What's a good program to start with?

Nicholas Marsala

Level 1 Valued Member
Hey everyone I'm now trying to get back into shape after a very long stressful year. I'd like to start off with mastering my own weight and could use a good program. Does anyone here have any recommendations? My ultimate goal is ultimately to be able to do the Marine Corp twenty ( it's now 23 I think ) for Chin ups and Pull ups all the way up all the way down. I at one point had no problem knocking out at least 10 of them but can now only really do one which is so embarrassing. Also in addition to all of this I've unfortunately gained some weight and am in the 190's. I believe I'm 5'9 which I really need to verify. If anyone has any recommendations for that it would be much appreciated. Thanks and take care!


Level 8 Valued Member
First, check your diet, second mayby Pull-Push-Leg-Lift split plan would be OK for you.


Level 8 Valued Member
Simple, on day one you do Pull-ups, on the second - Push-ups, on third - Leg, and on the last - Lift.
Lets take Pull-ups as an example. Perform 8 sets of max reps, each followed by 2-3 minutes rest.
Do the same with Push-ups, Squats, and Presses.

George Locke

Level 2 Valued Member
If it's been a while since you've trained regularly, I'd consider starting slow with 1-3 sets at first. When you're unaccustomed to training, (A) you'll respond quickly to anything you do and (B) you'll tend to get more sore. (When you're used to a particular stress, you're less apt to get hurt by it. For more details, "delayed onset muscle soreness" and "repeated bout effect".) You can ramp up volume rapidly, but getting super sore after your first workout can make it harder to keep going. The good news is that when you're a beginner, if you do anything even semi-regularly, you will get better fast.

My recommendation for beginners is to do a "full body" work out 2-3 times a week: warm up briefly (dynamic stretching, jog in place, jump rope, etc.) and then do 2-5 sets of 3 exercises: push ups, pull ups, squat. If you want/have time for more, I'd add some kind of "hinge" (e.g. glute bridge) and some kind of abs exercise (leg lift or crunch).

Unlike with a barbell, you can't add or remove plates from your body. The load is fixed, so you change the difficulty by progressing/regressing the technique. Here's an infographic that shows progressions BASIC ROUTINE INFOGRAPHIC.pdf


Level 7 Valued Member
Also worth noting that most American men cannot do a single pull up. Pull ups are hard.
Also they require a wider bar. I've got my bars screwed inside door frames so chinups are about all that's feasible. Chinups are good enough in my opinion and besides they make your biceps bigger.

What I always did for chinups was to do as many as possible, then rest for a few minutes, then do as many as possible again, and then another rest, more chinups etc, as long as I could stand it. It's also good to do other kinds of moves on the bar like leg raises, and there's something called a "lever" which is a nifty move (although I could only do it after barbell training far above my own bodyweight.)

Chinups hardly cover your whole body. Walking or similar is needed also.


Level 6 Valued Member
Hey everyone I'm now trying to get back into shape after a very long stressful year. I'd like to start off with mastering my own weight and could use a good program
I'll just say that bodyweight is not a good alternative when we are out of shape. You can make it work, of course, but there are easier and safer alternatives in my opinion.
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