Couple of beginner questions
I was getting into a serious discussion with a old high school buddy I caught up with this weekend. We were talking about these 2 issues:
1) When should a bodybuilder - if at all - begin using or experiementing with higher intensity work?
2) What is the most simplistic training routine you can do that still remains effective and adds muscle?
In my opinion, a true neophyte should begin by using a basic routine focusing on the major compound lifts: squat, deadlift, and bench press (the big 3 as they are sometimes called). There is some wiggle room there. For example, some say that power cleans are a necessity. Others say that vertical pressing is more important than bench pressing. I've never been taught the power clean, and my overhead pressing stinks, so I remain a fan of the big 3. With that in mind, probably the most simplistic routine(s) would be either Starting Strength, madcow (both of which have been discussed at length on this forum), or strong lifts 5x5 (google search it, but it is very similar to the other two methods). All three mentioned routines focus on developing strength and power on the previously mentioned basic compound lifts.
To answer the first question, I would say that only after the beginner has mastered the basic compounds should he/she experiment with more intense/ body split methods. What is meant by mastering the lifts? I would give it an honest year to year and a half. In that time the beginner should have progressed enough to where they are able to squat 1.5 times the body weight for 5 reps, bench press their body weight for 5 reps, and maybe deadlift close to twice their body weight for a single.
It really is all a matter of timing. The more time spent understanding the basics, the more productive the ego exercises become. I spent a year and a half or so working on the basics and let me tell you that those routines didn't do poo for MY physique, but they laid a foundation of strength so that when I allowed myself to try a HIT BB routine, that routine became very productive.
That is my opinion. Others will likely differ. Good luck.
Nice avatar, by the way. I don't care if its you or not. Nice avatar.
Big V provided a great response.
I want to take a poke at #2....
I think you could do something incredibly simple like:
Front Squat - Squat
Closegrip Bench - Bench
This is fairly close to many popular routines, and with good reason. It doesn't take much for a beginner to make gains. You coudl do something like this for 2-3 years, and if you were pushing for progression, there would be no reason to change.
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