Those who are new to bodybuilding have an opportunity to take advantage of a phenomenon known as “newbie gains”. With a solid diet and a dedicated approach to one of the workout plans below, you’ll see muscle growth that those who have been bodybuilding for years can only dream about.
Whilst browsing forums and reading various bodybuilding articles, you’ll often hear people discuss the building of a solid foundation. This just means creating a solid base layer of muscle that will allow you to build more muscle than the average person. Once you have a solid foundation, you can adjust your routines to focus more on symmetry, proportions, definition, density and separation. Building a solid foundation means focusing on the fundamentals whilst working out all muscle groups – you don’t want to be the guy at the gym with great shoulders but stick-thin legs. After you’ve spent time correctly building your base to grow from, it also becomes easier to maintain muscle.
Too many people hit the gym for the first time with a vague understanding of the muscle building process – focusing on simple (but risky) isolation exercises like bicep curls, leg extensions, chest flyes and so on. After weeks, they may have a little more definition, but will not make significant size or strength gains, at least not compared to those who focus on compound exercises in their workout plans. Compound exercises involve working out more than one muscle group at a time, and because they are spread out over multiple joints, more weight can be lifted with less risk of injury. More weight equals more strength and more muscle mass.
With this in mind, compound weightlifting will be 90% responsible in building your foundation. It’s recommended for beginners to avoid isolation exercises to start, and then gradually work them into routines. Isolation exercises make it possible to further work muscles that are lacking in development, or to continue hitting a muscle when secondary stabilizing muscles are tired. When you become more advanced, you’ll want to hit muscles from multiple angles for well-rounded development.
Before looking at the workout plans below, it’s important to keep the following bodybuilding tips in mind:
For the sake of simplicity, you can perform all of the exercises below using 3 sets of 10 reps. When you become more experienced, you can mix up your rep range depending on the exercise and your goals. Most people recommend reps ranging between 8-12, utilizing drop sets, super sets and tri sets. Powerlifters often perform a 5 rep x 5 set routine when they are training for strength.
By choosing this routine you can work in abdominal and cardio workouts into weekly sessions, or choose rest days over the weekend to focus on the two. If you choose cardio during weekday sessions, 15-30 minutes is more than enough at the end of each session.
Thursday: Shoulders and Traps
Remember that the two workout plans above are guidelines. It’s a good idea to enlist the help of a personal trainer if you have a gym membership, as they can help build a routine for your goals and also make sure you understand how to execute each exercise correctly. If you are working out at home, then do your best to follow tutorials closely and learn from your mistakes.