Here is a basic, effective weight lifting workout program which will get you rolling in the iron game while efficiently gaining muscle and getting stronger. The program is split three ways with a day of rest in between each. After the last workout we allow a full 2 days of rest, both for recuperative purposes as well as convenience and practicality.
Each exercise in the weight lifting workout program will consist of doing 2 warm up sets with light weight, and then 2 working sets with relatively heavy weight, unless otherwise noted cable pressdown. Repetitions will try to be around 6-8.
Monday- We start out the weight lifting workout program training our Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps. For your chest you will ideally want to perform the bench press. After you perform your 2 warmups and then your 2 working sets, we’ll move on to another chest exercise, the pectoral butterfly or “pec dec” machine, for another 2 warmups and 2 working sets. Shoulders are up next and we’ll want to start out with seated or standing barbell shoulder presses. Next up comes more of an isolation exercise such as shoulder dumbbell laterals to be performed for slightly higher reps, say 8-10. Triceps are next and we will perform tricep pressdowns on a cable station for 2 warmups and 2 working sets. Since triceps have already been worked through both bench press and shoulder press, we will only do 2 sets of triceps then bring them out of the oven and we are through for day one of this weight lifting workout program.
Wednesday – This days weight lifting workout program will consist of a Leg workout. If you can perform squats safely and properly then that is the recommended exercise. If you are not use to squats you should use the leg press machine. Again, 2 warmups, 2 working. Next up are Leg Extensions performed on the leg exstension machine. After that we will hit the back of the legs – the hamstrings. Hammy’s, like triceps, we are only going to work with one exercise and that is reverse leg extensions on a machine. This isolates the hams well and you’ll feel the burn in the back of your leg. Repetitions will fall slightly higher in the 10-12 range. Next we will move on to a calf machine and perform 2 sets with higher repetitions of 12-20, and that will complet Wednesdays weight lifting workout program.
Friday- For this weight lifting workout program day we are training back and biceps. For back we will peform either barbell rows, or if your gym has a good hammer machine row that is acceptable as well. Repetitions for our 2 working sets fall within the 6-8 range. Next for back we perform “Lat pulldowns” on the lat pulldown cable machine. Repetitions rise to the 8-10 range for lat pulldowns. Next up is Biceps and these can be trained with standing bicep dumbell curl exercise. Then we can do one set of seated concentration curls. Since the biceps will already have been worked from the back exercises, we need only do one concetration curl set (one set per arm), and we’ve wrapped up Fridays weight lifting workout program. Our bodies contain around a quarter billion muscle fibers which can be divided into Type 1 (slow twitch), and Type 2 (fast twitch). Slow twitch fibers are endurance oriented, where fast twitch are strength oriented and have the most growth potential. We are all born with our lifelong ratio of type 1 and type 2 fibers with the ratios being different in each person.
The growth of the muscle is called hypertrophy. Muscles grow in response to specific stimulus, such as work performed by the muscles (lifting weight or other resistance), infusion of testosterone, and increasing protein with overall calories, or combination of several stimuli.
All muscle fibers are the same structurally. Each is a bundle of tiny protein strands called myofibrils. Within each myofibril are even smaller protein filaments called actin and myosin. Each myosin filament is surrounded by six actin filaments. A muscle contracts when structures on the myosin filaments called cross bridges grab a hold of the actin filaments and pull. This action shortens the muscle. Intense training increases both the number of myofibrils and the number of myosin and actin filaments within each myofibril. Long story short, lifting weights will make muscle fibers bigger. Lifting them properly and consistently over a long period of time, the muscles will grow enough to be noticeable.
Even with all the hard work, honest effort, and a perfectly clean diet there is one thing that you can’t change no matter how hard you try. Genetics play a huge factor in your body building efforts. Some people have great genetics and others have genetic flaws that just won’t change. There are three factors that are decided at birth.
First of all, your maximum number of muscle fibers is determined by genetics. When you are born, you already possess the maximum number of muscle fibers that you will have throughout life. The muscle fibers can be made larger through exercise, as well as smaller through lack of exercise, but it is generally believed they cannot increase in number. Although some scientists believe that the number can increase due to a process called hyperplasia, this is still just a theory.
Also determined at birth is the number of slow twitch and fast twitch fibers that your muscles contain. It is generally believed that slow twitch fibers cannot become fast twitch and vice verse. You’re born with a predisposition to endurance or strength depending on your muscle fiber breakdown.
The shape of your muscles is also genetic. Although you can increase the size of your muscles the shape is already determined and will not change, contrary to what many would like you to believe.
Some people are genetically blessed and are ideally suited for bodybuilding while others may be suited for marathon running, power lifting or gymnastics. If you are one of the lucky ones and you were born with the genetics that suit your sport of choice, congratulations. If not, you’ll have to work a little harder, but you’ll get a lot of satisfaction out of the challenge.