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Your blueprint to prepare you for advance weight training programs in 12 weeks

The Ground Floor

 

Have you just walked into your gym for the first time and felt overwhelmed and perhaps a little intimidated by what you found?  Or, maybe you are an experienced weight-lifter and are returning from an extended layoff.  Whatever your particular situation, this 12-week plan will help you progress up to the level of an advanced lifter.  Understand that at the end of 12 weeks, you will not be ready to step into the gym with a competitive bodybuilder and keep pace with him/her.  But you will have added mass and strength and you will be ready to start exploring some advanced training techniques such as pyramids, supersets, or tri-sets, which will enable you to gain more strength and pack on even more size.  If you’ve already checked out my Super Crazy program, you have seen an example of some of these advanced techniques.

 

The Ground Floor is a program built on progression.  You must have a strong foundation in the beginning and build upon that as you progress.  Progression in your exercises, progression in your number of sets, the frequency of your exercise bouts, the amount of weight you use and progression in the way you split out the muscle groups you train each session.  We will get into training splits more in a bit.

 

So what is the best training split for someone just starting out, or someone returning after a long lay-off?  To begin, what is known as a whole-body training split is utilized.  Over the following weeks, you will begin to split out which body parts you work over different days.  The key is to use the proper split as you progress.  And, as you continue advancing, you move to more advanced splits.

The Ground Floor

Step 1: Weeks 1-3 (Whole-Body Training Split):

 

As you probably gather from its name, a whole-body training split involves training your entire body in every workout. The major benefit of this split for beginners is that it allows you to train each muscle group more frequently each week. With a whole-body training split you can train each muscle group three times per week, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This repetition is important for training your body’s nervous system. Before you can focus on building serious muscle, you first need to train your muscles how to contract properly.  Your muscle fibers need to learn how to contract synchronously, so that you can perform the exercise correctly and apply the most strength when you do it. And the best way to learn how to do something is through repetition.

 

So the first three weeks you will be following a whole-body training split done three times per week. An easy schedule would be to train Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but any three days of the week will do, as long as you allow one day of rest away from the weights between workouts. That’s because your body needs time to recover from the previous workout. And recovery is critical for making gains in muscle size and strength.  Muscles don’t grow in the gym.  They grow out of the gym.  But that’s a topic for another time.

Step 1 Blueprint:

 

Exercises:

The exercises you will be using are the tried and true mass builders that have been done for decades, if not centuries. These include exercises such as bench press, squat, and barbell curl. You will do one exercise per muscle group during this period. Any more than that and the workout becomes far too long and may be too much for your body at this point.

 

Reps:

Rep is the abbreviated term for repetition, which involves doing the exercise one time through its full range of motion. For example, when you lie down on the bench press and lower the bar to your chest and press it back up, that is one rep. In this step you will want to do 10-12 reps per set. That is a good range to learn the exercise, build muscles size and muscle strength for a beginner. One exception is calves and abs. On calves you are better off doing higher reps to stimulate more muscle growth in this stubborn muscle group. And when doing body weight ab exercises, such as crunches, you’ll want to do as many reps as you can per set until reaching muscle failure.  Regardless of the exercise being performed, proper form is paramount.  Concentrate on the target muscle group to develop the mind-muscle connection.  Pay strict attention to form and range of motion.  When your form begins to falter and you can’t complete a rep with full range of motion, you are finished with the set.

 

Weight:

The amount of weight you will use is determined by the rep range you are using. Since you will be doing 10-12 reps per set, you should choose a weight that prevents you from doing any more than 12 reps, but allows you to complete at least 10 reps. You should expect to get stronger over these three weeks, so once you can do more than 12 reps with the weight you are using it’s time to increase the weight by 5 or 10 pounds.

 

Sets:

A set is the term that refers to doing all reps for an exercise. That is, when you pick up the bar and perform as many repetitions as you can before putting the bar down. That completes one set. Typically you do several sets per exercise, with rest taken between those sets. During this period you will do three sets per exercise, which is just enough repetition to learn the exercise, yet not too much to make the workout last too long.

 

Rest

During this phase you will rest about 2-3 minutes between sets. The goal is to allow enough rest to allow you to stick fairly close to the rep range using the same weight on all three sets. This will help you gain more size and strength.  The exception here is claves and abs which tend to recover faster between sets. For these exercises rest 1-2 minutes between sets.

Step 1: Weeks 1-3 Workouts (Whole-Body Training Split):

 

Do this workout three times per week with at least one full day of rest between workouts (i.e Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

 

Muscle Group

Exercise

Sets/Reps

Rest

 

Chest

Barbell Bench Press

3/10-12

2-3 min.

 

Back

Bent-Over Barbell Row

3/10-12

2-3 min.

 

Legs

Squat

3/10-12

2-3 min.

 

Shoulders

Barbell Shoulder Press

3/10-12

2-3 min.

 

Triceps

Triceps Pressdown

3/10-12

2-3 min.

 

Biceps

Barbell Curl

3/10-12

2-3 min.

 

Calves

Standing Calf Raise

3/12-15

1-2 min.

 

Abs

Crunch

3/to failure

1-2 min.

Step 2: Weeks 4-6 (Two-Day Training Split):

 

After three weeks of performing the Whole-Body split three times per week, you are ready to progress to Step 2.  A new step equals a new challenge.  For the next three weeks you will begin performing a Two-day training split.  You will perform this workout twice a week for a total of 4 workouts per week. A Two-day training split means that you will split up your entire body into two separate workouts, training half the body in one workout and the other half in the second workout. In this particular two-day training split you will train all your torso muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders and abs) in workout 1 and all your limb muscles (biceps, triceps, legs and calves) in workout 2.

 

 

The benefit of moving up to a Two-day training split is that it allows you to do more exercises per muscle group and it allows you to train each muscle group with more intensity. Those are two critical components to making continued progress in the gym.

 

To keep growing bigger and stronger, muscles need to gradually do more work. You also need to train them with more intensity. Training fewer muscle groups per workout allows you to put more effort into the muscle groups you are training, by going heavier and really making sure that you take each set to muscle failure.

Step 2 Blueprint:

 

Exercises:

The exercises you will be using will be the major mass builders you started in Step 1, along with an added exercise or two (for legs) for that same muscle group. For most muscle groups this will allow you to do one multijoint mass builder and one single joint or isolation exercise to build both overall size and shape to each muscle group. You will also add an exercise to work a new muscle group in this step, the trapezius (aka Traps).

 

Sets:

You will still be doing 3 sets per exercise. However, since you are now doing two (or three for legs) exercises per muscle group, that’s a jump in total sets from 3 sets per muscle group, to 6 sets (or 9 sets for legs) per muscle group. This increase in the amount of work you do for each muscle group is important for continued progress.

 

Reps:

You will keep the reps at 10-12.  For calves, you will increase the reps to 15-20.

 

Weight:

You will continue performing 10-12 reps per set.  Again, once you can do more than the rep range listed for each exercise add 5-10 pounds, or whatever weight brings your reps into the listed rep range.

 

Rest:

During this phase you will also rest about 2-3 minutes between sets to allow you to stick with heavier weight and complete more reps for maximizing strength and size gains.

 

Now that you have had a chance to preview The Ground Floor, are you ready to get started training with me?

You will get:

  • The complete e-book  explaining The Ground Floor program
  • Complete access to my Virtual Training App, which will have this entire 12-week program at your fingertips, available on your mobile device
  • Sample meal plan to help you make the right choices outside of the gym
  • Access to me, your trainer, to help you every step of the way as you work your way to becoming bigger and stronger.

 

All of this for only $120

For Access To The Entire Program, Click the Image Below