Weightlifting for high school football gives me a hunger for bodybuilding. What’s the best way to get started?
I’m pleased you’ve picked up FLEX and asked for advice — a magazine like ours can help you immensely. In fact, I recommend getting your hands on as many issues as you can. Study them. Devour them. Learn the principles of weight resistance, biomechanics and muscle growth.
It sounds like you’re already familiar with the gym through football, so you’re already gaining experience with resistance exercise. For bodybuilding, however, your goals are different than they are for the gridiron, so you’ll likely need a different training routine.
For the first six weeks, use my “Beginner Workout” three times per week on nonconsecutive days. It’s ultrasimple: it covers the whole body, with one exercise for each major muscle group and two sets of 12 reps per bodypart. At this stage, push yourself, but not to failure. Instead, perfect your form for each exercise and work through your repetitions slowly and deliberately.
After your first six weeks of dedicated training, it will be time to get more serious, use more intensity and add more exercises and sets. Come back to this column next month to learn what that will entail.
Meanwhile, you are well on your way toward a bodybuilding lifestyle, as you’ve already made the all-important decision to begin. Good luck; we’re glad to have you in the fold. - FLEX
YATES' BEGINNER WORKOUT
THIGHS | Barbell Squats: 2 sets; 12 reps
HAMSTRINGS | Leg Curls: 2 sets; 12 reps
CHEST | Barbell Bench Presses: 2 sets; 12 reps
BACK | Barbell Rows: 2 sets; 12 reps
SHOULDERS | Seated Barbell Presses: 2 sets; 12 reps
BICEPS | Standing Barbell Curls: 2 sets; 12 reps
TRICEPS | Lying Triceps Extensions: 2 sets; 12 reps
ABS | Decline Bench Crunches: 2 sets; 12 reps
CALVES | Standing Calf Raises: 2 sets; 12 reps
NOTE: Do this workout three times per week on nonconsecutive days.