The Scenario: A 140lb guy enters the gym, armed with a program he pulled from some muscle magazine.
The Outcome (Four 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 a magazine with countless promises to build you the physique of your dreams? Too may to count right? Well believe me, if you tried to commit to any of these (combined with the promised fad diets), you’d end up…well, nowhere. The problem is our bodies need different fitness programs. 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.
The key to success here is easier and simpler than you think. Rather than committing to those split routines or complicated pyramid set systems, 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 skinny individuals with little muscle mass, the foundation is building a solid base before working on the definition.
The most effective solution is to focus solely on compound movements, such as Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Presses, Rows, Dips, and Chin-Ups. Each of these movements provides the ultimate foundation needed for muscle growth. AND THAT'S IT! Anything else could potentially burn extra calories, thus not allowing for full muscle growth. (Especially those with a fast metabolism.)
So here's a program for you to follow, in order to keep things simple (based on 3x a week):
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 Rows - 5 x 5
DAY THREE - LOWER BODY
1) Squats - 5 x 5
2) Walking Lunges - 2 x 6-8 alt 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 mins on a treadmill at a comfortable jogging pace) and some static stretches afterwards.
The NEW Outcome (Four Months Later): The 160lb guy loves his new physique and is determined to keep going! He's tossed that stupid magazine in the trash.