I've read a lot of the posts around here when I "newbie" asks for a routine everyone immediately points them to the WWB routines. I've done the WBB routine's myself and I think they are great. However, I've been in the gym for about 2 years before doing them. Which, isn't a lot, but enough time to get some stabalization training and get my muscles ready for heavy lifting.
I know a guy that is looking to start lifting this year. He's been in a gym on and off his entire life. He's never lifted anything heavy of course and mainly used machines. So, basically, consider him someone that has never set foot in a gym because the times he did set foot in a gym, it was very few and far between and he didn't do much.
He wants me to come help him get started. I'm worried that if I slap him on the WBB#1 immediately, that will leave room for a lot of injury since it's heavy compound exercises and his muscles are as weak as they come. Does anyone have a good routine or idea for a routine for someone just starting out that can help in prep for stabalization and heavy lifting? I mean, if I throw squats on this guy immediately, his legs will bow in quite possibly he won't be able to handle anything with proper form. I figured a good 1 month stabalization program would help with this. Any ideas?
A friend of mine offered me this when I asked him the same question:
"I'd suggest for those starting out that they follow a basic, full-body routine for a few weeks. Then, they should do a well-rounded routine that has them working out three days per week, working each bodypart 1-2 times per week. Then, after a few months of this, they could think about specializing.
That said, supposing they want to specialize on chest, lats and shoulders, they should work those bodyparts early in their workouts, e.g Day One - Chest, Quads, Calves, Day Two - Back, Traps, Hamstrings, Day Three - Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps. Abs and other core work should also be thrown in a couple of days a week, and don't necessarily have to be done at the gym.
For chest, I quite like incline dumbbell presses, and cable flyes or cable crossovers. For shoulders, I like dumbbell presses with elbows held back, laterals (standing, bent over and cable), and upright rowing movements (which can often be incorporated on back day, e.g. cleans). For lats, I like pulldowns to the front, dumbbell rows (a sawing motion, arms in tight), cable rows (again, arms in tight), and cable pullovers.
The two-day program (see below) would probably be OK for the first while, although a couple of weeks on a full body routine like this beforehand would be OK, too, especially for someone who has very little lifting experience (but it's also good for a change of pace for experienced lifters, too):
BEGINNERíS FULL BODY ROUTINE
Squats 2 X 10
Deadlifts 2 X 10
Calf raises 2 X 15
Lat pulldowns 2 X 10
Incline Dumbbell Presses 2 X 10
Seated Dumbbell Presses 2 X 10
Barbell Curls 2 X 10
Dips 2 X failure
Twice per week for someone who's quite active (e.g. rides his bike a lot) would be good to start on this. If they wanted to do more, they could do this three times per week (non-consecutive days), and on one of the days just skip the squats and deadlifts and do leg extensions and leg curls instead.
Of course, they should check to make sure they're doing all the exercises properly. If something hurts (in a bad way), stop doing it and find out why. And these routines assume no previous injuries, so if someone has a really bad back or something, they will need to adjust things."
This was my first training programme
(TWO DAY split, three training days a week)
squats 3 sets of 8-10
seated leg extensions (quads) 3 sets of 8-10
seated back cable rows 3 sets of 8-10
front lat pull downs 3 sets of 8-10
shrugs 3 sets of 8-10
seated alternating dumbbell curls (sit, with back support) 3 sets of 8-10
drag curls 3 sets of 8-10 like a barbell curl, but drag it up the front of your body and back down again. Works like a preacher curl, but works better.
split squats (stationary lunges): these are basically lunges, but do all one side for one set, and then switch. I don't put my foot up on a bench, so ignore that part of the movie. Take a step, and stay there. Now do 8 squats in this position, then switch sides. 3 sets of 8-10 each side
lying leg curls (hamstrings) 3 sets of 8-10
Dumbbell lateral raises (imagine you are pouring really full pots of tea) 3 sets of 8-10
dumbbell shoulder (military) press 3 sets of 8-10 http
incline dumbbell flys (do it on the slant bench, or flat if you prefer) 3 sets of 8-10
incline dumbbell press (squeeze chest at top) 3 sets of 8-10
overhead tricep extensions, (I hold ONE dumbbell with both hands, hold it overhead, drop it down to elbows at 90 degrees, then raise it straight up) 3 sets of 8-10
standing tricep cable pull-downs, using rope 3 sets of 8-10 keep elbows glued to your sides, hold the rope ends, push straight down, then back up to 90 degrees. Your hands end up at your sides because the rope will open up and let you.
I don't know about an actual program, but a three-day full-body type workout should work well for him; just put him on machines for shoulder press, chest press, rows, pulldowns, curls, tricep extensions, leg press, leg extension, leg curls, calf raises, and do some ab work. After a month or two, his muscles should be used to moving, at least. And squats don't necessarily have to be a tough thing; start with BW squats, then put a bar on his back, and start adding weight from there. *shrug* not rocket surgery or brain science.
Don't ask for a lighter load. Ask for a stronger back.
A GPP program would be a good idea.Originally Posted by intargc
Thanks for the quick input.
Anthony, do you have any examples of a GPP that you liked? I'm googling but I'm seeing a lot and I know that most people have no idea what they're talking about.
I agree that a month or two of GPP would be a good idea. IMO, "General Physical Preparedness" for someone completely new to weight training would mostly consist of shoulder, "core", posterior chain work, dynamic stretching, and form work with major lifts that you will be doing later.
A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
intargc: my favorite GPP at the moment is crossfit. It's probably more "advanced" than I would recommend to someone starting out just because they incorporate olympic lifts, etc. However, there was a "beginner" version posted in Men's Journal (I know, I know) that listed 10 example sessions. I would pick 9 sessions and use a 3 on 1 off split so you end up with a 12 day cycle. Repeat that cycle 5 times and he should have a pretty good foundation to build on.
3 times a week full body sounds good- thats how i started, and how i restarted when i got back into training after a few years as a slacker
As long as he starts with very light weights and concentrates on getting the right form down there shouldnt be too much problem surely? and build up the weight gradually.
Thanks for all the helpful advice, everyone.