T Nation

Template for a Beginner to Build a Base?


#1

Hey Jim love the book. I found it after watching the Barbell Shrugged episode with you on. You gave some great points in it about the attitude and long term outlook necessary to keep making progress.
I have read through the book (kindle edition) a couple of times and know feel I have a good grasp of the programming and the idea behind the weekly percentages and whatnot.

I have no experience of lifting weights apart from a brief sting a couple of years ago which lead to a quick injury and no real progress. I am 23 and around 185lbs with a bodyfat percentage in the high twenties. I went into the gym last night and tried my maxes and got:

Press 45kg
Bench 62.5kg
Squat 70kg
Deadlift 110kg

I can do around 15 pressups and 2 chin-ups, which ruled my first idea of the bodyweight template unusable.

I can't decide what template I should choose. I have lost just under 30lbs over the last few weeks with strict dieting and basic exercise and want to continue fat loss but improve my strength and gain some muscle. Is there a template which would be best suited to my situation or will any do the job?

Any of the guys who post in the 5/3/1 section feel free to answer too.


#2

First: don’t cut fat while you are trying to gain muscle/get strong. It is purely impossible (or really, really, really hard at least).

Second:

This is only my suggestion and opinion, but this is what I would do now, if I would start:

  1. Beginner linear progression (ex. starting strength) for 6-12 months.

  2. Some intermediate routine (ex. texas method or some intermediate 5x5-program) for 6-12 months.

  3. 5/3/1 and its variations for as long as you want.

5/3/1 is slow progress program with lot of auto-regulation, you’ll need to know yourself as a lifter before doing it and to get the best results from it.

Just don’t start like me and try to do advanced routines as beginner/early intermediate. They either break you, or you don’t yet get the right benefit from them.

PS. LEARN THE TECHNIQUES PROPERLY AND DO MOBILITY. If not, all programs will leave you weak and wounded.


#3

[quote]Rattus wrote:
P.P.S Don’t try to “cut fat” while gaining muscle and strength, you will surely fail. [/quote]

Hey Rattus.

The urge to get healthy after getting gout at 22 just over a month ago was and is the main driving factor behind my desire to get healthy. I need to lose bodyfat, I need to get healthy. While I understand the benefits of linear progression to prioritise strength I would have to prioritise that single goal over fat loss, general health and fitness.

I would have to be at a calorie surplus and not do cardio to really benefit from it. So while I completely understand it might be optimal to do something like SS in terms of getting stronger quicker, I am after a more holistic approach to getting healthy and strong.

Simply put I am not in any rush to reach any lifting numbers and am more interested in the long term of doing something now that will result in where I want to get in the years to come. Health and immediate health worries mean I can’t prioritises strength with LP and actually resolve health issues.


#4

It has been written already. 5 Pro’s with FSL. Appropriate accessories.


#5

I must have misunderstood your first post.

So, according to this I would suggest 5’s pro and the for beginners template while you’re on calorie deficit.

If you want to do conditioning do some 2 days/week template with minimal volume. Remember that gaining muscle comes later if you want to drop weight now.

If you’re having troubles with recovering (which can happen easily in deficit) just drop TM.

PPS. this is still just what I would do, Jim probably knows better.


#6

Hey guys thanks for the replies. Is 5’s pro in 5/3/1 for raw strength or is it one of the new features in the beyond 5/3/1 book? I bought 5/3/1 not beyond 5/3/1 so don’t have access to any of the ideas from the book.


#7

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:

Hey guys thanks for the replies. Is 5’s pro in 5/3/1 for raw strength or is it one of the new features in the beyond 5/3/1 book? I bought 5/3/1 not beyond 5/3/1 so don’t have access to any of the ideas from the book.[/quote]

Hey, yeap, 5’s pro is explained on beyond, but it’s a really simple, yet effective, idea:

First week: 65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5

Second Week: 70%x5, 80%x5, 90%x5

Third week: 75%x5, 85%x5, 95%x5

On the fourth week update your TM by 10 and 5 pounds and continue, 6 week is deload (this is another difference in beyond).

As assistance, in case you don’t know what FSL is, here’s the trick:

Do your normal work as stated above and after that do this:

First week: 3-5 sets 5-8 reps with 65%

Second week: 3-5 sets 5-8 reps with 70%

Third week: 3-5 sets 5-8 reps with 75%

I guess by now you know why it’s called First Set Last. On my book 4x8 is the way to go. Perhaps I could recommend you 5x8 on the upper movements and 5x5 on the lower but in the end is completely up to you. Any more assistance should be very low, some rows, dips, back raises, etc.

I also don’t know what is your training frequency (2,3 or 4 days) so you might need to cut back some assitance.


#8

[quote]leviathan85 wrote:

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:

Hey guys thanks for the replies. Is 5’s pro in 5/3/1 for raw strength or is it one of the new features in the beyond 5/3/1 book? I bought 5/3/1 not beyond 5/3/1 so don’t have access to any of the ideas from the book.[/quote]

Hey, yeap, 5’s pro is explained on beyond, but it’s a really simple, yet effective, idea:

First week: 65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5

Second Week: 70%x5, 80%x5, 90%x5

Third week: 75%x5, 85%x5, 95%x5

On the fourth week update your TM by 10 and 5 pounds and continue, 6 week is deload (this is another difference in beyond).

As assistance, in case you don’t know what FSL is, here’s the trick:

Do your normal work as stated above and after that do this:

First week: 3-5 sets 5-8 reps with 65%

Second week: 3-5 sets 5-8 reps with 70%

Third week: 3-5 sets 5-8 reps with 75%

I guess by now you know why it’s called First Set Last. On my book 4x8 is the way to go. Perhaps I could recommend you 5x8 on the upper movements and 5x5 on the lower but in the end is completely up to you. Any more assistance should be very low, some rows, dips, back raises, etc.

I also don’t know what is your training frequency (2,3 or 4 days) so you might need to cut back some assitance.[/quote]

Thanks for clarifying. So do I throw my percentages in the book out and replace them with the following percentages you just outlined, or do the ones you just mentioned as well? Am I having a blonde moment?

Oh and I am going to do the 4 days a week option and have 3 days conditioning. I will start slow and make sure not to burn myself out but I would like to do something everyday. Even if the day after squats I simply do some weighted walking or a couple sprints.
If I get to the gym everyday I won’t have any excuse not to do my mobility work everyday, which will be a good thing.


#9

4 gym days and 3 conditioning days makes 7 workouts per week. That’s difficult to maintain with calorie deficit. But aside from that that’s an excellent plan.

About the 5’s pro - recommended week order is 3/5/1, so the middle week is the easiest.


#10

Rattus mentioned something important. Go with 3/5/1 instead of 5/3/1. Percentages I gave you are the ones I took from Beyond, so do them. If you are gonna do 3/5/1, use the second week percentages I gave you and use them for first week, second week use the first week percentages and third week should be the same.

Also, don’t train 7 days a week, do some low conditioning like walking the days you train. Strenght training is very demanding, specially the DL and Squats. After a 5x5 of DL you are not gonna want to do more, specially on deficit. I would do some walking the days I train and that’s about it.

I see you lost some 30 lbs on just a few weeks, you must be on some serious caloric deficit. Stop it and stop it now, you are only gonna get burned in a few months and you are never gonna want to be on a diet ever again (Believe me, I have been there). You are very young and if your purpose is to be healthy and strong, the first thing you have to do is eat correctly. Have protein, carbs and fat, don’t miss nothing. If you are on deficit lower the carbs but don’t lower the protein or fat, cook everything by yourself. If you want to have dinner with your friends or gf on the weekend, for god sake, DO IT.

Train, eat, sleep and be constant. That’s all I can say to you.

Good luck friend.


#11

[quote]Rattus wrote:
4 gym days and 3 conditioning days makes 7 workouts per week. That’s difficult to maintain with calorie deficit. But aside from that that’s an excellent plan.

About the 5’s pro - recommended week order is 3/5/1, so the middle week is the easiest. [/quote]

Thanks for all your help Rattus. I am going to buy the beyond 531 book just so I have a better idea but the 5 pro’s and FSL work seems a good idea.


#12

[quote]leviathan85 wrote:

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:

Hey guys thanks for the replies. Is 5’s pro in 5/3/1 for raw strength or is it one of the new features in the beyond 5/3/1 book? I bought 5/3/1 not beyond 5/3/1 so don’t have access to any of the ideas from the book.[/quote]

Hey, yeap, 5’s pro is explained on beyond, but it’s a really simple, yet effective, idea:

First week: 65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5

Second Week: 70%x5, 80%x5, 90%x5

Third week: 75%x5, 85%x5, 95%x5

On the fourth week update your TM by 10 and 5 pounds and continue, 6 week is deload (this is another difference in beyond).

As assistance, in case you don’t know what FSL is, here’s the trick:

Do your normal work as stated above and after that do this:

First week: 3-5 sets 5-8 reps with 65%

Second week: 3-5 sets 5-8 reps with 70%

Third week: 3-5 sets 5-8 reps with 75%

I guess by now you know why it’s called First Set Last. On my book 4x8 is the way to go. Perhaps I could recommend you 5x8 on the upper movements and 5x5 on the lower but in the end is completely up to you. Any more assistance should be very low, some rows, dips, back raises, etc.

I also don’t know what is your training frequency (2,3 or 4 days) so you might need to cut back some assitance.[/quote]

That was exactly what I was wondering. Thanks a lot dude.

So this is what the layout would look like:

WK1 - 65% - 75% - 85%
WK2 - 70% - 80% - 90%
WK3 - 75% - 85% - 95%
WK4 - ADD WEIGHT TO TM - 65% - 75% - 85%
WK5 - 70% - 80% - 90%
WK6 - 75% - 85% - 95%
WK7 - DELOAD
WK8 - ADD WEIGHT TO TM - 65% - 75% - 85%
WK9 - 70% - 80% - 90%
WK10 - 75% - 85% - 95%
WK11 ADD WEIGHT TO TM - 65% - 75% - 85%
WK12 - 70% - 80% - 90%
WK13 - 75% - 85% - 95%
WK14 - DELOAD

And I take it I round the numbers up or down based on what plates I have like I would on regular 5/3/1, like for example if 75% is 58kg I would round it down to 57.5kg.


#13

So with 5 pro’s you always do five reps right? I am trying to make sure I completely understand it before I go to the gym and start it. I don’t want to get a week in and realise I have botched it up.

So basically instead of the 5+ week, 3+ week and 1+ week you do 3 sets of 5 each week at these percentages:

First week: 65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5

Second Week: 70%x5, 80%x5, 90%x5

Third week: 75%x5, 85%x5, 95%x5

There are no AMRAP sets either?

If this is the case, this is the routine I would do:

Overhead press
Overhead press FSL 5x5
Chinups 5x10 (band assisted)
Hyperextensions 5x10 (holding barbell)
Abdominal raises 5x10

Deadlift
Deadlift FSL 5x5
Chinups 5x10 (band assisted)
Hyperextensions 5x10 (holding barbell)
Abdominal raises 5x10

Bench press
Bench press FSL 5x5
Chinups 5x10 (band assisted)
Hyperextensions 5x10 (holding barbell)
Abdominal raises 5x10

Squat
Squat FSL 5x5
Chinups 5x10 (band assisted)
Hyperextensions 5x10 (holding barbell)
Abdominal raises 5x10

This would basically be just the main lifts and bodyweight stuff, I want to be able to do chinups do I figured doing asiste ones with high volume will help.


#14

[quote]leviathan85 wrote:

I see you lost some 30 lbs on just a few weeks, you must be on some serious caloric deficit. Stop it and stop it now, you are only gonna get burned in a few months and you are never gonna want to be on a diet ever again (Believe me, I have been there). You are very young and if your purpose is to be healthy and strong, the first thing you have to do is eat correctly. Have protein, carbs and fat, don’t miss nothing. If you are on deficit lower the carbs but don’t lower the protein or fat, cook everything by yourself. If you want to have dinner with your friends or gf on the weekend, for god sake, DO IT.

Train, eat, sleep and be constant. That’s all I can say to you.

Good luck friend.[/quote]

I have been doing flexible dieting, some call it if it fits your macros. I have a fiber goal and a protein goal and a goal to hit around 5 portions of fruit and veggies a day. I allow around 20% of calories from nutritionally deficient foods which in calorie terms is a few hundred a day.

I am losing weight on a 20% deficit and feel no compulsion to stop it or binge. I got the idea from Alan Aragon’s book called lean muscle diet, it is basically just a how to IIFYM book.
I have not been able to exercise while I have had gout so I am on 1536kcal which I have gotten to after dropping my calories by a hundred or so from the first couple weeks of dieting.

Weight has gone from 215lbs - 210lbs to 190lbs - 184lbs depending on when I weigh myself. Best and easiest method of losing weight i have ever used.


#15

I’d also say it sounds like you’re dropping weight way too fast. It took you a while to put it on, it’ll take a while to get rid of it. It will be more like 30lbs in 15 weeks…


#16

Okay, lets get couple things straight.

You understood the principles of 5’s PRO correctly.

That template with calorie deficit and 3x week conditioning will destroy you. Specially with that kind of dieting. This have been said now couple times in this thread.

You cannot prioritize strength when on calorie deficit. Some can gain some strength even when on deficit, but they have multiple years of experience and they now how their body works. You don’t know that yet.

Do first just the main movements for some months and add assistance after that. One workout of that will probably cripple you because you haven’t really never done any strength training and it’ll take time to get use to it. It is easier to write “do 5x5 dl” than actually do it. After you get to handle some weight you understand.

I also think your form is not so good yet. Focus on that.

I think I had something else to say, but cannot remember now. Just don’t do the mistakes too many of us do/have done at the beginning of their training. Do everything right for the start and you will be amazed by the results.


#17

[quote]Rattus wrote:
Okay, lets get couple things straight.

You understood the principles correctly.

That template with calorie deficit and 3x week conditioning will destroy you. This have been said now couple times in this thread.

You cannot prioritize strength when calorie deficit. Some can gain some strength even when on deficit, but they have multiple years of experience and they now how their body works. You don’t know that yet.

Do first just the main movements for some months and add assistance after that. One workout of that will probably cripple you because you haven’t really never done any strength training and it’ll take time to get use to it. It is easier to write “do 5x5 dl” than actually do it. After you get to handle some weight you understand.

I think I had something else to say, but cannot remember now. Just don’t do the mistakes too many of us do/have done at the beginning of their training. Do everything right for the start and you will be amazed by the results. [/quote]

Yeah my bad I forgot to say I will be changing my calorie level once I am working out. I will either eat at maintenance or a very small deficit ( around a pound a week weight loss or less). At my bodyfat I can’t imagine a small deficit doing much harm.

I can always try a small deficit and if I don’t feel I am recovering add calories.


#18

[quote]Severin wrote:
I’d also say it sounds like you’re dropping weight way too fast. It took you a while to put it on, it’ll take a while to get rid of it. It will be more like 30lbs in 15 weeks…[/quote]

They say losing just 10% of bodyfat can drastically reduce your risk of gout. After the agony I had to put up with I just wanted to get the ball rolling.

Also I am betting up to 10 of the 30lbs are just loss of bloat and water weight from the alcohol and huge amount of food I used to consume.


#19

That’s something you could try. Just raise the calories if you’re feeling problems with recovery.

I personally eat whatever I want and do not count calories. I’m always eating huge amounts of quality food and I have gotten 12 kgs weight in couple years, but my BF is stayed around 16-17 (don’t really know for sure). Serious training with some added conditioning will soon consume a lot of calories after you get even little stronger.

Good luck!


#20

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:
So with 5 pro’s you always do five reps right? I am trying to make sure I completely understand it before I go to the gym and start it. I don’t want to get a week in and realise I have botched it up.

So basically instead of the 5+ week, 3+ week and 1+ week you do 3 sets of 5 each week at these percentages:

First week: 65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5

Second Week: 70%x5, 80%x5, 90%x5

Third week: 75%x5, 85%x5, 95%x5

There are no AMRAP sets either?

If this is the case, this is the routine I would do:

Overhead press
Overhead press FSL 5x5
Chinups 5x10 (band assisted)
Hyperextensions 5x10 (holding barbell)
Abdominal raises 5x10

Deadlift
Deadlift FSL 5x5
Chinups 5x10 (band assisted)
Hyperextensions 5x10 (holding barbell)
Abdominal raises 5x10

Bench press
Bench press FSL 5x5
Chinups 5x10 (band assisted)
Hyperextensions 5x10 (holding barbell)
Abdominal raises 5x10

Squat
Squat FSL 5x5
Chinups 5x10 (band assisted)
Hyperextensions 5x10 (holding barbell)
Abdominal raises 5x10

This would basically be just the main lifts and bodyweight stuff, I want to be able to do chinups do I figured doing asiste ones with high volume will help.[/quote]

I wouldn’t repeat the same exercises for assistance. MY opinion is that you should do dips and chins (or rows) on upper days and ab work and back raises on lower days, if you are feeling, do some curls. Nothing more than 2-3 sets on any of those exercies, and 3 exercises at tops. In any case this is not really important.

There’s no AMRAP on 5’s pros, at least, NOT now. Also, 5/3/1 is done in this way: the first week (week 5) is the easy one, second (week of 3) is medium and third week is the hard one. Switch it to 3/5/1 (medium first week, light second week, third week heavy), the second week with the light weight will rest your body and prepare it for a heavy ass third week. If your TMs are real, a 3x5 on DL with a 95% of it is tough.

And like rattus has told you, don’t go over the same shit most of us have walked through. You are overcomplicating your diet using percentages and living counting how many macros have you ate or will ate, you think that’s sustainable for more than 6-12 months? Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that during some moments of your life you are gonna have to endure some strict diet and living counting macros, but that shouldn’t be the standard. Get some healthy habits, do your lifting, your conditioning and the rest will just settle in nicely, but remember one thing and one thing only, it takes a lot of TIME.