I owe this forum and so many people here a lot. Since I found this place my life has become transformed, I don't even dare to think where I would be if I hadn't found this place and integrated many of the good advice given here. So I thought it would be time to give something back. In this post I'll try to post everything that I have learned when it comes to weightlifting. This is not just my ideas, some is mine and some is things I've picked up and incorporated. The general idea of weight lifting When you get down to the very basic principles of lifting it all comes to fighting against gravity. We do this by utilising good technique and our muscle strength. To lift heavier objects we need to be stronger and to get stronger we need to lift things which are heavier than things what we are used to lift. This is common sense for everyone but I am stating this because I want it to be abundantly clear. The fundemantal idea behind lifting is to always aim to get stronger in the exercises you use. That's it, period! It seems many people seem to forget this very basic law of lifting when it comes to chosing the right work out program to follow. People tend to jump on any shortcut they can find to get bigger and stronger fast. If you want progress you should stick to the very basic lifts, do not jump onto any new fad-program which flourishes on different bodybuilding forums. Be conservative, even stubborn in changing your program. If you progress, then keep your program as it is and get any idea of changing your program out of your mind. Progress in weight lifting comes with dedication, persistance and ever increasing weights in the gym in the basic exercises. No new program, any fancy technique such as drop sets, super sets, etc is going to change this. The volume in your program to avoid overtraining THere are no cut programs which fit every person on this planet. Everyones body is different and our ability to recuperate from a workout differs. In general though I recommend to cycle your training and not go heavy all the time. This prevents overtraining from occuring and halting your progress with motivation loss and even injury. It stands to reason that the heavier you lift the more tax you will have on your body. Lifting lighter means you can do more sets, lifting heavier means you need to do less work for the same effect. The more you tax your body the less work you can do and the more recovery you need. I usually cycle my workouts with 2-3 months basis. Taking one week off then starting up again. At the start of a new cycle I usually lower my weights to about 85-90% of my normal rep-weight (i.e, if I squat 350 for 10 reps, I rep 300 for 10 reps with more sets at start of cycle). I then increase weight the next 2-3 weeks to my ordinary rep range and then I start to decrease the amount of sets I do as I reach and go past 100% of my normal rep range. Example: Leg day at start of cycle: 3 set squats 10 reps per set 3 set leg press 10 reps per set 3 set kneeling hamstring raises as many as possible 3 set stiff leg deadlifts 8 rep 3 set standing calf raises 8 rep heavy as possible Leg day at end of cycle 1-2 set squats 10 reps 1 set leg press 10 reps 3 set kneeling hamstring raises as many rep as possible 2 set standing calf raises 8 rep As you can see the amount of volume is severly cut at the end making it possible to go all out at the end of the workouts and pushing to the limit. Going lighter at the start of the cycle makes it possible to correct any possible degrading in form as well as not having to go insane from the psychic strain of going balls to the walls. Choosing a good program and rep range A good program is easily identified by a few parameters. Firstly if you intend to gain mass then it should be mainly focused around the compound lifts. A good program should also not have too much volume as I wrote above and it should be a balanced program which train every body part. It should also be constructed so there are not too many conflicting muscle groups, i.e not train triceps heavily and then bench press the next day. The important thing is to find what sort of program fits you and your recovery ability. For some it might be good to train five times a week while some people will need to have only one training every fourth day. Just make sure you feel fresh in the muscles you are about to train. There are no right and wrong as long as you manage to progress on your exercises. Rep ranges is also a very debattable subject. In general I do not recommend to have too low rep range on exercises. I know this contradicts everyone who says that low rep is the best things. There are a few reasons why I believe in this. Using low reps makes it harder to increase the weights and from my experience form degredation is more likely to occur. If you however can use low reps without degrading form then go ahead. In general I like 4-8 reps on upper body exercises and 6-10 on lower body exercises. To give an example of a program I will post my own which you can modify as you wish. It is not an optimal program for everyone and I dont say it will fit you. Day 1: Legs - Abs - Shoulders 3 set standing military presses 3 set squats 2 set leg press 3 set kneeling hamstring raises as many as possible 3 set stiff leg deadlifts 8 rep 3 set standing calf raises 8 rep heavy as possible 3 set crunches /w weights 3 set the plank /w weight on back Day 2 Chest - Traps - Lats - forearms - rotator cuffs 3 set Bench press (powerlifting style) 2 set db bench press 3 set bent over rows 3 set lat pulldowns or pull-ups /w weights 2 set seated rows 3 set reverse curls for flex extensors 4 set rotator cuff exercises Day 3 Lower back - upper traps - Arms 3 set deadlifts 3 set shrugs 3 set biceps curls /w straight bar 2 set db curls 3 set skull crushers 2 set dips I've built this program so there are as little conflicting exercises as possible.