Calorie Counter

You are currently viewing the message boards in:

New to weightlifting - Thinner, Leaner, Stronger program

julie_emmajulie_emma Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
Hello! I'm new to weightlifting and purchased myself Michael Matthew's "Thinner Leaner Stronger" book as a guide to start a program. I've started today with Workout 1: Lower Body:
Barbell squat * 3 sets (8-10 reps)
Leg press * 3 sets (8-10 reps)
Romanian deadlifts * 3 sets (8-10 reps)
Hip thrust * 3 sets (8-10 reps)

Two newbie questions.
1. How do i know how much weight to start with? I only added 2.5 kg plates x 2 to my husband's squat bar today just to get used to the program, but I'm wondering what a typical beginner weight would be. For reference, I'm 5'4 and 118 pounds. In the book, Matthews mentions using a % of your maximum... But I don't know what my maximum is and I don't want to get injured trying to find out 🙂

2. Is there an alternative to the Leg Press that I can do at home? Today I did lunges with dumbbells.

Thanks!!
edited January 16

Replies

  • jenncornelsenjenncornelsen Posts: 972Member Member Posts: 972Member Member
    Beginner weight varies so greatly. Its good to start a bit lighter at the beginning to work on form, but when u feel comfortable you should be doing going till failure. If u can easily hammer out 15 reps, you can up the weight. You want it to be a challenge! Im unsure of an alternative to leg press though, sorry!
  • cathipacathipa Posts: 2,985Member Member Posts: 2,985Member Member
    Dumbbell lunges or split squats are good alternatives to leg press
  • erickirberickirb Posts: 12,401Member Member Posts: 12,401Member Member
    I would start how you are now, slowly add weight as you get the form down. once you start pushing yourself more, pick a weigh that you can do 3x8 with, once you get 8 reps on all 3 sets, up it to 9 reps, then 10. If you can do 10 on all 3 sets, add weight next time and do the same progression. 8,9,10, increase weight, 8,9,10, increase weight ...
  • julie_emmajulie_emma Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    erickirb wrote: »
    I would start how you are now, slowly add weight as you get the form down. once you start pushing yourself more, pick a weigh that you can do 3x8 with, once you get 8 reps on all 3 sets, up it to 9 reps, then 10. If you can do 10 on all 3 sets, add weight next time and do the same progression. 8,9,10, increase weight, 8,9,10, increase weight ...

    Thank you! This is helpful!
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Posts: 473Member Member Posts: 473Member Member
    OP I ran thinner leaner stronger for a year. I’d never done lifting before in a serious way. It’s totally normal to start with just the empty bar. Then follow what the programme says. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 then add 2.5 kg/ 5lbs.

    I can’t recall what he says about going to failure but from what I’ve since read, there is no need to go to failure on this type of programme and you would be best staying around rpe 8. RPE stands for rate of perceived exertion. It basically means reps in reserve. So with rpe 10 that would be to failure. RPE 8 is a weight you can do for a set, with about 2 reps in reserve.

    All I would say is don’t stress about anything too much. There is a lot to learn in that programme, the lifts are varied and change frequently which could be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage. It’s not a bad programme. But I found there was a lot to learn and there are simpler programmes out there for newbies.

    Also I would say that once you stall and can no longer add weight to the bar every session, it may be worth moving on to intermediate type programming. I stayed on the programme for about a year and looking back that was probably too long. Certain lifts has plateaued for me ( bench and ohp and deadlift)

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy it.
  • julie_emmajulie_emma Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    OP I ran thinner leaner stronger for a year. I’d never done lifting before in a serious way. It’s totally normal to start with just the empty bar. Then follow what the programme says. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 then add 2.5 kg/ 5lbs.

    I can’t recall what he says about going to failure but from what I’ve since read, there is no need to go to failure on this type of programme and you would be best staying around rpe 8. RPE stands for rate of perceived exertion. It basically means reps in reserve. So with rpe 10 that would be to failure. RPE 8 is a weight you can do for a set, with about 2 reps in reserve.

    All I would say is don’t stress about anything too much. There is a lot to learn in that programme, the lifts are varied and change frequently which could be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage. It’s not a bad programme. But I found there was a lot to learn and there are simpler programmes out there for newbies.

    Also I would say that once you stall and can no longer add weight to the bar every session, it may be worth moving on to intermediate type programming. I stayed on the programme for about a year and looking back that was probably too long. Certain lifts has plateaued for me ( bench and ohp and deadlift)

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy it.

    Thank you!! Great insight and tips 🙂
  • aubreyjordanaubreyjordan Posts: 265Member Member Posts: 265Member Member
    I'm currently working through Thinner Leaner Stronger. I started with the empty bars to see what I could do. I couldn't even do the olympic barbell for chest presses, and had to start with EZ bars or the ones they use for strength classes. First phase is more figuring out your working weight and form. It's trial and error :) Always better to start too light than too heavy. Feel free to add me if you'd like, I post about my sessions a few times a week.
  • gradchica27gradchica27 Posts: 594Member Member Posts: 594Member Member
    OP I ran thinner leaner stronger for a year. I’d never done lifting before in a serious way. It’s totally normal to start with just the empty bar. Then follow what the programme says. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 then add 2.5 kg/ 5lbs.

    I can’t recall what he says about going to failure but from what I’ve since read, there is no need to go to failure on this type of programme and you would be best staying around rpe 8. RPE stands for rate of perceived exertion. It basically means reps in reserve. So with rpe 10 that would be to failure. RPE 8 is a weight you can do for a set, with about 2 reps in reserve.

    All I would say is don’t stress about anything too much. There is a lot to learn in that programme, the lifts are varied and change frequently which could be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage. It’s not a bad programme. But I found there was a lot to learn and there are simpler programmes out there for newbies.

    Also I would say that once you stall and can no longer add weight to the bar every session, it may be worth moving on to intermediate type programming. I stayed on the programme for about a year and looking back that was probably too long. Certain lifts has plateaued for me ( bench and ohp and deadlift)

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy it.
    OP I ran thinner leaner stronger for a year. I’d never done lifting before in a serious way. It’s totally normal to start with just the empty bar. Then follow what the programme says. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 then add 2.5 kg/ 5lbs.

    I can’t recall what he says about going to failure but from what I’ve since read, there is no need to go to failure on this type of programme and you would be best staying around rpe 8. RPE stands for rate of perceived exertion. It basically means reps in reserve. So with rpe 10 that would be to failure. RPE 8 is a weight you can do for a set, with about 2 reps in reserve.

    All I would say is don’t stress about anything too much. There is a lot to learn in that programme, the lifts are varied and change frequently which could be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage. It’s not a bad programme. But I found there was a lot to learn and there are simpler programmes out there for newbies.

    Also I would say that once you stall and can no longer add weight to the bar every session, it may be worth moving on to intermediate type programming. I stayed on the programme for about a year and looking back that was probably too long. Certain lifts has plateaued for me ( bench and ohp and deadlift)

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy it.

    Just curious what you moved on to after TLS. I’m almost done with phase 5, and I’m plateauing as well. I’m sticking with it for now just bc I haven’t figured out where to go after this and just to finish it out. I tend to get 3/4 of the way through a program and get bored and look for greener pastures :)
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Posts: 473Member Member Posts: 473Member Member
    @gradchica27. I ran a programme called the bridge. Learned how to auto regulate my training. Then phul for 6 months. I thought it was ok. I’m now doing a programme from Eric helms muscle and strength training pyramids. 5 day split Lower upper lower push pull. It’s a fair amount of volume. I like it a lot. You get to choose exercises within reason.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Posts: 473Member Member Posts: 473Member Member
    @gradchica27. I ran a programme called the bridge. Learned how to auto regulate my training. Then phul for 6 months. I thought it was ok. I’m now doing a programme from Eric helms muscle and strength training pyramids. 5 day split Lower upper lower push pull. It’s a fair amount of volume. I like it a lot. You get to choose exercises within reason.

    I also did string curves for 6 months - I forgot. It wasn’t for me, I don’t like hip thrusts very much and I found the programme a bit of a faff with too many changes in exercise. I know other people love strong curves I just never got into it and it made goungbto the gym a chore so I switched to phul.
  • thescouselander77thescouselander77 Posts: 31Member, Premium Member Posts: 31Member, Premium Member
    As others have said it’s probably best to start with the empty bar and increase from there. Some other thoughts though.

    When I started weight training I hired a PT who gave me a program very similar to Thinner Leaner Stronger and I stuck with that for maybe nine months and made ok but not spectacular progress. After that I tried Starting Strength which has been much better for a number of reasons which I believe to be as follows

    With a programme like Thinner Leaner Stronger there are a lot of exercises to learn. Also fitting all that in over a week means there is at least a week gap between hitting an exercise again which is too long. Starting Strength on the other hand focusses on fewer full body/compound exercises spread over two workouts which means 1) you can be in and out of the gym faster and 2) you can really focus on perfecting form since there are fewer exercises and they're done more often - this was hugely beneficial for me at least and 3) hitting the exercises more often seems to build muscle more effectively (certainly for me anyway). Also I prefer doing 5 heavy reps per set vs 10 lighter reps and again it has been very effective for me in building strength faster.

    So, I guess the bottom line is I started doing a program similar to Thinner Leaner Stronger but if I could go back, I'd do Starting Strength or Strong Lifts instead. I'd definitely recommend taking a look to see if it might work better for you.
    edited January 24
  • adrienneh88adrienneh88 Posts: 6Member, Premium Member Posts: 6Member, Premium Member
    Is there a link to Starting Strength or is a program you pay for?
  • thescouselander77thescouselander77 Posts: 31Member, Premium Member Posts: 31Member, Premium Member
    Is there a link to Starting Strength or is a program you pay for?

    Here you go

    https://startingstrength.com/index.php/get-started/programs

    If you like the look of it the book can be picked up cheaply on Amazon.


    I'd just add I didn't bother with the power clean as it's quite technical and I didn't have anyone to train me on it so I replaced that with a bent over row (although it's not really equivalent) - other options are available on that one.
    edited January 25
  • RCPVRCPV Posts: 397Member Member Posts: 397Member Member
    But I found there was a lot to learn and there are simpler programmes out there for newbies.

    Could you list a few of the better ones, please? Total newbie here.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Posts: 473Member Member Posts: 473Member Member
    RCPV wrote: »
    But I found there was a lot to learn and there are simpler programmes out there for newbies.

    Could you list a few of the better ones, please? Total newbie here.

    There’s a thread at the top called ‘which lifting programme is best for you’

    I am not a lifting expert I would describe myself as an early intermediate. But if I had my time again I would start off with the beginners prescription by ber medicine. It’s on their website. There’s a free 4 week intro, after that you have to pay for the full beginner programme. Otherwise any of the programmes on the thread here are ok. Tbh anything will ‘work’ for a beginner for a few weeks.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Posts: 473Member Member Posts: 473Member Member
    Sorry fat fingers.

    Barbellmedicine.com. Is the website for the beginners prescription.
  • RCPVRCPV Posts: 397Member Member Posts: 397Member Member
    @cupcakesandproteinshakes Thanks, I'll go to the website and give it a try. :)
Sign In or Register to comment.