T Nation

Beginner Blast Off Program

Hey guys! I am a total newbie looking to get started in bodybuilding - so I’ve pretty much been living on the T-mag search engine for the past week (incidentally, Yahoo! does a decent job of finding t-mag articles too). I’m starting in conjunction with a fat loss plan (I’m 24, 250 lbs. and around 25% BF) that involves 2-3 sprinting sessions/week (as I’ve learned, this is way better than normal cardio!). As my calories are going to be restricted, I know I really won’t gain a lot of muscle yet - my goal is really to just maintain my LBM during fat loss. Anyway, I have a question about the Beginner Blast Off Program. I see that it has you training each bodypart only once a week? Most other programs I’ve seen recommend whole body workouts, three times/week - this includes another workout I saw in a different Dawg School article. So, I guess I’m wondering if hitting each bodypart once a week is enough for a beginner. Until reading about this program, I was planning on just doing a whole-body workout 2 times/week. Any ideas or opinions would be appreciated? And before anyone recommends it, my MD6 is on the way!!!

If your primary goal is to lose body fat, then a like Alessi’s Meltdown, Poloquin’s German Body Comp or Davies’s Fat to the Fire program will be better off. You can do any of these programs and add some extra sprinting or rope work to supplement. As a bigger guy, you will find that you can drop calories a little more significantly than if you are really trying to get shredded and need to maintain every ounce of lean body mass. DO NOT BE AFRAID to lose some muscle mass. At 25% body fat, you are pretty tubby by bodybuilding standards. Work your way down slowly and also check out the post by Mufasa entitled “Maintaining body fat percentage”. There is some good stuff about gaining muscle and keeping the fat off once you have attained the body fat percentage that you want. Good luck and keep us posted on your results. We are all here to help.

hey buddy,
my best advice to you is dont get overly excited…zeal to achieve your goal is great, but when you get carried away with it in the beginning, you will definatly exhaust yourself quickly…full body workouts are the biggest “no no”…working out the whole body in a single session is actually detrimental for a couple of reasons:

  1. your gains will be minimal because your body will not be able to recover from such a demanding working…your basically telling your whole body to rebuild at once…you just can’t provide your body with the nutrition that it needs to do this…especially if you are going on a reduced calorie diet
  2. i can guarantee that after a couple of weeks of those marathon sessions, you will find yourself not wanting to go to the gym to workout…they only way you can make progress while maintaining that fresh training zeal is to is to split your workouts into 2 or 3 workouts (i.e pushing muscles, pulling muscles, and legs) and keep the workouts short…no more than 45-50 mins per session…

working each muscle once is a week is fine for a beginner…you havn’t been lifting recently and this is plenty of stress to get your muscles into gear

If you want to do a full body program, the same beginner’s program also gives a full body equivalent. In my opinion and experience, for a beginner, two or three full body workouts are ok. But the best thing you can do is to choose a training program (don’t forget the diet) and stick to it. Too often people second guess their workouts before they see any results and jump ship too early. Take your time.