T Nation

Offer Tip, Win T-shirts!


Wow! We've had over 1000 new people sign up to this forum just in the last week or two, many pretty new to the whole T-mag "experience." Let's help these new folks out.

Got a good tip for a newbie just getting into real training and proper nutrition? Reply to this thread with the tip and we'll pick one person to win THREE of our T-shirts: a T-Nation tribal shirt, a Testosterone shirt, and a navy blue Biotest shirt.

To come up with a good tip, think of something that really helped you when you were first getting started. Tips can be related to diet, training or lifestyle in general. Links to helpful T-mag articles would be cool too.

Let's hear 'em!


Personally, I have learned one helluva lot of new things conserning dieting.. Much of from John Berardis Articles, two thumbs up for him.

And about training.. I've learned so much.. And got so many ideas, not to mention INSPIRATION (!!!) from great coaches such as Thibaudeau, Waterbury, Staley, Defranco.. Read their articles, heck read all articles you can!
Also, if you happen to come up with some questions.. Just pop-em up on the forum, and you can be pretty sure to get a fair answer!

Yours, Lyandir.


There is no magic pill, exercise, ect. to see results you need to make a decision to get your diet in tune and to hit the IRON with dedication. Machines are alright for beginers but to see real results you got get over into that scary, dark corner of the gym the free weight area. Dont be affraid to ask for help or a spot, most of us in that area are more then willing to help a fellow T-Man or T-Women out. Lift heavy and lift hard!

Mitch Green


Food log. The best tip I had as a newbie was to keep a food log. I believe the old, "It's your diet stupid". I think that beginning a food log immediately can be very enlightening and I don't think you can begin to make effective changes if you don't even know exactly what it is you need to change in the first place.

There is so much information on this website that a person can be overwhelmed and then become consumed with minutia. I think the first thing is to begin a food log, start making small sensible changes to clean up your diet, take a vitamin, read your ass off, then worry about macro-nutrient breakdown and combo's, meal timing, supplementation, workout programs, rep schemes, whether it's time for a cycle, how much everyone else can bench, and so forth.


i got a nice tip.. this tip is geared towards someone who is just starting out who wants to get super strong

GO SLOW, dont do partials, dont play around with 1rm that much (ie dont do tons of singles), pay attention to your rotators

focus attention on imbalances (ie single arm bp, single leg sq's)

DONT THINK YOU ARE GOING TO BECOME MARIUZ PUDZ OR BRENT MIKESELL IN ONE YEAR, you will most likely get hurt, also if you read dinosaur training, dont go all gung ho, step in the gym the next week and do partials and sanbags and partial deads etc

anyway stick to big movements just do them lighter and work on imbalances, dont go nuts (even tho it seems so fun) :))))))

hehe peace


Get your diet dialed in. This is probably the most important aspect to growing. Use a food log. You will be amazed at how little you are actually eating until you write it down. And, never be embarrassed to ask questions. No matter how mundane, if you are unsure of something, ask.


A tip i would offer new T-men would be to really concentrate on your diet as you wont make strong, lasting gains without the proper nutritional program. when i first started training (around the age of 15) i made no adjustments to my diet and ate a lot of junk. needless to say i made some gains but then hit a wall and could never progress.
Another tip would be to not believe the "hype" that you may read in magazines (not mentioning any names but we all know who they are). 80% of what is in there, from supplement claims to training programs, is not meant for those just starting out and most don't do much for experienced lifters. stick to what you read here on the forum. everyone here will speak from experience and the wealth of knowledge these folks possess is unparalleled. how can you beat free advice from some of the top trainers in the world!!


My tip is fairly simple:

Start off by going over the frequently asked ?'s section

befor you do anything else. This section and the info. it contains will save you and the rest of the forumn a lot of time on redundent ?'s.

Also, do your self a favor and read JB's 7 habits article, as far as diet goes.


Take it slow, dont get overwhelmed. This game is a life long journey and cant be learned all in one afternoon.

Hope this helps,


Here's a little different tip...

When I really got going I went out and spent about $15 for one of those laminated wall charts of the human muscle system, that is, the kind you see in doctor offices.

It really helped me visualize what muscles I was working and what motions are working what groups. It also helps me figure out where my sore muscles and aches and pains are so I can figure out what motion caused them.

You can find one at http://www.allheart.com/acc-8946-pl1-5.html


No matter how hard I trained, no matter how much cardio I did, no matter how many fat burners or pro-hormones/pro-steroids or supplements I took, THE ONLY WAY TO SEE A MAJOR DIFFERENCE IN YOUR BODY IS BY PROPER NUTRITION! HANDS DOWN!!! Mostly everybody at my gym busts their ass working out but yet very few look even remotely good. When I ask them about their diets, you now know why they look like shit!

  1. Make sure you eat 6 meals/day!
  2. Make sure you get at least 1.5gr of protein per lb of bodyweight/day.
  3. Make sure you consume high-quality fats (flax/fish oil) every day. And Stay away from trans-fatty acids (hydrogenated oils)
  4. Make sure you eat NON-PROCESSED CARBS! EAT CARBS LIKE:OATMEAL, LONG GRAIN BROWN RICE, SWEET POTATOES. Except for post-workout use SURGE! Avoid High-fructose corn syrup.

Once you get your diet "dialed in" (cals/protein/carbs/fat) you will see results so fast you will kick yourself for not realizing this sooner!

I always use a lettering grade system. If you want to look like an A, eat like an A. If your diet is a C, you will look average! Bring your diet letter grade up and you will see improvements in your physique!

Once I realized how important proper nutrition was, that's when I finally started seeing results!


Proper post workout nutrition of carbs and protein like in Surge really help in recovering quickly.


Don't always jump into "intense" diets right away. For example, it can be easy for a beginner to attempt to split Protein/Carb and Protein/Fat meals right away, and then fail miserably.

For diet, first work on the utter basics (as provided in Berardi's 7-Keys Article: http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/291seven.jsp). Just eating more fruit/veggies helps immensely with body composition goals.


Take everything you are told at face value, research it yourself, make your own conclusions, and see what works for you.

This applies to training, nutrition, and life in general.


If you want to make continuous progress, ensure you periodize your training by lifting heavy for a week or two, then lighter recovery for a week. The body can't lift heavier and heavier weights every week, you gotta give it a break sometime.

  1. Have a plan! Don't say to yourself "I'll spend the first couple visits just getting used to the machines/exercises."
  2. Have a plan in which you concentrate on 1-2 muscle groups on one day, and DON'T try to "max out" your weights the first day!
  3. Stretch that evening.

Too many newbies hit the weights hard their first time, work every muscle, don't stretch--and wake up the next day so sore and cramped/tight that they don't go to the gym for days.


You will see many workouts that work for many different people. The trick is to find one that works for you individually. What set/rep schemes do you respond best to? Stay within yourself and never try to show off or overdo it. You will only get yourself hurt or end up being shown up by someone else. There is always someone bigger or stronger than you. Deadlifts and squats = good. Smith machine = bad.

READ READ READ this site. Once you get done reading it, read it again. There is an incredible wealth of knowledge out there.

Keep a food log and get your nutrition honed in. This makes up more of what you look like than your training.


I found this site not too long ago and have been amazed since the day I stumbled on to my first T-mag article.

Go to the archives and read everything you possibly can. Read about nutrition and learn how to properly fuel your body to get optimal results.

Once you get the nutrition thing down, then start looking at different workout programs. Don't be afraid to try any of the programs that are offered by any of the T-mag writers. That's the great thing about this site - I've yet to see bad training advice from any of the contributors, so it really doesn't matter which one you pick.

Also remember to switch things up. Anywhere from 3 to six weeks, I would go to something new to keep your body guessing. Be sure to take a week off between programs or at the very least every 12 weeks. Otherwise you may find yourself getting burnt out.

Keep food and workout logs, that way you have a reference to look back on to see what works and what doesn't work for YOU.

Finally, make fitness a priority in your life, be patient, and stay committed.


This is a very basic recommendation, but many beginners lack the basic understanding that in whatever split used legs should get at least the same amount of work then upper body if not more. In other words quads and hams over beach muscles. In the long run you will see why i told you so.


My tip really isn't a tip, but rather motivation. If you are just now starting out a workout regime, remember, you didn't get fat or out of shape over night, so you're not going to lose the fat or get back in shape over night either.

You get out life what you put into it. If you're living a great life, you're going to fail sometime. Weightlifting is exactly like life, in that essence. You're going to come to either a hault in your progress or some sort of regression. Much like you'd do with life, don't give up, keep plugging along. As long as you follow a sound workout regime and a good diet your progress will eventually continue in a positive direction.

For goodness sake, do NOT make up stupid @$$ excuses, you'd only be lying to yourself if you do. Half of the battle in working out or in any fitness routine is getting there. Once you get there and crawl through your first couple of sets your endorphins and blood will start pumping through your system and you'll be glad you made it.

Use your workouts as an opportunity to expell your angers and frustrations in a constructive way. Whatever pisses you off during the day, just bottle that shit up and take it out on the weights. Some of you young guys always complain about not being able to get mad, well hell get mad at me.. YOU SKINNY ASS FUCKING PUSSIES!!! Do you want to take the lazy road through life and not take pride in your personal appearance, or do YOU want to be that guy at the gym that everyone's girlfriend is looking at?

Or hell, for all you young girls out there, aren't you sick and tired of all the 'anorexic' and 'cottage cheese legs' comments? Are you pissed off yet girls? Are you going to just call me a sexist pig and deny those very facts?

NO, I didn't think so... Because you are all T-men and T-vixens.. When you signed up for T-nation you didn't sign up for an immediate vacation.. You signed up b/c you promised everyone, including yourself that you are going to do damn near anything possible to enhance your physiques as well as those around you. You gotta go through hell to get to heaven! Once you go through this hell that we're all going through, ah the benefits, the rewards, the self satisfaction you will feel.

You see, this is a special group of people here, don't be the one to bring down it's prestige. I know I wouldn't want that burden on my back and I'm sure you don't either.

Like a previous post said, go through the FAQs and read and reread them and then if you still have any questions, one of tens of thousands of fellow T-maggerz would be more than glad to answer it or at least point you in a direction to find the answer.

Good luck with your new position in this world, you have made the decision to step in this elite class of individuals, I applaud you for your efforts and wish you only the best.

If you need even more motivation or you aren't pissed off enough yet, there's an article in here somewhere where I think TC lights a fire up your @$$.. Read it and reread it until your pissed off AT YOURSELF!!! The truth hurts, no CHANGE IT!!!


Never look at training and nutrition as being impractical or even worse just not possible for you to implement in your life. For example, when people ask me how I got to look the way I do and I explain, they almost all say the same thing. "Well I just don't have time for that, that's just not something I can do with my schedule." BULLSHIT. Quality mrp's aren't all that expensive (especially now thanks to Biotest) and if you can drink a bottle of water during the course of your day ie. in between breakfast/lunch break/and dinner then you shouldn't have any problem covering your dietary needs.

As for not having the time/energy to train because of work. More BULLSHIT. Don't watch as much TV, spend an hour or so less with your friends/loved ones ect. MAKE TIME. It's your body. Why do you go to work in the first place? Isn't it to have the necessities to take care of yourself? To ultimately live a relatively comfortable/happy life? Your body plays a major role in this whole equation. Why put primary emphasis on things like money, clothes, cars, ect. if you have no foundation? That's how I look at it. After you make this realization all the other peices fall into place and just become part of your lifestyle.