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Twice a Week Program for Beginner

Hi guys, my little brother (17) has been training for the last few months (no previous experiences with any kind of sport) with some dumbbells and a barbell at home.
Now he wants to join a real gym. Obviously the results have been great so far (I know that’s noob gains).

He wants to train twice a week, for about an hour.

I thought he could do.

Day 1:
3x4-6 bench
3x4-6 bb rows
3x4-6 back squat
5x10 ohp
5x10 pullups (assisted if needed)
5x10 Rdls

Day 2:
3x4-6 ohp
3x4-6 pullups (assisted if needed, at least at the beginning)
3x4-6 Rdls
5x10 bench press
5x10 bb rows
5x10 back squat

And if he wants to add some fluff work he can add some curls, calf raises, ab work etc. either at the end of each workout (no more than 5-10 minutes) or at home, a third day, with his dumbbells… But honestly I don’t really care about that.

Critique.

This works.


^Scroll down a bit to see a twice per week 5/3/1 plan.
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The Dan John one works. I’ve done it.

My works were:
Dead lifts - work up to my 5 rep max
Bench - work up to a set of as many reps as possible (between 5-10)

The next one was:
Squat - same as the bench
Bench - volume. So like 3 sets of 8-12.

On each of the days do some over head work, and core work. And goblet squats or similar.

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Why only twice a week? Why just around a hour?

He can’t train more due to his schedule (school), studying, other hobbies (plays piano) and other stuff (i.e. he is the top of his class and is studying hard to enter the college of excellence).

He can’t afford to train more frequently (even though everybody knows it would be easier to progress if he trains more frequently).

He doesn’t care about getting as strong and as big as possible. He just wants to look decent (I know many of you highly disregard this kind of mindset in this forum but, hey,
everyone has their own goals)

Ok… not sure why you feel the need to justify it. All you had to say is that he had other daily demands and under a time restraints.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any of the programs currently submitted, but just as another fun approach, with only 2 days a week to train and only an hour, I think that’d be a phenomenal time to employ Super Squats. That’s a lot of recovery time.

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I don’t feel the need to justify him, it’s just that in the past I had some bad experiences on some training forums: people ready to insinuate, denigrate etc… Especially from nazi-gym rats. That’s all. I apologize for acting biased, but obviously, since the message was written I could not understand its tone :slight_smile:

No worries…

With those constraints, you could have him take this 4 day/week program, but do it over two weeks instead of one. May not be much frequency in the big barbell lifts, but in my very humble opinion too many beginners specialize too quickly. He could do hill sprints, loaded carries, or a hard run in place of the sled.

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I was thinking Mass Made Simple, similar concept.

2 days a week as a 17 year old gives you so much opportunity to recover, you can really push hard.

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Normally I’d disagree with recommending super squats to a beginner. Its hard, hard work. And the mental fortitude needed to walk into the gym 48 hours after the last soul crushing set of 20 squats is something that takes time to develop.

However 17 years old - training twice week so plenty of innate ability to recover and plenty of time to…
This is a good shout.

@mattferrari
Tell your friend if they do this properly they will see results. It’s not easy but honestly it changed how I see training.

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The book talks about MANY beginners that have had success with it. I would caveat by saying said beginner would need to read the book first, haha.

My “worry” is not that the programme wont work. But a beginner wont see it through.

I mean honestly and genuinely I cried one day. Not much but I genuinely shed a tear. I was that fucking scared.

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Good to sort that out early in my opinion. Save time.

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He’s 17, why is he so busy?

I’ve already answered

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How little? Height, weight, general fat condition (chubby, scrawny, etc.)?

Are you teaching him nutrition fundamentals too? Without those, he won’t reach his goal. Also, knowing his starting condition is that much more relevant to “looking decent”.

I’m not loving the plan in your first post. Heavy rows and heavy squats and heavy RDLs and higher volume rows and higher volume squats and higher volume RDLs each week is a lot to deal with, even for a younger dude. Simplify and pare it down, or use any of the better-designed programs already suggested.

He is 17, 187cm, 70kg (started at 65kg with visibly more fat), and you can see a hint of his abs.

He was really skinny (actually a skinny fat, with literally NO muscles) now he is just skinny but you can visibly see that he put, since january, lots of mass everywhere, he has learnt how to execute properly and push hard the main basic exercises.

He is learning about nutrition, avoiding most of the time refined food. Btw he doesn’t track kcals but makes sure that the scale slowly goes up (0,3-0,7 lbs/week) by tracking his bodyweight every morning and adjusting his diet accordingly

He is using the peanut butter and jelly sandwich trick from Paul carter in order to make sure he is in a caloric surplus at the moment. He has at least three sources of protein per day.

What if:

Day 1:
3x4-6 bench
3x4-6 bb rows
3x4-6 back squat
5x10 ohp
5x10 pullups (assisted if needed)
5x10 leg curl

Day 2:
3x4-6 ohp
3x4-6 pullups (assisted if needed, at least at the beginning)
3x4-6 Rdls
5x10 bench press
5x10 chest supported row
5x10 machine hack squat or leg press

My only concern with 5/3/1 on 2 days is that you would practice a lift just once every two weeks, which I don’t think is really good for a beginner, maybe it might be good for someone more proficient with those lifts
I laid down that routine since at least he would be practicing every lift twice per week but you @Chris_Colucci are right, I didn’t even think about lower back and overall fatigue

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