T Nation

Novice Training

This forum seems to have mostly intermediate to advanced trainees and here the definition of big when it comes down to muscles is way different than the one held by the average fella. This said I am yet to see an article about novice training. Now this is not a critic but a request: I have a friend of mine giving his first step into powerlifting and I really have no clue how to get him started (don´t really trust commercial gyms instructors for this) and I myself don´t have any experience on this as I went from Gymnastics to PL. I had some base strength and my numbers weren´t that bad.

This guy on the other hand is kind of proficient with Pull-ups or dips given his small complexity (about 132 lbs) but struggles with little more than 20kg military presses (44 lbs) or 90 lbs bench presses doing no much more than 5 reps with this given loads. This are just examples, for any analyzing purpose I could add some more exercises.

Question here as you may have guessed is. How can a novice with such characteristics train? What would the training program look like? Any idea?
Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance.

Jonnie Candito just brought out a new free linear progression programme which would be good for beginners? You can download it for free from his website.

I would say for any beginner, the goal should be to learn the squat, bench, and deadlift correctly. Training with sub-maximal weights should be the least concern in the beginning. Lifting is just as much about technique as it is physical strength.

It has been said a million times everywhere, but simple 5x5 programs are the most simple and straight forward method. It works for everyone. My girlfriend got interested in lifting like I do and she went from barely being able to squat 65 lbs to squatting 200 lbs in about 6 months using the same principles. I firmly believe the beginning stages are all about developing technique, motor patterns, the overall CNS, and proper flexibility. Once that has been established moving up in weights should not be a problem for a period of time (6-12 months).

I agree with Evolv. My wife is right on the cusp of an elite raw total and has been training for less than 3 years. Her training has been out of the 5x5 family of programs. Over the past year and a half, it’s basically what people call the Texas Method. She squats, benches, pulls, presses, and does some pullups and rows, and that’s about it. She’ll throw in some ab work or kb swings when she feels like it.

Keep it simple, focus on technical mastery, do the lifts again and again and again.

Must say it was really simple and I have to completely agree with you, after all technique comes first and with good training habits you can increase your strenght without even using maximal loads. The last one applies to advanced trainees as well.

[quote]Ramo wrote:
I agree with Evolv. My wife is right on the cusp of an elite raw total and has been training for less than 3 years. Her training has been out of the 5x5 family of programs. Over the past year and a half, it’s basically what people call the Texas Method. She squats, benches, pulls, presses, and does some pullups and rows, and that’s about it. She’ll throw in some ab work or kb swings when she feels like it.

Keep it simple, focus on technical mastery, do the lifts again and again and again.[/quote]

well said