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Novice, Need Help with This Routine

Is this routine okay to start? 3xweek ABA BAB

Bench Press: 2 sets 1x6-9; rest 3-4 minute, drop the weight 1x10-12
Bent over row: 2 sets 1x6-9; rest 3-4 minute, drop the weight 1x10-12 (weighed or with bands if needed)
Back Squats: 1 set, 20 reps with 3 deep breaths between reps

Military Press: 2 sets 1x6-9; rest 3-4 minute, drop the weight 1x10-12
Chin ups: 2 sets 1x6-9; rest 3-4 minute, drop the weight 1x10-12 (weighed or with bands if needed)
Deadlift with hex bar: 1 set, 20 reps with 3 deep breaths between reps

Aren’t arms undertrained this way?

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Undertrainio Mucho! Programa basura por tu brazos!


Sorry i copied and pasted the wrong part. Edited in english haha

Do you think a couple of hard sets of dips one day and curls the other can be enough?

If I were to do this program I would basically reverse the order of excercises, in order to get a proper warm up with a high rep compound excercise before proceeding.

If I were to do my own program, I would do three full body workouts, one set per muscle group, 8-10 excercises, 2-3 times a week. Start with legs, followed by chest, back and shoulders, biceps, triceps to end it with calves and abs. I would name them A, B and C - and do different excercises (free weights, bodyweight, machines) and repranges (heavy 5 reps, high 15-30 reps and normal 8-12 reps) on each of them - as well as vary lifting tempo with normal reps one week alternated with slower variations every other week. A bit similar to Dr Stevenson’s Fortitude Training or Christian Thibaudeau’s ideas.

honestly i think for 3x per week, this is nowhere near enough volume.

How long have you been training? bench, deadlift, squat PR? Bodyweight/height? Age?

Too many variables to give blanketed advice

It looks kind of like super squats


It would also be interesting to hear your training goal: Strength or hypertrophy/aestethics?


I’m a novice. As such I can’t critique your opinion
But I’m genuinely asking why. I have looked at some beginner routines like starting strenght which is basically just 3 sets (and none of them to failure vs. my two sets to failure), ALLPROs which is just 2 working sets PER WEEK, GSLP which is, again just 3 sets and just the last one to failure (vs. my two sets to failure), McRobert’s which is 1-3 sets per big lift once a week…

@pettersson most of these routines are moreover pretty streight forward, rotating a couple of workouts, adding weight or reps as possible, no various exercises, no wide exercise variation. Why do you think it is better?

My goal is “looking big and good”, put on slabs of muscle.

I’m not trying to be provocative (in fact i might simply just run one of the aforementioned routines like Sttonglifts with or without accessory work), but, again, I’m asking genuinely

I’m going to say that any program advising this shouldn’t be followed, but that being said - im a volume junkie, admittedly.

Research backs up volume of ~10 sets per muscle per week. If you goal is truly to “look big and good”, it sounds like you are interested in hypertrophy (muscle building) and leaning out. While lifting heavy weights inevitably ends up meaning bigger muscles, training can be prioritized to focus on lifting heavy, or looking good - sometimes a bit of both. Are your goals to look good naked, lift heavy weight, or a little of both?

I dont intend this to come off cross, im just being direct.

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Full body is better because you stimulate low-volume regularly in order to progress, and also avoid overtraining (or 3-month syndrome as I refer to it; The time, past new years eve, it takes for new trainees to train themselves high-volume out of order and the gym). Edit: Not that your program was to be considered high volume. Btw, Arnold built his foundations on a full body program called “The golden six”, though he did more sets on these six excercises - something for you?

Some might say it doesn’t matter how you train as a novice, that you will grow and be stronger no matter what you do? I’m not going to argue with that - but it’s better to train in a manner that serves longevity in the gym, though still provide progression.

I believe it is easier to give all you have during one hard set, than many half-assed sets with lots of rest in between. A full body workout is over in less than 40 mins, and you also get some sort of conditioning.

When in doubt, you could always try a well constructed program by a professional.


I will say that full body is probably one of the better programs for novice lifters as most muscles won’t encounter enough damage to need days to recover. i also believe that full body is inadequate for moderately experienced, or advanced lifters though - but my opinion is based on my own experiences. I need higher volume and density.

@venomvenom expressed concern for lack of arm training, and understandably so. But IMO this concern should be expressed for shoulders, calves, entire rear chain, and arms (as previously mentioned). There is very little stimulation for virtually all of these muscles/groups.

I will agree that any novice will effectively be graced with beginner gains, but i am not one to waste a good (and untested) opportunity to do more. I believe a baseline of Overhand Pull ups, Rear Squat, Deadlift, and Bench should be established to see if such low volume can effectively be utilized… If someone is deadlifting 500lbs for 20 reps, i would argue that is PLENTY of stimulation for most back muscles - but compared to someone deadlifting say 95lbs for 20 reps, i do not believe this is enough muscle damage. (muscle damage being a good thing)

Each to their own, these are just my opinions based on my own experience. I dont intend this to come off as combative in any way, just discussing different views


Thanks @Andrewgen_Receptors,

Respect! I happen to like this discussion. We share overall similar ideas/mindset on training in general, though one of us is a responder to high volume - and the other has found the solution in fullbody low-volume variability.

@venomvenom: You will learn that there are several strategies/pathways on how to build/stimulate muscle growth or strength. There simply is not one solution to the equation. The only rule that seems to apply is finding your own balance in between volume, intensity and frequency.

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Ok then maybe I’ll just go for it, and see how I respond. No way to tell without even trying

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Your own program you mean? Please do some more research on this site first or wait for other more experienced trainees to find this thread.

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I didn’t write it myself.
I asked a friend of mine who works as a PT, yet I like to ask for different opinions whenever I’m into something new.

Of couse if you think the program is idiotic i may go for something else like SL 5x5.

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I have been training for about 12 years and essentially wasted the first 3-4 years with bad programming and bad advice. I use Push/Pull/Legs and have had great results for about 3 years going strong with this program. My routine is as follows, for perspective.


I usually run PPLPP(L) during one week, sometimes skipping the 2nd leg day. Anyways, take what you will from this conversation - i sincerely recommend at least having more variety in your ABA BAB program if you choose to continue with it. You should have more direct Rear Chain, Traps, Arms, and Calves exercises if you want to run this - or any type of program.

Your rest periods should be 60-90 seconds for standard lifts and 3-5 minutes for compound lifts (squat/deadlift/overhead press)


Now that is a program @Andrewgen_Receptors!

@venomvenom: The problem with your suggested program, as I see it, is that the order is reversed - squats and/or deadlifts should come first in almost any program (the exception being specialization programs). Next is the long rest between sets, you don’t need it (at this stage), unless you are becoming a powerlifter. And finally there is less volume on too few excercises.

If I may suggest one program following my approach I would recommend “Fortitude Training” which has it all and being backed up by the available science. Look it up on the net. Another, more lateral choice, would be Ellington Darden’s 30-10-30, with a focus on high intensity.

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it does, if you take out the chins, and do all of it, A and B on the same day, 3x per week.


20 rep squats training is a good right of passage so yeah, go for it (for a limited period.)
This is similar but better…

After that run through T Nation programs -5/3/1, Dan John, Waterbury etc