The Smartest Muscle Building Program For Beginners

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

Bodybuilding has changed my life – for the better.

After I transformed from a 149-pound, lanky, cross country runner to a 190-pound National Fitness Model Champion, I discovered the multitude of positive benefits bodybuilding has to offer.

Whether you want to build intimidating muscles, tighten up your midsection or slim down, it’s all possible with a bodybuilding lifestyle and a strength training routine with weights.

Whatever your reasons for wanting an attractive and muscular body, you need to start with a clearly defined program to ensure you get started on the right path. If you’ve a beginner bodybuilder (less than one year of weight training experience) then start following the beginner’s muscle building workout below.

Good News: The best muscular gains typically come in the first 6-12 months so be prepared to see your body, and your life, change in the very near future.

Bad News: There are no magical short-cuts to muscle growth. Stick to the program below and you’ll be 3-months closer to your goal instead of 3-months further from your goal.

“Skinny Vinny” in 1996 at the World Junior Triathlon Championships in Cleveland, Ohio – Proud of my Country, not so proud of my body!

Here are a few pointers to consider before starting:

  • Be realistic but think big. Being realistic does not mean you can’t have big goals. In fact, I recommend you strive for big goals or else what’s the point? Be honest with where you are today and where you can be in three months from now, one year from now and three years from now. Keep focused on your short terms goals and remind yourself that they are moving you closer to your long term goals.
  • Commit yourself to three months before assessing your progress. Let’s fact it, you want results fast and yesterday. So do I. Although it is possible to see over night results, don’t become frustrated during your transformation. Be happy with every gain you make and appreciate that sculpting your body takes time. Change occurs in spurts over a period of time.
  • Training in the gym is only half the battle. Training your muscles in the gym in only half the equation and simply sets your muscles up for the potential to grow. What, how much and when you eat plays another critical factor. When you go to sleep plays another and what supplements you take can influence the rate your physique develops too.

Now that we have that out of the way, you’re ready to get started.

The Beginner’s Muscle Building Program

The muscle building for beginners consists of 15 exercises, using basic movements, a pyramid rep/set scheme, change in exercise order, training three times per week and followed for three months.

Each workout should start with at least 10 minutes of aerobic exercise like running, skipping, rowing or walking on an incline. Light stretches with some arm circles in both directions are excellent to warm up the shoulder joint and loosen up the connective tissue, tendons and ligaments. Be sure that you’re sweating before you head onto the gym floor.

Day 1 Exercises (Monday)Day 2 Exercises (Wednesday)Day 3 Exercises(Friday)
1) DB Bench Press1) Lying Leg Raises1) 1-Leg Extension
2) Pec-Deck Fly2) Barbell Shrugs2) 1-Leg Leg Curl
3) DB Shoulder Press3) Standing Calf Raise3) 1-leg Leg Press
4) Rear Delt Fly4) Chin Up4) 1-Leg Back Extension
5) Seated Row5) 1-Arm DB Row5) Standing DB Shoulder Press
6) Lat Pulldown6) Incline DB Chest Press6) Standing Side Lateral Raise
7) Leg Extension7) Push Up7) EZ Bar Curl
8) Leg Curl8) Leg Press8) Lying Tricep Extension
9) Back Extension9) Leg Curl9) Bench Press
10) Leg Press10) Reverse Lunge10) Incline Barbell Press
11) DB Bicep Curl11) Back Extension11) Close Grip Lat Pulldown
12) Tricep Rope Pressdown12) Upright Row12) Wide Grip Seated Row
13) Seated Calf Raise13) DB Lateral Raise13) Back Extension
14) DB Shrug14) Overhead DB Extension14) 1-Leg Calf Raise
15) Crunches15) Incline Bicep Curl15) Lying Leg Raises

The Sets and Reps and Rest

Month 1: Perform 1-2 sets of 15-20 reps increasing the weight each set. Start each workout a little heavier than last workout. Rest for 30-60 seconds max between sets.

Month 2: Perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps increasing the weight each set. Start each workout a little heavier than last workout. Rest for 60 seconds between each set.

Month 3: Perform 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps increasing the weight each set. Start each workout a little heavier than last workout. Rest 60-90 seconds between each set.

Enjoying the pool bar in Nice, France a few weeks ago while on my Honeymoon!

Altering The Routine

If you’re finding the routine a little aggressive break the workout into two different days and do exercises 1-7 on Monday and Thursday. And do exercises 8-15 on Tuesday and Friday. This would give you a total of four muscle building workouts a week instead of two.

Extra Notes

  • The most important aspect is learning the exercises. Either pick up my own muscle building program and you’ll see how each of these exercises are performed. Or else hire a trainer or train with a friend who can safely coach you through each one. A couple of sessions with a professional trainer is a great investment at this stage of the game.
  • Consider stretching in between exercises. This can help improve flexibility, muscle growth and muscle recovery. It will also help you get more “in tune” with the feel of your muscles.
  • Notice that you are changing the order of muscle groups being trained which will prevent muscle imbalances from being performed. The variety of exercise order will give different muscle groups opportunity to train earlier in the workout when they are fresh and can go harder.
  • Really focus on familiarizing yourself with the exercises before lifting any serious weights. The name of the game in bodybuilding is building muscle size and strength, not seeing who can lift the heaviest weights. Lifting heavy weights with bad form is a guaranteed way to injury yourself.
  • If the weights feel extremely heavy one day, don’t panic. Having low energy days and high energy days is normal. As you become more familiar with your body, diet and recovery you’ll be able to control your performance more accurately.
  • Don’t train to failure in the first month. Hit your goal reps every time and do extra reps to make the workout tougher. Each month will progress you to heavier weights to be patient and trust the program. It’s very critical to get each movement fixed in your mind and to be a master at it before bumping up the weights and “pushing it.”
  • Sometimes changes to your physique don’t become noticeable until the second or third month. This is when your motivation will skyrocket so trust the program and be confident that a new surge of motivation is just around the corner. This mindset will help you stay positive if your gains are initially slow.
  • Finish each workout with at least another 10 minutes of cardio plus some light stretching on your tighter muscle groups.

Conclusion

At the end of your third month you’ll have laid the foundation of a strong, shapely physique and your mental and physical state should be improving dramatically. At this point in the game it’s time to consider a new program and bigger-picture goals.

It’s critical that you commit to this first three months and not switch your program. The easiest and worst habit you can develop as a beginner is not finishing your first program and turning into a classic “program hopper.”

Understand, there is no perfect product as you learn more about bodybuilding and your own body you’ll be able to develop an instinctive sense as to how to manipulate the training variables and when it’s time to make a change.

Of course, the best place to go for fresh and new muscle building information on fine-tuning your workout routine is always this blog 🙂

Until next time,

Vince Del Monte

P.S. If you’re a beginner bodybuilder I would love to meet you and hear your story. What’s your name, where are you from and what has motivated you to start a bodybuilding workout? Leave your comments below.

If you’re not a beginner, please leave your number one piece of advice for our beginner bodybuilder friends. Your knowledge and experience would be very appreciated. Leave your input below. Thanks.

Click the “Like” button below if you enjoyed this information. Thanks

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  17. Joshua Dominisac July 6, 2011 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Is it okay to train everyday? I’m a beginner and I go the gym everyday. I see that the program that you offer is only MWF. PLS HELP

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  18. hey man i just got the e-book and it’s great can’t wait to put my body into shape and i just want to thank you for this program 2
    i know how it feel to be that skinny guy and people saying you’re lying or mock you when you say you work out but i know there hope i saw you’re picture and i think i can make that same gain if i put my mind into it
    thx again keep on the gd work

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  27. Hi Vince,

    I just discovered you online last week. To me, what you’ve accomplished is amazing — if I could get halfway to where you are, I would be EXTREMELY happy! I am 37 years old and just started in the gym for the first time in my life in January 2010. I began right away working with a personal trainer, who I am still working with. He is great — positive, encouraging, very knowledgeable, focuses 100% on me during our workouts, has taught me so much. Per his guidance, I work out 3 out of every 5 days and am training different muscles on each of those 3 days (so I get through the whole body every 5-day period). We do a lot of different types of exercises in our workouts, and focus a lot on free weight exercises. I’m seeing some progress, but not as much as I had hoped after 7 months of training. I am 6’1″ and went from 171 pds (78 kg) in January to 183 pds (83kg) now. I look slightly bigger, but haven’t seen a ‘transformation’ yet.

    He keeps telling me I’m not eating enough (we have discussed diet several times) but I’m trying! I just hate the belly fat, which I started with in January and which is still there — the worst part about making progress is not seeing the belly fat go away.

    I’m wondering if this is normal or I’m doing something wrong?

    Also, since I already have a trainer, if I tried out your program for beginners, I would need to get him on board to help me with implementing it. Based on the limited brief info I told you above, how would your beginner program differ from what I am already doing with him (I know, maybe I didn’t provide enough detail above?).

    Thanks!!!!

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  31. hi everybody!
    i hope someone could help me!
    im about going to start training.
    well , im going to pay for gym,
    i had a lot of reading.
    and i think im ready to start
    i just need somebody to help me to put all the pieces together.

    Well
    This is my info ( im really skinny , not kidding xD)

    Age: 20 years old
    Height: 5 ft 6 in
    Weight: 108 lb

    i think that’s all that you’ll need to know.

    i really want to make this chance on my life, i red again this article, for the third time. and i notice that it is not for complete complete beginners.. am i right?

    so what would u recommend me ?
    i already have the ebook. NNBB program.
    so i only have to stick to that program to see the complete results?
    im already seeing a medical doctor whos gonna help me
    with my nutrition issues
    i also have the 90 days nutrition book from vince.
    so im gonna show it to him. and see what he says.

    thats all.
    i hope someone answer to me!
    i only need some inspirational words. and any recommendations
    and i will ready to do this!
    THANKS!

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  32. I don’t really have a number one tip, because most tips are useless unless coupled with other good pieces of info.

    1. Get your sleep, i’ve found that 9 1/2 hours is optimal for me, but it’s different for everyone-find your groove for that. Sleep is when you actually recover and tons of hormones get released by the body; the type is dictated by the type of workout you did that day.
    2. Get to the gym consistently, on and off training will only give you results through the first few weeks of training then they’ll stop coming.
    3. If you want to be a bodybuilder, eat a lot of food, but it has to be nutrient dense. It’s easy to reach goal calories if it’s all doughnuts, but imagine if you filled up on oatmeal, Ezekiel 4:9 bread, chicken breasts, cottage cheese, tuna, salmon, and nuts- you get a new ball game going.
    4. Cycling between strength training and volume training is great. I did volume first, but i didn’t know what i was doing when i first started until i got on Vince’s stuff. I put on some size, but lacked strength. I just finished a phase of Maximize Your Muscle, phase 5, for strength training and my muscles look much more dense and are harder than before. Strength went through the roof for me, so i’m going back to volume training, Phase 6, and will put on more size.
    5. Get a program from Vince lol. Happy training!

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  33. @Kori not sure if this question is for me but when I was a qualified gym instructor back before Personal trainers we mainly started beginners off on full body exercises, quite light stuff and making sure that form was a good as possible and yes 3 days per week, recovery is probably the most under rated but very important in order to build muscles. If required 20 to 30 mins cardio a few times a week, just depends on a number of factors, can’t explain it all here. The weight will increase in time, the effort, i.e; intensity is what is really important, recruiting as many muscle fibres as possible through full range of movement, not like many you see in the gym way too much weight and flapping and swing all over the place. Of course you need to first get your mind in order and your nutrition even before you lift a weight, in my opion anyway.

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  34. Would you do that 3 times per week?

    What’s a good 4 times per week?
    Where does cardio fit in and how many days should we be doing it?

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  35. Hi again, well yes Vince quite correct on the one level that squats and deadlifts and overhead presses may be advanced for a beginner, however, having a good instructor and a good program that does not over train, that is of course you would not get a beginner to do all these three movements on the same day. I still believe that concentating on all isolation exercises for a beginner is in my humble opinion not wise…What is wrong with a good trainer taking a beginner through the correct squating proceedure with a light weight way better than doing say leg extension on the machine.

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  36. I see @Vince at the top of my comment, but clicking on it doesn’t go the the original. At least you’ll get the name of the person you’re responding to if you leave the cryptic stuff at the top..

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  37. @Vince

    Vince and everyone – when you click on reply, your comments start with a cryptic line at the top that I’m sure links to the original comment. If you don’t delete that stuff, I think there’ll be a link to the original. See if this reply has a link to Vince, 3 comments back.

    I have a few dumbbells in my basement and also ropes hanging from the ceiling. I hold the ropes and lean backwards or forwards and pull myself up. I also walk up and down the stairs a few times. I also have some wooden dowels and use them for walking sticks to exercise my upper body while walking. I have a dirt driveway and road. If I was on asphalt or concrete, some store-bought walking sticks with rubber on the feet may work better. I saw some at Walmart for less than $20.

    One exercise is to stand with my toes on my stairway and my heels hanging out in air. I then lift my heels up and down. Bending over forward with weights on my back would probably make it more intense. Or pull myself down with my hands or a rope. This works for me because I have an open stairway.

    I was also thinking of putting some open hooks in the ceiling and running ropes over them and down to my dumbbells to imitate a cable pulldown. The weights would probably come up roughly, so this wouldn ‘t be so good. A diferent type of weight would be better.

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  38. hey everyone. I just installed a new “comments” application and i did not know my comments were not replying directly to the post I was reply too.

    In future I’ll address you by name if I’m replying to you.

    I answered a lot of questions… hope you find your answer in there!

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  39. For beginners its important to know that the race is not for the swift but for those that can endure to the end…simply put, it takes discipline, hardwork and patience. As a beginner its not about how much weight but just getting the right form so u dont risk injuring urself, eating right and getting that rest for the body to grow. Oh yeah, a good workout partner who is discplined and focused as u r will certainly help

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  40. Hi,
    I have several advice for beginners. First of all, don’t go too much into the “I lift weights and eat 2-300 grams of protein pr day + my shakes”. Eat healthy, get your carbs and the healthy fats and don’t overdo on the protein side. The results will come !
    Now when I’m on the diet section, have that in focus as your primary target. Diet is key. I don’t believe that you, as a beginner, can find a program that will fail you (except if you start out on a too high or advanced level), but diet can change a lot for you at this stage !
    Besides that a full body workout , as Vince has outlined it here, is a GREAT place to start. Really gets your muscles working, increasing in size, you get stronger AND it makes a good foundation for future gains.
    Hope it was of some help !

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  41. hi vince how are u ,im gr8 fan of your fitness ,i want to ask question im a beginner and want to start your this program , can i continue this in month of RAMADAN

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  42. Hey Vince,
    Thanks for the blog. I’m just about to kick start my next six months of weight training and having this beginner list is great. I’ve looked over a number of your videos too on YouTube which have been handy to actually see what I need to do for particular exercises.

    Cheers from Oz!

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  43. I totally agree with Vince, you should stick with the easier exercises for beginners before moving on to the difficult and potentially dangerous compound lifts like deadlifts and over-head presses.

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  44. Vince, great stuff! Any beginner will really profit from this and I hope they appreciate you giving this away. This is GOLD!

    I remember back when I first tried No Nonsense Muscle Building and I gained 30lbs in the first 5 months! Changed my life man, so thanks again.

    Now I am helping others achieve their goals 🙂

    All the best bro

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  45. The #1 tip I would give a beginner is to listen to a trainer. whatever you think you know, take it out of your mind and talk to a trained professional first.

    When I first started training, I spent about 9 months in the gym before I spoke with a trainer. After one month my body changed more than it did in the previous 6 months following a trainers program.

    The beauty of our times is that the internet gives us all access to professional trainers like you Vince that give people the opportunity to grow and change their bodies. I think that the best advise that a newbie can get is to listen to the professionals, make sure to change your routine at least every 6-8 weeks and form is more important than weight, you’ll get stronger as you go so dont stress about that but if you’re form is not correct you Will hurt yourself. Believe me that its happened to most of us and learned our lesson the hard way.

    I have some friends that I’ll be sending this link to. Thanks Vince.

    The Fittest Vegan

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  46. hey i have been lifting weights for about a month and a half and i was wondering if i should try this program or not? The reason that i am lifting weights is that i do football, basketball,and baseball. and i am one of the smallest ones out there. The main reason i am ligting weights is for football but it stills helps with the other sports. i am 14 and about 5’5 , 114lbs. and is this a good program for me?

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    • Absolutely. You have less than a year of training. Give it a shot for a complete 3-months.

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  47. I started at about 13yrs old. My tips before ever lifting a bar would be

    1)get proper instruction/explanation on how to do the many exercises correctly, form, speed, grip before ever lifting a bar.

    2)get a good understanding/base knowledge of the main principles of muscle building, body types eg mesomorph, ectomorph, training frequency, overload principle, recovery, nutrition. Understand the differences in body building, power lifting, Olympic lifting and how these can be combined. Back in the 1980’s in the west of Ireland, there were no gyms, no muscle mags, no books. Today the internet has it all.

    3)Having done homework on points 1) and 2) above go to your GP and have a basic overall medical exam done, blood pressure, cholesterol etc. Then find a good and appropriate gym, one that has lads training hard and is drug free. The people there can be a great source of knowledge, experience, motivation, guidance and friendship, we all need a spotter and even better a decent training partner.
    If there is no local gym then you garage or shed may be your only option. See if a pal or neighbour trains or is interested in training.

    4)Set realistic but achievable goals, targets and a budget. A lot of money can be wasted on useless and unnecessary foods and supplements.

    5) Get a diary, camera and measuring tape. Record every workout and as much detail on your moods, energy levels, workouts, routines, weights lifted, reps, diet, progress, regress, everything. Over the years I was a member of 2 bodybuilding gyms but didn’t keep a diary. I remember now doing fantastic routines, workouts, diets, but I can’t remember the specifics. Pity now years later.

    6)Last of all, Enjoy the journey. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there if you get there. Have a laugh, include other activities, they all benefit the body and mind. Don’t become a dull boring gobshite who has nothing in his life only lifting weights and his muscles. Never stop training or trying.

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    • Those are all excellent. I like #4 the most. Treating your body, kind’ve like a business, gets you to take everything more seriously.

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  48. The best advice I can give is: FOLLOW THE PROGRAM. I think people get confused and start trying to combine programs, or only do the part of the program that makes sense to them, or “cheat”. Make the committment and follow the program.

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    • Excellent. Once you finish one program, it becomes easier to finish future programs.

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  49. Hi Vince Sadam Here.
    Man you are doing a great job.
    i wanna know is this program suitable for the hard-gainers as well????
    Please Do Reply….!!!
    Many Thanks for your time.

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    • Absolutely. Hard gainers, Slow gainers… whatever you want to call yourself. Just don’t call yourself a No gainer… that does NOT exist.

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  50. I didn’t start making gains until I starting eating a crap load of calories a day. Yes, I did gain some fat, but that was only temporary because I just did a cutting phase and now am where I want to be with my body.

    I went from 150 to 210 and then cut down to 190 and I’m good now. Trust me, that first bulk is extremely important to your muscular development. If you’re one of those guys who wants to gain muscle while staying at a low body fat, be prepared for a very hard time and most likely be prepared to be disappointed.

    For skinny guys, it’s almost impossible to gain a huge amount of muscle without gaining some fat. Most people who are ripped AND muscular are the guys who did a bulk and then just cut all the fat afterwards.

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    • Those numbers are identical to mine! We must be on similar programs. ha

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  51. The two things i say you absolutely have to have in the gym, is technique and intensity. If you only have one on the floor your are getting 25% of the results. I look at it as a contest against myself, i look to kick my own ass in the gym, and you must do the same, but if you dont use proper technique then you are beating your head against a wall. Among diet and rest, you need all levels of intensity went working out, it is the only way to results.

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  52. Hey. Cool article. Love your stuff Vince. I’m not sure why but you never mention Fat Gripz. They are the best muscle building tools I ever bought…… apart from your stuff of course 🙂 They go great with your programs. Or you could use a thick bar if you’ve got one.

    F

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    • Cool… I don’t have myself a pair. Send me some for my birthday… November 26th! Lee Hayward tell you about those?

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  53. Hi, I wanted to know if you have a beginners workout for building muscles with one’s bodyweight only. I have about 80lbs of fat to shed and would like to take advantage of my own body weight right now.

    Cheers!

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    • Go on You Tube and search “bodyweight muscle building vince delmonte” and it should come up. I got some bodyweight stuff for you on video.

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  54. Weight training is an individual endeavor. Do the weights in strictly good form and increase the weight slightly each workout. Trying to do the weights that someone else is doing can be very harmful. Set someone else’s weight as a goal and work toward it consistently and safely. Trying too much and failing will lead to discouragement and quitting, injury and delay, or injury and quitting. Work smarter and make gradual progress toward your goal. Your program is just that, YOUR PROGRAM. Lift smart and eat well.

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  55. For the beginner my advice would be start simple and keep it simple. I would advise against reading the muscle magazines. I would suggest doing just enough to stimulate growth and eat balanced meals plus a post workout protein/carb drink and get your sleep. Think positive about your workouts believing with every workout you are improving. It is happening inside you if you are working out progressively.

    Construct a basis one set per body part routine and experiment with weights to find the weight you can use up to 12 reps. The weight should be very difficult to lift for the 12th rep. Do your workout every other day or 3 days per week with a day of rest in between. The next workout add just a pound to every exercise and aim for the same reps. Keep records of this simple routine. Get you some large washers at the hardware store that weight about 1/2 lb a piece so you can add one to each end of the barbell. Yeah, go ahead and stick to the barbell for awhile. Take about one minute between your sets and body parts with this simple routine. Change out your weights during this time. Your total time of the workout should be about the same or become slightly less with time. Don’t get bored…One day you will hit a wall and the weights won’t go up but you will show good progress. Change the exercise for each body part and do the progressive thing all over again.

    My thoughts are if you start out with 3 exercises for several sets of them for each body part you will get discouraged for all the work, over train and cheat yourself out of progress. Why do over kill and discourage yourself from training because you feel like you’ve been thrown from a moving truck the day after training? Do enough to grow. You’ll have years to add little by little to your workout and take things as far as you want to go. Don’t worry about what other people think and and copy anybody. People who have done this awhile will be doing a lot more than you. It might be best to keep it to yourself. Be safe, take your time, be disciplined and progressive in your training. Progressive is the key. Your body will reward you.

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    • Thanks Michael. Excellent insights.

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  56. Hey Vince, this seems like a really good plan, but why are there no dead lifts, squats or any compound movements in this plan at all? surely they are the fastest and most effective way to get stronger and bigger?
    Write back.

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    • Because none of those are beginner exercises! They are effective when you are ready for them. This is the reason so many guys fail … they get caught up in all the hype of info that does not even apply to the stage they are at in the game.

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  57. grilled cheese sandwich August 2, 2010 at 11:30 am - Reply

    2 tips for beginners looking to gain mass- Eat healthy and eat a lot and do not over train.

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  58. You forgot to mention one thing that is crucial…

    A beginner(or someone who took a long brake from working out) makes gains if he sticks to a single program for a couple of months regardless of the program, the body is forced to adapt to the strain that it is forced to go through.

    What you didn’t mention is that doing the same program for too long slows down gains, the body is has adapted to the same old exercises and does not need to change.

    It’s a good idea to change the program when the gains stop, I did that very mistake, I would stick to the same program for almost a year but the results would not come.

    So variety is also a good idea, there has to be a balance between not sticking to a program long enough and grinding through it when there are no more gains.

    -Alex Allmert

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    • Well said… as you become more experienced you’ll be more instinctive when this time is.

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  59. hi vince.. i’m a beginner and i’m a skinny guy too… i’m 22years old, from Portugal and only 50kg.. or 110pounds… and my goal is going up to 70kg.. i know its hard for me.. but i’m not gonna give up.. i’m only training at home.. i bought a bench to do bench press and i have up to 35kg of weight to start training.. i know i need to keep looking at my nutrition.. i really need to eat a lot.. train hard.. if i can grow to 70kg i would say it is a dream come true… anyway i let you know when i get results.. and i hope i can get those results.. see you man.. i thanks for all the information that you have been given to me.. by the way.. congratulations for you and flavia!!!

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    • No problem Marcio. Keep rocking. Post your results in 12 weeks.

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  60. Hi Vince,
    My number one piece of advice.
    Have a VERY clear view of what you want to achieve. Spend time on this. Is it Arnie or Brad Pitt in Fight club? Do you want to have a Spartan body or a bulky look? Do you want to be a fitness model or compete in Olympic lifts. The training is VERY different. I see people in the gym with no idea why they are there all the time.
    From an exercise point of view,
    Build a foundation of doing your compound exercises in perfect form.
    The Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press. You NEED to know these. Period
    They all have variants to hit every muscle group.
    Diet-
    Cut out the shit food, combine you food properly for good digestion
    Eat a big breakfast as soon as you can after waking, Protein and Carbs, You WILL eat less crap as a result of this.
    Diet is simply too big a subject for here because of my first point i.e. what do you want to achieve.
    Rest and Recovery –
    You need both. If you are lifting near you maximums every day you WILL get injured and screw up you timetable of achieving – not good if you are getting married!!!
    Vince, what do you think of the idea of giving beginners maybe 3 or 4 exercises in pairs of opposing actions, thats only 6 or 8 execises for beginners to learn and to learn well at the beginning.
    Love the blog

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  61. Dude…those are awesome shorty-shorts in that first picture! Classic!

    Great article and excellent advice. The only part I might disagree with is when you recommend stretching the muscle between sets.

    I’ve read some recent reports that say stretching before or even during exercise can weaken the muscle resulting in a loss of strength and an increase in the potential for injury.

    It is much better to do a warm-up before working out that is strenuous enough to make you break a sweat (just like you suggested), workout and THEN stretch when your workout is completed.

    It’s important to note that you should NEVER feel any PAIN when exercising. If you are doing a lift and feel pain, then I would not recommend stretching to see if the pain stops and then trying the lift again. Just skip that muscle…or even end your workout if the pain is intense/severe…and see your doctor.

    I learned this the hard way.

    Wishing you the best,

    ~ Pete

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    • Thanks Pete. When I say “stretch” in between sets it’s not in the way to increase the tissue length as you would do with 2-3 minutes of static stretching per side. It’s brief and short so strength should not be compromised at all. Ultimately, you got to find out for yourself. Thanks again

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  62. @Kerry, I am a woman and a lady should lift using the same free weights as a guy. Get out of the cardio section of the gym, and don’t limit yourself to small dumbells. I have decreased my body fat by around 10% and have great cut, not bulky shoulders abs and legs. Deadlifts, Dips pullups Rows presses etc are the things you need. Start slow, and don’t be intimidated, you may b the only girl over there, but soon you will b lifting as much as the guys!

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  63. (Website Is Coming Up Soon)

    Hey Vince, i’m a Personal Trainer in the Boston Area and I love that I wake up everyday, put on gym shorts and a T-Shirt with sneakers – and I go into the gym and help all these different people who NEED me. Even if they don’t think they do, they NEED me.

    I see more people in the gym doing exercises incorrectly, but they aren’t willing to get a Trainer because it is a “waste of money” .. But they don’t know that they are “wasting their time” when doing exercises with incorrect form.

    My biggest piece of advice is to definitely not over do it when you start. You have to do the exercises correctly, and you have to stick to the program. You wouldn’t play 3 quarters of your football game and then go start another game right? No, you wouldn’t. Finish the program, and then make your adjustments.

    Best Advice Anyone Ever Gave Me..

    “Be consistent with not only your weight training and cardio, but most importantly.. with your nutrition. What you put into your body directly results in how your body will change”

    Basically, if your not consistent.. how do you expect your body to make consistent results? Be consistent, don’t be afraid to ask professionals like me and Vince for tips and help.

    Enjoy everybody, and Vince – I would love to talk to you about a couple things, not sure If I can just email you back at the email address I get everything you send from? Let me know. Later

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  64. Thanks for the great workout! Is this a good workout for women also?

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    • Absolutely. 87.5483% of the time women should train the same as men. ha All the “women only” programs are purely marketing to appeal to emotional thinking. I have my own “women only” programs only because females insist they need a “female only program.” Fine, I’ll give it you but it’s pretty much the same thing i write for my men! There’s the honest truth.

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  65. And just to add: it would be good to start light and then continually add weight to the bar with each session. For example, you might add 2.5kg to your bar each session for something like squats for 5×5. As long as you start light enough and swallow your ego, the gains will come. Yep, that would be all!

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  66. Hi Vince,

    First of all, congratulations on your transformation. The more I see pictures of your frail body (no offense!) against your current jacked physique, the more inspired I get! However, you don’t look that ripped in the picture…

    Anyway, on to the programme. I must agree with you on never ever training to failure when beginning and that your biggest gains come
    At the earlier stages of training. However, though the machine exercises are undoubtedly effective for building mass on a specific body part, I feel that all beginners should stay away from the machines and instead focus on proper form and movement patterns in the free weight lifts, like the squats and deadlifts. It’s when you’re new to the scene that you actually learn the fastest. I’d ask them to start light and lift just the empty bar for the squat, deadlift and overhead press, as well as add in bodyweight exercises like pushups and pullups. When they can do 40 reps of pushups with perfect form, then they can lift the heavy weights for pressing and pulling and add in dips. Another caution:stay away from the cables until you’ve been lifting for about 3-4 months. The resistance may be dangerous and you have to start light on it. Reps should be kept low to start as they need to focus on getting their form picture-perfect and it will tend to deteriorate as the reps increase. They should also abstain from conditioning or cardio work as these would only cause burn-out.

    Finally, 8h of sleep, going to bed and waking up at the same times and sleeping before midnight are crucial. Eating good, natural food helps with recovery too, as does a proper warmup and cool down. Yeah, I guess that’s pretty much it! I see that our weight-lifting philosophies differ and I’d like to get your opinions on mine!

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  67. The program Vince outlined above is definitely one that can work for beginners.

    They key to success in the gym, just like anything in life, is to be consistent, that’s why I especially like Vince’s advice of committing for three months before making an assessment.

    Chris Cannon

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  68. Vince,
    I am by no means an expert, however if you break down an average day it looks something like this:
    15 hours of working, eating, or whatever it is that people do.
    8 hours of sleep.
    1 hour in the gym.
    Given that the bulk of your time is spent eating, you could say that nutrition is 85% of your success, 5% is in the gym, and 10% is recovering. With that in mind, my number one tip is dial in your nutrtion! Make sure your nutrition program is designed to achieve your initial mini goal then constantly adjust for your next goal.

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    • Don’t fixate on the numbers but you’re certainly valid with your intentions. Whether the % is 91.84637% or 74.984% – nutrition is by far the most important component.

      But it’s interesting – there ARE guys who defy this rule. You’ll see guys who train like ANIMALS and eat CRAP but are shredded. Part is genetics … but there is something to clue in on there.

      For the majority of people – high intensity and a poor diet will not be nearly as powerful as the combo of both.

      Also, low intensity training and poor program designed with a PERFECT diet will also yield minimal to any visual or performance results.

      As you train, you’ll discover what your body is most responsive too.

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  69. Hi, Im 19 almost 20 and used to be skinny. ive been lifting since I was 18 and have gone from 150 pounds to 180 pounds of muscle. Im 6’2″ for those that like to know all the information. At the moment I am working on a bulk from 180 to 240 by Christmas. I am sitting at 195 at the moment.

    If I had to give some advice to the begginers I would say DIET is the most important item. I eat 6 meals a day. i started out when I was skinny eating 2500 calories, but now I am eating 4300 a day and when I finish bulking it will be close to 5800. When I say diet and the amount of calories Im refering to complex carbs (brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes), lean proteins (chicken, salmon, tuna, tilapia, turkey, beef), and healthy fats (coconut oils, olive oil, walnuts, almonds, peanut butter). These are the main foods that make up my diet and I eat them at every meal. I then throw in as much fruit and vegetables into the rest of my diet for the vitamins that they offer.

    If you eat enough food (500-1000 above maintnenance), while bulking you will have no problem increasing your weight in your lifts each workout or two and also your body weight will increase each week. If you stall just eat more calories and keep pushing.

    The second most important thing is SLEEP. For me I created my schedule to allow me to get 8 hours of sleep. I work from 5am to 6pm every day and work out after that. I am always in bed by 9pm each night to make sure that I get the proper amount of sleep. During the night while you are asleep that is when your body is repairing the most amount of muscle and so it needs lots of nutrients and you to fall asleep for a long periods of time so it can focus on repairing your body from the stress you put it under from your workouts.

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  70. Try to find someone in your gym who is more advanced & has a physique you aspire to & is prepared to help you get started, give you some pointers & tips i.e like a mentor. So they can keep you on track & answer your questions about technique, exercises, weight, diet etc…
    Also just focus on what you want to achieve & dont worry about anyone else in the gym & what they may be doing. Have a clear goal of what you are striving for & realise it will take some time depending on your body type etc.. Most of all have fun & enjoy the process of building your body to how you want it to look!!

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  71. ive been receiving info from vince for a while now but ive got to say the above routine looks shocking! way too many exercises and the rep range is ridiculous.
    I suggest splitting your routine into upper body (chest, lats, traps, delts) on monday for example, and lower body with arms (Legs, Lower back, Biceps, Triceps) on Thursday.

    Chest- Bench Press, incline dumbbell press
    Lats- Chin ups, barbell row
    Traps- Shrugs, Reverse flye
    Delts- Overhead Press/Arnold press, lateral raises

    Legs- Squats(King of all exercises!!!), Leg press
    Lower Back- Deadlifts!!!
    Biceps- Barbell Curl, incline dumbbell curl
    Triceps- Close grip bench, Tricep/Rope pushdowns

    2 exercises per bodypart, 2 sets per exercise, and a rep range of 6-8. Progression is the key to building muscle, you simply can not progress and get stronger if you use high rep ranges.
    Forget about leg extenstions etc they are useless. Heavy compound exercises are best because they release more testosterone and growth hormone.

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    • You would have a COMPLETE beginner do over head press, squats and deadlifts? It would take 2 hours to teach a beginner how to do a proper deadlift! Those are great exercises WHEN the beginner has mastered isolation exercises. Isolation movements should be prioritzed before compound moves for a beginner.

      I think you’re giving beginners far too much credit for where they are starting metabolically and neurologically.

      High rep ranges for a beginner are critical – more than load. Load is the last component that should be increased for a beginners. Beginners can make safer gains by improving form, body awareness, muscle recruitment, range of motion and reps – before load even needs to be considered.

      The 2 day option is a valid one. I would stick to what I’ve outlined instead though.

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  72. @David
    I would really recommend you do…it’s really good 🙂

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  73. Nice article. I think three important tips are:
    1) Get enough sleep
    2) Maintain a heatly diet and cut out all the junk
    3) Stay consistent and don’t skip/miss workouts

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  74. Should I do this program instead of your No Nonsense Muscle Buliding program because I beginning school in a 1 week and I have weight training so it would really workout for me.

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    • NNMB includes meal plans, the book, supplement guide etc… this is just a straight up program.

      Honestly, that’s your call. Give this plan a try for 3 months and then order NNMB. Whichever one you choose, stick with it!

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  75. Excellent article vince which follows the KISS princible to a T, which is perfect for beginner bodybuilders.

    If you’re a complete beginner to building muscle then educating yourself in the following areas are paramount to your success:

    1. Mindset – Learn to motivate yourself to workout and stay consistent and persistent with your goals. This is the most important factor for success, because if you are not motivated to change…you will not change, simple as that.

    2. Workout – You need to be doing the correct workout for you bodytype (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph) and also tweak it to your unique needs. Also choose a workout and stick to it, rather than bouncing around every few weeks to a different workout.

    3. Recovery – Get this wrong and you greatly halt potential muscle growth and slow down your gains. Learn the art of rest, how to disolve stress, and to enter deep sleep at night (this is where muscle mass occurs).

    4. Nutrition – The building blocks of muscle, get this wrong and you will sabotage your success. You will need to know when to eat, what to eat, and how to make what your eating.

    5. Injury Prevention – If your injured from lifting to heavy before your muscles, ligaments and tendons are ready then all your hard work evaporates. Stretch everyday and become a perfectionist when it comes to proper form.

    6. Supplements – Last of all…supplements! Forget about supplementing if you don’t have the other factors down. Protein shakes and creatine are the two essential supplements that have stood the test of time and the scrutiny of the bodybuilding world. Get them and use them.

    Hope that helps guys!

    Alex

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    • Very nicely laid out Alex. Appreciate that.

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  76. I’m tired of wasting summers hiding, or going to places I’ve been going to as a child so that there people wouldn’t look at me ‘like that’ and thinking like this “well at least i’m not like those REALLY fat people,” – no now its time to challenge myself and see where I can go with some discipline.

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  77. Vince this is far too complicated in my opinion.

    You’re gonna paralyse these people with all this info. I think you need to cut down the exercise list and get begginers to focus moving their own bodyweight through space, then introduce them to weights.

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    • Fair enough. I prefer a variety of isolation exercises to learn how to selectively recruit each muscle. Most bodyweight movements are even too advanced for beginners although your thinking sounds logical – in the real world it’s often a greater challenge to start with a push then a pec deck fly when a person has no idea how to use there pecs. That’s just one example of many…

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  78. Hi, Im Reuben from Auckland, New Zealand. I have decided to start a bodybuilding program because I am dissapointed with my current physique. I am 1.86m tall and feel that I am underweight, I beleive that a program will be the push I need to start gaining muscle in the gym. Thanks alot for this advice and all the tips posted elsewhere such as youtube. Cheers.

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  79. This is great stuff!

    My personal recommendations is not to get too hung up with counting reps. I use lighter weights with very strict form, yet I engage the muscle better than I ever could with real heavy poundage.

    My second recommendation is not to fall into the excess protein trap. I am certainly not gifted, but I dont eat 5/6 times a day either, just 3 times and possibly a snack. My best gains have come from eating this way…

    My last recommendation is to mentally focus on the job at hand, aka the gym. Visualise a successful outcome before you hit the gym, and then focus on the particular muscle your working, and notice how it feels, how it is contracting, blood flowing and becoming bigger!

    Actually, final recommendation, and maybe the most important, get great quality sleep and please please, after 6-8 weeks take 1-2 weeks off at the gym. THis again how sky rocketed my gains 🙂

    Keep the great recommendations coming all!!!!

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  80. Really great post Vince. Would say from my experiences, consistency is one area beginners need to focus on. Being consistent in nutrition, workouts, recovery, especially consistently setting goals, then attaining them followed by setting new ones constantly keeps us hungry for more.

    Keep up the Rockin tips Vince !!

    By the way, look awesome in the pic ~ you reach 210 or already Smash It !?!

    Keep Going ~ Keep Growing !!

    Bill

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  81. Hey vince I have just started my bodybuilding program and i have the added benefit of a great trainer who has won bodybuilding comps himself with the same body type as me which is proving very helpful in terms of nutrition which has always been the bane of my training. I have been following ur blogs and was great to see the pics of u and ur beautiful wife on FB congrats! i also was luck to find my was to artus’ site through you and i love watching and reading his blogs u are both huge inspirations and i would love to flick u an email of my before pics so u can see the transformations as they happen – 12 weeks until my very first comp!!

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  82. Don’t fall into the supplement trap! pretty much every supplement makes only 5% difference.

    I just use the ones that vince recomends:

    1.Whey Protein
    2.Creatine
    3.ZMA

    These are all good just dont bother your self with any of the rubbish ones.

    Also a good way to get started into nutrition is to give up one food per week and replace it with a healthier food. For example: give up white bread and then just buy brown. This is a great way to just ease yourself into the nutrition side of things.

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    • The “supplement trap” I like that. For many, they get in the trap and never find a way out…

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  83. It’s hard when you first start out and you don’t know anything. Goal setting, motivation, time management, diet, supplements, sleeping and recovery, progressive overload, what exercises to do, etc, etc…

    I think you’ve provided a pretty good base to start from Vince….and everyone else’s workouts are good too.

    .

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  84. Best exercises to get you growing 🙂

    Barbell Squat – tough one, usually people in the gym don’t like doing it but it’s extremely beneficial. Try and get a nice low squat, your buns will thank you later when they become nicely full and muscular :).

    Good morning – also very tough but awesome for strength. Careful to start with very low weight

    Deadlifts – this is the last one that nobody should forget to have in their workout.

    All 3 will help you raise your metabolism and testosterone levels. Follow what Vinnie says and you will get gains guaranteed.

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  85. Its alot about feeding your body and resting for recovery. bulk sleep is best because our body heals most when we sleep. As beginner its hard to stay focused on target goals so if you can workout with a gym buddy that can be worth it especially on days when you can’t be bothered and you have you friend, who’s hopefully amped up and will get your butt to the gym with him and you’ll be grateful for the support.

    Also work out on your whole body and evenly on both sides, upper and lower so that when you do start to show muscles you will be in proportion. Alot of guys I see don’t work out on their legs enough and focus just on upper body. Work out on your legs and butt especially calves as these are sexy parts on a guy and its awful to see a guy with great upper body standing on a set of scrawny chicken legs.

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  86. Hi Vince,

    I have been training for a number of years now, and am waiting for Maximise your Muscle to be re released.

    I think your beginner program is a great program and those who follow it will make some fantastic gains!

    My only piece of constructive critisism is that as that after month 1 and the number of sets increase, i think that maybe the number of exercises should be reduced slightly as you will be doing so much more volume by then.

    Keep up the great work Vince, and i cant wait till MYM is re released!

    Cheers!!

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    • it’ll be released, Maximize Your Muscle, the first week of September, 2010!

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  87. To the beginners (actually even intermediates..): the training program outlined above is not gonna work. With all due respect, well, it’s just a silly training program…
    Try this instead: workout A: Squat, Military Press, Chin Up; workout B: Deadlift, Floor press, Row. Alternate A and B: Monday A, Wednesday B, Friday A, Monday B, Wednesday A, Friday B; repeat.

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  88. Hey Vince,

    I picked up your program back in February of last year. Since then it’s been quite a ride. I didn’t realize how hard it would be for me just to start and finish the program. I was brand new to weightlifting and I allowed myself to become overwhelmed and quit after two weeks. After a couple of months I came back to it. Once I started it again I was surprised that it was a little easier. I learned something from my previous attempt. Then I stopped because I had a change of work schedule and allowed that to stop. I probably stopped and restarted about 4 or 5 times now. Each time I started I came back a little more confident and a little more experienced.

    I’m currently working out consistently, eating healthier, and following the program better with each day. It’s been a big shift for me to realize I’m not going to get everything perfect from the get go and instead get as much as I can and then course correct on the way.

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  89. Hi y’all! I’m Bryan from Malaysia…I’m 19, 6 ft and I weigh 168 pounds. I’ve been lifting weights on and off for half a year but I am still not yet satisfied with myself, as I’m trying to get that “ripped” appearance. I have the shape and mass from the dumbbell workouts and what not but I feel that diet is the main aspect limiting me from achieving that ripped out look. Anyone can recommend me good dieting/nutritional programs or books or just give credible tips? I’m thinking of starting out seriously this time and am definitely going to give this program a go 🙂 wait & seee after 3 months! Cheers

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  90. I posted a previous comment I am the getting close to 60 due who lives in Australia and seems after my comment a few young guys were asking or were confused about what exercises to do. Well as I said stick to the basics, mainly multijoint or compound exercises, such as bench press, squat, deadlift (careful light and very good form required), militiary press to front of neck, and do lots of body weight exercises such as chin up wide, closer grip palms up for my bicep work, push up, dips, dumbell rows, bent of barbell rows just to name a few. ITS not the WEIGHT that is important initially as once you get stronger the weight will increase but the form needs to be good and squeeze on contraction, with full range of movement to recruit as much muscle fibres as possible, feel the pump and you know that you’re on the right track.

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  91. @ anyone looking for a more abbreviated routine

    Alternate between these, two or three times a week, depending on recovery abilities. Sets of 5x 5 would be a good start:

    Day 1
    Squat
    Bench Press
    Row

    Day 2
    Deadlier
    Chin
    Overhead press

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    • Again… excellent exercises but I’m assuming you’ve never trained anyone in the real world. These are 6 of the most complicated movements to teach – and you want a beginner to do them ALL in a workout?

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  92. For decades, even professionals used to build their bodies with no supplements and three day a week work outs like this:

    Overhead Shoulder Press
    Squat
    Row/ chin up
    Bench press
    Stiff leg dead lift

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  93. I’m with Drew above. Stick with the main compound exercises (I would add deadlifts too), split them up into two workouts: Upper Body/Legs&Abs and each week, one workout gets hit twice. You can then move on to Vince’s 15 exercise cycle. After you have done these for a year each, you can switch to a 3-day routine that works your Upper Body/Back/Legs with any order that works for you. Stick with the main compound exercises and this for a year, then add in some isolation excises where needed. Intensity is key, make each set all out, lower the volume a bit at the start, then work your way up.

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  94. Hi. I m Amrut Solanki frm India, a beginner to bodybuilding. I m going to gym frm last 1.5 mths. i m 25, 60kg n 5.8″. let me try out the above program n c whether it shows any difference!!!!!

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  95. I feel that the key to building a solid foundation can be hung off one exercise:

    Heavy Deadlifts.

    Learn correct form, start out light, and build your workout regime off of them.

    Do deadlifts as your #1 exercise at the start of every rotation of whatever program you are following and they will provide you with the strength, development, discipline and confidence to tackle ANYTHING – inside the gym and outside the gym.

    Deadlifts will change your life!

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  96. @Dan
    o and I’m only 18 as well I that means anything

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  97. Two things to remember for beginners:
    #1 – Get your rest. This is the thing I find lacking for most people. Adjust your schedule and get 8 hours of sleep a night. It makes all the difference in the world.
    #2 – Adjust your diet. Turn away from anything white. Whte flour, white sugar, white salt. Eat whole foods, keep your carbs to oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat. Even then, try to eat them mostly with breakfast and lunch and keep dinner to lean protein and salad/veggies.

    Someone commented that a 15 round exercise routine is too complicated. I like Vinny’s choices, but I understand the comment as well. For a simpler start, try sticking to a routine heavier on compound exercises. Something like this:
    1. Squats 3×15 with moderate weight
    2. Lying Leg Press 3×15 “”
    3. Bench Press 3×15 “”(the Gironda Press is my personal favorite, but perhaps a beginner should stick to regualr falt bench)
    4. Lat Pulldown 3×15 “”
    5. Toe Raises 3×15 “”
    6. Military Press 3×15 “”
    7. Incline Bench Hammer Curls 3×15 “”
    8. Dips 3×15 “”
    9. Mountain Climbers (Ab exercise – look it up on youtube if you don’t know what it is)

    Start with moderate weights and try to increase by 5 pounds at least each workout if not each set. Every muscle group will be worked well. After you get comfortable, you might want to switch to something more complex like Vinny’s routine.
    Just my suggestion!

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  98. I spent years floundering around the weightroom before I finally started to get serious about bodybuilding. In hindsight, I’d say my number one problem was not having a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve. So, instead of optimizing my time at the gym focusing on those goals I was spending hours going around in circles. Fortunately, as a meso, I still saw gains, but wasn’t educated enough at the time to overcome (or prevent) plateaus.

    Which leads me to my next bit of advice: research. Find a credible source and learn as much as you can. Usually a good place to start is by finding someone that has the body you want and asking them about the programs they follow. More often than not you’ll find they are happy to help.

    And my last piece of advice.. don’t underestimate the power of whole foods. So many beginners, especially skinny ones, try to cram as many supplements (including whey) into their diets that they neglect to properly nourish themselves. Educate yourself on proper nutrition, the importance of digestive health, and how your lifestyle decisions (sleep, stress, etc.) effect your overall well being.

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  99. Hey vince or anyone, I got a problem I’m not new to weight training but to muscle growth I am if that makes sense :p any way my problem is that I’m a basketball player 6 foot 4 and 87 kg which is around 200pounds or something like that I’m pretty skinny the only thing I got is abs. And I have basketball three to four days a week Sunday (training) and wednesday and Thursday games we might have a extra training through out the week sometimes, and because of this I don’t want do weights with the fear of over training myself I also want to do pool plyometrics three days a week is there a way I can include weights into this without over training?

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  100. I’m 19 years old weigh about 140 pounds 5’9. I’m from Bakersfield California. I got can cancer 2 years ago and i survived but it left me pretty scronny. I could no longer eat the same junk food I could before to gain weight. I stumbled across your website and I liked the information you give about eating junk food is a bad way to build muscle and there healthier ways to gaining weight and building muscle. I don’t like the fact that I don’t fit in to my clothes and I cant walk around anywhere without one my friends saying I am too skinny, I want to improve my body and I believe you know what you are talking about. I haven’t bought your nonsense muscle program for hard gainers but I’m really looking into getting it pretty soon.

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  101. One problem for beginners and maybe beyond is knowing what all those exercises are. Even if I kind of know them, details and preferably pictures and/or videos would be good to be sure I’m doing them most effectively. If I went to a gym and brought the list some trainer could probably help me, but I try to do everything at home. If I see how the exercise is done, if I don’t have the right equipment, I can figure something out. If all else fails, I could get some equipment. Of course, I can’t ask too much as a freeloader.

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    • I fully agree. Beginners using this plan will have to watch some of my you tube videos to learn these or google search them – better yet, get a trainer to show you. They’ll know all of them.

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  102. Hi, my name is Kyle Bertrand I’m from Ontario, Canada and I’m a skinny dude. I’m 17 years old. Being 6 foot and 135 pounds is hard so recently I joined a gym and have been reading vinces articles. I will try this routine and see how it goes. I agree that nutrition Is important so I’ve started eating healthy calorie dense meals 6x a day with about 40g of protein at each meal. Wish me luck in my muscle building journey!

    – Kyle Bertrand

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    • Right on… another fellow Ontarioan (if that’s a word). I’m from hamilton ontario.

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  103. Getting close to 60 years of age I am probably in now the best muscular shape and health in my life, although I was an athelete at school and I have mostly fast twitch muscle fibres….I would say that it becomes a lifestyle, number one is getting the mind set correct then what we eat, number of meals, exercise choice, form, reps and rep speed etc. and of course one does not grow in the gym but when recovering so sleep, hydration are all so important….The connection of all these things in the end makes the difference. For the beginner the basics are what makes all the difference like a house with a good foundation…

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  104. Hey Vince, this is really good advice to anyone looking to start a weight training program…I know from experience it IS intimidating at first, but once you familiarize yourself with the equipment, the different exercises, and learn about what to fuel yourself for optimum muscle growth…you will be busting out of your shirt in no time!!…lol. Anyways, Vince, It is great to had an awesome time on your honeymoon….you deserve a break like that from your busy ife and it’s good to see you enjoyed it. Oh..by the way I am up to 178 pounds right now, and making steady progress…I’m almost there man…I had to take a break from gaining weight for a while though but in a week or so…I will be hitting the gym hard to try to see if i can make it to 190 pounds before the start of college this september…just wanted to keep you posted on my progress, and that I am continuing the program…Thanks!!! Enjoy the rest of your summer Vince!! hard to believe it is almost over…:(

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  105. thanks for the workout program – i am definitely going to try this

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  106. Seeing your before & after pictures makes me believe that I can do it too. As a skinny guy, people try to tell me, “maybe you won’t be able to get bigger,” or “it doesn’t fit your personality,” or, “you’re a skinny guy, you can’t do it”. (People have actually said these things…) I ignore them all & stick to my work out plans & high protein diet. Failure to plan is planning to fail! If Vince, a former skinny guy, can do it anyone can! Thanks Vince!

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  107. As a beginner I feel overwhelmed by the amount of information concerning bodybuilding. Having a workout that consists of 15 different exercises just adds to the confusion. Start us beginners out small and then build up to more complex workouts. – 2 cents

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    • As I said, you can break the workout into 2 different days if this is too much.

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  108. @Travis – I would recommend getting lots of sleep and eating the rights carbs, fats and proteins to make progress. I also think it helps to stretch before and after training if you’re someone who gets tight muscles really easily, as well as icing the muscle if needed. Hope those ideas are a good and helpful to beginners :).

    ~Travis

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  109. man your huge now lol. Did you surpass 210 or is that picture at 210 pounds? Keep up the good work buddy and keep changing peoples lives :).

    ~Travis

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