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Muscle Building and Bodybuilding Topics related to muscle building, bodybuilding, including training and fullbody workouts. If you are looking for great advice on gaining muscle this forum is for you.

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Old 02-08-2013, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default Where to start?

I have never lifted before in my life. I have been the gym to work out, but never really used anything for weight lifting. Where would you recommend that I start? Should I start out with dumbbells until I get a bit stronger and then move on to other exercises?
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:05 PM   #2
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I have never lifted before in my life. I have been the gym to work out, but never really used anything for weight lifting. Where would you recommend that I start? Should I start out with dumbbells until I get a bit stronger and then move on to other exercises?
Definitely begin with DBs to build some base strength, as well as doing some bodyweight work push-ups, chin-ups etc, if possible. Progress slowly but surely.

If/when DBs become easy, shift to the barbell, though you can still do heavyweight DB work as well but they'll get you to the barbell weight as their initial usage.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:11 PM   #3
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I have never lifted before in my life. I have been the gym to work out, but never really used anything for weight lifting. Where would you recommend that I start? Should I start out with dumbbells until I get a bit stronger and then move on to other exercises?
Welcome! To determine what will work best for you, first you need to decide what your goals are. Are you training for looks, strength, health, something else, or some combination thereof? Also, if you could tell us a little about yourself that would help.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:13 PM   #4
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It is now my belief that the best way to start is with bodyweight exercises.

How many push-ups can you do? Can you do 30 good, full-range push-ups without stopping? If not, just keep working on push-ups. No sense bench pressing if you can't even do push-ups. When you can do 30 good push-ups, then graduate to parallel bar dips, and from there to the bench press.

How about body squats? Can you do 50 picture-perfect squats with no weight added? If not, the body squats will help you strengthen muscles while safely working on form. Once you can do 50 body squats then you can graduate to goblet squats with a dumbbell and then on to barbell back squats.

Chin-ups are another quality bodyweight exercise that will build a lot of strength where you need it for more complex movements later on in your training. If you can't do several good full-range pull-ups, then start with inverted rows and be progressive by either creating a steeper angle or adding weight.

Round off the above three exercises with simple back raises that can eventually become stiff-legged deadlifts, and good 'ol fashioned sit-ups for a complete and effective full-body workout that you can do three days a week. As you progress into more complex exercises like bench, squats, pull-ups, Stiff-legged deadlifts and sit-ups, you'll have the makings of a fine full-body workout that can be expanded upon later as your strength and conditioning allows.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:05 AM   #5
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If not, just keep working on push-ups. No sense bench pressing if you can't even do push-ups.
A Bench Press can provide less resistance than a Push Up. So it makes perfect sense to start there.

Starting off with bodyweight makes very little sense in my eyes, a barbell provides small incremental loads and can start from as little as 20kg or less with training bars.

Where is all this coming from Offroad?
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:13 AM   #6
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I was really fat and weak when I started strength training, I was nowhere NEAR to be able to do a SINGLE push-up, chin-up or dip. Bodyweight squats are ok I suppose.

I was doing DB/BB pushes and rows and negative chins (step up, release yourself as slow as possible) for upper body and I incorporated pushups and chinups later on when I had the strength.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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Where is all this coming from Offroad?
From many, many trainers that are way more experienced than myself. From guys like, and starting with, Iron Addict all the way up to Dave Tate and many of the Elitefts crew, and many more in-between. And from my own experience with my son. I can say without a doubt that it has worked wonders for his confidence and his form is really good now that we've started being progressive with the barbell movements. There was almost a zero learning curve when he started doing the big lifts.

We tell new lifters every day that the most basic stuff works best. There's nothing more basic than doing a push-up, they do them all the time in Physical Education classes and at home in their bedrooms. We tell new lifters every day that strength training is not a sprint but marathon. Spending a month or two getting good at the bodyweight movements is but a drop in the bucket of training time. I know it's not a popular opinion among the [more] hardcore crowd, but that really doesn't bother me much.

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Old 02-11-2013, 09:16 AM   #8
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Surely you see my point and that of Spiritthief as well?

Asking a rank beginner to perform a push-up as a means of getting started represents a far harder task than asking them to bench press the empty bar or a lighter empty bar.

Why would you start with the harder option? Start easy and build them up progressively, with incremental loads, just like you can with a barbell.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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Off road makes many good points. Unfortunately, when you start out the things you should usually do often aren't the most interesting things.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
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Here you go.

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