Q: I am new to training, I want be big but I also want to be able to lift heavy, what type of program would you recommend? Strength based? Or Hypertrophy based?
One should always consider one’s “training age” when choosing a program. With a training age of less than six months I would classify you as a beginner.
A beginner lifter does not necessarily mean you are weak; you could be strong however your body is not coordinated enough to recruit all the muscle fibres when you lift. If you ever tried to bench press the bar for the first time in your life it looks like you suffer from Parkinson. However after just a few sets you find it easier and can perform the lift with more control. That is what I am talking about. Being “coordinated”
When starting beginner I like to start them with “simple” exercise such as machines if they are really un-coordinated otherwise I would use dumbbells and barbells to built them up.
Repetition range I would stick to anywhere between 10-15 repetitions depending the muscle group.
I would start a client on a fewer sets more exercise and built them up to fewer exercise and more sets.
Sample workout 1
A1. Leg press 2×12
B1. Lat pull down 2×12
C1. Step up 2×15
D1. Seated row 2×12
E1. Leg raise 3×10
F1. Prowler push 10laps
A1. Leg press 5×15
B1 Lat pull down 4×12
C1. Step up 4×20
D. Prowler 20 laps
* This is just an example to show you a very simple progression; this is not a program for you to follow.
From a beginner the priority should be focused on building muscle endurance, and learning the technicality of each lift, a strong foundation will take you a lot further.
Here is a sample workout a beginner could follow. Assuming he or she has never lifted weights before.
A1. Static lunges 3×10 (3010) 60s
A2. Standing DB press 3×10 (3010) 60s
B1. Goblet squat 2×10 (3110) 60s
B2. Pull down 2×10 (3010) 60s
C1. Sled drag 20m 5sets 60s
A1. Static lunges 4×10 (3010) 45s
A2. Standing DB press 4×10 (3010) 45s
B1. Goblet squat 4×10 (3110) 45s
B2. Pull down 4×10 (3010) 45s
C1. Sled drag 20m 8sets 45s
If you are reading this and thinking “is this guy joking” then perhaps this program is too easy for you, however for a real newbie they will be limping for days after doing this workout.