T Nation

Noobie Advice, Routine?


Hey I've been lifting off and on for about 2 yrs now but I am new to this site. I'm having problems staying motivated because I haven't seen much gains. I know I haven't been consistent with my lifting but I feel I should be seeing some results after say..6 months. I now know that my diet has a lot to do with this. I said all that to say this lol.. I need help with a routine and any advice for a newbie that you guys are willing to give.

My original goal was to get more muscular but I wanted to get stronger as well. Now I feel like size shouldn't be my main concern that I should be more focused on building a good foundation (strength). I'm 25 yrs old, 205 lbs, and 5'11". I have access to a gym and no one to really help me progress ( gym is at work with people going mainly just to get off work early) what would be a good routine?


How has your strength and physique progressed?


what's a realistic layout of a day of eating for you?


My physique looked the same to me for awhile but a few others said I appeared bigger (arms). I noticed after I had quit working out for awhile the difference because I lost all the gains it seemed like lol. Strength seemed to be all over.. One day I could bench 215 a few times and then most days 185-190 seemed to be all I could bench. I think my diet and when I was taking in calories affected my gym time.

Still got the spare tire thing going on in my lower stomach. Don't know whether to diet and get rid of it or just focus on lifting and eating.


At the moment I haven't been working out or dieting. Trying to get a routine and diet plan together before even attempting to get back to the gym. Now I usually just eat a biscuit at 8, a pretty big lunch and supper at 7 or 8. When I was lifting I was taking in abt 2500 calories a day. For example I would eat:

Breakfast 4:30- protein shake, two eggs scrambled or sandwich, cup of milk
Mid snack 8:00- 1 cup brown rice, 4 oz chicken or pork. Sometimes can of tuna
Lunch 11:00- 1 cup brown rice, and 4 oz meat, 1 cup of some sort of peas.
Break 1:00- 1 cup brown rice, 4 oz meat
After gym 2:30- protein shake, fruit
Supper around 5 or 6 usually consisting of the same plus peas and 1 cup of milk

Like I said I know my diet has a lot of effect on my gains. My water intake was poor as well. I figured at 2500 calories I would lose some fat and make small gains. What would be a more realistic calorie intake?


Take your breakfast meal and throw it at the end of your day so you can sleep a little more


If I put that at the end of my day, what would be a better option for breakfast? I wake up at 4:00 to get ready and head out for work so that's the reason my breakfast was so early.


For a program, I say give the "madcow intermediate" program a go. Just do a google search and an article explaining it will come up along with a spreadsheet where you can plug in your numbers and it lays everything out for you.

For eating, simplify. Jim Wendler's philosophy on eating is great for this reason. It's very simple and allows for flexibility which will help you stick to it for the long haul. It's about habit, not a specific calorie number or specific grams of protein, etc.

Basically the template is this:

At each meal, eat:
1- A large serving of meat or eggs
2- A piece of fruit and/or serving of vegetables
3- Some complex carbs

Eat 4 meals a day like this. Or eat 3 meals like this plus a protein shake


You can stop wondering or thinking, and start knowing with 100% certainty that diet directly affects performance.

You DO NOT have to eat like this to be ripped/not-fat/healthy/good-looking/low-bodyfat/toned/jacked.

Personally, I could never eat like that. I LOVE food so I'm going to eat whatever makes me happy without sacrificing fat-loss/muscle-gains.

Educate yourself :


Oh I'm sorry, breakfast looks good I just figured the extra sleep might be worth having an extra meal at night rather than morning.


should I be worried abt supplements other than whey protein right now?


Look at a few posts above. Press "play".


My computer at work wouldn't let me watch the video but I was finally able to.
Would Madcow be a good routine for a beginner or would starting strength be better?

I've read so many mixed reviews so it can be quite confusing lol. I guess the best choice would be to just pick one and stick with it...I read where stronglifts 5x5 was a good routine to start BEFORE madcow intermediate.


SL5X5 is the beginner to Madcow Intermediate.

SS is beginner to Texas Method Intermediate.

SL5x5 and SS are quite similar, as are Madcow and Texas method.

Pick one, be consistent for 4-6 months, re-evaluate.

If you get the SL5x5 spreadsheet from the web site (free), it will actually tell you when to move to Madcow.

I loved SL5x5 for the simplicity and the fact that if you follow the program as is, you can only see results. Great way to learn the basics. But at the end of the day, choose a program that complements you and your lifestyle.