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.