So, you’re a beginner and you want to start lifting weights? I congratulate you! This is one of the best decisions you could make.
Starting a weight-lifting routine for male beginners could be the turning point in your life.
In this article I will tell you everything you need to know about getting into weight lifting as a male beginner.
Step 1) Understanding Your Body’s Muscle Groups
To optimize building muscle mass the norm is to differentiate your body’s muscle groups.
You can divide your body’s muscle groups into:
- Arms (Biceps + Triceps)
- Abdominal muscles (Abs)
Each one of these muscle groups consists of smaller muscle groups, as well.
For example, your chest consists of 4 smaller chest muscles: The pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and subclavius.
All you need to know is this, though: To grow a muscle group (e.g. chest) maximally you need to perform exercises that target all the muscles in the muscle group. You do that by performing different exercises for the same muscle group, such as doing the bench press, the incline bench press as well as the decline bench press for your chest muscles.
Step 2) Understanding the Secret Muscle Building Driver: Volume
The most important thing you can do to build maximum muscle is to perform enough exercises per muscle group. This is referred to as “volume”. Volume can be defined as the your sets x reps x load (how much weight you use)
- What is a set? A group of consecutive repetitions. If you do 10 push-ups in a row, then take a 1 minute break, and then do 10 more push-ups you have done 2 sets of push-ups. You beast!
- What is a rep? Rep is the abbreviation for repetition means one full motion of an exercise.
- What does load mean? (Insert dirty joke here, please.) Commonly misused term. Let’s use the engineering definition, ‘the force exerted on a surface or body’. Simply put: Heavier weights means heavier loads.
Science backs this up, as well. Volume is king when it comes to building big muscles.
When comparing low-, moderate-, and high-volume resistance training protocols in a scientific study done by Schoenfeld et al., one thing is clear: Volume enhances muscle hypertrophy. Meaning: Higher volume = bigger muscles.
Step 3) The Perfect Workout Routine
Contrary to popular belief, the best routine for a beginner is NOT a full-body workout (in my opinion). This is from a scientific point of view as well as from personal experience.
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the rules for building muscle mass don’t change.
In order to build muscle mass you need to perform enough exercises for one muscle group (“volume”).
3-Day Workout Routine
- Bench Press: 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Incline Bench Press: 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Dips: 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Chest Fly Machine: 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Tricep Pushdowns (Works the lateral head of triceps): 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Rope Pushdowns (Works the medial head): 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Dumbell Overhead Triceps Extension (Words the long head): 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Alternating Incline Dumbbell Curl (Works the long head of your biceps): 5 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Preacher Curls (Works the short head of your biceps): 5 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Barbell Squats: 4 Sets x 10-15 Reps
- Leg press: 4 Sets x 10-15 Reps
- Lunges: 4 Sets x 10-15 Reps
- Leg Extension: 4 Sets x 10-15 Reps
- Leg Curl: 4 Sets x 10-15 Reps
- Seated Calf Raise: 4 Sets x 10-15 Reps
- Decline Crunches: 4 Sets x 10-15 Reps
- Hanging Leg Raises: 4 Sets x 10-15 Reps
- Side Bends: 4 Sets x 10-15 Reps
- Deadlifts: 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Pulldowns: 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Cable Rows: 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Back Extension: 4 Sets x 8-12 Reps
- Overhead Barbell Press: 4 Sets x 10 Reps
- Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press: 4 Sets x 10 Reps
- Lateral Raises: 4 Sets x 10 Reps
- Bend-Over Lateral Raises: 4 Sets x 10 Reps
Keep rest periods to between 30s – 45s. The whole routine should take you around 3 hours per week total.
Step 4) Weight Lifting for Male Beginners vs. Weight Lifting for Advanced Lifters
Since you’re a beginner, focus on achieving perfect form. Go to my youtube channel to learn correct form for all these exercises of simply google them. But inform yourself how to properly conduct any of the exercises.
Apart from a greater focus on achieving correct form, there really isn’t much difference.
Lift weights until you can’t safely perform another repetition.
Step 5) Create a Calorie Surplus of around 360 Kcal to Optimally Facilitate Muscle Building
You can have the greatest weight lifting routine in the world. But if you don’t consume adequate calories, you will not build a significant amount of muscle mass.
On the other hand, the amount of muscle mass your body can build each day is limited. Consuming too many calories over your maintenance requirement means you increase your body fat levels. Unfortunately, it does not significantly speed up the muscle building process.
To strike the perfect balance between optimal muscle building and minimal body fat gains, consume around 360 Kcal above your maintenance calories.
To find out your maintenance calories, simply use a calorie calculator such as Myfitnesspal.
Step 6) Consume at Least 1g of Protein per Pound of Bodyweight
If you weigh 180 lbs, aim to consume around 180g of protein spread out throughout your day. Try to eat every 2,5 to 3 hours ideally.
Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments.