Care to help a newbie develop a routine?

  1. Care to help a newbie develop a routine?

    Here is the story:

    I am 5'9" - 23 and getting fatter by the year. At 18-20 I probably weighed in at 155 lbs - basically super skinny. I haven't been active lately and now I am up to 180, and I am storing it all in my gut. My arms/legs are just as scrawny as always.

    I want to bulk up and gain muscle, but also get rid of my gut, which is just about the only place that is storing my extra 30 lbs.

    I recently (this week) rejoined my gym, and started working out and exercising again, and have been putting efforts towards more intelligent eating habits, HOWEVER - I have no freaking idea what I am doing.

    I don't know the proper foods to eat (other than the glaringly obvious steer clear of pizza / donuts), or when, and I don't know the proper type of workout to do, and which days I should do which types of routine.

    If I can provide more info to make it easier to provide solutions I am happy to provide. But basically I am just looking for some guidance on where to start. I am so new to excercise as a whole, and so I am totally lost on which type would benefit me the most for my goal (building muscle and ditching the gut).

    Advice? I would appreciate it very much!
    Bear with me though, I probably won't understand half the things you suggest!


  2. check out a 5x5 routine by madcow

    its good stuff, lots of reading but all good info

    best way for a beginner to do it, he suggest checking out a book called starting strength. I havent bout it myself, but plan on doing so as it seems like it really is worth the price.

    its nice because it focuses on compound exercises, olympic lifts, and building crazy strength in a linear fashion, which should be doable if setup right (for a certain period anyway).

    I was debating whether i wanted to do this or "lose fat like you are on crack" that is on mind and muscle, but i feel like if i kick up the cardio I can burn the fat i want and use the 5x5 to build strength, which is usually my main focus. and my gym doesnt have some of the stuff/space for the cracked out routine, even with mods.

    try a google search for the madcow thing, it should turn up and is worth the read

  3. 5x5 is not a good newbie routine. Use a four day split on lifting and do cardio 3-4 times a week.

    A sample split could be:
    Mon - Chest/Bis
    Tue - cardio
    Wed - Back/cardio
    Thu - Legs
    Fri - off
    Sat - Tris/Delts, cardio
    Sun - off

    Arbitrary, but you get the idea. For nutrition, look around at the nutrition/diet forum and be much, much more meticulous with this are than the actual training. Diet impacts you physique more than any other aspect.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys

  4. here is a link for the website i was talking about. Rodja is right, it is a tough way to start, as the workouts, though only 3 times a week, are demanding. I do like the compounds to build strength though, I feel like they are better than the stupid crap i see people doing at my gym.

    however, I think the website is great for insight into training theory, strength versus mass, setting up a training routine, and things of that sort. heavy reads, but very good non the less.

    there is also some talking about the book i was referencing.
    might be a good pickup depending on what you are looking for (size?, srength?, fatloss? just getting in shape?) as it runs through correct form in training and whatnot- i want strength, my roommate just wants to be huge.

    I would not recommend the training programs he has on the site as they are meant for more advanced lifters, but the info he teaches is good for everyone.

    I started using a basic split like rodja lays out, then graduated to something my buddy at work gave me, he is a trainer on the side. It was also pretty good, just too long, so had to break it up. I believe i posted it up somewhere in a log that i couldnt finish (i caught a whacky cold).

  5. Thanks for the replies so far...

    Here is the routine I was suggested:

    1)Heavy exercise - seated military press
    warmup set
    3-4 sets of 3-5 reps
    final set of single rep max
    2)supplementary pressing exercise (dumbbell overhead press, dumbbell flat press, dumbbell incline etc)
    3)supplementary shoulder movement (front laterals, side laterals, reverse laterals, upright rows, etc)
    4)supplementary upper back (wide grip rows, narrow grip rows, barbell rows, pull ups etc)

    1) Heavy exercise - box squats
    warmup set
    3-4 sets of 3-5 reps
    final set of single rep max
    2) Lower back - good mornings, deadlifts, hyperextensions
    3) Hamstring/supplementary quad exercise - lunges, farmer's walk, hamstring curls, leg press

    substitute 1) with dead lifts for variation, and use different height boxes for box squats


    1) Heavy exercise - flat bench
    warmup set
    3-4 sets of 3-5 reps
    final set of single rep max
    2) Board press/Rack Lockouts
    3) Incline press/Decline Press
    4) Extension movement for triceps (dips, rope pull downs, v bar pull downs, skull crushers, etc)

    substitute 1) with narrow grip flat bench or wide grip bench

    Supplementary work
    1) upper shoulders (shrugs)
    2) Biceps
    3) Forearm/grip (wrist curls, wrist twists, etc)
    4) Upper back (pull ups, barbell rows, wide grip rows, narrow grip rows, etc)
    5) abs



    I am very new to working out in the gym, and have trouble either figuring out the best exercises to do, or the proper form of doing them.

    Also for nutrition so far (2 weeks) I have been shooting for 40% fats (good ones), 40% protein (body weight in grams of protein) and 20% carbs. Also shooting for around 2100 calories daily, which I think is between a 500-1000 calorie deficit, which should keep the fat coming off.

    In 2 weeks I have lost 5.6 lbs so far, and I am excited to keep it coming off. I know the weight loss will start to slow down as I start to build muscle, but at this rate at least I am active again and doing something about it.

    is the 40/40/20 a good diet to be on for someone trying to lose fat, or for a beginner?


    My Goal: My goal is to lose fat and get down to my healthier weight (I use that term lightly), but my concern is not so much about the weight on the scale, but getting in shape again and building strength and just looking good in general.

  6. that looks like a preety good routine, i am no trainer, but it appears to be almost a cross between the beginner 5x5 recs and the lengthy split my buddy gave me.

    might be tough ta first but stick with it, especially the cardio. It is easy to slack off on that, but it is very important, especially if you want to trim down. Plus they are great for overall development.

    nutrition is not my field, yet i should try to educate myself better if i ever plan on getting below 10% bf (my best ever being measured at 10.3)

  7. The split looks good, but scrap the single at this point. If you are in a calorie deficit, then you are more prone to injury. I have nothing against singles, but if you're cutting, especially if you're new to rigorous training, heavy singles really don't have a purpose.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys

  8. Good call, in fact when actually doing these workouts (as close as I am able to follow them) I haven't really done many 1RM, just because I didn't have spotters, and I really don't want to hurt myself while trying to attempt something stupid.

    It's nice to see that my body telling me not to was probably the right decision.


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