This beginners workout program is ideal for your experience and lifestyle if you are in the first 12 months of serious lifting. If you haven’t done a structured, consistent and progressive workout program before, then this program is for you.
It’s important to understand that this routine is designed with one thing in mind: cosmetic improvement. The program is first and foremost for improving your body composition and the way you look. These workouts are designed to help you lose fat, gain muscle, and sculpt your body into a specimen of magnificent proportions. These are not sports specific programs nor are they strength or powerlifting routines. You will get stronger, but you will primarily improve your physique and secondarily increase your strength.
“Newbie Gains” and Steroid like Anabolic Growth
This program for you will be like your first ever cup of coffee. When you take your first cup, your body has a massive reaction because they haven’t had it before. The more coffee you have over time, the more you need to get the same buzz energy effect because your body starts to adapt and desensitise itself.
The same happens in the gym. When you are new, your body reacts really well to exercises in the gym and you don’t need much to signal massive muscle growth! This program will seriously get you massive progress and results that make you feel like you’re on some kind of wonder drug giving you anabolic growth.
A single exercise in this program, completed properly and at the correct intensity, will signal more growth than an experienced athlete working the same muscle for a whole hour doing multiple exercises. As you get more experienced (2+ years), you will need to perform more sets, reps and exercises to signal the same muscle growth (up to a point – more isn’t always better).
If you’re ambitious, you possibly do a split routine instead of full body, but beginners often have a difficult time remembering technique on 8 exercises, let alone the 16-20+ in a thorough split routine. Multiple exercises can also leave a beginner quite sore and overtrained. It’s probably best to keep it basic in the beginning. Set up a simple routine you’ll remember and stick to.
Your weight training workouts should last no more than one hour. The optimal workout duration is probably even shorter; around 45 minutes. Overly long workouts exhaust your nervous and endocrine system, decrease your levels of growth hormone and testosterone (anabolic hormones) and increase your level of cortisol (a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle).
IMPORTANT – Make sure you keep a journal or log of your workout sets, reps and weights each week.
- Start an exercise with a weight that you know you can complete the reps with.
- On each following workout, aim to complete at least one extra rep of the exercise.
- Really push yourself to do it, but without sacrificing good form and technique.
- If you complete the set at the top end of the rep range, next time increase the weight by 5 – 10%.
Over time you will increase the weight you use while keeping within the desired rep range for maximum muscle growth.
The biggest mistake you could ever make, is to repeat the same workout over and over again – this will only maintain the body you currently have, not improve it! You have to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself. Challenge yourself. Go into every workout with a mindset that you won’t tolerate standing still; that you MUST move forward and make progress above and beyond the previous session. And don’t hope for it – expect it!
I believe in training hard with intensity, and that means sometimes training to failure or just short of failure. I don’t believe in stopping a set when I have three or four reps left in me. Push yourself – but push yourself safely and intelligently (use a spotter where appropriate).
We won’t be using isolated muscle exercises at this stage as we need to first focus on signalling maximum muscle growth before we can start to condition and sculpt it. Make sense? Then let’s go.
You will be completing the workouts using compound exercises. Compound exercises are ones that recruit multiple muscle groups during the movement. By involving as many muscles as possible in each exercise, you will be creating a stronger hormonal signal in your body to trigger muscle development. It will also burn more calories and raise your metabolism higher compared to other workouts.
THE WORKOUT PROGRAM
Complete the workout 1, 2 or 3 (recommended) times per week.
Example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Sets per exercise: 3
Reps per exercise: 12 – 15 reps
Recovery: Leave at least one rest day in between each workout.
1 – LEGS EXERCISE: Barbell Squat
2 – CHEST EXERCISE: Dumbbell Bench Press
3 – BACK EXERCISE: Barbell Bent over Row
4 – SHOULDERS EXERCISE: Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
5 – ARMS EXERCISE: (Alternate Biceps and Triceps each workout)
6 – ABS EXERCISE: Crunches (20 – 30 reps per set)