1. One that begins something; an inexperienced person
2. One who has never touched a weight before
3. One who has lifted weights before but not with structure or a goal in mind
4. One who has lifted with structure and goals but has been away from the gym and gotten seriously out of shape
For the beginning female lifter, the basics are the only place to start. Not just the basics but the absolute basics. There is no need to get fancy; there
is no need to add in an abundant amount of exercises. Stick with the true and tried exercises that are responsible for anyones success.
As a beginner, you will need less training then someone who is more experienced and who has already acquired a larger amount of muscle mass as well as
muscle maturity. Your primary focus will be perfecting your form on the basic lifts; without this you will never successfully advance to a higher level of
training. You will also be gearing your muscles up for growth, and it is at this early stage in your training where you will experience your best success
beyond any other level you reach. Youre muscles are fresh; they have never been submitted to what you are about to embark them upon. As you progress, your
body will begin to fight against itself and changes and advancements will come more slowly. Enjoy this time; take advantage of your first steps and make
the steps good ones because you will never have the opportunity for such growth again.
There will be several keys to your success and the rate at which this success is met. Several will be discussed here, but the biggest of all, what makes
any bodybuilder or health enthusiast successful is there diet. For complete guided diet information, see the steroid.com diet and nutritional outlines for
the best and latest insight on the best way to eat.
It does not matter how old you are; if you have never hit the weights before and youre 17 years old or 57 years old, this is the best place to start. If
you have hit the gym but its been several years since you stepped foot inside the weight room, this is the time to go back to basics and once again prime
your muscles for growth with the good old fashion basics.
The form you use on these exercises is the most important aspect to your training next to consistency and diet. Without proper form, you may indeed make
some progress, some being the key word. Each one of these various exercises has a correct way to be performed, and is designed to hit
the targeted muscle perfectly and most efficiently. With improper form, it is easy to lead to injury; it is also very easy to take away from the muscle
group youre trying to work. So many will work their shoulders and triceps more than needed when trying to work chest because of improper form. So many
will involve their biceps and forearms more than needed when trying to work back; the list goes on and on.
As a new individual to the weight game or as someone who has been missing in action for some time, it is recommended that you hit the gym hard but in doing
so provide even more rest. Regardless of your level of training, rest in between training sessions is very important, so as not to over train. Your best
bet is to hit each body part once per week, to make each set count and to get in and out with as much intensity as quickly as possible.
None of your training sessions should last more than one hour tops. This does not include any cardio or abdominal training you may do. Continually pounding
and pounding your muscles in two or three hour weight training sessions is a futile attempt and complete waste of time when it comes to building muscle.
The idea behind your workouts is Stimulation not Annihilation. Annihilation has its place in what you will undertake, but it should not be the focus
every time you go to the gym. This is a sure fire way to fry your Central Nervous System (CNS), as well as cause you to get burned out sooner then you
should have. If you do thing correctly, and if you keep your drive alive, there should never be a reason for you to burn out.
***Pairing of Body Parts***
As a newbie, or as an individual who is starting over, it is not necessary to split your routine into a more complex regiment. Again, your focus is form,
stimulation and getting into the groove. Your muscles are fresh, and many of these muscles will be used while training other muscle groups on the body.
Such as, when you train chest or shoulders, your triceps will come into play; with proper form it will be limited but they will still get some stimulation.
When training back your biceps and forearms will also come into play, again, with proper form it will be limited.
Consistency is one of the major keys to building any well-toned muscular physique. Develop a plan of attack and stick to it; you will need to schedule and
set aside time to train. Make training one of your priorities; it should become a regular part of your basic day. If youre sick, then do not go to the
gym; but only if you are truly sick. If you have a slight head cold or are just a little tired, push through it. Its very easy to find a million excuses
every day not to train. You have to make it a priority if you are going to succeed.
When you hit the gym it is important to hit the gym hard. Dont waste your time while training, get in get out and get the work done. A long standing
question has been; how hard do I need to exercise? You will need to train hard. No, you will not need to be on the verge of passing out every single set
and rep. However, keep the intensity high, limit rest between sets to 60-90 seconds and when you feel really good, dont be afraid to make the rest even
shorter at times. Longer rest periods can be acceptable, such as when youre doing heavy squats or dead lifts, say 120 seconds, but this should not be
-One thing is for certain; vigorous exercise is more beneficial then exercise alone. Studies have shown that vigorous exercise in healthy individuals can
increase endorphins in the body and create as strong state of increased positive hormone production. Meaning it can increase testosterone and growth
hormone levels within the body in ways moderate exercise cannot
***Where to Start***
*As a beginner, if you are truly adamant and serious about your goals, if you understand that success will not be reached overnight, then there are
necessary steps and a prescribed order in which you should do things to get the most out of your new endeavor.
It is extremely difficult for many who will read these outlines to start with the beginners routine. No one likes admitting they are a beginner. DO NOT BE
THIS PERSON! If you are a beginner, start here at the beginning. Starting anywhere else doesnt make any sense.
If you are a true beginner, be it a young teenager or someone who is later on in years, there is a 3 step process as a beginner that steroid.com strongly
urges you to follow. 3 steps that will take approximately 8-12 weeks of time and will be more than worth your time.
The first 2 steps are what we call beginning beginners training; 2 steps to prepare you for the beginners routine that is listed below. Each one of these
steps will aid you in preparing your body for what is to come, allow you to become more accustomed to training, and all-in-all create a better experience
for yourself in the long run. Thats what its all about, creating a positive enjoyable experience.
-Your first month in the gym, at this stage you will be completing full body workouts, 3 times per week.
-You will select exercises from the list of the beginners routine that is below. Choose different exercises each time.
-Pick one exercise from each of the following 6 categories:
-You are to complete one set of each exercise that you choose, and are to complete approximately 12-15 reps with each exercise.
-After each training session, complete 20 minutes of interval cardio training. You can choose from the treadmill, elliptical, or step mill or stair
-For one minute go at the pace of a brisk walk, the following minute you will increase the speed to a slight run. Complete 10 total circuits for a total of
-Regardless of how you mix and match your exercises each week, during 1 of your training sessions each week you will additionally complete:
- 2 sets of pull-ups (body weight or assisted) 12-15 reps each;
-2 sets of deep push-ups 12-15 reps each
-2 sets of standing calf raise 12-15 reps each
Here are some examples of what your training might look like:
Incline Barbell Press, Dumbbell Military Press, Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows, Squats, Overhead Barbell Tricep Extensions, Seated Dumbbell
Day 2: Dumbbell Flys, Tricep Dips, Dead Lifts, Standing Barbell Curl, Walking Lunges, Wide Grip Up-Right Rows, Standing Calf Raise
-Mix and match the exercises in this manner for approximately 4wks. Some of you will not need this long, but most of you will.
*After you have completed the 1st month, you will then spend approximately one month splitting your workout into an upper and lower body
routine. At this point you will be training your upper body 2 times per week and your lower body 1 time per week. The following week you will switch and
train your lower body 2 times a week and your upper body 1 time per week. Keep this schedule the entire time through phase two.
-You will still choose one exercise for each body part, but this time you will complete 2 sets of each exercise for 12-15 reps each.
-With each upper body training day, no matter what the exercises are that you choose for that day, you will complete 2 sets of pull-ups at 12-15 reps each
and 2 sets of push-ups 12-15 reps each. On each lower body day, no matter what the exercises are that you choose, you will complete 2 sets of standing calf
raise 15 reps each and 2 sets of walking lunges 10 reps each leg; as well as 3 additional abdominal exercises, one for the upper abs, one for the lower abs
and one that hits the obliques and upper wall together. You will complete 1 set of each, 15 reps each.
*Your schedule should look like the following:
Flat Bench Barbell Press, Close Grip Bench Press, Bent-Over Barbell Rows, Reverse Grip Barbell Curls, Reverse Pek-Dek Flys, Pull-Ups,
Squats, Lying Hamstring Curls, Walking Lunges, Standing Calf Raise, Crunches, Leg Raises, Twisting Crunches
Barbell Military Press, Dead Lifts, Pec-Dek Flys, Tricep Dips, Standing Barbell Curl, Pull-Ups, Push-Ups
Week 2: You will follow the same protocol as above, this time you will perform the lower day twice and the upper day once; everything else is the same.
***Important Notes on First Two Months***1. Rest: You will rest very little between exercises the first month, never more then 60 seconds. Month two, try
to keep it in the 60-90 second range.
2. On your non-lifting days, you are strongly urged to complete 2-3 days of cardio training on those days. Choose a moderate paced longer duration cardio.
Shoot for the 40 minute range keeping your heart rate at approximately 130 beats per minute.
-You have completed the first two months of training; you have done so without injury and without losing consistency. You are already in better shape as
well as in an even better mental state then you were when you first began. You are now ready for the official steroid.com beginner training routine.
***Beginner Female Training***
Chest & Tris (Workout A)
Incline Barbell press: 3 Sets 8-12 reps each
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press: 3 Sets 10-12 reps each
Pec-Dek Flys: 2 Sets 10-12 reps each
French Press/Skull Crushers: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
Tricep Dips: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
*End each session with 2 sets of 3 abdominal exercises from the list below. Choose a different category each time.
Chest & Tris (Workout B)
Flat Bench Barbell Press: 3 Sets 8-12 reps each
Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 Sets 10-12 reps each
Dumbbell Flys: 2 Sets 10-12 reps each
Close Grip Bench Press: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
Overhead Barbell Tricep Extensions: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
*End each session with 2 sets of 3 abdominal exercises from the list below. Choose a different category each time
Back & Bis: (Workout A)
Wide Grip Pull-Ups: 50 reps, as many sets as it takes
Bent-Over Barbell Rows: 3 Sets 10-12 reps each
Dead Lifts: 3 Sets 6-10 reps each
Standing Barbell Curl: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
Back & Bis: (Workout B)
Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows: 3 Sets, 10-12 reps w/each arm
Seated Dumbbell Curls: 2 Sets 12-15 reps w/each arm
Reverse Grip Barbell Curls: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
Legs: (Workout A)
Squats: 3 Sets 8-12 reps each
Walking Lunges: 3 Sets, each set consist of 10 reps per leg
Lying Hamstring Curls: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Standing Calf Raise: 2 Sets 15 reps each
Legs: (Workout B)
Leg Press: 3 Sets 8-12 reps each
Straight Leg Dead Lifts: 3 Sets 10-12 reps each
Seated Calf Raise: 2 Sets 15 reps each
Shoulders & Traps: (Workout A)
Barbell Military Press: 3 Sets 8-12 reps each
Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Barbell Shrugs: 3 Sets 10-15 reps each
Shoulders & Traps: (Workout B)
Dumbbell Military Press: 3 Sets 8-12 reps each
Reverse Pek-Dek Flys: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Wide Grip Up-Right Rows: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 Sets 10-15 reps each
1. Twisting Crunches: Lying flat on your back, place your right hand behind your head, and extend your left arm out lying on the floor perpendicular to
your body. With your right foot on the floor with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle, place your left foot/ankle over the knee of your right leg.
Slowly bring the right elbow up and over to meet your left knee; lower down and repeat. Switch the arm and leg positioning to complete the reps on the
2. Pelvic Thrust: Lying flat on your back, raise your legs straight up at 90 degrees. Keeping your arms at your sides, raise your pelvis up keeping
your legs completely vertical and upright.
3. Crunches: Lying flat on the floor, bend your legs at a 90 degree angle. Place both hands behind your head and simply crunch up. DO NOT pull on your
head or neck, and as with all exercises keep your head up and breath. The movement will be small and concise; this is not a full range sit-up. As you
go down, your shoulders should never make direct contact with the ground. You want to keep full tension on the abdominals the entire time. This may
take some time to build up to, DO NOT get frustrated.
1. Roman Chair Crunches: Using a Roman Chair (it will be a piece of equipment that has a rest and placement for your arms and hands to where they are
directly out in front of your body, your back will be against a pad while your legs hang down freely.) Raise your knees up as high as you can while curling
your pelvis outward. Squeeze at the top and repeat. Be very careful not to go too fast or you will complete each rep by way of momentum and take the
abdominals out of the exercise completely.
2. Extended Leg Twisting Crunch: Lying flat on your back, place your right hand behind your head, and extend your left arm out lying on the floor
perpendicular to your body. With your right foot on the floor with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle, take your left leg and extend it straight out
holding it approximately 12 inches off the ground. Bring your left leg straight in towards your body while simultaneously bringing your right elbow up to
meet your left knee.
3. Crunches: Lying flat on the floor, bend your legs at a 90 degree angle. Place both hands behind your head and simply crunch up. DO NOT pull on your head
or neck, and as with all exercises keep your head up and breathe. The movement will be small and concise, this is not a full range sit-up; as you go down,
your shoulders should never make direct contact with the ground. You want to keep full tension on the abdominals the entire time. This may take some time
to build up to, DO NOT get frustrated.
1. Jack Knife Crunches: there are several methods to perform these; you will start with one of the more basic. Sitting on a bench perpendicularly,
place your hands behind you gripping the bench, palms facing up; extend your legs straight out in front of you. Slowly bring your legs in towards your
body, simultaneously bringing your upper body in two meet your knees. DO NOT let your knees swing downward. If this move is too difficult at first,
perform the same motion on the floor until you get stronger.
2. Bridge: Start lying face down on your stomach. Raise your body up, holding yourself on your toes and forearms. Keep a straight line in your body,
keep your face pointed down, but dont bend your head down. Keep a straight line in your neck and spine. Go up into position letting all of the air out
of your lungs. As youre holding yourself up, squeeze your abdominal muscles as hard as you can. Take small short breaths and hold for as long as you
can. Most will be able to hold for at least 20 seconds, try to work up to 60 seconds per set.
3. Bicycle: Lying flat on your back just as you would performing a crunch with both hands behind your head, raise both legs up approximately 8-12
inches off the ground. As you perform this exercise, you will bring one leg in towards your body, while simultaneously bringing the opposite elbow up
to meet that knee. As you perform the rep, the leg that is remaining still stays up and static. You perform the exercise, right arm to left knee, left
arm to right knee, repeat. Your upper body should be performing the same movement as it would in a twisting crunch and your shoulders should never come
into direct contact with the ground.
***The Sample Routines A & B Sections:
*These routines are just that, Samples they are not to say this is the only way you can pair your exercises for a body part. For instance, on chest
day, Chest Workout B, on the list above it has you doing your flys after your presses, doing them first on one of your chest days is a great way to
pre-exhaust your chest at the beginning. Its important to mix things up to keep the body guessing, the body has a tendency to try its best to remain
the same and to stay in a state of homeostasis. Lets answer some questions you might have
Q: Should you follow the routines just as they are laid out?
A: When you first begin, absolutely, follow the above routine the exact way it is laid out. The first week you begin training, follow workout Phase 1
for one month, then phase two for one month, then begin the beginners routine starting with workout A for each body part, the next week follow with
workout B and then repeat so on and so on. As you become accustomed to the training, begin to mix up the order of the exercises. However when it comes
to your chest & tricep day and your back & bicep day, always do triceps after chest and always do biceps after back. Training either arm muscle
before you hit chest or back is going to severally limit your chest or back training.
Q: Should I keep the reps and sets just like they are in laid out in the routine or should I play around with this as well?
A: When you first begin, absolutely, follow the above routine exactly as it is laid out. As you begin to progress, feel free to play with the rep range
slightly. Keep in mind, you are lifting for your physique not simply for strength alone, your reps should always fall in the 6-12 range on each set.
The occasional burn out set of 20+ reps is a great way to mix things up, and if you want to do an occasional set of 3-4, go for it, but in general keep
the sets in the 6-12 range. Try to keep your calf exercise in the 15 rep range throughout, calves respond more effectively to higher rep sets such as
Q: Most of the exercises have only 3 sets in them, some only 2, is this enough?
A: When you begin your workout, lets use chest as an example, say you begin with Incline Barbell Press. You will need to warm up and do a few sets
while progressively increasing the weight with each one. When it comes to the 3 sets listed in the outline, these represent Working Sets the sets
where you are pushing to the limit. After youve completed this first exercise, when you go to the next there is no reason to go through the same warm
up again. You should not have to do a few sets of the next exercise, you should go right into the working sets; your body is already warmed up.
-As with everything in life, there are exceptions, and there are slight ones here. When you are doing legs, if you do not do squats first you may still
need to do a set or two to sort of get in the groove; but do not waste a lot of energy on a bunch of warm up sets, you should already be warm. Same
can be said with dead lifts, and some of the pressing movements.
-When it comes to your bicep and tricep training, you should already be very warmed up. One light set here and there at the beginning is fine, but
dont treat it like you just got to the gym; there is no need.
Q: What if I feel like doing more sets, should I?
A: In general, no, you should be able to get all the work done in the prescribed amount of sets listed in this routine. Now sometimes to mix things up,
sure throw an extra set or two in there, it will be good stimulation for the muscle. But in general, if you follow the guided outlines, rules and
recommendations, and if you follow them perfectly, you will make perfect gains and get the most out of your training.
Q: What about super-sets, drop-sets and other high intensity methods, why are those not listed?
A: As you progress you will definitely need to add these into your gym bag. Right now you are a beginner, you need to start at the beginning, dont get
ahead of yourself. You need to learn all the proper techniques and master them. If you havent mastered everything were talking about here, then if
you do sets like this, odds are you will make too many mistakes and short change your workouts.
That said, as you become more accustomed to training, once you have followed this routine for quite some time but are still not quite ready to jump to
the intermediate level, at this point adding in things like super-sets and drop-sets would probably be a good idea to help push you through to the next
level of training. To see the proper way to do super-sets and drop-sets, see those guidelines in the intermediate training section.
When you train a certain body part, this does not mean you are burning fat from the area being worked. Many people believe that if they do sit-ups or
crunches, that they will in fact shrink their stomach; nothing could be further from the truth. When you exercise, the energy pulled from fat burns
stored body fat from the entire body; it starts from the last place the fat was stored. When you work a certain body part, you do in fact improve the
shape and strength of that body part, but you do not specifically remove fat from that area. Your goal is to shrink fat cells throughout the entire
body, which is exactly what youre doing when you exercise and eat right.
*Muscle to FatFat to Muscle:
Many believe that when they stop training the new muscle they have acquired will in fact turn into fat. The opposite is sometimes said about fat; some
believe that when they begin training the fat they now have will turn into muscle. Muscle tissue is not the same as fat tissue. Why does this myth
exist? This is because of catabolism of muscle fibers for the use of energy, which in many cases will cause excess glucose to be stored as fat. What
you end up having is muscle atrophy and increased fatty tissue in the same body part giving the appearance that muscle has turned into fat.
*Reshaping the Muscle:
Unfortunately you cannot reshape your muscles. The shape of your muscles is determined at birth. Your goal is to add all you can to the look of your
muscle and to enthusiastically create a better appeal of the muscles in your body. By increasing the size and by removing excess body fat around the
muscles, it will give them the appearance of better looking muscles.
***Notes for Figure, Fitness & Bikini Enthusiast***
*You have just begun your training, as you progress there is a chance you will need to remove some of the exercises that are listed in the routine from
your routine altogether. Your goal in short is the same as anyone else, to build lean muscle tissue, however there are certain things you need to consider.
-It is important as with all physique building endeavors that you build a proportional and well-balanced physique. In your situation, however, it can be a
problem if your legs become too over developed. Because of this fact, at certain points in your training you may need to back off your barbell squats at
times. Nothing on this earth packs on lean tissue to the legs like barbell squats. If you find your legs getting over muscular in a way that could be
detrimental to your goals, back off, continue to do squatting exercises but back off the weight and go with more high rep squats. Some but few may need to
forgo squats altogether for a period of time.
-One of the best if not the very best back exercise on the planet, however in its pure form this lift is not for you. There is too much of a risk of
increasing the size of your obliques and this is simply a bad thing for what you want to do. It gives a wider appearance, something you do not want. For
you, it is still recommended that you make certain types of dead lifts part of your routine. You should be doing Rack dead lifts on occasion. This will
keep you from falling into some of the pitfalls that regular dead lifts may cause you. In the sample routine above it has you doing dead lifts every week
as a beginner, for you, you will be doing rack dead lifts, but you will be doing them only every other back workout at first and as you progress you may
need to make it every third back session.
*Shoulders & Traps:
Keep the shrugs to a minimum. Once every third workout will be perfect
For the figure & fitness enthusiast, you will need to change the rep range from the one listed above. Keep all your reps in the 10-15 range in every
lift, with the occasional set of 8 reps. Forgo the lower rep sets.
Keeping things moving while your training is what you should always be doing, in your case even more so. You are a beginner and as with all beginners your
main focus is on the elements discussed above in this outline, however, for you, keep it moving even faster. As you progress to more advanced levels there
will be several intensity increasing methods youll need to implore into your routine.
***Beginner Training Routine for the Fitness & Figure Enthusiast***
Incline Barbell press: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Pec-Dek Flys: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
Flat Bench Barbell Press: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Bent-Over Barbell Rows: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Dumbbell Pullovers: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows: 3 Sets, 12-15 reps w/each arm
Hyper Extensions: 3 Sets 15 reps each. Or Rack Dead Lifts: 3 Sets 10-12 reps each
Cable Curls: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
Squats: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Leg Press: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Straight Leg Dead Lifts: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Barbell Military Press: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Upright Cable Rows: 3 Sets 12-15 reps each
Dumbbell Shrugs: 2 Sets 12-15 reps each
***Questions Concerning Fitness & Figure Routine***
Q: Is this routine going to make me put on too muscle, I dont want to be too big?
A: Absolutely not! The size of your physique is in part due to your training, and we have discussed how to remedy this with training, however it is
your diet, what you eat and how much you eat that determines the size you will be.
Q: Shouldnt I do more intensity type things to keep my heart rate up?
A: You should train hard every time, but you are a beginner and as it is now, your primary focus is the same as any beginner, just as discussed above.
***Sample Weekly Splits***
*To be followed after the completion of Phase 1 and Phase 2*
Back & Bis
Chest & Tris
Shoulders & Traps
***How Long to Stay on Beginner Routine***
*Everyone responds differently and it is impossible to say exactly how someone will respond when theyve never trained or trained correctly before. Your
main priorities when you first start will be:
1. Learning and applying proper form
2. Becoming accustomed to a strict and structured routine
3. Learning to feel the proper muscles working when doing exercises
4. Learning how to train with proper intensity
5. Learning how to train and eat correctly for the first time in your life
-Once you have mastered these five points it does not necessarily mean you are ready to move to an intermediate level of training. For some, say after 3
months, they will be ready to advance. For most, it will take longer, between 6-12 months on the beginners routine.
-After you have mastered the five main points for a beginner in your training, added a decent amount of size and strength and after increasing your
endurance for strict exercise, then and only then is it time to advance to the intermediate level.
-The amount of size and strength you should gain before you advance to the intermediate level is going to be an individual thing. Mastering the five points
as well as increasing endurance for strict hard exercise is the main key.
*Soreness is not the end all to be all factor when it comes to actual progress or in determining if your training session went well.
-When you first begin this routine you are going to be sore, this is a given. You will be sorer then you have ever been or ever will be again; especially
after the first few sessions of squats and dead lifts. Dont let this concern you, it will hurt, it will be uncomfortable, but you need to work through it.
If you are sore the next day after your leg workout, this does not mean you take the next scheduled lifting day off; you work through it. There will be
times when it is difficult to sit or walk normally, there will be times when lifting your arms up is a difficult task; WORK THROUGH IT! As you continue to
work, the soreness will lessen and become more manageable.
-Many people enjoy a manageable level of soreness after they workout; it gives them a feeling of satisfaction that their workout session was a job well
done. But it is not the soreness itself that leads to a Good Workout. The soreness was caused in part by the strain on the muscles and in part by the
buildup of lactic acid around the muscles being worked. For some this will be worse than others. Proper diet and proper rest will alleviate soreness to a
great extent, as will cardio. (See Cardio Section)
-Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): You have trained a particular muscle group, yet soreness does not show itself until an undetermined amount of time
has passed. For example, you trained legs, after youre done training you are tired and fatigued, perhaps sore in a strained sort of way, yet actual
Soreness is absent. The next morning when you wake up, perhaps even twenty hours later, the intense soreness rears its head. There can be even another
level of DOMS that is not uncommon; you have trained a particular body part and the extreme soreness shows itself the next day. 48 hours later, the
soreness is intensified yet again taking it to its peak level. When this occurs it may take a few days before the soreness subsides completely. DO NOT
WORRY, this is normal and all part of the new way of life you have undertaken.
***Taking a Break***
*After approximately 12-16weeks of training, it is strongly recommended that you take some time off from your weight training. At this point you will not
want to touch a weight for a solid week. This will allow your body some much needed rest, and it will let your muscles heal and prepare you even that much
more for the training to come. At this point some of you will find that you will be ready for the intermediate level of training. You will have mastered
all of the basics in this outline. Most of you, however, will not be ready and will still require some time. How much time as said before is impossible to
determine. Use your own sound judgment.
Q: Why take a break, shouldnt I train more and more? Wont I lose my gains, wont I hurt my progress?
A: Absolutely not, if anything you will help it tremendously
Q: Should I do nothing when I take my break?
A: Remain active, its recommended that you do something most days; it is simply good for your health. Take a walk or go play some sort of pickup game
with your friends, anything to simply get some exercise
Q: What if I reach the 12-16wk mark and dont feel like taking a break, what if I am really in the groove and making great progress, should I still
take a break?
A: There is nothing magical per say about the 12-16wk mark. If you are hitting it hard and really making progress, sure, go ahead and keep going for
another week or two, but you should really force yourself to break at some point during or slightly after that time frame. Your gains will be greater
and your body will thank you.
*Cardio is an absolute essential for anyone looking to build a great physique. It is beneficial for your cardiovascular system, it keeps your metabolism
revved up, and it helps regulate many of the hormones in your body that are essential for a proper functioning body to build an awesome physique.
*There are several things to consider when it comes to your cardio. Right now you are not dieting for a contest, you are not trying to get down to an
extremely low body fat percentage, but cardio and keeping your metabolism burning quickly is important.
-If you are carrying a large amount of body fat, then it is recommended that you do a pretty good bit of cardio from the get go. At this point you should
be following a weight loss style diet with your training and you should be doing cardio most every day. Recommended a minimum of 45 minutes every day of
some type of cardio
-If you are in relatively good shape, your body fat is at a manageable level and you are not concerned at this time with losing any body fat an you are
following the steroid.com beginners diet for gaining muscle, 30 min of cardio around 4-5 days a week is perfect.
-If you are a hard gainer, you have very low body fat and struggle with gaining muscle mass you still need to do a little cardio. If nothing else consider
the health benefits. On top of this, keep in mind that regular cardiovascular training enhances hormone production in the body, therefore increasing your
ability to build lean muscle tissue. 3-4 sessions per week at 20 minutes per session is perfect for you.
-If you are a figure & fitness enthusiast keep your cardio at 45 minutes per session 5-7 days a week.
-Whoever you are, your cardio is best performed either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or immediately after your weight training session.
Either way this will put you in the best position possible for controlling body fat.
***DO NOT do your cardio immediately before your weight training session; this is a huge mistake many females make. The myth is that if cardio is done
first then when the weights are hit more fat will be burned. Nothing could be further from the truth. You need food on your stomach to be able to lift
properly. With weight training your body needs fuel to pull from to complete the lifts, if no food is available it will pull from lean muscle tissue you
already carry. Remember, losing lean tissue is not an option. The more lean tissue you carry, the faster your metabolism is. When you do your cardio on an
empty stomach and if you are keeping your heart rate in the fat burning zone, 110-130 beats per minute, then your body pulls the energy it needs from
stored body fat. If you do your cardio first when there is still food on your stomach, the body pulls the energy it needs from the food it is still
-First thing in the morning on an empty stomach is the most optimal time of day for fat burning effects, however, it is not so much more optimal then doing
it immediately after your weight training session. It will be a hard task and unmanageable for most to hit the gym twice a day, because of this, most will
need to do their cardio after their weight training session. This is fine and more then anything is something that should be included as a staple of your
routine and goal for a perfect physique.
*The type of cardio or how hard you do your cardio is important. You should keep your heart rate in the fat burning zone. There is no need to sprint or
get your heart rate flying; this will cause and put you at risk at burning precious hard earned muscle tissue. Keep it in the fat burning zone; your
heart rate should be at 110-130 beats per minute.
***Stretching & Warming UP***
*Both are important before any training session. Before you hit the weights it is not a bad idea to do 5-10 minutes of light cardio to get your blood
flowing and get in to the right state of mind. Is it necessary? No, but its not a bad idea.
*When it comes to stretching itself, before each workout, stretch the muscles that you will be training. However, you do not and should not do any extreme
stretching before lifting. This can be damaging to your muscles before you lift. Keep the intense stretching for after you lift. Is post workout stretching
necessary? To an extent absolutely! It will help flush lactic acid away from the muscles making soreness more manageable. It will also help prevent injury
*There is an ongoing argument among trainers, lifters and weight lifting experts as to which if any accessories are acceptable. Among pure strength
athletes these can be a hindrance, but you are here to build a perfect physique.
If you can get by without using one then by all means go for it. If you are feeling pressure on your lower back in some exercises then please use a
belt. If you are feeling pressure during presses then you are twisting your back and should stop immediately and perfect your form. If you feel you
need a belt while doing curls, then you are swinging your back and hips, stop lower the weight and perfect your form.
-Belts are acceptable for:
*We can make an exception with belts when the individual becomes more advanced in his training. At this time the individual should have mastered his
form and can choose to use a belt during any exercise for any body part if he so chooses.
Some will argue that using lifting straps will take away from forearm development and that they should never be used. This is simply an overblown myth.
When training your back your forearms will come into play on almost every exercise, on everyone of these exercises no matter how strong your forearms
are, they will tire out before your back does. Your back will always be stronger then your forearms no matter how strong your forearms become. For this
reason it is strongly recommended that you use lifting straps while training back and while performing shrugs in some instances. Worry about your
forearm strength and development when youre training arms.
These items have their place in a training routine when it comes to legs. However, their use should be limited and limited to those who are at a much
more advanced level of training then you. Many lifters begin to rely on knee wraps early in their lifting endeavor and this is a problem. They use the
knee wraps to help them bounce and do not realize they are doing so simply because they have not perfected their form. For this purpose knee wraps are
not for you
***Notes on Exercises***
With the bar across your back, you should squat down similar to if you were sitting down in a chair. Your feet should be shoulder width to slightly less
than shoulder width apart. Spreading your feet further apart will give you more power, but will take away from the stimulation you are trying to achieve.
-The bar should not be up high on your neck, rather it should be resting on your lower traps. Having the bar too high can force your head down. Your
head should remain up the entire time to relieve stress on the spine.
-You should remain upright through the entire movement. However, this means upright in a natural position; you do not need to be at a 90degree angle.
Your glutes should be going back and down as you make the movement.
-The movement itself, your knees should not go out over your toes. Feet remain flat; your heels never come up. Your thighs should be parallel to the
ground at the bottom portion of the exercise. Going below parallel is great, if you can squat glutes to calves then do so, but not at the expense of
solid form in every other aspect. However, Parallel is a MUST! Many will not go parallel and will severely shortchange their development. Lower the
weight if necessary.
Use either a bar across your back or hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands. If your grip begins to give out before your legs do and youre using
dumbbells, switch to a barbell.
-Lunge forward one leg at a time. For perfect form throughout, take one step forward and bring the other leg up to meet the lunging leg and stop then
repeat with the other leg forward. Once you perfect your form, you may begin taking continuous strides without the stopping point. This is not a
required necessity, if your form gets sloppy with this method, go back to one leg at a time then stop and repeat.
-As you lunge, the back leg should come within inches of touching the ground. As you come forward with the back leg, push off hard with your back foot
to intensify the stimulation in your glutes and hamstrings.
*Straight Leg Dead Lift:
Very similar to a standard Dead Lift, however you will keep your legs straight the entire time.
-Do not lock the knees, stand relaxed
-Lower the weight towards the floor until you feel a good contraction in your hamstrings.
-The distance you lower the weight will vary from person to person, depending on height. Try to lower the bar all the way to the ground, but if you
reach a point to where the tension leaves your hamstrings and is placed on your lower back, you have gone to far. Try to find the sweet spot.
-The weight used on this exercise is not a major issue; you are going for the hard contraction. This is a very easy exercise to mess up and cause
injury to your lower back or hamstrings. Use caution and sound judgment every time.
*Incline Bench Press:
With the bar or the dumbbells, the downward portion of the movement should hit in line with the upper portion of your chest, just below your neck line for
-The downward portion of the exercise, your elbows should be slightly less than a 90 degree angle perpendicular to your body or slightly lower. If you
have longer arms, there is no need to go down to where your elbows begin to point and drift behind your body. This will cause damage to your shoulders.
-Your butt should remain flat on the bench the entire time, with your feet flat on the floor. Do not flail your legs, do not twist and contort your
body to get the weight up. If you cant do this, then lower the weight because it is too heavy. Control is the key!
*Flat Bench Press:
With the bar or the dumbbells, the downward portion of the movement should hit somewhere in the mid to upper chest region. If the bar is hitting you below
the chest you are doing the movement incorrectly.
-Your elbows should remain perpendicular to your body; a slight inward turn is acceptable if this feels more natural, but only slightly. DO NOT allow
your elbows to turn in towards your chest completely; this will put the stress on your triceps and shoulders and is one of the biggest leading causes
to injury on the bench press.
- Your butt should remain flat on the bench the entire time, with your feet flat on the floor. Do not flail your legs, do not twist and contort your
body to get the weight up. If you cant do this, then lower the weight because it is too heavy. Control is the key!
*Wide Grip Pull-Ups:
Wide Grip means just that; WIDE GRIP! Slightly beyond shoulder width is as close as you should ever get to your body. As you get stronger, widen your grip
even further out.
-As you grip the bar, use a thumb less grip to take pressure off the forearms and keep it on the back.
-Use your arms and hands as hooks; contract your back muscles to pull you up. If you feel added stress on your shoulders, examine your movement; you
may be pulling with your shoulders and not your back. This is a very common mistake and easy to do.
-Take the movement all the way to the top and all the way back down to the very bottom for a full stretch. The top part of the movement should have
your chin at the top of the bar.
-If you cannot do bodyweight pull-ups, use an assisted machine until you master the exercise and are ready for full-fledged pull-ups. If your gym does
not have an assisted machine, use the lat pull down on the cables; most gyms do have an assisted machine.
*Bent-Over Barbell Rows:
Grabbing a barbell at shoulder width, using a thumb less grip, bend over to where the bar is hanging towards the floor, arms straight. As you bend down,
bend at the hips, not at the waist. Your rear end should be pointed outward at an exaggerated position if you are bending over correctly. Bend over to a 90
degree angle. A 45 degree angle can be acceptable, however upright is not nor is a slight bend.
-Pull the bar straight up, keeping it towards your body the entire time. As you pull up, your elbows should be pointed straight back. Contract hard at
the top and repeat.
-At the top portion of the movement, the bar should hit in between the hips and your bellybutton, not below and not higher.
The most basic and most important back building exercise of all time. With a weighted bar on the floor, grab the bar at shoulder width to slightly wider
then shoulder width and pull the weight up, lower and repeat.
-Keep the bar close to your body throughout.
-Keep an upright posture throughout.
-Explode using your hamstrings and back. Hold at the top and contract your entire back
-Do not hang your head down, do not bend or round your back
-The dead lift is the only back exercise where it is acceptable to use your thumbs in your grip.
*Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows:
There are several ways you can do this exercise:
- Kneeling on a bench with one leg while the other is on the floor.
- Leaning on a dumbbell rack or other supporting device with one arm while the other hangs down with the weight
-Standing in a squatted position with the free arm resting on your inner thigh with your arm that is in action pulling up from the center
-With all 3 variations pull the dumbbell straight up into the outer portion of your chest on the side you are working letting your elbow go directly
back at a 90 degree angle.
-The positive portion should be a hard pull while controlling the weight on the negative.
Lying at a 45 degree angle, place your feet slightly less then shoulder width apart. Toes should be pointed outward slightly, very slightly. Feet should be
placed directly in line with the center of your body, not above and not below that line.
-Keep your back flat and do not let your glutes come up from the seat.
-Take your legs all the way down in a controlled manner; do not bounce on the safety stops at the bottomcontrol, control.
-Go down as far as possible, but if your lower back and glutes come up, youve gone too far and can cause unwarranted stress to your lower back
-Do not lock your knees at the top
*Barbell Military Press:
Sitting in a military bench, grab the bar and lower it keeping it straight in front of your face.
-Go down at least to where your elbows are at a 90 degree angle perpendicular to your body. This should fall somewhere in line of your neck.
-DO NOT lock your elbows out at the top.
-DO NOT arch your back to push the weight back up; this causes undue stress to your spine
*Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise:
One of the most incorrectly performed exercises in any bodybuilders arsenal. Use a bench with a back support and let the dumbbells hang naturally to your
-Using both arms at the same time, raise the dumbbells from the side in a perpendicular line from your body.
-Keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout
-At the top portion of the movement, the dumbbells should be pointed slightly down in front of you as if you were pouring out a pitcher of water.
-Control the movement all the way back down to keep tension on your muscles
-DO NOT raise the dumbbells up above your head. This causes undue stress to your traps, and in short will make you look like you dont know what youre
-If you find difficulty performing this move correctly, use one arm at a time until you master the move.
*Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise:
Sit on the end of a bench and bend over to the point where your you are laying on the top of your thighs. Let the dumbbells hang down to your side beside
your legs behind your feet.
-Using the same motion as a lateral raise, raise both dumbbells straight up
-Keep a slight bend in your elbows
-Keep your head down
-Raise the dumbbells up until they are slightly higher then perpendicular to your chest. If your shoulder blades pull close together, you have gone
back too far and have taken the stress off your rear delts.
Standing directly in front of a barbell, grasp the bar with a slightly wider grip then shoulder width.
-Keep your head down throughout
-Pull straight up with your traps, NOT with your arms. Your arms are simply acting as hooks. Pull with your traps.
-Squeeze hard at the top
-DO NOT roll your shoulders back at the top. Straight up and then straight down, thats it.
*Dumbbell Military Press:
Use a bench with a back support and press the dumbbells directly above your head.
-Place the dumbbells on your thighs and kick them up one at a time to which youll be holding the dumbbells directly above your shoulders perpendicular
to your body. The dumbbells should be pointed outward, not inward
-Press directly up but DO NOT lock out your elbows at the top
-Lower the dumbbells back down to the point to where your elbows are at a slightly lower then 90 degree angle. It should be the same point and line as
a barbell military press
Reverse Pec-Dek Flys:
Seated on the same pec-dek machine as the one you use for your chest, this time you are seated in reverse facing the machine.
-Grasp the handles to where your palms are facing the floor
-Pull straight back to where your arms are past the perpendicular point to your body
-DO NOT go back to where you are trying to touch your shoulder blades together, this takes the tension off your rear delts and puts it on your upper
back. Youre working shoulders, not your back
Wide Grip Up-Right Rows:
Grasp a barbell with your hands as wide as possible
-Pull the bar straight up keeping it right in front of your body throughout.
-As you pull upwards, your elbows should be working their way upwards to where they are pointing towards the ceiling at the top.
-At the top of the movement the bar should be above your chest, it should never reach your head
Hold two dumbbells to your side and shrug
-DO NOT roll your shoulders at the top
-DO NOT jerk your body
-Control the weight back down
*French Press/Skull Crushers:
Lying on a flat bench with both feet on the floor, hold a cambered bar above your head and lower the bar towards the center of your face to the back of
your head. Your arm length will determine exactly where this point is.
-Bend your arms all the way down to where your elbows are slightly below a 90 degree bend
-Explode up and squeeze your triceps hard at the top
-DO NOT take the bar too far back below your head
-Do not let your elbows flair out
Using your own bodyweight press yourself up on a tricep dip bar. Both hands should be at your sides holding your body up. Simply press your arms up and
down, lowering and raising your entire body.
-DO NOT lean forward, remain in an upright position. Leaning forward puts the stress on your chest. There is a time for doing dips to hit the chest
muscles, but for now you are working triceps, not chest.
-Control the movement down, and explode up squeezing the triceps hard at the top of the movement.
Close Grip Bench Press:
Lying on a flat bench just as you would to do flat bench press when working chest, grab the barbell with your hands approximately 6 apart. Lower the bar
down to your mid chest and explode up
-Keep your elbows tucked in on this exercise, the exact opposite as you would do on flat bench press when working chest.
-Squeeze the triceps hard at the top portion of the exercise
*Overhead Barbell Tricep Extensions:
Very similar to a French press/skull crusher. Sit on a bench and hold a bar above your head. A cambered bar is the most efficient bar to use. Lower the bar
behind your head and explode up.
-Lower the bar all the way down to where your elbows are below a 90 degree angle.
-The bar should not go back so far to where it hits your traps
-The bar should go lower then the top of your head
*Standing Barbell Curl:
Standing upright, grip a barbell at approximately shoulder width. In a curling motion, raise the bar all the way up towards the chest and squeeze. Proceed
to lower the bar all the way down in a controlled manner.
-DO NOT roll your shoulders or bring your shoulders into the movement in any way. If your shoulders come into play, chances are you are using too much
-DO NOT cheat yourself and not come all the way back down.
-Do not use your back in any shape form or fashion. If you find you are heaving your body and using your lower back, lower the weight. This is a very
common mistake and is an ego factor that causes many lifters to seriously short change themselves, not to mention threaten serious injury to your lower
*Dumbbell Hammer Curls:
Holding a dumbbell in each hand curl the dumbbells straight up but in doing so, keep the dumbbells pointed straight ahead the entire time, palms facing the
body. Squeeze hard at the top and control the movement down.
-As you squeeze up, focus more on squeezing the biceps where they tie in with your forearms
-As with all curling motions, DO NOT cheat by rolling your shoulders or using your shoulders at all or your lower back
*Seated Dumbbell Curls:
Sitting on the end of a bench or a bench with a back support, holding a dumbbell in each hand curl the dumbbells straight up. Start with the dumbbells to
where your palms are facing in towards your body. As you curl up, twist the dumbbells to where your palms are facing up at the top of the movement and
*Reverse Grip Barbell Curls:
Standing holding a cambered bar, grip the bar with your palms facing down with an approximately shoulder width grip. This should be the wider grip on the
cambered bar. Take the bar and curl in the same motion as you would a standard barbell curl.
-Full motion every time
-Squeeze your forearms at the top of the movement.
***Notes on Exercises added to figure/fitness routine***
Lie perpendicular on a bench with only your shoulders supporting your body on the bench. Keep a straight line in your body and hold a dumbbell directly
above your head. Lower the dumbbell back behind you as far as you can until you feel a good stretch in your lats. Bring the dumbbell back up to where it is
above your head and repeat.
-DO NOT let you hips come up while doing this exercise, keep a straight line in your body the entire time
-DO NOT let your feet come up during this exercise, keep them flat on the ground the entire time.
-DO NOT tense up your neck or let it hang over the end of the bench. Relax it and let it rest naturally.
-Keep your arms as straight as possible. There will be a slight amount of bending at the elbows that occurs naturally.
Facing a cable station, grip a straight bar just as you would doing a barbell curl. Curl up and contract at the top controlling the weight back down.
-DO NOT let the weight slam or bounce at the bottom
-DO NOT stand far away from the cable station but as close as you can while performing the exercise
-Keep shoulder and back involvement out of the exercise
*Upright Cable Rows:
Facing a cable station, grip a straight bar with an overhand grip, palms facing down. Pull upwards until your elbows are pointed towards the ceiling.
- DO NOT let the weight slam or bounce at the bottom
-At the top of the movement, your hands should be slightly under your chin
*Rack Dead Lifts:
Standing inside a power rack, place the bar on the safety stops to where it is a few inches below your knees. Grip the bar with an overhand grip, palms
facing down and pull straight up until you are fully erect.
-Keep the bar right up against your body throughout
-DO NOT hunch or round your back, remain as upright as possible throughout.
-Let the bar come back down all the way to the resting point at the end of each rep, do not stop short of the bottom position.