Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Setting Goals
Part 3: Bodybuilding Training Program
Part 4: Workout Charts
Part 5: Bodybuilding Diet
Part 6: Bodybuilding Supplements
Part 7: Rest And Recovery
Part 8: Putting It All Together
Part 9: What To Do After Week 12
Bodybuilding Training Program
Now that we have set our goals, it is time to come up with a plan to reach them. In order for us to be successful in bodybuilding we need to first and foremost have the determination required to stick to the plan that will make you reach your goals. If you are not determined enough, then I am afraid you will fail. Once you have that determination you then we need to look at the main components of the bodybuilding equation which are training, nutrition, supplementation and recovery.
- Anaerobic work (i.e. weight training.) is the #1 way to re-sculpt your body. No ladies, weight training won't make you muscle bound. Why? Weight training is far superior to any other type of exercise because it increases your metabolism, which in turn helps you burn fat, and gives shape to your body.
- Aerobic work (i.e. walking) is a good way to accelerate the fat burning process, as long as it is not overdone, and as long as it is only used in addition to a good weight training program. Aerobics should never be used as a substitute for weight training.
Weight Training Routines
- They must be short (between 45-to-60 minutes maximum). After about 60 minutes, the levels of muscle building and fat-burning hormones that your body produces (such as testosterone) begin to drop. What this means is that training more than that will prevent you from gaining muscle and losing fat fast! It will also prevent you from fast recovery. As crazy as it sounds, that is the way it is.
- The rest in between sets should be kept to a minimum (90 seconds or less). Keeping your rest in between sets and exercises down not only helps you to perform a lot of work and still finish within the allotted time frame, but it also helps improve your cardiovascular system. In addition, it has also been shown that this kind of training stimulates growth hormones output the most.
- Generally, the sets should generally be between 8-15 repetitions each (except for calves and abs). There are many reasons for this:
- You get the best pump (blood flowing into your muscle cells) in this repetition range. This is important since along with the blood come nutrients that nourish the muscle cells and help them recover and rebuild bigger faster.
- Since you are doing so many repetitions, there is less probability of injury since you'll be using a weight that you can control.
- Again, studies show that muscle building and fat burning occur more efficiently at these repetition ranges.
- For bodybuilding, however, I also recommend periods of 6-8 repetitions as well. This is of crucial necessity for a bodybuilder as an increase of strength is required in order for continued muscle growth to occur.
- Training must be varied and cycled. Please, don't get stuck with the same routine day in and day out. If you are a bodybuilder, and you do this, this guarantees zero muscle growth. This is without even mentioning boredom and lack of enthusiasm. For bodybuilding cycle periods (3 weeks) of high volume (8-15 reps/set) with periods of higher intensity (6-8 reps/set).
- Basic exercises should be the mainstay of your training program. Multi-jointed free weight exercises recruit many more muscle fibers than single jointed ones or machines. Therefore, these should compose the majority of your weight training routine.
Training must consist primarily of free weight basic exercises as specified above. Only free weight basic exercises provide the fast results you are looking for because they recruit the most muscle while you are performing them. Besides, the body is designed to be in a 3-dimensional universe. Whenever you use a machine you limit your body to a 2-dimensional universe and consequently you limit the amount of muscle fibers that are going to do work.
Not all machines are bad however. Some definitely have a place in our weight-training program because they allow us to isolate the muscle in a way that no free weights would allow us to do. However, our program should be mostly based on barbell, dumbbell and exercises where the body moves through space. The best exercises for each body part are the following:
Weight Training Terminology
The amount of times that you perform an exercise. For instance, pretend that you are performing a bench press. You pick up the bar, you lower it, pause and lift it up. That action of executing the movement for one time counts for 1 repetition. If you perform that same movement a second time, then that is your second repetition, and so on.
A set is a collection of repetitions that culminates in the muscle reaching muscular failure. Muscular failure is the point, due to a build-up of lactic acid in the muscle, it becomes impossible to perform another repetition with good form.
| Lactic Acid
During power-intensive exercises such as sprinting, when the rate of demand for energy is high, lactate is produced faster than the ability of the tissues to remove it and lactate concentration begins to rise. This is a beneficial process since the regeneration of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide ensures that energy production is maintained and exercise can continue.
A superset is a combination of one exercise performed right after the other with no rest in between. There are two ways to implement a superset. The first way is to do two exercises for the same muscle group at once; like doing dumbbell curls immediately followed by concentration curls. The drawback to this technique is that you will not be as strong as you usually are on the second exercise.
The second and best way to superset is by pairing exercises of opposing muscle groups or different muscle movements such as Back and Chest, Thighs and Hamstrings, Biceps and Triceps, Shoulders and Calves. When pairing antagonistic exercises, there is no drop of strength whatsoever once your cardiovascular system is well conditioned.
In a modified superset, you pair exercises for opposing muscle groups or for opposing muscle movements(e.g. Push vs. Pull). First you perform one exercise, rest the recommended amount of seconds and then perform the second exercise (for instance, first do biceps, rest and then do triceps). You then rest the prescribed amount of time again and go back to the first exercise.
Using this technique of pairing exercises in a modified superset fashion not only saves time and keeps the body warm, but also allows for faster recovery of the nervous system between sets. This will allow the person to lift heavier weights than possible if he just stayed idle for 2-3 minutes waiting to recover.
The amount of time that a person rests in between sets. For instance, a rest interval of 60 seconds means that after you finish your first set, you will remain idle for 60 seconds before going on to the next set.
Point during the exercise at which it becomes impossible to perform another repetition in good form. This point is reached due to the lack of oxygen reaching the working muscles and the increased levels of lactic acid.
Condition caused by an excess of volume in a training routine that leads to muscle loss, strength loss and fat accumulation. Symptoms include depression, insomnia, lethargy and lack of energy.
Point in which bodybuilding gains in the form of fat loss and muscle gains cease to happen. This is caused by the body getting used to a training and nutrition program as well as by overtraining and under-training.
Training Using Body Re-Engineering Principles
A big problem encountered by bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts is the fact that they plateau (stop making gains) after a few weeks of using a specific bodybuilding program. The way to do fix that is to make use of the cycling principle, which is the principle that forms the basis of my successful Body Re-Engineering program.
The routines of my Body Re-Engineering program change in an orderly manner that takes the body to the brink of overtraining and then allows it to recover, and thus, overcompensate (grow) in response to the stress. These changes are what the cycling principle is all about.
The Cycling Principle is the key to consistent and rapid increases in muscle mass and strength for the bodybuilder. This principle states that in order for the body to respond optimally, it cannot be trained in the same manner all the time and that the best way to make the body respond is through the correct variation of exercises, volume (number of sets times number of reps), intensity (how heavy the weight is) and rest periods between sets.
Workout parameters are going to be determined by the phase of the program you are in. There are going to be three phases that we will be repeating over and over again. The first week will be an "Active Recovery Phase." In this phase you will only train with weights twice a week on a full body routine before you start the next phase which will be called the "Loading Phase." The "Loading Phase," which is three weeks in duration, is going to be a high volume phase with short rest between sets. Training volume gradually increases over the course of the three weeks in order to stress the body almost to the point of overtraining.
Then the next three weeks are going to be a higher intensity/lower volume phase (heavier weights) with longer periods of rest between sets. This phase is called the "Growth Phase," as volume is reduced but weights are increased in order to let the body catch up and super compensate (grow muscle size and strength). For the purposes of this program, right after we are done with the "Growth Phase" we will re- start a "Loading Phase" with different exercises (this time I will let you choose them) and then finish up with a "Growth Phase" one more time (using different exercises again that you can feel free to choose from the exercise list).
The Active Recovery Phase
The Active Recovery Phase has three main functions:
- First, according to leading strength expert Tudor Bompa, Ph.D., "you are trying to adapt the anatomy of the body to the upcoming training so that you can create, or produce an injury free environment." Essentially, your tendons and ligaments should be strong enough to support the stressful periods that will follow.
- Second, this phase is a great time to address any strength imbalance that your body might have. This is the reason why mostly dumbbell work will be used during this phase.
- Finally, this phase will act as a great time in which the body will re-charge its energy stores and allow for complete physical and mental recuperation.
The Loading Phase
During the Loading Phase the body is stressed with an increasing high volume of work that if kept for too long will eventually result in overtraining and injury. During this phase, three things will happen:
- The growth hormone output goes through the roof due to the short rest interval between sets and the high volume.
- Hypertrophy (muscle growth) occurs by the body increasing the levels of creatine, water and carbohydrates inside the muscle cell. This phenomenon is called muscle voluminization.
- The body's recuperation capabilities are upgraded in response to the stress imposed by the increasing volume of work coupled with short rest intervals.
The Growth Phase
During the Growth Phase the body is not stressed by volume. This time the stimuli are heavy weights. If this phase would be kept for too long eventually the body would cease to stop making strength gains and you would plateau. This is the reason why you always need to go back to a Loading Phase. During this phase the following three things will happen:
- The testosterone levels go through the roof in response to the longer rest in between sets and the heavier weights.
- Hypertrophy (muscle growth) occurs by the body increasing the actual diameter of the myofiber (the muscle fiber size) through increased protein synthesis.
| Protein Synthesis
Protein synthesis is the creation of proteins using DNA and RNA. Biological and artificial methods for creation of proteins differ significantly. Protein synthesis is creating protein strands through organic bases. It takes place in the cytoplasm of the cell.
- Since your body's recuperation abilities were built up to the maximum by the previous phase and the volume has gone down dramatically, these extra recuperation abilities are used to increase strength and build more muscle mass. The reason the body does this is in order to be prepared for another stressful period like the one it just went through. This adaptation mechanism is the one that ensures the survival of the species.
Even if you are training for fat loss, your main goal should always be to stimulate growth. Otherwise, if you were to drastically reduce training poundage in order to perform a lot of high reps, there would be no reason for the body to keep the muscle around. Because of this, you should always train with muscle growth in mind and let the nutrition and the cardiovascular exercise take care of reducing your body fat levels.
The Body Re-Engineering Training Program
I have created a 12-week weight training program with the purpose of adding lean muscle mass along with losing body fat. For the training program, we will be working out with weights 5 days a week. This program allows for free weekends, which can be used for rest and recovery, if you train from Monday through Friday. The advantage to this is that if you miss a day during the week, you can make it up over the weekend.
The first week however, we will do an Active Recovery workout where we just go to the gym twice a week(Monday/Thursday or Monday/Friday) to get a quick pump in all muscle groups. In this week, sets will be taken 1-2 reps shy of failure. This week serves to provide recovery from any overtraining incurred over the previous training weeks and thus sets you up for optimal growth in the next six weeks.
As far as cardiovascular activity, start with 30 minutes on Wednesday morning before Meal 1 (or after the workout) and on Saturday and Sunday morning as well.
Choose any type of cardiovascular activity that you enjoy such as recumbent bike, walking outside or on a treadmill, elliptical machine, stair climber, etc. In order for aerobic exercise to be effective, it needs to be performed at the right intensity. I like to recommend that cardio be done between 75-85% of what is referred to as the fat burning zone. The fat burning zone is the zone at which you are doing enough work to burn fat. Your pulse (how fast your heart is beating per minute) determines this zone.
The Fat Burning Zone Formula
|BURNING ZONE CALCULATOR|
In the cardiovascular/diet adjustment section I will go into more detail as to how to adjust the cardio as the weeks go by and how to troubleshoot the caloric intake.