I made this thread because going in and training is something I enjoy. I won't give you the BS that it makes a man out of you or that it teaches you discipline - it doesn't - but I really do think that it is a hobby that has a lot of positives and that if you decide to take it up you won't be mistaken.
This thread is open for lifters of all experience levels and it's a place to get new workout ideas and advice from other guys and gals. By no means am I an expert and I don't want to be viewed as such. I am just an office jockey that likes to powerlift.
If you have no idea what you are doing and are just getting started stick to the basics. To lose or gain weight you should monitor your calories. If you burn more than you consume you will lose weight, if you eat more than you burn you will gain weight. For now don't bother with things such as keto, carb-cycling, intermitent fasting or paleo. I am not saying they don't work but you currently don't know how your body reacts to certain foods.
I will give you myself as an example - I can safely run keto for about 3 months because I can eat eggs, peanuts, spinach, chicken and cheese without becoming too acidic, getting heartburn or indigestion. Some may not and the thought of eating 10 eggs would be awful for them.
Don't worry about supplements. If you want to pick a jug of protein powder or whatever I am not going to judge you but I don't think it is necessary. Just nail down your eating and stick to a good program for about 4-6 months. Speaking of which the following are good places to start:
Powerlifting To Win Novice Program
These programs aren't magic and are not the be-all-end-all of lifting, it's just that simple linear progression is idiot-proof and is better than the usual bro splits that are going around. If you want a good base Greyskull is the place to start. Starting Strength gets a bad rep because idiots end up drinking a gallon of milk and get fat while PTW's novice program is great if you specifically want to get into powerlifting.
Avoid at all cost Strong Lifts and ICF 5x5 they are virtually the same program and I think it's a shitty way to train in general.
After 6 months if you want more powerlifting you can do:
The Texas Method
Or just continue with what Izzy has written
Bulking and Cutting
Generally speaking, the mirror should be the thing that decides what you do first. If you are skinnyfat or just plain fat you should first until you reach 10%-12% BF. If you are skinny you need to bulk.
Bulking should not be viewed as a free ticket to gorge like a pig but a controlled phase where you build strength and muscle. Generally don't go for more than 8% of your current body weight. In practical terms, if I am 74 kg (which I am) the most I should aim for is 80-81 kg so that I can drop down to my competition weight when needed and so that I don't pack on too much fat.
I strongly believe that the gym is something that should enhance your life and not take away from it. Getting fat so you can lift 5kg more is just retarded and misses the point of it all - to look good and feel good.
With that out of the way, my stats:
Current weight:74 kg
Training:Got fat doing ICF and wasted a year, started training again last August so 8 months more-or-less
Aims: To compete in powerlifting next September
Current program: PIP 1 but modified to incorporate more volume, I can't get enough work done with just the competition lifts.