The Ultimate Newbie’s Bodybuilding Program
The reason why I created this simple, straightforward, no-calorie counting and complete muscle building program is because I have tonnes of newbies asking me how to build muscle. They have no knowledge about training, dieting and supplementation and articles on the net require them to put in too much effort than they are willing to commit. Again and again, I have received the general question, “Can you teach me how to build muscle?” but I obviously couldn’t write it all down for each and every one of them. So, I’m gonna create this post and the next time someone asks me this, I’m just gonna redirect them to this link!
I have covered the major components of building muscle in this program including diet (which also covers supplementation), training and recovery. I wrote this post in an easy-to-understand format, minimizing bodybuilding jargon wherever I can. Last but not least, since starting a training and diet program is scary to most newbies, I’ve made things as simple as possible, with minimal commitment. And if you’re still not willing to commit the amount of effort needed for this program, then you should really look at the mirror and ask yourself, do you really want to stay the same for your entire life, or work to be a better person?
In short, those who have zero experience building muscle will find this guide really helpful.
How much results can you expect to see?
The results you’ll obtain from this program will depend on how hard you push yourself in the gym and how strict your diet is. Other factors include your genetics, stress levels (the lower the better) and age. However, say you’re in your early 20s and you followed this program strictly and you pushed yourself hard in the gym for 30 days. You’ll be able to see a weight gain of 10lbs (4.5kg) or so. Some of it will be in water weight and a little will be fat. But a significant proportion should be real, solid muscle mass!
Another question I often get is, “must I go to the gym? Can’t I just do push ups and sit ups at home?”. The answer is no! You have more muscles in your body than just your chest and abs. And the gym is the simplest and most effective way to transform your body. It’s not just the fact that it has the equipments you need, but it’s a place where you’ll have the mood and motivation to train, cause everyone else is also there to train. It’s like, going to a library to read. Believe me, it makes a difference.
Look for a gym near your neighbourhood which has enough benches, dumbbells and barbells. That’s all you need. Anything additional to that is a bonus. And if you sign up and use it often, the fees you paid will be a worthwhile investment.
Great, so now you have access to a gym. Next, let’s go on to how often you must train. For a newbie, I would recommend a 1-on, 1-off training routine. This means that you’ll train on one day, then rest for one day, then repeat the process, no matter what day of the week it is. This should give your body ample time to recover yet frequent enough for you to see results. So what are you gonna do in the gym during these workouts? Firstly, I’ll give you two workouts, Workout A and Workout B. You will perform Workout A on one training day, then perform Workout B on the next training day and then repeat. Here are your workouts. Perform 8 to 12 reps for each exercise and rest one to two minutes between sets. You should be able to finish each workout within an hour. Click on the names of the exercises to learn how to perform them.
Workout A – Chest, Back, Shoulders
Flat barbell bench press – One warm-up set followed by four working sets
Barbell rows – One warm-up set followed by three working sets
Deadlifts – One warm-up set followed by three working sets
Seated dumbbell press – One warm-up set followed by three working sets
Upright rows – One warm-up set followed by three working sets
Workout B – Legs, Arms, Abs
Barbell squats – One warm-up set followed by four working sets
Dumbbell straight leg deadlifts – One warm-up set followed by four working sets
Barbell curls – One warm-up set followed by three working sets
Triceps pressdowns – One warm-up set followed by three working sets
Lying leg raises – three working sets (as many reps until failure)
How to Choose the Right Weight For Every Exercise
How heavy should you lift? For the first training session of both workouts, I suggest you lift a weight which is just a little challenging because before you move on to heavier weights, it’s best you get used to the movement and the form of the exercise. If possible, I highly recommend that you get a personal trainer or experienced friend to train or train with you during these first sessions. And if you still have not gotten your form right, keep working on it. Remember, good form increases the effectiveness of the exercise and makes it safer.
Alright, so now you’ve gotten the technique right, how heavy you should lift now? As I’ve stated, perform 8 to 12 reps for each set of exercise. This means that you should choose a weight which you can only lift 8 to 12 reps, after giving it everything you’ve got (that’s what they call “lift until failure” in bodybuilding). If you’re able to lift the weight consistently more than 12 reps, it’s too light – increase it. If you’re able to lift a weight only 7 or less reps consistently, it’s too heavy – decrease it.
Most people relate cardiovascular exercises (jogging, swimming, cycling) as something you do only if you wanna lose weight. Wrong! Cardio keeps your heart healthy and it makes sure that the mass you’re gaining is lean mass, not fat. Our goal when bulking is ALWAYS to build maximum muscle mass with minimal fat gain. However, yes, it holds true that if you perform too much cardio, you’re going to burn off too much calories and you’re not going to have enough to grow. Thus, limit (but don’t eliminate) your cardio workouts to once per week (choose whichever day you want), for 40 minutes. Perform light cardio, like slow jogging, swimming or cycling. You can also have a game of football, basketball or badminton with your friends.
Oh uh. We’re at the most feared part of bodybuilding – diet. And you noobs, erm.. I mean newbies probably don’t wanna start counting calories, eating the same thing daily and watching everything you eat, right? Well, I understand. Thus, I have created a list of food you should maximize and ones you should minimize and some general and IMPORTANT diet rules to follow. This is as simple and effective as it gets and you won’t need to start counting anything. Just follow these suggestions as strictly as possible and you’ll see results (at least for this stage).
Good Foods (Eat tonnes of these!)
- Lean meat – chicken/turkey breasts (or at least skinless chicken/turkey), fish, beef
- Whole eggs (limit your yolks to four a day. Yolks have tonnes of nutrients too. If possible, eat Omega-3 eggs)
- Vegetables – leafy green veggies, asparagus, broccoli
- Nuts – almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts
- Healthy oils – Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil and macadamia oil
- Complex carbohydrate sources – Brown rice (white rice is ok if you have no choice), whole grain products (like wholemeal bread), sweet potatoes, oatmeal
Crap Foods (Avoid these as much as possible!)
- Sugary food and drinks. (including but not limited to candy, ice cream, most commercial drinks and sodas)
- Food with too much salt (like a large french fries)
- Junk food (including but not limited to potato chips, nachos, burgers, doughnuts, pastry)
- Alcohol (sorry, drinkers)
- Processed food (e.g. sausages, nuggets, instant noodles)
- I know you’ve probably heard of people talking about reducing carbohydrates for health or weight loss reasons. But you’re not trying to lose weight. If you are, this diet is not for you. Take in PLENTY of clean carbs (from the Good Foods list). Carbs will provide you the energy you need to workout and build muscle.
- Stock your fridge and cupboards with as much food from the Good Foods list. Cook and eat at home as often as possible. If you have to eat out, food you can eat include sushi, Subway, chicken rice or anything that resembles the Good Foods list more than the Crap Foods.
- Consume a palm-size portion of protein source (lean meat or whole eggs) and complex carbs in every meal. Either cook them using a tablespoon of canola oil or have a dozen nuts. Have some veggies too.
- Avoid consuming carbs at night.
- Not seeing results? Increase your food intake from Good Foods, especially meat and eggs.
- Getting too fat? Decrease your food intake, especially from Crap Foods.
- Drink loads of water (and I mean WATER). Don’t ever let yourself get thirsty.
- Eat five to six times a day so you can eat more without bloating and your energy levels will be stable.
- Don’t just eat when you’re hungry. PLAN your meal times. For example, my meal times are 9am, 12pm, 2.30pm, 5pm, 9pm (I workout at 6pm) and 12am. So everyday when it’s one of those times, I have a meal. Simple as that.
- An example of a good meal is half a chicken breast, one large sweet potato and some broccoli. Or 4 whole Omega eggs and four slices of bread with natural peanut butter.
Somehow, most newbies I know have a bad notion about bodybuilding supplements. They either think that it’s super expensive, unnecessary, dangerous to their body or it’s a Super Serum that will make them burst into the Hulk and get “too much muscle”. Let me address these issues one-by-one. First, SOME supplements are expensive, but I’m going to recommend you those which delivers great result (if you follow the training and diet plan strictly). Secondly, building muscle is a PAINFULLY SLOW process. Supplements may not be 100% necessary to build muscle but it would help you boost your progress significantly. And believe me, you would WANT to build muscle fast!
Thirdly, supplements aren’t steroids. If you take them according to the instructions written on the bottle, they shouldn’t give you any bad side effects. At worst, you may take a supplement with caffeine or other stimulants and find it hard to sleep at night. But that could be avoided easily (don’t take it so close to bedtime). And lastly, if supplements worked THAT well, I would be super happy!!
Here’s what you should get. I included links for you guys to make your purchases of these supplements too. Multivitamins is to make sure that you fulfill your daily vitamins and minerals needs. And Cyclone is the perfect post-workout supplement. It contains glucose, whey isolates and hydrolysates, creatine, glutamine, HMB and plenty of other good muscle-building stuff.
Maxifuel Sports Vitamins
And here’s how you take them:
Every morning: 1 Maxifuel Sports Vitamins capsule
After workouts: 1.5 scoops Cyclone with water
Simple, right? Now that we’ve covered the program, here are some helpful tips.
- If you have a medical condition, check with a doctor if it’s safe for you to follow a bodybuilding regime.
- Take progress photos every two weeks to track your progress. You may not like your before photos, but if you stick to the program, you’ll LOVE the after photos. Click here for an example.
- Listen to your body. Take an extra rest day if you’re feeling worn out (but not when you’re lazy!).
- Be patient. You won’t see significant results until at least two weeks, at best.
- If after two months of training, and your progress stalled, change your workout routine. Click here for ideas.
- Consistency matters. If you skip a meal a few times a week, skip training, etc, it will all add up and your progress will slow down or stall.
- Always remember why you’re doing this and stay motivated at all times. Imagine yourself with the body of your dreams. Imagine the respect you’ll get. Imagine shocking your friends with your transformation.
- Get as much night sleep as possible. Your body grows when you sleep, so sleep early and sleep long.
- Keep on reading bodybuilding and fitness articles in magazines and websites. I’ve covered the basics, but it’s not everything. There is much to learn, young padawan.
- Don’t be lazy. Don’t give excuses. If you don’t work for it, you will never get it! True story.
- For tonnes more of tips, click here!
- Need more personal and hands-on guidance? Click here!
- Don’t be selfish. Share this guide with your friends who are new to building muscle too.
To ask me questions or to get funny and motivating bodybuilding and fitness updates, like Fabodylous’ fan page.