As a personal trainer and gym rat, I have seen this scenario at the gym numerous times. A skinny guy joins the club with hopes of adding slabs of muscle to his thin frame. He wants that athletic build that so many guys on TV and in the movies sport.
So he wanders around the gym a bit looking at the racks of dumbbells, various equipment, and barbells. Typically he will watch the bigger guys and be very curious about what they are doing and wonder if he should do that as well. Then he ends up at a bench press station, starts loading weight on, and begins lifting while envisioning how he hopes to look.
…then within a few weeks he is usually following a machine circuit and not making the gains he wanted.
So what happened?
Usually the poor guys just never learn the basics of a mass building program geared for newbies. But don’t worry because we have a great one here which helps lay a proper foundation for building those big slabs of muscle!
Newbie Mass Builder
Basic fact: Rome was not built in a day. A huge body will not be built in a day either. You need to start a program understanding that it will take time. Along with slowly increasing muscle size and strength, your body will also be building up stamina and an ability to recover from workouts. People who jump into advanced programs too early quickly find out that their bodies aren’t ready for it even though their mind is.
This routine is based around a 3-Day-Split which means you workout your entire body 3 days each week. Ideally you will take 1 or 2 days off between workouts. The off days are important because you will need the rest. There will be a focus on big compound exercises to work multiple muscles at once. This is very important as you need to gain strength in your muscles, tendons, and all connecting tissue. Remember – lay the foundation.
Warm-up – Always warm up with 10-15 minutes of light cardio followed by light stretching to loosen up the target areas and surrounding areas. This will prevent injury, increase growth, and help with range of motion.
Cool-down – Always stretch target muscles during the workout and post-workout to help increase growth and recovery. Then after the workout make sure to fuel up on carbohydrates and protein with 30-45 minutes of the end of your workout.
Day 1 –
- Barbell Bench Press – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Squats – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Bent-over Barbell Rows (or T-Rows) – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Barbell Shoulder Press – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Deadlifts – 3 Sets for 6 Repetitions
Day 2 –
- Machine Leg Press – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Dips – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Lateral Pulldowns (or Chin-ups if you can) – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Machine Calf Raises – 3 Sets for 10 Repetitions
- Barbell Upright Rows (wide grip) – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Dumbbell Curls – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
Day 3 –
- Sandbag Deadlifts – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Dumbbell Rows – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Dumbbell Lunges – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
- Dumbbell Shrugs – 3 Sets for 8 Repetitions
Now this program may not seem as sexy as you would like because you are not doing a lot of focused exercises on little muscles like a lot of people in the gym. But at this stage you shouldn’t be. Your entire focus should be on getting your form absolutely perfect, doing controlled repetitions at a medium pace, and increasing your weight on each exercise as soon as possible. However, never sacrifice form just to lift more weight!
With this program the goal is overall muscle growth. Later you can worry more about polish exercises and ones to help work the edges. Right now the focus should be fully on getting bigger and stronger!