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What's Too Fancy for Beginners?

Hi again. My previous http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1602445 left me slightly confused so here is another question.

Let say I am doing back and biceps one day. I should do compound movements so I do squats and chinups. Now I don’t think that would be enough regardless of how good compound movements are, so I do more to really wear out my muscles; I do bentover barbell rows, upright cable pull towards chin, hyperextensions, incline bench bicep curls, hammer curls, dumbbell preacher curls.

Is this what you guys mean by too ‘fancy’? Enlighten me!

[quote]gttommy wrote:
Hi again. My previous http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1602445 left me slightly confused so here is another question.

Let say I am doing back and biceps one day. I should do compound movements so I do squats and chinups. Now I don’t think that would be enough regardless of how good compound movements are, so I do more to really wear out my muscles; I do bentover barbell rows, upright cable pull towards chin, hyperextensions, incline bench bicep curls, hammer curls, dumbbell preacher curls.

Is this what you guys mean by too ‘fancy’? Enlighten me!
[/quote]

First, why would you do squats on a “back and biceps” day? Squats are a lower body movement (quad or hip dominant depending on the variation), not a back or biceps movement. If you don’t realize that, then you need to go back to square one.

Beginners really shouldn’t try to make their own workout plans. They simply don’t know enough to construct well designed, balanced workout plans.

My advice would be to pick a routine from this site and follow it to the letter (no adjustments or substitutions) until you have some experience under your belt (at least a year, more would be better). Or another good option is to actually find someone who has made significant progress (a big strong guy at your gym for example) and ask him to point you in the right direction.

If you’re humble and show him that you’re really serious, he’ll probably help you out. But, if you come across as argumentive or flaky, he probably won’t. It’s not that he may not want to help you, but he doesn’t have time to help every “Johnny come lately” who walks into the gym. He needs to know that you are serious, and willing to actually take the advice that he gives you.

Later, when you’ve got some experience under your belt, understand how your body responds to exercises, and have a working knowledge of what exercises work what muscles, then you can start playing around with designing your own workout programs.

Good training,

Sentoguy

I’ve been in charge of my own plan for a while now making decent gains but then again we’ll see how decent they really are when I go on an actual plan.

[quote]Skrussian wrote:
I’ve been in charge of my own plan for a while now making decent gains but then again we’ll see how decent they really are when I go on an actual plan.[/quote]

Well, I’m not saying that it’s impossible for a beginner to design a program, or that said program won’t produce results.

I noticed on your profile that you haven’t been training for any years. As a complete beginner you need to realize that just the shock of beginning to expose your muscles to resistance exercise is enough to make gains. Even without a great diet people can make “newbie gains”.

Really it just comes down to progressive overload. Your body has gone from 0 to your present routine. Even if you’re only benching 100 lbs and squatting 150, that’s still a huge increase in overload.

The test for how well designed your program is will come when the newbie gains stop coming.

You also need to be sure to balance things accordingly (something many beginners seem to have trouble with), to avoid muscle imbalances, and avoid injury.

Also, never underestimate the importance of diet.

Good training,

Sentoguy

Thanks for your reply.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

First, why would you do squats on a “back and biceps” day? Squats are a lower body movement (quad or hip dominant depending on the variation), not a back or biceps movement. If you don’t realize that, then you need to go back to square one.

Beginners really shouldn’t try to make their own workout plans. They simply don’t know enough to construct well designed, balanced workout plans.

My advice would be to pick a routine from this site and follow it to the letter (no adjustments or substitutions) until you have some experience under your belt (at least a year, more would be better). Or another good option is to actually find someone who has made significant progress (a big strong guy at your gym for example) and ask him to point you in the right direction.

If you’re humble and show him that you’re really serious, he’ll probably help you out. But, if you come across as argumentive or flaky, he probably won’t. It’s not that he may not want to help you, but he doesn’t have time to help every “Johnny come lately” who walks into the gym. He needs to know that you are serious, and willing to actually take the advice that he gives you.

Later, when you’ve got some experience under your belt, understand how your body responds to exercises, and have a working knowledge of what exercises work what muscles, then you can start playing around with designing your own workout programs.

Good training,

Sentoguy[/quote]

Well, you’re right what was I thinking including squats as a back exercise, deadlifts would’ve been better.

I’ve been training for a total of over 2 years at different stages of my life (been more committed to martial arts) so I’m not a total beginner. Regardless, what did you think of my hypothetical back & bicep day routine?

The routine wasn’t simply randomly, I actually do them and feel they work well and they are based on a loose combination of advice (even for beginners) from various people ranging from MD/PhDs in muscle mags to Ronnie Coleman’s website. Generally they say to do various exercises for a single bodypart even for ‘beginners’, as opposed to a compound or two per body and calling it a day as suggested on thi s website. I’m not trying to argue what is best just want to fill in missing gaps in my knowledge.

[quote]gttommy wrote:
Thanks for your reply.

Sentoguy wrote:

First, why would you do squats on a “back and biceps” day? Squats are a lower body movement (quad or hip dominant depending on the variation), not a back or biceps movement. If you don’t realize that, then you need to go back to square one.

Beginners really shouldn’t try to make their own workout plans. They simply don’t know enough to construct well designed, balanced workout plans.

My advice would be to pick a routine from this site and follow it to the letter (no adjustments or substitutions) until you have some experience under your belt (at least a year, more would be better). Or another good option is to actually find someone who has made significant progress (a big strong guy at your gym for example) and ask him to point you in the right direction.

If you’re humble and show him that you’re really serious, he’ll probably help you out. But, if you come across as argumentive or flaky, he probably won’t. It’s not that he may not want to help you, but he doesn’t have time to help every “Johnny come lately” who walks into the gym. He needs to know that you are serious, and willing to actually take the advice that he gives you.

Later, when you’ve got some experience under your belt, understand how your body responds to exercises, and have a working knowledge of what exercises work what muscles, then you can start playing around with designing your own workout programs.

Good training,

Sentoguy

Well, you’re right what was I thinking including squats as a back exercise, deadlifts would’ve been better.

I’ve been training for a total of over 2 years at different stages of my life (been more committed to martial arts) so I’m not a total beginner. Regardless, what did you think of my hypothetical back & bicep day routine?

The routine wasn’t simply randomly, I actually do them and feel they work well and they are based on a loose combination of advice (even for beginners) from various people ranging from MD/PhDs in muscle mags to Ronnie Coleman’s website.

Generally they say to do various exercises for a single bodypart even for ‘beginners’, as opposed to a compound or two per body and calling it a day as suggested on thi s website. I’m not trying to argue what is best just want to fill in missing gaps in my knowledge.[/quote]

Yeah, deadlifts can be done on back day. Some people prefer to do them on leg day, others on back day. It’s up to you to decide.

As far as your back and bicep day, if you remove the squats and the hyperextentions and replace them with deads it looks ok.

In regards to the website promoting doing only a couple compounds and calling it a day, yes, there are several authors who suggest doing this. But, there are others who favor split training. In the end it’s up to the individual to figure out what works best for them.

Good training,

Sentoguy

Cheers.