The Scenario: A 140lb guy enters the gym, armed with a program he pulled from some muscle magazine.
The Outcome (Three Months Later): The still 140lb guy enters the gym, armed with the different workout from the same magazine.
How many times have you come across fitness magazines with promises to build you the physique of your dreams? Six Pack in Six Minutes? How about Bulging Biceps in a Week? Believe me, if you tried to commit to any of these (combined with the promised fad diets), you’d end up…well, nowhere. We need different fitness programs, depending on our goals. These magazines simply use a "One size fits all" approach. Again, this results in looking the same, maybe feeling better, but not fully accomplishing your fitness goals.
For those lean guys looking to bulk, the key to success is easier and simpler than you think. Rather than committing to those bizarre split routines or complicated pyramid schemes, the answer lies in building a solid base. I like to use the house-building terminology “lay the foundation and place the bricks before you decorate.” Cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. To those lean individuals with little muscle mass, the foundation is building a solid base before working on the definition. Building the large muscle groups first, before hitting the smaller ones.
The most effective solution therefore is to focus mainly on those compound movements, such as Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, Bent-Over Rows, Chin-Ups/Pull-Ups and Dips. Each of these movements provides the ultimate foundation needed for muscle growth.
So here's a very basic program idea for you to follow, in order to keep things simple (based on 3x a week). You'll notice there's very little to it, since we don't want to expend too many calories doing other things from the start:
DAY ONE - FULL BODY
1) Deadlift - 5 x 5
2) Chin-Ups - 3 x max reps
3) Dips - 5 x 5
DAY TWO - UPPER BODY
1) Bench Press - 5 x 5
2) Bent-Over Barbell Rows - 5 x 5
3) Pull-Ups - 5 x 5
DAY THREE - LOWER BODY
Warm-Up: 500m on Rowing machine, or 1/2mile on a treadmill
1) Barbell Back Squats - 5 x 5
2) Dumbbell Walking Lunges - 2 x 6-8 alternating steps.
When you start out, find a weight that makes the last rep challenging but do-able. Each time you revisit the exercise the following week, try and add 5-10lbs to the sets. It goes without saying, don't forget to do some warm-up activity (5-10 mins on a treadmill at a comfortable jogging pace) and some stretches afterwards.
The NEW Outcome (Four Months Later): The now 160lb guy loves his new physique and is determined to keep going! He's tossed that stupid magazine in the trash.
(main image courtesy of shutterstock.com)