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Please keep questions on topic, write clearly, concisely, and don't post diet calculations.

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Chase
Chase

Hi Andy, I hope this message finds you well. I’m having some trouble in choosing between the intermediate programs, and I am looking for some suggestions. My primary goal is strength, but I’d like more focus on my physique (back and arms specifically).

Also, I read a comment of yours on another article that you no longer program dips, but they’re still included in the intermediate BB program. What would you suggest replacing them with? Close grip bench press perhaps?

Thanks in advance.

Jan
Jan

Hey Andy,

I am an endurance athlete and I am on the Novice Bodybuilding Program. I ride 2-3h every day.

Would it be worth it to continue the novice program and just make progress as long as possible? Or go with the intermediate program?

My maintence calories are 4300. What do you think my macros should be to gain muscles?

I don’t know what to eat to not overconsume protein… so, do you have any food/ meal recommendations?

Thanks in advance.

Chris
Chris

Hi Andy , I am currently treating a lower body injury so cannot train lower body . Can you suggest an upper body program to follow in meantime . Thanks .

Chris
Chris

Thanks Andy for your advice and knowledge .

Trevor Martin
Trevor Martin

Andy. How loose is your definition of progress from session to session? I’m in a cut and really liking the novice bodybuilding program. I was on the John Meadows Onslaught but realized his programs are waaaay to high volume and probably not suited for a natural trainee. I can make strength gains fairly easily because I took 12 months off. However, personally I like to stick with a weight for 2 sometimes 3 weeks in order to allow the stabilizing muscles to recover properly before I add weight. Would you consider myself a novice or intermediate trainee? Is it okay to use a novice program like that even if you are an intermediate trainee? Maybe switch to Int pgm when bulking? Thank you

Trevor Martin
Trevor Martin

Thanks Andy!

Arturo
Arturo

Hi Andy, great article, thank you very much for writing it! 😉

Just out of curiosity, you mentioned The Rock as a guy gifted in the genetic department when it comes to arm development, but dont you believe is possible that its also because he may be using anabolic steroids?

Taran
Taran

Hey Andy, first I want to say thanks for all the free content.

Secondly, my question is I’ve been training for about 7-8 years now, most of which has been program hopping. I’ve made a little bit of progress and can perform most lifts with really good form. I’m a 23 year old male, 6’0, 225 lbs, and roughly 18-20% bf at the moment. I want to cut down to 205-ish so I’ll be around 10-12% bf before massing. Would it be worth it to start with the novice program and just make progress as long as possible while in a deficit and then focus on maintaining through the rest of the cut? Or go with the intermediate program? Thanks in advance!

Taran
Taran

Awesome, thanks! One other question, would it be alright to do a little extra volume for side/rear delts and arms?

Taran
Taran

Thanks!

Brian
Brian

Hey Andy, on the progress tracker that you’ve given as a free download, how would you structure the big 3? Given that the workouts change days each week, I’m wondering how to set this up on the tracker as it’s based on days of the week with weeks going across horizontally. Probably not making much sense in text form, but should make sense with the visuals.

Brian
Brian

Hi Andy, I really appreciate the reply, but I don’t think I explained very well.

Let’s say you have a ‘strong lifts’ type of routine, with an A workout & a B workout to be performed 3xpw.

On the sheet you’d have A on day one, B on day 2 & then A again on day 3 for week one, the following week you’d have B on day one, A, on day 2 & then B again on day 3,

The problem then occurs with listing the workouts on the sheet, since the workouts are changing days each week, but sheet is structured with a fixed specific workout to a specific day of the week.

I’m sure there’s other ways, but I like the simplicity of your sheet. Hope this makes sense & Thanks again

Brian
Brian

Perfect, I hadn’t though of that, thanks!

Luke Doran
Luke Doran

Hey Andy,

I have a fair few clients who can only train x2 / week – most due to life & circumstance, others as lifting isn’t their main sport (e.g combat sports being the most common)

I’ve always kept things simple and more often than not followed a linear approach to increasing volume these guys (as discussed in your article above)

After reading the strength pyramid and what looks to be “optimal” volume etc it got me thinking…

So My Q:

As it’s harder to hit those more optimal volume targets over just 2 d/week, would you lean towards having bigger longer sessions e.g more sets?

Or just keep at an appropriate level without overtraining and know progress might not be as fast as volume is lower?

How would you go about structuring a 2d/w plan for a novice and intermediate?

Appreciate any thoughts, tips & guidance! 🤗😎💪🏻!

Brandon
Brandon

Hello Andy,

I have been following your work for a few months now and definitely want to follow one of your programs. I’ve read a lot of the content on your site, but was wondering if I could get some advice on my situation to go along with the info.

I am a 22-year-old male with a couple of years of training experience, though I have been bad about program hopping and what not. I have been very inconsistent for the past six months or so and feel I have lost a lot of my strength and I have gained a good bit of fat. I figure I should start with a novice program to build back up, but am not sure whether to fo with something such as the Novice Bodybuilding Routine, the Big 3 routine, or Novice Powerlifting Routine.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Brandon
Brandon

Thank you so much for the quick response! When you go with either of the others, do you mean besides the Big 3? As in pick either the novice bodybuilding or powerlifting depending on which sounds most exciting?

Thanks again so much for the response and awesome content!

Sebastian
Sebastian

I’m 31 I’ve been going to gyms for 5 years now, before all i did was outdoor stuff (rock climb, mountain bike, kayak, surf, skate, etc…) when i started i had no idea what i was doing so I’ve hopped around trying many different programs from mass builders to CrossFit and HIIT, and always find myself in an overtraining situation and I think it comes from two things; initially i felt guilty if i wasn’t constantly training to get better for a navy SO contract I was chasing and now I just really enjoy exercise and working out so I tend to over do it. This program is very simple and short which i know is by design but I’m worried I’ll get bored. Is it okay to do yoga or something in addition?

My goal is a better physique I’m fine with strength levels currently. My diet is trash but I’m changing it.
6’1” 223lbs ~15-18% bf
315 bench (bad shoulder)
430 squat
520 deadlift

P.s. as someone with two very bad shoulders. I️ can’t agree more with avoiding dips and kipping pull ups. I️ even have trouble with my bench and push ups because of it.

Glenn
Glenn

I’ve been training for 1.5 years now, gained 27lbs by doing a full body routine and lately an upper/lower split. But due to my upcoming exams I can only train 2 times a week.

Would a full body (A/B) style still be effective?

Also, my TDEE is around 2400 calories, should I lower this to 2200 now that I’m only working out 2 times a week instead of 3-4?

Thanks!

David
David

Hi Andy,

How do you tell if you have sufficient recovery? I’m 190lbs, 45yo, with a 4×5 of 200 bench, 215 squat, and 280 dead about 6 months in using an ABAB weekly split. (I tried a Big 3 type AAA weekly and my lifts quickly cratered at my age). I’ve stopped progressing, and can’t tell if I should add sets or decrease volume to an ABA split. BTW I naturally have a big chest and long thin legs so the bench and squat numbers being so close doesn’t really surprise me.

Elton
Elton

Great stuff thanks Andy – you answered a couple of questions already 🙂

Jon
Jon

Hi Andy, do you have any information on training resources catered specifically to women?

I have a sister that is in the process of trying to improve her physique. She has gotten her dietary lifestyle locked in and has been shedding a lot of body fat. Now she is in a position where she wants to increase the intensity of her training. Like most women, she has the phobia of getting “too big/bulky.” I have tried to dispel these worries to an extent, telling her that at this point she still just needs to focus on weight/fat loss, but admittedly my knowledge regarding training is pretty much exclusive to men. While I believe wholly in the training approaches you espouse on the site, I would like to provide her some more specialized resources regarding training approaches for women. Any resources you would recommend? Thanks!

oliver hinojosa
oliver hinojosa

hi my name is oliver, i was wondering if you offer any time up of training program, As in work out program or service that i could maybe get to follow . I am not so good at setting up a program to do my self. i am currently trying to prep for a novice bodybuilding and want to try the methods you teach and try a workout program if you offer it of course

Andrew Colucci
Andrew Colucci

Hey Andy. I’ve been lifting for about 5 years but never really followed a solid training program. My strength numbers would leave me still at the beginner level. I always followed a bodybuilding style routine, 5-6 days per week. Would I benefit from using a 3 day split and focusing on building strength with RPT?

Gabe
Gabe

Love your site and articles, Andy. I was just wondering, if alright with you, that i can have some suggestions to further study this? Do you have textbooks i can look up or literature to search on this articles topic. I am not challenging you or doubting the information provided, i just want to learn and further research this (weight training while on a deficit, cardio, stress, and dieting). Thanks in advance 🙂

David
David

Hi Andy,

First of all, thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise – it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I’m on here most days.

I’m currently coming to the end of my cutting phase – 12%BF and lower abs almost visible – and began planning my bulking routine after a two week stabilisation period (I feel more a sign of enjoying the journey/thinking than rushing to the next step)

However, I’ve found that using kettlebells at home to the form of training I can stick to most – routine, cost and general enjoyment wise. 5×5 has helped me make well above expected progress towards my cutting goal along side your nutritional advice.

Would you have any kettlebell routine recommendations for the bulking phase?

I’m considering German Volume Training with front squats and military presses – however, reading of their potential detrimental effects on strength go against your advice to focus on strength and size will come.

I’d consider myself begginer-intermedieted.

Kindest regards,
David

Christine
Christine

Hi Andy,
I am enjoying all the information I have been reading on your site.
I know that it tends to be frowned on, but where could one find a good strength and endurance program?
Love lifting, but love running. I understand doing both limits strength and limits running records, but that isn’t why I do either.
Not looking for hypertrophy, more strength and physical benefits of lifting.
Thanks!

Pedro
Pedro

Hi andy , ive read that doing weighted dips could damage my shoulders in the long term, my goal is to be able to do dips 2x my bodyweight (80kg), right now I’m at bw+15kg and I haven’t had any problems and I wanna continue doing dips cause is one of the exercises I like the most, do you think I can continue until i reach my goal or should I change dips for something else? And if so what exercise do you recommend? My chest routine right now is dips and bench press rpt style, and push ups with my hands forming a triangle

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