A lot of people who are new to the gym and haven’t lifted before, often follow routines which are not right for them. Many of them end up seeing very little progress and then quit. What they often do is flip through a glossy bodybuilding magazine and find a routine that is being followed by some buff bodybuilder. This routine is usually made up of a hundred different exercises for each muscle and the different muscles are trained in isolation. Yes, the routine works for that particular bodybuilder, but that doesn’t mean that it will work for you.
Each person is different and what works for one person might not work for another one. Before starting any type of routine, think hard about where you are now and where you want to be. If you are a skinny beginner and your goal is to gain weight and bulk up, then you should not be doing the routine of some huge bulky bodybuilder who has been working out for the past 15 years (and might or might not be on steroids). Instead you have to start slow and build up progressively.
Another mistake that some beginners make is that they try to start off lifting too heavy. What ends up happening is that they use poor form, the weight might fall off and they might even injure themselves. Good form is everything! There is no shame in starting off with a low weight, learning good form and then progressively increasing the weight as you get bigger and stronger.
Split routines where each muscle is trained separately are also not the right type of routines for the skinny beginners. Instead, a skinny beginner who wants to bulk up and gain weight should follow a full body (or at least a lower body, upper body split) routine which is composed of heavy compound exercises. The key is to periodically increase the weight you are lifting. That makes you bigger and stronger. You should also use free weights. All this is of course not saying that split routines and machines are bad. They all have their place. As you get more advanced you can change up your routine and maybe do split routines and incorporate machines. See what works for you.
Once you get past the initial hurdles of starting out and get comfortable in the gym, you will start trying to find answers to some specific problems you might be having. What you will find is that there is a jungle of different opinions on almost everything out there. There are huge amounts of contradictory information and it is very hard to determine which ones to follow. One fitness expert might say one thing, while another one will say the opposite. It’s the same with nutrition advice. You have all types of diets out there, low fat, low carb, high carb, paleo…etc. For some people these diets work, for others they don’t. Each person has a different metabolism and a different goal and so while one person might achieve great results with one type of diet, another person might not.
The lesson here is to take everything with a grain of salt and test what works for you. Don’t blindly follow what others say, but instead try to see what type of information is right for your body type and the goals you want to achieve. Once you find what works for you, use it to set up a good routine that will help you achieve your goals and be consistent with it. Hard work will pay off at the end.