T Nation

What to Begin with for Bodybuilding?


I was wandering if anyone can correct me from what I've learned so far

  • There are people telling me when starting to workout to gain mass, you have to condition yourself and do full body workouts in the beginning. After getting the sense of that, you can move on to dividing your workout to having upper body and lower body on different days (including isolated muscle workouts).

  • For gaining mass, its all about eating more, resting more, and then lifting heavier weights with around 6-8 or 8-10 reps. Is it better if I start with moderate to heavy weights that i can reach around these rep levels? What about sets? What about resting times (as of the moment I rest until i can do the same reps again)?

  • The main workouts (w/ weights) I know that I should concentrate on are Bench Press, Shoulder press, Squat, Pull ups(I cant do them yet so this is a challenge for me), and Deadlift. This is sort of how I was thinking of doing for a fullbody workout, can anyone help me suggest how to divide my workouts into upper and lower body? (something about activating my whole nervous system so that my whole body can grow, cant quite understand the concept.)

May I also know how would you approach yourself into bodybuilding(or just literally gaining mass) from a beginners stage? (food, supplements, workout programs for beginners)
I don't mind hard workouts btw(:



you dont have to start with full body but alot of people do. the benefit is you get to train the main lifts frequently and you get to know the form and that kinda jazz. as far as programs though, they get old quick. ummm kingbeef recently made a great post and suggested a routine that people can follow when they dont know what routine to follow. its logical and set up by someone that knows better than most. you can try it.

as far as weight, choose weights that allow you to fail in that rep range. as a newb, this will take some trial and error. once you get a feel for the kind of weights you can handle, selecting weights becomes WAY easier.

activating this or that is unimportant at this point (or any point really). just forget you heard the phrase.

figure out your maintenance calories and add 200 cals to that and keep adding 200 cals until you gain weight. eat lots of protein, good carbs but also pay attention to the other 4 food groups - poptarts, oreos, fanta, and kitchen sink. unless your fat. if your fat, avoid those things.


I'm doing full body workouts Mon, Wed and Fri. Here's my current routine. It's the same each workout day. Also in the order I do them.

Deadlift 3 pyramid sets and 3 working sets 10-12 reps
Squat 3 pyramid sets and 3 working sets 10-12 reps
Benchpress 3 pyramid sets and 3 working sets 10-12 reps
Dips - 3 sets going to failure(whichever fails first my wrists, elbows or triceps!)
Pull ups - 3 sets as many as possible then I do negative reps(lower myself slowly from bar)
Push ups - 3 sets 10-12(Pussy push ups(on knees) for reps unable to complete)
Barbell curls(sometimes Preacher curls) - 2 pyramid sets 3 working sets then heaps of burns (partial lifts when unable to complete a full lift)
Overhead alternating triceps extensions - 1 pyramid set 3 working sets reps = go to muscle failure on less dominant arm then same number of reps for dominant arm
Kickbacks - 3 sets 10 - 12 reps
Dumbbell rows - 3 sets 10 - 12 reps
Side raises - 3 sets 10 - 12 reps
Overhead press - 3 sets 10 - 12 reps
Dumbbell flys - 3 sets 10 - 12 reps
I then finish with lying legcurls and I use weight straps around my ankles and lower calf because I don't have a legcurl machine. Then as many sets as I can of crunches. I'm still altering my workout. It takes at least an hour and a half but I have been told I shouldn't be working out for more than an hour. I'd also like some advice on my workout.


There is a ton of good info in the stickied threads at the top of this forum and the Bodybuilding Training forum, but I'll get you started in the right direction:

This is wrong. There are plenty of big dudes that started right into a bodybuilding split, and plenty more who started out as powerlifters. Just ease into it, using lighter weights than you think you should, and increase the weight every workout. If you start out balls-to-the-wall, I can all but guarantee you'll only last around three weeks.

THE FIRST SENTENCE IS BANG-ON except for one little detail; Anywhere between 2-10 reps is fine, as long as you're moving progressively heavier weights. Five reps per set works great for the vast majority.

Also, use ramped sets. Increasing the weight on each successive set, thereby working up to one max set, is the way to go. Focus on rep quality and explosiveness on the lower sets, and just hammer the shit out of it on the top set.

Rest times should be just long enough for best performance on the next set. Don't worry about reducing rest times to increase training density just yet. You're not ready for that.

Add bent rows to that and you've got some damn good compound movements to focus on. Do not try to do all of this in one workout, though. They are too demanding. Your performance on the first one or two lifts would be decent, and everything after that would be useless.

Since you're lifting for aesthetics, go ahead and dive into a bodybuilding split. Read up on good programs in the bodybuilding forum. There are plenty of good ones to choose from.

Do not neglect the body parts not directly trained by these lifts. Get your work in for your arms, lateral delts, calves and forearms. If you don't, you'll be crying the blues later.

I started with two months of Starting Strength, switched to a push/pull split for a little bit (made good gains from both of these), screwed around with some programs that didn't suit me, then settled into a bodybuilding split and I've been doing it that way ever since.

Lots of food. 3g of creatine monohydrate per day. Lots more food. Whey protein powder is easy on the budget and yes, it's food.

That should get your mind tracking in the right direction. Now get to reading.