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Newbies - Read this before you post your routine.

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Scourge_of_God
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2004/03/18 13:36:26 (permalink)
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Newbies - Read this before you post your routine.

As there seem to be lots of horrible routines being posted up by newbies recently, I though I would save myself some time and write this instead of sorting out each routine individually. This is advice for a general purpose strength and/or mass routine i.e. you can use it whatever your goals, unless they are extremely specific.

But first things first - Does your routine contain any of the following?

1) More than 20 sets per workout.
2) More than one bicep isolation exercise.
3) More than one isolation exercise per workout for any muscle.
4) Significant use of cables and other nonsense.
5) Significant use of machine exercises.
6) Triple drop sets as part of your routine (excuse the pun...) training.
7) Regular use of sets with more than six (6) reps.
8) Anything on Scourge's List of Shame.
9) No squats.

If so, it probably sucks - There's a good chance that you should modify it before you post it up.

If not, post it up and we'll see if there is any more advice we can give you, although you will probably have a pretty sound routine already.

Scourge's List of Shame (probably to be expanded).

01) Lateral raises
02) Lateral raises
03) Pullovers
04) Pec flys
05) Upright rows
06) Behind-the-neck press
07) Tricep kickbacks
08) Arnold press
09) Front raises
10) Leg extensions
11) Seated calf raises

With special mention to: Bicep isolation exercises in general. The Smith machine. People who ask for routine advice midway through a cycle of AAS.

Advice for constructing your own routine:

1) Any routine must contain every exercise on Scourge's Hall of Fame. No ifs. No buts. No exceptions. At all. Ever.

Scourge's Hall of Fame

1) Squats

Get the picture? There are loads of different kinds of squat (back, front, Zercher, hack, box, overhead etc.) but I would recommend the back squat for a newbie.
2) You probably should have a bench variation, although this can be replaced by an overhead press variation or parallel dips, if you insist.
3) No routine should have more than 20 sets per workout, unless you are juicing, in which case you shouldn't have to read this anyway. Preferably you should probably be looking at 15 sets or less.
4) No workout should make excessive use of isolation exercises. Broadly speaking, these serve no real purpose that can't be fulfilled more effectively by compound exercises.
5) No workout should make excessive use of machine exercises. These cause you to neglect your stabiliser muscles, are less effective than freeweight lifts and, because they force you to move through an unnatural plane of motion, carry a higher risk of injury to joints, ligaments and tendons. This includes the smith machine.
6) Your biceps are a small and fairly pointless muscle incapable of much by way of strength gains or sustaining huge workloads. You do not need to work them hard for them to grow. YOU DO NOT NEED TO WORK THEM HARD FOR THEM TO GROW. If you train them too hard or too often, I can guarantee that they won't grow.
7) Rep ranges should almost always be under 6 reps per set. Personally I would recommend 4x6, although I know a lot of people like 5x5.
8) Leg day should always comes first in the cycle/week.
9) The exercise using the most number of muscle groups should come first in the workout and the one with the least number last. The exception to this is exercises that hit the muscles that stabilise your trunk esp. erector spinae (lower back) and rectus abdominus (abs), as these muscles are used to support your torso throughout almost all other exercises, allowing you to maintain good form. As such, exercises that focus on these muscles should be done after you've completed all other exercises for the day.
10) If you can identify a weakness in your lifting or just an aspect of it you would like focus on, take a relevant exercise from Scourge's Complementary exercise lift and add it to the appropriate day.

Scourge's Complementary Exercise List by training focus (to be expanded).

Upper bench: Half press, close grip press, block press, floor press
Lower bench: Ultra-wide press, bottom-position press, speed bench, shoulder work, (decline press)
Squat: Box squat, goodmorning
Deadlift: Box deadlift, rack pulls
Grip: Farmer's walk (also a good all-round exercise)
Rotator cuff: Cuban press

Which leads us to...

Scourge's All-purpose Routine for Newbies

Workout A:
Back squat 4x6
Box deadlift 4x6 (but remember to re-set between reps)
Goodmorning 4x6

Workout B:
Flat bench 4x6
Overhead press 4x6
Weighted sit-ups 4x6

Workout C:
Deadlifts 4x6 (but remember to re-set between reps)
Bent-over rows 4x6
Weighted chin-ups 4x6

Enjoy...
#1

37 Replies Related Threads

    Robert
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 13:56:26 (permalink)
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    absolutely top effort. love that list of shame, add kickbacks and arnold press.
    rob
    #2
    Robert
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 14:00:21 (permalink)
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    1 more thing, do another list with useful complementary exersizes: close grip bench, farmers walk, cuban press etc etc. stop newbies clogging up thier routine with rubbish exersizes and gets them doing more useful ones, saves you some time and effort too repling to subsequent posts.

    rob
    #3
    Scourge_of_God
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 14:03:19 (permalink)
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    Thanks Robert - Good ideas there...
    #4
    AUTIGER
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 14:20:17 (permalink)
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    good idea scourge. there have been some pretty aweful routines lately....no offense to the ones that posted them. we know that you all are learning as well.
    #5
    gymbabeliz
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 14:23:01 (permalink)
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    my routine sucks in that case :)
    #6
    Scourge_of_God
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 15:23:21 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by JohnnyFive

    A newbie bodybuilder shouldn't be doing powercleans. Get your basic strength up then start getting fancy. Even newbie Olympic lifters don't just start off doing powercleans and that's with expert coaching. Any good coach should have them build up their strength with front squats, overhead squats, deadlifts, push presses to ensure their body is prepared. I would have a newbie doing overhead squats as it will ensure good back squat form and start to build a base of flexibility to prevent injury.


    I did pause for a second before including the power cleans, but decided they weren't too bad - Technically, they arent especially difficult and physically, they aren't especially taxing, although I do admit absolute never-seen-the-inside-of-a-gym-before beginners might have connective tissue complications with them. However, I am not aware of anyone like that on MT - I have yet to see someone post on this board who doesn't have at least a few months of training experience. Any recommendations for something to replace them with?
    Farmer's walk?

    OH squat would be good if it weren't so difficult to incorporate into the 3-day split that newbies seem to be looking for.
    #7
    Dildo69
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 16:50:04 (permalink)
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    I definatley think Power cleans are very difficult, i have had umpteen people tell me they do power cleans in there routines and when i see them not one of them has even nearly good form.

    Did anyone see scotlands strongest man (i guess it was only on in scotland) but they were some of the ugliest power cleans ever!
    #8
    Dildo69
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 17:36:15 (permalink)
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    Oooh its been edited!!!

    What ya gonna replace it with? Have u got a few favs ur gonna put in?
    #9
    Scourge_of_God
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 17:37:38 (permalink)
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    I was thinking of maybe box deadlifts... Glute-ham raises would also be good, but there aren't that many gyms which have the set-up for it and manual glute-ham curls are far too difficult for a newbie. Or me.
    #10
    JayavarmanVII
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 18:47:25 (permalink)
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    Very good post mate. Add leg extensions and seated calf raises to the list of shame.

    TUFF
    #11
    CHTHONIC
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 20:27:10 (permalink)
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    Brilliant post Scourge, this one needs sticky'ing IMO.

    Alex.
    #12
    Dildo69
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 20:52:55 (permalink)
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    Yup, i second for a sticky!
    #13
    Frankie NY
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 21:03:39 (permalink)
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    Great post! Thanks for taking the time to write it.
    #14
    Scourge_of_God
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 22:14:15 (permalink)
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    No problem y'all... I thought it would save us all some time in the long run.
    #15
    scruffy
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/18 22:29:46 (permalink)
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    just wondered why you have lateral raises on the hall of shame, louie simmons advocates doing front lateral raises to help with assistance exercise for bench???
    #16
    LMC
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/19 15:43:02 (permalink)
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    Excellent post. I must admit I used to be guilty of probably 8 out of 11 of the exercises on your "List of Shame". Several years on and with only a recent discovery of the internet, I'm now only guilty of 1. However, the main problem is the dreaded Smith machine and how to get by without using it.
    I use 2 gyms, one next to where I work (Holmes Place-twice a week), 1 next to where I live (leisure centre-once a week). However, neither have barbells and the dumbbells only go up to 35kg. This effectively eliminates about 50% of your exercises - deads, squats, good mornings, unless I use the Smith machine.
    So what do I do although I think I probably already know the answer to this. Use the Smith machine for deadlifts and squats, do alternative exercises, or change gyms? Option 3 isn't that realistic really as there is nowhere else near me in Sticksville Hampshire. And at work (Slough), the gym is just over the road and the other 2 in the area are chains like this one (Cannons, Dragons) so will have limited equipment. Any ideas?
    #17
    Skrewdriver
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/19 15:49:49 (permalink)
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    Lord Monkcheese - You COULD do deads and squats, but with a limited 35Kg in each hand... (!).

    Have you got any room at home for a power rack?

    #18
    LMC
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/19 15:58:57 (permalink)
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    I have progressed from squats with the dumbbells to doing them on the Smith machine once I'd run out of weight. The alternative was lunges and I really didn't want to go down that route.
    Re: power rack. Great idea i.e. train at home, but with a power rack I'd need a barbell, weights, bench, possibly dumbbells, etc, which all adds up to cash I don't have (or can't justify to the missus!!)
    So what about continuing doing them on the Smith machine? Practical or would the unnatural ROM negate any positive effects the lifting would provide??
    #19
    Scourge_of_God
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    RE: Newbies - Read this before you post your routine. 2004/03/19 16:07:09 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Lord Monkcheese

    Excellent post. I must admit I used to be guilty of probably 8 out of 11 of the exercises on your "List of Shame". Several years on and with only a recent discovery of the internet, I'm now only guilty of 1. However, the main problem is the dreaded Smith machine and how to get by without using it.
    I use 2 gyms, one next to where I work (Holmes Place-twice a week), 1 next to where I live (leisure centre-once a week). However, neither have barbells and the dumbbells only go up to 35kg. This effectively eliminates about 50% of your exercises - deads, squats, good mornings, unless I use the Smith machine.
    So what do I do although I think I probably already know the answer to this. Use the Smith machine for deadlifts and squats, do alternative exercises, or change gyms? Option 3 isn't that realistic really as there is nowhere else near me in Sticksville Hampshire. And at work (Slough), the gym is just over the road and the other 2 in the area are chains like this one (Cannons, Dragons) so will have limited equipment. Any ideas?


    Damn... I'd check out the other gyms near work - The equipment might not be great, but some chains regularly carry barbells, squat racks and the like, so it might be worth a shot to go look at them...

    ...or have you thought about getting your own gym at home? You can do a perfectly good workout with just a barbell (and some mats, so you don't mess up the floor) and if you can afford to get a squat rack/cage and a bench you can do almost every decent exercise known to man. http://www.ixlbarbell.co.uk/products.htm do some very cheap olympic kit. I'm not 110% sure on the quality as I haven't ordered anything from them yet - I believe MT member Knighty has though as I think he's the one who recommended them to me...

    But if these aren't viable alternatives, still keep going to the gym and do the best you can. Using the smith machine isn't a great way to train, but it's definitely better than nothing at all.
    #20
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