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Where to Start


I just need some advice.. I recently just got done with a cut from 278 to 200. I am now wanting to build strength and mass. I just want a be a big 230lb sob. Im currently 6ft 2in and 200lbs. Lifts are deadlift(300x2) squat(315x2) bench(225x3). I have not lifted for strength ever really, just iso moves for bodybuilding programs for maybe around 6 months seriously total. I was thinking about wendlers 5/3/1 to start out with but I will be getting beginner gains.

So should I do something that changes weight from week to week rather? I just want to have a good foundation and strength from now on to whatever I do with lifting. May that be to use the strength to build muscle with a bodybuilder style or to do a powerlifter style down the road. Any suggestions? 5x5?


Personally, I'd do 5/3/1 with a higher-volume assistance template and a fair amount of conditioning (once you work up to it.) If you want to squat and bench more frequently, you could try this total body variation of 5/3/1 found here: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/blood_and_chalk_vol_9_jim_wendler_talks_big_weights


Appreciate it man! But I'm trying to bulk up a bit, still do conditioning if my diets on spot?


I definitely would. A couple hill sprint (or your preferred sprint method) sessions a week aren't going to hinder your muscle gains, especially once you adapt to them. Plus, and I mean no offense by this, you don't look at all lean enough to focus on "bulking" in the classical sense. Being mindful of your conditioning as you add mass will serve you well.


"You don't look at all lean enough to focus on "bulking" in the classical sense."

That's what I thought too, but then his numbers didn't make any sense with that picture, and I realized it had to be his "before" photo and the smaller avatar photo is the "after." That's a pretty good job so far.

I second TrevorLPT's programming advice. Either try a few cycles of Boring But Big (the standard version, not the challenge) or the full-body template in that link. Then, once your numbers continue to go up, try the Boring But Big Challenge?

(By the way, given your squat and deadlift numbers, it's POSSIBLE that you're squatting a little high. I'm not saying you are, but I've learned that is a pattern when someone's squat is higher than their deadliftâ??-and the numbers aren't in the 500s or 600s.)


For a TRUE beginner, a higher squat is possible. After that Mark Rippetoe lists the following reasons for a trainee whose squat is better than deadlift-

1) You aren't squatting deep enough
2) You aren't squatting deep enough
3) You aren't squatting deep enough
4) You aren't squatting deep enough
5) You aren't squatting deep enough
6) You aren't squatting deep enough, no matter what you say (post Videos?)
7) You need chalk
8) You hate deadlifting because you're chicken
9) You hate deadlifting for some other reason, but you're probably chicken
10) Your grip sucks
11) You have very small hands
12) You have insanely stumpy arms
13) You are a very short, stocky woman. Short = small hands, stocky = short fingers.

By the way, doing Starting Strength for several months might be a great way to go. When you start to stall, 5/3/1 makes the perfect next step.



Just do regular 5/3/1 with the regular 5 to 10 lb monthly progression.

Some things take time... strength is one of them.

Besides... you're already squatting 315 and benching 225. How much more "noob gains" do you really expect to achieve?


I'm doing 5/3/1 SVR template from Beyond 5/3/1 and it's working pretty well for me. Out of the variations I've tried it is so far my favorite; nice mix of pr sets, fsl, and jokers.


I appreciate it forreal! Yes this is the before I don't know why the after wouldn't post but I've always been leg strong. And I always go a little below parallel on squats I could care less about weight right now, I want to get the best rom. That'll lead to better ending numbers.


Thanks for all the input, I'm just going to do the normal 5/3/1 and add the regular 5 to 10lbs a cycle and see how good of a base I can get. I will add higher volume assistance for my lagging body parts. Now its time to get shit done!