The same topics keep popping up over and over, so here is a thread to answer common questions before they get asked again.
First, a disclaimer:
You know that "consult a physician" warning you see regarding every single physical activity? It is there for a reason. Fitness is not a joke. Any sort of physical training has a certain degree of risk, and as such, we ask that you take such topics seriously. The regulars in this forum play hard, but when it comes to training we work even harder. As such, there is a degree of responisibly on the part of you - the reader/potential poster - to do your research before asking a question that has been answered and explained on the daily.
TL;DR: If you are getting hemmed up, you probably deserve it.
Now that the (un)pleasantries are taken care of, the actual info and guidelines.
First off, read this thread:
FAQ - For Those Just Starting And Those Well On Their Way.
It will answer a good 90% of the questions posted on this subforum, if not more. Question not answered there? Doesn't mean you are cleared to post just yet.
Question regarding diet?
Go here. Read the links. Obey the links.
Nutrition is 95% of fitness, easy. Until your diet is great, your body never will be. And until you had an understanding of diet, don't ask about supplements.
Question regarding a supplement?
The Supplements thread. No steroid discussion (take it outside)
Address it here. And read through the thread before you do to make sure your question hasn't already been beaten into the ground with a dead horse. What's that? Reading is hard? Well proper training is harder, so suck it up.
New to this whole fitness thing and want a quickstart?
First, read the above threads. However, a good starting protocol for anyone starting a strength training program is...
Predictable, right? Don't be scurred by the wall of text that greets you when you click the link. It is broken down Barney-style and is more good information than you can shake your stick at. Read it, learn it, and for the time you can, live it. Ride that train until you start putting up decent numbers, then start worrying about other programs.
Big Boy Programs:
Things like LeanGains (LG) and DoggCrapp (DC) are fantastic programs once you have gotten a good base from Starting Strength. Everyon'e favorite megamod Lurker27 has wicked-good easy-to-follow guides here:
Lurker's total guide to DC training
Lurker's Guide to Leangains
Hard, blunt facts about mainstream fitness:
Mens Fitness is a crock of **** and their "programs" are comically bad.
GNC will bend you over. Should your above reading and training lead you to need supplements, buy online.
If you are a dude, "toned" is not a good adjective for you. Women seek to get "toned" after their third child. "Shredded" is good. "Big" is good, "jacked" is good.
Brad Pitt circa Fight Club was skinny and weak, you do not want to be these things.
There are a lot of knowledgable posters in this little corner of PbN. Play by the rules and come in without an attitude, and you may even make a few friends. At the very least you will learn a ton. Enjoy your stay.