T Nation

Newbie - Am I on the Right Path?


Hey T-Nation. I love this site. The "gym etiquette" thread I read was hysterical. And on top of that it seems like there is a lot of people that know what they are doing here. I started working out in January.

I don't know what my max is because I've never really tried to just do a max. The most I've ever lift for bench is 240 and the most for squat is 250.

Calf Raises

Different Day
Pull ups
Compound Row
dumbbell row
Dumbbell Curl

Barbell Curl

Third day
Military Press
Lat pulldowns

There are a few different days of working out to give you guys an idea of what I am doing.

Am I on the right path or am I in need of some serious help. Thanks!


This is before I started working out. I've gained about twenty pounds since this pic was taken.


lawl newb. just kidding man. but you have made good progress. keep it up



GOMAD and beef. It'll put hair on your balls and muscle on your frame.


The last time I did dead lifts they were....


I was told that since I am already doing squats and cleans a lot I might not want to do dead lifts every week.


Since you're relatively new to lifting I'd say you can probably stand the volume, though yes you don't necessarily need to with cleans in there as well. Just make sure you're eating enough and giving your body all the opportunity to grow and get some size on you. You've started well, now keep going with it and continue to put on size and strength. Since you've got a bit of disparity between squat and bench I'd say really give attention to your posterior chain, one reason why I suggest adding DL's back in and probably even RDL's.


It's weird that my bench is good compared to my squat. My chest is pretty underdeveloped, but I still have an OK bench.


you might benefit from strictly following a program that matches your goals.

in my first two years of 'training', i went from 6'1 and about 170 to 185. during that time, i didn't do much research and just made up my own program as i went along. while some of my minimal progress was due to moving overseas and back (canada>england>canada), there were also some serious flaws in my routine. i didn't bench through a full range of motion, rarely did chinups or pullups, was very inconsistent with squats and only did deadlifts when i felt like it. the only thing i trained well were biceps.

since then, i found tmuscle and decided to follow defranco's ws4sb much more literally. i decided to take my lower body training seriously, and also do everything through a full range of motion. i stopped having people 'spot' my dumbbell lifts, and i decided to get better at chinups and squats. at that time, i don't think i could have put together a good and balanced program on my own, but i was able to do ws4sb and make good progress.

while i'm not massive, i'm sitting at 195 now and have got my squat and dead up to 335 and 405 respectively. with the knowledge i've gotten from TMUSCLE, i think i can now keep my programming in check, but i certainly couldn't have earlier on. the next goal is to eat a lot more to keep the lifts going up.

that's what i've got


Your numbers looks solid for only training around a (year??). The only thing that really pops out at me is how you are benching 35 more lbs than u can dead. Are u using proper form on the bench? If so i would definitley work on your deadlift and deadlift variations (rack pulls, sumos, Roms etc).

Once i started getting serious with deads i really started to see my traps develop and grow what seemed over night. They really helped bring out more of a V-taper in my upper body as well.

Also. Cleans are a great exercise, but i think you wold really benefit from some millitary pressing. barbell or DB. Seated or standing. My favorite mass builder is push pressing. i keep this exercise just as important as any other pressing movement in my routine. They really crush ever muscle in your shoulder and you can put some big, impressive weight up over your head.

Deadlifts and push-presses. 2 moves virtually impossible to cheat. Either u pick it up/put it over your head or you dont. Bench pressing, while a very good mass builder is muuuuuch easier to cheat/hurt yourself if your not carefull.

Keep it up man. oh yah...and eat eat eat...like a mother fucker. it works!!!


Yeah I started working out in January. But I only recently started things like squats and deadlifts. That's why there are kind of weird differences in some of my numbers. I'm not sure why I avoided them for so long, but I did.

I bought starting strength a couple of months ago and got to understand the importance of compound exercises. And while I don't really follow that exercise format, I did get a better understanding of quality exercising.


It's either leverages or you're squatting high.

I'm not going to bust your balls about depth. Do what you will.


I feel like I have pretty decent form. I think it comes back to I started doing bench press in January. I started squatting(real squatting, not smith machine crap) like two months ago. Just a big training difference.

But that's fine. I don't expect to go from chicken legs to muscle man over night.


Alot of people start that way. U go in and do the exercises that most people are familiar with....benching, curling, machines etc. Shit, i know people that have been training for 10+ years and still dont squat or deadlift. Everyone benches, because it equates to an attribute of your manhood and cock size. (not really)

My gym is far from hardcore, but ive had the opportunity to train in some places where some big mother fuckers laid it down. Squat, dead, press. The rest will follow.


well that makes sense also.

But to answer your question, you seem to be doing fine. Now just keep progressing for the next 15 years :wink:


Yeah, I'm trying to make sure I'm not that guy. The guy that is always in the gym and always looks the same. I see people complaining on here about not being able to get on the squat rack sometimes.

I don't have that problem, because people hardly even do squats around here. I go to the Y three or four times a week. And I've noticed two different people doing cleans and one doing dead lifts. Not to say there aren't more. But it seems most people love smith machines and isolation work outs a little too much.

It seems like squats are the biggest piece to the puzzle. That and diet. I really think I will progress well with working out. It's really interesting. So many different techniques of working out, different exercises and diets.


Cleans before squats.

Overall, looks pretty good though


how much do you weight?


I weighed about 170 in the picture in the blue basketball shorts.

I weigh about 196 now.


That's what my friend said. In my mind it makes more sense to do squats first. Not saying they are, it just made sense to me.

I am going to try cleans first from now on though.

Could someone explain why the order is important in a work out? Thanks!


I disagree. Save your shoulders and lower back for squats. Or another option would be to train them on different days.