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Lift Weights and Get Ripped - The Correct Way to Do It


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 muscle.


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.

But high reps doesn't do as good of a job at building muscle than lower reps.

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 goals are.


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


1)  Typical Bodybuilder's routine:

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.

Day1 - Chest & Triceps - 2-3 sets of bench press, 1-2 set of incline bench press, 1-2 sets of skull crushers, Ab crunches.

Day2 - REST

Day3 - Back & Biceps - 2-3 sets of chin-ups (or pull-ups), 1-2 sets of bicep curls.

Day4 - REST

Day5 - 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.

Day6 - REST

Day7 - 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 though)

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 Bodybuilder's Routine:

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.

day1: 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)

day2: REST

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)

day4: REST

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

day6: REST

3) "Cheat Your Way To Muscles"
Bodybuilder's Routine:

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.

Day1 - Chest and Legs - bench 3x6, dips 3xfailure, deadlifts 3x6 (or squats 3x10).

Day2 - REST

Day3 - REST

Day4 - REST

Day5 - Back and Shoulders - chins 3xfailure, military press 3x6.

Day6 - REST

Day7 - REST

4) Advanced Bodybuilder's Routine:

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 period:

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).

Day2: - 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.

Day3: - Shoulders & Traps - 3 sets of military press (shoulder press), 2 sets of rear delt raises, 2 sets of shoulder shrugs.

Day4: - REST

Day5: - Chest & Triceps - 3 sets of incline bench, 2 sets of dips for triceps or arm extensions.

Day6: - 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).

Day7: - REST

  • NOTE:  You can optionally throw in another rest day into this routine and it will be just as effective.

Weight lifting tips

  1. Center your bodybuilding program around the big compound movements, such as squats and presses.

  2. Physiological processes at the cellular level require rest and nutrients before you can train that same muscle group again.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Nutrition is by far the most important factor and is almost always responsible for both success and failure in bodybuilding

  6. Train very heavy -- most the time. The muscles need to be constantly "overloaded" to continue to grow. Reps in the 4 - 6 range.

  7. Constantly challenge yourself to lift more weight. Never settle for a weight less than you have done in the past.

  8. Your "worst day" can become your "best day" if you learn from it, move on, and make the necessary changes!

  9. Less training is more, and less is best.

  10. Twenty sets per body part. Half a day in the gym. Six days a week. What foolhardy nonsense.

  11. 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.

  12. Give your body the opportunity to repair itself and grow

  13. Keep yourself motivated, inspired, and above all, believe in yourself

Other tips

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 is important!

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 limits growth.

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 Patience."

- Leo Tolstoy





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How to Get In Shape & Gain Weight as a Bikini Competitor
Common Bodybuilding Myths
Motivational tips
How to get 6 Pack Abs
Beginner Body building Guide
How to do Natural Cutting and Bulking Phases
Common Misconceptions In Bodybuilding

Diet Advice
General Bodybuilding Diet Info
Zig-Zag Calorie Diet
Ketogenic Diet for Rapid Fat Loss
Great Tasting Bodybuilding Recipes

Workout Info and Routines
Weight Workout Routines and Info
The Importance of Deadlifts
Dumbbells vs. Barbells - Which is Better?
How to Increase Your Bench Press
Is a Military Press the same as a "behind the neck shoulder press"?
How to Build Lower Abs
Keys to Lower Abdominal Definition

Cardiovascular Info
Understanding What Cardio Does for Bodybuilders
Track workouts
Phases of Sprinting
Track Competition Race Preparation

What Supplements are Important for Bodybuilders

Improve Bodybuilding With Health And Lifestyle
Is this site for Women?
Hormones And Bodybuilding
The Importance of Growth Hormone
Lifestyle Factors that Effect Bodybuilding



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