The basic formula for an effective bodybuilding routine is consistent weight training, clean nutrition, and lots of rest. These are the basic fundamentals you need to follow if you want to gain muscle mass, increase strength, and lose fat. This article will focus on the basics of a weight training routine that you can modify to fit your specific needs and body style.
You have probably seen “muscle” magazines that tout “the best routine” to build some specific body part. You may have even tried it and your results could be anything from spectacular to barely noticeable. So why do some get great results while others do not if some exercises are supposed to be “the best?” The answer to this is simple, but so rarely understood – we all have different body types and different genetics. Because of this, you need to tailor your own weight training program by trying out different styles and see which ones your body responds to best. You also have to be comfortable with the routine because if it is something you just really don’t want to do, then you are likely going to quit doing it after a short period of time even if the results are what you are looking for. We have many more Muscle Building Articles Now Available.
With this in mind, lets explore a basic routine to get you going for your first 6 weeks of weight training. The idea of this routine is to give your body a foundation to build from and for you to find out which muscle groups will require the most attention. This routine is not just for beginners though, if you are experienced but have plateaued in your workout, going back to the basics for 6 weeks will allow for some change that will be good for your muscles. You have no doubt heard of muscle memory which is basically that your muscles remember what kind of stress you have given your muscles. Because your muscles have a memory, you need to mix things up once every couple of months to experience new growth.
The program you are going to undertake is known as a 3 day split. The reason for the name is simple, you are going to split up your weight training routine into three separate workout on three different days. The breakdown of your workout will be that you will workout your chest and back on day 1, your legs and abs on day 2, and your shoulders and arms on day 3. The specific exercises are up to you but should include 2 chest, 2 back, 1 quadricep, 1 hamstring, 1 calf, 1 abs, 2 shoulder, 1 bicep, and 1 tricep exercise. This may sound like a relatively sparse routine and it in fact is. The principles are based on the push/pull concept for the upper body whereas the muscles you are exercising exert effort in opposite directions e.g. chest – forward, back – backward. The lower body will be more exhaustion in a declining manner. What this means is the largest group will be worked first descending into the smallest group at the end. This should result in better isolation of the smaller groups.
You should not do this workout three consecutive day in a row, but should have at least one day of rest in between each workout day.
The suggested exercises for the above 3 day split are as follows:
Chest – Flat bench, dumbell flys
Back – Lat pulldown, seated rows
Legs – Squats, stiff-legged deadlifts
Calfs – Seated calf raises
Abs – Crunches
Shoulders – Seated dumbell press, side-lateral lifts
Biceps – Seated supinated curls
Triceps – V-bar cable pressdown
Again, these are just suggestions. Whatever exercise you decide to do, make sure you use proper form – this is key to quality muscle growth. The other thing you need to do is to concentrate on your lifts and do them slowly, both up and down. There should be no swinging, or fast movements. If you have to struggle and lose form, you need to reduce the weight and keep proper form. Do not let your ego get in the way – this is a sure way to get yourself injured!
In weeks 1 and 2, do each exercise for 6-8 reps. Week 3, take it up to 8-10 reps. Week 4, take it down to 3-4 reps with the most weight you can handle – again, keeping proper form. Weeks 5 and 6, lower the weight and increase the reps to 12-15 – this will give you some muscle endurance and increase tone.
Once you have completed the above 6 week routine, you will have noticed what muscle groups respond to weight training the best and those that don’t respond well. You should be able to tailor your workout routine from there. It is important that you change up the exercises and do something completely different so that you can expose yourself to other routines…but at least you will have a strong sold base to work from. We have many more Muscle Building Articles Now Available.