T Nation

Newcomer to Bodybuilding

I have been lurking these forums for the past two months and decided to sign up and ask for some help.

I have read the beginner guides in the beginner section “Must Reads for Beginners!” and noticed that it claims this:

"2-3: strength with little size gain

4-5: strength and size gains, but more strength than size

6-8: strength and size gains, almost equally

9-12: strength and size gains, but more size than strength

13-15: size gains, and some muscle endurance gains

16-20: muscle endurance gains, and some size gains"

Source: http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1764218

Though I have been reading up on a bunch of articles that claim, 3 sets of heavy weights will gain you mass.

“3) If you can do more than 6 reps of anything with good form it isn’t heavy enough”

Source: ezinearticles.com/index.php?How-to-Get-Big-Arms&id=961397

So now I am quite confused on which program to follow.

I have always had the problem in life of being the “smaller” guy, though I have grown to a height of 6’3 195LBS I have always been “skinny”. I don’t have any problems with strength, I benched 200 pounds in grade 11 which was two years ago (Not to impressive when compared to the some here) but decent enough for not picking up any weights.

So anyways, I am open to any types of “plans” to follow, guidelines, tips, anything. I plan on getting bigger, though it takes time, I want to be sure I’m on the right track and not the wrong.

Eat a lot of food and make sure you get plenty of protein. I follow Massive Eating, and like it pretty well, there’s plenty of nutrition info in the stickies.

For a beginner (like me), I would suggest Stronglifts Beginner 5x5 (I’m on this program) or Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength (very similar). I blew a whole lot of time worrying about the ideal number of sets and reps before I realized that the only surefire way to get bigger is to get stronger and eat a whole lot of good clean food.

[quote]tom8658 wrote:
Eat a lot of food and make sure you get plenty of protein. I follow Massive Eating, and like it pretty well, there’s plenty of nutrition info in the stickies.

For a beginner (like me), I would suggest Stronglifts Beginner 5x5 (I’m on this program) or Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength (very similar). I blew a whole lot of time worrying about the ideal number of sets and reps before I realized that the only surefire way to get bigger is to get stronger and eat a whole lot of good clean food.[/quote]

Thanks for your input, I know about getting the right amount protein. How much do you think a person trying to build some mass should intake daily? And I have no clue what “Stronglifts” are, could you inform me a little about those. Lately I have been getting back into shape, and being a little more concerned on how I appear and my health. And I will check out the nutrition facts on the forum, thanks.

Yeah, eat big, eat clean, and lift till you’re sweating like a pig. As a young beginner, you’ll see gains from just about any workout, but the two that tom recommended are both pretty good starting points. As long as you bust your ass in the gym, and stick to your diet, you’ll do fine.

I can’t stress diet enough. Check out Berardi’s Massive Eating articles if you need some nutrition help.




StrongLifts:
A day

Squats - 5x5
Bench Press - 5x5
Barbell Rows - 5x5
Dips - 3x5

B day

Squats - 5x5
Military Press - 5x5
Deadlift - 1x5
Pullups - 3x5

Rippetoe’s “Starting Strength”
A day

Squats - 3x5
Bench Press - 3x5
Deadlift - 1x5

B day

Squats - 3x5
Military Press - 3x5
PowerClean - 5x3

See the similarity?

Get about 200g of protein a day. The recommendation is a gram for every pound of bodyweight you have.

As to the article you linked… I’ll quote it:

  1. You must have a foundation of training before you start isolating arms

I’m assuming, since you’re posting in the beginner’s forum, you don’t have this yet. So don’t worry about your arm size.

As far as general advice on sets/reps, Tom said it better than I could, so I’ll just quote him.

Follow a good program (above) and do good in your diet, and you’ll get stronger/look better.

[quote]Otep wrote:
StrongLifts:
A day

Squats - 5x5
Bench Press - 5x5
Barbell Rows - 5x5
Dips - 3x5

B day

Squats - 5x5
Military Press - 5x5
Deadlift - 1x5
Pullups - 3x5

Rippetoe’s “Starting Strength”
A day

Squats - 3x5
Bench Press - 3x5
Deadlift - 1x5

B day

Squats - 3x5
Military Press - 3x5
PowerClean - 5x3

See the similarity?

Get about 200g of protein a day. The recommendation is a gram for every pound of bodyweight you have.

As to the article you linked… I’ll quote it:

  1. You must have a foundation of training before you start isolating arms

I’m assuming, since you’re posting in the beginner’s forum, you don’t have this yet. So don’t worry about your arm size.

As far as general advice on sets/reps, Tom said it better than I could, so I’ll just quote him.

I blew a whole lot of time worrying about the ideal number of sets and reps before I realized that the only surefire way to get bigger is to get stronger and eat a whole lot of good clean food.

Follow a good program (above) and do good in your diet, and you’ll get stronger/look better.[/quote]

I was thinking

Monday
Bench press 8 sets of 3 reps @ 160-170lbs then move on up to 8 sets of 4 reps @ 160-170lb
Curling (Wide grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs
Curling (Short grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs
Tuesday
Work out legs (Need help)

Wednesday
Work out the triceps with the curling bar
Work out forearms
Work out neck (Help needed)

Thursday
Work out shoulders
???
???

Friday
Bench press 8 sets of 3 reps @ 160-170lbs then move on up to 8 sets of 4 reps @ 160-170lb
Curling (Wide grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs
Curling (Short grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs

Saturday
Work out legs (Need help)

Sunday
-Off

I know how to work out certain parts of my body out such as the Triceps but I forget the name of the workout, (I use my curling bar and lay on my back), and same with my shoulders, I just use my bench press, and kind of lift it upwards towards my chest. The parts I put “(Help needed)” meaning I don’t know how to workout that area also the “???” part meaning I have no clue what to put in. I have a limit as of right now, I have a bench, bench press bar, curling bar and weights. One quick question about those dehydrated bananas, are they any good for you?

[quote]BlackZodiac wrote:
I was thinking

Monday
Bench press 8 sets of 3 reps @ 160-170lbs then move on up to 8 sets of 4 reps @ 160-170lb
Curling (Wide grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs
Curling (Short grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs
Tuesday
Work out legs (Need help)

Wednesday
Work out the triceps with the curling bar
Work out forearms
Work out neck (Help needed)

Thursday
Work out shoulders
???
???

Friday
Bench press 8 sets of 3 reps @ 160-170lbs then move on up to 8 sets of 4 reps @ 160-170lb
Curling (Wide grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs
Curling (Short grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs

Saturday
Work out legs (Need help)

Sunday
-Off

I know how to work out certain parts of my body out such as the Triceps but I forget the name of the workout, (I use my curling bar and lay on my back), and same with my shoulders, I just use my bench press, and kind of lift it upwards towards my chest. The parts I put “(Help needed)” meaning I don’t know how to workout that area also the “???” part meaning I have no clue what to put in. I have a limit as of right now, I have a bench, bench press bar, curling bar and weights. One quick question about those dehydrated bananas, are they any good for you?[/quote]

You’re beginner, right? Then don’t work to much about the arm work, shoulder work, neck work, etc. Work the big compound lifts, and you’ll build up your tri’s, bi’s, traps, etc just fine. You’ll still need to do some specific work later down the line, but there will be plenty of time for that once you’ve got a solid base. If you want to work legs, do squats, do split squats or lunges, and do some deadlifts.

If you really want to add a little bit of shoulder work, do some military presses and snatch grip deads. Basically, just do one of the workouts Otep posted, then move on to another program. Give yourself half a year or a year to really get moving, and then worry about specialization.

[quote]BlackZodiac wrote:
Otep wrote:
StrongLifts:
A day

Squats - 5x5
Bench Press - 5x5
Barbell Rows - 5x5
Dips - 3x5

B day

Squats - 5x5
Military Press - 5x5
Deadlift - 1x5
Pullups - 3x5

Rippetoe’s “Starting Strength”
A day

Squats - 3x5
Bench Press - 3x5
Deadlift - 1x5

B day

Squats - 3x5
Military Press - 3x5
PowerClean - 5x3

See the similarity?

Get about 200g of protein a day. The recommendation is a gram for every pound of bodyweight you have.

As to the article you linked… I’ll quote it:

  1. You must have a foundation of training before you start isolating arms

I’m assuming, since you’re posting in the beginner’s forum, you don’t have this yet. So don’t worry about your arm size.

As far as general advice on sets/reps, Tom said it better than I could, so I’ll just quote him.

I blew a whole lot of time worrying about the ideal number of sets and reps before I realized that the only surefire way to get bigger is to get stronger and eat a whole lot of good clean food.

Follow a good program (above) and do good in your diet, and you’ll get stronger/look better.

I was thinking

Monday
Bench press 8 sets of 3 reps @ 160-170lbs then move on up to 8 sets of 4 reps @ 160-170lb
Curling (Wide grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs
Curling (Short grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs
Tuesday
Work out legs (Need help)

Wednesday
Work out the triceps with the curling bar
Work out forearms
Work out neck (Help needed)

Thursday
Work out shoulders
???
???

Friday
Bench press 8 sets of 3 reps @ 160-170lbs then move on up to 8 sets of 4 reps @ 160-170lb
Curling (Wide grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs
Curling (Short grip) 8 sets of 3-6 reps @ 80 lbs

Saturday
Work out legs (Need help)

Sunday
-Off

I know how to work out certain parts of my body out such as the Triceps but I forget the name of the workout, (I use my curling bar and lay on my back), and same with my shoulders, I just use my bench press, and kind of lift it upwards towards my chest. The parts I put “(Help needed)” meaning I don’t know how to workout that area also the “???” part meaning I have no clue what to put in. I have a limit as of right now, I have a bench, bench press bar, curling bar and weights. One quick question about those dehydrated bananas, are they any good for you?[/quote]

If you’re short on cash, get a pair of sawhorses and nail some pieces of 2x4 to each end so the bar doesn’t roll off, then you can do back squats (start in the bottom position) and overhead pressing (by front squatting the bar up). If not, buy a squat stand or a power rack. The latter is better because it allows you to bench safely alone.

I still suggest the Stronglifts 5x5 Beginning Strength (link below) or Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. There’s not much point in doing isolation exercises as a beginner. Concentrate on doing the exercises with proper form, even if you have to start light to get it right: in the end it will allow you to handle more weight with less potential for injury.

Dehydrated bananas are just bananas without water. Personally I find the texture kind of weird, but I don’t think the nutrition is any different.

Dehydrated bananas are often soaked in sugar.

[quote]Otep wrote:
Dehydrated bananas are often soaked in sugar.[/quote]

Reading through some sources, it says 340 calories per cup, but since it has quite a bit of sugar, wouldn’t it be alright to be taken with creatine monohydrate?

I found 170 cals per ounce for unsweetend banana chips http://www.nutsonline.com/driedfruit/banana-chips/unsweetened.html
I wouldn’t eat the sweetened ones, but you could the unsweetened ones in a post workout meal if you really wanted. I’d stick with liquid sugars like grape juice with my creatine, it will hit you blood more quickly then food sugars.