A beginner's guide to lifting, pt. 1: Programming
|CrossFit: Not even once, bro|
|Oh, how the mighty are fallen...|
The StrongLifts Program
Why It Works
|"Meh... too light"|
|"Must... not... poop..."|
|Pick up weight, lift overhead. It's that simple.|
|Hey, what's Conan doing here???|
- Monday: 5x5 squats, 5x5 bench press, 5x5 barbell rows
- Wednesday: 5x5 squats, 5x5 OHPs, 1x5 deadlifts
- Friday: 5x5 squats, 5x5 bench presses, 5x5 barbell rows
- Monday: 5x5 squats, 5x5 OHPs, 1x5 deadlifts
- Wednesday: 5x5 squats, 5x5 bench press, 5x5 barbell rows
- Friday: 5x5 squats, 5x5 OHPs, 1x5 deadlifts
And so on and so forth. You basically cycle between A and B for the entire program.
- Start with a completely empty bar. Yeah, you'll look and feel like an idiot lifting an empty bar, then a bar with 2.5lb plates, and so on. Other guys in the gym might just laugh at you. Screw 'em, they don't matter. By Week 10 of this program, you'll be at the point where you're squatting well over your own bodyweight, and the same chuckleheads who smirked at how weak you are will be amazed at the progress you made.
- Be consistent. The key to success is always hard work. There are no shortcuts to gaining strength and muscle. Just keep showing up, keep grinding away, keep lifting.
- Be SAFE and lift with good technique. Nothing will destroy your gains or your ability to progress faster than crappy technique or a blatant disregard for your own safety. Work with spotters if you want (I never do), use the equipment properly, treat it well, and respect the gym for the temple to the Iron God that it is.
- Feed your gains. A strong body is forged in the gym, but it is sculpted in the kitchen. If you lift heavy but eat a trashy high-carb diet, you won't be giving your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to grow. A diet high in protein and fat, low in carbs (but don't do away with them entirely- you need your fruit and vegetables), and absolutely minimal on the processed crap that passes for "food" in the modern world, will get you the results you want. Eat clean, train hard, and remember: steak, eggs, and bacon are your friends.
- ALWAYS warm up before starting your lifts. Don't be that toolbag who walks up to the squat rack, slaps on two plates on each end, and proceeds to pretend he can squat 225lbs. Warm up with an empty bar, add weight carefully, treat each warm-up rep like it's a one-rep PR attempt, and you'll be ready to hit the work sets with the right mindset and focus to get the job done.
- Don't bother with expensive gear as a beginner. You don't need it. When you find yourself getting to heavier weights, invest in a real weight belt and some lifter's chalk. That's all you'll ever need. The rest is just garnish.
- The supplement industry is not your friend. Don't spend a lot of money on fancy protein powders or supplements. All you need is: a simple, effective, high-protein whey supplement; creatine monohydrate; fish oil capsules; and maybe a multivitamin. THAT'S IT. Everything else is marketing BS.
- Protein powder does not build muscle. Lifting heavy builds muscle. The rest is merely details.
Most non-compound lifts are a complete waste of time, in my view. These three lifts aren't mandatory, but they do work and they do build muscle and strength.
|Not seen: CrossFit Kipping|
|Kind of missing a step, but it'll do|
Alternatives to Powerlifting
|He's shredded. I'm not. You decide.|
What NOT to Do
- How to deadlift
- The "Why" is as important as the "How"
- Diet tips
- Getting your gear right
- No-BS muscle-building
- My original post on lifting
- A two-year retrospective (written two years ago)
- No victory without sacrifice
- Embrace the pain of discipline...
- A servant of the Iron God...
- The beast of...
*This is true of the Manosphere in general- very little of what you see is really "new" or original in any sense. The Manosphere promotes ancient and incontrovertible truths, repackaged and reformulated in clever and interesting new ways. But the basic ideas about who and what a man is have remained unchanged since the dawn of Mankind.