- : Always consult a physician before attempting to follow any new exercise plan.
- Step 1: Build strength Build strength to gain muscle. Try weightlifting, starting with just the bar and gradually adding weight after each workout. Calisthenics, like pull-ups, push-ups, tricep dips, and crunches, use your body weight to build strength.
- TIP: Add wrist or ankle weights to calisthenics if the exercises get too easy.
- Step 2: Add free weights Add free weights to a barbell to get muscle more quickly and efficiently than with machines or dumbbells. Free weights are also more versatile -- you can do hundreds of exercises with a single barbell.
- Step 3: Exercise your whole body Exercise your whole body. Combine compound moves like dead lifts, squats, bench presses, overhead presses, pull-ups, and barbell rows to work several muscle groups. Begin with three 45-minute sessions per week for two months. Add isolation exercises after you've built muscle mass.
- Step 4: Eat right Eat a healthy, whole-food diet with one gram of protein per pound of body weight daily to build muscle. Include carbohydrates from whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. Eat healthy fats from olive oil, flax seeds, and nuts. Drink plenty of water! Increase how much you eat, and eat more frequently, to support your new level of activity.
- TIP: Multiply your body weight by 18 and eat at least that many calories each day to maintain your weight.
- Step 5: Recover and rest Allow ample recovery and rest time. Do no more than three full-body workouts per week to allow muscles to rest, which is when they grow. Make sure to get eight hours of sleep per night to release the growth hormone that will have you looking ripped in no time.
- FACT: The first major bodybuilding competition in the United States took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City in January 1904.
You Will Need
- Barbell and free weights
- Protein and a healthy diet
- Recovery and rest
- Wrist or ankle weights (optional)