Lift Weights and Get Ripped - The Correct Way to Do It
By: Paul Lucas
Most beginners think bodybuilding is about weight lifting,
well there's more to bodybuilding than just weight lifting,
a much greater percent of bodybuilding success comes from
your diet and cardio. It is important to learn the proper
way to do your weight workout routines. Most people out
there will be surprised to know that they are probably
overtraining (doing too much weight workouts with long
durations). You might be happy to know that doing less is
actually better, especially for natural bodybuilders!
In all your years of training, one of the most challenging
variables you'll ever wrestle with, is the avoidance of
overtraining. Muscles don't grow while working out. They
grow while resting. Forget marathon workouts and the "more
must be better" syndrome. Following up on this kind of
thinking will do nothing but contribute to burnout and
muscle loss. Who cares if genetic freaks gain on training
like this? Remember, they really are freaks when put up
against the average person. They'd make gains just by
listening to weight plates sliding on and off an empty bar.
(Well, not really, but you get the picture.)
It takes roughly half a week to a full week for a thoroughly
worked muscle to recuperate. As an individual gets stronger
and is able to generate more intensity, the amount of time
necessary for recuperation lengthens. While you'd never gain
an ounce without first stimulating growth, you'd also never
gain an ounce without giving your system adequate rest time
for energy replenishment and growth to occur.
Intensity: Being able to put forth a concentrated effort and
work to Complete Failure so as to generate enough muscle
stimulus for growth to occur.
Intensity is very important for every workout you do, it is
important to push yourself to failure with each set, because
this will release more
hormones which in turn builds more
high reps or low reps?
If you want to build muscle mass then a lower rep range is
generally more efficient, usually 4-8 reps is good for muscle
mass gains. A higher number of reps (usually like 10 or
more) is only good for several reasons:
- Improves your form.
- increases muscle glycogen stores (this is good to give you
that pumped look).
- increases your endurance.
- It's good for beginners just starting out.
high reps doesn't do as good of a job at building muscle than
Machines or Free Weights?
I use all free weights because it puts the natural resistance
on the muscles and makes them grow better. Free weights
allows for better muscle mass growth. I consider machines a
waste of time in my opinion. Stick with the basics like
bench press, incline bench press, nosebusters (lying tricep
extension on bench with e-z curl bar), chin ups, pull ups (don't
use a LAT machine, I used one and does nothing for building
muscle mass), curls, military press (shoulder press),
lateral raises with barbell, rows, shoulder shrugs, calve
raises with barbell, squats, and deadlifts (I consider
deadlifts one of the best exercises you can possibly do to
get real strong). Machines are nothing but gimmicks in my
opinion, free weights is the way to go no matter what your
How many sets should I perform for each muscle group?
- 3-7 sets for large muscle groups (chest, legs, back).
- 1-3 sets for smaller muscle groups (triceps, biceps, traps).
Example weight lifting routines
This is the typical routine most bodybuilders use, it
basically involves training each bodypart once a week, and
provides PLENTY of rest, one can follow this routine even if
you don't have a whole lot of motivation, because the
workouts only last about 20-30 minutes. This is an excellent
long term workout routine.
Chest & Triceps - 2-3 sets of bench press, 1-2 set of
incline bench press, 1-2 sets of skull crushers, Ab
Day2 - REST
Day3 - Back & Biceps - 2-3 sets of chin-ups (or pull-ups),
1-2 sets of bicep curls.
Shoulders & Traps - 2-3 sets of shoulder press, 1-2
sets of lateral raises, 1 set of rear delt raises, 2 sets of
shoulder shrugs. Ab crunches.
Legs & calves - 3 sets of deadlift or 3 sets of
squats and 2 sets of calve raises. (note: some people
alternate every other week with deadlifts one week then
squats the next, calves should be done 1-2 times per week
Day8 - This day is up to you, whether you want to take the
day off or repeat and start over at day 1.
2) An Energetic
Same as the previous workout routine except with less rest
days, you do each workout (muscle group) once every 6 days,
and you train one leg component each day.
Chest & Triceps - 3 sets of bench press, 2 sets of
incline bench, 2-3 sets of skull crushers (nosebusters), 3
sets of deadlift (every other time you hit this day)
day3: Back & Biceps - 3 sets of pull-ups or chin-ups, 2-3
sets of bicep curls (dumbbell, barbell, curl bar, whatever), 3
sets of Squats (every other time you hit this day, make sure
you space squat workout apart from deadlift workout)
day5: Shoulders & Traps - 3 sets of military press, 2 sets
of rear delt raises, 2-3 sets of shoulder shrugs, 2-3 sets
of standing calve raises
3) "Cheat Your Way To
Now this routine may seem like there's nothing to it at all,
but you may be surprised that a lot of people are doing this
and are gaining muscle with it, only two workouts a week,
each one only lasts about a half an hour.
Chest and Legs - bench 3x6, dips 3xfailure, deadlifts
3x6 (or squats 3x10).
Day4 - REST
Back and Shoulders - chins 3xfailure, military press
Day6 - REST
Day7 - REST
This workout routine strategically hits different areas of a
muscle at different times, so you can hit different areas
more effectively with more intensity, rather than say always
doing flat bench press first, followed by a few sets of
incline bench next, you separate them throughout the 7-day
Day1: - Chest & Triceps - 2-3 sets of flat bench press, 1-2
sets of skull crushers (nosebusters), 3 sets of deadlift
(every other time you hit this day).
Back & Biceps & Calves - 3 sets of pull-ups, 1-3
sets of bicep curls (dumbbell, barbell, curl bar, whatever), 2
sets of standing calve raises.
Shoulders & Traps - 3 sets of military press
(shoulder press), 2 sets of rear delt raises, 2 sets of
Chest & Triceps - 3 sets of incline bench, 2 sets of
dips for triceps or arm extensions.
Back & Biceps - 3 sets of chin-ups, 1-3 sets of
bicep curls (dumbbell, barbell, curl bar, whatever), 3 sets of
Squats (every other time you hit this day, make sure you
space squat workout apart from deadlift workout).
You can optionally throw in another rest day into this routine and it will
be just as effective.
Weight lifting tips
- Center your bodybuilding program around the big compound
movements, such as squats and presses.
- Physiological processes at the cellular level require rest
and nutrients before you can train that same muscle group
- Use Free Weights for all Heavy Sets - As heavy as some
machines might feel, they do not involve as much of the
ancillary muscles areas as do free weights and, therefore,
do not build as much compound mass.
- As important as training is, it is only a small piece of the
overall pie that delivers success and progression in Real
Life Bodybuilding. A much larger percentage of that pie is
- Nutrition is by far the most important factor and is almost
always responsible for both success and failure in
- Train very heavy -- most the time. The muscles need to be
constantly "overloaded" to continue to grow. Reps in the 4 -
- Constantly challenge yourself to lift more weight. Never
settle for a weight less than you have done in the past.
- Your "worst day" can become your "best day" if you learn
from it, move on, and make the necessary changes!
- Less training is more, and less is best.
- Twenty sets per body part. Half a day in the gym. Six days a
week. What foolhardy nonsense.
- The common knowledge of doing the same workout routine every
other day is going to set you far beyond your goals of
getting muscle mass gains, muscles grow when your resting, not
lifting! You should wait till your muscles are fully
recuperated before you hit them hard again, and this usually
takes between 5-8 days.
- Give your body the opportunity to repair itself and grow
Keep yourself motivated, inspired, and above all, believe in
Train chest on a day by itself or only with triceps. That's
it. Do not train with shoulders or any other body part. This
You want to rest enough to recover as much as possible
before doing your next set. None of this 1 minute crap. More
like 3 to 5 minutes. You're not circuit training. Fatigue is
not intensity. Fatigue is fatigue. Short rest periods
promote quick fatigue. Fatigue limits overload and fatigue
Here is one of the biggest mistakes most lifters make - both
beginners and experienced alike. For some unexplained (at
least not rationally explained) reason lifters have this
need to do a "burn-out" set as their last set to an
exercise. Why? What is this accomplishing? I'll tell you.
Nothing - except impede the muscle growth and certainly the
strength gaining process - not to mention it's a total waste
of time, energy, and effort. Remember, every set, every rep,
every workout should build muscle. This will not be
accomplished with light weight and high reps no matter how
intensely you do the set.
Never - never - never - do a final set of an exercise where
you drop the weight and try to pump out a bunch of reps to
get that pumped or burning feeling. This does "zilch" for
building muscle and strength. In fact, I feel it stops
growth in its tracks.
For Incline Bench Press: Most inclines are done way too
steep. Don't make this mistake. 30 degrees puts your body at
a perfect angle for hitting upper chest.
After an intense workout you'll feel different than usual.
You'll feel a deep dull ache. This is normal. You won't feel
that burn most of you are used to. You know that burn you
get from high reps that do nothing but burn - burn up
muscle. The soreness sets in about 12-24 hours afterwards.
Gym or no gym?
Going to a gym is not necessary. I hear a lot of people
complain saying, "The only way to get big is to go a gym".
That is not correct. All you need is one good barbell and a
chin-up/pull up bar, a curl bar, and a bench, that's it. You
don't need dumbbells (although it might help a little bit),
You don't have to go out and buy the latest machines. Don't
even think about buying a bow flex, solo flex, or any other
machine. Don't bother with any ab machines or any thing in
that nature. Save your money and don't bother going to a gym,
with less than 500 dollars you can get your own home
bodybuilding gym. What's the point of going out of your way
in a day to travel all the way to a gym to workout for about
20 minutes then go all the way home? When all you have to do
is just stay home and complete your short workout and then
get on with life. Don't make your workouts the most
important thing that you have to do, just do it at
your own home and get them over with.
Although going to a gym might be a good idea for some
people, since your working out with other people, it may
increase your intensity, it may simply just give you
something to do other than staying home a lot. What ever
makes you happier I guess.
"The strongest of all warriors are these two: Time and
- Leo Tolstoy
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