Bodybuilding Workouts That Work

Bodybuilding Workouts That Work

The first pillar of an effective muscle building plan is the workouts. Using progressive resistance training, along with tried-and-true bodybuilding principles, you can create effective exercise routines that build muscle, burn fat, and increase your muscle endurance.

Progressive resistance weight training is the heart of an effective exercise plan. You'll want to place an emphasis on compound exercises like squats, bench presses, lat pull-downs, and military presses. Compound exercises work the major muscle groups like the shoulders, quads, glutes, chest, and lats, as well as supporting muscles like the biceps, triceps, hamstrings, and lower back.

They burn the most calories and stimulate the highest number of muscle fibers (and, remember, muscle fibers either fire 100% or not at all, so the more you stimulate, the more you grow). In fact, studies show that an exercise program with free-weight squats stimulate muscle growth not just in the legs and lower back, but also in all the other muscle groups as well.

An exercise plan that has as its cornerstone exercises that involve multiple major muscle groups is key to muscle development. Supplement these compound exercises with isolation exercises like barbell curls, calf presses, dumbbell flyes, and tricep push-downs.

At first, you'll want to do a full-body workout, 3 days a week. On Day 1 and Day 3 (Monday and Friday, for example), you'll do the following exercises, in order:

  • Squat
  • Bench press
  • Lat pull-down
  • Shoulder press

Perform one warm-up set per exercise, and start off with 1-2 sets per exercise. Each week or two, depending on how you progress, add a set.

On Day 2 (Wednesday, for example), do this sequence:

  • Lat pull-down
  • Bench press
  • Shoulder press
  • Squat

As time goes on and you get stronger and develop more muscle endurance, we'll add more exercises to your routine. Note that these 4 exercises will form the foundation for all of the routines you'll see here.

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Bill Davis
 

Bill Davis has been an avid weight trainer since the age of 12. He started out as a skinny teenager and finally made his training breakthrough in his late 20s when he discovered how to pack on lean muscle in short order.

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