Are you a beginner looking to pack on some extra muscle mass? Well let me explain to you how exactly this can be achieved.
First of all, I would like you to empty your mind of everything you have ever read in the muscle magazines. Completely. In case you are unaware, 98% of what you will read in any magazine like that is complete BS. Now, why would a magazine want to publish BS, well, there are two reasons: 1. these programs are written by professional bodybuilders.
People seem to think that if there is a picture of a big guy next to a an article, it must be right. Well it?s not. Most of the time, they will publish bodypart splits, one of the most least effective ways to train, especially for a beginner. About 30 years ago, it would be the generally thing for bodybuilders to do fullbody routines 3x a week. Why? Because it worked.
Then steroids got into the picture. And bodybuilders found that while taking steroids, splitting each body part up throughout the week is more effective. Then they published their routines to the general public, who does not take steroids. See what I?m getting at here? 2. The second reason is, how do you feel when you complete 12 sets of chest exercises in one day? Great! You?ve got a huge pump, and the next day, you feel sore. It must be working!
Well unfortunately, neither the pump nor soreness have anything to do with a program?s effectiveness. But you didn?t know that. You felt great doing your Muscle & Fitness program. This is gold for them. Because it builds a subconscious bond with them. And you know what that means? You?re going to believe the crap they publish about their supplements.
See, you have been fooled (well, hopefully you knew that)
Now, how does a muscle grow exactly? You?re probably thinking ?the muscle breaks down, then builds back up?. Sadly, that is actually only a very small part of the equation. Think of the body as one system, rather than a bunch of individual muscles. Compare the two following situations:
You increase 100lb on the squat in 6 months
You dick around on the calf raise and seated calf raise machines for 6 months. You generally do high reps to get a big pump.
Which one do you think my calves would have gotten bigger with? I?m going to go with situation 1. Why? Because the body adds muscle to the system as a result of it getting stronger. It?s kind of like out of fear. All your body is worried about is survival. The last thing it wants to do is add muscle, because extra muscle means extra calories required for survival. But, if I?m getting a lot stronger, and I?m eating a caloric surplus, the body will have no choice but to add muscle in order to keep up with this.
So now that this has been established, what program am I getting at? Well, since you?re a beginner, we?ll do the Starting Strength program written by Mark Rippetoe. It?s your standard 3x a week fullbody routine. You will squat every workout. Why? Because squatting is the absolute mass builder. You cannot beat this exercise. Here is a basic outline of the program itself:
You will switch out workout A and workout B every workout, on three consecutive days during the week. For example, Monday - A, Wednesday - B, Friday - A, next Monday - B, and so on.
Squat - 3x5
Bench Press - 3x5
Deadlift - 1x5
Squat - 3x5
Power Clean - 3x5 (may be substituted with rows if you wish)
Overhead Press - 3x5
Yes, it is very simple. But it?s as basic as basic gets. You will add weight to the bar every workout. And you will add a great deal of overall mass with it. Again, if you add 50lb to your bench press, there is no direct tricep exercise that can draw a spoon to the mass your triceps will have put on.
But one thing that I know you?ve heard a million times, but I?ll say it again. You have to have a caloric excess. You won?t grow if your body doesn?t have calories left over after burning them.
As for power cleans, I know a lot of you are not very experienced, and could very well injure yourself doing power cleans. They are a very difficult exercise to master. You can sub these with barbell rows (Yates, Pendlay, whatever).
The program should last anywhere from 3-4 months. Once you stop being able to increase for at least 2 weeks, change programs. After a few weeks on the program, you may add in some isolation work (calf raises, tricep extensions, bicep curls, shrugs, etc), depending on what you feel your weaknesses are. Ab work is also vital. Don?t overthink this. Just do a few sets of leg raises or sit-ups 2-3x a week. Find which way you prefer.
This is my first post, so I?m not 100% certain how this works. But you can post any questions in this thread regarding this program orany questions in general and I will do my best to answer, as well as I?m sure there are many other knowledgeable members that would be happy to answer your questions or comments.
Best of luck with your training!