There are a ton of programs out there aimed at beginners that promise 40+ lbs. of gains within the first 6 months. In truth, most of these are nothing more than just hyped up supplement ads. It’s a shame though because what ends up happening is that these folks spend all their hard earned money on the fanciest new supplement but they still look the same, or worse, than when they actually started.
Here is a simple plan to get you started on your muscle building journey. I’m not saying it’s the best plan, but it’s an honest one.
I’m not going to get all scientific on you so I’m just going to give you a basic idea of what you should eat and how much. First of all, calculate how many calories you need in a day. Multiply your weight in lbs. by 15. Example: 200lbs x15 = 3,000 calories.
Everyone’s needs are different and you can adjust this later on but this is a good starting point. Eat this number of calories for at least 2 weeks and if you’re not gaining any weight, add 250 calories more, so on and so forth. If you’re losing weight, add 500.
Then, make sure that these calories consist of a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. You don’t have to worry about this too much yet, just focus on getting started. Make sure that it’s always an even balance. Aim for high-quality foods such as chicken, turkey, fish, beef, eggs, oats, rice, fruits, vegetables (LOTS), nuts, olive oil, etc.
Just eating these for that number of calories will ensure you get enough protein and carbs with a good bit of healthy fats and no, fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, good fat is incredibly good for your hormones which is necessary for building muscle.
You don’t have to start off with a crazy 6 days a week program.
Start by lifting just 3-4 days a week and focus on mainly compound exercises such as bench press, barbell row, squats, deadlifts and barbell shoulder press. Make sure to never work the same body part 2 days in a row, always leave at least a 24 to 36-hour gap in between.
Monday – Chest
Tuesday – Legs
Wednesday – Rest/Cardio
Thursday – Back & Shoulders
Friday – Legs
Saturday – Rest/Cardio
Sunday – Rest/Cardio
Start off with a weight you can handle for 12 reps for 4 sets each and then work your way up. Once you are stronger in these foundation exercises, I can guarantee that you will look much different in the mirror than when you started. You can then start adding in some isolation exercises for the other smaller parts of your body (arms, calves, etc.) but for now, these compound exercises will work exceptionally well in putting on the mass.
I know that it can be easy to get carried away when you’re starting out but trust me, resting enough is just as important. Make sure you get enough sleep because it is during your sleep that your body repairs and rebuilds itself. If you don’t get enough rest, your hormones will go out of control, your stress levels will rise and you will get burnt out, fast!
Take it easy, sleep at least 8 hours a day every single day and watch yourself grow.