Bodybuilding and muscle building require your close attention to different exercises that improve the shape and size of muscles instead of encouraging your pure strength. Strength building involves exercises that induce the recruitment of muscle nerves and fibers that allow people lift quite heavy weights. In its turn, muscle building requires exercises that increase the size of muscle fibers, which are elongated muscle cells. It’s worth mentioning that the size doesn’t equate with the strength.
Can You Benefit from This Program?
While the basic muscle and strength program can be everything that many people need, this one is designed specifically for those trainers who want to pay close attention to body shape. Classic bodybuilding look and shape are determined by a high muscle definition and low body fat level that emphasize the shape and size of muscles. For example, shoulders, arms, abdominals, legs, back and butt are characterized by a shredded and lean appearance, and its popularity is only increased by many magazine publishers searching for great covers.
It’s not always necessary to reach the level of all competition bodybuilders, both men and women. Your low body fat and well-developed muscles are great for fitness, self-esteem, health and personal image. For women, muscle building doesn’t mean their big and bulky figure, but it still means their low body fat, flat bottom and stomach and good looking shoulders, arms and legs.
Key Principles of Muscle Building
To get the desired sculptured look, there are certain things you need:
1. Exercises that complement a healthy nutrition program by helping you maintain low body fat and enhance muscles. They usually include weight training and aerobic exercises.
2. A well-balanced nutrition program that supports your low body fat maintenance while providing sufficient proteins to build more muscles.
3. An effective muscle building program that targets your muscle size and definition for other body parts.
Outline of the Muscle Program
When it comes to its design, this muscle building program is quite simple to accommodate all possible users. So, it’s perfect for both men and women of different age with the right selection of volume or work and weight. When considering its safety and health, you should stop training once you start experiencing any acute discomfort or pain during exercises. Seek medical help if this continues beyond standard muscle soreness and discomfort that happens with any weight training. You aren’t supposed to lift quite heavy weights in this muscle program.
Keep in mind that it’s a generic program created to provide people with a helpful template to develop their muscle and body shape. Think about using the services of a qualified strength coach or a personal trainer to customize it based on your fitness goals, access to available resources, current fitness level and time you have for training.
This muscle program also includes supersets, which are consecutive exercises that work opposing the same muscle groups. For instance, you can try biceps curls followed by triceps kickbacks. All supersets must be done with no break between them.
Looking for alternatives? You can integrate barbells and dumbbells into some exercises. Dumbbells are more convenient for your home gym workouts or when machines and benches are busy. If you don’t have any access to a specific exercise piece, you should work around it with the alternatives that have similar functions. Take into account the number of exercise sessions, because there are about ten exercises that should be done in 3 sets and 10 repetitions a few times a week.
Unlike the basic strength program of 5 sets and repetitions, this one uses only 3 sets of 10 repetitions and alternating sessions, similar to the split system. A perfect system includes 2 or 3 sessions each week with 1 day of rest between each one. As an example, you can try this exercise option:
• Session 1: buttocks and legs;
• Session 2: shoulders, back, and arms;
• Session 3: chest and abdominals.
It’s also necessary to calculate the right weight for every exercise that will let you do 10 repetitions. It’s a stage at which you cannot do other repetitions without rest. You should be able to continue for 3 sets with a very short break in between your sets. Such exercises as deadlifts and squats are quite taxing with heavy weights, and that’s why you shouldn’t expect a lot too early. Try picking the weights that let you complete all sets in 10 repetitions. Your exercise intervals shouldn’t exceed 30-60 seconds between sets.
Progression and recovery apply if you do 2-3 sets on a weekly basis. After 10 sessions, it’s advisable to take 1 week of recovery by doing only 1 session a week. You can also do your standard weekly routine with just 1 set during every session. Start each training session with about 20 minutes of mild aerobic and cardio work, including step machines, bikes and treadmills.
This program includes the exercise equipment available in many health clubs and gyms. The exercises listed below are in the right order to do them based on the availability of this equipment. Try to keep all supersets sequential and remember that you will get sore after early sessions until the body adjusts to this training. You should have 2 days of rest between all sessions and only 2 sessions per week if it’s a problem.
Session 1: Buttons and Legs
1. Barbell and dumbbell squats. Ensure that you complete 3 full sets and lighten weights when needed.
2. Leg press. Do this exercise and place your feet at the top of plates to activate butt muscles and hamstrings. Squats take care of your quads, and you should note your response on this workout. Do your best to work hard, but feel free to lighten it if your lower back feels quite stressed.
3. Sled hack squats. They can be substituted with barbell hack squats.
4. Leg curls. You can do either prone bench curls or standing leg curls.
5. Leg extensions. Choose solid weight, but avoid overstressing knee joints. Avoid this exercise if the joints feel painful or uncomfortable.
6. Calf-raise machines. Sit on a pad, hook thighs under a bar and lift weights.
7. Barbell and dumbbell calf raises. Hold weights properly, raise both heels and lower with a controlled motion. If you have any problems with your balance, go to single dumbbells, hold on something and alternate legs.
1. Barbell and dumbbell forward lunges. Barbells can be held at your chest or at shoulders behind your head, while dumbbells are held at sides. Keep your toes behind a line of your knees while lunging when doing this good-balance exercise.
2. Cable kickbacks. Lift legs to a rear.
3. Cable hip abductions. You should superset them and lift legs to sides.
4. Bridges. Lie on the floor with arms by sides before you start lift and squeeze buttocks. Hold for a few seconds, lower and do that again. This exercise doesn’t require any equipment, unless you preset to place heels on a bench instead of the floor.
Such leg exercises as deadlifts and squats work your buttock muscles too.
Session 2: Shoulders, Arms and Back
Shoulders and back:
1. Seated cable rows. Squeeze shoulder blades together while pulling back.
2. Lat pulldown. Avoid pulling down behind your neck and try to vary your grip to challenge your different muscle groups.
3. Lateral dumbbell raises. Bend your elbows to take pressure off your shoulder joints.
4. Romanian deadlifts. They are focused on your legs and lower back, and you can do them with barbells and heavy dumbbells.
5. Dumbbell shrugs. Hold dumbbells at sides and shrug your shoulders upward to feel trapezius muscles.
6. Seated dumbbell press. Push straight above your head while sitting on a bench.
7. Alternate front dumbbell raises. You can superset them with other exercises. Hold dumbbells by sides and lift to horizontal.
8. Bent over lateral dumbbell raises. Bend at a waist and raise dumbbells to your shoulder height before returning. It’s an effective and advanced exercise focused on your shoulder and back muscles.
1. Dumbbell bicep curls. Rotate your arms while standing or sitting.
2. Dumbbell triceps kickbacks. Extend your arms fully without locking out any joints and use a bench to support your knee.
3. Triceps pushdowns. Keep your elbows close to sides to achieve the best result.
4. Reverse barbell curls and E-Z bars. The latter ones aren’t necessary, but they make it simple on wrists.
5. Dumbbell triceps extensions. Extend arms behind your head before returning.
6. Barbell preacher curls. If preacher benches aren’t available, you can do concentration curls.
Session 3: Abdominals and Chest
1. Kneeling cable crunches.
2. Crunches. It’s possible to alternate twist, standard and others.
3. Sit-ups and decline bench crunches.
4. Machine crunches.
5. Dumbbell side bends. They work the oblique at your abdomen sides. Hold dumbbells in your arms and bend over without leaning forward.
6. Leg raises. Support arms or hang and raise your legs. This exercise is advanced and must be repeated 10 times.
1. Bench press. Lie on a bench and use dumbbells or barbells.
2. Incline dumbbell bench press. This exercise is focused on your chest pectoral muscles and shoulders. Raise a bench from flat to back.
3. Dumbbell pullovers. Lie on a bench and hold dumbbell in palms before raising and lowering behind your head.
This muscle program is created to fit a bigger cycle of weight training, so it shouldn’t be done before the preparatory basic muscle and strength or similar programs. That’s because preparatory programs condition your body to strains, stresses and other processes of weight training. Once you complete it, feel free to decide what fits your fitness