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I'm new and looking for guidance

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    I'm new and looking for guidance

    Hello everyone !

    I'm Phil, a 21-year-old male, and I'm definitely in need of working out. Let me expose to you my situation.

    I'm 174 cm/5'7 and 50 kg/110 lbs, so I'm very skinny. I also basically didn't do any sport for the last 3 years, I also like playing video games and I study computer science, so I spend a LOT of time sitting at a desk, with a questionable posture to say the least. Finally, even though it has recently improved, I don't eat a lot (hence why I'm so skinny, on some days I'm at ~1000 calories) but I also eat a lot of baf things, like chocolate (I've reduced the consumption quite a lot these past months).

    What I want is not to be very muscular, but to be built and well defined if that makes sense. Since I barely have anything to burn, I figured out strength workouts were what I would need. But I have questions:
    1. Should I use a training plan (I was thinking of the Gladiator one) or programs?
    2. If I use programs, should I do something like Foundation, then add the programs for abs and upper-body? Or should I directly go into a level 3 strength program? I'm kinda scared it'll be too hard.
    3. When looking at mealplans, I have two "issues". The first is that I'm not vegetarian/vegan and I don't intend on making that step. The second is that it looks like every mealplan is made for losing weight, which is not what I'm going for. I struggle to even fit 1800 calories in an app like Lifesum when using the mealplans as guides. I know there existed a Mass Effect mealplan, what I'm using right now is the preset 6, but not doing the fasting part, so eating 3 meals a days. I guess it's good enough and I should try to eat a reasonable amount and that's the end of it.
    Here were my questions, thanks for your help and have a nice day!

    Philemon Welcome to the Hive. Foundation Program would be a good start. This program would give you an opportunity to workout daily for 30 days. It would perhaps give you a lead in to your next step. The nice thing is give it a try, if itโ€™s not for you try something else.



      First of all, wotking out is a great decision. Especially with your sitting "job"... try to stand (up) as often as possible...

      To your questions:
      1. That's up to you, but in the beginning a program is a good way to get a feeling, what kind of exercises you like or need...
      2. "Square One" is an easy strength program, you might try it. You can always make the exercise harder, if it should be too easy.
      3. Eat, eat, eat, especially look out for enough protein.
      Putting your stats (without workouts) in a TDEE calculator gave ~1800kcal would be just enough to hold your weight, it is not enough to "bulk up". So with working out you should eat yourself up to at least 2000kcal to hold your weight and more to gain. Did I mention protein...
      Have fun on your journey!



        Yeah like other says, you can pick a lvl1 or 2 program, and see how it feels. You can add things like the Totals program, which I love, later on or a challenge or two, but I recommend adding things slowly...

        Personally I have just started exercising again after 3 months+ of no workout. My fitness has dropped a lot, and I am trying out different things. I am not on any program right now but doing several challenges plus a light workout or two every day.

        I wouldn't rush the amount of food, but gradually increase the intake. If you eat 1000 kal, maybe try to reach 1100 the next day, 1200 next week, and so on.


          First of all: welcome

          The Fitness Test is a good way to understand what level you are at and what you can really do.
          For the training I would choose a 30 day program to get used to moving every day and learn how the training proposed by Darebee works.
          Just one workout to follow without adding extras makes things simple and simple things always work.
          For the "diet" maybe try to think about how to eat healthier rather than calories.
          They are just ideas


            Welcome to the Hive Philemon
            Lots of great advice up there!

            I can just jump on the bandwagon and say take it easy, esp. in the beginning.
            Try to find a routine your schedule supports. Programs are great for that.
            Go for the protein. Easy on the chocolate, though. That's just fat and sugars. Whey is the way, if you're not vegan.
            DOMS will be your faithful companion in the beginning, but will go away eventually.
            Try to be consistent and embrace the grind.
            Open a training log here, if you need the extra kick of accountability.
            Show some love to the beekeepers if you are happy with all the great stuff you find here.

            All the best and good luck.
            Looking forward hearing from you,


              Hi everyone, and thank you for your answers!

              Right now I'm not in a place where I'm comfortable working out, I'll be back home early next month, so that's when I plan on beginning. Still, I'm playing table tennis for 1 to 2 hours every day so I'm moving a bit.

              I'll start with Square One, likely adding a program for abs since I already have some back problems, my sister who's a kinetherapist always tells me I should work on my core.

              I'll also aim for 3 good meals a day, I'm at a point where I should just try to eat a lot of good stuff so I won't be too strict on that front. I'll give myself a couple of restaurants and one patisserie a week to keep the morale up. I already did this for the past month, but I'll continue not buying any "sugary foods".

              I'm blessed with being able to see results rapidly since I'm so thin, so I'm thrilled to see what it does. I also have some sleep issues and I think working out can help on that front too.

              Thanks for your help!


                If you are trying to strengthen your abs and have back problems, go for hanging leg raises and all their mutations. They are a lot easier on the back than sit-ups and such. As added benefit they train your forearms too. You'll just need somewhere to hold on to. Tree, doorway, scaffold, jungle-gym, pull-up bar ...


                  I have mild scoliosis and posture problems. For now it doesn't affect me too much because I'm still young, so I think I can do sit ups without problems (at least I could a few years ago).

                  Also I remember my sister told me planks would be a very goos exercise to do, I enjoy it a bit as you can easily track the progression and I know there are some workouts entirely focused on planks, so maybe I'll add that to the program a few times a week instead of doing 2 programs at once.

                  What do you think?


                    Personally I think plank is nice if you get the form right. You can have pain at the lower back or other areas if you do it wrong.

                    I once did the 1-Minute Plank challenge, which was 1 minute elbow plank every day for 30 days. It was a nice routine and I was surprisingly consistent on the time each day I did it. I have heard that 1 minute (plank) is sweet enough for the health need of average people.

                    But I really recommend the Back and Core program if you have lower back pain/ problem. It's an add-on program so it's designed to be done on top of anything else or you can do it alone. The program took me about 10 minutes each day if I remembered it right. I have done it three times already.


                      The Back & Core program is definitely on my TODO list. I'll start small with Square One to try and build the habit, then I'll think I'll go to level 2, doing Foundation at a low-intensity level but adding Back & Core and Arms of Steel. That's my plan because there is no "generalist strength program" at difficulty 2, so I'm doing Foundation to keep my whole body moving, and add-ons for building specific muscles.