The Lost Greenhorn by A.J. Miller
Which is essentially how all new guys look; dopey and on a horse too small
As more and more dudes start getting into lifting I am getting more and more messages about “where do I start?”. Congratulations you’re getting started, the bullying or the self-reflection finally paid off. There is a metric shit ton of information out there about diet and exercise, and I know what you are thinking: why should I listen to this asshole? Well, I’m not selling you anything, for one; for a second, I just want to create gangs of muscle mages casting beef bomb onto goobers in their natural habitat (roll for accuracy dude). So anyway this is gonna be a 3 part primer series for new fellas on lifting, cardio (yeah, you need it), and diet. This is gonna be for the dudes with absolutely nothing but still want to get into a semblance of shape; splitting the whole thing into thick boy and thin boy.
I figure I had better get into this part first since that seems to be what most people care about. Like I said this if for you guys with absolutely no equipment, so take that into consideration when you read this. First: building absolute strength (like a one-rep max) without external forces is difficult, but that's not to say you can't get strong or big it will just be in a different way. For centuries dudes have been building capable physiques through nothing but calisthenics movements. Greeks, Romans, Indians… all these cultures are known for some type of training regime, so let's copy them. You will be your own gym. What do you need? You need a push, pull, and a lower body movement. For these purposes, we will use the pushup, the pullup, and the lunge. For calisthenics I have found that the total rep method works the best, that being choosing a number of repetitions and getting that in. How do I progress? Well once you can hit that number of reps in half the sets you started doing, add more reps OR make the exercise more difficult. So say I’m doing regular old pushups on my pushing day for 100 or so reps, now it takes me 4-6 sets to get that done. So when I can get 100 reps in 2-3 sets (so 50 or so reps per set) I will move on to incline pushups or ring pushups, or I will start doing 200 total reps. See what I’m doing here? You move one method at a time. Below is a VERY basic list of progressional exercises, feel free to play around with them and/or share your experience with progression from movement to movement. So if you are a thick or thin boy, move slowly through the easier motions (slower than usual) to keep your muscles under tension just to build some muscle and get used to the movement. Being heavy or under muscled will make pull-ups difficult, KEEP WORKING. I promise they will come to you either by just the loss of weight or the building of muscle (slow pushups help with pullups, from what I have found).
Decline Pushup (hands higher than feet) > Half Pushup (slowly increasing range of motion) > Full Pushup > Incline Pushup (feet higher than hands) > One Arm Pushup
Inverted Row > Negative Pullup (jump up, lower slowly) > Half Pullup (slowly increasing range of motion) > Full Pullup > L Pullup (feet in front of the body)
Intense Arnold images
Supported Squat (squatting holding something for support) > Full Squat > Walking Lunge > Half Pistol (one-legged squat slowly adding range of motion) > Full Pistol
Oh yes, you gotta do some kind of cardio. Why do you ask? Well, health and recovery. You'll build up some work capacity (being able to workout more and recover from it). If you're a thick boy: walk. I swear to fuck if I have said this once I’ve said it a billion times: just walk. Most times when overweight dudes add in some extra movement and diet a little, the weight will fall off. It will also strengthen your ankles when you get to the point where you can run. And for the love of God, don't mosey through a park. Walk with some purpose. Something like 20 to 60 minutes daily would be best, do what you can but no less than 2 hours walking a week. For thin boys: sprint and sprint hard. Sprinting will help build up some leg mass if you treat it like an exercise. I would go hard for a distance of 40-100m, then rest for 90 or so seconds, for 5-10 sets. Extra points if you find a good ass hill to run up. Thin boys need less cardio (to get bigger) so you guys should sprint 1-2 times a week and walk for an hour or so. Yeah, you need to walk too.
You are what you eat, generally speaking. Now if you're poor or have no control over the food you eat, do what you can with what you got. Greek oarsmen ate bread with oil and drank beer but could still out row modern Olympic rowers, so I’m assuming they had backs like barn fucking doors. So when you eat focus on protein sources like meat, dairy, and beans. If you are thin, eat more carbs (low carb and ketogenic dudes are screaming). If you are thick, eat fewer carbs. What are carbs? Potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, corn… so on and so forth. NOT SUGAR. Don’t go eat fifty fucking cookies and say Rune Goon said to eat more carbs. It's literally this easy fellas, thin: eat more, thick: eat less, keep protein high.