For those looking to start ripping out the bicep curls… sorry. This program isn’t for you. In fact, this whole website probably isn’t for you. Let me explain.
Ever wonder why so many people promise themselves year after year usually around Jan 1 “This is the year I’m going to achieve my fitness goals!” Come February you’re tank is on E and your motivation is floundering. You think “I’ve worked so hard this whole month and what have I got to show for it? Screw this… it’s too hard”
What went wrong here? I blame misguided intentions. Where do these misguided intentions stem from? Well, from many places. One notable place is those damn muscle magazines. You know the one with that big shiny guy on the front cover straining incredibly hard just to do a bicep curl. He is about half a second away from giving himself a hernia. They give you a ridiculous workout and tell you “hey, do this and you too can look like this guy!”
Let’s take a step back. Before we even pick up our first weight we need to understand that some muscles are more important than others. Take your glutes versus your biceps for example. Functionally (and practically) speaking which one do you think is more important. If you answer glutes then you would be correct. By exercising these more important muscles before going anywhere near a curl, you will see better results faster.
I know you may be thinking “But you can’t work your arms without doing curls!” and I’m here to tell you that is completely false. You may not be isolating them, but the bent-over row will certainly hit the biceps. Just like the pushup will hit the triceps. Once you’ve had a good “break-in period” you can then start incorporating more single-joint exercises. For now let’s not put the cart before the horse.
It is just like building a house. You may be really excited about building the bathroom, and the bathroom is an important part of every house, but without a solid foundation it’s not going to turn out like you hoped. Yes, you can spend an entire month doing nothing but arms and yes you will see some results but do you honestly think it will get you to your fitness goals? Probably not.
This routine, geared towards beginners, is designed to give you a solid foundation upon which you can later move on to movements like the bicep curl. As a beginner during the first two weeks of training, you will primarily be improving your motor neuron connections. In other words when you first start out your body will be creating new pathways and improving the neural connections to your muscles. You won’t be fully utilizing your muscles until your body learns how to do so.
We will start out by focusing on big movements and high reps. You’ll be sore and you’ll cringe every time you have to sit on the toilet, but it will pay off in the end. So let’s get started.
Alternate workout A and B for two weeks two days per week. Be sure to rest at least 48 hours after each workout. You can incorporate 20-30 mins of cardio on your off days. After two weeks, you can move up to three days per week with at least 48 hours of rest after each workout. You can also start doing three sets for each exercise and drop the number of repetitions from 15 to 8 or 10. If you do this be sure to increase your rest time 15 seconds and use a heavier weight.
When first starting out if an exercise is too easy you can add more weight or use a modification to up the intensity. Such as with the push-up, you can place your feet on a bench or place a medicine ball under one hand and switch after each rep. I recommend reading Choosing The Right Amount Of Weight for more guidance on how to pick the right weight. Get a small notebook and keep track of your progress. If you need help with an exercise click on the name to be taken to a page with the exercise description.
- Dumbbell Thrusters: 2 sets/15 reps/rest 1 min
- Plank: 3 sets/Hold 30-60 seconds/rest 30 sec
- Straight-leg Deadlift to Bent-over row: 2 sets/15 reps/rest 1 min
- Russian Twist: 3 sets/15 reps per side/rest 30 sec
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