T Nation

Seeking Beginner Advice


Hey All,

Brand new here, and was hoping some kind people, could give me some advice. Currently I am 31 years old, 5'9 and 150lbs. I have been lean all my life, not to say I am skinny, I have been told I have a good physique just not very big. That is where you all come in!

My goals are, to get bigger and stronger, though right now my main focus would be on size.

Now before I go to far, I feel I must say, I am not interested in getting huge. I think about 180-185 would be a good size for me. For a reference, about the size of Georges St Pierre, http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/7510/2966stpierremiller092ufwg4.jpg

I am wondering, what kind of diet I would be looking at to achieve those results. Caloric intake, protein intake etc.

Secondly, what kind of work out routine would suit me best?

I have read many of the articles on the site over the last year or so, and ended up somewhat confused by the amount of information that is out there. It seems that much of the information provided is geared towards people who wish to achieve much bigger gains than I am aiming for.

Thank You in advance!


Gains are gains. Follow advice geared to achieve those much bigger gains until you've gotten where you want to go. Then cruise at maintenance.

For example, if someone were to go from your current stats to a lean 250 pounds, they would have to at some point hit 180 on the way, right? You don't jump from 150 to 250 overnight accidentally. Arms don't jump from 14" to 20" with some magical program; they gradually go up to 14.5, then 15, then 15.5. . .see?

Gaining muscle is not easy. It requires lots of protein consumed often and consistently, and a calorie surplus along with intense training. But raising calories makes you burn more calories; they don't all go shooting into muscle. So then you have to eat even more to gain.


Would you be up for posting a current picture of yourself, to get a better, unbiased perspective of where you're at.

You're looking to add at least 30 pounds of muscle. That's very similar to many members. The biggest difference is that some want to end up at 280, not 180.

The fundamental tactics used to get there will be basically the same (high calories, relatively-high protein, heavy and consistent lifting), the biggest difference will be that, as a newbie, your gains should come somewhat "easier" if you go for it full throttle.

Follow this nutrition plan:

Do you do any weight training right now, or have you ever?

While knowing that answer will help figure out what you're familiar with, for now, I suggest you do this:

In eight weeks, pick a different training program.


Thank You for the replies!

I just finished reading the links you provided about training and diet, I really appreciate them, they are simple and make alot of sense.

I dont do any weight training currently, but I have done a bit in the past, I am a physically active person though.


This is a very good and simple program for strength and size gains for a beginner. Try to read all the WS4SB articles, since it has evolved.


That's good that you have read the articles for the past year and just read a few more. STOP READING, you don't need to read any more, start lifting hard and eat a whole shit load of protein. I was a lightweight like you, skinny and lean all my life, and thought I couldn't get any bigger, but with all the info and help of the T-fam, I'm almost 180, but still have a long way to go. Like anderson said, it takes time and lots of blood and sweat.

Yes, you may be a physically active person, but now be a physically active person in the GYM.


The simplest thing you can immediately do to start adding muscle is to add protein shakes to your daily diet.
Don't get the fattening "weight gainers," simply use a high quality whey/casein shake (you can find them in the store here on this website).
Start with one or two, and then progress until you find a comfortable range (I alternate my meals between whole food and blended fruit/protein shakes for a total of 3-4 shakes and 3-4 meals).

When I started lifting two years ago I was 5'10" 115 lbs. and now I'm 202 lbs. I grew to 6'3" but I obviously gained a lot of sheer muscle so I'm very familiar the subject.
It's simply math: muscle is made up of protein (and water) so increasing your protein intake (along with weight training) will increase your muscle mass, generally speaking.
It is easy to get things complicated with all the information out there, but one-for-one when I meet someone who tells me they can't "add any weight" I find out that they don't take protein shakes consistently.
Hope this helps.


Don't overanalyze or outthink yourself here. If you want to get bigger and you don't lift regularly, it's pretty basic: Lift heavy weights and take in at least 3,500 calories a day. There are all sorts of different workouts, sets/reps patterns, body part splits, and exercises that people will recommend, but until you gain a base level of elevated strength, just lift heavy weights and center each workout around a basic power lift: deadlifts, bench press, and squat.

Once you start to hit a plateau strengthwise and weightwise, then start looking into more advanced stuff. Do like 4 sets of 10-12 reps on everything for a few weeks, then just start going heavy as shit and make sure you always use good form. The rest takes care of itself.


lots of advice here, good luck.


Total Body Training and WS4SB both are great programs. Starting Strength is another good one. No fluff, just work and develop a good power base.

In all honesty though, if you haven't lifted recently, I would stay away from the WS4SB programs at first. The max effort lift might not be a great idea for a beginner.