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...
Just kidding. It's Friday evening and I'm drinkin' with the wife...
"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis
If I could go back in time I would make my 16 year old self do the following routine. This is also two separate workouts alternated 3 days a week.
Bench Press: 3x5
Bent Over Row: 3x5
Chins: 4 sets stopping 1 rep short of failure
Dips: 4 sets stopping 1 rep short of failure
6'2 - 105kg (231lb)
I would do some type of ABCD set up 3 times per week. A and C would be leg focused. One would be based around the squat and the other would be based around deadlifts as the main exercise. B and D would be upper body based around the bench and oh press as the main lifts. So
A would be Squats 3 x 5 ramping in some type of percentage. Increase weight each workout. Deads 3 x10 with about 50% of max. Glute Ham Raise and Abs
B would be Bench. Same Progression as Squat. OH Press- same as A dead work sets. Dips and Chins
C would be deads, squats, glute ham raises and abs like A
D would be OH Press, bench, dips, and chings like B
Simple and basic. Practice and improve the main lifts.
And so on.
Or I would just do SS.
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Just get under the bar!
To me a good routine for a beginner would be one that they would stay consistent with. As well as learning the movements of the lifts before they are concerned about weight. For me my biggest set backs as a beginner were the injuries from improper form.
I am a little skeptical of the effectiveness of 20 rep squats for beginners...
20 reps is a high rep count, and technique would surely falter. If technique weren't an issue, it'd be ok.
I feel like if you were doing a 2 day/week program, you should balance out the work out to hit the full body both times. Instead of having what looks like a lower body day, with 1 pulling movement and a upper body pressing day with 1 pulling movement.
I suggest something like:
Squat 3x5 or 3x10 depending on technique and response of trainee
Standing Overhead Press 3x5
Chins 3xmax or weighted 3x8
Optional accessory work: Dips, Seated/Chest supported Row, Curls, Arnold Presses
Trap bar or conventional DL: 3x5
Chins or row: 3x8
Optional accessory work: Dips, DB bench fly presses, one armed rows, lat pulls, lunges
Last edited by Raleighwood; 08-28-2010 at 09:05 AM.
I would actually tweak your original program just a bit and have an A1 and A2 workout. A1 would be the A workout you listed. The A2 workout would be 3x5 of squats followed by a ramp up to 1x5 of DL's instead of the squats and stiff-legged DL's. Then you would just do A1, B, A2, B, A1, B, A2, etc.... Overall the program you have is better than about 99.9% of what people come up with on there own, so it would certainly build a good base to work from. I would also agree with the sentiment that you would have to start very light on the 20 rep SQ's and make sure technique doesn't completely go in the dumper as they fatigue.
Off-Road, have you actually ever read SS or any decent lore on weight training?
20 rep squats are terrible for begginers, there's nothing better than the standard 3x5 deal for the average begginer, especially when it comes to squats...
And as for Bench pressing and overhead pressing on the same day, thats plain ******ed, you cant make any decent gains doing overhead press straight after bench press (or vis-versa), thats just dumb dude....
Guys this off-road kid is a moron... Go buy SS and read it, do it word for word, maybe sub Powercleans with Barbell rows until you get stuck DLing. Dont do stif legged DL's either, thats just ******ed....
I'll give you a great Bigginer program right now cuz this guy has really pissed me off..
(3 day split)
Squats 3x5 across
Bench Press 3x5 across
Chins/Pullups/Barbel Rows 3xfailure/ 3x5
Squats 3x5 across (2x5 of 80% of last workout if not recovered)
Overhead press 3x5 across (alternate these with bench press every other week)
Powercleans 5x3 across
Chins/pullups/rows 3x failure/3x5
dips 3xfailure till youget to 3x20, then start adding weight
Wow, this looks like SS, maybe thats because you literally cant get better than SS for an aspireing athlete/bodybuilder ecceteraa.
I would say that I often do chinups on monday + friday, and then Rows on wednesday, then the following week i'd alternate, so i'd then do Rows mon+ fri, and chins on wed.... Ab work is really not needed, especially not needed twice every other week like the idiot suggests... Your abs get plenty of isometric work in the core lifts. Maybe evey other week, do 3x15 weighted at some point, prolly a friday.
Seriously guys I hate it when ppl give advice when they dont know what they are talking about... It's EASY to give a begginer advice, because he will adapt, if you do what this dude says and do 20 rep squats, you will adapt because you're new to the game. But no way as fast as 3x5 2-3 times per week...
I still find it hard to believe you would get them to train 2x20 squats per week every other week. Seriously dude, ****ing LEARN
Last edited by Aslin; 08-29-2010 at 11:06 AM.
Yes, I have read a lot of lore on weight training. Do names like McRoberts, McCallum, Rader, Liestner, Kubik, Whelan, Christy, Hise, Strassen, and Toohey (just to name a few) ring a bell? If not, maybe you should do some reading yourself. Every one of those well known writers recommends 20 rep squat for beginners.
I am a big proponent of Starting Strength. I've recomended it at least a couple of times here I think (maybe more like 100 times, I lose count). Seriously, there are many quality routines for people to use as beginners, I'm just throwing something different out there, and it's been tested many, many times with great success.
Lastly, I'm sorry I piss you off. But, this is the internet, not real life, "Have some tolerance." We run a clean and friendly forum, we don't like personal attacks. Please abide by the rules.
Lower weight is necessary for initial form coaching and development, but imo using weight that is low enough to allow that many reps is not going to be a significant training stimulus or heavy enough to reinforce good technique.
For example, try squatting in good position and technique with just the bar... It's hard as hell to keep a good position, at least for me, because the weight is almost too light to allow proper depth/position.
Going lower reps, heavier weight, and more sets seems more practical than just throwing someone on a 20 rep set and hoping they don't falter half way through.
20 reppers aren't going to be everybody's cup of tea... they are tough! They take a certain ammount of intestinal fortitude and determination when things start to get heavy. If you prefer 3x5 (or whatever), then by all means go for it. But don't make it seem like 20 rep squats are useless or more dangerous than other rep/set counts. They have a long and successful history of turning skinny guys into very big guys.