Training A Novice: The First Three Months Results!

Three months is really not that long when it comes to building a god-like physique. Moreover, the three months I spent training with Andre seemed to move pretty quickly. Find out what is new and what kind of gains Andre made.


Well, it has been a fairly short road I would think. I mean, three months is really not that long when it comes to building a god-like physique. Moreover, the three months I spent training with Andre seemed to move pretty quickly. I remember when we where in the middle of June and I said "Hey, only two more weeks and you're on your own." Neither of us could believe that it had almost been twelve weeks since that I day I first asked Andre if he would like to train with me.

This experience has taught me quite a bit about the speed of progression in beginners and the positive effect that weight lifting has on mood. These concepts are however already well documented but reading a report is one thing and actually seeing it and shaping it is another. Below you will find the details of Andre's training routines.

Second Month Results

I kicked off the second four weeks by giving Andre a couple hundred grams of creatine to motivate him and help his gains. It seemed to work because he pushed himself hard this month. I put him on a four day split and introduced ab training to him (the ab training was to be done on a non-workout day at home).

Aside from the added intensity of a four day split, I made my trainee do supersets for the first time in his life. Yeah, they burn, he said, but he kept on pushin' it. The main goal for this month I decided was to get Andre to complete three consecutive overhand pull-ups in light of the fact that he couldn't even do one. Below are the gains made for month two:

Monday. Chest/Triceps

      Flat Bench Press: 85lbs to 105lbs

      Incline Dumbbell Chest Press: 25lbs to 35lbs

      Skull Crusher: 20lbs to 22-1/2lbs

      Dumbbell Pullover: 20lbs to 22-1/2lbs

      (superset with)

    Dumbbell Fly: 20lbs to 22-1/2lbs

Tuesday. Upper Back/ Biceps

      Wide Grip Bent-Over Barbell Row: 70lbs to 90lbs

      Dumbbell Biceps Curl: 20lbs to 30lbs

      1-Arm Bent-Over Row: 40lbs to 50lbs

      Hammer Curl: 20lbs to 25lbs

      (superset with)

    Close Grip Bent-Over Barbell Row: 75lbs to 90lbs

Thursday. Shoulders/Traps

      Military Press: 50lbs to 60lbs

      Dumbbell Shrug: 40lbs no change

      Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 25lbs to 35lbs

      Side Lateral Raise: 15lbs to 20lbs

      (superset with)

    Front Lateral Raise: 15lbs to 20lbs

Friday. Legs/Lower Back

      Barbell Squat: 60lbs to 110lbs

      1-Leg Standing Calf Raise: 50lbs to 55lbs

      Barbell Deadlift: 75lbs to 85lbs

      (superset with)

    Dumbbell Split Squat: 20lbs no change

Reflection On Month 2

So, the goal for one pullup was met. But one pullup isn't a big deal in my book and I figured a better long term goal would be to have ten consecutive pull-ups by the end of the summer. I still don't think Andre is taking his nutrition seriously which is a little hard to believe considering he has no rules other than eat as much as possible. Well, to help him with getting a lot of protein and overall calories I created a mixture of Optimum 100% Whey protein powder, powdered milk, powdered vanilla, and sugar.

On top of this I threw in some soy protein and a couple of packets of AdvantEdge. All of this stuff combined to make a mixture high in protein and various carbs with added vitamins and minerals. A good weight gainer if I do say so myself. Taken three times a day, upon rising with breakfast, in the afternoon, and straight before bed-this should, in theory of course, really help pack on the mass. The instructions were to not let the protein powders substitute a meal but rather be a part of that meal. Hopefully my instructions will be listened to.

Third Month Results

For the third and last four weeks I decided to put Andre under a routine that followed one day on and two days off. I decided to go one day on and two days off after reading about the hormonal response to exercise. According to what I read, super compensation usually takes place best when there is a 48 hour period between intense weight sessions. Also, in designing Andre's routines I took into consideration the muscled that naturally get worked together and paired them up as best I could. Below is the routine and the progress that was made:

Workout A

      Overhand Pullup: 3xfailure: (Andre did these with assistance) -
      Bent-Over Barbell Row: 4x6-8: 100lbs to 120lbs -
      Incline Dumbbell Curl: 3x8-10: 15lbs to 20lbs -
      1-Arm Bent-Over Row: 3x10-12: 55lbs to 65lbs -
        (superset with)
      Hammer Curl: 3x8-10: 25lbs to 30lbs -

Workout B

      Squat: 4x8-10: 115lbs to 130lbs -
      1-Leg Standing Calf Raise: 3x10-12: 60lbs to 65lbs -
        (superset with)
      Barbell Deadlift: 4x8-10: 115lbs to 130lbs -
      Dumbbell Lunge: 3x10-12: 30lbs to 35lbs -
      Leg Extension: 3x8-10: 90lbs to 100lbs -

Workout C

      Flat Bench Press: 4x6-10: 120lbs to 135lbs -
      Wide Grip Military Press: 4x6-10: 80lbs to 90lbs -
      Incline Hammer Grip Dumbbell Chest Press: 3x8-10: 40lbs to 45lbs -
      Decline Pushup: 3xfailure: bodyweight

      Side Lateral Raise: 3x8-10: 17-1/2lbs to 20lbs -

Reflection On Month 3

I'm glad to see that Andre has continued to make strength gains and has even put on a little muscle but he could be quite a bit bigger right now if he had been eating more. Towards the end of this month he began to slack off. I think it was because the workouts have gotten harder than ever. What's more is he isn't drinking the protein mixture I created for him which means I just wasted some money.

Well, I guess I can save it for my next bulking phase (if ever I do another). Although Andre has stuck it out fairly well these three months and has begun to change his physique and maybe even his mental outlook, I fear that he is giving up. Month three is over and part of the deal was Andre gets put out on his own after this and must do his own research and create his own workout plans. I've been encouraging him and providing resources but I just don't think it's going to happen. We'll see…

Constructing A Home Gym

I feel that home is the best place to workout. Before buying any equipment, be sure that you're committed so as not to waste any money and end up with stacks of iron lying around. Start off by buying a good 300 pound barbell/dumbbell set. They usually run between $150 and $200. Get this first! Technically, this will be all you need to develop a nice musculature; just take advantage of Olympic lifts that generally require no special equipment. To kick it up a notch, go buy a decent weight bench... don't be afraid to spend a little extra here; you certainly don't want something cheap that will break on you. A pretty good set up complete with a free-standing adjustable bench, lat pull, and a tall rack for squats will run about $250. You just got yourself a great home gym for about $400.

That's approximately how much you would pay for signing up with a gym and a few months of charges… oh, and let's not forget what you pay for putting up with crowded equipment and shitty music. Considering that bodybuilding is a long term endeavor, home gyms are the economic way to go. Whatever you do, do not buy those all in one cable set ups. You will regret it.

They always work better on TV than they do at home and eventually you'll give up on the bows and bands and cables and be out a couple hundred bucks. As time progresses, go get yourself another 300 pound barbell/dumbbell set and you'll be good for life. Also, don't forget to check out the classified ads and yard sales; people are always trying to get rid of there gym equipment.

The Aftermath

Perseverance is the key to all things. Without this you end up stopping yourself prematurely and never get around to the full bounty of your actions. The bounty is there, one must continue to push for it. One must want it. I don't think my trainee really wanted it. We are now half way through July and Andre has made one sad attempt at lifting weights this month. When I bring it up he says "I'm working on it."

The problem with always planning is that nothing gets done. You can have a perfect vision and continue to reform that vision but until you act on it, it goes nowhere. I don't think many people out there understand just how hard athletes work. I've played numerous sports and bodybuilding is one of the most intense and involving. Even if you're just an amateur bodybuilder, the whole aspect of training gets into every nook of your life.

One must plan workouts, keep tabs on nutrition, hit the iron as hard as possible, manage supplements, sleep deep every night, keep up on the latest research, bulk up, cut up, and balance on that fine line between anabolism and catabolism. These things you take with you everywhere, day after day. I hope my friend gets over his problems and back in the game. With perseverance it really can change you for the better.