TRAINING

THE BEGINN
92
MUSCLE & FITNESS

MAT E ULTI

February 2007

PhD. coming back after a long layoff or just want to kick-start your way out of a training rut.Whether you’re a rank beginner.COM 93 . MUSCLE-FITNESS. and Joe Wuebben N ER’S GUIDE *Part II will be published in the March 2007 issue of M&F. this radical program will transform your physique in 12 weeks By Jim Stoppani.

Multijoint exercises such as the bench press and squat require the coordinated use of several muscle groups to perform the exercise. healthy and ripped as the guys you see in this magazine. truth be told. “This way. and every good lifting program. “The best plan for beginners now appears to be starting with single-joint exercises and slowly progressing to complex multijoint exercises. maybe you’ve never been in shape but are determined to get as fit. is progression — every two weeks. getting in the best shape of your life — is just starting. Shoulders: Cable Lateral Raise. 2 min. Wednesday. Triceps: Cable Pressdown.The toughest part of any major undertaking — in this case. Kraemer. e Your dilemma: Where do I start? e Our straight-to-the-point. PhD.” says Kraemer. 2 min. Hamstrings: Seated or Standing Leg Curl Machine. Rather than going under an Olympic bar for heavy squats or bench presses right away. Maybe you used to be lean and muscular but are now quite a bit softer than you’d like since taking a hiatus from the gym. no-beating-around-the-bush answer: Right here. Back: Seated Cable Row. is just what you need to go from rank beginner to hardcore trainee in just three months. e This fullbody program. you’ll progress to a higher level of training. Abs: Cable Crunch 94 MUSCLE & FITNESS . 2 min. they PROGRAM THE PROGRAM OUTLINED BELOW IS YOUR INTRODUCTORY PHASE. Calves: Seated Calf Raise or Leg Press Calf Raise. Or. A lot of trainers think it’s best to start a beginner out with basic multijoint exercises and eventually add isolation moves. The key to this routine. 1 min. 2 min. isolation exercises such as the biceps curl and leg extension require the use of only one muscle group. for that matter. 2 min. including renowned resistance-training researcher William J. 2 min. which will span two issues. 1 min. you’ll begin with simple machine exercises that isolate single muscle groups and eventually work up to multijoint free-weight moves. TAKING YOU THROUGH THE FIRST TWO WEEKS BASIC TRAINING WEEKS 1+2 Monday. professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut–Storrs (recently ranked the top doctoral kinesiology program in the country by the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education). Biceps: Preacher Curl Machine or Cable Curl. But many experts. Friday MUSCLE GROUP CHEST SHOULDERS BACK BICEPS TRICEPS QUADS HAMSTRINGS CALVES ABS EXERCISE Flye Machine Machine Lateral Raise Seated Row Machine Horizontal Curl Machine Triceps Extension Machine Leg Extension Lying Leg Curl Standing Calf Raise Ab Machine SETS/REPS 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/20 3/20 REST 2 min. believe the opposite. NOTE Substitute exercises if your gym doesn’t have a particular machine: Chest: Pec-Deck Flye or Cable Crossover. The first area in which you’ll advance is in your choice of exercises.

2 min. 2 min. 2 min. (The one exception is back. 2 min. 1 min. Thursday develop more strength and coordination in the fibers of individual muscles before attempting complex exercises such as the squat. do the leg press. you’ll add multijoint machine exercises such as the chest press machine and shoulder press machine. . Tuesday. 2 min. 1 min. 2 min. you’ll perform all single-joint isolation moves such as the machine flye. 2 min. use the assisted pull-up/dip station. you’ll perform free-weight isolation exercises such as the dumbbell flye. During Weeks 9 and 10. In Weeks 5–6 you’ll progress to cable isolation exercises such as the cable curl. 1 min.) During Weeks 3 and 4. 2 min. 1 min. dumbbell lateral raise and lying triceps extension. the exceptions here are Ab Machine If your gym isn’t equipped with these machines. 2 min. 2 min. 2 min. along with Weeks 9–12. you’ll progress to using all free-weight moves in your repertoire. 2 min.WEEKS 3+4 Monday. Because there are no true cable exercises for quads. 2 min. 2 min. do the lat pulldown. calves and abs. 1 min. 2 min. 2 min. Friday MUSCLE GROUP BACK EXERCISE Seated Cable Row Lat Pulldown Seated Row Machine BICEPS Cable Curl Horizontal Curl Machine QUADS/HAMS Leg Press 1 Horizontal Squat Machine QUADS HAMSTRINGS CALVES Leg Extension Lying Leg Curl Leg Press Calf Raise 1 Standing Calf Raise 1 SETS/REPS 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/15 3/15 2/15 2/15 REST 2 min. 2 min. The Smith machine consists of an Olympic barbell on a fixed path of motion and serves as the perfect transition between standard resistance machines and free weights. 2 min. 2 min. triceps extension machine. which doesn’t lend itself well to single-joint moves. leg extension and leg curl. in the final two weeks you’ll HAMSTRINGS CALVES 1 2 If your gym doesn’t have this machine. 2 min. 1 min. Tuesday. The key is progress. If your gym doesn’t have this machine. In Weeks 1 and 2. Thursday MUSCLE GROUP CHEST EXERCISE Chest Press Machine Cable Crossover Machine Flye SHOULDERS Shoulder Press Machine Cable Front Raise Machine Lateral Raise TRICEPS Triceps Dip Machine Triceps Pressdown ABS Cable Crunch Ab Machine SETS/REPS 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/12 3/12 2/15 2/15 REST 2 min. 2 min. you’ll find in the March 2007 issue of m&f). WEEKS 5+6 Monday. 2 min. The first four weeks of the program will consist of only machine exercises. 2 min. hams or calves. this week you’ll add the leg press to your repertoire of leg exercises. 2 min. triceps pressdown and cable crossover. 2 min.” EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT MUSCLE GROUP CHEST EXERCISE Chest Press Machine 1 Machine Flye SHOULDERS Shoulder Press Machine 1 Machine Lateral Raise TRICEPS Triceps Dip Machine 2 Triceps Extension Machine ABS 1 2 SETS/REPS 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/15 2/15 2/15 3/20 REST 2 min. overhead press and squat. If your gym doesn’t have this machine. Every two weeks you’ll move to a higher level biceps. do the Smith machine version. Friday MUSCLE GROUP BACK EXERCISE Seated Row Machine Pulldown Machine 1 BICEPS QUADS/HAMS QUADS Horizontal Curl Machine Horizontal Squat Machine 2 Leg Extension Lying Leg Curl Standing Calf Raise SETS/REPS 3/15 3/15 4/15 3/15 3/15 3/15 4/20 REST 2 min. 96 MUSCLE & FITNESS Weeks 7–12 will be published in the March 2007 issue of M&F. During the final four weeks. which don’t have many multijoint moves to speak of. you’ll move on to Smith-machine multijoint exercises such as the bench press. Then in Weeks 7 and 8 (which.

however. CHANGE IS GOOD To go from beginner status to hardcore trainee. And just like that.A Lat Pulldown >> Adjust the seat of the machine so your knees fit snugly under the pads. make the jump to free-weight multijoint exercises such as the barbell bench press. over the course of 12 weeks. your arms fully extended overhead. squeeze your back muscles and then slowly return the bar to the start position. the program starts with light weight and high reps — 15 reps per set on most exercises. you’ll climb the ranks from beginning lifter to training like the pros — well. you need to progress in other areas besides exercise selection. the number of sets you perform per muscle group and training frequency. beginners make most of their initial progress in their nervous systems: Weightlifting trains the brain to con- Pulling with a wide grip involves the upper lats to a greater extent B 98 MUSCLE & FITNESS . and hold the bar with an outside-shoulder-width grip. During these three months you’ll also advance in the amount of weight you use. Contract your lats to pull the bar down past your chin. Reason being. >> For resistance. barbell squat and barbell bentover row. more or less.

again without locking out your knees. your nervous system will adapt and you’ll need to turn your training focus to your muscle fibers. That’s when you’ll start to challenge them with heavier weights 100 MUSCLE & FITNESS February 2007 G Y M : P O W E R H O U S E G Y M . Press back up explosively to the start position. Doing more reps per set helps you to better train your nervous system for rapid gains in muscle strength.A Use a narrow stance to blast the outer sweep of your quads Leg Press >> Sit on a leg-press machine and place your feet shoulder-width apart on the foot platform. Lower the weight under control until your knees form 90-degree angles or slightly less. B tract the muscle fibers with more force and better synchronicity between fibers before it actually helps build muscle (though in either case you get stronger). C H AT S W O R T H . S H O E S BY A S I C S . After several weeks. ( 8 1 8 ) 7 7 5 .0 3 0 0 . A P PA R E L . And the best way to train the nervous system is with repetition — literally. Press the weight up to a point at which your knees are extended but not locked out. S H O R T S BY A D I D A S . S H O R T S BY N I K E . Release the machine’s safety catches. C A . F R O M T O P : S H I R T BY N I K E . however.

Squeeze your quads for 1–2 counts at the top. to make them bigger and stronger. This gets you up to the typical sets per (Continued on page 110) Point your toes in to work the outer quads. then return to the start. Begin with your knees bent 90 degrees and the weight lifted a few inches off the stack. or the total number of sets you do per muscle group. then add a few sets every couple of weeks until you’re doing about 12 sets for most large muscle groups in the last four weeks. You’ll start off with just three sets per muscle group. >> Volume. Research shows that as lifters get bigger and stronger.A Leg Extension >> Adjust the seat so that your lower back is flat against the seatback and your knees line up with the machine’s axis of rotation. Contract your quads until your legs are completely straight. is also important for continual progress in strength and muscle mass. point them out to work the inner quads This program is just what you need to go from beginner to hardcore in 12 weeks B 102 MUSCLE & FITNESS February 2007 . the number of sets performed over time must increase. The reps drop each month — from 15 reps in Month 1 down to 10 reps per set in the final four weeks — while the weight increases so your muscles are able to complete only that many reps per set.

Squeeze your hamstrings for a count at the top and slowly lower to the start position. B 104 MUSCLE & FITNESS February 2007 . Start with your legs slightly bent and the weight lifted a few inches off the stack. Bend your knees to curl the roller pad toward your glutes. Lie facedown and grasp the handles.A Keep your head straight to help protect your cervical spine Lying Leg Curl >> Adjust the machine so the roller pad fits on the backs of your ankles.

Seated Calf Raise (Below) >> Sit on the seat and adjust the pads so they fit snugly on your lower thighs. then lower back down. Extend your ankles to push the pads up as high as you can — you should be almost on your tiptoes at the top. Squeeze for 1–2 counts at the top. grasp the handles for stability and begin with your heels below the level of the platform so you feel a stretch in your calves. Place the balls of your feet and toes on the platform so your heels are suspended.A B Standing Calf Raise (Above) >> Step onto the platform so only the balls of your feet and toes touch it and your heels are suspended. Release the safety catch. Flex your calves to extend your ankles as high as possible. Start with your knees slightly bent (keep them bent throughout the range of motion) and your heels dropped toward the floor below the level of the platform. Place your shoulders snugly underneath the pads. then lower back to the start position. feeling a stretch at the bottom. A B MUSCLE & FITNESS 106 February 2007 . Squeeze your calves.

squeeze your shoulder blades together and pause before slowly returning the weight to the start position. don’t pull with your bi’s. Contract your back muscles to pull the handle straight toward your midsection. to keep maximal tension on your back. When your hands reach your abs.A Seated Cable Row >> Sit on the bench of a cable-row station with your feet flat on the platform. Bend at your waist to grasp the attachment with both hands and sit upright (back flat) with your arms extended in front of you. Isolate your back by staying upright and pulling your elbows as far back as possible B 108 MUSCLE & FITNESS February 2007 .

>> Regarding training frequency. your head shouldn’t reach the floor. Actually. you may think that “progression” means training each bodypart just once weekly and slowly increasing that to two. times per week.A Keep your arms tight to the sides of your head and focus solely on your abs Cable Crunch >> Kneel a couple of feet in front of a cable weight stack with a rope attached to a high-pulley cable. or even three. As with the crunch. The key is to fully contract your abs. it’s the opposite: You’ll start by training each muscle group three (Continued on page 114) B 110 MUSCLE & FITNESS February 2007 . then contract your abs to curl your torso toward the floor. bodypart with which most hardcore bodybuilders train. the range of motion here is slight. Grasp the ends of the rope and hold them just behind your head or at the sides of your head (whichever is most comfortable). Begin slightly bent over. or how often you train each muscle group per week.

>> Lower the weight under control on each rep. then slowly lower to the start position without letting the weight rest on the stack between reps. grasp the bar with both hands with the cable running between your legs. A NOT INCLUDED The following machine exercises were not described here: chest press machine. seated row machine. Because such machines often vary depending on the brand and/or manufacturer. Follow these instructions closely for optimal results and safety. For added difficulty. leg press calf raise and ab machine. triceps extension machine. B 112 MUSCLE & FITNESS February 2007 . >> Be sure to adjust the machine properly for your body. horizontal squat machine. With your arms extended. machine lateral raise. triceps dip machine. >> Between reps. Using an overhand grip. one description may not pertain to all models. machine flye. pull the bar up and out in front of you until your arms are parallel to the floor. this allows your muscles to rest. Cable Crossover >> See “The Peter Principles” on page 230 for exercise photos and description. ask for an overview from the trainer at your gym. But keep these tips in mind when training with machines: >> Read the instructions posted on the machine before attempting to use it. If the instructions are not posted. shoulder press machine. horizontal curl machine.Cable Front Raise >> Stand facing away from the weight stack of a low-pulley cable with a straight bar attached. appropriate technique can typically be found directly on the machine. stop 6 inches from your quads in the down position One-Arm Cable Curl >> See “Training Notebook” pullout section for exercise photos and description. Squeeze for a count. Moreover. Don’t simply let it drop. Don’t hesitate to ask the gym trainer for help in properly adjusting the machine. don’t let the weight rest on the stack. Keeping constant tension on them throughout each set is important.

Remember how beginners need repetition to make early progress? What applies to reps also applies to frequency. your progress would be slow. See you then. biceps. This is but another way of easing you into the program and avoiding any unnecessary or counterproductive movements early on when your nervous system is adapting to the new stimulus of training. then switch to twice a week at Week 3 and eventually go to just once per week in the last four weeks. fully extend your arms and squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the rep. calves and abs. But if you practiced three times per week or more. Think of it as learning to ride a bike: If you practiced just once a week. EZ-bar. M&F Triceps Pressdown >> Stand facing a cable stack and attach a straight-bar. you’ll reduce training frequency since your training volume is increasing. The more sets you do per muscle group. As you move the focus from your nervous system to your muscle fibers. and forearms come in Week 9 when you add free-weight isolation moves.times per week. Keeping your elbows in. thighs (quads and hams). your progress would be more rapid. You’ll start with just the major ones in the first month — chest. The same holds true for lifting. back. Grasp the attachment with both hands and begin with your elbows tight at your sides and your forearms just shy of parallel to the floor. V-bar or rope handle to a high-pulley cable. Traps are added in Week 7 when you start using the Smith machine. it’s time to do the work. reverse your grip to hit the triceps medial head Doing more reps per set helps train your nervous system for rapid gains you can train per workout. the more recovery you’ll need between workouts and the fewer muscle groups A To add variety. then check back with us for Weeks 7–12 next issue. shoulders. >> The muscle groups you train is a final component that will evolve over the next 12 weeks. B 114 MUSCLE & FITNESS February 2007 . triceps. Now that you know where to begin. Get these first six weeks of training under your belt.

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