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What Is The Best Workout For Someone Who Has Never Trained?

What is the best workout for someone who has never trained? Our forum members share detailed workouts, supplementation stacks and motivation for those who might have a difficult time staying with it. Learn more right here!

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best Workout For Someone Who Has Never Trained?

The Question:

It is that time of year again and the masses will be out in force once again as they attempt to shed the holiday weight and turn their lives around to be more fit.

What is the best & most basic workout for someone who has never trained? List exercises, sets, reps, etc ...

What can they do if they are not seeing any progress after a couple of weeks or months? Should they be discouraged?

What can they do to make sure they keep going after starting a program?

Bonus Question: Is supplementation recommended for the absolute beginner? Why or why not?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    New Prizes:
      1st place - $75 in store credit.
      2nd place - $50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - BurningHeart
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Introduction

It happens every New Year's, that certain group of people who wish to "get in shape." These are friends and family who see your progress and decide they will start working out as their New Year's Resolution.

Jimmy is geared out with his red headband, Underarmor and Xyience energy drink and he busts his butt in the gym. Everything seems to be going fine until Friday. His friends are going out for a night on the town and after a week of work, he says he needs a break. This break seeps through the weekend and into Monday. Tuesday rolls around but he is "too busy" for the gym.

Now since Jimmy has missed half of the week in the gym, there is no point in going for the rest of the week ... according to him. This trend continues on and Jimmy never sets foot in the gym again.

Unfortunately as we all know, a New Year's Resolution does not last long. When people wake up sore the next day, looking the same, and realize the great dedication needed for maintaining this lifestyle ... they skip a few workouts. These few missed workouts turn into giving up totally.

RELATED ARTICLE
New Year's Resolutions: Changing The Focus. New Year's Resolutions: Changing The Focus.
The problem with most resolutions however is that many times they're based on superficial reasons that don't truly affect the individual and mean something to them. Learn why ...
[ Click here to learn more. ]

So the question is why do these people give up so quickly? We were in their shoes at one point. Why do we keep going when others quit?

We can say that we have more willpower, but how do we have this willpower? Willpower comes from experience. If you have a bad first impression with something, odds are you never will do it again.

This is why it's important for a beginner to start with the right workout, a workout that actually grabs the attention of the beginner and motivates them to improve.

Don't let your friends and family loose in the gym with no direction, guide them to living the same lifestyle as you do. So what are the details of this workout? How does a workout in itself encourage people to never give up? The answer will be explained in this article.


Part 1
What Is The Best & Most Basic Workout For Someone Who Has Never Trained? List Exercises, Sets, Reps, Etc ...

Introducing a beginner to weightlifting should be done slowly, with the basics. If you are the beginner or a person teaching the beginner, the same principal applies.

Think of it this way, when you start a new job do you want to be swamped with a ton of information at the very beginning? Chances are you'll forget 90 percent of the information and maybe even want to quit.

On the other hand if you are told to do one single task and then build on that task, you'll retain much more information and will be comfortable in your job. Now apply this way of thinking to weightlifting. First start with the absolute basics, the body parts being worked. These are:

Next we put these body parts into a basic workout plan ...

Beginner's Workout - 3-Day Split, 12 Total Weeks:

    Set Range 3 sets for every exercise
    Rest ~ 90 seconds between sets, ~ 3 minutes between exercises

    Weeks 1-3: Learning The Basics:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Back Shoulders Triceps Legs Biceps Traps Chest
Cable Pulldowns Seated Smith Machine Press Smith Close-Grip Bench Barbell Lunges EZ-Bar Preacher Bicep Curls Smith Barbell Shrugs Flat Bench Press
Cable Rows Side Lateral Raises Standing Tricep Extensions Smith Machine Calf Raises Hammer Curls Butterflies
Smith Rear Delt Row Lying Leg Curls
print Day 1 Log. print Day 2 Log. print Day 3 Log.
12-15 Reps - Maximum Weight

    Weeks 4-7: Building A Foundation:

    Weeks 8-11: Advancing On What You Know:

    Week 12: Rest Week:

      Rest and prepare an intermediate level workout program.

Now that a visual aid has been in place, I'll go over the parts of this workout.

1st Phase, Weeks 1-3: Learning The Basics:

    The beginner has never lifted a barbell yet and needs to learn proper form. This is where machines come in handy.

    Machines provide a precise range of motion. This teaches the beginner how to properly perform the exercise in addition to how it feels. Now you must note all machines do not provide a good range of motion. This is why I limit machine work to mainly the Smith machine.

    What is a Smith machine? Simply put, it's a barbell that is hooked onto a rack. The picture below is an example of a Smith machine.


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Smith Machine.

    So when the person lifts weight on the Smith machine, the weight can only go up and down. The weight cannot lean to one side because it's all attached to a machine.

    And that's why the Smith machine is good for beginners, it teaches them how certain exercises feel and develops their mind-muscle connection. It's comparable to using training wheels on a bicycle. After a few weeks of using the Smith machine a beginner will be much more coordinated in preparation for barbell work.

    In addition to using a smith machine, other key factors in the first three weeks are the use of low-intensity exercises. Examples of these are pull-downs, cable rows, lying leg curls and butterflies. These exercises strengthen your muscles in preparation for more intense, compound work such as pull-ups, barbell rows, stiff-legged deadlifts and dips.

    The important thing to remember about weeks 1-3 is that it's a priming phase. These weeks should be used to get you accustomed to weightlifting and how to use certain muscles in certain exercises.

2nd Phase, Weeks 4-7: Building A Foundation:

    At this point you've properly primed your body to weightlifting, and should be somewhat familiar with your mind-muscle connection.

    The exercises to this point have been low intense, and here is where they get harder. The 2nd phase starts removing machines and uses more bodyweight and free-weight exercises.

    The important thing to learn during the 2nd phase is proper form. Some exercises will be familiar because you've completed their machine counterpart in phase 1; however some will not be familiar. These are exercises such as dips, pull-ups and squats.

    Research the exercises thoroughly and do not be obsessed with using heavy weight, do what is comfortable for 8-10 reps. Curling 65 pounds with proper form will build much more muscle than curling 85 pounds. by swinging your body.

3rd Phase, Weeks 8-11: Advancing On What You Know:

    With 7 weeks in, you'll notice you're much stronger than in phase 1 and that it's time to take the training wheels off. Machines are farther removed from the workout, and all that remains is using the Smith machine for total isolation work with shrugs and calf raises.

    This phase calls for weighted, bodyweight work. While the average lifter will be able to complete a few reps, there are some cases where this will not be possible. If the beginner is obese then they may not be able to even lift their bodyweight. Or if the beginner has a low amount of muscular strength then doing these exercises will be difficult.

    If you have problems doing weighted bodyweight exercises or even just bodyweight exercises, continue to work towards achieving this goal. Even if you can only do 1 rep, build on that 1 rep. Everyone starts somewhere.

Afterwards:

    After this routine is completed you'll have 11 weeks of training added to your weightlifting experience. Since 11 weeks is a long period of continuous training, it's time to take a week off.

    During this week take the time to plan another routine. Evaluate your goals. Do you want to bulk? If so, take a look at this routine. Or do you need to cut? If so, visit this link.

Exercises:

    The exercises listed above are solely for reference. There may be cases where you do not have access to certain equipment. In that case, simply substitute an appropriate exercise in its place.

    Now what's an appropriate substitute? It would be one that works exactly the same muscle as the listed exercise. For instance if you do not have access to a butterfly machine (pec deck fly), as needed in phase 1, find another exercise that targets the chest, preferably in the same fashion as the butterfly machine.

    Searching the list of chest exercises from this link, we find that cable flat bench flies are a close substitute.

The Split:

    The workout above is called a 3-day split. This means your entire body is split into 3 days of exercises, thus it takes 3 days to work your whole body.

    How you position this split in the week depends on your schedule; however you must remember to give your body the proper rest. It is not ideal to do this workout on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday ... your body cannot fully recover from a workout overnight.

    Instead try doing a Monday, Wednesday and Friday routine for instance. This gives your body a full-day rest between workouts with two days of rest after the split.

Warming Up:

    Warm-up exercises may be done and are recommended to gradually load your body with weight. Lifting weight with warmed up muscles will allow you to lift more weight than you would with cold muscles. To warm-up your muscles, simply do a set with about half of the weight that you will do for the normal set.

    For example if you use 65 pounds for your normal set of barbell curls, to warm-up just curl the bar 10 times.

RELATED ARTICLE
How Important Is Warming Up? How Important Is Warming Up?
Much of the time you will see people stretching out their legs before a run, or stretching out any body part before they train it. It's also popular for people to begin warm-up sets before they really get into the workout.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Adding Weight:

    Muscles grow only to adapt to the environment you put them in. Don't be afraid to increase the weight. As a beginner the most important thing you must know about weightlifting is to keep pushing yourself.

    If you train with that same 65 pounds for barbell curls for a year, you will not make much, if any progress. Your body will long be adapted to 65 pounds and will have no reason to grow.

    Aim to increase the weight every other week. Even if it's only a five pounds increase (2.5-pound plate on each side), your body will have something new to adapt to. You'll then notice a few weeks after increasing the weight, the old weight seems easy to lift. That's your body adapting to its environment.

Rest & Nutrition:

    How to diet based on your goals is an entirely different subject, and is best described at the follow links:

    To find information on a bulking diet, visit this link.

    If you are interested in cutting, visit this link.

    For information on the science of sleep and how to improve sleep quality, visit this link.


Part 2
What Can They Do If They Are Not Seeing Any Progress After A Couple Of Weeks Or Months? Should They Be Discouraged?

First of all before you jump to a conclusion that you haven't made any progress, know this ...

We see ourselves everyday in the mirror, multiple times a day. Knowing this, how easy would it be to notice day to day changes? Not very easy.

Let's bring Jimmy back. You've seen Jimmy a year ago at the grocery store. Jimmy was very skinny, weighing in at 120 pounds and measuring 5-foot-10. After some small talk you show him your new cell phone that can take pictures. After snapping a shot of Jimmy he sees your buggy filled with tuna, milk and chicken and asks, "why all the food?" You tell him you're working out now and getting in shape. Jimmy gains a ton of motivation from this and starts working out.

So Jimmy starts lifting weights, and each workout Jimmy gains about 20% of a pound of lean muscle. Everyday he looks in the mirror but doesn't notice anything different, after all 20 percent of a pound of muscle is not noticeable. He works out for a year and has gained a total 30 pounds of lean muscle, yet does not notice any difference because he sees himself in the mirror everyday.

Meanwhile it's time for you to make a trip to the grocery store. As you are buying your wheat pasta you spot a much larger Jimmy. You walk up to Jimmy and compliment him on the amazing size gain, yet he is confused how you notice any change.

Remembering you still have his picture stored in your cell phone, you show him his transition from 120 pounds to 150 pounds. Jimmy realizes what a change he's made without even knowing it.

So what do you do if you aren't seeing progress after period of time? First look back at your before pictures (don't forget to take them at the beginning). If you do not see any change after 3 months in your pictures, refer to the scale. Have you gained weight, lost or maintained?

    Check Out The Bodybuilding.com Photo Gallery Here!

If you gained weight, then perhaps you've gained muscle in addition to fat, where you may be bigger but fat covers your muscle definition. The remedy to this would be start cutting.

If you lost weight, then perhaps you've gained muscle and lost a great deal of fat. However usually in these situations you see a great deal more definition than before. The only other scenario if you lost weight would be not eating enough. Evaluate your diet from the above links and make any necessary changes.

If you've maintained your weight and do not see any change, a variety of things could have happened. The most apparent remedy would be to eat more calories during the day if bulking or eat fewer calories if cutting.

If you are eating the proper amount of calories, are you getting enough rest? Not giving your body adequate time between workouts and enough sleep at night will affect your gains. Refer to the link mentioned above for sleep aid.

Let's say your diet and rest is in check, then what could be the cause? The next thing to evaluate would be your training regimen. Are you training hard enough, increasing the weight every other workout?

The bottom line is unless you have some sort of muscular disorder; your body will grow with the proper training, nutrition and rest. If you are not seeing any progress then take a look at what could be holding you back. Nonetheless, there is no reason to get discouraged. It takes hard work to mold your body into what you want it, your body will not mold itself.


Part 3
What Can They Do To Make Sure They Keep Going After Starting A Program?

Ask yourself what you would be doing if you wouldn't be working out. Watching TV? Drinking? Eating snacks? Out with friends doing a combination of the above?

While any of the above leisure activities can be enjoyed in moderation, if they are a substitute for working out, that's not good. The fact is we all have time to workout, so time cannot be an issue.

If time isn't an issue, what else could it be? The only other thing it could be is laziness. Now we all know sitting down watching television and eating snacks is much easier than going to the gym, but think of how you feel afterward. After sitting down for hours munching on chips do you feel good? Nope. After going to the gym and improving your body do you feel good? Yes.

Let's go even farther to the next day. The next day after eating chips and watching television how do you feel? Probably the same as always, just a little fatter. On the other hand how do you feel the next day after a hard workout in the gym? Probably sore, but in a good way. Sore that constantly reminds you of your progress. You also feel energized and happier than usual.

Now let's take it even farther than before, a year from now. We have two scenarios:

  • The first one where you've ate, drank and watched television.
  • The second where you've consistently worked out.

In the first scenario how do you feel? After a year you've most likely gained body fat. You feel lethargic and that you haven't really accomplished anything in the whole year.

In the second scenario how do you feel? After a year you've gained muscle and lost fat. You feel better about yourself and have increasing confidence about your body. Every morning you wake up feeling refreshed, knowing each day is step toward your goals.

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What these two scenarios teach us is that it may be easier to skip the gym; it may be easier to sit down all day. However this sitting down gets you no where. It makes you feel unhappy in the long run, whereas working out makes you feel great.

So just think of this, a year from now what will you gain the most pleasure from ... being lazy or working out? A year from now you won't remember that bag of chips you ate, that reality television show, or that bottle of Jack. On the other hand, if you are consistent with working out, you will remember your body being in shape because you will reap the benefits of a fit body 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It's something that never stops pleasing you.

If you need any more motivation visit this link for an entire article I wrote on the subject.


Part 4 - Bonus Question:
Is Supplementation Recommended For The Absolute Beginner? Why Or Why Not?

Supplementation is just that, a supplement to your workouts. Therefore it is recommended for the absolute beginner.

Now while I say it's recommended, it is important that supplements do not work alone. There is absolutely no supplement that will build muscle itself. Everything requires hard work and the proper diet.

So with the thousands of supplements out there, how do you know what is beneficial and what are scams?

The first tip is to be wary of 'breakthrough' supplements. These supplements are labeled with outrageous claims that supposedly surpass every other supplement out there.

A prime example of this would be Cell-Tech Hardcore made by the company, MuscleTech. Cell-Tech is marketed to the mainstream as being +800 percent more effective than creatine, and is priced high. Now when you look at the ingredients of Cell-Tech you have to wonder where the miracle grow is.

Looking at the label, you notice that all Cell-Tech is, is creatine mixed with a ton of sugar and a few vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. All of which can be purchased separately, without the massive amount of sugar, for half the price of Cell-Tech.

Don't let yourself be suckered in by supplement companies trying to make big bucks off of nothing. Thoroughly research supplements at the Bodybuilding.com forums first.

As for my personal list of supplements, I recommend starting off with the 'big 5.' These are protein shakes, multivitamins, creatine, ready to drink shakes, and nitric oxide.

1. Protein Shakes:

    There is no easier way to increase your protein consumption than mixing powder with milk in a blender. There are two types of protein for our purposes, whey and casein. Whey is used for rapid absorption and casein for slow absorption. There is no greater benefit in a bulking diet than taking a casein protein shake before bed or a whey protein shake after a workout.

    Met-Rx

    Recommendations - My favorite protein shake for post workout is the Met-Rx meal replacement. The Berry Blast flavor has an awesome taste that cannot be beat. It has a great mix of whey and casein protein, and along with two cups of skim milk, your body will have enough protein to last a while.

    My favorite casein protein shake for bedtime is Xtreme Formulations Ultra Peptide. It has high quality casein protein and a great taste that I never get tired of.

2. Multivitamins:

AST

    It is impossible to eat foods that contain all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs daily. Multivitamins fill in this gap to keep your body running at high efficiency.

    Recommendations - Some vitamins consist of up to 11 tablets in only one serving. These vitamins are expensive and not worth the price for a few milligrams of substances that is even unknown to be beneficial or not. I take AST Multi Pro 32X. It has all necessary vitamins and minerals at a low cost.

3. Creatine:

    Creatine is naturally used in your body to increase ATP production, which is energy for your muscles. However as bodybuilders, we required more creatine than what we consume in our meals. This is where creatine supplementation comes in; our muscles are fueled to lift more weight for more reps.

    Creatine

    Recommendations - There are ongoing disputes on whether creatine ethyl ester (creatine designed for efficient absorption) actually works or is turned into waste as soon as it enters the body. For this reason I stick with the proven supplement, creatine monohydrate.

    There is nothing fancy about choosing a brand of monohydrate, just one that includes pure monohydrate. I like Higher Power Micronized Creatine for the low price and 100% pure creatine.

4. Ready To Drink (RTD) Shakes:

RTD

    Like protein shakes, these serve as a meal addition or replacement. They are great for people who do not have time to fix meals every 2-or-3 hours.

    Recommendations - Muscle Milk RTD's taste great and can be used to replace a meal at times. They are inexpensive for a RTD and come in various flavors, banana crème being my favorite.

5. Nitric Oxide (NO2):

    Nitric Oxide has been recently getting a lot of promotion in the media for a great supplement and for the good reasons. Nitric Oxide increases nutrient delivery to your muscles, which is especially good for during and post workout.

    During a workout it allows you to lift more weight for a longer period of time and after a workout it serves as a means to help repair your muscles. Not to mention that it also gives you a great "pump" feeling during the workout and extreme vascularity.

    Gaspari

    Recommendations - I currently use Gaspari Nutrition Superpump 250. It works great to increase my lifts and raise my motivation in the gym by seeing extreme pumped up muscles and vascularity.

    In regards to supplements for your workouts, beginners may get confused as to what they need and don't need. There are many accessories for improving your workout, and a great article I wrote on this subject can be found here.


Conclusion

There you have it, a total plan for a beginner. Whether you are the beginner or someone teaching a beginner, the same principle applies ... weightlifting should be slowly introduced to the person.

Don't be intimidated by 300-pound guys in the gym lifting hundreds of pounds. Remember we all started somewhere and you are not nearly expected to lift like a pro. Learn the basics of weightlifting and proper form.

It is nice seeing a beginner in the gym, working on improving themselves by starting with light weight. What is bad is seeing a beginner look foolish by swinging their body all over trying to lift more weight they can handle.

We all have it in us, the power to sculpt our bodies. Will you take advantage of this power?

References:

  1. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm


2nd Place - RC26
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

It is that time of year again and the masses will be out in force once again as they attempt to shed the holiday weight and turn their lives around to be more fit.

What is the best and most basic workout for someone who has never trained? List exercises, sets, reps, etc ...


The Basics Of Training

1. The Gym:

    Before beginning any type of exercise regimen, I advise you join a gym. Now you might be thinking to yourself, "No way am I walking into a gym looking like this!" Well, let me be the first to tell you to discard that mentality, and start focusing on your goals. The gym regulars, at least most of them, won't make fun of the way you look, and would be more than happy to help you out.

    Now after you overcome the fear of walking into a gym, you need to get a feel of working out. Most gyms consist of high-tech machines, which I recommend you stay away from the first couple of months. The reason being they are not as good of an introduction to bodybuilding, as free weights are.

    Barbell and dumbbell exercises are the most basic and vital movements, which will build the maximum amount of muscle mass. Look at any bodybuilder, and chances are they began working out with the basics, and to this day, they still rely on them to further build more muscle.

    Another thing I have to go over is mimicking other people's routines. Whether it's a bodybuilder, top athlete, or your next door neighbor, do not copy their exact routine. What might work for them, won't necessarily work for you, because we all have different body types.

    Also, most of those workouts are probably too advanced for you to try, so stick to the basics. Overtime, you'll find out what works for you, and what doesn't. Keep in mind that patience is key in bodybuilding.

2. Workout Accessories:

    With hundreds of workout accessories on the market today, it can be hard to choose which ones to purchase. All you will need is a pair of lifting gloves, straps and a lifting belt. These accessories improve your workouts, and help prevent injuries.

    • Gloves- on each workout day, wear gloves, as they help improve your grip and protect your hands.

      Recommendation - Harbinger Training Grip Gloves

    • Straps- these should only be worn on back days, as improve your grip and decrease biceps involvement in exercises such as pull-ups, where the focus needs to be on the latissimus dorsi.

      Recommendation - Harbinger Neoprene Padded Lifting Straps

    • Belts- wear a belt on back and leg days, when performing squats and deadlifts. Injuries are common with these two exercises, simply because of weakness in core stability, and belts support the core, which decreases chances of injury.

      Recommendation- 6" Leather Lifting Belt

3. Training/Nutrition Journal:

    From day one, you need to have a journal to keep track of your progress. In a matter of months, you'll be able to look back and realize how far you've come, and you'll know first hand the importance of keeping a journal.

    For the training part of the journal, record the date, time you entered and exited the gym, muscles being trained, exercises performed, sets, reps and weight.

    The nutrition par of the journal should include the date, total water intake, time you ate each meal, food/supplements taken, calories, fat, carbs and protein.

4. Muscle Anatomy:

    The body consists of hundreds of different muscles, but there are a few dozen major muscles that need focus in bodybuilding. When you begin training, it's imperative you know what muscle you're working and where it's located.

    Chest:

    • Pectoralis Major
    • Pectoralis Minor
    • Serratus Anterior

    Shoulders:

    • Deltoids
        Anterior Head
        Medial Head
        Posterior Head
    • Trapezius

    Biceps:

    • Biceps Brachii
        Long Head
        Short Head
    • Brachialis

    Triceps:

    • Triceps Brachii
        Long Head
        Lateral Head
        Medial Head
    • Anconeus

    Forearms:

    • Brachioradialis
    • Pronator Teres
    • Wrist Flexors
        Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
        Flexor Digitorum Profundus
        Flexor Carpi Radialis
        Palmaris Longus
        Flexor Pollicis Longus
    • Wrist Extensors
        Extensor Digitorum
        Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus
        Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis
        Extensor Carpi Ulnaris
        Extensor Indicis
        Extensor Digiti Minimi
        Extensor Pollicis Longus
        Extensor Pollicis Brevis

    Abdominals:

    • Rectus Abdominis
    • External Oblique
    • Internal Oblique

    Back:

    • Latissimus Dorsi
    • Teres Major
    • Teres Minor
    • Rhomboids
    • Spinal Erectors

    Glutes:

    • Gluteus Maximus
    • Gluteus Medius
    • Gluteus Minimus

    Legs:

    • Quadriceps
        Rectus Femoris
        Vastus Medialis
        Vastus Lateralis
        Vastus Intermedius
    • Tensor Fasciae Latae
    • Sartorius
    • Iliacus
    • Psoas
    • Adductors
        Longus
        Brevis
        Magnus
    • Hamstrings
        Semitendinosus
        Semimembranosus
    • Gastrocnemius
    • Soleus
    • Tibialis Anterior

5. The Exercises:

    Incline Barbell Bench Press - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Pectoralis Major (Clavicular Part)
      • Pectoralis Minor
      • Anterior Deltoid
      • Triceps Brachii
      • Serratus Anterior

    Flat Barbell Bench Press - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Pectoralis Major (Sternal Part)
      • Pectoralis Minor
      • Anterior Deltoid
      • Triceps Brachii

    Wide-Grip Lat Pull-Down - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Latissimus Dorsi
      • Teres Major
      • Posterior Deltoid
      • Biceps Brachii
      • Brachialis
      • Brachioradialis
      • Trapezius
      • Rhomboids

    Bent-Over Barbell Row - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Latissimus Dorsi
      • Teres Major
      • Posterior Deltoid
      • Biceps Brachii
      • Brachialis
      • Brachioradialis
      • Trapezius
      • Rhomboids
      • Erector Spinae
      • Rectus Abdominis

    Deadlift - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Erector Spinae
      • Trapezius
      • Glutes
      • Quadriceps
      • Rectus Abdominis

    Barbell Shoulder Press - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Anterior Deltoid
      • Medial Deltoid
      • Trapezius
      • Upper Pectorals
      • Triceps Brachii
      • Serratus Anterior
      • Supraspinatus

    Dumbbell Lateral Raise - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Medial Deltoid
      • Trapezius

    Standing Bicep Curl - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Biceps Brachii
      • Brachialis
      • Wrist Flexors

    Preacher Curl - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Biceps Brachii
      • Brachialis
      • Wrist Flexors

    Tricep Pushdown - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Triceps Brachii
      • Anconeus

    Lying Tricep Extension - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Triceps Brachii
      • Anconeus

    Squat - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Quadriceps
      • Glutes
      • Adductors
      • Hamstrings
      • Erector Spinae
      • Rectus Abdominis

    Lunge - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Quadriceps
      • Glutes
      • Hamstrings
      • Rectus Abdominis

    Standing Leg Curls - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Hamstrings
      • Gastrocnemius

    Lying Leg Curl - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Hamstrings
      • Gastrocnemius

    Standing Calf Raise - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Gastrocnemius
      • Soleus

    Seated Calf Raise - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Soleus
      • Gastrocnemius

    Crunch - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Rectus Abdominis
      • Obliques

    Hanging Leg Raise - Exercise Description

      Muscles Worked:

      • Rectus Abdominis
      • Obliques
      • Iliopsoas


Muscle Building Workout

Sets/Reps:

    The workout below is for those who want to gain muscle mass. Sets range from 3-to-4, depending on the exercise, and there are two different rep schemes. On heavy days, reps range between 4-to-6, for mass purposes and on light days, reps range between 12-15, for hypertrophy purposes.

Cardio:

    Cardio is only performed once a week for 30-60 minutes, since fat loss isn't the primary goal here.

The Split:

  • Monday - Heavy Day - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs
  • Tuesday - Light Day - Back, Biceps, Legs
  • Wednesday - Cardio
  • Thursday - Light Day - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs
  • Friday - Heavy Day - Back, Biceps, Legs
  • Saturday - Rest Day
  • Sunday - Rest Day

Monday - Heavy Day - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs

Body Part Exercise Sets* Reps
Upper Pecs Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 4-6
Pecs Flat Barbell Bench Press 4 4-6
Deltoids Barbell Shoulder Press 4 4-6
Deltoids Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 4-6
Triceps Triceps Pushdowns 4 4-6
Triceps Lying Triceps Extensions 4 4-6
Upper Abs Crunches** 3 25

print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.

Tuesday - Light Day - Back, Biceps, Legs

Body Part Exercise Sets* Reps
Lats Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns 4 12-15
Lats Bent-Over Barbell Rows 4 12-15
Lower Back Deadlifts 4 15
Biceps Dumbbell Curls 4 12-15
Biceps Preacher Curls 4 12-15
Hamstrings Lying Leg Curls 4 12-15
Quadriceps, Hamstrings Squats 4 12-15
Quadriceps Lunge 4 12-15
Soleus Seated Calf Raises 4 12-15

Wednesday - Cardio

    Perform 30-60 minutes of cardio.

Thursday - Light Day - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs

Body Part Exercise Sets* Reps
Upper Pecs Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 4-6
Pecs Flat Barbell Bench Press 4 4-6
Deltoids Barbell Shoulder Press 4 4-6
Deltoids Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 4-6
Triceps Triceps Pushdowns 4 4-6
Triceps Lying Triceps Extensions 4 4-6
Lower Abs Hanging Leg Raises** 3 25

Friday - Heavy Day - Back, Biceps, Legs

Body Part Exercise Sets* Reps
Lats Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns 4 4-6
Lats Bent-Over Barbell Rows 4 4-6
Lower Back Deadlifts 4 4-6
Biceps Dumbbell Curls 4 4-6
Biceps Preacher Curls 4 4-6
Hamstrings Lying Leg Curls 4 4-6
Quadriceps, Hamstrings Squats 4 4-6
Quadriceps Lunge 4 4-6
Gastrocnemius Standing Calf Raises 4 4-6

Saturday - Rest Day

Sunday - Rest Day

    *1st set is a warm-up set
    ** There is no warm-up set for crunches, and hanging leg raises


Fat Loss Workout

Sets/Reps:

    The workout below is targeted to those who wish to decrease fat, and increase muscle. Sets range between 3-and-4, and reps range between 15-and-20.

Cardio:

    Along with a strict diet plan, cardio will shed away all excess fat, which is why I included 3 cardio days, where you will be performing 60-90 minutes of your choice of cardio.

The Split:

  • Monday - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs
  • Tuesday - Cardio
  • Wednesday - Cardio
  • Thursday - Back, Biceps, Legs
  • Friday - Cardio
  • Saturday - Rest Day
  • Sunday - Rest Day

Monday - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs

Body Part Exercise Sets* Reps
Upper Pecs Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 15-20
Pecs Flat Barbell Bench Press 4 15-20
Deltoids Barbell Shoulder Press 4 15-20
Deltoids Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 15-20
Triceps Triceps Pushdowns 4 15-20
Triceps Lying Triceps Extensions 4 15-20
Upper Abs Crunches** 3 25
Lower Abs Hanging Leg Raises** 3 25

Tuesday - Cardio

    Perform 60-90 minutes of cardio.

Wednesday - Cardio

    Perform 60-90 minutes of cardio.

Thursday - Back, Biceps, Legs

Body Part Exercise Sets* Reps
Lats Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns 4 15-20
Lats Bent-Over Barbell Rows 4 15-20
Lower Back Deadlifts 4 15-20
Biceps Dumbbell Curls 4 15-20
Biceps Preacher Curls 4 15-20
Hamstrings Lying Leg Curls 4 15-20
Quadriceps, Hamstrings Squats 4 15-20
Quadriceps Lunge 4 15-20
Gastrocnemius Standing Calf Raises 4 15-20

Friday - Cardio

    Perform 60-90 minutes of cardio.

Saturday - Rest Day

Sunday - Rest Day

    *1st set is a warm-up set
    ** There is no warm-up set for crunches, and hanging leg raises


Diet

Whether you're trying to gain muscle, lose fat, or both, you need to follow a strict diet regimen. Below are some guidelines you should follow on a daily basis.

  • Eat every 2 to 3 hours.
  • Drink 1 to 2 gallons of water per day.
  • Consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
  • Consume 2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight.
  • Consume between 75 to 125 grams of fat.

PROTEIN/CARB CALCULATOR
Weight
Results
Protein
Carbs

Calories:

    Keeping track of your daily calorie intake is crucial to your goals. Depending on your body type, certain calorie guidelines should be followed.

    • Ectomorphs - this is the skinny body type, and eating 500-1000 more calories more than is expended is sure to pack on some muscle mass.

    • Mesomorphs - this is the body type that is able to build muscle and lose fat without a problem, so consuming 500 more calories than is expended will suffice for mass gains.

    • Endomorphs - this body type is prone to carry more fat, so consuming 250-500 more calories than is expended is recommended for muscle building.

Protein:

    This is the most essential nutrient for a bodybuilder, since it builds and repairs muscles. Consuming 1-to-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight is recommended for maximal muscle growth.

    Recommended Protein Sources:

    • Lean Red Meat
    • Chicken
    • Turkey
    • Fish
    • Eggs
    • Milk
    • Nuts

    Amino Acids:

    • Leucine- an essential amino acid mainly responsible for the regulation of blood sugar levels, and the growth and repair of tissues in skeletal muscle, bones and skin.
    • Isoleucine- promotes muscle tissue repair and, recovery, while also assisting in wound healing.
    • Valine- helps the process of muscle growth, repair, and recovery.
    • Glutamine- a non-essential amino acid responsible for preserving muscle mass.
    • Arginine- has the capability to preserve nitrogen, which is crucial in protein synthesis.
    • Carnitine- increases energy while decreasing body fat.
    • Histidine- required by the body for both growth and repair of muscle tissue.
    • Lysine- used by the body for calcium absorption, which is compulsory for growth in muscles.
    • Phenylalanine- has the ability to promote mood by stimulating the nerve system.
    • Methionine- capable of breaking down and using fats.
    • Threonine- involved in liver functions, lipotropic functions and maintenance of the immune system.
    • Cysteine- capable of strengthening the lining of the stomach and intestines.
    • HMB- prevents muscle loss and limits fat storage.

Carbohydrates:

    Carbs are the body's main supply of energy. It is said that you should consume slow digesting carbs in the morning and throughout the day and fast digesting carbs post workout, to build muscle and replenish glycogen in muscles. 2-to-4 grams of carbs per days is recommended for best results and maximum energy.

    Recommended Carbohydrate Sources:

    • Oatmeal
    • Pasta
    • Rice
    • Potatoes
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables

Fats:

    A minimal amount of fat, between 75-150 grams, should be consumed each the day, and junk food should be eaten only once a week. However, don't hesitate eating foods which contain good fats, such as fish.

    Recommended Fat Sources:

    • Fish
    • Nuts
    • Oils
    • EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids)

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A- required for synthesis of photoreceptor pigments of cones.
  • Vitamin C- keeps testosterone levels high and enhances muscular performance.
  • Vitamin D- maintains heart muscles and nerves.
  • Vitamin E- maintains a healthy immune system.
  • Vitamin K- plays a vital role in the creation of prothrombin and other proteins involved in blood clotting.
  • Thiamin- supports energy and mood levels.
  • Riboflavin- supports cells.
  • Niacin- maintains healthy skin and digestive tract tissue.
  • Pantothenic Acid- important in energy production.
  • Cynanocobalamin- plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells.
  • Pyridoxine- supports body tissue.
  • Biotin- plays a role in immune function.
  • Folic Acid- supports healthy cells.

Minerals:

  • Calcium- maintains bones and teeth.
  • Magnesium- an activator of enzymes involved in processes throughout the body.
  • Potassium- helps metabolize protein and carbohydrates, while also controlling fluid osmosis.
  • Sodium- involved in activations of muscular contractions.
  • Phosphorus- a component in DNA, RNA, and ATP.
  • Chromium- essential in the production of insulin.
  • Selenium- activates an important antioxidant.
  • Iron- plays a vital role as the carrier of oxygen within the protein hemoglobin.
  • Zinc- supports the immune system.


No Sign Of Progress
What Can They Do If They Are Not Seeing Any Progress After A Couple Of Weeks Or Months? Should They Be Discouraged?

Rome wasn't built in one day, and neither is a champion bodybuilding physique. Without patience, it's very difficult to make any progress, so I advise you just keep lifting and the gains will slowly come. If you feel that aren't making progress, then increase the intensity of your workouts and/or shock your muscles with the training techniques below.

  • Supersets - perform two exercises in a row without any rest.
  • Trisets - perform three exercises in a row without any rest.
  • Giant Sets - perform four exercises in a row without any rest.
  • Forced Reps - perform the maximum amount of reps single-handedly, then have your training partner help you perform a couple more reps.
  • Partial Reps - perform a maximal amount of full reps, then continue by doing partial reps, if you can bear the pain.
  • Cheating Reps - perform full ROM (Range Of Motion) reps until you reach failure, then use momentum and secondary muscles to complete additional reps.
  • Rest-Pause - perform as many reps as possible until you reach failure, drop the weights, rest for a few seconds, then try to perform additional reps.
  • 21's - complete 7 half reps in the lower ROM, 7 half reps in the upper ROM, followed by 7 full ROM reps.
  • Drop Sets - perform a certain amount of sets in a row while reducing the weight each time.
  • Peak Contraction - for example, when doing dumbbell bicep curls, flex the biceps at the top part of the movement.


Motivation
What Can They Do To Make Sure They Keep Going After Starting A Program?

    Looking back at the training/nutrition journal is a great way to increase motivation. Also, get a training partner, for spotting purposes, and even more motivation. Although it's difficult to find a good one, below is a list of some traits you ought to look for.

    • Dependable
    • Similar Goals
    • Similar Size
    • Similar Strength
    • Similar Training Experience
    • Positive Attitude
    • Motivational
    • Good Spotter


Bonus Question
Is Supplementation Recommended For The Absolute Beginner? Why Or Why Not?

Supplementation is recommended for absolute beginners, as it aids in recovery, fat loss, etc. Below are recommended supplements and when they should be taken.

Whey Protein:

Casein Protein:

Protein Bars:

Fat Burners:

    We all know that cutting season is rapidly approaching, and there's no better way to shed those last few pounds than with a fat burner.

    When To Take

    • Morning
    • Afternoon

    Recommendations

    I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, and good luck!


3rd Place - Liquid_diet
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

With more and more people becoming interested in bodybuilding and physical fitness during the new year, it is important for those of us that have been around the block a few times to aid beginners. Below is a workout routine that anybody who has picked up weights a few times can perform and can help to teach to newcomers.


Basic Workout
What Is The Best & Most Basic Workout For Someone Who Has Never Trained? List Exercises, Sets, Reps, Etc ...

This beginner's workout is a 3-day split, divided into two upper body days consisting of push and pull exercises respectively, and a leg day. A small amount of abs will be done on each day at the conclusion of these short and fairly simple workouts.

To start out, a minimum of 2 days rest should be allowed in between each workout. Obviously, a beginner is going to experience substantial muscle soreness even when beginning the simplest routine.

Day 1 Chest/Tris:

  • Bench press - 2x12
  • Dumbbell fly - 2x12
  • EZ bar tricep extension (skull crushers) - 2x12
  • One arm cable tricep extension - 2x12
  • Abs - 20 crunches supersetted with 20 reverse crunches - 2 sets
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 1.

      Notes - The beginner will be introduced to some of the basic lifts that target the chest and tris. There will be some recruitment of the anterior deltoids as well. The ab session of the workout will introduce the subject to the concept of supersetting exercises.

Day 2 Back/Bi's:

  • Seated cable rows - 2x12
  • One arm dumbbell rows - 2x12
  • Cable lat pulldowns - 2x12
  • Standing EZ bar curl - 2x12
  • Dumbbell concentration curl - 2x14
  • Abs - crunches on abdominal ball 2x20
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 2.

      Notes - Once again, the beginner will be introduced to some simple exercises that target the middle back and lats, finishing with some isolation movements for the biceps. Using an abdominal ball will show the beginner some of the variety that can be incorporated into a workout.

      Substituting pull-ups for the lat pull-downs is acceptable, and the beginner may choose to use an assisted pull-up machine or a spotter if they have not yet developed the strength to perform 10-12 pullups.

Day 3 Legs:

  • Squats - 2x12
  • Leg extensions - 2x12
  • Leg curls - 2x12
  • Calf raises - 2x15-20
  • Abs - air bike - 2x45 seconds
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 3.

      Notes - The beginner should be taught proper form when performing squats, and should only be allowed to use the weight of the bar at first. The importance of wearing a weight belt should be stressed as well. These four basic lifts will introduce the subject to targeting the major muscles of the legs.

      In addition to resistance training days, cardio should be performed 3 times per week for at least half an hour. Jogging on a treadmill or using a stationary bike are two simple ways a beginner can be introduced to this type of exercise.


No Sign Of Progress
What Can They Do If They Are Not Seeing Any Progress After A Couple Of Weeks Or Months? Should They Be Discouraged?

Most individuals should be noticing differences in their bodies after just a few weeks of exercise. Those painful aches should be a pretty obvious indicator that something is happening.

In addition to fuller, harder muscles with more endurance, there are changes going on under the surface. Tendons and ligaments are growing stronger and bones are becoming denser. This should all be explained to the distraught beginner.

However, if a beginner is not satisfied with their initial progress, there are plenty of things that can be done. Suggest changes in diet and rest initially, and changes in the workout program eventually. If a person is getting sufficient calories and nutrition, their body should respond.

Manipulating macronutrients is a great way to force change. Introducing newcomers to the idea of eating 5-6 smaller meals a day, as opposed to the traditional 3 squares, is a good idea. Eating this way is great for gaining muscle or losing fat.

The subject should learn to track their caloric intake. They should note how many calories are coming from carbs, protein and fats, and manipulate their intake accordingly. A good rule of thumb is that a healthy individual should consume about 55-65% of their total calories from carbohydrates, 12-20% from protein, and 25-30% from fats. Of course it is a good idea to try and consume "good" fats for these calories.

Rest is important for growth and recovery, and this should be stressed to the beginner as well.

Complimenting a newcomer to the sport, no matter how insignificant their gains may be, will help to keep them from becoming discouraged. A compliment here and there can go a long way.

compliment
Click Image To Enlarge.
Compliments Can Go A Long Way


Motivation
What Can They Do To Make Sure They Keep Going After Starting A Program?

Working out with a buddy is a great way to help newcomers stick with an exercise program. A gym partner will motivate a beginner to go on days they may not feel like heading to the gym. Having a partner also helps to avoid boredom while at the gym and to make the exercise more social and enjoyable. Having a buddy there as a spotter can help the newcomer to get the most out of their lifts. This can help prevent accidents.

Injury can stop beginners and seasoned athletes alike in their tracks. Proper warm-up and stretching is a must for anyone. Making sure newcomers know how to keep themselves injury free is important.

Keeping a workout journal and mapping strength and physical progress is a great way to keep people motivated. Although this may be a double-edged sword at first if a beginner is not making substantial gains, it can be highly motivational in the long run.

Goals and expectations should be realistic. Obviously if newcomers expect to gain 20 pounds or lean mass in a month or bench eye-popping amounts of weight in no time, they are going to be discouraged.

goals
Click Image To Enlarge.
Goals Should Be Realistic.

Working out should be fun. After the initial adaptation to exercise period, change it up! Nobody likes to perform the same workout day in and day out. There are hundreds of ways to exercise, and individuals should be allowed some experimentation to find the ideal workout that is fun for them.


Bonus Question
Is Supplementation Recommended For The Absolute Beginner? Why Or Why Not?

The body is going to be shocked enough when starting an exercise routine for the first time. These changes alone are enough to force adaptation and growth. There is no need to throw supplements into the mix immediately.

Basic supplements like a multivitamin, fish oil, and antioxidants should be taken regardless of whether a person is working out or not. Even whey protein will be ok for beginners, as anybody needs a certain amount of protein in their diet anyways.

Even amino acid complexes can be beneficial to beginners. Glutamine and Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's) can aid in recovery, although they are not necessary.

It is probably better to hold off until plateaus are reached or gains at least begin to slow, before introducing most supplements into an exercise routine. Supplements like creatine, NO enhancers, and even test boosters may have their uses down the road.


What Is The Best Workout For Someone Who Has Never Trained?

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