Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beginner Workout Routine

As a beginner, your body is ready to change rapidly. During the first 6 months of a person's lifting career, what I like to call "noob gains" are experienced. This is a period of time where your body will make a substantial amount of progress due to you not being used to any sort of stimulus before this point. Even if you don't know what you are doing, you will make progress. You can look at this in two ways.

1) Since you can pretty much do anything to make progress, you can take it easy and do whatever you want since you will make gains anyway.


2) Use this once in a lifetime opportunity to make a substantial amount of progress.

Unfortunately, most people go with option 1 but not by choice. It just simply works out that way. I'm going to give you my routine recommendations for someone who is in the position to take option 2. Just because you have already been working out for a little bit doesn't mean these recommendations don't apply to you. If you are a beginner, this is still applicable. The only difference is you may not be able to reap the full benefits as someone who hasn't stepped foot in a gym yet. I'm going to give you my recommendations for what kind of routine to follow and a sample routine of what I would do as a beginner.

Full Body Workout Routines vs. Splits

Ask anyone what their workout routine is and 9 out of 10 people follow some sort of split. They do something along the lines of chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, arms on Thursday and shoulders on Friday. Just because most people do it does that make it the best way? Of course not. I believe everyone can benefit greatly from a full body work out, especially beginners. Why? Like I said earlier, your body isn't used to any sort of training at this point. There is no reason to dedicate a full day to a body part and do 15 sets when at this point you will get results from much fewer sets. Additionally, by doing fewer sets, you will be able to train the same body part 2-3 times a week which allows extra growth phases. Think about it. If you train chest on Monday, your chest is mostly recovered by Wednesday and maybe Thursday at the latest. Why wait until next Monday to train it again when you are ready to go much sooner? Rather than do 15 sets once a week, you can do 3 sets 3 times a week and take advantage of the extra growth periods each week.

Strength vs. Size

Strength and size result from different types of training. It is possible to get stronger without getting bigger and it is possible to get bigger without getting stronger although this is a bit more difficult. However, for a beginning lifter, strength should be your primary focus. How many ripped 180 pound guys do you see benching 100 pounds and squatting 150 pounds? I'll answer than for you. None. You need a certain level of strength to be able to add size at first. As long as you are getting stronger and your diet is in check (which I will discuss at a later point) you will make strength AND size gains. Don't worry about this distinction until you have at least a year of lifting under your belt.

Sample Beginner Workout Routine

From what I have already said, you can tell that what I recommend is a full body work out three times a week. Here is an example.

You will work out on 3 non consecutive days. For example, you can do Monday, Wednesday, Friday or any other 3 days as long as there is a day between them. You will have Workout A, Workout B, and Workout C. Each work out will consist of 4 compound exercises and two isolation exercises of your choice. The compound exercises will be for chest, back, legs, and shoulders and the isolation exercises can be anything of your choosing. The rep ranges will vary with each work out. Here is a template:

Monday (Workout A)

Flat Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets 5 reps
Barbell Rows: 3 sets 5 reps
Seated Military Press: 3 sets 5 reps
Barbell Squats: 3 sets 5 reps
Barbell Curls: 2 sets 5 reps
Skull Crushers: 2 sets 5 reps

Wednesday (Workout B)

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets 8 reps
Deadlifts: 3 sets 8 reps
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets 8 reps
Leg Press: 3 sets 8 reps
Standing Calf Raises: 2 sets 8 reps
Tricep Rope Extensions: 2 sets 8 reps

Friday (Workout C)

Decline Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets 12 reps
Weighted Pull ups (or bodyweight): 3 sets 12 reps
Standing Military Press: 3 sets 12 reps
Hack Squats: 3 sets 12 reps
Preacher Curls: 2 sets 12 reps
Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 2 sets 12 reps

You should follow this workout routine for 2 months at a minimum. The most important thing to remember is to add weight to the bar every work out. If you aren't getting stronger then you aren't making progress. Plan and simple. The 2.5 pound plates are your friend. Don't feel embarrassed to use them. As for training to failure, not every set should be to failure. I would stop a rep or 2 short of failure and hit failure on your last set but make sure you use a spotter. The template I gave is just an example. Do not feel the need to use my exact exercises on each day but you can't go wrong if you do. Stay consistent and I guarantee you will see progress. If your bench, squat, deadlift, and military press goes up significantly, you WILL be bigger.


Post a Comment

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Best WordPress Themes