Do you want to remove the weight you gained during the recent lockdowns? Do you want to prepare your summer body as early as today? If you’re a complete beginner to working out in the gym, this guide will help you develop a beginner workout plan.
Stress, anxiety, loneliness, and a sedentary lifestyle caused by the quarantines put weight on a lot of people. If you want to remove this excess weight, aiming to build muscle is a great way to do it. You’re not only losing weight, but you’re also improving your body at the same time.
If it’s your first time to try entering a muscle-building program, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ll give you everything you need to know about creating a beginner workout plan. Keep reading to learn more about muscle building and how you can get your best body.
1. What You Need to Know About Muscle Building
Building muscle isn’t as easy as taking a beginner workout plan and using it. You need to be more informed about muscle building before you go to the gym. First, answer the following question about your intended muscle development process.
Is your aim to get bigger or get stronger? Going to the gym to build muscle is different from strength training. You don’t always need well-defined muscles to be strong or vice versa.
That’s why you can find different sports for lifting heavy weights and sculpting the body. Those sports are bodybuilding, weightlifting, and powerlifting. You don’t need to enter one of these sports, but consider these approaches when you enter a gym.
In muscle building, your body will need:
- Healthy diet
Protein is the building block of your muscles, especially in men. A high protein intake will not only promote muscle growth but will also prevent muscle loss. You can get protein from eggs, lean meats, dairy products, and protein supplements.
Visiting the gym and lifting weights won’t help you build muscle well until you follow a healthy diet. Remember, you’re putting your body under a lot of stress whenever you work out. To function well and recover well, it needs the right fuel source, which is healthy food.
Other than healthy food, your body will also need rest. There’s no point in going to the gym to build muscle if your body hasn’t had enough recovery time. Lack of proper rest can lead to muscle loss, joint pain and stiffness, headaches, and body aches.
2. Muscle Building vs. Strength Training
There is a difference when building muscle mass and increasing muscle strength. Yes, they might sound similar but there are significant differences between them. To help you understand, here’s a basic breakdown of them both:
How to Work Out to Build Muscle
Earlier, we asked you if you want to build muscle or enhance your strength. If you want to build muscle, you’ll focus on hypertrophy training. If you want to get stronger, you’ll want to take up strength training.
There are a few differences between hypertrophy and strength training.
In hypertrophy training, you’re focusing on doing more sets and reps. The more you increase your training volume, the better your muscles look. Hypertrophy also helps you increase strength, lose weight, and symmetry in your muscles.
Also, when you increase your reps and sets, you need to reduce the intensity of the weight you lift. Otherwise, you’ll get so gassed out that your recovery period needs to be longer. The rest period between sets in hypertrophy training takes 1-3 minutes.
How to Work Out to Build Muscle Strength
Strength training poses a variety of benefits for you. It helps you replace body fat with lean muscle mass and increase metabolism. You can even increase your bone density, which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Do you have chronic conditions, like back pain, obesity, depression, and diabetes? You can reduce the symptoms of your chronic condition when you take on strength training.
In strength training, you do fewer reps but with great intensity. Your progressive goal is to add more weights to each training session. Because strength training is quite intense, you can rest for 3 to 5 minutes between sets.
With that said, strength and hypertrophy training isn’t exclusive to one another. It’s always a good idea to create a balance between strength and muscle hypertrophy to get your best body. After all, you wouldn’t want to be a buff guy with no strength or a strong guy with no muscle aesthetic.
3. What’s in a Beginner Workout Plan?
An effective beginner workout plan needs to have a full-body program. You can’ focus on only your arms or chest. Your workout plan needs to build muscle balance for your whole body.
It also needs to have high-volume training for an optimal hypertrophy program. This means you’ll be pumping out more and more reps and sets within each week. Often, you’re going to aim for 3-5 sets of reps in the 8-15 range.
However, you mustn’t use up all your energy in these sets. It’s normal to struggle by the last couple of reps, but you should have at least one or two more pumps reserved. In other words, work your muscles hard, but not to total failure.
An isometric exercise is where you hold a position under tension and stay in it for a set amount of time. This helps you build not only strength but also stability and mental strength. Use it to condition yourself to push harder during your workouts in uncomfortable positions.
Each week, you’ll also aim to increase the intensity of your workouts. If at week one, you made 200 dumbbell lifts, your goal is to bring it up to 220 or 250 at week two. As a tip, avoid adding new exercises every third or fourth week so you can focus on intensity.
Finally, you need to make sure that you have a good workout split. Split system training divides training sessions by body regions. For example, you have a chest and shoulders day on Monday, back training on Tuesday, leg day on Wednesday, and so on.
4. Examples of Beginner Bodybuilding Routine
To give you a clearer picture of a good workout plan, let’s use examples. We’ll divide these through weekly routines and goals:
Week 1 Workout Plan
This workout plan is for two weeks. Week 1 is for whole-body training. You’ll have four days of rest and three workout days.
Below is the routine for Day 1. You will do 3 sets for each exercise. In your first set, do 8 reps, then add 2 more for each successive set, bringing the third set to 12 reps.
- Barbell biceps curl
- Dumbbell bench press
- Overhead dumbbell press
- Leg press
- Lying leg curl
- Lat pulldown
- Rope pressdown
- Standing calf raise
Take Days 2, 4, and 7 as your rest days. On Days 3 and 5, repeat the same exercise. That is one week of a full-body workout split.
Week 2 Workout Plan
On Week 2, you’ll have a two-day upper body/lower body split. Take Day 3, 6, and 7 as your rest days. On Days 1 and 4, do the following for three sets of 10, 12, and 15 reps:
- Barbell bench press
- Dumbbell flye
- Barbell bent-over row
- Lat pulldown
- Overhead dumbbell press’
- Dumbbell lateral raise
- Barbell biceps curl
- Preacher curl with cable
- Lying EZ-bar triceps extension
- Rope pressdown
- Crunch (15-20 reps)
On Days 2 and 5, do the following for 10, 12, 15 reps for 3 sets:
- Leg press
- Leg extension
- Lying leg curl
- Seated leg curl
- Standing calf raise
- Seated calf raise
We’ll end this example here. You can repeat the two weekly workout plans twice more for a month of training. You can also incorporate a week of chest and shoulder workout for week three and use the full-body workout for week four. It’s up to you.
5. How to Create and Customize Your Workout Plan
You can also create a workout program that suits your needs. To start, grab a piece of paper and write down the days of the week on one side. Let’s start with a five-day workout plan with two days of rest.
One of those recovery days must be an active recovery day while the other is a full rest day. Active recovery days are days when you do less intense activities. Such activities include light yoga, a long walk, foam rolling, and casual swimming.
Next, decide what happens each day using split system training. For example, you want to get the hard work done on Monday. Assign it as your leg day.
As a note, you want to spread workouts for each muscle group across the week. If you assign consecutive workout days on one muscle group, you put yourself at risk of injury. Leave enough days of rest between each muscle group before you put them to work again.
For example, you assign Tuesday as your arm and chest workout day. Give those muscle groups at least two days of rest before you work them out again. This means the soonest you can work them out again is on Friday.
Even though you’re doing a beginner workout, you must increase its intensity over time. Increased intensity will help you make consistent gains and progress. However, you don’t want to raise the intensity of your workouts too soon.
Give yourself four to six weeks of training at the current difficulty before you increase it. It’ll give you enough time to recover and adapt to the intensity before you challenge yourself.
Finally, research the best workout exercises that will work best for you.
6. Workout Tips for Beginners
Always do warm-ups before you start your workout. This should go without saying, yet many people don’t do it. One way of turning it into a habit is to add it to your workout routine.
Focus on form, especially if you’re lifting weights. Don’t go straight to using weights if you don’t have proper form. Using improper forms will put you at risk of injury and do serious damage to your body.
Always chart and keep track of your progress. Recording your progress will help you see how much you’re lifting and what you’re overlooking. Also, having records of what you did in the gym will help you later if you want to alter your routine.
7. Common Terms Used Among Gym Rats
Feeling a bit shy at the gym because you’re still new to all the equipment and technical jargon? To help you out, let’s talk about some of the most common terms thrown around in the gym.
Delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS is the muscle pain that you feel after you work out. You often feel it a day or two after the gym workout. It’s normal for some people to or not feel any DOMS.
Many people use it to gauge how hard they’ve worked out. However, it’s not always a sign that you had a good workout. Also, very little scientific evidence connects experiencing DOMS to building muscle or strength.
HIIT or high-intensity interval training refers to an intense and quick set of exercise with short recovery periods. It’s the training type that gets your heart rate up and keeps it there while taking less time to train. This is the type of training that suits people who want to burn fat.
Tabata is a name for a type of HIIT protocol. It often means taking 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. Tabata sets get repeated eight times for four minutes total.
Tabata is also the name of the doctor who created this training protocol, Dr. Izumi Tabata.
SARMs stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. As a class of fitness supplements, they work like androgenic steroids and testosterone. You can find SARMS for sale in various places in the US and online.
The rate of perceived exertion is the point of reference for trainers about how hard they need to work. You consider how much effort it takes to talk and how hard it is to continue at the current intensity. The higher your RPE is, the more challenging the workout will be.
Everyone falls in different places on the RPE scale. Today, most people use the modified RPE scale, which ranges from 0 to 10. At 0, you’re putting out no effort in a workout, and at 10, you’re using max effort with intense breathlessness.
Work to Get Your Ideal Body
That ends our guide on how to create a muscle builder beginner workout plan. Now, you know the basics of working out and what you need before you start. You also know how to create a personal beginner workout program.
If you enjoyed reading this beginner workout guide, see our other fitness guides now. Don’t hesitate to keep reading and learning more ways to get the most out of your routine!