Did you know that the shape of our muscles determine the stability of our bones? Hence, it is important to maintain good muscles mass to maintain body’s stability and posture.
Many of us crave to have strong and well-built muscles, and a well-chiseled physique. However, there are two things to be understood; the first one is, this dream can turn into a reality only when you concentrate on all your muscle groups and give equal justice to their development while planning and performing your workout routines to build muscle. The second one is, do your workouts with enthusiasm and have patience. This is because, everything requires time, nothing happens overnight or even in a day or two!
Some fitness enthusiasts do not wish to increase their body mass and muscle size, but want to stay in perfect shape by doing exercises for all the muscle groups. For such people, this muscle-building routine would be a better option, as it will help them achieve their health goals. Beginners can also follow this workout routine, as it is necessary to make all the muscle groups habitual to the muscle-building exercises, and this workout routine will serve this very purpose.
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Before starting any workout, make sure that you give a proper warm-up to all your body parts. A warm-up session for about 15 – 20 minutes should consist of activities such as cycling, walking exercises, running and jogging, push ups, dips, pull ups, jump rope, stretches, etc. Any of these activities would energize your muscles and get them ready for the workout to follow.
For all the exercises given below, 3 sets with 10 – 12 intense repetitions are enough for the first few weeks, and then you can move ahead for more exercises with free weights.
Muscle Building Routines for Beginners
Bicep Curls: Stand erect in front of a mirror and hold a barbell with weights attached to it in your hand. Now lift the barbell till your shoulders and then slowly bring it down.
Preacher Curls: Sit on a preacher bench with your hands stretched on the bench and palms facing towards the ceiling. Hold a barbell in your hands with weights attached to it, and then lift the barbell till your shoulder level. Lower it down slowly.
Incline Bicep Curls: Sit on an incline bench and hold one dumbbell each in both your hands. Lift either of the dumbbells till the shoulders and then bring it down gradually. Repeat the same for the other hand.
Tricep Presses: Stand in front of an overhead pulley and attach a bar to it. Fix the weight clip and then hold the bar from above with both your hands. Move the bar downwards completely and then bring it up slowly.
Lying Barbell Extensions: Lie down on your back on a flat bench. Hold a barbell in your hands with your hands facing upwards. Now slowly bend your elbows in the motion of an arc, to keep the barbell about an inch above your forehead, and then come back to the original position.
Double Bar Tricep Dips: Hold a double bar with your palms facing each other. Support your body by holding the bar. Now slowly move downwards, bent a little bit, to support your back. Remain in this position for sometime (if possible!), or do quick repetitions.
Bench Press: Lie on your back on a chest-pressing bench. Keep a barbell with weights attached to it on the bench rack. Carefully hold the barbell in your palms and bring it to the chest level, till an inch above it. Lift the barbell in that position at the stretch of your hands and then lower it down slowly.
Incline Bench Press: This is similar to the bench press exercise. The only difference is that, here you need to do the exercise on an incline bench.
Peck Deck: Sit on a peck deck machine with weights adjusted. Hold the handles of the machine and pull them close to each other. Maintain this position for a few seconds. Release the force and let the handles go back to their original position.
Shoulder Press: Sit straight on an upright bench. Hold a barbell in your hand with weights adjusted and palms facing towards the ceiling. Now lift the barbell at the stretch of your hands and then bring it down slowly, till your shoulder level.
Front Lateral Raises: Stand erect with one dumbbell each in both your hands. Hold it in a way so that your palms face each other. Now raise the dumbbells in the front till the shoulder level. Keep this position for a second or two and then come back to the original position.
Reverse Peck Deck Flyes: Sit facing backwards on the peck deck machine. Adjust the weights. Hold the handles of the machine and pull them in an arc motion to set your hands and shoulders wide apart. Maintain this position for some time, and then come back to your original position slowly.
Seated Pulley Rows: Sit erect on the seat of a low cable pulley machine. Take a small handle and attach it to the hook of the machine. Adjust the weight and pull the bar towards your side near the stomach. Be in the same position for a couple of seconds and then release the bar slowly.
Barbell Shrugs: Stand erect and hold a barbell with weights adjusted in your hands. Now pull your shoulders down as far as you can, and then lift them up as much as possible. Do not bend your hands in this exercise, and do not lift the barbell with your hands. Concentrate completely on the shoulders while pulling them upwards and downwards as well.
Lat Pull Downs: Sit in front of a lat machine and fix a long bar to it. Adjust the weight and pull the bar down. Bend your back as you pull the bar towards yourself. Pull it till the chest level without touching the chest. Hold this position for a second and then slowly come back to the original position.
Hack Squats: Stand on the machine in such a way that your feet are spread a bit wider than your shoulder width. Adjust the bar on your shoulders. Lift the barbell with the help of your shoulders till your legs straighten completely. Hold this position for a couple of seconds and then go back to the previous position.
Box Squats: Take a box from your gymnasium and place it on an even surface. Hold a barbell on your shoulders from behind and sit down slowly on the box with it. Now stand up and then again sit down.
Calf Raises: Hold a barbell on the shoulders from behind. Raise your toes and then again come down slowly. This will exert pressure on your calves.
END OF WORKOUT
Crunches: Lie on your back on the floor with your knees spread equally to the width of your shoulders. Keep your feet flat on the surface and support your head with your hands. Now lift yourself upwards without pulling your neck. Exhale while coming up. Maintain this position for a second or two and then slowly regain your original position.
Reverse Crunches: Be in a position similar to crunches. Keep your legs bent and lift them at a parallel level to your waist. Hold this position for two seconds and come back to the previous position.
For the Wrist: Finally, you can do some wrist exercises. This exercise is popularly known as wrist curls. For this, you need to stand in front of a wrist curl machine and adjust the weight. Firmly hold the bar in your hands and then lift it slowly. Move your wrist in an up and down direction. See that ample stress is exerted on the wrists while lifting the bar. Wrist curls can also be done with the help of dumbbells or free weights. But as a beginner, prefer doing the exercise with a machine. This reduces the chances of injuries to the wrist muscles. Repeat this workout pattern for the remaining three days of the week.
Unlike the previous muscle-building routine, this one is for those individuals who have already stimulated muscle growth and development in themselves, and are now focusing on one muscle group per day with 5 – 6 sets, 12 – 13 repetitions of each exercise and heavier weights. Again, remember to begin each workout with a good warm-up session.
Intermediate Muscle Building Routines
- Bicep Curls (barbell, dumbbells, machine)
- Bicep Concentration
- Preacher Curls (barbell, dumbbells)
- Incline Dumbbell Curls
- Hammer Curls
- Tricep Dumbbell Extensions
- Lying Barbell Extensions
- Tricep Presses
- Double Bar Tricep Dips
- Tricep Dips
- Bench Press
- Peck Deck Flies
- Dumbbell Bench Press
- Barbell Decline Bench Press
- Barbell Incline Bench Press
- Shoulder Press (barbell, dumbbell)
- Front Lateral Raises
- Side Lateral Raises
- Reverse Peck Deck
- Peck Deck
- Pulls Ups
- Seated Pulley Rows
- Lat Pull Downs
- Pull Downs
- Hack Squats (machine)
- Barbell Hack Squats (free weight)
- Sit Ups
- Calf Raises
Exercising on day 7 is optional. You can either not exercise and give some rest to your muscles or you can indulge yourself into aerobic exercises, yoga or long cycling.
Tips While Performing Workouts
- The most important thing while exercising is to have your trainer besides you to support your body.
- See that your repetitions are intense and slow. Do not hurry while doing any of the muscle-building exercises.
- Always learn the right technique before doing any exercises. You can do this with empty barbells or light weights in the beginning.
- Know your limits. Avoid lifting heavy weights that are beyond your capacity. If you insist on increasing the weights, seek some support from the trainer so that there isn’t any imbalance while lifting the weights.
- Concentrate on one particular muscle group at a time. For instance, if you are doing an exercise for the biceps, see to it that you do it in the right way, and sufficient stress is exerted on your biceps only. This will promote optimal muscle development.
- Have control over your body movements. Do not release the barbell or dumbbell from your hands suddenly, as this could prove injurious to you. This is important while lowering down the barbells in exercises such as the bench press and shoulder press.
- Do not let the dumbbell or the barbell touch any part of your body. Do not let the barbell touch your chest when you lower the barbell down. Keep it an inch away from your chest.
- Adjust the correct weight and machine height for all exercises.
- Support your back properly in the back and shoulder exercises.
- Do not let your breathing process get interrupted. Breathe properly while exercising.
- Keep on sipping little quantities of water to prevent your body from suffering from dehydration.
The aforementioned workout routines to build muscle will surely help you if followed properly. Before signing off, I would like to remind you to follow a balanced diet and get sufficient rest. Prefer eating foods prescribed by a dietitian and sleep well for 7 – 8 hours daily at the minimum. If proper diet and rest are complemented with regular workout, then no one can stop you from achieving your health goals, and you’ll soon find people appreciating you for your well-toned body.