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    Hi guys and girls!!

    I've signed up for the gym recently and am set to have my induction upcoming Tuesday. My goals are to get physically fit, muscle defined body and slightly bigger (although I would not want to be categorized as a body builder who constantly makes gains, even when he/she looks huge to start with.) I know this description might sound very vague, so I do apologize for that. I've done a bit of research and have come across the Ice Cream Fitness 5x5 Novice programme. I have a few concerns regarding it, especially considering I know nothing about the gym or weights!

    1) Some of the exercises, such as the deadlift and bent over row, seem to require the right technique for a beginner not to do their back in. Do you think most novices will be ok starting out like this?
    2) A lot of them involve freeweights rather than machines themselves. I hear a lot of people telling others that novices shouldn't really focus on freeweight until they really know what they're doing

    Other then that, from my own knowledge and what others have said, it seems like quite a reputable programme. If any fitness guru's have any advice regarding some of these exercises, or recommend a new programme, I'd be grateful for some help. I'm a complete noob when it comes to the gym but have set myself a challenge which I an intent on achieving!
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    Few points really mate.

    Firstly, I think ICF is a total pile of s***. No beginner needs to be doing that kind of volume. Some may say "Oh, but I had good results with it and so did my friend!" - you're a beginner. ANYTHING will work when you're a beginner. Arnold f***ing Schwarzenegger's 6 day a week, 2x a day routine would work, doesn't mean I'd recommend it.
    Lyle McDonald's Generic Bulking Routine is a good one. https://forums.lylemcdonald.com/showthread.php?t=1696
    It says in the description that it's not suited for beginners, but I disagree. It covers the entire body and focuses on the basics and progression with high frequency. Doesn't get more suited to a beginner than that. Follow the instructions, stick to the lowest number of sets recommended and rather than deloading every 6 or so weeks, just deload when progress stalls. Got my best mate on this routine atm who started training a few months ago, his weights are rocketing up, he's gained muscle and he's not in the gym for more than an hour with me.

    Secondly, ditch the "I don't want to get that big" attitude. Train like you want to get big as quickly as possible. You won't get too big overnight, far from.

    Freeweights are suitable for all levels of lifter. Start light at first, learn the form, go up in weights when you've nailed the movement.

    Anyhoo, take a look at the stickied FAQ in the fitness forum mate, should answer any other questions regarding eating to gain and anything else.
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    Most of us here who lift are self taught. The thing is just to put some effort into learning technique. You won't learn to deadlift by hiding from deadlifts. Read, watch videos, start light, film yourself, criticise yourself and if in doubt ask friends who lift (who are not muppets) or post videos here for feedback
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    In my opinion you should go with the routine you like the look/sound of the most, since you'll be doing it a lot and if you don't like it you won't do it. Like WoodyMKC says you'll get results in the beginning whatever lifting programme you're on, so long as it's covering the major areas. A simpler version of ICF is StrongLifts 5x5 which you can do if you feel like lowering ICF's volume.

    That being said, I'm a novice and doing ICF 5x5. I enjoy my time in the gym so I'm fine putting in the extra time and effort. It's a solid programme and although the accessory lifts are by no means necessary, the gains over time I believe are better than if you cut them out.
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    Thanks for all the feedback guys. Personally, I might take the simplest workout for now which seems to be the StrongLifts 5x5 and go about as it sets out: adding 2.5kg each workout. I think this might help me get the proper technique when it comes onto the bigger weights. If all does go successful, would it be acceptable to use the SL workouts and add the extra that the ICF programme includes after a couple weeks or so? I notice that ICF just adds some extra exercises for hypertrophy.
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    (Original post by Studento)
    Thanks for all the feedback guys. Personally, I might take the simplest workout for now which seems to be the StrongLifts 5x5 and go about as it sets out: adding 2.5kg each workout. I think this might help me get the proper technique when it comes onto the bigger weights. If all does go successful, would it be acceptable to use the SL workouts and add the extra that the ICF programme includes after a couple weeks or so? I notice that ICF just adds some extra exercises for hypertrophy.
    You can switch from SL to ICF any time. :yy:
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    All these routines are basically the same so just do whatever. You need to learn good deadlift technique anyway if you want to lift weights...
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    Isn't ICF West Ham's hooligan firm?
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    For the record I don't understand why people are now making a point of not including Starting Strength in these discussions, since it's probably the best version.
 
 
 
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