The beginners’ program
Before starting your training, think for one second: what are your goals? If you do not know it, you will be going nowhere, so you must put them clear first. Think about realistic goals, and do not dare to think of becoming a great bodybuilder in just one year. Dreaming of looking as our latest number model in a few weeks will also be impossible. Success is not determined by the appearance we have in comparison with those with better genes, but by how far we have gone from our starting point.
I do not mean to say you will not have an extraordinary aspect in one year or even before, because you do can. Otherwise we would not have written this article. However, our guide is only a small detail to your body’s reformation. Hard working, dedication, changing the bad habits; are things that you have to do. Face it and we promise you will thank for it.
Our program is developed throughout 12 weeks – Stage I goes from weeks 1 to 6 and Stage II, from the weeks 7 to 12- and it will be a training base during the rest of your life. Correctly follow our instructions and let your development begin.
Stage I: Muscular coordination
The aim of this stage is simply introduce your muscles to the weight-lifting stimulus, a drastic change regarding what you are accustomed to. The volume (the amount of sets and repetitions) is low and therefore trainings will be short, despite they include all muscular groups and mix apparatus and free weights. ‘Stage I exercises consist in basic common movements’ Leopando says. ‘Use them as models when you learn other exercises’
Weeks 1 to 3. During Week I, you will do an exercise set per muscular group (a whole body routine) twice a week with a minimum one-day rest between trainings. You must complete the work in less than half an hour, and maybe you feel like doing something else, but you have to be patient: to go too far too early can lead to injuries and excessive twinges. By now, do the easy things.
Alter the first week you can do two more sets of each exercise and in weeks 2 and 3, also with an exercise per muscle. If twinges are not too annoying and you are able to face the challenge, try doing three trainings this week. A resting day in between is enough. Between sets, rest only the necessary to move on to the next exercise.
You are training a different muscle in each set, so you do not have to worry about recovery. Try doing the exercises in the presented order, but if for any reason you can’t, make sure to train the big muscles before the small ones. For instance, avoid doing a triceps exercise before chest or biceps before back.
On each set choose a weight that becomes hard to handle in the last repetition. If the number 15 is easy, you will need more kilos. But do not use a load which can compromise the style of the execution. You may need a couple of trainings before finding the right weight. Take notes about it, as well as how easy or hard it resulted and you will know if you need to add or reduce resistance for the next training. Choose a weight lighter than the one you think you can use, and from that point gradually increase it.
No matter the load, learning to perform the exercises correctly is your main goal. Be well informed reading our description of the exercises. Use this time to create good habits; it is hard to correct the bad ones. Remember, if you have to do 300 repetitions to learn how to execute an exercise accurately, you will need more than 3000 to mend an incorrect style.
Weeks 4 to 6. After more than three weeks the volume doubles for almost all muscles. But this should not be a problem, since you have prepared your body. The original exercises will increase to three sets, and we will add one exercise for the big muscles, until we reach a total of six sets per muscular group. Here we will introduce what we call a divided routine.
You will no longer work the whole body. The new training has too much volume to keep the needed intensity. We will divide the body into two separate trainings. Training 1 includes chest, back, trapezius and shoulders, and Training 2 will workout legs, biceps, triceps, lower back and abdominals.
Do each one of them twice a week, for a total of four weekly trainings. Rest between 30 to 45 seconds between sets, and the same between exercises. During this three weeks, repetitions decrease to 12 per set, except for lower back and abs, which tend to respond better to high repetitions. Therefore, increase the weight, thinking of adding 2 to 4 kilos. If you still can do 15 repetitions, increase the load.