If I could design my own beginners routine, what would it look like?
I've thought about this more than once or twice. I've often wondered what my beginner routine would look like if I designed it myself with the knowledge that I now have. I would take into account that the more often you work a lift, the faster progress you will make. But, I would also have to be aware of recovery, so I wouldn't want to work them too often either. Of course I would focus on a handful of the best lifts, use a good progression scheme, and focus my sets/reps on strength gains. Lastly, I would be very careful of overtraining certain muscle groups that can lead to injury or imbalance. For instance, training the "pushing" muscles too often can lead to shoulder problems and bad posture. The lower back can take a real beating from some of the exercises, so that would have to be managed too.
So, with all that in mind, I would design a two day split and alternate them three days a week. That would have me hitting every lift 3 times in two weeks. One day would focus on the low back, hips, hams, and core. The other day would focus on the pressing structure. That will give those areas 3 or 4 days rest between sessions. The upper back will be hit at every session because these exercises don't lead to posture problems, don't have a lot of over-use injuries associated with them, and seem to recover quickly.
So, without further ado, here is the split I came up with...
Squat - 1x20
Stiff leg Dead lift. - 3x5
Weighted Chin-ups - 3x5
Sit-ups - 3 x Max Reps
Bench Press - 3x5
1 Arm Db Row - 3x5
Military Press - 3x5
Barbell Curl - 3x5
Critique, Flame, Discuss, Have fun with it...