The Simple Fact of the Matter

Here’s the uncomfortable truth: building lots of muscle means deep, heavy squats, weighted dips, rack pulls and more. If just the thought of grinding those out doesn’t sound uncomfortable enough, then prepare for the discomforting implication: these are technical moves. Still not uncomfortable? You would be if you attempted these movements without proper guidance. Aha, there we have it (a point, at last!); with such an intensive programme, even if it is for beginners, professional guidance is an absolute must.

Hire a trainer. Get under the wing of someone experienced. Take multiple inductions. Go to barbell classes. I don’t care how you go about it; just don’t go about it alone.

The Objective

Our goal here is muscle, and lots of it. Our goal is also proportion and total-body development. Our goal, on top of that, is leanness enough to grate cheese on our abs. This multifarious goal doesn’t take many manipulative approaches to achieve; the full development of all major muscle groups results in a well-proportioned, thick, lean physique naturally. Everything falls into place with enough intensity, volume, good exercise selection and progressive overload. These are the basics of any resistance programme (see them all covered in a Basics for Beginners article, coming soon).

The Programme

Day 1

  • Exercise 1 – flat dumbbell bench press – 4 sets – 6-8 reps – 100sec rest between sets
  • Exercise 2 – seated row (semi-supinated/“hammer” grip) – 4 sets – 6-8 reps – 100sec rest between sets
  • Exercise 3 – seated dumbbell shoulder press – 3 sets – 8-10 reps – 90sec rest between sets
  • Exercise 4 – weighted pull-up/pull-down machine – 3 sets – 8-10 reps – 90sec rest between sets
  • Superset** 1: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec between supersets); A – rack pull – 6-8 reps, B – cable crunch – 8-10 reps

Day 2

  • Exercise 1 – barbell back squat – 6-8 reps – 120sec rest between sets
  • Exercise 2 – smith machine lunge – 6-8 reps – 120sec rest between sets
  • Exercise 3 – seated hamstring curl – 6-8 reps – 120sec rest between sets
  • Exercise 4 – hack squat machine – 8-10 reps – 100sec rest between sets
  • Superset 1: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec rest between supersets; A – dumbbell deadlifts – 6-8 reps, B – leg raises on Swiss ball – 8-10 reps
  • Superset 2: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec rest between supersets; A – smith machine toe raises – 6-8 reps, B – donkey calf raises – 8-10 reps

Day 3

  • Exercise 1 – weighted dips/dip machine/assisted dip machine – 4 sets – 6-8 reps – 100sec rest between sets
  • Exercise 2 – supinated pull-downs/chin-ups – 4 sets – 6-8 reps – 100sec rest between sets
  • Superset 1: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec rest between supersets; A – upright row – 8-10 reps, B – lateral dumbbell raise – 12-15 reps
  • Superset 2: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec rest between supersets; A – E-Z bar curl – 8-10 reps, B – incline dumbbell curl – 12-15 reps
  • Superset 3: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec rest between supersets; A – chest flye machine – 8-10 reps, B – reverse flye – 10-12 reps

Day 4

  • Exercise 1 – leg press machine – 3 sets – 8-10 reps – 90sec rest between sets
  • Exercise 2 – goblet squats – 3 sets – 12-15 reps – 75sec rest between sets
  • Superset 1: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec rest between supersets; A – barbell hip thruster – 10-12 reps, B – cable woodchoppers – 12-15 reps
  • Superset 2: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec rest between supersets; A – seated quadriceps extension machine – 10-12 reps, B – sissy squat – 12-15 reps
  • Superset 3: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec rest between supersets; A – lying hamstring curl machine – 8-10 reps; B – stiff-legged deadlifts (trap bar) – 12-15 reps
  • Superset 4: 3 supersets/6 sets – 90sec rest between supersets; A – calf press machine – 6-8 reps, B – seated calf raise – 15-20 reps

* When I say “day,” that doesn’t necessarily correspond with days of the week; indeed, quite on the contrary: I would recommend taking a day between each workout… these sessions are HARD. Simple but intense.

**A superset is two different exercises performed back-to-back without rest; the rest period is taken after a set of each exercise has been performed (that equals one “superset”)

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