First time bulking

Hello, everyone! I would first like to say that I am new to this forum/community, so it's great to meet all of you. I am also new to strength training, though I am pretty well seasoned on my macros and nutrition. As a beginner, I am finding myself a bit lost at how to go about making gains for the first time in this long journey to build my dream physique. I am very motivated and determined, so any advice or expertise you could offer on this matter would definitely be put to good use, as I intend to be bodybuilding for quite some time to come. The most difficult thing for me right now is knowing which weight to begin lifting for each exercise. I walk into the gym and I feel so overwhelmed and intimidated by all of the equipment and the way everyone seems to know exactly what to do already. I don't want to waste my time and I don't want to go to the gym to play around. I am very serious about changing my life and entering the world of bodybuilding. Currently, I am 5'9" and 130 pounds. I would like to gain a good amount of muscle mass before I decide to lean down, as I heard that would be the most effective way to go about it. I do want a good amount of muscle, not just definition. Currently, I can lift 15 pound dumbbells and knock the bicep curls and hammer curls out with those, but as far as the barbell and the weight for the machines go, I am completely lost. Where did you start out when you first started gaining mass? What would you recommend for someone of my size? Are there any plans you could recommend to help my progress? Any tips or pointers or advice would be so appreciated and embraced.

Replies

  • Brolympus
    Brolympus Posts: 360 Member
    If you are just starting out, stick to a program such as Ice Cream Fitness, Stronglifts 5x5, or Starting Strength. They are all geared for somebody with 0-1 years of experience, will pretty much guarantee some kind of linear progression if you follow the program, utilize compound lifts (which are most important for lots of growth), and have the required frequency per week for each muscle group.

    Sounds like you are informed on nutrition already, so just make sure you stick to your cal surplus, hit your protein minimums, and adjust your cals when necessary and you should be good to go!

  • AsISmile
    AsISmile Posts: 1,004 Member
    Stronglift 5x5, new rules of lifting
    Can't think of the others right now, but you want a progressive overload program, and preferably one that does compound exercises.
    I have not yet started any, but stronglift 5x5 appeals to me.
  • giantrobot_powerlifting
    giantrobot_powerlifting Posts: 2,600 Member
    grungedaze wrote: »
    I am very motivated and determined, so any advice or expertise you could offer on this matter would definitely be put to good use, as I intend to be bodybuilding for quite some time to come.
    That's awesomeness you have the awareness to be patient in developing your strength and physique.
    grungedaze wrote: »
    I would like to gain a good amount of muscle mass before I decide to lean down, as I heard that would be the most effective way to go about it.
    Sounds like a recomp to me, here's a good thread to read up on that.
    grungedaze wrote: »
    ... but as far as the barbell and the weight for the machines go, I am completely lost. Where did you start out when you first started gaining mass?
    Stronglifts would be good, since you start out with a barbell --if I recall correctly -- and progress from there. NROL, Ice Cream Fitness, are all other good choices.

    Otherwise, you could run the program I created which uses a 4x8 workset methodology. (Sorry for the shameless plug, but I just wrote this up today.)
  • Wheelhouse15
    Wheelhouse15 Posts: 5,589 Member
    Welcome to the Gains forum and first thing I would suggest is getting into heavy lifting. You will have to look around for what you feel is best but New Rules of Lifting (NROL) for Women, Strong Lifts 5x5, Strong Curves, or Starting Strength are generally seen as good beginner programs to build a good base. Most of these programs also have dedicated groups so you can look around for them and ask.

    Nakedraygun's program isn't bad but I would say it's a little too much of a split than a beginner would need but might be something you could try once you've got a little bit of time under the iron.

    A newer beginner program from a well respected author (Steve Shaw) is Massive Six and you might want to look at that as well. You can find the details here: http://www.tigerfitness.com/Massive-6-E-Book-p/mass6.htm and his video here

    Good luck to you.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,147 Member
    OP - you have already been given great advice on programs. pick one and run it for three to four months along with a 250 to 500 per day surplus.

    I will say that if you have not been doing any compound movements that you really need to familiarize yourself with proper form, I would suggest a copy of starting strength and going to you tube to look at form videos. If you have the funds two to four weeks with a PT might not be a bad idea to have them show you correct form.

  • SquatNSparkle
    SquatNSparkle Posts: 477 Member
    Hi I am a newer lifter too...I started with NROL for Women and while I made decent progress in Phase one it is a bit complicated as you will find yourself criss crossing the gym for different equipment. I finished phase 1, stopped lifting due to medical reasons for two weeks, then I recently switched to Stronglifts and loved it at first (been at that a month). I do prefer the simplicity of STronglifts. There is a great app for it if you have a smartphone, of course it's very basic and you need to pony up some $$ to get the added features. I think I started with the apps recommended starting weights.

    I recently started supplementing SL too, as it's simple and you do make gains, but I love variety. So I do SL 2x per week, and am doing a simple kettlebell workout once per week to work other muscles in different ways. I agree there's a lot of info out there and people at the gym who seem to really know what they are doing. That was the beauty of SL to me...basically 5 lifts that will get you going and in there, then it gets less intimidating and you may start feeling like you can try other stuff once you feel comfortable with those lifts!

    Good luck, would love to stay in touch! :)
  • jdscrubs32
    jdscrubs32 Posts: 513 Member
    ndj1979 wrote: »
    OP - you have already been given great advice on programs. pick one and run it for three to four months along with a 250 to 500 per day surplus.

    I will say that if you have not been doing any compound movements that you really need to familiarize yourself with proper form, I would suggest a copy of starting strength and going to you tube to look at form videos. If you have the funds two to four weeks with a PT might not be a bad idea to have them show you correct form.

    OP I would support this because if you haven't done a lot of the exercises before and you start with bad form, you could end up injuring yourself. So if you can afford it, get a session or a few of them with a PT who will show you proper form.
  • Brolympus
    Brolympus Posts: 360 Member
    Hi I am a newer lifter too...I started with NROL for Women and while I made decent progress in Phase one it is a bit complicated as you will find yourself criss crossing the gym for different equipment. I finished phase 1, stopped lifting due to medical reasons for two weeks, then I recently switched to Stronglifts and loved it at first (been at that a month). I do prefer the simplicity of STronglifts. There is a great app for it if you have a smartphone, of course it's very basic and you need to pony up some $$ to get the added features. I think I started with the apps recommended starting weights.

    I recently started supplementing SL too, as it's simple and you do make gains, but I love variety. So I do SL 2x per week, and am doing a simple kettlebell workout once per week to work other muscles in different ways. I agree there's a lot of info out there and people at the gym who seem to really know what they are doing. That was the beauty of SL to me...basically 5 lifts that will get you going and in there, then it gets less intimidating and you may start feeling like you can try other stuff once you feel comfortable with those lifts!

    Good luck, would love to stay in touch! :)

    Yup I am on SL too, and find that a couple supp exercises are needed as well. It is a common complaint with the program. Dips and pull-ups (with or without assistance depending on your strength level) are a good supplement. I will also tack on maybe one or two iso exercises if I am having a particularly tough time busting through a plateau on a lift (ex. doing shoulder fly iso's if you have been stuck at same OHP for several sessions and deloads are not helping).