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Think and Grow Strong - Basic Lifting and Diet Info

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
This thread can be for a collection of useful diet and exercise information. At least there can be a common thread that we can all point to when another magical noob lifting thread appears. Please add to this so I can keep editing the OP to make it more helpful! Diets, lifting videos, routines, etc. so it can be a one-stop shop for info. This is a bastard outline, so throw in and we'll see what we can get. I'm no expert, all I do is quote stuff from IA but god damn am I tired of shit like this.

Resources that will help you 100% more than this thread, or forum as a whole:
www.ironaddicts.com - if you have any remote interest in lifting, this is where to go
www.stronglifts.com - good beginner program
http://startingstrength.com - good beginner program
www.fitday.com - online calorie counting utility
http://www.alanaragon.com/ Alan, destroyer of bro-science
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/ Lyle MacDonald, practical diet/lifting info
http://www.leangains.com/ Martin Beckham, intermittent fasting protocol, amongst other things

Help! I'm a beginner! Tell me what to do!

1. Log your actual diet for a week. Don't start eating spinach and plain chicken breasts all of a sudden - if you eat McDonalds every day, continue to do so (at least for this week). The idea of this is to find out your BMR - basal metabolic rate. If your weight stays constant through this time, the average calorie total from the week should be your approximate BMR. If you wish to add mass, add ~200-500 to this number. If you wish to lose weight, subtract ~200-500 from this number.

Adding mass. Do not jump on the "rarrggh bulk diet" bandwagon, ala the "milk diet" or grossly overeating. Once you have eaten past your BMR, you aren't doing anything more than adding bodyfat, which is a pain in the ass to get rid of. As a beginner, you can expect to put on ~.5lb of muscle per week

Losing weight. Do not crash diet or starve yourself. Doing so will lower your metabolism and cause you to become skinny fat. Muscle will be the first to go on a crash diet - by dieting properly, you can maintain as much muscle mass as possible while burning fat. Drop your calories too low, and muscle starts to go much faster.

What to eat? This is a giant clusterfuck of a point and will have to be added to, but for now, aim for 1g protein/lb of bodyweight from lean protein sources (not whey). Stay away from shitty processed foods, trans fats, and high-GI carbs (white bread, sugary stuff, etc). Get some good fats into you via fish oil, flax oil, olive oil, cheese, eggs, etc. Eggs won't kill you, eat up!

2. Do Starting Strength, ironaddict's SPBR, stronglifts 5x5, or similar volume and intensity-regulated program. Don't do any other program. Why? Strength. Strength is key. I know most of you don't care about how much you lift, just how you look - that's cool. Unfortunately, you need to put your time in doing strength training in order to reap the benefits of hypertrophy training. Furthermore, as a beginner, by building up a solid base of strength by focusing on large compound movements, you will get much bigger (and stronger!) than doing mega reps on isolation movements. Aim to pull off a 1.5x bodyweight parallel squat before you even consider doing hypertrophy training. Erase the idea that volume training is necessary for an impressive physique. Countless people have grown amazing physiques on 3 day/week strength programs.

2a. Here is how everyone gets started with lifting: they pick a monster volume bodybuilding routine, isolate every bodypart, and do 5 sets of mega reps because they just care about aesthetics, not about strength. Fair enough. However, this does nothing, they burn out, and quit. They get motivated, do it again, burn out, and quit. The best part is, if all of us had just started off by doing a strength program, not only would we be stronger, but we'd look better too. This happens to everyone. Do not be this person. Do not question it. Do not fuck around with it. Everyone wishes they had started by doing a strength program instead of fucking around with bodybuilder shit. Don't believe me? Find out for yourself, or listen and save yourself from years of failure.

3. Monitor your recovery. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Track your diet.

4. Manage your expectations. Weight training and dieting is a painful, disciplined, and infinitely rewarding practice. Results will not happen overnight - they'll happen with consistency, dedication, and an intelligent application of valid lifting and diet practices.
post #2 of 51


Jarude, you may be no expert, but noone is better than you at quoting stuff from IA
post #3 of 51
I agree with most of this excepta part of #2. I think the SPBR is fine, along with a handful of others without too much constant volume and intensity.
post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajak View Post


Jarude, you may be no expert, but noone is better than you at quoting stuff from IA

So true

IMO, add Alan Aragon and Lyle Mcdonnald websites. Martin Beckham one is also good for intermitent fasting.

http://www.alanaragon.com/ (Alan)
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/ (Lyle)
http://www.leangains.com/ (MBeckham)
post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by virus646 View Post
So true

truth is, I feel like a douche for doing it, since a billion other guys on here and elsewhere could kick my ass all over the gym, but serious. Either we're getting trolled by variants on not_a_virus or people are stupid. more people at IA = more swole

and duly noted mrbrown
post #6 of 51
and now, I agree 100% well almost.. like 99% I think people should have the majority of their food coming from non-shitty sources. however, there's nothing wrong with cheating. if anything, I encourage it. I have about 8-10,000 calories worth of mcd's, tim tams, and pop tarts, I will demolish tomorrow. I've been doing this once a week for the past 1.5 months and have only been getting stronger and leaner
post #7 of 51
I meant it in a good way, FWIW. The thread that we brutally mocked the OP in actually made me realize that we should have a separate lifting thread from RH&ET, and I'm glad we have that. Tomorrow, to squat and take videos (hopefully...) Note: Like jarude, I'm not that strong, been training for a long time (mostly focused on non-strength stuff, like VO2) and am just getting into it. I was going to qualify that but in comparison, yeah its true.
post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 
haha for real, i understand i'm somewhat of a self-parody on the topic - no offense taken.

i started taking videos of myself lifting. aside from a minor break in focus and funny looks from gym folk, i'm really impressed at how helpful it is to see yourself lift. i was correcting mistakes i didn't even know i was making from one set to the next.
post #9 of 51
I know that I'm going to get funny looks, I'm just hoping that the powerracks will be kinda empty 2 days before Christmas. Edit: My edition of SS(2ndE) has clean often typeset as dean. I dont think C and L have ever been made into a ligature before.
post #10 of 51
This threak needs to be pinned (or whatever the expression for perma-thread is).

post #11 of 51
I have found the following site has useful information in an uncluttered presentation on lifting including very helpful little animations:

http://www.exrx.net
post #12 of 51
What is SPBR?
post #13 of 51
I honestly believe that begenniers should stop reading t-nation and read Lyle's articles on Periodization to get a good and basic grasp of lifting.
post #14 of 51
Damn. Here I thought you were here to tell me everything you know about lifting and diet and let me know that my knowledge is completely deficient in every way.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXanatos View Post
What is SPBR?

Simple power based routine. It's a routine by one of the IA mods, stickied in the intermediate routine section I believe.

Great thread jarude, this section needs it. I really wouldn't recommend a full out cheat day to a beginner, it makes it way too easy to derail a diet in the beginning. Once you have a diet buttoned down though, cheat away! (within reason of course )
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