T Nation

Total Noob

Hello all,

I have been intensely interested in building my body for years, and now that I am out of the military I have the time and opportunity to pursue one of my lifelong goals and do some personal physical improvements.

I have never lifted weights before, I have never had the money to eat as much as I think i would need to make serious gains (and I still dont think that i make enough, but I am willing to eat myself into a hole if i need to), and honestly until the Army I was a lazy piece of shit. I have been crawling through the forms here for quite some time, trying to get a good feel for how I should get started. I figure I should look to those that ACTUALLY know what they are doing for advice and support instead of looking to gym trainers with questionable knowledge.

I am 6’2", 147lbs HARD gainer. I put on 30lbs in 9 weeks of basic training, but have been floating from 145-150 ever since. Military is the only physical background I have, aside from that I have sat infront of a computer my whole life.

I am not one to pussy around, i’m an all or none kind of guy. As it stands my plan is to jump right on in and start OVT (posted by CT) monday september 18th. I have taken this past week to give my muscles a bit of a warm up and did 4 days of core training (inclined benches, inclined dumbbells, pull downs, seated rows, hyperextensions, squats) and am giving myself the next few days to rest and stretch before I start hard. I would truely appreciate any input that anyone might have or any suggestions. I am going to view each of the video demo’s for each movement every day before I duplicate them at the gym so I can put all of my effort towards form. I’m not out to impress anyone other than myself.

If anyone has any helpful information or words of encouragement please let me know. I will be keeping record of my gains and body changes from week to week. Thanks for the input.

It sounds like you’ve got a good attitude and that’s the number one thing you need, both in bb’ing and in life.

An admonition, then some advice–

STOP CALLING YOURSELF A HARD-GAINER!!!

Just as only .001% of the population has the genetics to win a bb’ing competition, the same amount are genetically unable to put on any muscle.

Almost all “hard-gainers” are not eating enough.

For the next days, eat like you normally would, but write down everything you put in your mouth. (No jokes, dumbasses.) Then figure out how many calories you are, on average, consuming.

You probably do have a fast metabolism, but I’ll bet that you don’t eat as much as you think you do.

Advice: read all you can, but don’t get caught up in the details. If someone says the word ‘conjugation’ to you, run.

Do the big lifts (squat, dead, etc.) regularly.

Take days off. Don’t burn yourself out right away.

Find and read Vroom’s “Beginners” thread.

Always work out in a pair of construction boots, sunglasses, and a wool hat.

Drink a gallon of water a day.

Call your mom more often.

I before E, except after C.

Supplements are called that for a reason: they supplement the whole food, not replace it. That said, the only supplement you really need right now is protein powder.

Never feed a gremlin after midnight.

Full-body workouts are a great way to start.

Never feed a German after midnight.

Yes, Arnold took steroids. You shouldn’t.

All your base are belong to us.

And, finally, never wear underwear. But, if you do, make it something unusual.

^ Listen to Harris, that’s some good advice right there.

That hard gainer bit especially - you have to eat big to get big.

You are not a hardgainer since you gained 3lbs a week during basic training. Gaining weight during the only physically taxing period of your life gave it away.

So, that’s the recap.

-Read and use Waterbury’s programs (ABBH, ABBH2, BBB especially)

-Read and use Berardi’s 7 habits of eating.

-Read Harris’ post again :slight_smile:

My 2 eurocents.

6’2" @ 145 lbs, is that even possible???

you need to go on a see-food diet…it you see something edible within reach eat it…I’m not kidding skeletor, eat some damn food and don’t stop until you pass out, when you come to, start eating again…

[quote]DPH wrote:
6’2" @ 145 lbs, is that even possible???

you need to go on a see-food diet…it you see something edible within reach eat it…I’m not kidding skeletor, eat some damn food and don’t stop until you pass out, when you come to, start eating again…[/quote]

Skeletor?! bwahahaha

On a serious note, he’s pretty well right. Harris is right. You’re not a hardgainer. I’ll bet anything you’re a guy who unintentionally starves himself by missing lunch a lotand munches on snack food during the day.

Take the advice and carry a notebook with you the next couple days. Eat normally. Record everything. I don’t care if you end up eating .934 of a banana. Record it. Eat a twix? Write it down. Drink a coke? Write it down. Then count up the calories. Then post those here.

Don’t use OVT. You’ve never used weights for crying out loud, why would you want to use a program that was built for an experienced trainer with the work capacity to handle the stress? Get a Waterbury program (Big Boy Basics) and follow that.

Good attitude, but you have to walk before you can run. That’s the dangerous thing with all or nothing types like you–burnout ensues when you dive into something, go like a maniac, and then get yourself into a hole from 12 dozen workouts a week for 4 weeks. So you take a long time off and end up as bad as you were before. Don’t do that. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Others may disagree with me, but I say keep some cardio in there. You had to do it for the Army, so you may as well keep a little in there for your general conditioning. Not more than maybe twice a week though. Prioritize the lifting, do just enough cardio to avoid losing cardiovascular conditioning. You’re not cutting, you’re bulking, cardio is only there for general health, not fat loss as far as you should be concerned.

You said you had some goals, but you never listed any of them. You mind telling us what they are?

[quote]DPH wrote:
6’2" @ 145 lbs, is that even possible???

you need to go on a see-food diet…it you see something edible within reach eat it…I’m not kidding skeletor, eat some damn food and don’t stop until you pass out, when you come to, start eating again…[/quote]

Don’t forget, he weighs 145 lbs now. He gained 30 lbs. in the army!

[quote]superdad4 wrote:
DPH wrote:
6’2" @ 145 lbs, is that even possible???

you need to go on a see-food diet…it you see something edible within reach eat it…I’m not kidding skeletor, eat some damn food and don’t stop until you pass out, when you come to, start eating again…

Don’t forget, he weighs 145 lbs now. He gained 30 lbs. in the army!

[/quote]

I have a REAL hard time believing that.

Well, at least he is here. Thats a huge start.

Follow the advice here and eat everything in site. You got a long way to go.
Welcome to T-Nation.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
superdad4 wrote:
DPH wrote:
6’2" @ 145 lbs, is that even possible???

you need to go on a see-food diet…it you see something edible within reach eat it…I’m not kidding skeletor, eat some damn food and don’t stop until you pass out, when you come to, start eating again…

Don’t forget, he weighs 145 lbs now. He gained 30 lbs. in the army!

I have a REAL hard time believing that.

[/quote]

Ditto that

[quote]harris447 wrote:
It sounds like you’ve got a good attitude and that’s the number one thing you need, both in bb’ing and in life.
[/quote]

This cannot be overstated and is the absolute fountain from which your success will flow. Not much else to add to what’s already been said. Take the time to learn the big compound movements correctly and go as heavy as you safely can once the form is hammered out. Go heavy on squats or deads (among some others) before you know the movements and you’re training career may be shorter than you hope. You may be surprised how much and well you can eat for no more money than people spend on useless empty calories, maybe less.

–Tiribulus->

I first joined the army at 126lbs, no joke. Walked out of basic at my heaviest weight of 156. I agree that I am most likely just a hard eater, and have spent this weekend reading alot and trying to figure out how to eat the right amount of the right things (thanks Berardi for “Massive Eating”). I have my protein intake worked out (2 chicken breasts, 1 Myoplex 45g protein shake, 2 yogurt cups, +breakfast lunch and dinner) but I am very concerned with calorie intake. Any recommendations for good sources that I can add to my snacks or meals? I am keeping a log starting today of everything I eat, and will post results tomorrow morning to give everyone (including myself) a good idea of my average (now) intake.
My work out will consist of Mon, Tue, Thu and Sat, hopefully that will give me enough down time to not dig myself into a painful little trench. Each muscle group will have an entire week to recover, so worse comes to worse I’ll still be able to continue to work out regardless of muscle pain.

Funny you should mention the Skelletor thing, my father was a builder when I was young and he used to call me that when I’d ask about how to put on weight. I dont think i’m up to the construction boot/wool cap level yet, but i will totally set up us the bomb.

I will take a few pics today as my “before” shots. When posted please keep in mind destructive criticism is fucking stupid. I know I’m thin as hell, that’s part of why I’m doing this. If I looked perfect already I wouldn’t go through the trouble. I’ve been asked about my goals so here they are. I have always been told that I would never be able to bulk up. I have never been able to play sports due to my mother’s fear that I would get hurt.

I have always attracted girls, but its always been the pasty gothed out weird ass massochistic girls. I want to grow large, push my body into over drive, prove to myself that I can do what ever I want and if I want to bulk I can damn well bulk. I dont really like sports, but when I’m out with some of my old soldier buddies I would like for them to look at me and go “holy shit, that guy hits like a truck, we’ll take him”. I would also like to try out a sorrority girl or two. Dont get me wrong, fishnets and pasties kick ass, but goth chick’s are kinda out of their goddamn heads. Mostly I just have this image in my head of what I want to look like, the chest I want, the arms I want, the legs I want, the back, and now that I have the gusto to go after it I wont stop until I get it.

[quote]kitsunae wrote:
I will take a few pics today as my “before” shots. When posted please keep in mind destructive criticism is fucking stupid. I know I’m thin as hell, that’s part of why I’m doing this. If I looked perfect already I wouldn’t go through the trouble. I’ve been asked about my goals so here they are. I have always been told that I would never be able to bulk up. I have never been able to play sports due to my mother’s fear that I would get hurt.[/quote]

For the love of all that is holy and sacred on mother Earth, DO NOT POST ANY PICTURES OF YOURSELF.

a word of advice - dont bother posting a before pic when you havent got an after pic to go with it, what would you achieve from that? you’ll just get flamed. After a year or two, then post your before and after pics so people can see how youve progressed.
By the way, at least you’ve got the right attitude…

[quote]harris447 wrote:
It sounds like you’ve got a good attitude and that’s the number one thing you need, both in bb’ing and in life.

An admonition, then some advice–

STOP CALLING YOURSELF A HARD-GAINER!!!

Just as only .001% of the population has the genetics to win a bb’ing competition, the same amount are genetically unable to put on any muscle.

Almost all “hard-gainers” are not eating enough.

For the next days, eat like you normally would, but write down everything you put in your mouth. (No jokes, dumbasses.) Then figure out how many calories you are, on average, consuming.

You probably do have a fast metabolism, but I’ll bet that you don’t eat as much as you think you do.

Advice: read all you can, but don’t get caught up in the details. If someone says the word ‘conjugation’ to you, run.

Do the big lifts (squat, dead, etc.) regularly.

Take days off. Don’t burn yourself out right away.

Find and read Vroom’s “Beginners” thread.

Always work out in a pair of construction boots, sunglasses, and a wool hat.

Drink a gallon of water a day.

Call your mom more often.

I before E, except after C.

Supplements are called that for a reason: they supplement the whole food, not replace it. That said, the only supplement you really need right now is protein powder.

Never feed a gremlin after midnight.

Full-body workouts are a great way to start.

Never feed a German after midnight.

Yes, Arnold took steroids. You shouldn’t.

All your base are belong to us.

And, finally, never wear underwear. But, if you do, make it something unusual.

[/quote]

This is some pretty good advice here… good job harris.

The only thing I would add in is technique. Lift like a beginner not an advanced trainer. Don’t try to go over your head with your enthusiasm and injure yourself… or learning bad form habits. In short, don’t be doing heavy deads and squats with very low reps until you get the form down. This is usually learned though volumes of reps over a period of time. Use the basic compounds, but use them in the upper rep range at first to get a good feel for the form of the exercise… this will pay off tremendously down the road.

Learn to crawl before you sprint.

I will hold pics until there are dramatic visable results from the entire procedure. I will pay close attention to form and my limits within the boundries of keeping good form. I will watch the videos very closely before attempting any excercise and have a trainer come over to ensure I am properly performing each movement.

I will train smart and hard, not hard and stupid. I will push myself as far as I can go each day, but not over do it and ruin my future build. I will start with moderate weights and perfect form and build to max weights with perfect form.

What should I look out for and what should my concerns be as a new lifter? Is there anything I should get or anything I should stay away from? How could building affect other aspects of my life? I keep reading articles on testosterone boosters and suplaments, should I look into that? Why or why not?

Is there anything you wish you knew when first starting? Thanks for all the input I will take it all to heart.

Keep
It
Simple,
Stupid

I am the master at researching something thoroughly before I begin, usually to the point where I never get started because I’m trying to learn everything there is to know about the subject in order to avoid mistakes.

But, like most things in life, experience will be your best teacher. You could ask all the right questions and get all the right answers. But until you get under the bar and try something, that information will be relatively useless.

Keep it simple. Do simple things. Don’t get caught up in oversupplementation or complicated routines. Start with the basics.

As you get used to the basics, you will naturally begin to question what you are doing and why. Those answers will begin to make sense to you only after you have taken some action.

You’re going to be inefficient. But the path along the learning curve is never efficient.

[quote]kitsunae wrote:
I will hold pics until there are dramatic visable results from the entire procedure.[/quote]

The “entire procedure” is supposed to last a lifetime.

[quote]kitsunae wrote:
I will hold pics until there are dramatic visable results from the entire procedure. I will pay close attention to form and my limits within the boundries of keeping good form. I will watch the videos very closely before attempting any excercise and have a trainer come over to ensure I am properly performing each movement.

I will train smart and hard, not hard and stupid. I will push myself as far as I can go each day, but not over do it and ruin my future build. I will start with moderate weights and perfect form and build to max weights with perfect form.

What should I look out for and what should my concerns be as a new lifter? Is there anything I should get or anything I should stay away from? How could building affect other aspects of my life? I keep reading articles on testosterone boosters and suplaments, should I look into that? Why or why not?

Is there anything you wish you knew when first starting? Thanks for all the input I will take it all to heart.[/quote]

  1. eat, eat, eat, eat, eat
  2. kick ass in the gym
  3. get at least eigth hours of sleep a night, preferably more
  4. only supps I would recommend for you right now: fish oil, olive oil, multi-vit, acidophilous, possibly creatine (alot of people respond well to creatine, some people like me don’t, give it a try, if it helps great, if it doesn’t, don’t worry about it)
  5. stay away from party drugs/alcohol

choose any program and start ASAP, a beginner should be able to make good gains on just about any program out there as long as they’re eating big, sleeping alot, and busting ass in the gym…

ask more questions when progress stalls, don’t worry about knowing everything up front…

good luck!