every week.

What I would like to know is if there is anything I am missing. Everyone at the gym wants me to train with them on specific muscle groups each days instead of whole body workouts with recovery time.

Thanks in advance,
Wesley Kerr


copy an paste this to the beginners section you will prob get more positive feedback there and welcome to the forum


welcome to the forum
you can try the beginners section for basic training info, as well as the journals section for the journaling.

exercises look good but not really sure when you are doin which. good luck with your transformation


Why curl to overhead press?

Chances are you would use different weights doing these separately.

Are you doing the same workout 3 times a week, and that is the order of exercises? Why have you chosen those exercises? If I were new I would choose one main exercise for a body part, and then use standard assistance exercises. (i.e. Bench press followed by incline bench, then dumbell fly)


My best advice would be to avoid all the crazy theories and exercise philosophies going around, ignore the bitter small people and their bitter advice, and just look at the really big guys, find out how they got there.

(From another thread):

Some references for getting huge, and being huge...

~Professor X training, diet, and history:



~Beginner questions answered:






~Bauer training, diet, and history:


~Heavythrower training, diet, and history:


~Members, before and after:


We stand on the shoulders of giants.

There are more than these. Let me know if you want links to the other big guys' threads too.


WTF he IS in the beginner's section O_o


you mind posting up all the links you have? I don't know about him, but I'll read them


I see this happen a lot. I think it's just that the post has been moved.

      BIG DUDES:

~NewDamage training, diet, history...


~ACTrain training, diet, history...


~CephalicCarnage training, diet, history...


~Waylanderxx training, diet, history...


~FattyFat training, diet, history...



Reidar -

Prisoner -

DylanJ -

Benny Boy -

nreviya -

pwrbarboy -


curqleez -

classicbod91 -

Peteman -

1morerep -

Junior__23 -


~Why do so few 'get it'?


~Dante [Trudel] on OCD in Bodybuilding


~Common Sense, wherefore art thou?


~Bodybuilder Philosophy


~Motivation from Dante


~Lee Haney (tribute and articles)



(training videos)

~Off-season Bodybuilders



This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the best place for a beginner to start is learning from the biggest guys around (here, and in their gym). You will notice several themes and reoccurring methods that appear in all of the links I put up in this thread.


Yeah, I recognize a lot of them already, but there are a bunch I haven't seen yet. Thanks man.

Also, links seem to work in your new post, not sure why.


Hm I don't know why my initial post wasn't letting the links go through. lol

Oh well for anyone interested that was just copied from a post in my "Off-season Bodybuilders" thread where the links DO work, so there you go.

It's easy to get overwhelmed when you stand in the midst of countless sales pitches and hordes of bitter do-nothings with no merit that can only regurgitate what they've read somewhere.

But when you stand on the shoulders of giants, 99% of the footwork is already done for you. Just put the pieces together and make it happen.


yea the thread got moved


Thanks everyone... I have yet more reading ahead of me it appears. Which is fine. Half of my problem is that I research a topic to death before I jump into it. I just had my first real workout with the new setup only. I feel great, totally wiped out, but great. My shoulders feel it more then I had anticipated. Which I suppose is all of the varied grip pull ups I made myself do.

Now I must hunker down, read all the typed word scriptures of the truly giant men on the forum, and adapt my program to include the golden nuggets of wisdom.

Last question for the thread and then I am just going to grind for the next 3-6 months and re-evaluate my program for weaknesses.

The only real time I have to workout is between 10-2am... right before I need to be getting into bed. I still make myself stay up and drink my post workout shakes. So besides going to bed with a stomach full of shake are there any adverse affects from working out before bed? If so, is there anything I can do to counteract the negative affects other then changing my schedule. Which is VERY inflexible unfortunately.


Nope. No adverse affects.

Train a couple bodyparts to death for 45-60 minutes, go home and stuff yourself with protein and carbs, then pass out.

Sounds like a good idea to me...


Nice collection of links to interesting threads. However, they are probably not going to immediately REDUCE confusion for the OP. Consider MODOK and Professor X for example -- very different approach to frequency. Different exercises.

OP, since you have already done enough reading to be confused, why don't you ask some SPECIFIC questions about (apparently) conflicting points? You might get some good answers here that will help reconcile the confusion. But you need to be specific. Also, why don't you explain why you chose those exercises as your basics, and why you put them in that order.


The specifics are always going to be up to the individual, but the basics of building muscle remain the same. Eating enough to gain, centering meals around meat and protein, lifting heavy and training to get stronger, etc.

What exercises you do, how frequently you hit a muscle, etc. all of that comes from the trial and error at the heart of bodybuilding, but that is why you start with the basics (like they all did), and tweak it from there until you have a working system.


My original goal was to put together a full body workout with multi-joint exercises that I would do 3 days a week to allow for full recovery between workouts. So lift (MON/WED/FRI) Very light cardio on TUE/THUR/SAT... Full recover on Sunday so I can go back to work feeling good. That list of exercises are not in order. They break down into 4 supersets(2 ex per). The whole thing is based loosely off of a program I read and liked the idea of off of a mens health website which I in turn kicked up a notch to make it worth my time. My lifting vocabulary is still ruff so if something doesn't sound right... sorry. Deal with it. :wink:

The program is an Alternating Superset breakdown (I do 1a then 1b then 1a then 1b till all sets are done for the superset.) Keeps me moving with elevated heart rate. Since I need to loose some weight too. This may not be correct, but like I said. If I have learned anything from these sites is that the key is nutrition and to put heavy shit in the air repeatedly. Then stick with it. So I will do this for 3-6months tracking EVERYTHING from the weight on each set, to my measurements each week to my daily weight. After this 3-6months Ill re-evaluate and If I'm not getting good consistent gains across the board I will switch something out.

a)Hang Cleans 3x5-10
b)Alt Dumbbell Press 3x8-10
a)Squats 3x8-10
b)Pull Ups 3X8-10 different grip on each.
a)Rom Deadlift 3x8-10
b)Curl to Press 3x8-10 (cause I like them)
a)Low Rotating Cable Twist/Lift 3x8-10
b)Swiss ball weighted crunch... 3x8-10 I thought these were too easy, so I may go ahead and just use the ab machine.

As far as why I chose them... I just liked the sound of the program. They are all fairly basic exercises that have been around for a long time, and it hits everything more then one way. Plus with the way my gym is set up. I can do each superset in a particular location without having to break tempo because someone is using a station I just walked away from on the other end of the gym. Plus, like Ive said a few times now, if something isn't giving me the results I want I'll change it up a bit. I don't want to try anything fancy, or super high intensity after only lifting for a few months. I'll work up to that. I am not in a HUGE hurry to get HUGE. I don't have an ego about it. I have no problems curling a 15lb dumbbell to warm up next to a hot vixen curling a 35-40lb. Now that I have started, I'm just not going to stop. Period. I can change things later when something isn't working for me, but until that time comes this is fine, and I will only find out if I try.

My overall original post was to find out if anyone had issues with those exercises together as a workout, and what their issues/reasons are. I don't want someone to write me a plan. Ill do the work myself. I'm not one to ask for hand outs... even though I REALLY love the links provided. There is tons of priceless knowledge in there.


I actually like this reason for choosing this exercise. If your programme is full of exercises you really hate, it's going to make it a hell of a lot harder to go to the gym and put everything you have into the workout

I'd really recommend reading all those links Mr. Popular provided, especially the one 'Why do so few GET IT?'
You were bang on in noticing that lifting heavy and eating a shit load is what the big guys do to get big.

Best of luck