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Old 04-03-2012, 09:04 AM   #1
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Default MAB E-Book: Novice Workouts First 4-6 months+

Recommend a novice workout for at least the first 4-6 months of training.

Assume that the novice has spent a couple months getting used to the basic lifts, working on form, and has established a good habit of not missing sessions.

What workout should the novice use for the next 4-6 months (or longer) to start the muscle building process? This workout can be something you created, or a workout crated by someone else.

Please provide as much detail as possible.


Notes to participants:

1) Participants should ignoring how others respond and not just chime in with "what he said", if this makes sense. This doesn't mean answers have to be long. I would just prefer them to be independent of what others are saying.

2) Answers can be as long or short as you desire. I want this e-book to be organic and not something that becomes a burden for those responding.

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Old 04-03-2012, 10:57 AM   #2
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The Routine:

A/B split to be completed 3 days a week...

Example: Do 'A' on Mon, 'B' on Wed, 'A' on Friday, then 'B' on Mon, 'A' on Wed, 'B' on Fri; Repeat

Workout A:
20 Rep Squats
Light Db Pull Overs
rest 10 min.
Chin-ups (do as many as possible)
1 Arm Db Rows
Barbell Shrugs

Workout B:
Deadlift (every other "B" workout)
Bench Press or Bar Dips
Overhead Press
Bent-over Rear Laterals


On everything except Squats and Pull-overs...

Start with a light weight that you can use to complete 12 easy reps.
This may take a few sessions to figure out, but you don't want to be straining.

Every time you do the lift again, add 5 lbs to the bar. You should still be getting 12 reps fairly easy for a few weeks. If not, you started too heavy.

Soon the weight will get heavy enough and you will be straining to get all 12 reps. That's okay, keep adding the 5 lbs.

One day you will add the 5 lbs and FAiL to get all 12 reps. That's okay, just keep adding 5 lbs.

The weight will keep getting heavier and one day you will fail at 10 reps, then 9 reps, then 8 reps. But that's okay, just keep adding 5 lbs.

When you fail at 5 reps, hold the weight steady and stop adding the five lbs. Keep using the same weight until all your lifts have stalled at 5 reps.

Once all your lifts have stalled at 5 reps go ahead and take a full week off from training. Let the body relax and compensate and grow. Look back through your training log and find the weight where you last hit all 12 reps.

When you start your second round you will start with the last 12 rep weight you used. You will find that you can hit 12 reps easily with that weight now.

Progression on Squats and Pull-overs:

For Pull-overs, only use a light weight; 10 lbs should be enough. Focus on breathing deep and holding a your lungs full when starting the lift. Hold that breath throughout the entire rep and exhale forcibly at the end. Get as much stretch as you can at the bottom of the lift. The focus of this exercise is to stretch the rib cage (if possible).

The 20 rep Squats are the driving force of this routine. Done alone the Squats themselves will bring about rapid change in the physique, making it strong and muscular. As always, start with a weight that is easy to perform all your reps. Starting with just an empty bar will be enough of a challenge for most beginners. Add 10 lbs to the weight EVERY time you squat again!

Always, I mean ALWAYS get all 20 reps.

Start each rep with your lungs full of air. Hold this air in your lungs throughout the entire rep. Only exhale at the very top of the lift. The forced breathing and holding your breath during the rep will have a big growth effect on your entire body and will also help to expand the rib cage.

The first 5 reps will be in a traditional manner; one breath between each rep. For reps 6 through 10 you'll take 2 lung filling breaths between each rep. For reps 11 through 15 you'll take 3 lung filling breaths between each rep. For the final 5 reps (16 through 20) you'll take as many breaths as you need betwen reps to ensure that you finish the whole set. Stand there with weight on your back as long as you need to while huffing and puffing. When you feel ready, complete another rep. Don't quit until you've got all 20 reps completed.

Your body needs a reason to grow. 20 rep squats send this message loud and clear.

Further Notes:

You may notice there is no direct arm exercises in this routine. The arms will be getting plenty of work through the presses and back work. It is very important to fully recover between sessions on this routine. Adding extra work will only slow down your progress.

If you put in a good effort, don't deviate from the routine, and eat like it's your last day on Earth, you will see rapid gains with this routine. For best results; Run this routine twice through, meaning you should get all reps down to 5, take a week off, and then run through it again. You'll have to start a little heavier the second time through because you will be a lot stronger.

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Last edited by Off Road; 04-03-2012 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
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The first thing you need to know about exercises are the different types. You have several, but generally they're categorized into four.

1) Compound exercises- require multiple joints to perform
2) Isolation exercises - works a single joint at a time
3) Accessory Compounds - work multiple joints, but are used as a tool
4) Olympic lifts - used by Olympic lifters for increased speed strength and working your power fibers

Workout A
Bench Press
Bent Over Row
Incline press

Workout B
Power Cleans
Strict Press
Weighted Dips

The training method involves antagonistic exercise placement. If you would go straight from a pressing movement to another pressing movement, the synergists, stabilizers and agonist muscles would potentially be fatigued.

For example, bench pressing places the shoulder into the position of flexion, and strict pressing involves the same shoulder muscles to be places into extension. The chest, triceps and anterior deltoids are both depended on heavily. If you would do one after the other, it would potentially get cheated on progression.

That's where antagonistic comes in. Antagonist refers to a muscle that opposes the action of its opposite (chest, upper back; triceps, biceps). You work the bench press, then you turn around and work the opposite (the row).

Progression on this routine should be kept simple. With every push, there's an opposing pull to balance. Add 5-10lbs per workout on this routine. When you can no longer make linear progression, find the weak points and adjust as necessary. For example, if your bench stalls and you can press it over your chest but can't lockout, then you can add an additional movement for the triceps.

The use of isolations and their benefits I often refer to in a snow dog analogy. Think of it as snow dogs. If you have eight snow dogs pulling a sled and one snow dog starts to get weak while the other snow dogs are still getting stronger, by keeping that snow dog in the ground by itself, you're just going to hold the others back. What do you do in this situation? Take out the weak snow dog and strengthen him up. You do this by working him individually and then the snow dogs are all free to progress together and continue getting stronger.

Power cleans has been added. I know not many people do them, but they hit the type II fibers very well.

Studies have shown a movement plateaus, hitting the muscle at a different angle can sometimes increase further motor unit activity in the muscle (ACSM). If you use this logic to incorporate cleans, your squat and deadlift progression will benefit from them greatly...and you'll build explosive strength as well.

Nutrition is key. Make sure you're getting enough calories to grow. If you're gaining too much fat, then cut calories or increase activity. Make sure you are increasing your calories as you grow. You'll need more calories at 198lbs than you did at 194lbs.

Linear progression is very possible in novice trainees. This is because with each workout, your CNS starts activating previously inactivity motor units in the muscles. A motor unit is a single motor nerve cell and the muscle fibers it stimulates.

The key is to add progressive resistance, linearly. If you fail to increase the weight each workout, then you've failed to give your body new reason to grow. The exception is you increased reps, sets, tempo, decreased rest between sets. The best way to do it though is just add weight. Each workout, add 5-10lbs. If you're eating enough calories to support the growth you should make great progression this way.

Get lifting. Good luck.
Personal Trainer- ACE, NASM AFPA; Nutrition Consultant- AFPA

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." - Philippians 4:13"

Last edited by MVP; 04-03-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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